Monday, March 23, 2009

Doctor, doctor! Gimme me the news . . .

As you may or may not know, I have some pretty bad, kinda severe back problems. I have been battling with them since last August when I found out (after the Santa Barbara Long Course) that I had a sacral fracture. I did that triathlon in lots of pain!

I was told not to run while the fracture healed, not to ride out of the saddle, and go ahead and swim but no flip turns. (Thanks for that last one, doc, since I don't freakin' do those anyway.)

So, I abided by the rules and got that sucker to heal. I had an MRI taken of my lumbar spine & my sacrum - that's how I found out it was fractured. It was also noted that I have severe degenerative disc disease at L3-4 & L4-5.

Which translates to bone-on-bone, no cushion, disc dessication & arthritis!!! I know, I know: hang up the damn running shoes & just ride the flats, right? The problem with that? . . . I DON'T WANT TO DO THAT. I want to keep on training & racing even though it is really kicking my ass! Well, my back, actually, which then radiates down to my butt cheek & hamstring. Especially with the running.

So, just walk . . . right? Yes, that is a possibility, especially given that I am not really a runner anyway. . . it just means I will be that much slower during the "running" portion of my triathlon - also known as My Quest Not To Be The Last Person To Cross The Finish Line.

Are these all crazy thoughts? Maybe, but it is how I feel. . . but I do suffer after a training run/walk.

So today I went back to see Dr. Steve for some updated radiographs of my lower back & sacrum.

It still looks crappy!

Again, I was told that running is not that good for me.

Again, I feel like crying & feel like I really picked a bad sport to fall in love with.

Again, I decided that I don't want to do that. After all, I am signed up for my first Ironman! Remember that is what this blog is all about! My road to Ironman. . .

So - keep taking my anti-inflammatories, go to physical therapy, ice my ass, take narcotics & alcohol together. . . ooops - maybe not that last part, but it sure does help. There's nothing like a Darvocet & a Bloody Mary. ****kids: don't try this at home.

K - that's all for now. . .

Peace & love, TracerX

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm back in the saddle again. . .and again. . .

So, if you read my blog about my new accessories, you will know that I got a new saddle. Well after approx. 90+ miles it was quite clear that my saddle & my "girlie bits" were not getting along. So, back to the cycling store - Helen's - to try something else.

Again, they were extremely helpful . . . and I ended up with a Selle Avant saddle.

I rode for just over an hour tonight & so far, it seems to be working wonderfully. The girlie bits were very happy & I was able to get in the aero position, which I could not do on my long ride 3 days ago!!!

I will put it to the test this weekend with another long ride.

Peace & love, TracerX

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You give me fever . . . fever. . .

. . . when you infect my inner ear. Oh my, what does it all mean? It means I had just gotten over a cold/bronchitis . . . had a good week or so. . . then started having headaches, dizziness & nausea. NO, I am not pregnant!! On Wed. I started with the low-grade fever, so I went to the doctor & it turns out I have otitis media.

I was put on antibiotics & am very pleased that this can be over soon. No swimming for a few days, though.

Now, the problem with all this is that it has put a little crimp in my workouts. Not so much the walking or biking, but the damn swimming!! Puking in the pool is not a pretty sight. Not that I did throw up in the pool, just really felt like it.

I guess I'm writing this because I'm feeling nervous about my upcoming 70.3. I feel like my training is not where it needs to be.

Maybe it's just that I have only 3 weeks left. And, I am going to ass-u-me that it's normal to feel some anxiety.

That's all I really have to say. Oh, except that I had a really great hilly ride this week. It felt good. . . oh, wait - maybe that's hope that I detect?

Peace & love, TracerX

Sunday, March 8, 2009

America's Next Top . . .

Mountain Biker??? NOT! I feel positive that I will never be America's Next Top Model or Mountain Biker. Maybe just plain "Cross-Training-Mountain-Biker-Who-Is-Not-Very-Good-At-It" would better explain my situation.

Also, I have not been mountain biking in about 20 years. Which begs the question: why today? Well, let me start at the beginning: I went out yesterday to Helen's Cycles in Santa Monica & got new pedals & a seat for Penelope. (OK, the seat is really for me.)

I also got a nice, new pair of triathlon bike shoes!! Carbon fiber!! And the best part? They didn't cost an arm & a leg! Those I bought at Cynergy Cycles.

Let me say that I had incredible assistance from the general manager at Cynergy!

I also had amazing help with everything at Helen's from a sales assistant named Joe . . . he is their triathlon specialist and was oh-so-helpful. I also bought new tires - or so I thought - for Penelope. Joe offered to have the new tires put on, but being the big girl that I am . . . I needed to do it myself.

So I got up this morning & headed for the garage to put on my new tires. Well, I found out I only bought 1 tire!! OK, I'll just start with that on the back, since the front tire wasn't really that worn.

This is my first time putting on a new tire. I have my cup of coffee, my bike pump & my new tire. I am ready to rock n' roll!

Boy - it would have been easier to wrestle an alligator! Not that I've ever done that . . . I just imagine that it would have been.

So, I get the tire on with the tube in it & start to pump it up. Huh, what is that hissing sound? OH, it is a hole in my freakin' tube!!! Not to panic, I have another tube available . . . I get the new tube out of the box & proceed to use it, when I discover it is the wrong size - it's too big! (that's what she said)

So, now I am stuck with 1 tire & 1 tube. Now how am I going to get my ride in???

Wait just a minute . . . I can use my mountain bike!! (actually not mine, borrowed from a friend.) But a bike ride is a bike ride.

I get ready & somehow wrangle my husband into going with me . . . he is a mountain biking expert, after all. Alright, he used to ride a lot 20-plus years ago, but he is still a great resource & he can identify my body if I fly off a cliff. A win/win all the way around.

I really only have one thing to say: mountain biking is way different than road biking!

I can't navigate creeks with difficult rock crossings. I can't get the gearing right going up a hill & when I do it feels like I am pulling too hard on the handle bars & popping a wheelie up the hill. My center of gravity is all off. And falling hurts like a son of a bitch!

I ended up taking two spills causing a nice big hematoma on my knee, a painful hip & a banged-up elbow! Lucky for me no one saw me fall.

I had to walk across a couple of creeks with a difficult single track & walked up one big hill. I still feel like I got in a decent workout. Just a bit banged up.

Oh, one more thing to say: No more mountain biking until after the 70.3. Then I have to keep it up for my Wildflower Sprint Triathlon. I only need to manage 9 miles on the bike portion, but I don't know what the route looks like. So I will be doing a lot more practice.

Well, it is time to go soak in the tub!

Much peace & love, TracerX

p.s. Helen's Cycles offers 20% off on accessories for L.A. Tri Club members.
Cynergy is 15% off. I was very happy with my discounts. Thanks LA TRI.