Saturday, August 30, 2008


After a particularly hellish week at work, I decided to take Friday off. woo hoo! Without blogging on about work which is a whole other blog in and of itself, lets just say anything that could go wrong did go wrong this week. In a nutshell, when my co-workers and I tell our work stories to outsiders more often than not our friends say it sounds like we work on the set of "The Office" or "Office Space". Sad but true. To give you an example, the most recent issue was a changing of the dress code. For seven years, we have been casual in our dress meaning you pretty much could wear anything besides shorts to work. Jeans, flip flops, t-shirts you name it, all good. Today, the home office requested that we go to business casual to be more in line with the other offices. Not a huge deal... you would think. There were tears, visible anger and spirited debates over what and was not a "t-shirt" (in the new dress code, it states t-shirts are not allowed - meaning shirts with sayings on them as opposed to plain shirts that happen to be made of t-shirt material.) In the past, we have had similar town hall meetings over what is and is not fleece if you can believe it. I know, so crazy.... For the record, I had already decided to take Friday off before this gem was released Friday afternoon so this was just the cherry on my hellish week Sunday.

So my Friday began with catching up on some sleep and heading to the pool. I was able to swim outside which is always a treat! This time the water was not cloudy at all so I was able to get in 2000 meters in the sun. AHHHH!

I spent the rest of the afternoon watching tennis and being a big ole couch potato. Surprisingly, (or not surprisingly) my foot feels much better after all the rest. That doctor was on to something... I think I'll keep him. My night consisted of a late dinner with a friend. We had some fence mending to do and it still didn't go the way I planned but this may be one of those situations where it is better not to be friends. Don't know, time will tell.

To continue my three week tradition of staying up later than any sane person, I watched Andy Roddick pull off a 4 set win against Ernests Gulbis last night. The match ended around 2:30 am. UGH! Luckily, I was able to sleep in Saturday!

On tap for today... tennis tournament day 1. I am playing doubles with someone I have never met before. Hopefully she is awesome and we kick butt!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Maybe that doctor was on to something...

I am not sure why but ever since my conversation with the doctor yesterday my foot has been hurting more than it has in weeks. Perhaps it is some sort of divine intervention to convince me to stay off of my foot as directed... We did agree that I would give it 3 weeks rest beginning Monday (I had to bargain for one last weekend of tennis - I am in a tournament over Labor Day). I will say it is hurting like no other right now. I am going to rest Friday and then tough it out through the tournament. I did wear the boot yestrday which is not my favorite choice of shoe but what are you going to do? I miss my strappy heels :(

I swam this morning and there were actually other people in the pool! Shocking considering I am usually the lone swimmer in this huge facility witht eh exception of one or two people soaking in the whirlpool. LFT has two indoor pools, one is a standard lap pool and then they have this huge pool with waterslides that they use for water aerobics and kids activities. Insanely nice.

I did check into a masters program at LFT. Apparently they meet T and TH at 5:30 am. I will have to make sure I am there at that time to check it out. It might help keep me motivated for the next three weeks and who knows maybe improve my butterfly in the process!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No sleep for the weary...

Just as the Olympics wrapped up, I thought I might get a couple nights of decent sleep. Not so. Why oh why is the US Open starting the day after the Olympic ends?!?!? The lack of sleep continues (and the parade of cuties on my TV - specifically Marat Safin!). Last night, a 5-set opening match with James Blake and Donald Young. I really thought Donald Young would lose quickly based on the first set and he reallied to go to 5 sets with Blake. Midnight. I was a walking zombie today.

