Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Proud to be in the 1%

Yup, I said it!  I am PROUD TO BE IN THE 1%!  And if you want to get technical it's LESS than 1%

Less than 1% of the population will complete an olympic distance (or longer) triathlon!  I am determined to fight my body, fight the EDS, and work toward my Ironman Journey!  I've come to terms that I cannot run, it is actually pretty bad on my body.  I didn't give up without trying though.  This year I went from not being able to 'run' for 10 min to completing 3 stand alone half marathons including one with a 2200 ft ascent in the first 3 miles! I completed numerous 5K& 10Ks, and triathlons including another half marathon at the end of a half ironman.  Running kills me, but I'm not going to let that stop my dream.

I have migrated to Aquabikes.  It is a controversial topic in the triathlon community.  Purists think that Aquabike is just a ploy to get more 'annoying people in the way' for  races, and 'make more money'.  I say too bad, aquabike can get many other people OUT THERE. People who have medical issues and can't run, well here's the chance to enter into that 1%!

When I signed up for the Providence 70.3 I knew it would be tough, but I really had an awesome time and when I finished I felt pretty good. (Minus the running issues: missing toenails, blisters, joint pain, etc).  I knew I needed to get closer to my IRONMAN JOURNEY!

Almost immediately I looked for the next race.  I wanted to do a Full Distance, but knew that I could not run.  I found Chesapeakeman Aquabike.  It is an Ironman distance without the run.  WOOHOO!  I knew I would try!  I'm kinda getting annoyed at providing this huge caveat though.  People ask when my next race is and I say "Sept 29, I'm doing an Ironman distance aquabike.  That means just the swim and the bike."  JUST??  JUST?? did I say JUST?  Plus that's a really long sentence.  Well, I feel the need to downplay the fact that I'm doing 2/3 of an Ironman. A small fraction of that 1% even attempt an Ironman so pishah!  I'm not fast, never will be.  But you bet your ass I'm going to try!

I really hate having to give the race a "well it's JUST an aquabike."  2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike is nothing to sneeze at.  I even had a friend correct me when I abbreviated one day, I had mentioned something about "my IM in XX days."  She retorted "I thought you were only doing the Aquabike?"  Well it still is an Ironman Distance! The 99% aren't even trying!

I completed my last workout this morning for Chesapeakeman!

I  am ALL IN!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

HEY YOU! Athletic Clothing Makers!

This is just a rant about athletic clothing for women with curves!

I want to know when society decided that all clothing should be TINY? I just googled Athletic clothing the first result was from Victoria's Secret.  Perhaps that's the problem?

I know the horror of finding a bathing suit so you can just lay flat on the beach and hope no one notices your legs or extra rolls in the belly. Now add that horror to running around, having endless people take pictures of you in those clothes during RACES.  Add to that, a westuit, which leaves nothing unnoticed! 

I'm a woman with curves (probably a few more than necessary) but still CURVES!  I'm extremely tired of feeling VERY FAT and UNCOMFORTABLE when I try to find any workout clothing!  As someone who spends 10-20 hours a week in those clothes, they should FIT and make me feel good!

My first rant will be to the BIKE SHIRT INDUSTRY!   I bought my first bike shirt a few years ago, forget the women's section, those cute shirts? nope.. off to the Men's!  NOT ONLY the men's, but XXL MEN!  Do manufacturers of bike shirts think that only 80lb women ride bikes? or 100lb men for that matter?  Yea these things are supposed to be tight, but I think circulation is required for riding a bike.  PLUS, I would love to wear some of the cute colors they have for women.  Right now my only option would be to use 2 of them, one on each leg for a leg warmer!

Next rant - TECH SHIRTS!  Tech t-shirts have gotten smaller and smaller over the last couple of years.  They have 'women's cut' and a 'man's cut. OK GREAT, the woman's cut is cute, I like how it comes in at the waist, EXCEPT I would need a XXXXL to fit my D's!   Not to to mention my WRIST barely fits in the armhole, how is my bicep supposed to fit? Are real women not supposed to wear tech shirts? I tell you I know PLENTY of jacked women who would rock a tech shirt, if manufacturers would use REAL MODELS to size them.  I'm tired of arguing with race volunteers "yes I need a Man's XL"- they just look at me like I'm crazy.

