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Sunday, September 5, 2010

My favorite time of year

...is almost here!  Not quite yet, but it will start on September 22nd @ 11:09PM ET according to USA.gov

FALL is my favorite season for several reasons:

1.     Temps are cooler!  I don't fare well in the heat, so 50-70 F is perfect for biking and running!  Plus I have lots of cute capris, arm warmers, and hats that I like to wear :)  I can't wait to show off some of the fall/winter Saucony gear I bought on sale this summer!
2.    The foliage is beautiful. I LOVE running on Constitution Trail in the fall- its like you are going through a tunnel of swirling colors - when the leaves fall off and twirl around you, it gets really trippy  :)
"My" trail during the fall - leaves haven't blown off the pavement - beautiful!
3.  Workouts are so enjoyable.  After training all spring and summer long, athletes are in the best shape they are all year.  Workouts seem so fast and effortless when cooler temps arrive, and PR's tend to drop like flies!
4.   RACE SEASON!  It seems like EVERYONE in the midwest has their BIG race during September/October, in particular, Ironman Wisconsin and the Chicago Marathon.  If I'm not competing in one event or another, I'm almost always there spectating, as these events tend to be a "reunion" of sorts for my midwestern family, friends, and training partners!

One thing that is making me SAD about fall though...I'm not running :(

A few months ago, my right heel starting hurting while I was running...I thought maybe it was "bruised" from some downhill running I was doing at River to River and Triple T, so I trained on.  However, it persisted, and got worse and worse.  It started hurting when I was walking.  It started to hurt when I got up in the morning and was walking around the house.  Did some research, talked to some people with similar symptoms, then finally saw a foot doc - yup, plantar fascitis.  I thought that only happened when the actual "arch" of your foot hurt, but that's not the case.  The connective tissue "attaches" to the heel, so when it is stressed, it pulls on the heel,  thus creating pain.  YUCK.

I cut back my mileage, I reduced the intensity and pounding.  I took days, a week at a time off to no avail.  I iced, stretched, took ibuprofin.  Still pain.  The doctor gave me super-strength anti-inflammatory drugs, and 2 cortisone shots in my foot.  Didn't help.  The pain was still "bearable" so I continued to run, a few miles at a time, at a depressingly slow pace.  Well, one day, I felt a "snap".  It hurt like hell, and I did a 20-minute hobble walk of shame back home.  The doctor put me in a boot the next day.  The last time I ran was Tuesday August 10th.

NOTE:  Do NOT run or stress injured muscles/connective tissues when you are on super-strength anti-inflammatories .  They reduce inflammation (duh) around the injured site, thus leaving the site unprotected, and more susceptible to further tear or injury.   I learned this the hard way.

A week later, I was helping my brother move in, and I was not wearing the boot so I could help carry stuff up and down stairs.  Sure enough, I almost stepped on a puppy(!), and jumped onto my toe to avoid the disaster - OOOUUUCHHH!! Another "SNAP", which brought me to the floor in tears.  I couldn't put ANY pressure on it for 2 days.  However, an MRI showed there was no real tear, which is good news (?) but  I can't explain the "snap" feeling or pain, but it was bad.
my hubby and our baby!
...and my brother who's going to live in our extra bedroom
while he's in grad school! My Boys!
It's been getting more bearable- I'm not in the boot, but I am ALWAYS wearing supportive shoes (i.e. my Saucony Hurricanes) and custom orthotics, even in the house.  It totally limits my "cute" wardrobe at work, until I can wear fall boots (ANOTHER REASON I LOVE FALL!!).
Not running hasn't been terrible, as I have been able to spend some quality time with my NEW triathlon friend, my BRAND SPANKIN' NEW KESTREL 4000TT!!  She's a beauty, and she's FAST!! the following pictures are not of my actual bike, but will put some up soon...
my chick bad, my chick hood...
***listen to this song while reading the following paragraphs!!***


She's ALL carbon, light as a feather, and she's outfitted with SRAM RED R2C (return to center shifters).  They were really stiff at first, like HARD to shift, but they've loosened up (or my forearms got stronger) and I LOVE how quick and smooth they are!
my chick do stuff that your chick wish she could...

I also have a MASSIVE 54/42 crankset...I immediately dropped almost 2 minutes from my 20K time trial effort! daaaaaammmnnn....
my chick bad, badder than your's...
I was previously on 650c wheels, but now I'm riding 700's - it takes a little more effort to "get rolling" and accelerate, but once I'm going, I feel like I'm just enjoying the ride!

I also feel a lot more stiff and stable on this frame - I am usually such a BABY when it comes to crosswinds, sharp turns, and downhill riding - its amazing what a difference I am feeling!
One thing I am sad about - I don't have gears to climb with.  The bike came with gears intended for flat, time-trial riding (54/42 crankset, 11-23 cassette)... so I wasn't able to bring her to IMOO (training) or Dairyland Dare .  So I'm definitely in the market for a SRAM compact crank and (10 speed) xx-27 cassette...if anyone wants to trade goods (I have  brand new Fizik carbon Arione Tri2 saddle and an FSA 90mm carbon stem) let me know!  :)

Carbon Fizik Arione Tri2 Saddle

FSA 90mm carbon stem

I haven't been swimming much (what else is new) but I am SO psyched for REV3 Cedar Point, which is a week from TODAY!!  I'll be doing the FULL Aquabike (the KESTREL is coming with me!) I can't wait to see my Trakkers teammates, and our manager Carole's Trakkers GREEN cast!  Poor girl got in a mountain biking accident a few days before her birthday, send some love her way!
Her swagga don't stop, her body won't quit


Whew!  It feels good to blog again, hopefully I'll keep it up!  I love this weather and riding my bike!

 But on weekends like this, 65 degrees with a breeze, I stare enviously from my porch at the b*tches running effortlessly and happily on the trail around MY LAKE across the street.  not cool.

3 comments:

Michelle Simmons said...

Sorry about your PF. That sucks and is hard to heal... rest up so it has a chance to repair itself, then don't run 2 days in a row for a while even after you start easing back into it.

But, um, sa-weeeeeeet bike! Love it!See you this weekend!! Friday night roller coasters, that's what I'm talkin' about!!

Oh, and your COH suit is in the mail! Probably would have been quicker to just bring it with me to Cedar Point with this holiday weekend and no mail on Monday... but it's coming!!

Mike said...

I might actually have an extra SRAM Red Compact 50/34 from my P3 build if you want it... It's 165mm. There is some drama around it but I'll let you know if it works out. Sweet bike, massive big monster gears!!! My new bike is 52/36 with 12-25, so you're making me look like a sissy!

Sorry about the PF though, get better soon!

Jamie said...

Bummer about the foot, but with that gearing you'll destroy the aquabike. I've heard it is "pancake flat."

See you in a few days!