Thursday, December 11, 2014

Keep the Chocolate out of sight!

Celebrating one year Anniversary of Hammers abstinence of dark chocolate. 11th December 2013 is etched forever in our hearts and souls.
Hammer with the BEST Veterinarian!! Donna from the Village Animal Hospital. Diamond Bar
 Twas a couple of weeks before Christmas Hammer was home alone for less than 30 minutes in that time he managed to get onto the kitchen table open up a bag of chocolate morsels and consume 2.5pounds of those morsels..
Chocolate poop

not much left

The Saga continued in less than 15 minutes a friend of ours who was on his way over gave me a lift to Hammers usual vet in Glendora. I was a certified mess and Al was out seeing a customer.

Hammer had consumed a lethal amount of chocolate his eyes were manic his heart rate was super high, I cried so much I was beyond upset..... They stomach pumped him gave him charcoal etc I was not allowed to be with him.
When AL arrived and a phone call later to an angel known as Dr Donna we had Hammer transferred to The Village Animal Hospital in Diamond Bar.

I was allowed to stay with Hammer.......

 The professionalism and swiftness of which ALL the staff worked on Hammer was truly amazing, I was given a box of Kleenex tissues I was a certifiable mess.

Hammers Heart rate went as high as 220 and as low as 120 during his 3 hour fight for life ! He had been made to vomit, put on an IV given Charcoal, then the poor little thing was given an Enema of warm water until feces no longer looked like chocolate!

I made the choice of taking him home at 9pm with emergency numbers on speed dial. We were in the fight for his life and we were going to win.

Every hour from 9pm I made a warm water gruel which a fed to Hammer then I had him go out side to pee, I did this until 7am the next morning I never missed an hour and was so exhausted I fell asleep.....
I woke up in a panic I had fell asleep to the mist beautiful noise in the World he was snoring!

I am so grateful to ALL the friends, family and to the Village Animal Hospital, for the 100s and 100s of e mails and messages and phone calls of genuine love and support.Hammer Wiscovitch Degazon lived through this ordeal and pretty grateful he is a running dog an athlete for his heart to be able to take this awful abuse.

excellent care

it is going to be okay Suzy!

In his element a day later

Dancing in the Rain   

Cards from the Larsens!
The Miracle
Please watch over your dogs at Christmas time, make sure they cannot get into chocolate I was lucky and Hammer was truly blessed. He is our little miracle and very happy to have him a year later with no side affects at all and no more Emergency trips to the Doggy ER.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Long Beach Marathon one step at a time

The 30th Anniversary of the Long Beach Marathon and my 7th time at Long Beach thanks to Kool n Fit who have made this possible every year...

Renate, Preston, Ed and myself after the run at the KoolnFit booth

So just a few thoughts to share about my amazing 7th times the charm experience...
  • with hind sight the 13.1 mile probably would have been the perfect distance...
  • Because I am Suzy I chose the 26.2mile version.....pretty darn smart after 4 weeks and 2 days post vein surgery....
  • training really helps, it conditions the body to stay upright and move forward for a few hours without getting cramps, and having to walk......
  • mile 15 was my magical number.....after 8 weeks of no running and just walking after surgery and not even cycling I thought at least I would be well rested!!!
  • Mile 15 is when my brain registered several warning signs that my feet my knees my back my shoulders really did not care to keep moving forward as fast as I was moving....
  • Walking is an option and as long as you are moving forward the miles will keep on passing by!
I was prepared for a longer than normal day I had my fuel belt full of the good stuff, Hammer Nutrition montana huckleberry gel in one of the bottles,  and another the expresso Hammergel gotta love my caffeine fix. I also had endurolytes, and racecap supremes and anti fatigue caps...
To order Hammer Nutrition products the first time..

I had my legs sprayed with Kool n Fit and my insoles before the event and during the event at mile 9, I also with Ed and Preston helped the Kool n Fit booth at the expo and after the race.

the last 10 miles were LONG.... I dug deep into my bag of tricks,...I felt fine!! just my body had forgotten how to behave after 2hours or so! I smiled I handed out hi fives, I called out to other runners looking strong, way to go....yup I had to walk and jog but I had NO pain.

