Category Archives: Triathlon

November sunburn!

The weather is insanely good today. So, rather than coop myself up at the gym OR go to the doctor, I decided to go to the park instead. I walked from my front door to the end of the Duke Island Park path and back again in about 1:30. Since I do not have a good pedometer, I’m not sure how far that is, but it’s at LEAST five full miles, maybe closer to seven or even eight because I was hauling ass pretty much the whole time.

Wow, do I hurt. I did it to take inventory of the body, mostly, and the feet are sad, the left knee is fucked, my left hip is going OW FUCK WHY DID YOU DO THAT (probably due to overcompensating for the knee thing) and my left arm (shut up, left side of my body) is all chafed from the armpit seam of my shirt. The upside is that I can walk on the knee just fine (hills might be slightly problematic, but more testing will be needed on that), and if I can keep up a 4.0 walking pace that’s less than 7 hours for the marathon. Of course, that means I am going to have to swim and bike REALLY fast, but I’m hopeful that I can get the knee issues sorted and get back to running properly.

Poor left side. Everything is angry over there. Right side of the body is feeling just fine except for a giant blister on the ball of that foot. That made itself known around the very last mile and I can almost hear it growing as I write this. I think that’s the socks, actually. Instead of my cheap-ass shitty Hanes cotton socks, I put on my fancy Asics tech-fabric socks and FUCK THAT. Cotton socks just work better for me, despite all the research and field-testing that says “no, they always cause blisters.” No, they don’t always. I love you, cotton socks!

Speaking of things I love, let me talk right now about my underwear. I know some people get all precious about their underpants and get all “oh, I would never wear the boring cotton underwear you buy in a 6-pack at Target” and to those people I say “FUCK YOU AND YOUR FANCY UNDERPANTS” because I am wearing the Hanes Her Way [barf] no-ride-up cotton boyshorts and HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS, when they say “no wedgie guarantee” THEY MEAN IT. Those bitches STAYED PUT. Historically, I have had problems with my underpants constantly trying to crawl up my junk and so when I saw something that said “no wedgies” well, DUH. So, hooray boring cotton underpants!

Other than the knee thing, I am feeling pretty good overall. Can’t complain about having a sunburned nose in NOVEMBER.

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It appears that my knee issue is one of stability, which was my thought all along. I’m a medical marvel, I am. So I went to the local sporting-goods store to get myself a knee stabilizer (fancy term for a spendy knee brace) upon the recommendation of Dr. SportsMed and as it turns out, even the size XL is too damn small for my legs.

What the fuck? Don’t gigantic football-playing dudes with legs like redwoods need knee braces? I rock the thick legs, that’s true, but if a size XL isn’t going to fit, that’s fucking disheartening and a whole bunch of bullshit. This causes me to swear even more than I normally do, dammit.

So I either need to keep looking for bigger sizes like XXL, which fuck you, or go back to the tried and tested Ace bandage wrap situation. That’s not ideal, but for fuck’s sake, it works well enough.



I am thinking that it’s a hormonal/lady-cycle issue as well, since PMS week makes everything go wonky. I feel fine three weeks out of the month, but that fourth one, damn. The knees and ankles get all pissed off for some reason. I will have to do some research and run my theory past Dr. SportsMed who is often amused by me until he goes “hm, you might be right.” My thinking is that it’s a water-retention issue, which causes bloating EVERYGODDAMNWHERE. Which, fuck you. Gah.

The best workout solution to this problem is to get in the pool, but… but… but… DON’T WANNA. I will start up with that when the new class session begins because I am not seeing any point to getting in the pool if I’m not going to be able to work out efficiently. Despite my seemingly near-constant online presence, my free time is actually quite limited at the moment, so I have to get the most from my gym time.

I wouldn’t be able to go today anyway, since my cleaning ladies are coming and I will have to be here for that. Oh well – once they leave, maybe The Jillian and I will do a couple of songs from the new Just Dance that we got for the Wii. Not quite sure if that’s advisable for the knee, but I can modify things if I need to.


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It’s bad when PMS and Halloween coincide. The normal urge to EAT ALL THE THINGS can sometimes be diverted toward fruit or smoothies or something that is at least organic, but with the giant bag of Jillian’s Halloween candy sitting right there, well, that’s some kind of spiritual test, right there.

So far I have been able to restrain myself, but it’s only been about 18 hours since the candy arrived, so I’m not going to throw myself a parade just yet.