My doctor's assistant called yesterday. She wanted to know how my foot was so she could report back to Dr. Alsobrook. Did I mention how much I love this practice? Everyone is so nice and seem to genuinely be concerned. I told her it seemed fine, still a little achy, not 100% right. She called back today and put the doctor on the phone. He wants to know how things are going. Same story. I mentioned that it felt achy after a couple of matches, I had even iced it after my match on Saturday. He said "I thought tennis was over". I said, "tennis is never over". Every time I talk to him I have new event on the schedule, I am going to have to bring my calendar so he can keep up :) I told him I had scratched plans for Chicago and was now focusing on Disney. (in fact, I had just mapped out my new training plan in my calendar yesterday). and then... he says he wants me to stay off my foot for another 3 weeks. No weight bearing activity. Upper body weights and swimming. Biking if it doesn't hurt but after discussion that was put in the category of "only if you have to and would rather you didn't". oh my....

So here we go again. I will survive! As my friend, Theresa, reminded me I used to do nothing but swim for my workouts so why does this now seem like torture? Good point, I can't explain it. Some of it is not being able to play tennis, some of it is that I used to swim with a masters group now I swim on my own which is not nearly as conducive to keeping me motivated in my swim workout. I do have a aqua jogging belt so I may investigate the deep end of the pool for a deep water run. I will make it work and I will not go crazy in the process!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Watch where you spit!

The lesson for today is guys (and some gals), give a quick look before you spit! I narrowly missed having a spitwad land on me this morning at Stone Mountain. (YUCK!) I was coming up on this guy with headphones on so I am sure he couldn't hear my feet or my gasping for air next thing I knew I saw the telltale look and a turn to the right. If it weren't for my lightening quick reflexes, well you know... I did find an interesting link on the subject if you are on the fence as to whether or not you need to let the spit fly during a run on A Trail Runner's blog. If you must spit, please look before you leap. My public service lesson for the day.

I chose to do my long run at the mountain today for a few reasons. The main one being that once you get started on the loop, you pretty much have to finish. You can finish walking but you have to finish. Not like the one mile loops at the park where you have to talk yourself out of getting in the car each time you pass by. I ran a little more than the 4 miles I planned - not much it was around 4.5 and then walked to finish the 5 mile loop. I can't lie, it was hard. I don't know why. Maybe because I got a late start, maybe because I haven't run in a while. Don't know, I just know there was a lot of internal negotiation going on to make it up the hills and finish. I felt good until mile 3.5ish and then was starting to get tired. With the walking, I was doing about a 6 mph pace overall with some downhill bursts around 8.6 mph. (Something I learned from watching the women's Oly triathlon - don't slow yourself up on the hills, just let it fly. Apparently, it takes more energy to hold yourself back than to just fly down the hills. I was actually more fun that way too). The run leg of my triathlon next week is an 8k (a little less than 5 miles) so I think I can manage it. I am definitely feeling better today about it than I was yesterday. The race will not be a PR by any means but just one to finish.

I accomplished a lot today. I signed up for a new tri in Douglasville that sounds interesting. It is backwards from the traditional format. It starts with a 5k trail run, goes to a 12 mile bike and then finished with a .25 mile swim in a pool. I also signed up for the Buckhead Sizzler to try and get a decent qualifying time for the Peachtree next year. I cancelled my reservations for Chicago (sigh..) but found a great rate on a hotel for Disney (YAY!). Now I am off to get a calendar so I can get a handle on my newly revised training schedule. I am definitely more motivated now and feeling like I am back on the program!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Wow, it has been a while since I have logged in... State was fun. A good time was had by all! The format was round robin for the first 4 matches and then the winner from each group went to semis and finals. We did not make it out of the round robin. Ideally, you need a roster of players who are on an equal skill level so you can swap them around in the line up or you need extra players so everyone is not playing back to back matches. We had neither of these "ideal" scenarios. By the 4th match on Saturday afternoon, I think we were starting to lose some steam (or at least I was - it was particularly hot for that last match). We did have a great time and were proud to be chosen to participate.

