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Showing posts from 2012

A year in review

I thought to myself as I crunched up the mountain in my snowshoes this past weekend. Even when you’re up with a large group like the one called “Shoes and Brews,” there exists plenty of time for contemplation and self-assessment. The trees overshadowed us with limbs laden with iced snow. The sky looked dark, shrouded in clouds that had not yet made way for the full moon. Maci stood about 20 yards ahead of me, waiting for me to catch up before she zoomed off down the trail. Just off to the side, Bryan and Jayne’s dog, Otis, enjoyed some time in the snow, plowing through the trail, face down, rear up. Earlier that day, I’d taken Maci on a run through the neighborhood. Raised a country dog, she didn’t quite understand the need for a leash when she prefers to run several strides ahead of me. While my knee pain has improved over the last month, it reminds me daily that it is far from healed. Knowing the Ironman is “all about the run,” I cannot ignore the twinges of anxiety tha

Push, kick, stroke, pull

There exists something incredibly satisfying about a successful swim workout. Though, how might you define "successful?" Does the amount of distance you covered boost your confidence? How about the way your body feels as it slides through the water? Or do you simply feel a sense of accomplishment of having made it to the pool? Sitting at the edge of the pool, feet dangling in the cold water, eyes squinting at the clock hanging on the far wall, hands working my swim cap into place on top of my head. This is me. Goosebumps start to appear. Before I have second thoughts, I hop in the pool, standing on my toes, as if an extra inch of skin above the water will help make the transition that much easier. Again, I look out over the pool, watching other people swim away the minutes to their own personal finish. I'm left with the success of just having found a lane, no yardage to my name. I take one last breath, dunk down below the surface, push off the wall, and hope my motiva
Three weeks into my physical therapy rehabilitation, I’m still feeling the effects of a long season, felt strongest in my left knee. While I started PT three weeks ago, I laid off the running about a month prior to that. Gale Anderson at Therapeutic Associates has helped introduce me to a few modalities and techniques to address my pain, as well as spur the healing process so that I can get on with my training sooner than later. The primary focus within the last few weeks has been to attempt to mitigate some of the pain in my anterior, medial knee. I can pinpoint two locations that give me the most trouble: just inferior and medial to the patella (the insertion site of the patellar tendon) and right over the patella itself. In 2004, I had a patellar graft taken from this very site to assist with my ACL repair. It’s very tempting to suggest my patellar tendon pain is the result of a weakened site within my tendon as a result of my graft. Here is what Gale has helpe

A night of Festivus with The Fucking Bike Club

I sat in my car, having just pulled up alongside a vacant lot in a part of Spokane I’ve never cared to explore. I’ve driven by it before, peering over from the freeway as I made my way west. In the dark it looked far sketchier. Yet the couple of elves that rode by on their bikes seemed to alleviate some of the uncertainty I felt swelling in my chest. So I tumbled out of my car, pulled out my brother’s old mountain bike, and made my way toward The Swamp. A row of bikes decked out in Christmas lights and ribbons lined the wall of the entrance. Dozens of people loitered outside and inside the dimly lit tavern, enjoying beer and laughter as we all waited for the big send-off. I found my company way in the back. Marjie and Paul are old enough to be my parents who have been longtime family friends from church. Two other younger ladies, whom I knew from church, stood alongside them. Craiger Thorsen showed up around 8:30pm, just about as we started for outside to mount our decora

No matter what you call it, SIT or HIT hurts

Training for IM CDA is well underway. The two weeks of rest I set aside after Tri Cities marathon came to an abrupt end when I found myself in Matt Silver's exercise lab with two other devoted friends, Jayne and Bryan, to essentially kill myself for numbers that would represent my Lactate Threshold (LT) and  VO 2 Max. The only problem with finding those numbers is that, once obtained, I only want to improve them. So began the 2-week endeavor of Wingates on the trainer. Matt Silvers proposed a workout progression that he himself has used in the past and found great success with for his IM training. The three of us followed the same protocol that was outlined in the research study by  Burgomaster 1 , which consisted of six sessions of brief, repeated maximal cycling efforts, performed over 14 days with 1–2 days of recovery between training sessions. In case you'd rather not look through the research study, I'll be happy to provide a summary:  Researchers used

Winter training begins

Three nights ago I dreamed I’d had a total knee replacement. As some of you may know (others may not), I’ve spent the last 7 weeks interning as a wanna-be physical therapist at Holy Family Hospital. I work with patients just coming out of anesthesia who have undergone total joint replacements every day. So I suppose it isn’t that remarkable that I dreamed about it. The only problem is that, despite waking up with a brand new knee, I also awoke incredibly upset. People with new knees and hips may be able to walk pain-free once the effects of the traumatic surgery wear off, but they will never be able to run. If you’re reading this, you know me well enough. That would be a death sentence. Thankfully, I recovered from this dream like I have countless others. At least I hadn’t bolted out of bed to assist an imaginary patient who had lost consciousness. Yes, just imagine how ridiculous it would feel to wake up out of your dream and find yourself in the middle of your room, han

A bittersweet finish: Tri Cities Marathon

Three years ago this past weekend I escaped Moscow, ID and the rigors of a 20+ credit workload filled with microbiology, anatomy/physiology, and organic chemistry to test my body against 26.2 miles of the Tri Cities Marathon. My parents met me in Colfax and drove me the rest of the way down south so mom could take pictures and dad could guide me the last 13 miles to the finish line. Circumstances were a little bit different this time around. Though I’d qualified the last time I ran Tri Cities, I didn’t pursue a Boston Marathon appearance in 2010. All I remember on the long car ride back to Moscow was thinking how terrible my body felt and realizing I’d never do this again. The injuries I sustained during the marathon never quite healed until I found myself well into 2010, further encouraging me to stick with half marathons for the remainder of my running career. Yet three years later, I found myself, once again, in the same crowd of runners, awaiting the beautiful c

Laced up in Satisfaction

You can go through an entire year of triathlons and feel overwhelmed by a sense of accomplishment. I embrace the notion that I can swim across a lake, lock my feet in the pedals and churn my way to transition into a run that finally leads me to the finish line. Three sports. Three reasons to race. Three times the feeling of satisfaction. Yet my triathlon season ended back in early September, and I realized satisfaction had not yet swept me off my feet…literally. I still found myself lacing up my running shoes, the couch my butt was supposed to occupy hardly indented by my weight. The television lay quiet. The Runner’s World magazines stacked unopened after months of falling behind in my reading. My new pair of Brooks Adrenaline from Runners Soul ready to head out the door. I looked down and realized they did not represent an impulse buy. They served a purpose: my reason to keep running. The week after Las Vegas World Championships, I realized I had one last goa