I did do some pre-emptive work at the gym so I will be justified in eating a few pieces of candy later. JUST A FEW.

The gym was fine – I got on the elliptical and did my half-hour and the knee feels just “okay” and not great. I’m still hyperextending it a bit which is worrisome, but I think more weight lifting will fix that up in time. I hope so, anyway.

After having spent the last two weeks moderately sick, I think I’m on the mend for real this time. Last week, my highest heart rate was pushing 170 at times which is REALLY high even when I’m pushing really hard. Today it was more like 150, which is more normal and less alarming. I was sweating buckets, though. That is unusual but I think I’m just working through some stuff, plus beer happened over the weekend which always causes the sweats for a day or two after. AND PMS hormone bullshit makes me sweatier than normal. So I’m feeling pretty good, but also pretty fucking gross.

Sexy, right?

In other news, the new class session is starting up soon and I will be signing up for the swimming whatsit. There’s a Masters Swim but I don’t think that’s going to be the one for me. I swim fairly well but I am horribly inefficient and I think the actual swim class thingy will be the thing.

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After a week of my left knee feeling “not right” I finally decided to wrap it and see what happens. I really ought to go to the doctor and have it looked at, but I’ve done it twice before and every time, the recommend x-rays, which I go do, and then the x-rays come back all normal and shit.

My one sports doctor guy (who fixed my shinsplints) says that an MRI would really get a good look at what’s going on there with the knee but the insurance is all “hahaha, no we’re not covering that.” So the only thing I can really do is be nice to it, wrap it when necessary, ice it pretty much constantly, throw some Ben-Gay up on there and take Aleve. It’s not ideal, but there we are.

Aside from the first-aid sorts of things, I am doing what I can to strengthen the muscles in my legs. Hilariously, this contributes to the problem somewhat, according to Dr. SportsMedicine. He says it will equalize at some point but that I should be careful in the meantime.

All of this makes me grumpy. I’m grumpy that running – something that used to be so easy and effortless – is now so incredibly fucking hard. I can’t believe my body changed THAT much in 20 years. I mean, aside from the weight issue, I can’t imagine that my biomechanics are all that different. But maybe they are. I know carrying that giant baby had an effect, and who knows what kind of effect a c-section had on my core stability? Eh, I’m just guessing but I’d be surprised if I were really far off-base with that.

So, until such a time when I get my fairy godmother or three wishes or a lottery win or some shit, I will continue to do what I’ve been doing. 1 minute running followed by 4 minutes walking, increasing incredibly slowly until I can run for a good long while without things falling off of me. That’s how I used to run those barrels, and I used to do that ALL DAY EVERY DAY ALL SUMMER. Maybe I should write a book about it.

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A list!

1. Did not go to the gym today. My excuse is that all my workout junk was in the wash and I was unmotivated to actually GET it in the wash until it was just about time to drop Jillian off at school.

2. The weather is completely shitty today. Beyond shitty, actually. It’s the kind of cold that gets in your bones coupled with a relentless grey drizzle. Not the best environment for HELL YEAH.

3. My knees are ON FIRE. This is mostly due to the weather, but the left one is still tender. I feel like I hyperextend it when I’m walking, but I’m not sure how to not do that. I have been trying to land more on the balls of my feet and have been pretty successful with that, but that’s easier to do while running.

4. STILL COUGHING. Not nearly as much, but enough that I’m annoyed. I do feel like I’m on the mend, which is good. It’s just going to take some time. I can’t get sick for three days and then recover, OH NO. I get slightly under-the-weather for two weeks instead. Stupid body. Why am I not a robot?

In other news…

5. I really feel like I have a lot of knitting/crocheting to do but I’m not feeling up to doing any of it. I did finish the yarn portion of Jillian’s Halloween costume, but now I have three on-needle projects that need some attention or I can start new things. I will probably start something new.

6. I feel really dehydrated today.

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Shocking (Updated!)

Given my history as a Professional Clumsy Person, it stands to reason that I have a vast array of Ace bandages, wrist braces, and ankle wraps. Surprisingly enough, I do not have anything at all for my knees. Sure, the bandage collection is called into service when ice is needed, but as far as having some kind of knee brace for running or working out goes… nope.

This is amazing to me, because I have had trouble with my knees FOREVER. I am a little concerned about the left knee after last week’s test run. It’s been sensitive since then and I know I’ve been babying it on stairs and stuff. I guess I’ll run again on Friday and see how it feels.

