Monday, March 30, 2009


Sitting here in bed. Just woke up. No coffee yet. Blood pressure is 128/87, resting heart rate is 81. While neither of those would make a western doctor even raise an eyebrow, they are high for me. Normal is 90/60 and 72ish.

So something continues to be awry. Along with this is a headache, intestinal distress, an overall feeling of achiness and lack of energy. Maybe it's a bug, who knows.

Basta's flu is gone and he feels pretty good. He took several days off from training because of his illness and it made him twitchy. He couldn't wait to get back to it. Funny how that becomes an addiction.

5 days to Oceanside. Strong focus on simple, healthy foods, getting good rest, and light training for both of us.

If I feel like I do now I'm not sure it's wise to do any of Oceanside. I'd really like to do at least the swim, just to prove I can. The swim has been my challenge all along here and I really feel like I've conquered that. At one time the thought of swimming a mile in the open water made me terrified. Now I've learned how to swim, I have done the distance many times in the pool and in the ocean, now I just need to do it in an event. Then I can say Done. Success. Goal Achieved. Feel good about that.

I can ride the bike and I can run a half marathon (well, not today. But you know what I mean. When I'm healthy). Doing all three on the same day may have to wait for another event, but I'd really like to get that swim done in Oceanside.

Of course I had to read that article about how most people die in triathlon in the swim and due to a heart problem. Great.

I am going to go barf now. Bye.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bad Things

Well, alas, things continue to go awry over here.

In the interest of not-whining - much - I'll try to keep this succinct. Another allergy/sensitivity problem has turned up resulting in another few weeks of mostly-lost training time.

Nearly everyone I mention this to says, 'oh, it's just muscle soreness. HTFU.' Apparently they think that I don't know the difference between a normal workout where my heartrate goes from a calm steady beat to a nicely elevated and comfortable 150-160 versus a pounding 210 within the first few steps of a run. That a muscle pain that feels like a netting of razor blades wrapped around my thighs feels the same as the typical stiff & soreness that comes from a good long run.

Trust me on this one: I am not stupid. I am pretty self-aware, too. I know the difference between what is normal for me and what is significantly abnormal.

Also know that I will figure it out and take the actions I need to fix it. In this case, once again, I narrowed the problem down to what is affecting me and am using avoidance to solve it. I feel better again. What I don't know is why all of the sudden I'm reacting to so many things that never previously bothered me. Maybe that's a question that will never get answered and my days will be filled with identifying and avoiding problem ingredients. Oh joy.

What this means for my triathlon life is that I've lost some more training time. Oceanside is in two weeks. There is no more time for significant fitness gains.

So. I know I may not finish this event. I have made peace with that. I am where I am. I will do this for fun. I am now looking forward to the excitement of the event and having a great time. It's not like I was a threat to break the top, oh, 60% anyway. It turns out that a whole lot of this pre-race anxiety is just taking yourself way too seriously.

I know I'll finish the swim. I am pretty sure I'll finish the bike. I might finish the run, if all goes well and my knees and hips hold out. Realistically, they might give out and I will just go as far as I can.

In other news, Basta is sick. Aches, pains, runny nose, intestinal distress. Flu. He's been down for 2 days and is getting better. Considering I've caught almost every cold or flu he's brought home, chances of me getting this one within a few days is pretty high. Which will really benefit my strength and fitness for Oceanside, no?

Hmm. The no-whining thing didn't work out so well, did it?

On the positive side, we did the Solvang ride last weekend. Basta did the century ride, the second one of his career, and I did the half century. We both had a very good time. It was a hilly, challenging course but we both finished strong and within our goal times. We were happy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Athlete Information

Basta had an 18 hour week last week. That's a lot of training and he was not terribly happy about it. He groused a bit, but he did it, knowing that this week is a recovery week.

When I scheduled him for workouts during his recovery week, he really groused. I explained, yet again, that recovery week doesn't mean sitting on the couch doing nothing. It means easier, shorter workouts. You still have to run, bike, and swim. Just less thereof.

So he's doing it. He is disciplined.

We got our athlete's information package from Ironman California (Oceanside). The email containing the package said to reply to the email if I wasn't going to be able to compete or didn't want a race number assigned for any reason.

I nearly hit reply right then and there. But alas, that's just me being less than courageous. Which can't be, so I didn't. I will get a race number. I will toe the line.

But first, a ski trip. We're off to Mammoth for the weekend. Should be a nice weekend with gorgeous conditions.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fun & Fitness

Last year, around the point in his training where I am now, Basta was hating it. He didn't like the training, the long hours, or the sore body. He said he'd do it because he signed up for the event and needed to do the training to get there, but he wasn't enjoying it. At this point in his career, he wanted to back off after Oceanside and just do sprints and Olympics, if he even wanted to continue with triathlon at all.

I remind myself of this, rather often, because that's where I am right now. I don't want to do this any more. I'm tired of training. I'm tired of being sore all the time. I'm tired of missing workouts because I'm tired and sore and then feeling guilty for missing workouts.

But mostly, I'm tired of doing all of this and not making much progress. That's the difference between Basta and I. He was tired and sore, but his bodyfat plummeted, his blood pressure dropped, his fitness improved by leaps and bounds, and he could see improvement in everything. I'm not seeing improvement anywhere. In fact, I'm getting slower and I’m just tired all of the time, even though I don't think I'm working out all that much. It's most frustrating. I think I am coaching myself incorrectly.

But I said I wasn't going to talk about me if all I was going to do was whine, didn't I? Well, best to drop this topic then. Instead, let's talk about motivation. Why do we do triathlon? Why do you? Why do I?

I exercise in general to be fit and healthy. I took up triathlon to get a good all-around body appearance. Runners are super-fit but far too scrawny. Cyclists have big legs but slight upper-bodies. Swimming gives you the nice upper body that balances the whole picture.

I like the stuff, too. The gadgets. The equipment. The high-tech attire and accessories. I like that stuff a lot.

Of course there's the camaraderie, too. Signing up for events with friends. Talking about training, workouts, logistics, frustrations, breakthroughs, all. Travelling together or meeting up at events. Having a group cheering for you at the finish line. That's all very nice.

So I plan to continue. Right now I'm just tired. I need to change my training a bit because what I'm doing is not really working for me. If that means I don't finish Oceanside, well, so be it. I'll get as far down the course as I can. Next time I'll make it farther.

I'm doing this for fun and fitness, after all. It's time to pay some attention to the 'fun' aspect.