Thursday, February 20, 2014

Yoga - I hope to be flexy - Namaste

I am doing a lot of yoga lately because of my herniated disk. Build the core baby. Everyone seems very young and flexy….I had a hard time finding a class that I enjoyed. I had joined a gym in the fall- the usual huge corporate franchise thing – I quit already because I don’t need all those crazy machines. I need some free weights and I am good. Those corporate gyms bum my head out. The yoga class was huge and they really didn't focus on form and technique. One teacher was crazy advanced and looked like she worked Cirque de Soliel at night. She would do each position in three variations – easy, medium and advanced. Watching the advanced positions tended to elicit some bad language from my brain which is not good in the middle of yoga. Piece of cake - spaghetti lady - piece of freaking cake as I did the beginner and intermediate positions. The other teacher just gave me a bad vibes like he was an angry person but he was talking all soft. He would walk around the class to check our positions but he would kind of stomp. I think he might be a psycho killer yoga teacher.

So I think – yoga - piece of cake. That’s my little positive phrase I tell myself before races. I look a little crazy at Triathlons – muttering on the beach “piece of cake” while I eyeball the surf and wait for the horn to start the race. My thought is that I need to build a lot of core and inner strength to support my back with it now blown disk. My mother had a blown disk and over years developed bone spurs. So I am trying to take the long view and figure how I physically get into the most positive place with my back. I have never been super strong on my core – always had a little belly even before I had a kid although I now routinely blame it on the kid. Totally unfair since I know Ironman women who have kids and they are taut stomachs. Taut is a word I have never associated with my stomach/belly area.

I am a little tight from all the running in the last couple of years but really this will be gentle conditioning to strengthen my core and back muscles. 30 minutes into a class, I am sweating and sweating hard like it’s the back half a marathon. My back creaks and pops like it’s extending out and I get a weird blood rush when that happens. I have read lowering blood measure suddenly causes a head rush and yoga is known to do lower blood pressure.  It’s like yoga is my chiropractor. I sit out anything when I feel is not going to happen – a lot of back arching is tricky since my injury is the most lower back (between 15 and 16).

The next day, I wince a lot. It sucks because those days I swim. I actually haven’t been able to bike between the two. I did a lot of yoga around 15 years ago so I am not a total newbie, it’s just my body can’t do what 30-something Katie used to do. Forget about remembering Gymnastics when I was a teenager when we used to spend hours working on flipping and bending. I didn’t last in that - I was much happier in field hockey. I got rid of my teenage aggression by running over other little girls. We were mean and we wore skirts. Field hockey was probably a great sport for a young girl trying to figure out what being feminine meant. They gave you skirts, wooden sticks and tiny little ankle pads and said GO WIN.

Recently, I went to a small spin/yoga studio and it was awesome. The people were a mixed age group. The teacher had an assistant going around helping people. She asked if they were any people with injuries. I waved my hand. The studio was nice and warm and the class pretty mixed which was nice. I did OK for what was probably an intermediate class. My legs got a bit shaky and I was a sweaty mess but felt loose.

I miss the solitude of running and biking. I need quiet time. I have been walking with my husband as he walks for exercise and it’s kind of nice to do that together. I feel like a dork that I had bailed on doing walks with him because walking hand in hand on a sunny day is so good. Sometimes life gets so busy, I ignore the simple. Did you know that holding hands stimulates the release of oxytocin – natural high!

On a walk with husband

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mexico - Should we go or should we stay?

¡hola! We had to go to Mexico to check out a marina in Puerto Vallarta. We are considering moving the boat. The positives of having a home that moves is that you can move where you live fairly easily. A ton of things have to click into place but it looks OK. We have been here in Los Angeles for 8 years – yikes did those fly by? Kid is graduating high school soon and we are reconsidering where and what we want to do.

Puerto Vallarta was lovely. We stayed with brother of a good friend. House was amazing. See the pictures – don’t listen to my pathetic words.
The House
We spent around 4 months in the area around 13 years ago before we headed into the Pacific on our boat. We have many fond memories and so we indulged a bit in the “recherch√© du temps perdu”.  We went to Punta de Mita and had lunch at the palapas on the beach. I thought about how I would sit and watch my little 4 year old boy splash in the waves long ago and now we are about to send him to college. Humm…
The boy - 13 years ago jumping waves in Chacala
Our host took us on some jungle roads to a deserted beach. Lovely….we played in the waves then on to Sayulita.
the lovely beach
The next day, we went back to Chacala, an anchorage we spent the Holiday season at many years ago. The next day, there was more eating and swimming and napping.
I sat in on yoga classes our lovely hostess gives at the house. My back was cranky after the long plane trip and it totally got sorted out with stretching. But that was it for working out – I take holidays seriously. I really would have liked to walk around more but not everyone was into that.

