Impending Doom?

I am currently 20 days away from my second Ironman 70.3 and that familiar pre-race feeling of impending doom is started to set in.

There’s no way I can swim that far, especially if the race isn’t wetsuit legal.  I’m definitely going to get eaten by a shark.  I will be forever lost at sea.  I don’t even know if the mermaids will save me.

If I somehow survive swimming the high seas, then the bike portion will definitely do me in.  Our ride takes us out towards Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, which is Cajun for Bayou Savage- Training Center for Animals that Want to Kill Triathletes.   There are alligators and snakes and bears and bobcats.  And bears that throw snakes like spears while riding alligators.   And bandana-clad bobcats that leap out from behind bushes, mug you, and steal your bike.   It’s basically Jumangi- Triathlon Edition.

If I emerge from the wilds of the Louisiana Swamp alive, I then have tackle a 13.1 mile run through Suburbia.  This will likely be the most challenging portion of the race by far, as the route is littered with spectators, creatures of judgment and distraction.  Oh, you think you’re so cute don’t you Miss Middle-Class Housewife with your perfectly put together outfit and matching 2.5 children.  Sorry that I look like a half-drowned moose lumbering down you street, but I just fought a snake-wielding bear!  And what’s that to my left?  A PUPPY!?!  No, Heather, no, don’t look directly into its soft brown eyes, that’s how they suck you in.  And just when I think I’m safe, the finish line is a mere two miles away, I round the final bend and there they are- shirtless college boys handing out beer!  Oh the humanity!

Basically, there is no way for me to survive this race.  I should probably give up now, and spend my Sunday on the couch watching football like sensible people.  But, alas, I have already paid the money, so I might as well give it a go.  Plus, I’ve never seen a snake-spear in real life before!

Adventures in Bike Maintenance Part 1 (Fail #1)

Earlier this week, in my attempt to become a well-rounded triathlete, I decided that I need to learn some basic bike maintenance. I had a flat tire, so it seemed fitting that changing a tire might be my first try at solo bike maintenance. My friend Brian had given me a tutorial on changing bike tires a couple of years ago, but I never had to utilize my newly learned skills, so unfortunately the knowledge faded over time. I thought a couple of YouTube tutorials would be a sufficient refresher, so I googled “how to change a bike tire video” and memories of the procedure started rushing back to me. I’ve got this! I thought with confidence.

I successfully removed my front tire from the bike (step 1), put it on my table, and started working on popping one side of the tire away from the rim (step 2). Once the side of the tire was off, I extracted the inner tube (step 3). So far so good. I started to feed the new tube into the tire and all of a sudden became completely convinced that the new tube was way too big for the wheel. I checked and recheck and triple-checked the size of the wheel and the tube and they said they matched, but it really didn’t look it. I decided to call to my professional cyclist friend, Terry, and ask him about my concern, and he assured me that the tube would indeed fit the wheel and to keep going. So I did.

I fed the new inner tube into the tire (step 4), and then began the task of feeding the tire back into the rim of tire (step 5). After much pulling, pushing, straining, sweating, and swearing, I had successfully got the tire back onto the wheel and BAM! I had changed a tire!!

Feeling like a complete bad ass, I placed the tire back onto the bike and began to inflate the tube. Damn, I’m good, I thought to myself, I’m a like real bike mechanic, look at me go! I was pumping away on my bike pump, basking in my awesomeness, when BOOM! The inner tube exploded inside my tire and my bubble of inflated self-confidence burst all over the floor.

Well, shit.

So back to the sports store I went. I bought another inner tube, I successfully installed it, and I was careful not to celebrate my victory to early this time.

But hey, I got some good tire changing practice. Maybe I’ll make a YouTube tutorial of my own one day 🙂

August’s Training Schedule (on my wall)

I’m a visual person.  I like lists, I like calendars, I like being able to cross-off items,  and I love when things are color-coded.  I’ve made a few training schedules in the past, both on paper and electronically, and I’ve never really stuck to them.  So, I decided I needed to do something different while training for my upcoming 70.3 in October. 