We met an interesting couple on bicycles at the last match. At first we thought they were Amish or Mennonite as they were in homemade long sleeve denim clothing / long denim dress for the lady. As it turns out they are "Jewish fruitatarians". (who even knew that there was such a thing). They were in their 70s and said they can bike up to 180 miles a day. They eat 2 meals a day - one at 4:30 am and the second at 1:00 pm. The meals consist of fruit and homemade bread with no preservatives. The meal they had that day was 2 peaches, a handful of nuts and bread. They do not drink water until 1 hour after their meals and do not eat snacks of any kind. All very interesting. The husband said the wife was "roly poly" when he met her and the fruit diet melted the weight off (I am guessing the extensive bike riding didn't hurt either). All in all, fascinating. I certainly couldn't do it so props to the fruitarians.

Foot update. I played 4 matches over the course of the weekend and my foot felt decent. I wore the metal plate and padded insert as recommended by the doctor and then continued to wear the boot in between. It is still not right. It gets a little achy after activity. I have been running on it and haven't had a lot of issues, just the general achiness. It occured to me earlier this week that the docto and I spent so much time focusing on the shoe set up for my matches and running that we didn't discuss whether or not I needed to continue to wear the boot. I decided that I would continue for maybe the next week or so just to give it some rest in between activities. I have decided to scratch Chicago and *might* scratch the Callaway Tri but am not sure. That one I probably could do just fine but mentally I feel like I am out of condition which is kind of whacko because I have been swimming and biking more than ever and could easily pull the run together. The distances are a 1k swim, 30k bike and 8k run. It will be a last minute decision.

Side note - congrats to my sister, Stephanie on completing her first marathon this weekend in Alaska :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lots of good things....

You know, my day started off badly yesterday (if you count a bottle of shower gel exploding in the bottom of your gym bag bad - UGH!) and then ended up to be one cool thing of varying degrees right after another. I did a swim workout yesterday AM. When I got in my car at the gym, my younger sister called. She and my brother in law operate a Chick-fil-a in Clearwater, Fl. They have been trying to get back to Georgia for a while and found out yesterday AM that they were going to be awarded a store in Covington, GA and are moving back here in two weeks! Very exciting!!

Then... I am at Panera getting my new favorite treat the bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich when the person working there offers me two of their egg souffles for free! Side note, do not eat the breakfast sandwich unless you want to become addicted too... I do have addiction issues albeit they are limited to food and exercise. OK, I might be a little OCD too.

Then... I am at my doctor's office waiting for my follow up and am watching the Olympics. The only race that came on while I was waiting was the ONE race that I had been dying to see - Eric Shateau's heat race in the 200 breaststroke. (He took 2nd in the heat but don't think he did as well in the semis... my other girl, Kathleen Hersey made the final for the 200 fly). They had one lap to go when the PA came to get me and I asked her if we could watch the race finish.

Then... The conversation started off sounding as though my doctor was not going to allow me to play tennis this weekend. As I sat there silently waiting for the verdict, he mumbled something about thinking about telling me not to play. I then got a scared straight lecture about what could happen to further damage the bone, what would my team think if I went out there and had to retire the match, etc.
In the end, it was decided I could play as long as I stopped immediately if there was any pain. I was given a metal plate of sorts for my shoe and some sort of pad that basically goes under the arch of my foot. He said I could start practicing over the next couple of days easing into the side to side running to test it out. All good news to me. He was much more concerned with the tennis as opposed to the running. He said he felt like I could run fairly comfortably at this point, he was more concerned about cutting, side to side motion of tennis.

I got to see the MRI and the fractures which was pretty cool. One is the cuboid which is kind of near the ankle somewhat on top and then one in the 5th metatarsal (I think).

We had a discussion about Chicago. I had already kind of written it off. Timewise, I just don't see how I could build back up to 20-22 miles in the next 2 months if I have to start back over. He felt I could do it if I really *had* to but I might not be able to walk for a week afterwards (HA). He did mention possibly doing it as a training run and just running half although what would be the point in going that far to do that? We even went so far as to look at the calendar and map out training plans for mileage based on the weeks I had left. It was kind of odd as if he were trying to talk me into it. I definitely am not running the entire distance at Chicago but am still not sure if I will go and run half/walk half or just scrap the whole thing. I am interested to go just to experience Chicago. We'll see...