The finish was sweet as I managed a sub 4 hour marathon that was certainly not expected the bigger news was my left leg were I had the saph vein removed was NOT swollen, NOT itchy, NOT purple around the ankles and was NOT aching!
My race pace.....

It was an awesome day to jog and very grateful to be able to do what I do. Big thanks to Kool n Fit for their friendship and support. Big SHout out to Hammer Nutrition for fueling me pre during and post race with Hammer Vegan bar and recoverite. To Rudy Project for making me look cool in the yellow fluros, Polar USA for the awesome V800 which told me numbers I really did not want to see but at least I have for reference and gave me a generous recovery time too! Brooks Running and Ocean Potion and of course my husband for letting me do the event so soon after my operation!

Thanks to Ed and Preston for the lift to and from the marathon good times for sure.....its still a long road back to being 100% but I see the light I really do.
V800 information...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Getting back on track

Getting back on track with my four legged kiddo Hammer.

So it has been a rocky on 6th August 2014 my $10,000 road bike was stolen from my garage while I was home! So 2 months and one week I have not ridden a road bike.

I went into a depression for 2 weeks with doing nothing at all!!! then I signed up to do the 5km pool swim for US Masters Swimming....that is 200 laps of a 50 meter pool with one pool swim prior...on 24th August

successful swimmers of the 5K
All I did was swim and we decided to move so boxes to be packed and un packed etc...

On 12th August I had Vein surgery to eliminate a saph vein and improve my blood circulation.....No running, no cycling and allowed to swim very happy!!
The surgery was good and only allowed to walk and jog until I see my surgeon for a final okay on the vein and leg...So on October 12th I jogged the Long Beach Marathon with NO training! and four small runs a week before, as I do every year I also help Kool n Fit with their expo too.

Getting back on track is not easy! I miss the competition I miss the training and I really miss my Road bike! So jogging the 26.2 miles seemed like a plan to see where I am with my fitness.
Made triple sure I had great Hammer Nutrition for the marathon
I felt like an athlete again as I took my Fuel belt and filled it with Hammergel, Endurolytes and Recoverite for afterwards!
So off the gun went and I began to jog, it was one step at a time and go easy the humidity was high and I was soaked in sweat, each mile was ticked off like winning a battle.....I was running a conservative pace and then BAM mile 15/16 my body let out a disapproval at the amount of stress EVERYTHING was tightening up....I heeded the sign and walked stretching out and carefully listening to my calves that were playing chicken....."dare you to run.....see if I spasm.... " So began 11 miles of jog walking...every mile was a woo hoo always the last mile seems to be the longest and then I won the War I finished Long Beach in my 2 nd slowest marathon time ever a 3 hour 54min.....but oh man HOW lucky am I to be able to participate 4 weeks after Vein surgery I will happily take that time but tomorrow I will pay dearly for this marathon!

I will have a new road bike soon thanks to the amazing friends I have that contributed to a fund raiser and I will begin in smaller increments to get stronger again.

Getting back on track is not easy but when you already have an active life style it is mind over matter to begin training again....small baby steps and looking forward to a stellar 2015!

resting and recovery are important to my comeback!

Long Beach 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Post VNUS Ablation ...(shrinky dinked my saphenous Vein)

 Well day 6 of this minimal invasive procedure and despite frustration of not being able to exercise other than walk I am feeling pretty good!

My left leg getting ready for the surgery Dang I have a good Sun tan!
So what you may ask is VNUS Ablation. well after I had visited a really cool Vein surgeon in Arcadia and they had performed an ultrasound test on both legs they discovered that I had CVI which is a progressive medical condition in which the valves that carry blood from the legs to the heart no longer function, causing blood to pool in the legs and veins to swell. This incorrect blood flow (or reflux) causes veins to expand, lose form and protrude from beneath the skin. At this point it becomes a medical necessity.

I guess the real reason I signed the dotted line was the promise of being a faster athlete as I would have a better blood flow, and my ankle and calf would not swell, I would eventually have a normal functioning leg! I liked that idea.

1. The Procedure: Wide awake through out the whole thing, was not really painful a little discomfort like being at the dentist which I dread also!
 So after a Catheter was inserted through a small incision below my knee , the surgeon is guided by ultrasound imaging and when the catheter is at the groin were the vein I guess finishes the Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Catheter  has a 6cm heating app to the top of it and is given a 20 second burst of radiofrequency energy up to 120C causing the vein to shrink it is repeated until the vein is sealed shut all the way... to collapse and close the enlarged leg vein. After the vein is sealed shut, the blood should redirect itself to a healthier vein....
My surgeon and assistants are smiling thats a pretty good sign !

