Monday, January 28, 2013

Sundance Film Festival - Everything but movies!

The weekend of January 16th through 21st we left town to head up to Park City, Utah.  It was my first time up there and I was excited to see friends, check out some movies, go to some parties, ski and overall rest.  That didn't quite happen as planned: I saw friends, made new ones, we didn't see any movies, we partied HARD, I didn't ski and I definitely did not rest.

There are so many stories to tell that it's hard to just write about it in one blog post. Also, I don't intent to write 10 different parts to a story.  Most likely will only write today and then forget to come back tomorrow and write more.  So I'll try to summarize.

Wednesday January 16th: 
I woke up early, packed, headed to the hospital, got a CT scan done, went to work, worked, left the office early and drove up to Park City with my man.  Half way, I got a call saying I had pleurisy (google it or click on the link).  Great news!  They figured out what I've had.  Bad news: I have to be on antibiotics, forget about drinking.  Ugh.  We arrived around 9pm, got changed and headed out to Prime Steakhouse to meet with the rest of our friends.  Got back home around 11pm and chatted the night away until 3am.

Yeah, Wednesday was the day I drank this.  YUCK. 
Thursday January 17th: 
I woke up and worked for a while in the morning.  Later, we decided to go for a walk on Main St. We settled at a bar called "No Name". It was awesome.  We went back home, sat in the hot tub for a while and got changed and dressed up to go out.  We went out to a bar called Spur, it was fun.  But the main event was a club called Downstairs.  We got there around 9:30pm.  It was Lil'John's birthday party.  Fun times.  We had bottle service and there was lots of dancing (not so much drinking for me).

PLEASE, Give me an excuse to take pictures!!
Oh yeah, our waitress was hot.  I had a crush on her.  I went home at 1:00am feeling a little uncomfortable.  My lung was hurting. Eeek!

Friday January 18th: 
Woke up and Chuck and I made breakfast.  Everyone was going skiing.  Me? I don't think so.  We drove to Deer Valley to Tom's (Chuck's friend) friend's house.  The house was awesome and Dana (Tom's friend) even more awesome.  Everyone went skiing and I hung out at the lodge.  I had tea.

This with a bagel with cream cheese and lox cost me $23 in fancy Deer Valley. 
I worked while at the lodge and eventually met with the rest of the group.  We all had lunch together and Dana suggested I go get a manicure.  I did.

And it cost me $50. OUCH
Later we went home and again got dressed and ready to go out.  Chuck and I had dinner at home, the rest of the group went out.  We then went to a OneRepublic concert.  I must say, this may be the highlight of the trip. It was amazing.

OneRepublic at Park City
Great looking group (and I swear I was the most sober one!)
We left the bar at 1:30 thinking that was it for us that night, but little did the group know that my man and I can team up to bring happiness to the world.  The man stopped a group of three good looking gals and invited them to a party (I guess we were throwing a party).  They seemed hesitant.  I hugged them, walked with them and had a girl talk.  They joined and came back home with us.  The three single guys in our group were thankful and we partied until 5am.  Whew...

Saturday January 19th: 
Woke up and I worked for a bit (shocker).  Again, we cruised Main St. and attended an event called the Fender Lounge.  It was a Lounge set up by Fender with live performers all day, so lots of music, free drinks (not for me, of course) and free food.  Some of us had a blast with our VIP passes.

Very Important People here... 
That night was a mellow one and we went to Dana's to enjoy an amazing dinner cooked by Chris.  He prepared a 5 course meal for 16 people.  It was amazing to share the table with such amazing people and share some life stories.

