Archive for May, 2008


2008 Corporate Cahallenge

May 31, 2008

Last night I got to do a race! A running race! With Sarah and 10,000 other people! Yes the Rochester Chase Corporate Challenge was as much fun as I had hoped it to be.

As a Pediatric Emergency Nurse at the University Of Rochester Medical Center I was honored to run for the giant U of R team, and many of those teammates included those I work with. The Pediatric ED was well represented, in fact the whole U of R was. Traditionally the Pediatric part of the hospital… correctly called the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong (too many names … I know) would run as a separate team since we are considered to be a separate hospital. This year however we got swallowed up by the entire University… but that’s okay with me.

The top six men and women from the U of R get chosen to be on teams, men’s, women’s and mixed. They all get flown to NYC to run in the National Corporate Challenge. I was informed a week before the race that while I’d likely make the team… I could not be on the team because runners have to work 25 hours per week.

I work 20. SIGH!

Traveling to NYC for a 25 minute run…. that’s a little silly. I need a good 60 minute swim and 6 hour bike to warm up!!!!!

Wednesday kept me resting with a GI illness while Thursday brought GI happiness and a 2 hour ride in the morning. The sun was shining! Glory!

Since RIT is just 5 miles form my house… I rode my mountain bike over. Parking 10,000 runners is a mess, besides I need a little bike before a little run, right? Besides the 2 hour ride from the morning was already gone, can’t consider that a warm up!

The best part of it was that Sarah was there (Adam too, but he doesn’t run in a skirt!) and we planned on a good strong run. We’ve spent many good hard runs together the past few months and this would be no different. But at about 25 minutes it’d be entirely too short. We joked the night before that come the finish line we’d keep going!

“Don’t mind those 2 nutballs! They think this is an Ironman!” I am sure they’d say.

The weather was great. 70 degrees and sunny. Place 10,000 people on a 2 lane 3.5 mile road and you will even heat it up 10 more degrees. Somehow I lost Sarah at the start but I found Kevin Walter. He didn’t have a cup of Starbucks in his hand and I was amazed!

It was a great run! It was a lot of fun and I was really pleased with my time. Faster than Tempo Paced. I laughed because the 200 guys who bolted past me and my skirt during mile 1 were repassed by this skirt on mile 2.

I was impressed at how many good runners who were there who didn’t officially consider themselves to be runners. I was impressed with all of the walkers and the volunteers!

I was so proud of my Pediatric ED team and the whole U of R team. 317 Strong and I believe we WON!

I even got to hang out with Carl Johnston for a bit who made me pinky swear this was my final Ironman (for a bit), and who never believes that I have any fun. He promised me he would show me some fun on the bike next year and I told him how much fun I was having becoming a runner.
And by the way I did make the team…. unofficially. WOO HOO!


There’s Something About Ed

May 28, 2008

I need to tell you about one of my athletes. His name is Ed. He is the author of “Ring The Bolus” which is his blog. Ed is an amazing athlete. A college football player. At age 27 he was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Type I Diabetes… not Type II. Type I…. insulin dependant diabetes. Yes, it is rare for someone to be diagnosed as an adult.

My brother is a Type I Diabetic. He was diagnosed at age 7. As a Pediatric Nurse I encounter many children who are diagnosed.

I met Ed on the out and back of Ironman Lake Placid 2007. He was with some friends, volunteering. He handed me water. I knew his friend but I did not know him. I saw him again at mile 21.

The next morning we met in line at sign up. Both in our camping chairs, me sore and dead from the Ironman. Ed… eyes wide open as he was dying to take this challenge on.

We spoke on the phone that week and I am honored that he hired me to be his coach. I coach another Type I diabetic and she’s phenomenal. She’s had diabetes since childhood and she manages it better than anyone in the world.

Coaching an athlete through an Ironman is one thing…. coaching a Type I Diabetic is a whole other ball of marbles. Blood sugars are our friend and at the same time our enemy. Ed was so proactive, hooking himself up with the experts in the field. There are a small number of Type I Diabetics who have completed the Ironman…. and within that same group a good number of endurance athletes.

Essentially for Ed it’s been trial and error. Balancing blood sugars, blood testing, and insulin while balancing training and building volume. Seems that each week we had some sort of an issue related to something, but we got through it. Ed figured so many things out and I only hop I have been enough support for him.

This weekend was the first time he met the rest of the team. My instruction to my team was that they were to wait for no one unless it was Ed….. they knew Ed’s story and they took him in. He roomed with Bill and Adam. Bill is a talented and brainy ICU nurse who also understands the workings of this disease. So he was able to help Ed with some things.

As the onlooker the three acted like a couple of brothers to be honest.

Saturday night Ed sat in my room and we recounted the debacle of the blood sugar that had begun on Friday. While he didn’t get the entire 112 in he got a damn good chunk in on a dangerously low blood sugar.

