Aurora BayCare Triathlon!

May 31, 2014

Tomorrow is the first official triathlon of the season!!! My birthday is on Tuesday, and I always try to do a race around my birthday to celebrate cuz I’m a geek like that. Last year was Grandma’s Marathon, and this year it’s the Aurora BayCare Triathon in Green Bay to kick off the triathlon season! I don’t have a race plan or a goal time. The whole point of this tri is to have a blast y’all!

AND…in line with this…do you know what the BEST part is? I get to do it with some of the coolest kids around, which make is *so* much more fun!!

Shannon, lifeguard extraordinaire, is doing her first tri!!!

Shannon and I

And LuAnn!!

LuAnn and I croppedAnd Deb too!!

Deb and I Selfie

And you all know Greg – he’s doing the Olympic with me AND WE’RE IN THE SAME WAVE!! This means I will see him for all of 3 seconds before he blows by me on the bike. Try not to embarrass me too much, ok buddy!? But I’m still excited about it!

Greg and I bunny ears selfie

If I have missed anyone….I’m sorry!!

Hey look where we get to swim:

The Lake

My mentor Amy was there helping with Packet pick-up today and I asked her if I would be able to actually swim in that giant puddle, and she starting laughing and said “no” without missing a beat.

On the plus side, I am hereby announcing that I will climb up and go down the slide during the race once for every $50 people give me – See me in transition before the race to pre-pay. Cash only. ;)

Here’s Amy giving me my bib!

Amy Packet Pick up

And Amy, Greg, his sister – it’s her first tri too!!! – and myself at packet pick-up:

Group of us at pick up

I missed these fine ladies at packet pick-up, but was told this selfie was taken in part due to my love of selfies, so in the blog it goes!! ;)

LuAnn Deb Shannon Packet Pickup

I’m going to be decked out in tri fox gear!

Tri Kit

AAHHHH I’m so excited!! Can’t think of anything else to write – Except GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!!!!! :)


The Great Gel Showdown – preliminary data!

May 30, 2014

Yeah, I know. Today is supposed to be a rest day book review. I’ve read most of the book I wanted to review today but haven’t written the review. Since I’ve thrown the training plan out the window this week and am moving things around anyway, why not do the same with the blog, eh?! I already had 90% of this one written, and I know people are curious, so lets just post this and go to bed! Without further ado – I give you the preliminary data from my gel and blood glucose experiments!

The Great Gel Showdown – preliminary data!

This post focuses only on the data. I’ll probably talk about gels in general at some point, but since many of you are familiar with that, I though I would just jump to the good stuff ;)

Materials and Procedure:

I’ve been using the “Sidekick,” a cheap little blood glucose meter available at Walmart for about $20. It comes with 50 strips which are stored in a canister that is attached to the meter, which is on the top. But it does not include lancets. This is something you should know, perhaps by reading the front of the stupid box, before you sit down all ready to do your tests and then you have to make a special trip to Walgreens….not that I did that…*ahem*.

Stock photo:

sidekick 2

And here it is in action:

SidekickEach gel was taken with 8 oz of water. Water is supposed to help absorption of gels, so this is why I did this. The water was served in a glass with a bicycle image on it…the bike image iscrucial ;)

Powergel and water

I took each gel after having eaten nothing in at least the 2 hours prior to testing, in an effort to make sure my stomach was relatively empty. I’m sure the results would be different if I was 1) swimming, biking, or running or 2) having eaten foods in the past hour. That is, not sure if this data would correlate to what happens during a race at all. But its soooo cool anyway, right?!? ;)

The Gels

I tried to choose flavors that were as similar as I could…no idea if this matters…it might. For example, the Gu website does talk about variations in their carb content based on flavor, but the percentages are very, very close between different flavors. Anyway, it seemed logical to pick flavors that were as similar as possible.

PowerGel Strawberry Banana: Ingredients: Dual Source Energy Blend (maltodextrin, fructose), water, and less than 2% of: salt, sodium citrate, citric acid, green tea extract and caffeine from tea, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to maintain freshness), potassium chloride, natural flavor.. – See more at:


Dual Source Energy Blend (maltodextrin, fructose), water, and less than 2% of: salt, sodium citrate, citric acid, green tea extract and caffeine from tea, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to maintain freshness), potassium chloride, natural flavor.. – See more at:


Dual Source Energy Blend (maltodextrin, fructose), water, and less than 2% of: salt, sodium citrate, citric acid, green tea extract and caffeine from tea, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to maintain freshness), potassium chloride, natural flavor.. – See more at:

Clif StrawberryIngredients: Organic Maltodextrin, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Water, Organic Strawberry Concentrate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Citric Acid, Green Tea Extract (contains caffeine).

