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

Monday, August 31, 2009

I'll Call It Tapering

Got the riot act read to me last week by Coach Mo. It was a Reverse Pep Talk, of sorts. Instead of the usual, "You Can Do It! Keep Going," I got the "Would You Please Stop" speech that seems to be going around a lot these days.

My hip is not really improving and irritation seems to be manifesting in new ways. I actually have not run in over a week and both Shawn and Greyhound can attest to that embarrassment. We tried running in Houston a week ago and I could barely get through an hour (and it wasn't JUST the disgusting humidity). From the first step, pain was shooting down my leg and into my calf. WTF?!?! I had only ridden 30 miles on my bike the day before. Was I really rendered that useless by a slow and pathetic ride?

The hip gods can still suck it, but I'm willing to admit that I may have to bow at their altar for a bit. I just don't know what activities I can do that won't flare up some inflammation and burning in the hip region (and not in a good way). I'm still resisting any form of surgery, non-invasive or not, that will render me bedridden for weeks. As Amy Winehouse would say, "They tried to make me go to rehab and I said, No No No."

With all that being said, I am signed up for and plan to *participate in* the Austin Triathlon this coming weekend. I know, I know...I'm like the little boy who cried wolf. I complain and cry and then go hammer the heck out of myself and wonder why I complain and cry. I'm also human...Besides, my brother-in-law is flying in from CA to do this triathlon, his first ever. Shawn and I inspired him (re: guilted him) into doing it. It would really look bad if he shows up and I've backed out! That doesn't bode well for his future in the sport! Plus, my in-laws are coming up for the day, and I want to sport my rockin' Erin Bakers Race Kit. I think it will be a blast and a wonderful way to wrap up my triathlon race season for the year. I don't think this will be any record-setting, award winning race. It may be my "parade race," if nothing else. Because really, I can't top my Ironman experience this year. Why even try (or tri)?

Oh yeah, I officially withdrew from The USAT Half-Maxx Age Group Nationals race in mid-September. My "A" race has officially become health...and maybe that next Ironman I signed up for in May 2010. ;-) Just sayin'...

Even in the midst of the poopiness, gratitude and joy always seem to prevail. I saw my friend Muna on Saturday and she introduced me to the "magic soccer ball" rolling technique. I'm giving it a shot on that leg. I'm actually experiencing more pain now, but that's probably a good thing from working on all the kinks. I also had a wonderful Saturday morning training morning with my pal Richard that involved swimming and a 34 mile bike ride. It was true joy being out there on he roads because I wanted to be out there. OK--I won't lie, I really wanted to be eating breakfast tacos and nursing my hangover from my going-away party the night before, but this more than made up for it.

Core Fusion and Yoga classes start next week. I. Can't. Wait. I think (I hope) they will both be great for repair, strength and flexibility. Until then, I'll enjoy my taper week! (cuz that's what I'm calling it!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time For Me to Fly

We've been discussing it for a couple of years now. Even my bosses and co-workers have wondered, "What took you so long?" Hell...I'm not sure. There's something frightening about standing on the edge of that diving board and looking down and not seeing big fluffy marshmallows to catch you. Even if you execute the perfect dive, you can still land smack on your face. Six weeks ago, I resigned from my job. This is my last week. In the midst of a recession when a lot of people are losing their jobs, I did the opposite. I quit on my own terms with complete support from my husband and bosses. Don't feel sorry for me. At the risk of sounding like "that girl," I'm living the dream. No sympathy necessary...

There is, however, a strange feeling of being a little lost at the moment. I have two huge identities in life. 1.) My job 2.) My running/triathlon existence. I'm giving one of those up and being forced to completely re-evaluate the other due to injury. So many wonderful and amazing things are on the horizon and the possibilities are LITERALLY infinite. I can do everything or nothing...and plan to do both. Between now and the end of the year, we're going to be traveling a ton including trips to Ohio (yippee!), Germany and Honduras. Friends and family are coming to visit, so the house will be full of love and laughter. I can finally begin my quest to "Dot the M" in whatever capacity it leads me. I'm so blessed, fortunate, and grateful for an opportunity to get out there, network, meet new people and pick up some freelance projects along the way. I love to write, so I'll be pursuing some writing gigs. I want to be mindful of every task and not just be caught up in the rat race of checking things off my daily to-do list. It's going to be a challenge. Downtime scares the hell out of me.

Everyone keeps asking, "Where are you going" and "What will you do?" Seriously?! Cooking classes, writing classes, USAT Coaching certification classes, yoga, bike rides, keeping a clean house and catching up with friends and family who think I've abandoned them to a life of Ironman. What do you mean, "What will I do?" I'm essentially going to be a full-time student again.

As I stand on the edge of that diving board with no vision as to what is below, I'm reminded of just how many times I've made this leap of faith. I've never hit the ground once.

Let's soar...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Traveling Chick

Someday I will be a triathlete again :-) Congrats to all who have been racing and kicking some serious butt! I spent this last week in Dallas at a work trade show at the Texas Nursery and Landscape EXPO and I think I'm the only one who adequately took advantage of the fitness center and awesome lap pool at the Hilton Anatole.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Crested Butte, CO for my annual Girl's Trip to the mountains. It's a 4 days of hiking, trail running, yoga and LOTS of wine consumption. Hey, it's good for the soul! (and the heart) This Saturday, Shawn and I head to Houston for the night to see Pat Benatar and Blondie in concert!! Yep, go ahead and say it. We are DORKS!!!! They are playing in Austin this week, but I won't be here obviously.

