Tri Talk Tuesday – Must Have Gear

Howdy, and welcome back Tuesday! I am once again all linked up with the lovely Cynthia from You Signed Up For What for another Tuesday filled with banter and chatter all about triathlon!

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Today we’re chatting about our favorite must have gear. I’m pretty excited because frankly, I love a lot of my gear. And the thing about Triathlon is there is a heck of a lot of gear to have!

My most die hard, could never in a million year live without, favorite piece of gear is my Garmin 310XT. Sure, it might not be quite  as fancy as the 910XT, but it still give me way more data than I can even wrap my head around. I don’t know how I’ve been a runner for 14 years and never owned a GPS watch before this one. And I think about all my races pre-310XT and wonder how I ever managed to not care about my progress down to every detail. I have become a data junkie since finding this thing and I love it so much I’ve opted to skip workouts when I get to the gym or pool and realize I forgot it. Not even kidding. It’s like that old saying “if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Except it more like, if a workout goes unrecorded did it really happen? In my mind, apparently, the answer is no, ha!

Garmin 310XT triathlon watch

I think my next favorite thing is probably my gear bag. Before this year I just haphazardly shoved everything into a gym duffle bag. But my husband surprised me with my Ogio Endurance 9.0 for Christmas last year and I was delighted. A transition bag was never on my radar. I guess I’ve always just thought I’d hold out until I get one for my first 140.6, but I am so grateful my husband beat me to the punch. This bag has the most incredible storage and every nook and cranny has a purpose and it’s labeled! There’s a special helmet pocket, a ventilated and lined pocket just for your wet wetsuit, a separate space for grimy wet shoes, everything! This bag was made with so much intention for triathletes it is just incredible. Sadly, it looks like they don’t carry the fabulous white orange and blue colored one I have, but don’t let the boring colors deter you, it is worth every penny and then some.

Ogio Endurance 9.0 transition bag

Last year’s Christmas haul including my beloved Ogio transition bag

Have I mentioned I’m not much a swimmer? If you know me you totally know what I’m talking about because I mention it every chance I get. But this year AudioFlood kindly sent me a waterproof ipod shuffle to review and giveaway and my life in the pool has been forever changed. This little thing has turned lap swimming into a complete joy and has made me look forward to my time in the pool more than ever. Seriously, coolest toy ever.

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I can’t not mention my bike. My impulse buy, my little green machine, who I picked up as an unloved two year old model, the last one sitting on the show room floor looking to be homed. I was so happy to have gotten a fantastic deal, below entry level price, on a bike that has some stellar upgrades beyond that of an entry level bike. Finley has gotten me through a tough season this year and I can’t wait to get to race her again. I’m sad we’ll be missing FLT this year, but I know this bike and I have many, many years of riding together ahead of us. And she’ll most likely spend her winter warm and cozy on the trainer in the basement, so it’s not like I won’t keep riding.

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I have so much gear. Seriously, so much. I’ve put a lot of effort and research over the years into my gear collection. The thing about triathlon is there is so much stuff that it takes a few years to really build your gear base. There’s always room for the newest toy or gadget, but honestly, I’m pretty content with where I sit right now.

Need help building your gear stockpile? Head over to all3sports.com and use code TRIGC14 to get 15% off your total purchase! Seriously, they have it all, so go buy yourself something nice for your fall races!

What’s your favorite piece of gear you own?

If you could upgrade one item what would it be and what would you get?

Next week’s theme is Try Something New! Whether it’s a new skill, workout class, or even something like a recipe you’ve been dying to try. Try something new this week then come link up and join us!


If You Give A Triathlete A Mile

Hi friends.

I only wrote twice last week, which is very unusual for me. I’m typically pretty good for four to five posts a week. And I missed you all because of my blogging negligence.

It was a perfect storm of officially, really, truly starting my new job and leaving for Syracuse Thursday for Emily and Andy’s wedding that Hubs and I were both in. It was super fun. I love Emily and Andy and was so, so, sooooo happy to be there for them all weekend. And we did a whole heck of a lot of drinking, eating, and goodness, so much bad white girl dancing. It was nice to go to their wedding as a guest since the last wedding I attended was, um, mine.