Honey Stinger Acai PomegranateIngredients: Organic tapioca syrup, organic honey, water, potassium citrate, natural flavor,citric acid, sodium chloride.

Gu Strawberry BananaIngredients: Maltodextrin, Water, Fructose, Leucine, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Valine, Sea Salt, Malic Acid, Histidine, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Fumaric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), D-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Natural Flavors, Gellan Gum, Isoleucine, Pectin Powder, Ginger Extract, Chamomile Extract.


I tested my blood sugar – the “1” on these. Then I slammed the gel and the water, and tested every 5 minutes after that – each next test is the next number on the horizontal axis. The gels times vary, because once I felt that my blood sugar had returned to what it was and was stable, I chose to spare my fingers. :) Or, after after an hour or so when it didn’t appear it was going to be a nice return to the starting point, I also stopped.

I do not claim to be a master at Excel graphing. Judge away. If you want the file for the raw data so you can do some proper graphing for yourself, hit me up!

PowerGel Strawberry BananaClif Strawberry

Honey Stinger

You will recall that I first tested with a Gu Strawberry Banana gel. I was curious about duplicating some, if not all, of these tests, so I started with that one:

Gu Strawberry Banana 1 and 2And here they all are:

All the Gels

So there it is! Like I said, analysis and thoughts will come later, this is just the data. Questions, comments, and snide remarks are welcomed!

Run and newbie bike ride!

I started the day with a 6 mile run! Normally I swim on Wednesdays, but I ran this morning. I’m not really following my training plan this week because I’ve switched my weeks to make this a recovery/taper/race week. I don’t have a real good reason for deciding to run, but I swam a lot this past weekend and I thought a run might be a better use of my time this morning. This is strange, because lately I’m not the biggest fan of running. Anyway, it went great and I was glad I did it! It was light enough for me to run outside, but I ran on the treadmill at the YMCA anyway. Again, not sure why, other than going to the YMCA on Wednesdays mornings is my routine.

….then I went to work….

And…then tonight was sooo much fun! Because the first two newbie bike rides hosted by our Tri Club were rained out, we rescheduled for two more. Look at the fun bunch that showed up!!!

Group Before Selfie Fun

Seriously, these guys were GREAT to ride with :)

Here’s some data (minus one mile where I forgot to turn on my computer!):

Newbie Ride Sprint CourseNewbie Ride Summary

May 29, 2014

We rode the High Cliff Triathlon Sprint Course:

High Cliff Triathlon Sprint Course

Yes, I live at High Cliff State Park, or as I like to call it “the triathlete’s playground”, these days.

It was the perfect end to a long day!

Tomorrow morning I won’t be able to run and then swim with my master’s club, because I’ll be in Madison, WI for a conference for work. I wonder what I should do for training….in Madison….hmmmmm ;)

WIAW – First Century!

May 28, 2014

Today’s WIAW is from Saturday’s century ride. As always, head on over to Peas and Crayonsfor a full description of WIAW.

I started the day with Monday Morning Museli with honey.

Monday Morning Muesli

For the ride, I had 4 Oatmeal chocolate chip raw bars. I ate 3 on the bike, and one just after the ride. I knew I should have eaten the 4th on the bike, but I was proud for getting 3 down! They’re wrapped Allen Lim quick-tear style, and even though we stopped every 20-25 miles, I practiced eating them on the bike. This resulted in me losing a large chunk of one of them…but that’s why we practice! :)


I did not use Hammer Heed this ride! I used Hammer Perpetuem, the Strawberry Vanilla flavor. Perpetuem is supposedly designed specifically for long workouts, those lasting 3 or more hours. I had never used it and thought I should try it out. It contains carbohydrates like Heed, but is also 10% soy protein – “the same percentage that is cannibalized from muscle tissue during long, slow endurance workouts.” Um…ok. Yeah lets not let my muscles eat themselves, lol! I don’t know that 1 ride is enough to determine if it’s better or worse than Heed, but it seemed to work just fine. It tasted pretty good, too. I also had one PowerGel Strawberry Banana.