I suppose I could make Fridays “run days” until the beginning of the year when I start in earnest. I’m sure normal people would cross-train in the winter and start a running program in the spring when the weather is better but I am not normal people. I refuse to let the weather be an excuse!

So, on top of having to go look for some kind of knee bracing apparatus, I will probably have to re-think my cold weather gear and figure that out as well. I’m mostly concerned about my fingers and toes, because of my history of frostbite (thanks, marching band!), but with the right socks and gloves I should be all right there.

Right now, we hit the elliptical and weights. Soon, we swim. Then, we run. Then we start biking. Scary.


So I went to the gym and got on the elliptical and my knee feels weird. Not hurty, but loose, I guess. It feels like things are moving around in there that shouldn’t be, but I don’t have any pain or anything. I am going to attempt squats (sexy word, that) to see if putting a whole bunch of weight on it is a problem, and then I guess I’ll just wrap it up for a bit and ice it later.

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Shut up, this is my journal.

I reserve the right to be as boring as I please.

I’ve got a cold, it seems. For the first time in probably a hundred years, it’s a chest cold and doesn’t have any of the sinus issues that I normally have. I am so very thankful for this, I can barely express it. I have suffered from sinus issues and whatnot MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE so to actually be sick and not have it involve buying stock in Kleenex is a huge blessing and even though I’m sick of coughing, I will take this any day.

The problem I’m having (aside from the coughing) is that if I take any kind of cough medicine, it makes my brain shut down. I don’t fall asleep, but I might as well because I can’t think or function at all. Everything is just blank and fuzzy and weird. This is a problem when I’m trying to write because writing is hard enough, dammit! Trying to wrestle my thoughts and ideas into coherence is a full-time job on a normal day!

The other problem is that it is putting a cramp in my workouts. I don’t know if I’ve been abducted by aliens and replaced with a healthier version of myself, but I am at the point now where I NEED to work out. NEED. If I don’t, BAD THINGS HAPPEN starting with “oh, a box of Ho-Ho’s makes a great mid-afternoon snack” and ending with “I WILL KILL YOU.”

So, the endorphins need to be released. I do have options – I could go to the gym as I normally would and do what I would normally do on a Tuesday (lifting) and just deal. I could go to the gym and swim, but I think Creepy Staring Lifeguard is still working the day shift and I’d rather not have him stare at me. I think I might just stay here and do some lifting and yoga things. I have a lot of core work to do, so perhaps I can focus on that? I don’t know. I can’t make up my mind because I CANNOT THINK CLEARLY. I’m definitely not going to go for a run because I don’t want to kill my knee, which is improving slowly. Rest and ice! WOOOOOO!

In other news, I got a look at myself in the mirror this morning (not something I generally do), and I HAVE CHEEKBONES. Who knew? More proof that I am making progress, even if the scale isn’t reflecting that.

I hate the scale, I do. I don’t get on the scale very often, which is good. I finally talked myself out of needing that number as a guide but it would be NICE to be able to get on the scale and be pleasantly surprised once in awhile instead of shocked and horrified that I have been working out like a madwoman for almost a year and have lost EXACTLY ZERO POUNDS. It’s frustrating, and there doesn’t seem to be a medical reason for it. I’m doing fine with food, portion control and balance and cha cha cha. I’ve cut down on the boozing quite a bit, which should make a difference, too. Bleh. Time and work will fix this, I know.

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Oh, ow. The left knee feels like shit. This is not good.

I’ve always had trouble with my left knee. It used to slide out of joint because the bones were growing faster than the muscles or vice versa. I don’t remember exactly. But the left knee has never been good.

You see, I was a gigantic baby. My poor mother, who is nearly 6 feet tall, weighed all of 120 when she got pregnant with me. She gained something like 80 pounds and thus gave birth to a 9 pound, 6 ounce MONSTER CHILD who actually broke her skinny ass upon arrival.

OH HI. That was me.

I was a gigantic kid. And I was tangled up in the womb but GOOD, with my umbilical cord wrapped around my neck a few times and my left leg all folded up THE WRONG WAY. It’s only as I’ve gotten older (and more athletic) that this has been an issue. I’m sure the umbilical cord issue stopped my brain from getting oxygen and that’s why I’m more or less mentally unbalanced, but the leg thing is fucking my life up more than anything else.