Ok – this house had beautiful bathroom doors. Really...I love that.
I am dreaming about living down there on our boat at the marina. I love the air and the pace. The air is so clean compared to LA.  

The roads in the PV area aren’t screaming "bring your expensive road bike and do 50 miles". Easey-peasy. It’s all like the scary bit of PCH thru downtown Malibu – no shoulder – cars going fast and not kindly towards bikers. But more trucks in Mexico. I have looked up retrofitting the bike as a cycle-cross bike. I will keep the current gear set. I am thinking of getting some bright cycling kit and bright blinking lights.  I saw one hard core dude pedaling thru the hotel area on a sweet high end bike so I know there are road bikes out there.

Swimming is all set. There is a lap pool at the hotel attached to marina and the beach looks like a nice mile shore swim. I didn’t have time to check out currents and conditions. I want to paddle it and see what it’s like. It’s kind of hard to find out conditions – I would talk to surfers but the surf is low at the area of the beach which makes it awesome for swimming.

We have tons of work to do on the boat to get it ready. We are just going to do stuff that is diffiuclt to do in Mexico like rigging. I don’t think I am going to do any big tri race training. I will do the Redondo Beach Triathlon as a goodbye race to the area.

Outside in Mexico

Friday, December 20, 2013

Herniated Disk but still Swimming!

In the summer, while hauling a large sail out of a deep storage locker, I hurt my back. I thought I ripped a muscle but, lucky me, it turns out it is a herniated disk. It’s between 14 and 15 – not just bulging but good and blown out. It’s not painful unless I run. The doctor said no running! Does that mean I can’t do the 10k I signed up for? He gave me the frustrated doctor glare. Ok – really just kidding. On the upside, he said swimming and biking is fine. Hooray!

I usually wear fins for about 75% of practice swimming. Unfortunately, when I use fins it puts stress on my lower back and the sciatica nerve gets pissed off. It is time to get real and swim like a real swimmer. Actually the fins are usually great for older swimmers as it helps you work on your stroke but it definitely is hard on your legs. Usually I ease off the fins if I am running hard. So no fins and if it hurts anyway, I will use a pull buoy and hand paddles. It’s actually been great because I have been focusing on technique. My arms are already looking lovely despite the fact that I have to drag myself woozily from the pool. I am back in the old man lanes and my stroke count per length is pretty sad. But swimming makes me feel great, it’s like someone hit me with shot of cortisone – I feel completely normal for about 8 hours then it will ache slightly at night. I take an Advil and I am fine. Currently, I am swimming 3 times a week but I am going to kick up to 4 -5 practices a week but I am ratcheting up slowly to ensure I don’t hurt myself more.

The holiday season is always tough to keep a schedule – everything is a bit off but on the other hand, the New Year resets everything! In January, I will be honestly saying my workout this year is so intense.

Apparently, I am pretty lucky – the doctor asked twice if I wanted something stronger and I said no Advil is fine. I got a back brace which looks like a black corset. I wear it with leggings and a t-shirt it looks very Seven of Nine. Maybe I should just buy a hot looking corset and wear it all the time – hey doctors orders.

I am planning a biking training schedule for winter. I haven’t biked yet because that will put a wee bit more pressure on my back and I am just trying to stabilize. I did some long runs right before we got the MRI back and it hurt in sharp and nasty way and I needed shot of cortisone.

I am pondering some Aquathons for the spring (just swim and bike). I am totally signing up for yoga. I own enough yoga pants already and really the outfits are important. In fact, I was packing for a visit to my sister and I realized the only new clothes I own are exercise/yoga type clothes and a one new cozy black oversized sweater I impulsively purchased one cold day. I took care of this by going shopping.

Since I live on a boat, I don’t have a lot of space for stuff in general. For clothes, I have one large draw, one small draw, 2 feet of hanging space on a rod and three X-large canvas bags – one for shoes, one for sweaters/fleece, and one for exercise gear. I know women who travel with more stuff then I own. My husband thinks I am decadent because of the bag of shoes – he thinks I should have 3 pairs of shoes because that’s what he has. Sigh – I don’t even answer him – why bother? I think I deserve a medal for being a very sparse and low maintenance woman.