I decided to go big! Literally…

I decided to paint a chalkboard on one of the walls by my side door, the door I use on a day-to-day basis, and put a massive training calendar on it.  It’s color-coded, it’s organized, I can check things off, it’s a Type A Triathlete’s dream!

So far I love it, and I feel like it’s large and central presence will be a big motivator for me.  And I guess if it doesn’t work, I’ll have room to make a very long grocery list 🤣

Ginger Jogging is Back!!!

That’s right!  America’s favorite exercise craze since Prancercize is making a come back!  

What is ginger jogging, you ask?  Well it’s jogging… with a ginger!  What’s not to love?!

Unsure if you have the right equipment? Minimal equipment is required.  Generally you just need a ginger, and then whatever you wear to jog.  

For example, here you can see my Ginger Jogging supplies.  I have a ginger (the four-legged variety) and some shoes and bam! I’m ready to get on with my Ginger Jog.

Now, if you are short a ginger there is no reason to get discouraged.  Gingers can be found in almost any environment if you look hard enough.  Do you have a particularly frisky ginger cat? Good enough! Have a goldfish? Throw that bad boy in your camelpack and take him with you! Red Angus cow? A perfect jogging buddy! Human gingers also work particularly well as they are generally very friendly, just be sure to introduce yourself appropriately otherwise things can get wierd quickly. 

Pepper and I are going to be posting our Ginger Jogging updates as we go along, so feel free to share yours as well.  Happy Running!

Fatigue Frustrations

Do you ever have those days where you are just tired?  Like, really tired?  As in “I have to skip my workout today because I seriously can’t wake up” tired.  Or, “five minutes into a run you realize it’s just going to be a 5 K walk instead because running isn’t happening today” tired. We all get that from time to time, and I’ve always taken it as my body’s way of telling me to rest for a day.  No big deal, I’ll get back at it tomorrow.  

Except for when tomorrow comes around, I’m tired again.  And the next day.  And the next day.  Gah!!  What is happening?!  This is the girl that worked three jobs, trained for a half Ironman and went to nursing school full time with no problems and now I’ve been exhausted for a month and a half straight.  Something is up. 

Well, turns out I have a flare up of Epstein-Barre virus, which is the virus that causes mono in teenagers and young adults.   It’s kind of like how a person is substepible to shingles if they’ve had chicken pox as a kid, if a person has had mono as a kid (like me), then they are substepible to Epstein-Barre flare-ups as adults.  The virus manifests as a sore throat, often Strep (I had strep twice in two weeks), swollen lymph nodes, headache, and fatigue. The throat and lymph nodes usually feel better in a couple of weeks, but the fatigue lasts for a couple of months.  

To make matters worse, everytime I start to feel better, I seem to do way too much and then end up feeling awful again for the next three days.  Blah.  Consequently, I haven’t exercised for well over a month and it’s making me grumpy.  Exercise is my stress relief and I feel like I’m crazy without it.  So what to do?! 

Mr. Big has pointed out a few times that for an ER nurse I’m terrible at following medical advice (he’s right, but don’t tell him that!), but I’ve decided to put myself on health lockdown for the next few weeks.  That means actually eating decent food for all of my meals (not grabbing cheese sticks and egg rolls from the cafeteria for a five minute shift lunch), not attending every single social event I’m invited to (apparently sometimes it’s ok to stay home), and laying off the booze for a bit (because even a couple of beers are dehydrating to the body and slows down the healing process).  

Lastly, I have be ok with the fact that fall race season isn’t going to happen the way I want it to.  The 70.3 I had my sights on in November is going to get skipped, and even though I’m signed up for a half marathon at the end of November, it’s ok if I don’t do it.  

My Type A personality gets frustrated when things don’t go according to plan, but I’ll just have to look for some good spring races to keep myself motivated and looking forward.  But don’t worry, I’m still making sure Pepper has plenty of walks, she just gets a reprieve on the running training for a while 😉 

Sunday morning walk on the levee.