Later, I made a quick stir fry using a bunch of random frozen veggies I found in the freezer (if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a bit busy lately, and getting the grocery store has not happened for a bit!) and Gardein Beefless strips. I ate it over brown rice.


Why nothing else later? Because shortly after eating my stir-fry I passed out on my couch…for the night. Well, at midnight-ish I managed to find my bed, but not the fridge on the way. So, no dinner! I made sure to eat a little extra the next day, which was easy since I woke up hungry! I really needed the sleep too, though, probably almost just as much.

Training Peaks

My Garmin tried to convince me that I burned 5,040 calories during the ride. I thought this was a bit much, and consulting with Monique Ryan’s book, I think burning about 10 calories per minute is more reasonable. So according to my Garmin I rode for 5 hours and 36 minutes, so 5 x 60 = 300 + 36 = 336 minutes. Times by 10 per minute is about 3360 calories.

My BMR is 1360 calories, plus 300 for living the dream, which is 1660 calories that I typically burn. Adding the 3360 for the ride and you get 5,020 calories burned for the day.

If you enter everything I ate into Training Peaks, I ate about 3,500 calories. So…yeah. Wayyy down on calories. (Am I right, Shannon? ;) )

I swear….one of these days I’ll give you a WIAW where I actually balanced out, lol! *sigh* Well, I’m keeping it real.

Here are the Macros:

First Century WIAW

A little heavy on fat, but that’s because of all the nuts in the muesli and the bars, so they’re good fats. Overall I’m pretty happy with it. My planned dinner was spaghetti, so I have a feeling the carbs would have gone up a bit had I not slept through it ;)

Open water swim and run…again!

May 27, 2014

That’s right – I did another swim and run today! My great friend LuAnn wanted to do an open water swim – her first! – before she does her first sprint tri this weekend, at the same tri in which I’m doing the olympic distance. She would have come with us to swim yesterday, but she was busy kicking butt and taking names at a half marathon in Madison, WI. Well, I’m always up for hopping in the lake, so I was of course willing to meet up with her for a swim today. It was an honor to be there for her first open water swim, it really was. Here’s us before:

LuAnn and I

LuAnn did GREAT! It can be a bit scary your first time in open water, and she headed right in! Sadly, I don’t have any GPS data, because kinda sorta forgot to change my GPS watch from running to swimming…and oh my goodness was it confused with me. I didn’t figure that out until well over halfway into the swim. :/ Anyway, we mostly worked on drills during this swim – sighting, swimming with waves, and bilateral breathing. Sighting especially – It’s harder than it sounds!

And yes, mom, there were more powerboats but I kept her far, far away from them :)

Also, another fun thing happened while we were swimming. We saw two other crazy triathletes getting in! And they had yellow swim caps…could those be the yellow caps that belong to our Tri Fox club?! We swam over to say hi and THEY WERE! It turned out to be Ken and Tanya, who also were at our newbie ride on Wednesday! I forced them to take a selfie right there in the lake with me ;)

Group Selfie

We later saw two more but they were all business in their (wet)suits and didn’t really want to chat. Lame. But I did really enjoy that we saw so many other triathletes out at 10am-ish on a holiday morning!

We had a lunch, and after that, LuAnn and I ran the big hill and up to the tower area and back down to the cars. Again, she did amazing! Especially because it totally started raining buckets about half way up the hill. (Why is it always halfway up the hill?! lol) She didn’t whine at all! I could probably take some tips from her, huh? ;)

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day as well!

Open water swim and run

May 26, 2014

Today Greg and I met for an open water swim and a run at High Cliff State Park. My training plan typically has me do a long bike and a long run on the weekends, with no swimming. We wanted to swim because neither of us was very happy with our open water swim on Wednesday. This was mostly due to the weather and waves I think. AND because today it was BEAUTIFUL at the beach!

Clear beach 5

Greg *loves* when we take selfies…here’s us before gettin in:

Greg and I bunny ears selfie

A few notes on open water safety

Swim early…most of the irresponsible boaters out there looking to get drunk and speed around like crazy people are still sleeping/working off last night’s hangover before going out again. Take advantage of this. The ultimate in open water safety is having a kayak support with you. In the absence of that, at least wear bright swim caps people! The rest of you is black…not super visible to boats! Just to be safe, I also brought along another safety tool – my Safer Swimmer:

Safer swimmer 1

This a GREAT piece of gear for open water swimming. It’s a dry bag that inflates:

Safer swimmer 4Safer swimmer 5

And there’s a strap that goes around your waist. You have to position the strap right or it can slide off of you (learned this the first time I used it) but otherwise it works perfect. Your keys, phone, etc can go in the drybag so you don’t have to leave anything behind unattended on the beach. But the biggest advantage though is making yourself much more visible to boats. Here’s a pic from DC Rainmaker’s more in-depth review of the same product:

DC rainmaker safer swimmer

Imagine if you were a boater and you didn’t see that orange dry bag!

