Monday, March 31, 2008

Mars report

Mars isn't doing so well tonight. He wasn't interested in his food and he didn't move around much. He usually is all over treats in a kong toy - it takes him about 30 seconds to bite it to have the treat fall out. Tonight he barely showed any interest in it. I'm trying to get him into the vet tomorrow, as I know loss of appetite isn't good. A little over a week ago we had him retested to see if he was back in the "normal" range on his ACTH stimulation test, which he was. Since his mobility had decreased with him off the Rimadyl for about a week, the vet said we could wait a week or so before starting the maintenance dose of Lysodren to help the Cushings. He seemed to be doing better, but he still needs/wants help getting up and has trouble on slick surfaces. We started taking him on short (2 block) walks to try to increase his muscle strength. He had a normal appetite (the whole bowl of food gets swallowed in about 2 minutes) but he ate a bit slower this morning and tonight he just didn't seem to want to eat. Not good. I hope we find out what is going on since he is such a sweet and wonderful dog. You get pets knowing that they have a limited life span, but they are such great companions you really don't want anything to happen to them. Here's a good pic of Juno and Mars:

But it is Monday which means a banana recipe! Here's an easy one for everyone who lives in a warmer climate (why won't it just stay warm?!??!!)

Banana Freeze
Mash up a few ripe bananas
Mix in some vanilla extract
Put in freezer for 20-30 minutes to get it nice and cold and thick (but don't let it freeze too long or you will have a big banana ice cube!)


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

68 Degrees!

Ahhh! A day of warm weather in Colorado. Beautiful! Pikes Peak is still snowcapped from the Easter snow, the sky is almost the perfect shade of blue and the sun is out for some prime vitamin D formation!

Before I continue - my mom is helping my fundraising campaign - for every book you buy of hers she'll donate $1.00 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and $0.50 for every short story. Her website is Check out her webpage for some great romance - with a twist of mystery!

Today started out with a strength training session at the gym. My hip flexor has been tight the last couple weeks, especially after last night's track session, so I need to make sure I'm stretching it out and also working out unwanted muscle adhesions (I'm quite prone to these). The Stick does wonders on tight muscles! Anyway, some leg presses, deadlifts, shoulder exercises, pull-ups and push-ups got the day going. Of course it wasn't complete until I did some planks! Then the trip to the coffee shop for the morning's coffee - today's choice was English Toffee.

After a few hours of werkwerkwerk I had to get outside and enjoy the fabulous day! So I hopped on my bike and headed for the hills! I did a 13 mile ride that had almost 1000 feet of climbing - and 600 of it was in the first 3.5 miles! yowee! The loop from work took me up behind the Broadmoor Hotel and not too far from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I think others were enjoying the day as there was a HUGE line of cars along the road that takes you to the zoo. I really didn't want to go back to work, but alas, I did. (I was also getting a bit hungry!)

A few more hours at work, picked up some extra pain medicine for Mars at the vet on my way home, then enjoyed the outdoors a bit more. Tim took Mars for a very short walk(~2 blocks) to hopefully strengthen his legs up and I took Juno for a bit longer walk (~1.5miles). Had some dinner and now it's time to work on some coaching things.

Monday, March 24, 2008

This One's From Top Chef!

I think I missed last week - not that I've been a slacker - just the opposite! Sunday I felt awful and ran a low-grade fever most of the day (probably from the cold St. Patty's Day run) and then with all the workouts, and taking my dog to the vet, it was quite a hectic week! But here's the recipe for this week:

Today was a rest day from working out, but I have been going non-stop since I woke up! At least I can sit on my butt most of the day at work. Tomorrow is a big workout day - morning is a swim and track in the evening.

I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Race Report: St. Patty's Day 5k

Every year Colorado Springs has a St. Patrick's Day parade and before the parade is a 5k race downtown. This was the 25th running of the race and about 1400 folks participated. On the training schedule was a 50-60 minute run. The TNT team and I met at 8am not too far from the race start for our group workout. Instead of running the full workout, I did 30 minutes easy to warm up then headed over to the race start. I wanted to run strong, but not all out, especially in the base phase of my training. I figured a good tempo run would be OK.

