6/27/2008

Poor, unsuspecting parents.

My triathlon team chose 2 Ironman races for next year - IMUSA & IM Florida. IMUSA is in July, which would be difficult for me to accomplish next year. IM Florida is in November, & it's a 9-hour drive from my parents' house. Also, friend Meredith is racing it.

I am highly tempted to sign up. First & foremost, I have to ensure that my hip will not cause repeat problems. Secondly, I need to iron out my nutrition for on & off the training grounds. This little food allergy nonsense has to be understood. Thirdly, I have to race the Patriots Half-Ironman to ensure that I feel comfortable with completing an entirely flat course.

All that being said, I've already broken the news to the 'rents. This is how they took it:

Me: Dad, what do you think about Panama City Beach, Florida?
Dad (very suspiciously): What do you mean "what do you think about Panama City Beach, Florida"?
Me: Well, 'insert-text-about-racing-Ironman-without-mentioning-distances'.
Dad: Oh! That'd be great. We'd all go up there to see you.
Me (relieved but uncertain that he understood): You know I mean the Ironman, right?
Dad: Not the Half?
Me: No, the Full.
Dad: .............................................................................. Oh. .......................... You be careful, alright?


Now, Mom's visiting her Mom. So, I got to hit them up separately. None of this "MARY! Keri's acting crazy again!!" Divide & conquer, my friends. Divide & conquer.


Me: Hey, Mom. The team chose the 2009 Ironman races for next year. We're doing Ironman Florida in November.
Mom: Florida? Where?
Me: Panama City Beach. Near Pensacola.
Mom: Oh! That's near where your father's thing is at. In November? First week?
Me: I think so.
Mom: That's my wedding anniversary.
Me: How would you like a nice, beach vacation in Panama City Beach for your anniversary?
Mom (laughing): Maybe. Let me talk to your father about it. (& change of topic)

No idea that the term used was "Ironman". I'll win 'em over eventually.

***********************************

Also, update on the allergy status: I feel great when I'm gluten & dairy free. 39 skin pricks later & one blood draw, there are no real results. Will post when known.

6/19/2008

Oh, ghee.

I've been restricting my dairy & gluten intake as I had an inkling that I had both allergies since Lake Placid training camp. This week alone (& keep in mind that it's only Thursday), I've dropped 4-5 pounds.

My sister told me last night that the pounds just dripped off her when she eliminated the allergens from her diet. So did friend Annette. Still, I didn't expect it to be so quick - I'm not even 100% gluten-free yet!!

Also, my sister told me to give up the cereal & crackers regardless of what they're made of. Why eliminate them, you ask? Well, there was a medical study done where 3 sets of mice were given nothing to eat, cereal, & cardboard. The order of their deaths were: nothing, cereal, & cardboard. The cardboard-eating mice lasted a lot longer than the others.

My response was to eat a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios audibly while on the telephone. One day, I'll give it up 0r transfer my cereal love to granola (or something healthier). Just not while I have a box of HNC, two PB Puffins, & one Rice Krispies in the house.

Another tidbit that Kat imparted was that ghee (clarified butter) is probably okay for me to eat regardless of my allergy. & all this time, I only thought that "ghee" was good for Indian cooking, baking, & as a Scrabble word.

Welcome back, butter. :)

6/18/2008

Put your money where your mouth is (Part 1).

I had my first appointment with Rebecca Mohning today. As a first one-on-one meeting, I felt very comfortable explaining a lot of my nutritional problems. First, it's become quite apparent that I have a dairy allergy. That's a little different from a lactose allergy. I can't even drink Lactaid or eat yogurt.

Dairy, you're outta here! Goodbye, delicious Greek yogurt! Goodbye, feta cheese! Goodbye, Swiss cheese!! Goodbye, hunks of Parmesan on which to nibble!! (Butter, I want you to stay just a little bit.)

:(

If that wasn't heartwrenching enough, I had to bid adieu to all wheat & gluten products as well. I just finished my last baguette. It was nearly rock hard, but I ate every crumb. Here start the goodbyes.

Goodbye, fresh breads from the market! Goodbye, most oatmeals! Goodbye, normal soy sauce! Goodbye, pasta! *sniff* Goodbye, sandwiches!! Goodbye, most protein bars!! Goodbye, most cereals!! Goodbye, bagels!! Goodbye, croissants, muffins, delicious scones, & pastries!! Chocolate muffin with chocolate chunks, you will be reincarnated in a non-gluten form - I KNOW IT!

(If you see me looking forlorn in the baked goods section, you know why.)

OH! DAMN. Goodbye, most beers. & :( Goodbye, hefeweizen. :(

I know you'll think that I'm being melodramatic, but I really feel like I might cry now. Now, I have to figure out how to cook/bake my favorite items without any gluten. At least, I enjoy a good challenge.

On the bright side, I made a lovely gluten-free chicken salad last night. Here's the recipe:

Fruit & vegetable chicken salad
1 English cucumber (or two Kirby cucumbers)
2 avocados
a helluva lot of chicken - I used 1 breast, thigh, leg
1 mango
a bunch of fresh cilantro
(lime)
salt & pepper

I recommend chopping the chicken first to see if you have enough to satisfy all those non-meat items. Also, a squeeze of lime over it might be nice. It's the only thing I thought was lacking.

Chop & enjoy. Without baguette. *sniff*

6/15/2008

Mooseman race report - Picture version

Here is a revision of my race report - picture book style:


GO GO GO!!!


