more than just another bike blog

Thursday, September 27, 2007

poison oak in the pool

I had PO all spring. I finally got rid of it in July. then again, I didn't do much mountain bike riding/racing after June.....I see a connection there, no?

anyways, I've been helping out with our Monday night mountain bike ride. this week, we had a great group of 9 beginner women. I was sweeping up a steepish grind of singletrack when we came upon a dick on wheels. he wouldn't yield the right of way to the girls and the last two before me ended up off the trail. I was all cool & shit and was kinda track-standing, ratcheting up the trail behind them, thinking I could just take the right-hand line, when BOOM! down I go into what I assumed was PO (no leaves, but I just knew the branches).

lo and behold, yesterday I started getting the tell-tale rash. and now, it's spread up both legs. it's even on my foot! I think wiping down with a baby wipe actually helped spread the oil to the far regions of my body.

anyways, in the spring, people kept telling me the best way to rid yourself of PO was to swim in a pool -- the chlorine would dry it right out. I'm here to tell you that's a big, fat wives' tale.

excuse me while I go scratch for a while.

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triathlon training day three -- ready or not here I come!

swimming.....seems to be one of those love it or hate it activities. I've heard more stories in the past week from competitive swimmers turned bike racers and (on the other end of the spectrum) folks who failed PE because of swim class (oh yeah, that was me, but there were a few more, too).

thanks to many of you in blog-land, I had some great suggestions for this weekend and some goals for today's swim training:

1 -- try out new goggles (because "real" swimmers don't swim in Seals). I get bonus points because they're PINK!

2 -- swim in a straight line. somehow I had an epiphany today and remembered how swimming "feels" and was able to really propel myself with my hands/arms/shoulders. of course, if I could tape my hands together it would be much easier to do this and I wouldn't have to remember anything.

3 -- breathe!!! and don't hyperventilate. oh yeah, the rolling part really helps here. I forgot about that, too!

since this was my third training, I kinda felt pro. I decided to swim in my new tri shorts just to try them out. they're too big, but they didn't fall down or bunch up so I'm okay. and then I put on my little wetsuit to try that out too. at first it felt pretty tight, but I was able to move and the bouyancy is pretty awesome! and then I ran back to my condo, transitioned on the patio, and jumped on the bike, just to try that out too!

okay, I'm ready. I might be the last person out of the water, but at least I'll look good with my new goggles!!!

ps -- Katie, thanks for the suggestion to swim with a camelbak -- it made all the difference in the world!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

triathlon training day two

so, I swam again today. I bought a new kickboard, even though Holly confessed that she stole mine. Okay, I actually loaned it to her (several years ago). I think if someone borrows something for several years, it's now theirs (or they stole it).


swimming....such an interesting sport. doesn't it make you wonder who had the bright idea to see if humans could move their bodies through space/water? yeah! I can see it now:

caveman #1 -- look, there's a (insert name of prehistoric animal here) on the other side of that river.

caveman #2 -- grunt!

caveman #1 -- I'm hungry. let's go get that (prehistoric animal).

caveman #2 -- grunt!

caveman #1 (attempting to walk over river) -- glug, glub, glug!

caveman #2 -- grunt!

okay, that was silly.


anyways, two days of swimming under my belt, I think it's time to taper for Sunday's tri. isn't that what triathletes do? taper? well, since I'm not really getting a ton of exercise swimming, maybe I don't need to taper. maybe it would be better just to keep swimming everyday to try to restore what little technique I used to have.

I think tomorrow I'll try swimming in the wetsuit Janet loaned me. If you swim in a wetsuit in a heated pool, will you get too hot and die?


one of the women who has been participating in our Monday night mountain bike ride created a DVD about Wildflower. she gave me a copy, so I watched it last night, thinking I might pick up a few tips. I noticed that everyone does the swim freestyle. I wonder if it's okay for your very first tri to do doggie paddle. or at least breast stroke. I'm not comfortable enough with freestyle to think I can swim in a straight line and not go off course during an open water swim.


random thought for today on swimming:

you can't chew gum! this just sucks. I had one of my major salivary glands surgically removed a couple of years ago (parotid, if you must know), so my mouth gets dry if I don't chew gum. trust me on this, don't try to chew gum while swimming -- the result could be fatal.

another random thought:

my mouth/throat feels dry and scratchy. it's felt that way since swimming yesterday. is this from swimming or am I getting sick?