Before I left, I was shown some strenghtening exercises for my hips and glutes to try and help avoid similar situations in the future. Really helpful.

All in all a great day! I leave tomorrow for state. Feeling pretty good although I have not played tennis in what feels like forever at this point. Everyone says sometimes laying off for a while is the best thing for your game. I'll let you know. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three days until state...

I am starting to get excited now! We had our final practice last night and everyone was able to come out except for one person who has an Achilles issue (YIKES!). We have a very slim roster so any mention of injuries sends everyone into panic mode. On the girls side we have a spare or two but, for the guys, we have the absolute minimum number of players meaning we need every guy for every match this weekend.

The format is round robin Friday, Saturday and the first part of Sunday. All of our round robin matches are Friday and Saturday (we play twice a day) and then we have a BYE for the Sunday AM match. If we make the semi-finals Sunday afternoon, that will work in our favor as we will have plenty of rest going into it whereas the other teams would have played Sunday morning. That is the plan anyhow, we will see how it works out. The goal is finals on Monday.

The downside is I am going to miss the Olympics most of the weekend! I am completely addicted to watching it and have been staying up insanely late each night. It is funny how you end up watching sports you normally would have ZERO interest in during the Olympics but still can't manage to tear yourself away from the screen. Of course, I am all about the swimming year round but things like fencing and rowing - if those were on any other time except the Olympics, would you watch it? Ummm, probably not.

There are a couple of swimmers that used to train at Swim Atlanta. They have a tradition of painting the top swimmer's names in big letters on the wall there - Eric Shanteau and Kathleen Hersey. I have been swimming past their names for years so I am trying to follow their progress during the games. As I sit here, I can't remember Eric's event but Kathleen is 200 Fly. Eric is the swimmer you may have heard of who was diagnosed with testicular cancer right before the Oly trials. Quite the story. GO TEAM!

As for the foot. I go for a follow up today. It feels decent. I can tell there is something not 100% with it but wouldn't call it pain, I am just aware of it on occasion. Much better, I would say. I am still wearing the boot...for now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lessons learned...

As it turns out in the last two weeks, in my "time out" I have had time to think about what I have done and what I would do differently going forward. Here goes:

1. I will listen to my body. If I am tired, I will rest. If I am not feeling "right" I will check it out.

2. I will take rest days seriously. Before, rest meant don't run. I always swam or biked or played tennis instead. I can't tell you how many times I played tennis after having run 10+ miles. I will learn to embrace rest. I will learn to put my feet up on the couch and immerse myself in re-runs of Flipping Out or the Food Network.

3. I will admit that even though I have an exercise addiction, burning myself out or pushing myself too hard may result in a permanent "time out". A little time off now may save me a lot of time off later.

4. I am doing this for myself. For fun. For the challenge. It would be nice to be able to continue this for years to come :)

OK, now that I have admitted my sins, can I run now?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

spinning is my life...

or so it seems this week. It is entirely too hot to ride outside after work (97 degrees is enough reason for me to stay inside!). I have been soaking up the spin classes lately. It is funny how much difference an instructor can make in a spin class. I have been to 3 different ones so far. The right instructor makes the time go by quickly which is an accomplishment when you are in a room, riding on a stationary bike staring at the wall. The first instrcutor I had tried was not so successful at keeping my interest. The last two have been much better.

I decided to go hit the spin class tomorrow night that is part of my GetFit tri group. It is across town but it is high time I showed my face and met them. Up until now, I have been following the schedule and running with the Gwinnett contingent (there are two groups within GetFit, the tri group and the marathon runners - the tri group is in the acworth/smryna area, my marathon group is in Gwinnett on the other side of town). Since I can't play tennis in the evenings I thought it would be a good excuse to head out there. They normally do a brick run after the spin class but I'll have to pass on it this time.

