Monday, June 29, 2009

After a long brick session...

Yesterday I did a 3-hour bike then a 90 minute run/walk. It was grueling. I did notice, however, improvements in my hill climbing which was a huge relief. I was still cautious about my hip so during the run i mixed in some walks between intervals, which helped me stretch out my hips before things got too unbearable. I figure, it is more important to prevent injuries at this point than to try to fill up my ego with the satisfaction that I did a full run for 90 minutes straight and then risk suffering the consequences....

I was pretty sore afterwards (or even way before it was over) so I drove straight to the supermarket and picked up bags of ice - dumped it into the tub and threw myself in there. yes, freezing but i think it paid off because today i am not as sore and uncomfortable as i should be.

I think, despite the ongoing pain and spurts of fatigue, I managed to get stronger somehow. My hip flexors were tight last night and this morning, but they are not as inflamed or stiff as they were last week after a short brick session. So that tells me, ice bath or not, things have improved.

Over the past week some of you have been sending me amazingly encouraging comments to help me overcome my distress. Thank you so much! When i'm weak, i definitely can use the help...i am only human, I know there are limits to my ability to self-generate motivation all the time. I am so honored that I could encourage some of you to stay positive and improve your daily lives... and so happy and grateful that you have done the same for me when I am struggling.

So i have about 4 weeks left until the race. Nervous, but i just have to do my best for the next several weeks and just leave everything else in God's hands - I know i will finish somehow, in whatever shape or form. :) i am so grateful and relieved that my friends will be there with me to share one of the most important days of my life to date. I will have all of you in my thoughts to help me push through and persevere when i feel like stopping or quitting. I cannot even describe the power of your encouragements and thoughts and prayers and what they do to me - it makes me realize that what i do is not just through my might, but so much more beyond the physical efforts - something magical happens on race day, when everything comes together.

What gets me through at the end is not the training, it is what I know fuels me in my heart and my mind... my purpose, my promise, the love of my friends and the people who have become a part of my life through this little blog of mine...

I am tired, but very happy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thoughts on death of Michael Jackson

so, was just thinking - if you want to stage a comeback, or just improve your life for that matter, don't wait too long. just start now...u never know what's going to happen tomorrow

Monday, June 22, 2009

Patience is required!

I'm still waiting for this weight and pressure on my ankles and shoulders to dissipate... I was feeling a lot better yesterday, but not quite today. Frustrating. But I guess I have to be patient and hopeful. The fogginess is getting increasingly annoying but the more I think about it it's only going to make me feel worse - it's all stress inducing, isn't it???

The mantra is, stay patient, stay positive, just believe...I will be better at the right time. Kinda out of my control at this point.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

I got Greedy

Yesterday I experienced the worst flare-up and all-over body pain I've had in...3-4 years, or as long as I can remember. I was so frustrated all morning. I felt like a loser laying in bed, missing my brick workout with the LA Tri Club... ugghhhhh I was feeling worse and worse about my race, was wondering how I got into such a bad situation with the level of pain I was feeling. I was shocked more than anything, because it was so unexpected that i would be in this much pain. a bit fatigued, a bit sore, i get it, but this time...I was devastated.

The most disturbing thing about it was that the pain levels took me all the way back to 3-4 years ago, when I was mostly in pain and was depressed frequently. Fear sunk I going back to those days? What have I done wrong????? I was scared.

I could not get up all morning, pretty much until 1-2pm. I really wanted to have some fresh fruit but had to laugh at the fact that I couldn't get downstairs to the kitchen... :) Finally, I dragged myself out of bed and into the bath tub, where I had an epsom salt bath. I felt slightly better.

Then I got a phone call from my friend Shirley, and her words woke me up. She reminded me how far I've actually come, not how much of a loser I am for having been injured all season and am now laying flat on my bed incapable of functioning. My talk with her reminded me how I used to struggle trying to ride 3o miles, swim 1500 meters, and how i used to just train slowly and at my own pace...just to finish. I got competitive over the months, which I would say is natural, but i really forgot where I started. I used to just want to finish a race, and it didn't matter how little I was able to train or how unprepared I was. I still managed to find the joy in racing and finishing, no matter how long it took me. It turns out, I got greedy. and my body was paying for it.