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

getting my feet wet

so, almost two months ago the Dutchboy and I decided to race in a triathlon. actually, we planned to compete in three separate events -- a mtn bike hill climb, a road tri, and a mtn bike tri -- all for an omnium-type title at the end of the weekend. I bought a pretty, new, red swim suit about a month ago. and today, for the first time in years, I went swimming. I kept thinking about it (going swimming) but just didn't get around to it. there was always something else going on.

I took swim lessons in 2001 and 2002. I did okay. I didn't drown but I wasn't really fast. but I was okay. I have lots of swim toys -- goggles, fins, flippers, one of those bouys you put between your legs, and a kick board. I wanted to find my kick board to do a nice warm-up today. of course, I found everything else but the kick board -- where they heck did I put it?

I don't know how long I swam. I didn't bring a watch. I lost count of my laps (and I don't know the distance of the pool anyways). I finally got a little side cramp and gave up and laid in the sun. Swimming is hard work! and it's boring -- there's no scenery.

I think I'll swim tomorrow and thursday, too, since the tri is on Sunday.

I have to swim a quarter mile on Sunday. I'll probably have the slowest swim time. that means I'll have to pass a lot of people on the bike. we won't even think about the run (no, I haven't been running).

why am I doing this? oh yeah, it'll be fun and something different to do with the boy.

I guess this will give me a good baseline to compare future races (when I might actually train).

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

somewhere in oregon

cycle oregon day #5. we've ridden 389 miles with 22,122' of climbing. I'm tired. in five days, we didn't see a town again until today. no cell since monday. but somehow, camped at the Oakridge High School football field, I have free wireless internet access in my tent. go figure. crater lake was my favorite (so far).

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

the end of the world as we know it

if you happened to look outside early this morning, you probably saw a big, glowing red orb in the sky. no, it's not the's the sun. apparently the smoke from the Henry Coe fire caused the brilliant sunrise this morning.

and in response to a post from earlier this week, the Dutchboy said the rain was also caused by the smoke particles in the atmosphere (think cloud seeding). he's the earth science guy so I believe him.

I tried to snap an image of the sun this morning but my little digicam is lacking....this was the best I could do.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

September is THYCA Awareness Month

Sabine's recent post
reminded me about this. Check your necks, kids!

My doc first found lumps on my thyroid gland during an exam after a bike crash. She palpated my neck and sent me promptly for an ultrasound. What followed was more than a year of ultrasound, RIU, MRI, biopsy, bloodwork, two endrocrinologists, and an ENT. It shouldn't have taken so long to diagnose, but that's another story.

I remember my 2nd endocrinologist (I fired the 1st one) telling me thyca is the "good" cancer. Whoa! Good cancer? There is no such thing in my opinion. Oddly enough, three months later my ENT used the same term to describe the lump in my parotid gland (that big salivary gland in your cheek). As much as I liked these two docs, they just didn't get it -- how can you use a term like "good" to describe any type of cancer?

Anyways, the reason for this post is to inform and educate my friends about thyca. Did you know that thyca is one of the most common forms of cancer in the US? It's slow-progressing and rarely fatal. Treatment is usually easy (surgery and possibly radiation). And then life can return to "normal."

So, educate yourself, know the signs, and check your neck!

Checking your neck is easy! All you need is a hand mirror and a glass of water. First, take a healthy sip of water, but don't swallow it. Then, hold the mirror up to your neck, tip your head back, swallow, and see if you observe any bulges or protrusions (besides your adam's apple). If you see anything unusual, check in with your doc for further testing.

There you have it!

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ummmm......'s raining.

and the sun is shining.

on the peninsula.

in september.

should we be worried?