I do miss having lots of decorative chachkas around. A cool bowl or an interesting tea pot – stuff like that. Our boat still moves – so we can’t have stuff that isn’t secured or cannot be put away in a cabinet. I recently put out a cool, old Norwegian dragon bowl I have but it’s easy to put away. It sits on top of the printer because that’s the only available space!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

10K LA Cancer Challenge

I was laughing with the woman beside me up until the finish!
I could not figure out what I wanted to do this fall in terms of races. I did do a 10k to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer in honor of my mom. It’s a fun run – very family orientated, heavily attended by families who have lost someone to pancreatic cancer. I always cry at the end. My mother would probably be distressed because I am all sweaty in athletic clothes and she was a girly girl. She was a ballerina when she was young and that is pretty intense athletically speaking but the object of that endeavor is beauty whereas running….well the object is finishing!

The best pace partner ever!
I ran it with my friend, Heather and it was foggy and cool….i could hardly see where I was which was good because it went fast. My friend has a bladder the size of a pea and the moment you say RACE  - she wants a porta potty. SO considering a mile 2, she took a pee break and I waited – we did great.  I always chat with people and we met some people who were involved in the organizing the race and running trail runs so we chatted the last 2 miles. So fun!

I like to dedicate races in my brain to people and obviously my mom was in my head the whole time – I burst into tears crossing the finish line. If I am in pain during a run, I think about the  bravery of  my brother as his prostate cancer metastasized onto his spine – I can always push thru it for him. I think about my sister and my father…..biking and running. My dad would bike in his professorial tweeds to the train station to go lecture at MIT – he would most definitely laugh at my spandex bike kit getup...

I have struggled with menopause stuff like hot flashes from hell and the period that never ended. I had this impression that this would go fast but apparently it’s a lie – this crap can last for years. I got a little tense with my doctor. WHAT THE HELL do you mean – years? I had always thought older women were wusses complaining about hot flashes. But NO it truly sucks – biggest problem is interrupted sleep and when you wake up every hour in a pool of sweat having to put a towel down to sleep – it can be messed up. That’s how they break prisoners of war you know….wake them up all the time and don’t let them sleep. I keep hoping I will lose some weight with all the sweating but no freaking luck.

Me with Mom written on my arms!
My doctor announces to me that I have severe symptoms and it is unusual – most women don’t have as severe hot flashes. She tells me this as I am having a hot flash in my little gown on the table in the stirrups. Is that supposed to make me feel better because I really think I may have snarled at her. My doctor decides an ultra sound is needed. I tell her I have a 10K coming up but that’s all – she looks at me like I from Mars. Really Doctor – I stopped bricks and super long rides and runs. I think I need a new doctor. The results suck of the ultrasound. They mutter biopsy and I sit in my car and cry. I have lost 3 members of my family to cancer and another is currently fighting hard (and losing) against a weird virulent cancer so you can say it’s a sore spot.

I go to a new doctor and she is very cool. She does the biopsy and gives me a clear. Phew. In the meantime I develop a sinus infection that slays me. I am on good drugs and lightly working out….actually wincing this morning because I did too many squats and lunges yesterday!

My plan is to be last-minute charley on short runs – if I see a race and I feel good – what the hell – I will do it.  I will do a local half marathon in Jan and a Christmas 10k. I just saw a Thanksgiving Turkey trot. I am considering the LA Marathon. I had thought to do the HITS Tri in Palm Springs but I think this year is a wash for Tri’s. I will look to the Spring …..
The reason to be outside!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Body is a House of Cards

Reporting from Catalina
I took the summer off from the blog. I was race –exhausted and still fighting the training blahs. We took the boat to Catalina for a couple of weeks. The kid was off for a month for summer activities. I was planning on biking and doing a lot of ocean swimming. Unfortunately, I struggled with exhaustion combined with cluster migraine headaches. The migraine medicine is fairly strong and leaves me feeling a bit dopey.  Then, I got sick and had to go on antibiotics. I managed consistent runs and inconsistent swims and some good long bike rides.

Post Training Ride Burrito
Then, just as everything was getting better, my husband and I were emptying a deep storage locker in order to fix our generator on our boat and I pulled a large sail (around 60 pounds) at a funny angle I heard something tear in my lower back. I was immediately in immense pain. I could barely walk. My husband kept telling me I looked like Tim Conway playing an old man and it made me laugh till I cried because laughing apparently engages your lower back muscles. I spent a week with ice as my close friend and finally healed. I started back gently and after a week decided I was 100%.