Then, I saw a big fish or rock or something. Then, I totally :

When I finished the swim, I was so happy. That's not me in the foreground. Look closer. Oh... I'm there alright waving to a few Zrs on the sidelines.


Still very excited, obviously. I have Muppet mouth!!


Pflugie takes over on the bike. He's very focused.


Pflugie still being very focused on the bike.



Pflugie hops off the bike, & I take over on the run - I'm so excited, but I'm still slow.
Still happy - About mile 3, I believe.

Mile 11 or so. This is my focused picture. I swear I was smiling 3 seconds ago.


It was hot. Unbelievably hot. I feel like this:


Oh, hey. I finished. It's return of the smile! But apparently, I left my butt behind on the course somewhere. Don't fret, though. Someone returned it to me.



The end.

Thanks for scrolling by!!!

6/12/2008

Mooseman race report.

So what happened to me at Mooseman?

1.2 mile Swim: 42:48

I had trouble sighting during this swim. I zigzagged a little, & I panicked when I saw something large & pale near the channel. I had thought it was a very large fish or something else amphibious. As I hail from Florida, seeing a large something that might live in the lake made me HUGELY uncomfortable. I pretended that it was someone swimming without a wet suit & zigzagged back into the middle of my swim wave (which made me feel more "safe"). I also tried to pick up the pace - I did not be the last niblet of swimmer in my wave - lest whatever it was felt like chomping on toes.

At the end of the swim, my neck hurt a little as I was favoring my strong side. I decided to change it up to weakside breathing. If I thought I zigzagged before, it was nothing like what I did after I changed my breathing side.

All in all, I was happy with my swim. It was the perfect distance. I felt that I could've gone faster, but I was saving myself for the run.

56-mile Bike: Pflugie did the bike leg of the HIM. He did a great job & came in at 2:59. I took a nap. :)

13.1 mile Run: 3:10:22

Snicker all you want at my time - It was "towering inferno hot" as Tim said. My average pace was 14:32, which is only 2:32 over my average run pace. That's not too shabby for over 90-degree heat & completing my first half marathon.

On the first loop, I was just happy to be out there. My heart rate rose with the temperature. Even though I felt like I wasn't pushing it after a few miles, I started walking to lower my heart rate. I had never ran longer than 10 miles, & I wasn't sure how the heat, hills, & distance would affect me. Better to play it safe on the first loop...

I met someone on the run who gave me some interesting advice regarding keeping cool. Blake said that I should drip the icy water from the sponges around my waist to keep my lower half cool. That worked like a charm - even more so than dripping water on my head or putting ice in my sports bra. Whenever I followed Blake's advice, my heart rate dropped from Zone 4 to Zone 1 - A full 30-40 beats.

Despite the heat, I really enjoyed myself on the run. I ran when I could, & I cheered at every opportunity. I kept to my nutrition strategy - double mixed HEED in my fuel belt, 3 endurolytes per hour (or as needed), & water at every water stop. (I even managed to urinate near mile 9 - good sign.) I nabbed a few orange slices & half an Oreo after I finished the first loop, but they caused my stomach to sieze. I didn't allow myself any more food on the run after that.

I kept fairly cheerful during the entire race, but nothing compared to hearing the Team Z horns being blown near the finish line by Leslie & Es. (Thanks, gals, for being out there.) I knew I was going to make it, & I was so happy to hear them. I actually yelled to an anonymous spectator, "I'm going to FINISH!!"


**********************

Mooseman was my "A" race for the year. Now that it's behind me, I have the rest of the summer to focus on my weaknesses. Perhaps in a few months, I'll decide to race the Patriots Half Ironman in its entirety. We'll see how strong I can become in the next month or two.

6/05/2008

Pre-Mooseman endurance race.

I don't know what I was smoking when I decided to visit my grandmother before Mooseman. Visiting my grandmother isn't the issue. It's the last time that I visited her that is causing the problem.

What happened, you ask?

Well, it was over 5 years ago... for a wedding... where she & everyone else do not remember my presence at.

So, I had to visit the entire family in the Boston area. & this is the Greek side of the family. Have you seen My Big, Fat Greek Wedding? Seriously. SERIOUSLY! I don't even know all of my cousins.

I'm exhausted. & everyone wants to talk politics because I live in DC (proper). When we don't talk politics, they tell me family gossip. Minus the sleeping, I've gotten about 19-hours of it.

I feel like I've gotten my quota of family news & world events. Time for another endurance event. I think I can handle the Half Ironman better than all of this food, family, & chatting.

P.S. I got one "please give her some baklava. Look at the size of her!!" Feels good.

*********

Side note:

My boss just wished me well for the race & said that he hopes I get a t-shirt.

A race t-shirt.

For a Half Ironman.

:) That's funny.

6/01/2008

Always a triathlete, never the runner.

I am not a runner. Don't get me wrong - I run the last portion of my triathlon. Yet, I would never categorize myself as a runner...

...which makes it difficult to explain that long red line of irritation on my inner thighs & the growing collection of running t-shirts.

*sigh* Okay, okay, okay. Maybe it's just time that I finally bite the bullet. The evidence speaks against me. Yes, I have a fuel belt. Yes, I get chafing. Yes, I can run for 2 hours.

Some of you can walk faster than me, but that's okay. One day, I will be faster. One day, I won't dread the run portion of the triathlon.

Until then, how about we make a deal? Let's pretend I'm a runner, & we'll see how much positive thinking will make it happen.