About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Friday, July 31, 2009

Keep Rollin'

MRA is DONE! Prior to two days ago, I didn't know the difference between MRI and MRA. I still don't really know except that with MRA, they shoot dye into the trouble area to get an even clearer picture of what may be going wrong. Not a big fan of needles to the groin...not so much...

As it is, I'm awaiting the results with baited breath. Honestly, I want something to be obviously wrong so I know what I can and can't do at this point. My leg used to go numb just after running. I stopped running for over three weeks and the same problem started occurring on the bike and even during some recent swim sessions. I went to one swim workout this week and used a pull buoy the whole time so that I wouldn't kick. When I ride the computrainer, I watch my leg power go from 50%/50% to 55%/45% within an hour. Something is blocking something. Frustrating to say the least.

All I can say is watch the "eff" out because this bitch may be headed your way soon!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thx to all! Running is my joy. Take my bike and goggles, but don't take my shoes. A "dead" leg was not part of Fall training! I'm confident!
MRI on hip tomorrow. Will hopefully answer some questions! Mama needs to run!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Because If You Can't Laugh At Yourself, Who Can You Laugh At?

The Internet is a scary thing. I decided to Google Image myself tonight just to see what pictures of me are on the World Wide Web. Actually, I Google-Imaged "Carrie Sapp" and this gem popped up:

Um...ick...Nice "Mom Shorts" Carrie. This was actually taken in the Fall of 2004 and it was part of an article for "Austin Woman Magazine" about the Female Comedy Scene in Austin. Yep, I was a part of that too at one point in my life. It feels like another lifetime ago even though I still incorporate irreverent comedy into my daily life. I know one thing. It was DEFINTIELY at least 20 lbs ago. Ironically, in the text of the article, it says that I dream of someday doing an Ironman...Hell Yeah Bitches....Ironman--double check.

To read the full text of the article that ran wwaaaayyyyy back in 2005, click HERE:

Enjoy the chuckle. I know I did! Like I said, you never know what you'll find on the Internet!
Standing in line at DPS to get a new drivers license. Really need treadmills to pass the time. Excrutiating wait!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lazy, Lazy, Lazy!!

There's no other word for ignoring the hell out of this blog recently. Yeah right...Laziness is hardly the case. Quite the opposite indeed! Lots and lots of Computrainer cycling, strength training, core and T3 swimming. I'm still not running, but hope to pick it back up next week and give it a whirl. Still working out the leg numbess issue with the assistance of docs, physical therapy (yes Allan, I haven't forgotten!) and ART. I wish I could say I'm seeing an improvement, but I'm hopeful that with repeated treatment and stretching, my leg functionality will improve. I speculate an MRI is in my future this week.

After all, I did recently sign up for this baby:

I'm still very hopeful that I'll be able to do this Half-Ironman in September! I hear it's a great race and I'm itching to race again!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Trying to Locate...ME!

If any of you find yourself at a bookstore in the next few weeks, can you please look for this particular issue of "Women's Running" Magazine (July/August)?! I've only received one and am having trouble locating it...I want to send one to my Mommy since it's the issue in which my mug appears!

Of course, I'll pay for the magazine and postage :-)

It's Been Awhile :-)

Went to spin class at the T3 PTC last night for the first time since before Ironman...

and there were cobwebs all over my trainer...

I'm surprised it worked :-)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bring on the Hummus

Oh no...I'm turning into that girl.