Two days in high heels and a ton of dancing and jumping around for hours Saturday night have left my calf sore today. I was going to run this morning, but I’m going to spend some time today trying to roll and stretch it out. If it’s not feeling much better I’ll hit the gym instead for the spin bike and some lifting.

Oh, did you catch that I said I was going to run today??? I “ran” last week!

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Oh, right, that’s not entirely running. I was told do intervals with the run interval being no more than 30 seconds for now. So I obliged. I set my Garmin to the interval setting and put in 30 second runs and 1 minute walk intervals.

I will say, it did NOT feel like running. I had set my watch to six intervals and that left me short for my mile, so I just kept running afterwards  until I hit the one mile mark. Not what I was supposed to do, but it made me happy. And because today is a holiday I don’t have PT again until Wednesday, so I’m hoping to “run” at least once, hopefully twice more, before going back. Fingers crossed it keeps going well.

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I still got to run a mile, even if it was painfully slow

I’m hoping my blogging will get back to normal. Although this week the kids show up and I have soooooo much to do. I’ll be spending a lot of time in my classroom today working on lesson plans. Two PT sessions and I have to get a physical Thursday afternoon since I had to buy life insurance. I lost what I had through the Council and don’t get any through school. Ugh, adulthood is kind of crummy sometimes.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Tri Talk Tuesday and our theme is must have gear! Link up and have some fun with us. Also, it’s finally fall race season, so use code TRIGC14 for 15% off at all3sports.com to buy said gear =)

Anyone use the Galloway Method? Tell me about it!

What is your fastest and slowest mile time?

Dog Days of Summer

Whew. Working through some busyness, and go!

Life is hectic right now. I had two days of new teacher orientation yesterday and Monday. It was fantastic! My new school and the district as a whole makes me feel so appreciated, so supported, and like I matter. They make it clear that successful teachers are their mission because successful teachers means successful students which means a successful district. All my co-workers I’ve met are so nice and fun. My building administrators are incredibly approachable and couldn’t say enough about how much they want to help us become the best teachers we can be. I just really think this school is going to be the absolute perfect fit for me. I was getting a bit emotional talking with my building admins because I was just so overwhelmingly happy about how much they truly care.

I spent a few hours trying to get my classroom set up too and I am so not done. I also haven’t even started going through Bing’s materials to start writing lesson plans. I have so much work to do before the kids come next week and I have zero time this weekend. We’ll be in Syracuse Thursday night through Sunday afternoon. So I’ll be locked in my classroom all day tomorrow and all day Monday too rushing to get stuff done.

Also, I’m trying really hard to sweet talk my PT into letting me run again. I was told Monday to power walk 2-3 miles and if it’s pain free I can start Galloway running.

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I was officially pain free on my walk. I may have also ran that last .13 miles. I just can’t help myself. So I’m fingers crossed today that I’ll get the green light to run Thursday.

Basically I’ll be starting from scratch? Or as close to scratch as I may end up after almost four weeks off running. I know I’m going to be slow, it’s going to be difficult, and I’m going to be cranky about it. But I still have two half marathons I’m cleared to race, so I need to get back at it. Although I’ll be honest, my leg is not 100% better. It does not feel normal yet. So I still have a ways to go, but I’m doing as much as I can to get myself back on my feet. I’m feeling so sluggish, fat, squishy, and gross from the lack of workouts. Ugh.

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A good reminder. Sometimes we just need to be present in our journeys. And right now mine has me not running even though I have two half marathons coming up, one of which we planned an entire vacation around.

And because yesterday was national dog, Griswold puppy pictures are a given!

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He’s much too big to nap in his toy basket anymore!

And one more for good measure-

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Griswold’s best discipline is definitely eating!

Who else has a pup? Tell me about why they’re the best!

Tell me about your last run, I need to live vicariously through other runners!

Tri Talk Tuesday – Road Riding

Oh Tuesday! Here you are, sneaking up on me again. Cynthia and I are all linked up for another week of Tri Talk Tuesday! And today’s topic is one that is sometimes in hot debate- motorist and cyclists sharing the road.

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Some places are lucky enough to have bike trails that are nice and safe to ride. But most of us aren’t that lucky, myself included. So I get the pleasure of riding on the regular old roads with all the cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, and whatever else. So I have to be on alert sometimes all the time when I’m riding.