Chris hard at work
Sunday January 20th: 
Woke up and had some hummus for breakfast. We were running out of food.  We again cruised around Main St., this time looking for some shoes.  We explored the Fender Lounge once more (just in case we missed anything), and then went back to shopping.  We then met the rest of our group at the No Name bar to watch some Football.  We obviously had to remember we were hanging with some San Francisco peeps. The Niners won.  Tom, Chuck and I had a dinner to attend to.  Turns out, Tom had gotten Chuck and I to go to this very fancy catered dinner at Dana's. This is why I needed fancy shoes.  It was again, AMAZING. We went back home and chatted with friends. We went to bed close to 1am.  That was the end of the night for me, but turns out some people showed up to party hard.  This upset some of the people in the house, especially since this "party" went on til 6am.  I personally didn't hear a thing (that's what Perocet will do to you).

Monday January 21st: 
Kick some whores out the house. My favorite part!!  I did not like these girls (there were only two, but still).  I saw them do the walk of shame and it was glorious.  The rest of the day was boring... we drove back home.  Arrived at home around 6pm, had some dinner and went to bed.  Life was good and it was time to actually rest.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Starting Over

Alright, I'm done being sick.  I'm done, done, done.  I'm thinking I should never ever be sick again.  I feel much better today and I do think this is it.  I'm ready to get back into training, having energy to cook and eat healthy, sleeping well and playing hard on the weekends.  This I will say: I will run the NoLa Marathon and I will kick it's ass.  

Yesterday I woke up drowsy and still with a little bit of a cough. I was lazy and the overcast day helped make my decision of staying home and not going for a bike ride.  I did get a manicure (my nails look so pretty) and I did go to Yoga for the first time.  I'm gonna say this: It wasn't as bad as I thought, but it wasn't as awesome as others think it is.  Question is: would I do it again?  Probably.  Often? Maybe not. My favorite part is when they made us lay on our backs and take deep breaths at the end of the class.  I would do that again.  I liked that.  And to be honest, I would even do it at home.  

On the other hand, to not underestimate yoga, I did wake up feeling AMAZING.  My breathing pain is gone almost completely.  I've been encouraged by doctors to take deep breaths to get as much oxygen into my lungs as possible to help the infection go away.  Little did I know, that taking deep breaths while on weird poses while stretching would be incredibly beneficial.  I guess I should've known, but as a non-yoga person, I just didn't think about it.  

Also, this class encouraged me to go online and check out other class options at the gym.  So I'm thinking, as my new and renewed New Year's Day tomorrow (Monday Jan 28th), I will try and go to Body Pump and Boot-camp classes at 6am.  I will just try to make it happen, I still find it so hard to wake up too early.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Health Issues

Apart from successfully sticking to my no corn-syrup in 2013 resolution, I haven't been successful at my other goals.  For starters, I was getting ready to run until the end of the world and while I was successful for a week, I had to stop and head to the ER. 

IV Day 1
I had been having a weird pain that eventually got worse.  The night of Jan 13th I asked my man to take me to the ER.  He asked if Urgent Care or the doctor would be a better option, I said no. This pain was ER material.  There, I got some ultrasound, X-Rays and blood tests.  They told me it was stones in my gallbladder, or something like that. Basically they said, your gallbladder is swollen and has fluid around it which is usually caused by stones, but we can't see them.  I was told to go see a surgeon. 

On Monday, I had an appointment with a surgeon.  He said the evidence wasn't quite conclusive, so I should get a HIDA scan.  A HIDA scan is a nuclear imaging procedure to evaluate the health and function of the gallbladder.  They inject a radioactive tracer through a vein. Then, they allow it to circulate to the liver, where it is excreted into the biliary system and stored by the gallbladder and biliary system.  I had to lay there in excruciating pain for 90 minutes.  GOOD TIMES. 

Results were good, or bad.  Good because my gallbladder was working fine, but then, what is this random sharp pain.  The doctor suggested I get a CT scan.  My appointment got confirmed on Tuesday and I had to go pick up the contrast to drink the night before and Wednesday morning.  