At the beginning of March, I adopted a vegan lifestyle based on the book, "The Engine 2 Diet," written by Austin Firefighter and Professional Triathlete Rip Esselstyn. While his concepts of a plant-based diet are far from new, his approach to this "freakish" lifestyle is. For whatever reason, I found this new way of eating (no meat, fish, chicken or dairy) relatively easy. It helps that I live and work about 2 miles from Whole Foods and there are now many meat alternatives out there that taste just as good (if not better) than the real thing.
My reason for adopting this new way of eating was not political, ethical, or social. Simply put: I have high cholesterol and wanted to see if I could improve my numbers without taking medication. In six weeks, my cholesterol dropped 41 points and I lost about 10 pounds in the process (which fluctuates slightly). Somewhere along the way, I've also grown to love the variety of foods I am eating on a daily basis. While most would feel deprived without animal protein, both Shawn and I feel like a whole new world has been opened to us. He's lost 25-30lbs! We're trying all sorts of new dishes, ingredients, restaurants, etc. Yes, I've bent the rules along the way and enjoy some dessert every now and again, but I can't begin to tell you how good I feel overall about the choices we've implemented into our groovy little lives.
So--feeling high and mighty, we visited the Alamo Drafthouse yesterday to eat an early dinner and watch the documentary, "Food, Inc." You owe it to yourself to see this movie about the food industry and what it's doing to add to the health and obesity epidemic. Can you imagine the outrage if you found out an American automaker was intentionally building unsafe cars with fake seatbelts because the production saves time and money?? Well, that's what the food industry is doing to all of us. They are creating cheap foods and fake ingredients that we are putting into our bodies. The meat we eat (unless organic or grassfed) is literally filled with poisons---growth hormones, corn used to make the cows and chickens fat, feces, etc...and there's really no regulatory control over what to do about it. The only time there's ever a recall is when people begin dying...nice. We are poisoning ourselves and our children every day with the foods we consume.
Believe me. I'm not giving the soap box speech. I'm actually sickened at my own ignorance and apathy to the issue. We all know it's freaking disgusting, but we also all turn our heads...kinda like every other social issue on the planet. I'm FAR from perfect. I still put a splenda in my coffee every now and again. I still drink a diet soday when I need caffeine. I'm a sucker for chocolate and I love junk food like everyone else. However, slowly but surely, I'm making healthy changes that are becoming permanent. I'm eating as many natural foods as possible (if I could only give up gum and mints) and filling up on brown rice and veggies instead of ham and cheese.
Everyone says that eating organic costs too much. I've never known a price-conscious triathlete. I know I spend THOUSANDS of dollars every year on triathlon nutrition products including gels, electrolyte tablets, salt tablets, recovery drinks and pre-workout fuel. Why the hell wouldn't my "real food" be as healthy as possible?!
Needless to say, I highly recommend the movie. Yes, it's filled with it's fair share of disturbing slaughterhouse and meat packing scenes, but it's also packed full of intelligence from farmers who are trying to make a living and keep Americans eating real food. If you do go see it at the Alamo Drafthouse, I recommend you stay away from the burgers and chicken strips.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why Be Normal?

Thanks my friends for the words of hope and encouragement on the hip injury. Special thanks to my friend and Physical Therapist Allan Besselink from Smart Sport International who emailed me after reading my blog post and basically said, "Get your ass in here now so that I can have a look." Hell, as far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many expert opinions! He also tested my muscular strength and all seems to be well. He recommended a few daily stretches along with some tests over the next 48 hours. Bottom line: I'm recouping from a freakin' Ironman!! HELLO!! :-) It certainly warrants a certain amount of rest and recovery.

So, this week has been filled with swimming and a couple of Computrainer rides at the house...Nothing major and definitely not working any tough gears. Just focusing on technique and pedal strength. I knew my leg was getting bad on Monday morning when I rode the Computrainer at 1% grade and 6mph headwind (yes, you can program wind resistance) and throughout the course of my ride, I could see my right leg power getting weaker and weaker. That's one of the amazing feedback mechanisms of the Computrainer. Not only do you get to watch your spin scan, but you can also gain instant feedback on your pedal power and see which leg is doing most of the work. Unfortunately, as the numbness grew in my leg, the weakness also grew. 

Actually hit both Tues/Thurs AM swim workouts this week (woot!) and swam twice on my own. Plus, I hit the Wednesday Jack and Adams Corture class again! OK--we were 15 minutes late, but it was better than not showing up at all and it felt oddly empowering doing 45 minutes of core work on black asphalt in 106 degree heat...only in Austin.

Even with all of that, I'm totally still feeling the post-Ironman angst! It still feels foreign not doing 2-a-days every day and 6 hour rides on the weekends. I've yet to attend a coached spin or run workout since IM. I'm doing my solitary rides on the Computrainer within the comforts of my air-conditioned house. Amazing that a two-hour spin and 45 minutes of pilates/core feels "lazy." That's one side. The flip side is enjoying the freedom of seeing friends, going to more movies, concerts, reading books and SLEEPING!! Like most post-IM folks, I'm searching for that balance of staying fit, healthy and balanced. What I have to remember is that training for Ironman is NOT BALANCE. It is NOT the norm. I'm coming down from a high and sometimes the withdrawal is painful and frustrating. I'm re-establishing a norm for the next several months that doesn't necessarily involve 18-20 hours of exercise. Geez--just typing that sounds insane!

However, one cannot stay away from the addiction for too long (just ask Michael Jackson). Hubster and I are, in fact, signed up for many other races including Ironman St. George on May 1, 2010! What can I say?!