If, like me, you’re left to road sharing when out riding, it’s soooo important to keep yourself safe as best as you can. You can’t control the drivers out on the road too and I hear lots of stories of people having things thrown at them, being yelled at, and intentionally pushed off the road. As the more vulnerable party, it’s up to us to do our best to stay safe. So here’s a few things to keep in mind to stay as safe as possible when out on the road.

1. Pick safe routes- Drive around a bit and scout out some roads. Or ask your local bike shop for some ride route ideas. Odds are there are roads with wide enough shoulders or even bike routes that are good for logging your miles. A little due diligence now means not ending up a narrow road with no shoulder crawling with trucks and cars.

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2. Be prepared- Carry everything you need on you. This means a flat kit, a few extra bucks, water and food if need be, wear your helmet, have your phone and a form of ID. And speaking of ID…

3. Wear a Road ID- This is basically a medical alert bracelet on steroids. It will have you name, address, emergency contacts, and any known allergies or medical history listed on it. Should anything happen to you EMT’s will see it on your wrist and know who you are, how to treat you, and who to call within seconds of getting to you. And Road ID offers an emergency alert app so if you’re out riding or running and you stop moving for a certain amount of time it will ping an alert to your emergency contact’s phone letting them know you’re no longer moving so they can call and check on you. Road ID saves lives. I’m wear mine 24/7 and so should you. There’s a link on my right side bar for Road ID, so do yourself a favor and go buy one. Your life is worth it.

4. Know the rules of the road- Cyclists are legally allowed to share the road and under those laws we are also meant to follow the rules of the road. This includes riding with traffic, being in the turning lane if you’re making a left, obeying stop lights and signs, using hand signals to let motorist know your intentions, and all that comes with driving and riding. That said, the other rule you should know is how many feet a motorist is legally supposed to give you when they pass you. Don’t know your state’s law? Here they all are-

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If you live outside the US I don’t have a map for you, sorry!

5. Be humble and cognizant- It’s tough because as cyclist we know we’re allowed to share the road, but just because we know it doesn’t mean motorists do. And even then they might but may not like having to be slower, more careful, respectful about sharing. Yes, motorists should know the laws around road sharing, but sometimes they don’t. Or sometimes they do and play ignorant. It’s up to you, the much more vulnerable party on the road to keep yourself safe. I’m not sure when it became okay in people’s mind’s to intentionally do harm to cyclists, and usually without repercussion, but lately that seems to be the trend.

Cycling is an incredible sport and one of the most freeing feelings you could possibly harness. It’s too bad that it’s so easy to tarnish the joy of riding. But with some smart planning and riding we can be happy, safe, and coexist with motorists.

What safety tips do you have to add?

Best part about riding a bike?

Next week’s theme is Must Have Gear! What favorite workout gear cannot you not live without?


Top Weekend

Monday. A new start.

Today is my first day of school. I have new teacher orientation today and tomorrow and I am so excited! I can’t wait to settle into my new job and get back to teaching, where my heart really belongs.

I also have PT today. I’m hoping to get to the green light to start doing a walk-run soon. I am so itching to get back out on my feet. It’s killing me.

My weekend was fun too. Hubby and I took off to NJ Friday afternoon. We did get held up by an accident about 30 minutes from my grandparent’s house which made us over an hour and half late. But we had a nice time hanging out with them and my grandmother made sure we were well fed. Saturday morning we drove to the Bronx for the game. We got to be there for the Joe Torre number retirement which was awesome! They gave him his Monument Park monument too. It was really cool to get to see all that. Then we enjoyed the game, the park, the weather, everything. Yankees win and we had a wonderful time! And as usual we got back late Saturday night.

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Sunday was spent working in the basement and cleaning up my house some. We ended up having to pull out the copper line to the fridge and replacing it with a poly line.  We also got the floor fixed where we pulled it all up and started working on the ceiling, which is a huge pain in the butt. I am happy to report though that I now get my fresh, cold, filtered, lovely water out of the front of the fridge and unlimited ice in the freezer.

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glugglugglug I love water!

I also got two new tri tops. Too bad I’m not allowed to race my last tri so I don’t get to wear either.

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FLTC top I wanted to wear for Finger Lakes Tri in two weeks, sigh. And my super awesome Rat Snake top.