I did a 60 mile bike ride 2 weeks ago. I consider 2000 meters of swimming "not enough" now - i mean, this is a huge leap compared to where I was last year. I forgot how to be grateful for the progress i've made. instead I kept pushing for more, never feeling like anything was enough, anxious to do everything and more... which not only pushed me physically but also mentally stressed me out on top of an already stressful work life. There was my answer to this explosive flareup - a bit too much, cuz Minnie got greedy.

Yesterday's incident humbled me. It started with making me angry and frustrated, but I realized that I was forgetting why I was doing this. This is not about me, my glory or my ego...i need to go back to where I started and go by this process with humility and gratitude.

I'm so grateful for this weekend - it woke me up. With 6 weeks to go, I can start again with a new attitude.

Blessings to you all - you are all my motivation for this. I promise not to forget.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Laying flat on my bed, cannot move at all. I am shocked.

God, help me get through this.

Even my fingers hurt typing this...

Humbled but hopeful for recovery.

Blessings to you all.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Staying Strong is easier said than done..

Ah, patience is wearing thin. Pain in my hip flexors move from left to right, lower to upper..getting tired.

Last night during my 90 minute run I had a mild panic attack, or so it seems. My chest was tight and I felt pain on my right chest. At some point I could hear a wheezing sound out of my throat. It was all very strange. But I kept going, even if it meant stopping and stubling for a little bit.

Sitting is painful. I'm working in front of the computer standing on my knees at work...

Patience is wearing thin. But again I tell myself I need to keep going and not be afraid of what might go wrong in the future.

The past two months have been painful, somewhere in my body, every single day. Tiring. But life is still meant to be lived. I won't give up.

We all gotta do what we can. The rest, God will lead the way.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ups and Downs, and the joy of recovery week

Since the milestone 60 mile ride there has been some interesting incidents... Sunday and Monday after the run I felt horrible, stomach was turning and I just didn't understand what was happening. I felt like i had done an ironman race or something. Work started getting busy, and as I got over my stomach problem my left hip flexor tightness started creeping up on me again. Had some long bike sessions during the week on the trainer, felt ok but very fatigued. Come Thursday/Friday, i declared a burn-out from a week of 12-16 hour work days and my unbelievably tight left side, from my hip flexor all the way up my left side and abs. I just didn't know what to do with myself, so I skipped the long ride on Saturday.

I spent the entire Saturday morning cleaning and doing normal human things, like having brunch with friends and cleaning out old mail, etc. It was really nice for a change. I went to my strength training session with my trainer, which helped me a lot with the tightness.

So speaking of strength training helping with the tightness - here's my point. we get tight and feel pain because we don't move enough and our muscles stay constricted. Muscles stay short - short muscles equal weak muscles. so if you try to move with those short muscles, everything is going to hurt. My trainer started me with stretches, and had me do lateral moves concentrating on my hips and upper body - because they never get to move laterally, only front and back. I sit all day at the office, I sit for hours in the car, then i bike/run/swim which are all front-back movements. our body, however, is built to move 360 degrees. My lateral movement muscles have fatigued so much, which caused weakness in my hips and core (more the obliques), which made sitting one of the most painful things to do. I reconfirmed my learning of late - move, move, move...sitting still, or lying down still is not something you do for a prolonged period of time. It will make you stiff, short and eventually fall into a state of pain. Move, stretch, dance, spin around, utilize those muscles that are meant to move and pump some oxygen in to those muscles. It works!

This week has definitely been awesome. It's called recovery week, where most of the workouts are 30-45 minutes long, after a series of rather grueling weeks preceding. I have been so enjoying this, this morning I swam 1200m and ran for 25 minutes. It was so fun and short and sweet. :) I know that this means next week I ramp it up a notch and things will be tough, but I'm sure enjoying the short and sweet workouts for now!

I feel like over the past 3 weeks my body has been going through some extreme ups and downs and they have been exhausting to the body and the mind, I admit. However, I also know that there is a solution to everything, and I'm still searching for the solution to my left side problem...they just hurt along the entire upper body. Strange. But i'll get there. We can grow so tired of dealing with pain it's so easy to give up and drop the ball. At this stage, I have no idea if i can actually train up to be ready for my half ironman, but what the heck i just have to keep training as much as I can given my situation. I will only know what i am capable of on...8/1 RACE DAY. until then, i have to face the cards that i'm dealt with and go through the rounds of ups and downs, hoping for some stability in the next couple of weeks. I believe in hard work. I believe in ....believing. Just gotta keep going.

We get stronger as we aim to find peace in the midst of chaos... that's my thought for the day.