So here's the report:
Start time: 10am, mostly cloudy and temps in the 30s (we got a few inches of wet snow yesterday, but this time of year it all melts rather quickly. Thanks goodness roads were dry.)
I was pretty cold, but being that it was a St. Patricks Day race, I wore my Jack Quinn's Running Club shirt and this fantastic green felt leprechaun-type hat I found at Walgreens.
The race was flat for Colorado standards, but heading south is clearly downhill (and all the runners that took off way to fast realize that) and heading north is definitely uphill (and those same runners really felt that!).
My time: 25:07, which is about an 8:04 minute/mile pace. That's my best 5k time in Colorado! (best overall was last November at 23:34 in New Orleans....really flat and sea-level, plus a definite taper.) I didn't want to go faster than 7:45 pace on the downhill parts and tried to keep as close to 8:00min/mile on the uphill sections. With an 8:04 average pace, I was just slightly slower than that. My T pace is about 8:20 min/mile and my I pace is 7:40min/mile so I did get a strong training run in. (Those paces are from Daniel's Running Formula, based on a mile time-trial I did a few weeks ago). Oh- and that time put me 15/135 in my age group and 72/792 overall females. So not too shabby!
My post-race recovery was some stretching, a bottle of Recoverite, half a banana and a couple bagel halves from Panera (Cinnamon Crunch and Banana Pecan) that were provided to racers.
Overall for not wanting to go all out I did OK, especially with a full week of training and no taper for the race. My right hip has been a bit tight and I certainly felt the hipflexor/abductors. Planning on a massage this week for sure!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mars started his treatment

Last week I took Mars to an internal medicine specialist for an ultrasound. They saw that both of his adrenal glands appear to be enlarged, which pretty much confirmed the previous suspected diagnosis of Cushing's Disease. Since both were enlarged it is most likely a pituitary tumor causing it. She recommended treatment so we started that last night. He's on 750mg of Lysodren twice a day for a week. We'll take him back for the ACTH stimulation test next Thursday and hopefully his cortisol levels will be in the normal range. The drug is pretty nasty - DDT derivative, we have to wear gloves when administering it since we don't want to ingest any of it at all. It basically is supposed to kill much of his adrenal so when the pituitary tumor send the signals, the adrenals can't respond fully to the stimulus. We can't do much about the pituitary tumor - pretty sure that would require doggie brain surgery! So far after 3 doses he's doing just fine. We're hoping the dosing goes well, if you give too much, you don't produce cortisol and that can be even worse than too much. We have a prescription of prednisone just in case...

Now onto other things, like training! There are 16 weeks until the Loveland Lake to Lake race, so my official training has begun. I'm using a combination of the Team in Training schedule and the Triathlete Magazine Training Plan book to get appropriate workouts. So here's what this week looks like so far:

-morning swim of 1400yds (300wu, 8x25 drills, 4x100m.s., 8x25 kick, 300 cd).
I'm working on getting the catch timed right - I have been waiting too long (a lot of gliding) to start it.
-lunch bike ride at the gym in the spin room. I can adjust the seat and handlebars better, and the seat is a bit more comfortable than the sandard stationary bike on the main workout floor. It was a 60 minute foundation ride, kept my HR around 145-150 after a 10min wu. Did a 15 minute cool down.

Tuesday = Track!
But before the track I did some strength training over lunch. Some legs, but mainly upper body, especially the back and shoulder.
Track practice was great, but of course hard!
it went down as follows:
1miles walk wu.
800m easy pace
1200m T pace (I nailed it at 6:15! - 2:05/400m)
400 recovery
1200 I pace (a bit slow on the first 400, but the next two were dead on 1:55/400m)
400 recovery
1200 R pace. (This was hard to maintain, I was a few seconds too slow each lap)
400 recovery
2x200 R pace - focus on form, 200 recovery.
Then plyometrics! High kneews, butt kickers, skipping, and bounding
800m easy cool down.
Long workout!!! But good as always. My abductors were tightening up so I need to incorporate them a little more into my strength training routine.

Didn't get to bed until late (Tim had a meeting at the house and it didn't get over until after 10pm). Just a bike ride on the trainer with 6x20s Power intervals - Big Gear! with 2:40 rest. Total time on bike - 60 minutes.