I worked out once last week. On Wednesday I finally bucked up and hit the gym for 30 minutes on the spin bike and some upper body lifting. My calf was a bit achey afterwards and my lifting has gone undone for months, so I stayed sore in my upper body for a few days following.

I’m fingers crossed that I’ll get in four workouts this week Monday through Thursday. Then we’re off to Syracuse for Andy and Emily’s wedding, so those will be my only opportunities to squeeze in some training.

Favorite thing you did this weekend?

What’s your favorite piece of clothing to race in?

Friday Five – Fall!

Happy Friday!!!

It’s my last day at the Council. And I’m only working until noon, then Hubs and I are taking off to stay the night at my grandparent’s in New Jersey before going to the Yankees game tomorrow. Yay!

We spent a lot of time fighting the basement yesterday. We found water on the floor Wednesday evening which spiraled into a witch hunt to find the cause because we’d clean it and it would just spew more out. It took until last night to figure out the water line from the fridge was leaking at the point where it attached to the cold water pipe. And by the time we figured it out we had pulled up like half the floor. And of course the leak spot was behind our pretty new walls. Hubs only had to pull a bit of wall away, and we had to turn off the water to the fridge for now. But Sunday we’ll move the connection point to be not behind the wall and that should solve the issue since we’ll be able to see and reach it to figure out what’s wrong. I’m just glad we figured it out. This basement, I can’t wait for it to be done so we can just enjoy the extra some odd-200 square feet our house is getting.

Between the basement, being pulled between two jobs, my injury, pulling out of races, not being allowed to run, I’m frustrated and sad and exhausted. I feel like I could sleep forever right now and it still wouldn’t be enough. I just need life to settle down and to go for a nice run. I’m not asking for much.

So, to make myself feel better, I’m playing Friday Five today with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney.

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The theme for today is “Five Things I Love About ____”, so obviously I pick Five Things I Love About FALL!!!

Did you know Fall is my absolute favorite season? I may have written a Five Things I Love About Summer post a bit back, but here’s a secret; I don’t really like summer. Well, sort of. I love the sun and doing lots of fun things, and racing, and I will once again love having summer’s off soon. But I HATE the heat and I HATE the humidity. HATE HATE HATE. Ugh. But fall? Fall and I are in love!

1. The Weather- Oh my gosh, I LOVE fall weather. I LOVE when the air is cool and dry and crisp. 50′s and 60′s with dry cool air is fabulous and anyone who disgarees is not my friend. And this leads right into my next favorite thing…

2. The Fashion- I may not be terribly fahsionable, but fall weather leads to wearing boots and hoodies and sweaters. It means Jeans and hoodies, which is my favorite. And my Chewbacca boots!

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Chewbecca boots! Sweater! And Griswold was so tiny! And no deck or fence. This picture’s a few years old!

3. The Views- Living in the north means we’re privy to four very distinct seasons. Fall is so pretty up here too. The colors, the leaves, it’s just beautiful! And Griswold’s favorite season is Leaf Season. Dog loves to chase rogue leaves!

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Did I mention Griswold loves leaf season? He’s much too big for this now!

4. Pumpkin- Oh. My. Gosh. Did you hear, did you hear, Starbucks is releasing the PSL on MONDAY!!! I will admit, I have some mixed feelings on this. It needs to be fall to enjoy pumpkin, but it’s been very fall like here in terms of weather already, which is weird. August is usually our most brutal summer month. So if it stays cold I will definitely indulge in a PSL this week. Ifuckinglovepumpkinspicelatte!

5. School- This is something I’ve missed the last couple of years that I am so pumped to get to experience again! I love those first few days of school when everyone is so excited and trying their best to be their best. Also, school supplies, hello! Best shopping ever! Nothing makes me giddy like new school supplies! And I have a $50 gift card for Staples from my school. Yay!

Happy weekend friends! Enjoy a PSL on Monday for me ;)

What’s your favorite Season? What Do you love most about fall?

Ever done a home reno project? Tell me about it!

Bitter Sweet

So tomorrow’s my last day of work. At the Council that is. It’s bitter sweet to leave a job, especially one I’ve been at for over two and half years now. Plus I really like some of the people I work with here. I’ll have to make a point to drop in from time to time.

