Week 19: Take a Break

My poison oak finally started to let up last Sunday, just in time for the Costa Rican bug bites and jellyfish stings to kick in. And then Wednesday or Thursday a new rash appeared, which seems related to the original poison oak, or the blisters got infected in the ocean, or it’s some kind of reaction to the jellyfish or something in Costa Rica.

Whatever it is, it’s been miserable. The only thing that’s getting me through is my super secret trick: I stand in the shower and blast the water as hard and hot as I can until it burns the feeling out.

Continue reading “Week 19: Take a Break”

Training Week: Dec. 16-22

Last week was the end of my “off-season” and the beginning of starting to think about training. It was a mixed bag.


Biked about 12-13 miles easy to the ferry, to the office and back.


Biked 14 miles home from working in Mill Valley, which included stops at 1. the bookstore, 2. Best Buy (worst place in the world in the weeks before Christmas) and 3. Safeway. And, I may have gotten a little overambitious in all the stuff I bought at Safeway.


Whoa, slow down, let’s not got nuts on the working out. Rest day/lots of shit to do day.


35′ or so of basic strength work at the gym and swam 1400y.


Yoga. Except it was very boring yoga and was basically a slow stretching class with a lot of “feeling the earth beneath our feet.”


I intended to go for a bike ride, but instead I ended up at Best Buy again (ugh), Safeway and two separate shopping centers — all non-Christmas related and all a mistake.


Yeah, no.

Today marks the official start of Ironman Training. I suspect I will get very boring now and do nothing but ride my bike and go to bed early. And probably cry. I suspect there will be more than a few times I start crying.

What Hitting Rock Bottom Looks Like


These are all the different things I made in the last few days. FYI, the chocolate-chip muffin looking things have a molten chocolate center.

I think I may be close to bottoming out in “off-season.” The cookies didn’t even taste that good.

Back to regularly scheduled programming next week.

Things I Have Done to Prepare for Ironman/Triathlon Training

  • Re-start my pool/gym membership that lapsed a year ago
  • Get my road bike tuned up and cables replaced
  • Join a new team
  • Plan my base training
  • Sign up for races
  • Make arrangements (some of them) to go to training camp weekend with Hillary in Feb/March
  • Consider just staying in Arizona for a week to go to new team camp the following weekend and really put in a week of crazy work in between
  • Yoga
  • And, stay at yoga for the entire class without leaving
  • Talk to coaches, pick people’s brains
  • NOT apply up for a number of new jobs, fellowships and gigs that have come up, so that I can actually have enough time to train and recover without being crazy overbooked — this has to be some kind of first for me
  • Rest
  • ART appointment and massage to deal with my messed up leg/foot
Things I Still Have To Do:
  • Get my Garmin to download
  • Figure out why my PowerTap isn’t working
  • Find my heartrate monitor
  • Devise functional strength/preemptive recovery plan to help prevent injury
  • Train

Watch out people, this shit is getting real. I might actually be taking IM training seriously for the next seven months.

A Day in the Life: How to Do An Off-Season

I am in off-season right now. That’s sort of weird, since I was basically not really “in-season” for a large part of the middle of the year. But, I still think it’s important to take at least a week or two to really chill out after getting through something hard — even if it was just hard, not fast.

The thing that’s really weird about this week, though, is that the lack of training has coincided with a lack of other stuff to do as well. Steve is really busy and gone most of this week and next. I always work from home, but usually I have meetings and interviews to do; I typically work out of different offices and places most days. But, this week, I got nothing. High school cross-country practices are over too. So, I’m really chilling out. This has really made for an incredibly low-key/boring week. My biggest problem is that if you leave the TV on court shows all day, DISH keeps asking if you’re really still watching??

I think it’s good, though. I think I’m going hit rock-bottom soon and be ready to bounce back. I’m already making plans and getting fidgety. Not that I’m actually doing anything about those plans yet, but it’s a start.

If you want to do off-season right, here is basically what I did yesterday:

6:45: Steve’s alarm goes off, because he has to head to Sacramento. Tupac the Cat is very excited about being up earlier than 8 a.m. and jumps on my head. I yell at him, kick him out of the room and go back to sleep.

9:15: Tupac’s banging on the bedroom door finally becomes impossible to ignore. We sit in bed and check the internet. Or, one of us checks the internet and the other bites a lot. Not telling you who did which.

9:45: Eat breakfast, browse internet for story ideas, send emails, etc.