Thursday - swim and run!
-morning swim of 1600yds (300wu, 8x25 drills, 4x100 fartlek - 25ascend/25 decend, 4x50 sprint, 8x25 kicking, 300 cd). The cool down actually felt pretty relaxed. Need to keep working on my flip turns, those didn't work so well today. and my breathing wasn't smooth - felt too shallow. It's always something!
-lunch run around quail lake. 4 laps at E pace (ok, a little faster than E pace) and then 3 sets of 100yd strides. Those strides really loosened up my legs after the run. Which was a good thing because I had a long meeting to sit through that afternoon!

Tomorrow is mainly a rest day, but I think I will do an easy swim, maybe 1000yds with plenty of rest. Just want to work on feeling more relaxed in the water. And tomorrow night is swim practice with the Team in Training folks! That should be fun. Which reminds me, I need to get the workout schedule updated now...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Banoffee Pie

It's almost St. Patty's Day and this recipe comes from my sister who lives in Ireland. Apparently it is a popular dish over there.

Get a pre-baked pie crust (or bake one yourself...any variety should work).

Take 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk and heat in a saucepan on med-high heat until it turns caramel/toffee like. I'm guessing you'll want to stir it constantly.

Pour the now toffee-like sweetened condesnsed milk into the pie crust.

On top of that layer some sliced bananas (sliced any way you want!)

Cover the entire thing with as much whipped cream as you want.

Refrigerate until chilled. Now you have Banoffee Pie. I'm going to make some this weekend!!!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

Chocolate Chip & Banana Pudding Parfaits

It's banana-time! I had a few bananas left over from Saturday's group training, so here is how I used some:

Chocolate Chip & Banana Pudding Parfaits
1) Bake chocolate chip cookie mix into bar cookies (13x9" pan - just follow the instructions on the package). Let cool.

2)while the cookies are baking, make the pudding
3 tablespoons cornstarch, 2c water, 1/4 teaspoon salt
and mix in a medium saucepan
Over medium heat add:
14oz sweetened condensed milk, 3 egg yolks beaten

Stir until thickened (I think it took at least 10 minutes) and mix in 1-1/4Tablespoon vanilla and 2 Tablespoons butter. Cool.

Where are the bananas, you ask....don't worry, they are here! Just slice up a banana of whatever ripeness you prefer!
Then make your desserts - cut out the edges of the cookies and crumble them. Layer cookie, pudding, and sliced banana in parfait glasses or whatever serving dish you like. However you layer and however many layers you have, end with pudding. them put some whipped cream on top and a few chocolate chips as a garnish and you're good to go!
Good thing I did 75 minutes on my bike trainer yesterday and swam this morning! Great dessert but it sure is rich! I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Hills and Tires

Great team workout today! The TNT tri folks and the run-walkers met up at Cottonwood Creek Park and headed up to a nice hill for some more repeats. 6 were on the schedule, but most of the tri folks just did 4 as we needed to get to Bicycle Village for a bike clinic. The awesome folks there went over how to change a flat tire and basic bicycle maintenace. Sarah brought bagels and I brought bananas (of course!) to feed the team and leave the rest with the BV shop folks.
But back to the run....from the park, we walked then jogged a bit over 2 miles to the "start line." Coach Mitch used flour to mark the path so we could find our way and also and the start line. Over a walkie-talkie a quarter-mile up the hill, we heard the "on your marks.......get set.....beeeeeep!" They we hoofed it up. My times:
1) 2:13
2) 2:03 (paced off the lead guys who really sped it up!)
3) 2:05
4) 1:59 (Last one is the fastest one!)

Then we jogged back down the hill the 2+ miles back to the car and sped off to BV for the clinic.

A little plug for Bicycle Village since they are very supportive of Team in Training. Thanks to Keaton for all the helpful hints, and thanks to Chris for getting it set up. And of course thanks to Stephen, Coach Charlotte, and the others who are all very friendly and helpful to the TNT team members! We very much appreciate the help you give us!

On a sidenote - I was surfing the Specialized Bike and checking out the 2008 Tarmac (I have a 2006). I can't believe they made one in orange and blue! I know I live in Bronco Country and am a U of Illinois alumnus, but orange and blue to me will always be Florida Gator colors. GO 'NOLES! :-)