Then I have new teacher orientation Monday and Tuesday and I’m reminded about how excited I am to be back in the public school system and back in a classroom. I met up with Bing Tuesday night and we went through one of the three grade level curriculums. It made me feel a lot better. I looked through it and had some initial panic about some of the stuff on there, but apparently it’s very flexible, so I’m feeling much more at ease now. And I’ll feel a million times better next week when I can sit down and start cranking out some lesson plans.

Been going to physical therapy all week too. I’m happy to report I’m in significantly less pain. It’s more of like an off and on annoying nagging now. Although I’m quite tender post PT. Said physical therapist does some massaging on the tear spot and he definitely digs the spot pretty good. But it’s obviously working, so I’ll take it.

Also finally got a workout in. I was supposed to ride with a tri club buddy, but the heavy rains canceled those plans. I ended up in the gym and did 30 minutes on the spin bike then did some upper body weights. I need, need, need to be better and more diligent about strength training.

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Gym selfie. No shame.

I won a prize from the raffle that Cynthia held to fundraise for the New York City Triathlon. I won a Sweat Pink Swag Bag which I was so excited about! I’ve been a Sweat Pink Ambassador for a while not and have been wanting one of the tank tops but just never got around to getting myself one.

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In other news, I am officially pulled from Finger Lakes Tri. Very sad about that. My season started so great and my injury just ruined everything. I’m very frustrated. So I’ll be out volunteering on the bike course now instead. And on top of that we’re also pulling out of volunteering for Ironman Chattanooga. My new job is already a bit cranky I need five days off in November to go to Disney. I just can’t get the time off for a trip to Chattanooga too. I can’t use all my PTO in the first three months of school. Just not an option, so IMChoo is off the list. So between not racing FLT and not going to IMChoo I’ve been feeling a bit down.

In happier news, Hubby and I are going to a Yankees game this weekend. The tickets were my anniversary gift to Hubs, and I’m excited to go down to the City and catch a game. Should be a fun weekend.

Ways to motivate yourself through an injury?

Funniest thing you’ve ever seen in a race?

Tri Talk Tuesday – Burn Out

Holla, it’s Tuesday, again. Today it’s just myself and Cynthia holding down the fort. For those of you who missed it Miranda is on an indefinite blogging hiatus. Sadness. So we say farewell to our cupcake baking triathlete buddy and in a few weeks we may see another new face pop in to start co-hosting. But won’t you just have to wait and be surprised to see who it is!

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We’ll be getting a new one of these for those of you who use it

Today we’re talking about burn out. You know, that feeling of tired, exhaustion, loss of motivation. That thing that just sucks the life force and determination right out of you? Yeah, that.

Burn out happens for lots of reason; life, stress, over training, work conflicts, injury, boredom, and other things. And most people experience burn out from time to time. After all, we’re not all professional athletes who focus on training as not only a life style but as their job to boot.

And not to mention burnout can come with some nasty side effects too, like changes in your mental and emotional though processes around training or racing, slips in you diet, moodiness, loss of sleep, feeling unsatisfied with yourself and just loss of motivation.

So how do you get back into a groove when you’re feeling burnt out?

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1. Recover- Most training or racing burn out is caused by over training. Take a few days completely off. Heck take a whole week off if you just had a hectic season or long course race. Recovery is soooo important, don’t let this one slide. Sometimes backing off is all we need to jump back in full steam.

2. Vary Your Training- Sometimes we just get sick of doing the same thing over and over. If you’re struggling to convince yourself to get in the pool or on your bike, then change things up. Go to yoga, pilates, spinning, bootcamp class, TRX, whatever. Just do something new and exciting.

3. Relax- Sometimes stress can be a huge contributing factor to feeling burnt out. Learning some relaxation techniques or learning when to work on dialing down the stress is a great thing. Keeping that life-training balance is tough, but doable. Sometimes we just need to slow down and figure it out.

4. Assess Your Schedule- Make sure you didn’t bite off more than you can chew. Sometimes we get a little clikc happy with the registration button and end up with a season that is too intense. Make sure the number of races you sign up for is appropriate for the distance they cover; 1-2 Ironmans per year, 2-4 half Ironmans per year, no more than 8 sprint/Oly’s per year, etc. You need recovery time after each race, so make sure there’s enough space in between races to allow for full recoveries.