10: Pull together a short “This Day in History” post for Yahoo! Travel for Thursday. End up opting for the first motel opening on Dec. 12, 1925 in San Luis Obispo. Read up, write.

10:55: Waste some time on the internet.

11:10: Realize if I want to shower before my 11:30 call I should do that. Shower, put on actual clothes for the first time in days — jeans + t-shirt.

11:20: Get a text message from a friend telling me there was a bank robbery at the bank down the street. I am such a terrible news reporter that I had no idea. The TV says the robber was shot by police and all the streets are closed. Guess I’m not going to the mall afterall.

11:30: Call with founder and editorial manager to talk about RootsRated, for which I’m supplying San Francisco Bay Area coverage. It’s live now, but there’s still little kinks to work out and plans to make for January.

12 to 1: Not totally sure what I do for an hour. In theory, I work on a story about food technology. Really, I do stuff. Lots of reading online and sending emails and Googling. Write a blog post. I become convinced that I don’t have a firm enough grasp on the of-the-moment internet and must create a more complete daily news round-up of things to read. HOW AM I EVER GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL IF I CAN’T DO THE INTERNET!

Realize the 4 p.m. yoga class down the block that I wanted to take is cancelled. Decide this means I should definitely go get sushi in the evening instead.

Decide I don’t care about the internet.

1: Aw, shit, I really do have to write that post for Bay Area Bites about food delivery technologies. Write. Get massively sidetracked looking up apps that will deliver food from restaurants for you, so that I could just have sushi delivered to me and never have to leave the house. But, stupid apps don’t cover Marin County very well.

3:15: Send piece to editor. Get email about motel story going on homepage, but they need more photos. Look for public domain photos, which is very, very challenging.

3:50: Bundle up and deck out my bike with the two working bike lights we have. Bike over the hill.

4:20: Talk to the owner of Marin Running Co for a bit.

4:30: Hang out at the San Anselmo Library. Pick up Beautiful Creatures. Read.

5:15: Sushi!! (I don’t care if everyone thinks Sushi Ran is so much more prestigious and fancy, Sushi 69 is the best. THE BEST.)

6: Bike home. It is so cold. So cold. My fingers hurt.

6:30: Oh shit, how did I get this cold. It’s not even that cold out and I’m wearing so many clothes. How am I ever going to train on my bike over the winter? This is ridiculous. No person could ever bike in 40 degrees. It is not possible. Bundle up and drape myself in a Snuggie to sit on the couch and read.

7 to 10: Read, read some more. Watch some TV, eat the last of my cookies and play with Tupac.

10: Talk to Steve for a bit, who is still in Sac. Do a bit more work, send emails, make a list of numbers I need to call in the morning, put away some laundry. Browse the Competitor issue I picked up at the running store. They profiled Marin County as a running destination! Sweet. How did I miss this. Of course they told people to go to Sol Food, of course. EVERYONE goes to Sol Food. I am over Sol Food. Think about this for a bit.

11:15: Decide to get ready for bed.

11:30: Tupac shits all over the bathroom. Clean it up. Decide it can not be cleaned up to my satisfaction; throw the mat away.

11:50: Get in bed. Read some more.

12:30: Turn out the light.

As you can see, it was a super busy day.*

*Caveat: This is not typically how life is. And, yes, I do have bigger projects I could work on, but I’m ON A BREAK.

Training Week: Dec. 2-8

This is what I did last week, not that you should copy what I did, since I massively failed at the whole point — running fast when it was time to run fast. For the next two weeks I will not be doing much of anything, since it’s my official 1-2 week off-season break before diving into IM training at the end of the month. At that point, I will put this all behind me and we will start over with a blank slate — except a blank slate that is still sort of fit. Right?


Ran 7 miles with 2 x 2 miles at marathon race pace, except actually the first two were 6:52, 6:56. So, then I tried to make sure the second two-miler was exactly on pace — 7:03, 7:06. But, it was concerningly not easy. I tried not to worry about this.


Ran 4ish miles very easy. Actually ran it as a tour of my old Chicago neighborhood and went by my old house.


Light Crossfit workout. Which sounds stupid. But, basically just ignored directions that said “heavy weight” and used the whole thing as a sort of up-tempo effort to shake things out.


Rode 1:00 easy. One of these days was supposed to be swimming, but it’s too cold for swimming.




Ran 4 miles easy with four or five hard pick-ups and two minutes at race pace.


The personal marathon disaster.

Now, I’m alternating between moping and eating too many cookies to mope. We’ll see how I feel at the end of two weeks or so.