I swear to god Ed could be at zero with blood pouring out of his eyes and he would still finish this.

We talked about how we are going to structure taper for Mooseman and IMLP and how we will need to plan blood sugar testing around that. You see, planning for a big workout requires three days of preparation. Now when we are tapering that can throw things off as we suddenly drop volume and try to aim for a pre race start blood sugar of over 200.

In true Ed fashion he nailed his blood sugar on Sunday morning for the long run. He even swam in Mirror Lake at 50 degrees. And on Monday he stayed behind and ride the 2 loops AGAIN. Successfully. And ALONE.

There’s something about this character named Ed. Embracing the lifestyle of triathlon, the mentality of the Ironman, dropping that bag of shit and figuring things out. I have seen athletes just refuse to figure things out…. they could take a lesson from Ed.

Want a definition of HTFU? It’s Ed.

So here’s to you Ed…… may we balance the blood sugars perfectly at Mooseman and Ironman lake Placid. May you achieve your dream of being one of the very few people in the world with Type I diabetes to complete the Ironman….. and for the record I absolutely dread you going to Graduate School and moving to Virginia. You’re part of us man!


In the Hole With Bree

May 28, 2008

Here’s Amy Mo and I in Lake Placid. Yes, I am really that beautiful after 23 hrs of training!

Oh Bree…. I am right in the hole next to you. Mine is manifesting itself in the form of GI distress. Liquid both ways… and that’s all I shall say. It’s hard to say what will correct this form of self destructive hanging out in the holeness…. well there is one thing that will.

Our biggest four letter word.


Now we have to be very careful about how we treat this kind of syndrome. An antibiotic will only be effective if there is something (a bacteria) to treat. An antibiotic will do nothing against a viral illness. An antibiotic will do nothing for me in GI hell.

Rest will. Great nutrition will. Sleep will. Hydration will. Good vitamins will. But no mega doses of vitamins…. your body will only absorb so much. Take extra and watch the color of your pee change.

This is the tango we dance as athletes who walk the fine line. Overtraining can result in injury or illness. The cure is rest. How long to rest? Take it day by day. Knowing that this is how a big week and not a fast enough recovery manifests itself for me…. I know a day of rest will be sufficient. Maybe 2, we will see.

Not only will you return to health if you find some R&R… your body will actually be able to absorb the heavy load of work you did do. Which is the point. If we keep thrashing ourselves that work doesn’t get absorbed and the hole gets deeper. Making climbing out of it ever so interesting.

So remember….. rest, fluids, nutrition, and see the doctor. Only they will truly know if an antibiotic is actually necessary!


May 28, 2008

For some reason I am am having the hardest time summarizing the whole weekend. I can say it in one word….. incredible. Everyone learned something about themselves out on that course. Including me.

My biggest mistake of the weekend….. was putting myself into a great big hole for a girl I know. It ruined me. She was riding with intentions of skipping part of the course. I had stopped to check on another of my athletes who had a flat and my girl rode on. To encourage her to continue on I made an epic ride pushing wattages I had no business being in…. to get her nutrition and to give her motivation.

And I paid for it for the next 2 days.

Sometimes you just have to let people figure things out for themselves. And I should have let her figure it out for herself. Next time I will.

Everyone else did do just that. How about Ed…. an amazing athlete with Type I diabetes. The guy figures it out. He does not sit around with a “woe is me” attitude. Blood sugar issues held him back on Day one…. but he made a comeback on Day 2 and Day 3…. with strength and fortitude and determination that downright frightened me. If I put myself in a hole for anyone it should have been Ed. At least he would have appreciated it.

But he didn’t need it.

This is the stuff that Ironmans are made of. Riding in the rain. Getting dirty, muddy, drenched and blown by the wind in every single direction. Saturday brought the worst conditions I have ever ridden IMLP in. We got blown, rained on, froze, fried….. and every single person came out stronger because of it.

Everyone figured it out. That’s what was important.

Sunday our long runs brought much better weather and terrific attitudes. The longest part of the weekend was behind us and the sun was shining. Still cold but at least we had sun.
Nathalie, Chris and I stayed later for another 2 hour ride. It was worth every minute of it. I am so incredibly proud of this team. for who they are. Who they have become and who they believe themselves to be!

Some Pictures……

May 27, 2008

Kevin Walter is the human Starbucks Store Locator. Not shown is wife Ellie “Sherpa” who is getting him his coffee!

Travis Early and Joey Meyer….. Boce Ball experts and beer drinkers extrordinaire!

Day two am…. drinking coffee and getting ready! Amy Mo and Amy N, bookended by Ed and Bill!

This is the first night…. thanks Alan for actually looking at the camera!