5. Treat Yourself- If you really need a boost, sometimes new gear can make a big difference. A new cute tri kit, GPS watch, bluetooth headphones, whatever. You’d be amazed at how something as simple a a new toy or cute workout outfit can change your whole perspective.

How do you deal with training or racing burn out?

Favorite new toy you recently bought yourself?

Next week’s Tri Talk Tuesday theme is Road Cycling! Sharing the road with cars, staying safe, and cycling our booties off!


Get Your Coaching On

Since I worked out all of zero times last week, I’m going to go ahead and skip my usual Monday update today. But I am cleared to do some stuff, so I will get back in as much of a groove as I can this week.

Instead, I’m really excited to spill loads of awesomeness that was my USA Triathlon clinic this weekend!

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It was Friday and Saturday, so I opted to spend Friday at my parents house to spare myself an hour of the early morning drive. But 4am is never not shocking to get up at. And after a quick shower and making myself some coffee I was on the road to Albany just a few minutes after 430am. Long drive, boring drive, in the dark, to a city I’ve actually never been too, even though I’ve skirted around it a few times.

I was to the Hilton by a little after 7am and the clinic ran from 730 to 5pm both days. Can you imagine what happens when you cram 40 endurance athletes into a tiny room for 20 hours and try to make them sit? Lots of fidgeting, many, many snack breaks, and generally lots of racing talk. What a fabulous group! We had made a facebook group in advance and there were planned outings Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. I didn’t go out at all since I spent Friday with Crystal. I haven’t seen her since my wedding, so it was awesome to get to go out for dinner and drinks, then have some girl time. It’s so nice to have the kind of friends who you don’t see for over a year, but when you do get together, you pick back up right where you left off. True friendship right there.

USAT goodies

In terms of what was covered, wow did I learn so much! It was so awesome! Friday we covered cycling skills, triathlon specific strength training, and running economy, efficiency and form. Then after lunch we went over sports psychology and mental skills, and swimming skills and technique. Plus there were three planned snack breaks. Two in the morning and one after lunch, because everyone in the room is totally used to eating nonstop due to the amount of training they do. Thankfully all the snack were healthy; fresh fruit, parfaits, trail mix, stuff like that.

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Saturday we covered the business side of coaching, exercise physiology, and sports nutrition. Then after lunch all we did was periodized planning and training plan building. The the woman running the clinic went over the certification process with us.  Basically it involves a lengthy exam and obtaining certain numbers of CEU’s every year. Pretty basic and what I’d expect. I’m slowly chewing my way through the exam. I should have it done today at some point. Then in a week or two or I’ll know for sure about my certification. And that’s that!

I’ll be adding some plan options and prices to my Triathlon Coaching page up at the top there. I’ve been coaching one woman through her first season this year and I must say, she’s been crushing all her races. And I’m super excited to employ some of my new ideas I’ve got swirling through my head for next year!

And just because it’s been a while, in case you still need anything for the rest of the season or for your fall races, head over to all3sports.com and use code TRIGC14 to get 15% off your order! Because I love you all =)

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Injury Update

I promised an update on my injury today, so I’m doing my best to follow through.

So here’s the short of it. My last post about my leg was right after I got my ultra sound for a possible blood clot. The hospital sent me on my way after it was over since I had been given no further instructions for when I was done at radiology. I was to have the follow up appointment the next afternoon and that appointment left me feeling more frustrated.

I showed up, waited around, finally got brought into an exam room, waited some more. Finally the Doctor came in. The appointment, if he had gotten his way, was going to take all of 30 seconds. He quickly told me that radiology never read my ultra sound results and that it was suggested that I take a daily aspirin and come back in five days. And that was exactly where he intended to leave things. Take an aspirin and come back in a week. I don’t think it occurred to him that if I had a blood clot I could be, um, dead in five day..?!

I told him no.

He got confused. He suggests I go to a second hospital for a second ultra sound.

I told him no.

Frustrated with me, he says, well, in my opinion, you don’t have blood clot. My guess is it’s a muscular tear. Keep taking ibuprofen and I’ll see you next week for your follow up.

I told him no. I tell him if it’s soft tissue damage that I want an MRI. That is the next logical step and I will not be shooed out that easily. I paid my respective copay and you better earn it for that shitty advice.