I had 2 weeks to the Malibu Nautica Tri and I decided I would do 1 week of some decent challenging workouts – some swim/runs and bike/run bricks. I finished the week with a vigorous ocean swim. I was exhausted but felt OK – I went home and woke with my lower back in severe spasms. I iced but the pain would not stop. I had 5 days till race day and I knew in my heart I was not going to make it. My husband threatened to tie me up if I tried to race. I went to the doctor and he shot me up with cortisone and I felt way better but still had trouble bending. I told I friend I could do the race if I had a valet in transition to help put my shoes on! My doctor rolled his eyes when I asked when I could back to training. He said SLOWLY.

La Jolla Rough Water Boys Start
My son did the La Jolla Rough Water 1 mile swim the weekend I was supposed to be doing the Tri and that was nice because it distracted me from the fact that I lost a lot of money and missed a race for which I had trained many months. They sent the USA Swimmers out in their own wave but only two waves – one for boys and one for girls. This meant the boys wave consisted of 220 teenage boys from 13 to 18. It was a super mosh pit. He got punched in the face hard twice and took a lot of body hits. He needs to figure out how to stay of the mob – he lost a bunch of time and ended up coming in 16th.  Open water swims are so unpredictable but his time was solid.

That week, I started back swimming because that is the least jarring exercise on a healing body. Of course then I decided that the problem with my body is I don’t lift enough weight and go crazy with free weights and lunges. So the next day, I was freaking sore but figure the pool will loosen me up so I came off the wall hard on the final 25 sprint of the morning and my calf muscle on my right leg (the back injury was on the right) started having spasms really hard. I just curled in fetal ball and started to sink but grabbed the lane line and hauled myself to the wall where I had two more severe muscle spasms which practically stopped my breath. On the whole 1 to 10 scale – that hit 9 of pain – kind of like a labor pain. I didn’t puke or pass out but it immobilized me.

Back home to limping and walking like an old man – actually this was more like Quasimodo because I dragged my leg – 24 hours with an ice pack. I think I tore some muscle because it was swollen and I could not support any weight on it for an entire day. Deep breath – ugh this whole getting old thing sucks. I feel like an old car that needs to be babied – warm that engine up before your drive it because otherwise something breaks. My body is a house of cards – once something goes out, I get a cascade effect from compensating for whatever is injured.

I am back to being mobile but you know what is the worst for my back still? House cleaning or – well boat cleaning – because in a small space to clean you have to bend and crouch. Yeah – the guys are not picking up the slack. My husband said don’t worry about it – do it later. I guess he means when it gets really dirty. My son is a teenage boy for whom cleaning tools might as well be alien instruments. Ok so my recovery involves investigating races and planning what I want to do. Palm Springs Tri in December sounds good. Less is more. I can easily veer into vacation planning – don’t I need to visit the Caribbean?  I bet I can find a 10k there. You gotta dream….

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Running at Altitude - Mammoth Half Marathon

A couple of months ago, I picked up a postcard at a race expo advertising a half marathon in Mammoth. The picture had an alpine meadow with snow covered mountains in the background. Pretty I thought – let’s do it. Really – lots of thought. I emailed my running buddies and Heather signed up. Rebecca was recovering from some injuries and decided to not run it. All I knew was Mammoth was in the mountains and I would be running at altitude. The mountain is at 11 thousand feet – we would be starting a bit lower at some alpine lakes and running down.

The day before the race I plugged in the address and realized we had a 5 and half hour drive. We had decided to get there on Friday to allow 36 hours to acclimate to altitude. The drive was awesome as we skirted the Mojave Desert and then entered the Eastern Sierras. Dramatic vistas and snow peaked mountains and vast landscapes.

Top of the World!
By the time we got to the town, I was feeling a bit dizzy and I could feel the familiar buzz of altitude in my brain. We unpacked and drove into the super cute little town to find a recommended restaurant. The food was all of the hearty kind since they cater to skiers and snow boarders mostly with some hikers in the summer. My stomach felt queasy so we split some mains and relaxed. I had some heart pounding and felt restless trying to sleep. The next morning we both awoke to slight headaches. We went to the main hotel lodge and had breakfast. The manager at the desk suggested a short hike or the gondola to the top of the mountain. We decided a gondola ride was our speed.