The Swim

Greg and I decided to try to replicate the High Cliff Half Iron swim course, which swings out left (from standing on the beach, looking out on the water), then long leg out to the right towards the marina, and then back into the beach in a giant triangle. So our first part of the swim is the yellow arrows below. Yep my Lie Detector (Garmin 910xt) also does GPS for open water swimming – how cool is that?!

I am a stronger swimmer than Greg, so I let him set the pace so we could stay together. After a little ways though, he reported he was more tired than he expected he would be, compliments of our century ride yesterday. This is a safety issue – even though we had on wetsuits which are really buoyant, never open water swim when you’re tired – so we headed back towards shore until he was where he could swim and touch if he needed to. It was at the point that we turned around that a boat passed us – and they clearly saw us because they gave us plenty space and a friendly wave. Excellent. :)

When we got back to shallow water, he then insisted I do a longer swim, since I love swimming and I was feeling great and having a great time! I took a sharp left, headed towards the marina, and then a right back to the shore to meet Greg who continued to swim in shallow water (I am the yellow arrows continued). Then we met back up at shore I realized I had only swum 0.67 miles. I wanted to get in more than that, and Greg said he was fine with it, so I headed back out (blue arrows). He made me promise I wouldn’t swim too far out where the boats were.

So I was swimming way out like I promised Greg I wouldn’t, and the one scary moment of the swim happened. I had just turned left and was swimming parallel to the shore happy as a clam (wait…clams don’t swim, do they? hehe) and I was bilateral breathing, and when I took a breath from the right I saw a speedboat coming right at me. I kept breathing from the right, and was thinking “See the orange bouy….SEE the orange bouy…SEE THE ORANGE BOUY!!!!” and it finally turned. Whew!! I kept going a little ways and turned back toward the beach. Greg saw the speedboat incident and I sorta kinda got a little yelled at. It was deserved.

(Pro tip: It’s best not to tell your mom about these kinds of incidents when you text her that your swim is over and you’re fine. Let her read about it in your blog instead, moms love that. I love you Mom!).

Memoral Sunday Swim Map Satellite arrowsI was totally happy with my swim too. The top is my swim today, the bottom is my swim from the Half Iron I did last summer:

Memorial Sunday Swim Summary

Muncie 70.3 swim

The Run

Then we started the run. My training plan called for a 90 minute-ish run. But man, my legs were realllllllly not happy about running. Probably something to do with a century ride yesterday, lol! We stuck to roads, because neither one of us wanted to deal with rough terrain or the millions of people who had suddenly descended on the park. The only hiccup that happened was when we started up the big hill, and half way up the hill a runner who shall remain nameless informed me he forgot to put on his new calf sleeves that he wanted to try out, and we had to go back to the cars. HALFWAY UP THE HILL. He was serious. I get it, actually, so we turned around.

Then we started the run for the second time. We went up the hill, went left to the tower area, up the little service road, continued to the campground dump station, down to the marina, and back to the cars.

Memorial Sunday Run High Cliff Map

This run sucked, people. It got a little better as we went along, but it never really left “sucked” territory. I wanted to do at least an hour or 6 miles, but when I got back to the parking lot with the cars, my legs couldn’t be talked into going back out for more. They were done. I think we kept a good pace though, considering the hills.

High Cliff Run memorial day

Memorial Sunday Run Summary

Well, I give today a “B.” I should probably have run longer. But, I swam before it, so really I think it’s ok with the bonus swim. And I wasn’t exhausted, really. Just definitely done with running for the day. Seriously, afterwards Greg and I even went to Menards to get fencing for his garden, and that all went fine. :) I didn’t do much the rest of the day. Hope you had a good day!

First Century!!