2. Post Surgery: Wheeled out in a wheel chair!! Could not believe it I felt awesome and wanted to walk but docs orders are final and wheeled out I was....with in the next 40 minutes the Valium and pain killers set in and apparently I crashed onto the sofa and was out for quite a few hours in a groggy sleep!

So I had to wear a compression stocking for 3 days unable to remove it , I was allowed to walk but no swimming, cycling , running or weight training! I could see me loosing my sun tan very quickly!

Taking off the stocking on Day 3 was awesome even better was having a nice shower.

It is day 6, I have minimal bruising , I have no pain a little discomfort may be at the incision site but nothing I need a pain killer for.

My partner in crime has kept me company..
still no swimming, cycling and running until the doc gives me his blessing. 

So for the last 6 days I have watched more redbox DVDs than I care to admit. 
My min pin Hammer has been an excellent doctor.
I learnt that walking is better than sitting on the couch!
I helped at a mountain bike event but took regular breaks of sitting and raising my leg.
 Before the Valium sets in..
Like my friend Ed said " Like a cowboy.. she never takes the Hammer Hat off" 
 "Or the Rudy Projects Ed! Hey, where's Hammer???"
said another friend! geez!
I hate the compression stocking there is just nothing sexy about it at all and I was asked today if that was the new Copper sleeve I was wearing!!! really!!

So onwards and upwards I continue, to get stronger and healthier walking and grateful to see the light at the end of the tunnel.... 
The Black stocking!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Anvilization.. The Oregon Anvil Double...

Quite a few months back I committed to a new race on the West Coast up in Oregon at Hagg Lake. I am certainly no stranger to double and triple iron distance racing and the Anvil series of Steve Kirby s are amongst my favorite doubles to have done in the past in Virginia.

 I arrived at Portland Airport and with ease found the MAX train to Clackamas were Teri the co director would pick me up and I would go to the hotel with Teri and Steve.
Waiting for the MAX train

My Bags traveled in style

What made Oregon Anvil Double enticing was a new course that was made up of 8 loops of swimming in Hagg Lake for a total of 4.8 miles, a 224 mile bike ride made up of 21 loops around the lake and finally the icing on the cake, 40 loops of trail /hills to make 52.4 miles. A refreshing combination of more miles and less loops, a lake swim and inaugural ....

Mmmm did I mention I had retired from this type of racing in 2012.... oh and I had just turned 50 years young in April and I was the oldest female....Arrrr what was I thinking!!!!

Pre Race
Stayed at McMenamins; a fantastic historic home turned into a hotel reasonable rates and an awesome Japanese soak pool as well as pretty good food. Jean arrived a day before the event her little mini Cooper packed to the roof with my Cannondale bike strapped to the back!
I also was the first responder to an accident of a 97 year old war veteran who had fallen over in his motorized wheel chair,  and was a little shaken from the event that unfolded but grateful to see Paramedics do such an awesome job.
The afternoon before the race began we were treated to a really nice picnic setting at Lake Hagg, the Co race director Teri Smith had made pasta, salads etc and we were able to pick up our race bags eat and socialize while gazing at our playground for tomorrows 4.8mile swim!! Steve Kirby who had flown in from the East Coast to Anvilize the West Coast went through the race stage by stage. A few of us Jean and I did not have a crew but this is an Ultra Triathlon we were not too worried worse case scenario we would work out of the mini Cooper!

The Race morning
Backed the car into our space, I checked my swim to bike bag and put it next to the bathroom,there was not a lot of us at Boat ramp C but we certainly filled that Lot with a lot of Ultra presence !
Jean and I before the storm

The Swim
Put on my Aquaman wetsuit, despite the Lake being warm I needed all the floatation I could get for this wee 4.8mile swim, sliced into 8 loops. A photo was taken and I entered the water...pressed the V800 button the event had begun there was no turning back!
After every loop I stopped to take water and Hammergel, the 6th loop I was like woo hoo, the final loop as always seemed to take forever but finally I made the final white buoy !