It did not taste like berries
I got the CT scan which thankfully was faster than the HIDA scan.  I went into work for a little while and then hit the road for our trip to Park City.  When we got in the car, I decided to take some Percocet to deal with the pain. Half way through the drive, the doctor calls and gives me the news.  I had pleurisy.  Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs.  Among other things, infections are the most common cause of pleurisy.  The inflamed pleural layers rub against each other every time the lungs expand to breathe in air.  This can cause severe sharp pain with inhalation (also called pleuritic chest pain).  So yeah, I was in pain.  

So today, just over a week after being diagnosed, I feel better, but not at 100%.  I'm ready though. It's time for me to be ready to play.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Making decisions sucks!

Today I realized that realistically I can't make the Alaska trip we've been planning for the past few months.

Unfortunately I realized this as I was about to buy a plane ticket.

It's so easy sometimes to just deal with "grown up" stuff later, but in reality, it was hard for me to justify spending $600 on a plane ticket without thinking of the consequences. Those being work time off, visa renewal (which is due in 2013), expenses, etc.

It breaks my heart as I wanted nothing but go on this epic trip with my man. I gave up Ironman this year only to go on an adventurous trip with him. And just like that, I realize 2013 is not the year to do that. Honestly, Ironman would've been the same story since it also requires the same amount of time off of work and training and dedication and lots of money.

I'm just sad. I really really wish I could go.

Ski Day #2 - Cameron Pass

I had this post on my "drafts" since I wanted to add pictures I hadn't downloaded to my computer.  I guess I forgot to actually post it, but since I'm counting my ski days, I figured I'd post it. 

It had been snowing lately and that's a great thing.  What's even better is that it hadn't really been snowing in the Boulder area but the mountains are getting plenty.  Unfortunately, my man didn't get a season pass so we can't quite hit the resorts if we want to spend some time skiing together.  I mostly got it because my parents were going to be in town for 10 days after Christmas and again a couple weeks in March.  

So what's a girl to do?  Follow the man into the backcountry.  Skiing the backcountry is tricky, mostly because no one is out there packing down the snow therefore you need SO MUCH MORE than the resorts need to make for an actual skiable slope.  The plus side?  You access unlimited ski lines of untouched powder.  So basically, be patient and then go explore. We had heard that Cameron Pass had some of the best pow-pow in the state (this was of course before the big storms down in the San Juans), so we decided to plan to go the weekend of December 16th.  We geared up and hit the road on Sunday.  It's a two and a half hour drive so we left at 7am.  The drive was mellow and gorgeous. I was getting nervous since once the GPS said we had 20 miles to go, there was still no snow at all!!  

Not to worry, there was plenty of snow by the time we got to the top of the pass.  We got ready in bitter cold and started skinning up.  The skin track up was fairly steep, but I was able to stay just behind Chuck.  I was proud of myself.  It didn't stop snowing so the visibility was not ideal, but I was excited to "taste" the powder.  

Pretty snow
Once we got to tree line, we decided to do a few beacon searches and make sure our search and rescue skills are not too rusty.  

The pack survived after being buried for 7 minutes.  Yay
Alright, we're all set.  Let's get to the top of that mountain start making some turns. It only got steeper.  This poor lady in a split board was having issues making a turn in one of the switch backs and kept sliding off the skin track and down.  I felt bad for her, but eventually passed her and felt good about myself.  Drew, who was with us, was having trouble with tight switchback turns too.  We met him through and is a beginner backcountry guy, just like me.  But I also felt good about myself when I was skinning up better and faster than him.  

I was taking the picture from higher up, Chuck explaining Drew how to turn and Drew... well, trying to get up. 
Once at the top, we removed skins and got ready to ski down.  WOW!  That was some AWESOME powder and some AMAZING turns.  Too bad it was so damn hard to get to the top and it was windy and snowing harder.  The guys decided to go back up.  I decided to go back to the car, so I just continued to ski all the way down.  