May 25, 2014

Today I rode my first century (100 miles)!! It was planned to be 105, and I rode 101.34 according to my lie detector, which is probably a slight underestimate because I forgot to start my computer initially. :/

The Data

Let’s start with the data first for once! Here’s what we rode:

Memorial Day Ride map

And the summary:

Memorial Day Ride Summary

And the elevation map:

Memorial Day Ride Elevation

As you can see, not as hilly as the Ironman Wisconsin course. That, combined with riding in a group (which helps break the wind up) is probably why I was able to keep 18.1 mph for the ride!

The ride

It’s supposed to be a recovery week for me with only a 2.5 hour ride today…BUT…I wanted to take advantage of the long weekend to have lots of recovery time after my long workouts. And, I’m doing an olympic tri next weekend, so I thought I would swap my weeks. Next week I can do a mini-taper to the Olympic tri, and consider it a recovery week.

After Wednesday’s Newbie Ride, I was talking to my friend Jenny about wanting to do a century this weekend to build my confidence, but the one I had in mind was in Chippewa Valley and I wasn’t sure I wanted to drive that far. She was like “Why don’t you just ride with my friends and I, we’re doing 105 miles on Saturday.” You don’t say. I’m there! Thanks again Jenny!

Still, I was nervous to do such a long ride. So I did what I always do when I’m scared to do a workout… “Hey Greg, wanna do a bike ride this weekend?” ;) Then I explained the ride to him. He thought it sounded great, and we agreed that if we got dropped we could do our own ride and then spend the rest of the day making fun of the “cool cyclists” until we make ourselves feel better. :)

The group met at the organizer’s house, but then rode less than a mile and stopped at theGear n’ Up bike shop in Neenah, WI. The group picked up Greg and I there, as well as one other rider. This isn’t everyone – we had about 30 people riding! This was great, for a number of reasons. I felt much safer in the towns, as we were obviously pretty visible. It’s also fun in towns and intersections and such. Car drivers might not stop for 1 or 2 riders…but when there’s 30, they have to stop! lol. And lastly, it gave me lots of people to talk to, duh! And they were all great, seriously.

Start of Ride 1Here’s Greg and I! We were waiting for someone to fix their flat tire. It was the only flat though, and for 30 people and 100+ miles, I don’t think that’s bad at all.

Greg and I 1Do you like my new Pearl Izumi sun sleeves? They worked great! Weren’t too warm at all, and totally blocked the sun. So did the suncreen on my face, ears, and neck. Now if I could remember to put sunscreen on my stupid knees, we’d be all set! *sigh*

We also stopped about 4 times I think for about 10-15 minutes give or take each time. Once at a park with a porta potty and 3 times at gas stations. Our group contributed much to the economy in exchange for a lot of Gatorade, water, coca-cola, and snacks! Also, a brat fry fundraiser across the street from one of the gas stations saw some sales too! Not from me, obviously, lol. I actually packed all the calories I thought I would need, and I was right on.

And here’s Jenny and I, also while waiting for the flat fix! Isn’t this an awesome photo? She rocks.

Selfie Jenny

Part of why I was nervous was because this was a large group ride with road cyclists, not a couple of triathletes going out. I have done group rides before, but not in about two years since I rode with the Oshkosh Cycling Club. Triathlon is a solo sport – you can’t ride within a certain distance of another rider or you get penalized for drafting. When you draft, the rider ahead of you breaks some of the wind resistance, making it easier for you. That’s why it’s illegal in triathlon – in order to ensure no one has an unfair advantage, you gots to keep away! Thus, triathletes are not always the best at bike handling skills – staying super alert and ready to react to the movements of other riders only a few inches in front or on the side (or all around you), like these riders:

Line of Riders 4

(Yes, I took a photo while riding. Yes, this made me nervous. Yes, it was worth it though!)

And the uncomfortable triathletes would include me! Greg and I spend much of the first part of the ride at the back – not to be lazy and let the other riders do the work, but to not cause a crash! That would not have helped us make friends, I am sure. I got more comfortable though as the ride went on, and my group riding skills slowly came back. I’m guessing Greg’s did too, or he was more confident to begin with, or he just picked it up quickly, because by the halfway point he and I were mixing in an out of the main pack with good fluidity.

OH! The coolest thing happened just before the end of the ride!! We past a guy and a woman on a tandem bike, and I shouted “nice bike!” in a complimentary tone. When he replied “Thanks!” I totally recognized the voice – it was swim coach Greg and his wife! Totally didn’t recognize him not in a speedo, lol! And I’ve never met his wife, so it was great to meet her. They met up with us at Gear n’ Up and we chatted for a bit. Such a small world sometimes.