ONTO ZIPPERS!.. GOOD GOD leave the ZIPPERS out of athletic apparel. There is no point!  I've never had one work properly, again onto the D's- if I zip up one of these TIGHT shirts, guess what... zipper either breaks or falls down!

When I first started in Triathlon, I tried a 'tri suit.'  They all have a stupid zipper, and all do the same thing FALL DOWN!  In hindsight this is ok though, trisuits in my opinion are kinda dumb! You must get naked in a portapotty at races.  No Thanks!

I finally found my groove with Danskin tankini triathlon tops and Under Armour compression shorts.  WELL, they caught on to this WHATEVER train to alienate REAL WOMEN from athletics and discontinued the good clothing!

I have about 12 of the 'old' Danskin tankini's.  They wear out so I have to buy more each year.  To my dismay, they were discontinued. They decided to create a new one, WITH A ZIPPER!  ugh!  Well first one I wore, zipper broke.  Second, zipper fell down while riding.  Awesome.  I emailed them with a total rant and their response was "we'll send this to our product people." I want to know what size their product people are, 2? and no muscles? (or boobs).

So now I'm back on the prowl for a new tankini.  Which is very difficult, they make them cut so goofy.  Side boob falls out because they they have an "athletic cut." or the bottom rolls up to leave your belly hanging out.  I mean leave some material for WOMEN WITH CURVES!  I know many women who are athletic and could put those crazy skinny @ss models to shame in FITNESS, so how about you make some CLOTHING for us!?!

So, that's the shirt.. I have been wearing Under Armor compression shorts forever. Guess what, they are discontinued as well!  The discontinued ones have stitching down the leg and a seam at the waist.  Well the new ones are total flat panel.  Seriously WHO LOOKS OK IN FLAT PANEL ANYTHING? To top that off, they're SHORTER!  Yea, just what I want!  There is a 'point of no return' on shorts. They either stay on your leg, or ride up.  I don't know what % of the population can wear the daisy dukes, but seriously can we HAVE A CHOICE?   I like 9" shorts, those are NO WHERE To be found anymore, 7" is the longest you can get and most are 2-4.  SERIOUSLY? 

Can we PLEASE keep WOMEN WITH CURVES on the minds of product people. 

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When It Rains...

I had visions of what to call this post, WTH, WTF.. but when I wrote to my coach about the last week she said "WHEN IT RAINS..."  yea that about sums it up without swearing.

I've been having a pretty good summer, rode 2100 miles on the bike, ran 174 miles run and swam about 17 miles.  I guess increase in volume has an increase in 'issues.'   I've had my share of rain too.  We tried to do a hilly century in the pouring rain.

I can't even explain how wet that was!  But that isn't the point of  the post.

Then here comes the storm!

Last Wednesday I went for a swim with Ali.  We had plans on doing a 90 min swim.  I felt a little nauseous before we even got int he water, but decided I better get this long swim done!  I like to swim an out and back for long swims, that way I'm not bored with constantly turning around.  This also means we were out in the lake, subject to boat waves.  This day had some crazy guy with a boat way too big for Webster Lake, ugh, waves.  I had to stop several times to catch my head!  We turned around by 37 min, I just couldn't take it anymore.  Then Ali got nauseous, I thought "ok maybe it's not me!" She said "How the hell did you swim that whole way like this?" - dunno, needed to get it done?

Eventually we got out of the water, and I was still spinning!  Took almost 7 hours to get rid of the feeling!  UGH!   I wondered if I had an ear or sinus infection that I didn't notice.  I normally wouldn't even bother going to the Doctor, however I had my Aquabike Ironman in 18 days!