The boy’s room….. I really wanted to get Ed’s counter of stuff…..

Kevin Walter…… always with a cup of Joe in his hand!

Amy Mo getting her bike ready!

My homegirls. This is my car….. “the locker room” Nathalie is in the backrgound and Sarah is front and center!

The home girls in the car!

Getting ready to ride!


We Are Home!

May 26, 2008

Our annual Weekend at Placid Training Camp was a success…. full report and pictures to come but here are the highlights:

* everyone did GREAT
* I am so proud of Nathalie…. she changed her first tubular!

* Sarah tried to convince me that a marathon between 2 Ironmans was a great idea….. but did not succeed

* Kim was wishing she stayed at the Mariott and dressed for winter all weekend. She even ate with her gloves on.

* A new fuzzy cycling jersey mid ride is GOLD

* so is a Snickers Bar. And then another.

* Seeing the wizard, being pulled into the box of hurt and then the seven corners of hell complete with pitt bull, pickup truck and semi truck is my sick way of having fun.

* Bill might believe that I am now actually a screen and the wind blows through me.

* Nathalie is the best roommate EVER.

* Marit I got a French Press for you and I LOVE IT.

* Ed might be the new definition of HTFU. Complete with Giants Cap.

* Travis and Joey and uniquely talented at Boche Ball

* Ben and Jerry’s….. enough said.

* I trained 27.55 hours this week and the .55 is the key.

* I ate Bill’s extra meatballs, Chris’ leftover bacon, Nathalie’s Toast and a paper napkin.

* This team has an addiction and it is called Sarbucks.

*Kevin Walter will travel to the ends of the earth if it entails a Starbucks.

* Kevin Walter can also change three flats and still negative split the bike

* Ellie Walter was the smart one this weekend, after a day at the spa she looked much better than I did. But she looks better than I do on a dialy basis.

* Dennis gave up his woobie and I think he’s secretly dieting.

*Amy Mo’s Sherpa called us the freak show and wondered which was worse…. being a drug addict or a triathlete?

* He threatened to wake us up at 4:30am and realized we’d already be awake.

* Amy N. is a Nero psychologist sent here by my husband and I am sure of it. Her cover is that she’s in law school.

* Sarah Nathalie and I can fit into a 2 seater car.

* My car is now called the locker room.

It was a great weekend. Much more to come!


Hat Trick

May 23, 2008

These are the practice ski jumps in Lake Placid.

I had a great week of swimming. It’s been a long time since I took the reach in the pool. As I said before I got really complacent. Heck I was a college swimmer I swim an Ironman swim in under an hour….. it’s a comfortable place to be.

Then you know what happened on Monday….. happened again on Wednesday…. and then again this morning. Bree left me a comment that she wished she was swimming 300’s with me, so this morning on a set of…. heck I don’t remember….. I wished I was swimming with her. I know she’d be laughing. I know she’d be smiling. And I knew I’d be smiling too.

Good thoughts.

I am in the middle of a 27 hour training week. Today we are headed to the mountains of Lake Placid for camp. By the time I arrived on deck at 5:45 I felt like my already low IQ had dropped a few more points since yesterday. That’s what happens when I train high volume. I get even stupider.

Which it scary of you know me.

In high volume weeks it’s hard to balance nutrition. You are rolling over volume from day to day and the normal calories don’t suffice. So when I stood on deck this am on a power bar for fuel, feeling like I was three feet under…. I knew there would be trouble.

And so we began. We swam and we swam hard. One of my favorite lane mates Ken, was cheering me on. He made me go in front of him on a set of 50’s I was not sure I would make. I kept my head down and kicked my ass off. I made them.

In front of me on the next set….. can’t remember that now either…. he must have known I was seeing the damn wizard (thank you Elizabeth for that term…) because he cheered me on again.

It worked.

The last few minutes of practice the walls began to close in. Stars were appearing in my Swedish goggles. I was bonking, in the pool… a 90 minute swim! I laughed. I tried one more 200. Five minutes left. Do I reach or do I play it safe? I stopped. I got out of the pool and my legs were weak. I smiled. I haven’t had weak legs from swimming in ages.

Excitement filled me.

As well as some nervousness. I am feeling this way on the day I am headed to Placid…. and I have a great big training weekend ahead.

If you’ve never been to Lake placid you need to place it on your “bucket list”. It’s about wellness. It’s about athletes. It’s about everything good in our lives. We’ve rented just about an entire hotel. Much of the team is coming. We have dinner scheduled tonight at 8pm.

Weekends like this are so important in terms of taking the reach. Getting out of daily life and making a break though. Fitness boosts are made for sure. But more importantly we learn how to make that reach. We learn to step to that edge and at least look over the cliff.

I very may well fall off the damn cliff. But I know when I come back again I will be better for it!