Here’s everyone at the end of the ride at the Gear n’ Up bike shop:

Group ShotOh and I can’t forget this photo of Greg’s hair after the ride – we called it a “fourhawk” instead a mohawk :)

Greg FourhawkAnd now I’m going to eat all the food I can find and sleep. What a great day!!

Yep, my feet are kinda messed up.

May 23, 2014

So, I went to the podiatrist today.

Foot selfie

Don’t worry, I’m not injured. Well, I am, but it’s not acute and won’t get in the way of Ironman Wisconsin. For the past year or so, I’ve noticed the sides of both my feet have developed a bump and have caused my little toe to start turning inward toward the other toes:

My Feet arrows

As you can see, it’s pretty noticeable – when I got fitted for my tri bike last spring the fitter asked me if they caused me any pain. And at that time, they didn’t. But since then they’ve gotten a little worse and they do sometimes cause me pain now after running. Consulting with Dr. Google, I determined I had bunionettes, or Tailor’s Bunions, on each of my feet. Bunionettes are just like bunions that typically occur at the base of the big toe, but happen on the other side of the feet. (They’re smaller and obviously wayyyyy more adorable, hence the “ette” name ;) ) So basically, overtime, the most outward bone of each of my feet have gotten inflamed and slightly deformed, creating the bump and causing the pain. (Read more about them on and wikipedia.)

Although Dr. Google has the highest reputation around *snort*, I decided a while ago that I should go see a real doctor. And the day arrived! I saw Dr. Stroebel at Agnesian’s Foot and Ankle Clinic. He was GREAT! He’s a very nice man, and he explained things very well to me using his dry erase foot chart:

Doc explaining

It didn’t take him long to do an exam and concur with Dr. Google. I asked if these developed because of my running or something else. He said “Oh it’s from your running.” without missing a beat! He said it’s common in women with thin, narrow feet, which I apparently have.

Then he ordered x-rays:

x rayx ray side angle

He explained that the X-rays were required because bunionettes are typically due to swelling of the top part of the bone, but can sometimes involve the 5th metatarsal bone getting sorta bent, and that requires different treatment than if the bones are straight. Hey look – mine are straight!

x ray 2x ray 1

When Dr. Stroebel saw my x-rays he told me I have BEAUTIFUL feet – his emphasis, not mine! Apparently I’ve got great bone density, good arches, nice straight metatarsals, good alignment, and perfect joints (you know, except for the bunionettes). Way to go, feet!

I did the classic “rating scale” question: On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst, where are my feet? He rated my feet at a 4. He then explained there are basically three treatment options for bunionettes:

1). Suck it up. Ok, he didn’t say that, I did. :) But basically that’s what the first option is – just buy shoes with large toe boxes so they don’t rub so much, and treat the soreness like you would treat any other soreness after a workout – RICE-B – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation…and Beer to numb the pain. He might have said Ibuprophen and not Beer, but I’m not sure.

2). Less severe surgery: The doc cuts in to the foot and shaves the bone/joint down to it’s proper size. Outpatient, not a huge deal actually. Recovery is a couple weeks to 2 months before running again.

3). More severe surgery: The doc has to cut out a portion of the 5th metatarsal bone and realign it with pins. Recovery to running is a couple months.

If your bones are bent, you need option 3 – so I get options 1 and 2 – YAY! He said that due to the moderate nature of my bunionettes, surgery would be a reasonable option if I wanted to do that, but I don’t need to. At this point, I’m obviously just going to suck it up until after Ironman Wisconsin. I am considering surgery in the winter off season though. December or January would probably be a good time to be laid up. Therefore, if I do so, I have a couple months to determine who gets the privilege of waiting on me hand and foot (haha…foot!) during that period of time. To apply, compile your current resume, 3 recent references who can attest to your caring touch and ability to tolerate whining, and a 3,000 word essay about how I am the most awesomest person ever. Then send your materials to me attached to a new Wahoo Kickr indoor bike trainer. ;)

50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days

May 22, 2014

Welcome to another Rest Day Book Review! Today’s review is of: 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days — and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance! – by Dean Karnazes with Matt Fitzgerald, 304 pages.