Being abnormal is becoming our norm.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Time to Train My Weaknesses

Ouchie spot on my hip flexor regiom

Not allowed to run or do hard cycling for at least a month...Leg numbness and lack of movement continues. Dr. Sellers diagnosed it as a "nerve entrapment" and did some ART treatments before Ironman. My right hip is slightly out of alignment irritating the femoral nerve and essentially rendering it useless after prolonged exercise. It's been happening on my runs for several months (usually doing hills or speed work), but yesterday it happened on the Computrainer. I watched my pedal spin scan deteriorate on my right leg as the workout continued. My left leg was simply doing all of the work. It's as if that quad/hip flexor/IT band just gradually locks up. Hard to describe, but irritating, painful and demoralizing.

When casually mentioning it to Coach Mo today at swim practice, he put a stop to all running for at least a month. He mentioned three other women in our tri group who have been experiencing similar issues and all three of them basically have stress fractures as a result of not resting. Of course, he saw the panic in my eyes when he said, "no running." It's my strength. It's my love. It is my favorite thing to do to clear my mind.

Time to develop another "love" for the time being...no racing or running. My next "big" event isn't until the Half-Maxx Long Course Championships in September. (Half-Iron distance) Then, my plan is to bust a sub 3:20 marathon in December at the California International Marathon. I suppose that won't be possible if I can't lift my leg. Rest is good...I just get that crack/endorphin addict feeling that I'm going to get fat, lazy and useless...Panic inducing thoughts of eating Cheetos and watching American Idol creep into my mind. Completely irrational? Yes...but I don't know many addicts who are rational when someone takes away their drug.
At the same time, it was as if Maurice released a "burden of training" from my shoulders too. It opened the door to make some space and energy for yoga, pilates, Cross Fit, etc...all wonderful strength building activities that I always say, "Gee I wish I had more time for that..."
Now I do...for at least a month.

Monday, July 06, 2009

My New Best Friend

Disregard the orange hue that is resonating from the all-new Computrainer room! Now that we've returned to reality and recovered from the fantasy world of Ironman, it's time to get back to work and focus on some cycling strength and techniques! (that will no doubt help my running as well!)

The Computrainer has a 20-week Performance Improvement Guarantee Program and I'm following the specific key workouts as closely as possible, all with the intention of improving my riding skills. The easiest place to make up a lot of time in a long-course race is the bike and it hasn't been a particular strength of mine--until now.

By the time Ironman St. George rolls around next May, hubster and I will be certified mountain goats! Someone even suggested that we turn the Computrainer room into a hypoxic chamber where we can simulate altitude training by making the air thinner...

Don't tempt me...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Keeping Good Company

I'm beginning to think that 12 is my lucky number. I've done two full Ironman triathlons and placed 12th in my age group in both of them. With both Ironman Arizona in April, 2008 and Ironman Coeur d'Alene in June, 2009, I was less than 5 minutes away from being in the Top 10...in my age group...in a freakin' Ironman...pretty cool and inconceivable.

I hate to admit it publicly, but it really does have me wondering just what it would take to place in the Top 2 or 3 at a race and qualify for Kona. Of course, a girl can dream and while most women dream of Prince Charming and fancy cars, I've been dreaming a lot lately about that monumental event that still seems unreal, but not totally out of the realm of possibility. I'm a firm believer in the fact that you can achieve anything if you believe and then take the actions to make it happen. The key phrase is "taking action." 

In Coeur d'Alene, I was excited and humbled to meet several of my Erin Baker's Tri Teammates who were there from all over the country including Boulder, LA, San Diego, Missoula, Portland and Austin...not a bad mix from the country's fittest cities. We all have varied backgrounds...working Moms, firefighters, students, etc., but we all share a passion for being the best we can be mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Damn, I'm short! But that's what you get when you stand next to Super Humans!

I'm not going to lie, I was so self-conscious standing next to these people and having my photo taken. I literally felt like a "poser." I could hear echos of my former self telling me that I didn't belong and had no business trying to fit in with such an elite group of athletes. Damn--I hate that little voice. But you know what? (from left) Kevin, Julie, Geoff, Tim, and Kerrie were some of the coolest people I've ever met. We scooped samples for people at the EXPO, traded race stories and wished genuine success for each other. 

Believe me, success is what happened because THREE of my Erin Baker's Teammates qualified for KONA that day and we all finished in sub 12:30! So yeah, while 12 might be my mark right now, I have no doubt that the coaching, contacts, sponsors and friends I'm making will only make me a better, faster, stronger and more positive athlete. ...Or fatter if I keep eating their granola all day long!!!

Julie, Geoff and Kerrie all qualified for the World Championships in Kona