I was happy I did because it got DAMN cold and windy. The guys showed up shortly after me and said they had done one more run and while they were planning on exploring more, decided not to since it was getting blizzardy up there.  It was a good day for me, regardless.  The first day out in the backcountry is always hard, but I was happy I kept it short, but fulfilling. 

Back at the car... I was COLD!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 Schedule

Feb 10 - Vail Uphill (Skin up Vail Mtn with AT skis. 2 miles, 2000ft)
Feb 24 - New Orleans Marathon - REGISTERED
April 7 - Platte River Half (2012 was my PR half marathon, looking to PR again)
April 13-21 - Alaska Ski Trip
May 2-6 - Hawaii Vacation
** I just decided to not do a couple triathlons I had scheduled for May and June, so will maybe look into a running race somewhere here.
June 29 - Aspen Backcountry Marathon
July 13 - Mt. Hood 50 - REGISTERED
Aug 9-10 - Teton Epic Relay (Ultra Team) - REGISTERED
Sep 6-7 - Colorado Relay - REGISTERED
Sep 22 - Ironman Tahoe VOLUNTEER (So I can sign up for Ironman 2014) - REGISTERED
Sep 29 - Bear Chase 50K (Looking to PR)
Oct 20 - Denver Marathon

New Year, New Goals

Where to start?  Well, first things first...  This Holiday season was quite brutal to my body.  I'm not sure if I was just accumulating crap throughout the year and my smart-ass body decided to get rid of it at the end of the year to start "fresh" or it was just bad luck.

I was SO looking forward to a 4 day ski trip to Jackson over Christmas and a 5 day ski trip to Beaver Creek/Vail over New Year's which started with a 4 mile run on Friday the 21st before getting in the car for an 8 hour drive to Jackson.  And little did I know, that'd be the last run of the year.

Sick me at Avon Urgent Care
After two epic ski days in Jackson, I got sick, REALLY sick.  Spent a day in bed in our hotel in Jackson, spent the 8 hour drive back feeling miserable and coughing like never before, I got to go to work two days, which ended up in me being sent home for the second half of the day and then followed by 5 days in bed in my family's condo in Avon. Today, day 12 of sickness, I sit at home in sweat pants feeling a million times better, yet resting and drinking water to avoid a relapse.

The saddest part about it, for me anyway, was that I didn't get a chance to enjoy Christmas or New Year.  And with that comes the fact that I didn't get to even think about New Year's resolutions.  I know, some people may think it's dumb, but it's always nice to set some goals and expectations and at least try to be better.

Looking back to 2012, I achieved a ton.  I swam the most ever, I rode my fastest 100-miler, I ran my fastest half marathon and fastest marathon. I did my fastest half-Ironman and my fastest Ironman.  I ran my fastest 50K. I weighed EXACTLY the 132 lbs I wanted to weigh on Ironman day, and stayed in shape until the very end of the year.  I swam 55km (maybe not too impressive, but impressive to me).  I rode 1983 miles (the year I was born), and I ran 769.25 miles.  Yep, I feel awesome.

Now, 2013... which for me starts TODAY, JANUARY 5, 2013.  I would like to give up corn syrup completely.  I started avoiding it in November, but I still ate a couple things that had it, mostly gummy bears. But I gave up soda, which is huge.  Starting today, no corn syrup.

Also, after Ironman, while I didn't gain a ton of weight, like I did in 2011, I still gained a little, which is healthy, I guess, but I'd like to go back to 132.  My co-worker Jenny and I are working on this together and we've committed to be our ideal weight by April 1st.

And my third is to run every single day for at least 15 minutes.  This will be tough, but I will try really hard to do it.  I have pretty ambitious running goals this year (including the Mt. Hood 50-miler) and I have a great coach to help me. And while I have lots of rest and cycling days in my training plan, I plan on doing some core work with a 15 minute easy jog on my days off and a 15 minute warm-up jog before my cycling days.  In the end, it's JUST 15 minutes.

We'll see how it goes, and I'll let you know... wish me luck.