Dean Karnazes 5050

As it sounds, this book recounts Dean’s North Face Endurance Challenge, which involved him running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Some were formal races, but most were either recreations of race routes on a different day with a police escort. I read this book when I was first getting into running and it was fascinating to realize anyone could (or would) run 50 marathons in 50 days. It still is! He does touch on this type of concept in the start of the book when he talks about the difference between a “jogger” and a “runner” being that the jogger still has control of his running habit. Runners have a passion that often appears like an addiction, which I thought was hilariously accurate.

The advice in this book is fairly basic, but it’s why I liked it (Eat a good diet, take ice baths). I read it way back when I first started running marathons. It is, as with the other books, not a how-to book on how to run 50 marathons in 50 days. Which is great, because I’m never going to try that! The advice he gives applies just as much to people running “just” one marathon at a time ;) Now that I have more experience, I will tell you that I don’t think you’ll find any amazing advice here that you can’t find in other books. But it’s still very much worth the read. AND – he doesn’t try to woo you to a specific diet or sell you any products. He has changed his diet in recent years, but it was hilarious to read about him eating an entire pizza while out on a long run (you just gotta tell the delivery guy which corner you’ll be running by…and fold the slices lengthwise to eat them.)

Dean is a really nice guy, his humility and kindness really do come out in the book. The only criticisms I have of him are somewhat typical of my criticisms – he’s not “average” though he claims to be. According to him he just stepped out one day for a long run and ran for hours. Not average. For the records, he credits a lot of his success to being Greek, haha. The only real criticisms I have heard about him, which are summarized on his Wikipedia page, is that he’s actually fairly average in terms of running, and that many people can do what he does but they just don’t advertise it. To which I say “Good for them, I’m still impressed.”

Swim, swim, bike…wimp out of run

May 22, 2014

Yeah…not the order of a real tri! But it’s what I did today. I started with my usual Wednesday morning long swim:

Wed Swim 5 21 2014

There were 200 yards of kicking there too (my lie detector doesn’t know when I’m kicking because it’s not moving, so it doesn’t read kick sets) for a total of 3700 yards.

It does automatically know what stroke I’m doing, so give it some credit!:

Swim Graph

Then I went to work…

Then I met up with my awesome friends Shannon and Greg for a Newbie Bike Ride with the Tri Foxes at High Cliff State Park.

Greg Shannon I 1

“Wait…you don’t look like you’re bike riding….”

Oh, we’re not…not in that photo :) We are all doing the Aurora BayCare Triathlon in Green Bay on June 1st, and none of us had been open water swimming yet this season. Why not? Because we value our body heat, that’s why. BUT – with 1.5 weeks to go…there were no more excuses to be had. We would be at the Park for the ride and it has a beach….so…you know. STOP WHINING AND GET IN.

Greg texted me this morning to tell me he had consulted with some fishing buddies who reported the lake temp was mid 50’s. When I informed Shannon of this, neither of us was very excited about it. But, I can be a bully sometimes, so I made her put on her wet suit and at least walk down by the water, haha! And I was so glad I bullied her!! It actually felt totally fine in the water. Since I already swam a little over 2 miles this morning, I wasn’t looking for a “workout” and we just kinda swam around. That was the point – get the feel for being in open water again. It’s always a bit weird the first time, at least is for me. No clear water, no line on the bottom of the pool, waves… and lake flies biting you… :)

I helped Shannon practice some sighting drills and we went back to shore, just in time to meet Greg at the shore. We all went back out again, and Greg and I swam a couple hundred yards out to a (very slimy, as it turns out) bouy, and back again. “Enjoyable” would not be the word to use, as there were some 2-3 feet swells due to the wind. But It was a good little swim. See – thumbs up!

Me Thumbs Up

Then we joined a bunch of other Tri Foxes for the Newbie Ride.

Start of Ride 2

We made them climb The Big Hill. But they did great! See – everyone is alive at the top:

Selfie Group after hill

I ended up taking the rear, and took a shortcut with a newbie back to the parking lot, which was perfect for me because my training plan called for an optional 60 minute bike “if time and energy is available.” I was happy to take it easy, because I have felt like a total zombie lately.

Greg stayed with the main group, and so I got back before him. We had talked about running up The Big Hill at High Cliff after the ride, but I had already cooled down and was feeling Zombie Status creeping back already, so I totally wimped out. He was a total sport about it and didn’t call me out on it, which was very kind of him! Thanks Greg!

I’m going to Zombie Walk to my bed now…if anyone sees Rick, Carol, Michonne, or any other human character from the Walking Dead near me, give me a heads up so I can get outta the way before they stab me!!! Ok, g’night. :)