After that, I finish off my last week at work and hopefully get back to some semblance of a routine! I am proud to say that I did get an hour long Computrainer ride tonight...Good endurance ride with some intervals thrown in to keep it interesting.

The hip is doing ok, but I haven't really tested it's limits lately. Hiking, running and biking this week will be interesting. Thank goodness there's also a hot tub!

Have a great week! I'm heading to heaven on earth!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Walking to the pool at my hotel in Dallas to get my morning swim before trade show begins. Yee haw!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Hip Gods Can Suck It!

Potential and cautious good news today from another doctor with whom I consulted...Surgery is NOT imminent at the moment! No need to rush into anything right now since my mobility is good and I'm not in any debilitating pain with normal everyday activities (getting in and out of car, walking, etc). I always have a dull burning in the hip/groin area (about a 1-2 level of pain), but it flares up when I overuse it...duh. SO--my goal for the next several weeks is to not overdo it...easier said than done as you know. Oh yeah--plus lots of inflammatories.

I want to thank my Gazelle friend Rich who has been a wealth of knowledge and advice the last week. Unfortunately, he knows all too well the pain and frustration that a labral tear and subsequent surgery can bring. His progress is two years in the making. Some of the best advice he told me was to NOT get the surgery unless absolutely necessary. I must say, at this moment, while I do have pain and discomfort, it's not totally necessary. I'm just focusing on short workouts and minimizing hip pain. That means NOT a lot of speed work or hill work.

I was even given the clearance to do the Austin Triathlon Labor Day Weekend! It won't be pretty since I have NO speed, but it will be a blast! My brother-in-law is flying in from CA to race in his first ever triathlon! How awesome is that?!

Thanks everyone for the kind words and concern. I'm grateful...in many ways...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meeting My Needs!

So happy that T3 is adding both Cross Fit and Yoga classes to their daily lineup beginning in September! Of course, now that means I'll get to see my overachieving, guilt-inducing, OCD, tri-geek friends up to three times daily now!!

Seriously, I couldn't be happier because since I can't do a whole lot of distance training, I need to work on my core and flexibility. Talk about meeting all of the needs of an athlete. They really are doing it right these days. I actually was starting to look at gym memberships again, especially since I'm going to have even more work flexibility beginning next month...no need now!

Thanks T3! If you've been wavering about joining, they are having a free trial week of Core Fusion from Sept. 8th-Sept. 11th.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

An Irresistible Saturday

So...I ran 10 miles this morning. Correction...I jogged 10 miles this morning. Shawn, Thon, Mike and I (me and my boys) relived our golden days and took a stroll around Town Lake. It wasn't necessarily pretty or pain-free, but the reward was enjoying a gorgeous morning on the Lake, seeing some friends (Jen, Jill, Muna, David, Jay and a few others) and enjoying a sampling of Thon's "Better- Than-Sex" coffee. It was as wonderful as I remember it...The coffee that is...I can't speak for the sex part.

I joined them for Not-better-than-sex coffee at Maudie's and then met my dear pal Erin W. at Mr. Natural on the East Side for brunch! I'd only been to the one on South Lamar, but the location on Cesar Chavez is delish with a huge assortment of vegetarian delights! I opted for the "Energy Bowl" which was a smoothie in a bowl with blended apples, acai berries, and bananas with soy milk and granola. I also couldn't resist and had to get a veggie chorizo and pinto bean taco as well. Mama needs her protein, especially after a run.

Afterwards, I helped Erin set up her new Computrainer in the house!! I act as if I'm an expert or something, but fortunately the set-up was easy. We're both going to become hermits in our own houses!

Time to head out for dinner and a cocktail after a two-hour afternoon nap. I can so get used to not training for an Ironman...Ummm...that's because I'll be forced to not train for a while!

Tomorrow holds an easy spin and swim! Looking forward to it!!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Thanks so much!

You are all so wonderful with the comments, voicemails and emails. I'm definitely still in the research phases and hope to have some answers and a definitive plan in the next few days. Essentially, I'm waiting to hear the opinions of a couple of doctors that surgery is, in fact, the best decision in my case...or not. In the meantime, my emotions fluctuate on a minute-to-minute basis as you can imagine, but I know I'll approach this with the same irreverent and raunchy sense of humor that I bring to every poopy situation. Right now, I feel like a crack addict who knows they are about to go to rehab any day no. I'm doing as much as my body and bum hip will allow (which isn't a whole lot). Swimming, some cycling, core, strength and very minimal running...20-30 minutes at a time.

I'm going to go ahead and request vegan bon bons and a subscription to People Magazine when I'm laid up for a few weeks :-)

As always, it could always be worse. My heart could be ripped to shreds. Thank goodness it's only my hip!

More soon!!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

MRA Results

Question: What do you call the person who since April of 2008 has done 2 Marathons, 1 Ultra-Marathon, 3 Half-Ironmans, a Half Marathon, and 2 Full Ironmans??

Answer: A fit and healthy candidate for surgery

Poopers...Results of MRA received today and the result is a hip labral tear and cyst. The labrum is a ring of cartilage that protect the head of the thigh bone from rubbing against the hip joint. Apparently, mine is torn. Ouchie... Potential candidate for surgery :-( Not the news I was hoping to receive, but at least I now know what the problem is.

Will know more by the end of the week...