Now thank goodness the swim was flat! Lets just say this was not going to be your normal run of the mill double 224 mile bike ride, add a twist of lemon please ! It was 21 loops of how did the web site describe it...rolling course....10 plus miles long with over 13,000 feet of climbing! It was time to embrace the challenge!

As I started the first loop; I went to grab my perpetuem and discovered to my horror that it had no water! Only powder and ice which is actually how I told Charlie to fill it I just presumed he would know to add water!! I started to laugh luckily I had water and a hammer bar I would rectify that mistake back at the car!  I entered the lot and discovered I would never really be with out a support crew as the crews around, jumped into action asking what they could get for me! Sharing their knowledge and their smiles! 
Lake Hagg 

Now sometime into the ride lets say 13 loops I started to realize I was closing my eyes and ending up in the middle of the road, not a good place to be... especially given the fact of the wynding nature of the course. my pace had considerably slowed from earlier and I rolled into the parking lot very cautiously going down the hill....oh did I mention it was also getting dark...this is were I was to meet a friend Angie for the very first time, of course she met me in my glory of looking like crap! then the Medical Sport Doctor came to visit me and somehow I ended up having to sleep an hour or so later I was back on the bike it is now pitch black except from the light beam from my bike! I do the first loop and roll into transition refill a bottle and on the second loop I had to stop ..Lake Hagg was beautiful and so so quiet....I turned off the light and the sky was lit up with a thousand stars I was feeling super tired but elated at the night sky, I put on the light again and slowly rode back to the transition, the doctor had told me to eat solid food I went down to the food table and saw grilled cheese sandwiches....I thought mmmm I can do this..I ate a 1/4 of one and with in 5 minutes I was vomiting and heaving what was left in my stomach out onto the grass....that cost me another time out in an RV, when the doctor woke me up to get back on the bike I thought it was a bad joke!! but I put on my cycling shoes and went out into the black abyss armed with Hammergel and dry crackers!
The last 5 laps were memorable as in the early dawn light deers and fawns were bounding across the road so awesome, the sky changed color, and yup believe it or not I was going to finish this 224 mile bike despite being sick and feeling like crap! as the sun came up my smile just broadened and the last lap I realized I was not RAAM material as my rear just did not want to sit on that bike seat anymore!!! twas a long time doing 224miles but I had finished in the correct cutoff time too!
the last loop!!

So grateful to loose the bike and even more grateful to take off the cycling pants and put on running clothes!!! Lets just say I was sore and running would be a refreshing sport to do! I began the run just a little after 9am, with no rest from the bike there was no time as only had until 8pm I ran to the end of the tarmac and was met by WAIT! single track, off camber, downhill and I could not believe it! this is when I officially took Steve Kirby off my Christmas Card list! thank goodness I had chosen to wear Cascadia Trail shoes! this was to be a challenging run too and oh add the mercury creeping up towards triple digits, I kept my smile I love to run did the first loop in 15 minutes just 39 more to go.... On lap 5 I took a hit to my left calf muscle not sure why but an angry yellow jacket had decided to sting me through compression socks too I jumped so high and dropped the grapes I was eating as I let out a primeval scream! My body was so tired already and so vulnerable my calf quickly swelled up and nothing more I could do but continue running through the trail, which after a little steep section ends up on the road I had just cycled 21 times! then more uphill to a downhill and transition. Took a tablet for allergies and toothpaste on the sting! set off again. It slowly dawned on me with my limited mathematical knowledge that I would run out of time before 8pm, do decided that I should enjoy the marathon distance, at around lap 12 I found out it had been extended to 10pm, but even with that generous cutoff I had taken too much time in the medical tent and when I finally made 20 loops I accepted the award of Anvil Plus which is 4.8 swim, 224m bike and 26.2m run. 

The winning time was 27 hours, normally doubles are won in 20 hours to give you an idea at the difficulty of the course. 
I had kept with Hammergels on the run and taken Endurolytes, Anti Fatigue Caps and Race cap supremes through out. And of course my Hammer Recoverite afterwards
Order Recoverite first time? 
Yup my body had shut down in the middle of the night, I could not drink swallow or eat for a while, but thats ultra racing you never know how your body will hold up at sometime plan for discomfort.