It has been very strange coming home every night immediately following work. I am probably more well rested now than I have been in months. Normally, I go from work to tennis, home to eat and take a shower around 9:00 and back up at 4:45 to head to the gym. Maybe I did need a forced break after all...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm cracking up...

Or at least my foot is... I did the MRI on Saturday at Northeast GA medical center. They read the MRI on Sunday and I got a call first thing Monday from my doctor (how is that for service??). The conversation started like this, "I have some disappointing news and some optimistic news...". Oh. As it turns out, I have the beginnings of stress fractures. Two lines were on the MRI (that would be the disappointing part - we had hoped it was a sprain of some sort instead of a stress fracture). The thought is that since I went to the doctor immediately and didn't try to deal with it on my own, there is optimism for a quick recovery (the optimistic part).

We had discussed my upcoming races and training at length in previous visits so we went through them again and decided what was reasonable and waht might need to be put on hold. The Acworth women's sprint tri this weekend is not going to happen. Well, it is going to happen, I just won't be doing it. Luckily, one of my friends needed an entry so there you have it. Pay it forward, I guess... The goal is to be ready for the USTA state championships in 2 weeks so nothing but swimming and biking until the weekend of the 14th. No tennis practice, nothing.

Short term, I will probably still be able to do the Callaway Triathlon over Labor Day. Long term, Chicago has become a maybe. Mostly because it would put a lot of pressure on me to build mileage back up between now and mid-October. The doctor did feel like Disney in January was very doable so if I had to choose between the two, I would choose Disney because it is on my 40th birthday and to do a marathon that day would be pretty cool in my book.

I clearly have exercise related addiction issues, I would NEVER have thought I would have said it bothers me not to be able to run but it is really killing me. Swimming, which has always been my first love is already becoming a little boring. Biking, well let's just don't go there, it is not the same. It is interesting how much I mentally need to run. Let's face it, I run for weight control and to counteract all my less than optimal nutrition habits. Every day that goes by even though I am swimming, biking, and working out with weights feels like I am getting more and more out of shape. How crazy is that? I just never realized how much running had become part of my lifestyle in such a short period of time. In January, I couldn't run a tenth of a mile without stopping. Who would have thought I would have missed running like this only eight months later? So I guess there is my motivation to do what the doctor says and get better that much quicker! Nine more days with the boot on!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

MRI for today...

I went for my follow up yesterday. Since I have so many events coming up (two triathlons and states championships this month and then this Chicago Marathon in about 12 weeks), the doctor gave me two courses of action. The first being just stay off of it and see what happens. This would mean the triathlon next weekend might be out (which I kind of had written it off already) and would mean the state tennis championships were questionable. I am a person who likes to have a plan, know when things are going to happen and how they are going to happen so we mutually agreed that an MRI might be the way to go. Admittedly, it might be a waste of money but at least I will know what it is or isn't and can plan accordingly.

The MRI is scheduled for this afternoon and they will read it tomorrow so I should hear from my doctor sometime Monday or Tuesday. Side note, if you ever have a sports-type injury, Dr. John Alsobrook is very attentive, spends a lot of time with you and understands the mental side of wanting to keep training. I would highly recommend him. He is on the north side of Gwinnett/ south Hall county but I have found that it is worth the drive.

For this week, I have been doing a fair amount of swimming which has kept me somewhat content along with some bike riding and lots of weights. I am already feeling a void without the running so hopefully I will be back on the road soon. I just got a cute new running skirt after all!

In other observations:
Random traffic sign on the Sugarloaf Parkway today directing teachers to some sort of meeting at the Gwinnett County Civic Center: "Gwinnett Teachers Stay Straight"
So how does that work... is a teacher driving down the road, sees the sign and thinks to herself, "Well, I was thinking of experimenting but now that I have seen the sign..." HA HA :)