My left leg shoots out from the knee at a 15-20 degree angle. That’s my estimate since I don’t own a protractor or I would get seriously nerdy on your ass and tell you the exact angle. At any rate, It’s not a straight line from hip to ankle on that side and it causes me to have ISSUES there, particularly with my knee.

Shut up, left knee.

The other day, when I was doing a test run and feeling extra good about life, the universe, and everything, the left knee went “pop” which was not a happy thing.

Apparently this week will be spent figuring out just what the fuck is going on here.

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Today was a bust. I had big plans to either go to the gym or go for a run or something but I seem to have developed a bit of a cough (plus the knee thing from yesterday) so I didn’t do anything. A little yardwork, then we went on a Tweed Adventure to get Freddie’s jacket made. After that, lunch and then I started coughing. Why this happens in the afternoon, I do not know, but it’s annoying as fuck and I want it to stop. I have some high-powered cough syrup, which I plan to do shots of, and then we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Upside? Coughing = ab workout. WINNING.

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I went on a test run today.

It’s been a WHILE since I have done any running of any type (excepting my barefoot sprint across the Great Room in the castle so I could fetch my camera before I got to see the wine cellar), and since I have all these big hilarious plans to do an Ironman, I figured there’s no time like the present to see just where I’m at with regards to well, where I’m at.

Let’s start at the bottom.

Feet: Feeling good. I need new running shoes, but the feet are doing okay at present. I had a little bit of pain yesterday just walking around (I landed wrong coming down the steps) but that was a non-issue today.

Ankles: Yay, ankles! After years of fucking them up on the treadmill and/or rolling them because I am so incredibly graceful, the ankles are doing all right. I know my shinsplints stem from my weak ankles and that’s why I can’t run on the treadmill. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been on one, and I’ve been paying attention to strengthening my calves and stuff, so the ankles are protected a lot better than they have been.

Shins: Shinsplints do not appear to be happening, which is making me SO VERY HAPPY.

Knees: Knees are problematic at the best of times, and I did a good mile and a half before the left knee went “pop.” Whoops. It wasn’t a catastrophic sort of pop, but it wasn’t good and I had to walk the last half-mile. This could be a combination of factors, starting with the weather. It’s been fairly blustery all day and is probably going to rain later. Also, the left leg is the one that does that weird sticky-outy thing due to how I was crumpled up in the womb. It’s not noticeable until I’m running and then it causes all sorts of fun things to happen. I have been assured by two doctors that it shouldn’t be a huge deal but I do have to adjust my stride to compensate for it. BLEH. So the left knee is currently iced and I am going to give it a stern talking-to later.

Hips: Hips are good. Ever since I started working out regularly, the hip pain I’d been having has disappeared. That can only be due to the fact that the muscles are stronger and my weight is shifting. I’m not LOSING ANY GODDAMN WEIGHT WHAT THE FUCK but I’m definitely carrying it differently than I did a year ago. So that’s good.

Back: It was only 2 miles. Ask me again after a 10K. The muscle that I pulled yesterday is feeling all right until I try to turn my head to the left. Then it goes “OW FUCK STOP IT.” So… there’s that.

Arms: Good arms! Form is good, which is something I usually have trouble with.

Lungs/Heart: So far, so good. I am battling a bit of a cough and got a little wheezy here and there, but I don’t think that’s anything to worry about. Once this cough goes away, I should be in pretty good shape here. The EIA that I suffer from on occasion doesn’t seem to be as big of a factor as it has been in the past, so that’s good. I might still ask the doctor to give me an inhaler, just in case.

Boobs: You know, I was flat-chested until I was almost 25. And even then, there wasn’t a whole lot going on up there. Now, at 36, I am rocking these humungous boobs that I DO NOT WANT. Through a series of compression bras I am able to immobilize them for the most part, but MY KINGDOM FOR B-CUPS. Sheesh. I’m hoping that with time and weight loss I will get back down into a non-porn-star bra size. However, a quick glance at most of the women in my family doesn’t give me much hope.

Head: The head is working on it. So much of what I’m trying to do is mental – the belief that I CAN DO IT is the one that I have to keep working on. That’s part of the reason why I’m going to try to write here as often as I can. I know I can do it. I just have to keep reminding myself of this. I have all the tools and all the ability – I just need to refine it all and put it to work.

No day but today.

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