To all the other support crews that came over to help ...amazing
It was difficult and challenging and would not change the course at all except maybe reverse the run...
Post race awards one of the best I have been too...
A few of us at the Awards..

Thanks to Teri, David and Steve for anvilizing the West a lot of hard work putting on this first event but next year I am sure it will sell out!
Shout out to my awesome sponsors for the support, My new Williams Wheels 30s were smooth rolling, No flats with Serfas tires, The Aquaman wetsuit gave me the woman's fastest swim of the day! Hammer Nutrition for sponsoring the event too, I kept up with the Hammer gels and supplements when my body could not take anything else! Rudy Project USA for hot looking helmets, bags and glasses; Profile Design for Handle bars; Kool n Fit again for sponsoring the event I used the spray on my legs a lot during the bike! Ocean Potion Suncare for sponsoring the event and for protecting my skin. Polar USA for the chance to use the new V800 it was everything and more you said it would do and also for the prizes for 1st place finishers.. Triall3sport cases for protecting my wheels. TriSlide for my chaffing with the wetsuit, To my swim coach Christine from Competitive Tri Swim Masters at Covina, Brooks USA for running shoes, to Jean Ho for the friendship formed and helping with getting from A to B, Charlie Vickrey for the massages and most of all my husband for always supporting my crazy ideas and his company A.W professional Gardening and Landscaping! 

Pre Race .....
run course

Run Course
Caroline great to finally meet you!

First place rookie!!! Steve Fullard!!

Ultraman peeps!! 

Kool n Fit
Stacey who won the double what an awesome achievement.
My friend Angie and Jean after the event.


Do not tell Hammer this is Tango!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Grand Tour 200 miles of cycling in one day!

So a week ago at the last minute of the last hour on Friday I was given the go ahead to cycle on Saturday after having my foot treated for a strained ligament...I was elated and so with the help of my friend Rory I ended up in Malibu at 5.30am to cycle with my ultra friend Lorraine for 200 miles....
I am all smiles at mile 105 plenty of Hammer Nutrition to keep me moving forward.

 We began the adventure at 5.30am, in day light, no need for head lights but I did have my rear blinky light on... We began at an aggressive pace which picked up when a group of four riders past us on the Pacific Highway better known as the PCH, not my favorite road to ride on but for 25 miles I would come to embrace it.... rolling hills and flats, passing some incredible scenery with the Amazing Ocean on one side and running/hiking trails on the other....
About mile 20 ...
The whole day was just awesome, very little wind , a little on the hot side. I kept up my hydration and used Perpetuem as my main fuel,.. The aid stations were well manned about 30 miles between each. The main rest stop was the 100 mile mark, were a full buffet of lunch could be had... I kept it really plain and ate plainly, rehydrated filled the water bottles with fresh perpetuem and iced water and we were off.
Cycling buddies we kept together for most of the day...  
It was quite a journey, none of us had any issues with flat tires, Lorraine and her friend were super strong all day and Bruce Lorraines Husband would finish his first double. Mid way Lorraine decided to catch on to the rear wheel of a fast moving pace line...i did every thing I could to keep the rear wheel in front on my front heart rate was super high and the issue I had was my toes cramping.... then it was full charge again to catch onto the pace line!! I seriously thought I would crash and burn and not be able to continue. !! I kept on with my calories and Hammer Nutrition, and we finished in daylight too!! 14 hours is respectable ! I was super happy as it was good training and a mental booster for the Double Iron I had signed up for!
First time using my new William Wheels 30s all smiles...
Great Views

Point Mugu

loving me some Ocean Views..

My first Grand Tour Brent was my tour guide!

Bruce and Lorraine fantastic Couple.

Jean and Amy all smiles before their first successful double finish


Big Thanks to my friend Rory for volunteering his time for the event.

After the event it was time for home I was super tired and Lorraine drove us home! Time for recovery as I looked at my Polar V800... yikes and time for some recovery drinks...
whoa thats a lot of recovery time!!

Thank Goodness for Hammer Nutrition

Time to relax with Hammer guarding over me!

This years Grand Tour was bitter sweet, besides finishing in day light and meeting friends and making new friends, it was sad to be reminded of an awesome female who made the Grand Tour what it was year after year, and who died from a bike accident. Pam will always be remembered...