Annoyed, he asks about my pain. This is not the same doctor I saw the day before and he doesn’t seem to thrilled to be forced to actually touch my leg. He checks my leg and knee out for a minute then agrees to order the MRI. He shoos me to the front desk to get it scheduled. They can squeeze me in first thing the next morning. Perfect.

I show up Friday morning for my MRI. It’s the one that is attached to their walk  in clinic. I’m handed lots of paperwork and before I can start filling it out I’m whisked away to a small changing room where  can leave my stuff. The girl vigorously takes notes on my paperwork before letting me finish filling it out. The last page has a disclaimer about Excellus insurance being out of network. I refuse to sign the last page until they can tell me if my insurance will cover the MRI. I will not go through with it if there’s a hefty bill coming my way. They tell me it’s covered, swipe my copay and take me back. All the while the girl whisking me around and the MRI tech as asking about my pain. I keep saying “It’s my calf that hurts.”

Soooo, your knee?

No, my calf.

We’re going to be imaging you right knee today.

Do not image my knee. My calf hurts. I want the images for my calf. DO NOT image my knee. 

I’m handed earplugs and told to lay down. The yank both my legs around into position then slide me into the MRI. I lay listening to the clanking through my earplugs for about 20 minutes. I have a bad feeling they imaged my knee. And once it was all done, I had gathered my things and headed back out to the reception area, I asked about a follow up. I assumed I’d walk next door and have it read today. Nope, next week. That next week appointment that I was supposed to go to after all the aspirin I was supposed to take still stands and now instead of my radiology report it becomes an appointment for my MRI report.

The disc with my images is handed me. The label on the disc reads “right knee” I promptly lose me cool. I start to tear up in frustration. I ask about a sooner appointment. Nope, can’t have anything sooner. In a fit of anger I tell them they can go ahead and cancel my appointment because their level of care and attentiveness is garbage, I will not be coming back, and “I didn’t want images of my fucking knee.”  Oops. Sometimes my mouth gets the best of me. The two girls and tech stare at me. One softly apologises. I give her a death glare, turn and storm out as best as I can while having to drag my leg behind me.

I get to my car and have a good cry. Then I drive right to my sports med doctor’s facility, I come hobbling in in tears and all the women at the front immediately flock to me. They can’t squeeze me in today, but can get me in Monday. I can’t do Monday. First thing Wednesday morning it is.

I hobble and gimp my way through the weekend then through the first few days of the week. Finally Wednesday morning I get to IOS. Thank goodness. I tell my fabulous doctor, Dr. Mark, about everything that happened. He scoffs a bit. The aspirin doctor used to work at the hospital but left on bad terms. My inability to get my ultra sound results are entirely political. And this I was already told as a tri club friend of mine is a physician at the hospital and had gotten me my ultra sound results the day of my botched appointment with the aspirin treatment.

Dr. Mark thinks I have a calf strain, not a total tear. The MRI images end up being useless as there is nothing wrong with my knee and they did not image far enough down my leg to see any tearing. I am given a prescription pain med and a referral for PT. So I head right over to the PT place, the same place I went last fall. The squeeze me in for 7am Thursday morning.

calf strain

This, except mine is medial.

I have a long, lengthy physical with my PT. He tests all sorts of my biomechanics and gives me a full work over. Since my last trip there was also for an injury on my right side he thinks we have a small underlying issue at hand. He’ll figure it out and we’ll fix it, he says. After his analysis he gives me a diagnosis of a grade 2 calf strain. He finds the exact location and says he can feel it, fits his whole finger inside the hole in my muscle. Yup, that seriously hurts. I promptly get a laser treatment followed by ice and the TENS unit.

My PT agrees that FLT is out. Both my fall half marathons, he says, are on. I may do horribly due to lack of training, but I will be able to run them. He says swim all I want, I can in fact ride my bike as long as I can keep it in a moderate gear and absolutely no standing climbs, and he is adamant I will be running again in four weeks. Stretch, ice, PT, medicate, and hopefully I can start a walk/run combo soon. This was all good news to me. Sad news because injuries suck and I hate feeling my season, that started so strong, will end in a crumbling pile of crash and burn and crappy performances.

So there it is. My injury and the crap way I had to arrive at my diagnosis. Fingers crossed I’m running again sooner rather than later.