The Doctor said "people with high tolerance for pain just don't notice when something's wrong." (Awesome side effect of EDS?).  So.. 4 prescriptions later I have ear drops, nose spray, antibiotics, oh and allergy meds. I had no idea I had allergies!?!  Swimmers Ear, Ear Infection and Allergies.  She says "stay out of the water for 7 days."  UGH!

The antibiotics kicked my @ss. All I wanted to do was sleep!  I rode a couple days, then got ready for my last weekend of long rides.   Saturday I drove up to Maine for one of my favorite rides.  50 miles for Autism society of Maine.   Stunning ride!

I felt good!  Last time I did this ride, it was my first 50 and I took FOREVER to get back. I think it was close to 5 hours.

It wasn't a race and there certainly were stronger riders there, but I was the first rider to return.... in   3:09!  WHOOHOO!  Stacey and her husband Kurt did it as well, it was Stacey's first 50 and she came in just after me!

I had a long drive home, went to bed and the next day got ready for a 70!  My riding partner was running late so I moseyed along and didn't start until 8:30.  Starting late means more crazy people on the bike path.  You spend a ton of time playing chicken with people, or dodging wobbly kids on training wheels.  That and it was windy.  I need the wind to practice for the race, but still.

About 30 miles in it happened.  I stopped to go to the restroom, went to get back on my bike, I THINK I peddled a rotation or two and I just FELL OVER! WTF!?  I just laid there on the ground, right foot still clipped in. Seriously WTF happened? I have ZERO clue, I just fell over? This is my 3rd fall this summer. I normally go over once a season, usually forget to clip out at a stopsign. I think the extra falls are due to volume, NOT Me losing coordination.

The first one, my foot was stuck!  I had sand in my clip!  I knew I was going to go down so I looked for a spot and fell LEFT away from the crank.  (I thought after, hey dumbass, why didn't you just take your SHOE off and stand up! Lesson for next time).

The second fall was bizarre.  I was BLOWN OVER!  I made fun of Andy Schleck earlier this year for his skinny self being blown over.  Karma, I guess was after me!  I was actually getting ready to stop, unclipped left and leaned that way when a big gust of wind whacked me from the side and shoved me to the ground on the CRANK SIDE! UGH, but not too much damage. Never in a million years thought this butt could get blown over!

I really have no idea how I fell on this last one.  I felt 'ok' after.  I knew I took a handlebar to the rib, also knew I twisted one knee and skinned the other.  Other than that, I was in one piece.  Having EDS does have it's weird little blessings! Like the fact that yea my knee twisted around, but it goes back.  A 'normal' person would have probably had a car take them home. I rode!  Then I started to hear the clicking.  UGH!  Missing top 3-4 gears in the rear.  I thought NO not 2 weeks before my race!  I eventually got back to the car, packed the bike and went straight to the bike shop.

I got the news on Monday, rear derailleur hanger was dead, and I had a few nicks in  the derailleur itself and it should probably be replaced.  Ok fine, right? WRONG!  Quintana Roo will only sell parts to QR dealers! QR dealers are NOT convenient to my house!  I started to call around to find the part.  No one had it! I swear I called every QR dealer on the east coast.  I even found one in the UK that had the part and I contemplated shipping from there!  Apparetly there is a big trade show in Vegas and all the bike dealers are there, no one is shipping anything this week!  GRRRR!!!  I put a note out on facebook, and then came the support.  I swear this community is awesome. So many friends were willing to help!

By 8PM I had 1 part ordered and mostly likely 2 coming!  Bicycles East in Glastonbury CT stayed late to figure this out for me! Quad Cycles in Arlington was stalking the QR guy at Interbike, and VMPS in Millbury MA was digging through to find one!  Awesome, thank you all!  - so I will probably have my bike back on Friday- FRIDAY!  how's that for a taper, just stop working out!?

Oh wait, this get's better!.. as the week has gone on, I've noticed some pain in my shoulder. So twisted swollen knee, skinned other knee, purple bruised ribcage, and now.... drumroll please.. tear in my deltoid!   Seriously wtf happened on that fall?

When it rains!.. I guess I should just go sit on the couch!

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