It was lovely! We staggered around the top of the mountain gazing at the beauty of the scenery and enjoying the still quiet and sheer grandeur of the Sierras.  Crazy mountain bikers wearing biking body armor (when did that start?)  -  ride the gondola up then take various trails down. Wow – looks like fun but you know if you need armor to do it. I had a brief fantasy about trying it then I remembered how old I was. Maybe they have an old lady trail? And yes – 98% were men. Who knew that mountain biking was such a male dominated sport? Maybe the gals were on back country trails and not the ones racing pell-mell down a mountain.
Heather snapping pictures
There was even a snowy patch that skiers (highly desperate) were skiing. The top of the mountain had snow but then melted off pretty quick. Then we decided it was time for lunch. A brutal pre-race day. Heather and I took a flight of stairs and we both got a little dizzy. Too funny. We were drinking tons of water to keep hydrated and I took some migraine meds to ward off the little persistent headache.  We ate lunch, picked up our bibs, shopped a little and then decided to head back to the hotel. We noodle around and had dinner at the hotel then early to bed.

Waiting for the morning shuttle
We woke up at 5:30 am to get the race shuttle by 6:20 am. Mountain mornings are chilly but dry so I wore long sleeve running shirt over my racing singlet which kept me warm enough but would be light enough to wrap around my waist when I got warm. Race start was insanely beautiful beside an alpine lake. The race only had under a 1000 people which is really small for a half marathon. It felt friendly and cozy. I was really nervous about running at altitude even though I felt close to normal by that time. I told Heather that she should run her own race and I was going to run a slower pace. Normally, I try to keep up with her for at least the first 8 miles. I felt a disciplined slow back half was the only way I was going to make it. I planned for 20 minutes longer then I usually run that distance at sea level. I am proud to say I ran what I planned. I had intended to run/walk for the first 7 – a minute walk every minute. But the bell on my watch didn’t work and we were running down some pretty long hills. The first 7 miles, we descended 2 thousand feet. I watched my pace and slowed myself down and focused on trying to stick my pace. It’s hard when you are on a long hill with the sun shining on a beautiful valley – it makes you want to FLY. The scenery and focusing on my pace actually made the first 8 miles just fly by. I smiled a lot. Blue sky, sunshine, trees, mountains, crisp air, open course and no crowds – it was a little bit of running heaven. 
Race start
By the time the race leveled out – it suddenly felt really hard to run. Like running thru liquid. Some tiny hills just floored me and I tried to relax and I just did a more freeform – 30 seconds walks when I wanted or when it was tough then I ran pace the rest of the time. This worked awesome till I hit the freaking wall. I haven’t really hit the wall that hard in a long time. I hit it a little at the Malibu Half but not bad. But at mile 11- BAM – whose legs are those? – I could barely keep moving at a trot. I felt wrong and weird. I chatted with fellow runners to distract myself. I met some lovely young runners from San Diego who had just started running and we joked about being beach runners. 

The race had running medics in clearly marked shirts with med fanny packs running the race with us. Great idea! They would run back and forth some – probably focusing on the back half of the race. There were pace setters who just wore the pace time on the back of their shirt. This was helpful as sometimes staring at your watch and thinking is kind of hard. I forgot my salt – and I had trouble with muscle cramping. I had my Gatorade in my water bottles and a goo pack at mile 8 which totally helped me big time. I had some electrolyte tablets which I believe kept my legs moving despite the cramps. By mile 12, I was grunting and talking to myself – little steps, keep going – it’s almost done, take it out of the bank baby, COME ON KATE….I was half a mile off and I started thinking screw it – I don’t care then an white haired guy started to pass me. Oh yeah baby pull it together. I put my mental leash on him and followed him to race finish which was UPHILL for the final tenth of a mile. REALLY. I usually sprint the finish – I just stuck my stupid little jog pace and felt amazed that I wasn’t walking.

Running thru Alpine Meadows
Brilliantly, there was a restaurant right at the finish line so after grabbing my race banana – I met Heather in the restaurant and we paid for a buffet breakfast. Ugh I thought I have to walk to get my food. But after pancakes, eggs and bacon and coffee, I felt better. Heather ran a great race finishing before me and feeling strong although she said her last mile was brutal.

Then we had to get a shuttle back to the hotel which made me grumpy. I get a bit cranky from exhaustion. We showered, packed and checked out by late checkout time and hit the road. I set a brisky pace in the little Prius and made it back to LA in 5 hours. Thank-god for cruise control and compression socks.

I had a wonderful time with Heather. It was nice to just hang out with a friend surrounded by beauty and do something crazy like a half marathon at altitude. And if you can sit in a car for a total of 10 hours with someone and feel relaxed – it is good despite the fact that my music mix is bit heavy on nostalgia (really did that song come out 15 years ago?).  I strongly suggest picking races on the beauty of the surroundings – it makes the miles fly by and is good for your head – like mediation more than exercise. Pick small races and run with friends!

Heather and I at race start

Thursday, May 30, 2013

10k Race and Life

I recovered from the evil flu from hell (16 days!) although I had a relapse before a course of antibiotics stomped out the nascent bronchitis. I promptly left to visit my sister in Kentucky and drink lots of bourbon. The problem with the diet of someone who works out 6 times a week is that when you stop, you gain weight fast. BBQ is really awesome in Kentucky and I am pretty sure a Mint Julep is not low calorie drink. I did a spinning class and tried to run every day on the treadmill because it rained a lot when I was there.

I got back and went to my first swim in around 4 weeks. You know it will suck and it will hurt but the first day back always does.  All sorts of tiny muscles in my shoulders were very pissed off - apparently these tertiary muscles loose tone very quickly. The big muscles were fine. So was my new belly and extra weight – more buoyancy?  Hey this is why I am married to a big guy – he thinks I am super fit. Or he is just devilishly clever and just likes me to get all giggly and gushing “really ya’ think so honey?”  

The running came back faster. I had signed up for a 10K with my friend Heather so I had to get back to running fast. She is some weird running happy place and keeps running faster with greater ease. Thank god she is my running buddy because she keeps me going. She did a half marathon just the weekend before our race so as I was struggling to get back to race pace, she was loosening down with our 10k.

The Santa Monica 10k/5k Classic is a lovely race. The start line is 10 minutes away from home, parking is easy, we picked up our bibs race day no problems. The race was pretty nice for me although I was off my race pace by 30 seconds. I decided no big deal and just decided to stick my pace and focus on increasing pace for the last 2 miles. The sun was out and there was a lovely breeze off the ocean as I came down Ocean Blvd to the finish. I love SoCal.

Heather ran a great fast pace – a personal best. And another running friend, Leslie Cohen, who is just a brilliant runner, took second in the 55-59 age group at a 7.30 min pace….yikes – that woman can run!

I realized my favorite race shoes where a year old and my feet hurt. So sad …they served me well. I ordered a new pair – exact same, better colors.

My swimming took about 2 weeks to feel normal again….ok that’s my normal slow assed lady pace.  I am looking at a mile ocean swim in 2 weeks so I hope all goes well.

I woke up yesterday with killer allergies. The allergy report read something like “absolutely horrible’. No kidding as I popped an antihistamine. I swam and felt good but rolled out of bed at 430am to take the kid to his swim practice and just felt lousy. Now I am behind in my training plan for the half marathon in late June. Sigh. This will be only a 4 training day week.

I have a case of the blahs about training. Lacking motivation or health. Needing to shed 5 pounds and just struggling with being tired. I decided to add a rest day and train 5 days but do 3 double days (swim/run or bike/run). Everything I have gleaned about training post 50 indicates more rest between intense and shorter workouts.

This is what I have learned though – the ability to metabolize heat decrease dramatically as you age particularly for women. I am guessing this is made worse by size and weight – sucks to be me.  After 50, the body’s ability to repair itself just takes longer – so the micro-tears in running muscles after a long run take twice as long to repair in a 50 year old as in a 30 year old. You need 8+ hours a night or you fall asleep on the couch. Your goals are more elusive because your body is an emotional bitch that you have to listen to or you get sick and/or injured. Ok Ok I get it – rest and stretch. And oh yeah – if you don’t stretch, your muscles rebel and tighten in rods and you have to spend $$ at the sports massage place.

On the other hand, I plan to be the white haired – scratch that I have a fabulous hairdresser – I plan to be that grandmother with fabulous hair running, swimming and biking and having fun. We have some sailing plans that include another try at a global circumnavigation in a couple of years. I am thinking of getting a trail bike and biking crazy hot places like Tahiti and Samoa and hopefully a season in New Zealand for running.

Recently, I was in the Triathlon store and then guy working the register – a 30 something Athlete asks me when my next race was and I said I was in a training valley but I was getting back to it. I said I might do Redondo because hell – it’s only a sprint. He nodded glumly and said he was off his training and hoped to get back to it. Too funny.  I think his idea of training is probably radically different from my idea of training. But it was touching the kind of camaraderie that the Triathlon world inspires in participants.