Sunday, January 27, 2008

The good, the bad, the ugly...

Good: I ran in shorts yesterday! 36 degrees and sunny. Yes!
Bad: I am super grouchy today for no reason.
Ugly: My feet are still raw from the stupid fins I had to use in the ugliest swim workout ever on Thursday. My feet were very mad in my dress boots this morning at church and brunch. I will spare you pictures of my tootsies although, I really don't think they are too bad (without the owies).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

If you think this is a problem...

... raise your hand.

The swim coach at Master's swim tonight put out a bucket to puke in before the beginning of the first set.

Yeah, awesome. Fortunately, there was no need although I did consider it after the second set. I had to pull myself out and sit on the side while I tried to keep my lunch and snack where it belonged.

Our workout included...

•warm up 6x100 descending
•75s with fins and kick board - start on 2:00 for 2 and descend :05 every other. So 2 75s on 2:00, 2 75s on 1:55, 2 75s on the 1:50, 2 75s on 1:45, etc. Made it to 1:05s. (24 75s total)
•50 ez
•11x50: start in deep, dive in, sprint 25, climb out, 5 push ups (started with 10, but that only lasted for 4 50s), dive in, sprint 1/2 way back and coast in
•75 ez
•2x300 ez free with every 3rd 25 fast stroke
•warm down: 100 ez kick

3775 yards total

Sometimes it is super nice to have different coaches with different approaches to workouts but there is a downside as well. For some reason, the college aged coaches that we swim for tend to think that my lightening fast swim buddy (LFSB) and I need the hardest workouts they can think of. That somehow, it will "challenge" us and make them better coaches in some odd, sadistic way. The problem is that I can't do three hard swim workouts a week for weeks on end and have anything left for my other stuff (or another swim workout).

Anywho, my LFSB was a little annoyed and aggravated with the coach before all was said and done. I can't say that I blame him, though I believe the problem is more of a communication issue between coaches. Hopefully everything gets straightened out because otherwise I am going to have to create a few of my own workouts!

Stay warm out there all!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Check these out... Yikes

Okay, my running shoes were shot and I desperately needed a new pair. I have been wearing the Asics Gel Nimbus for the last bazillion pairs and decided to have my foot and shoe looked at to make sure it was still my best bet. This ended up being the case again. Now, I have had two pairs of almost all of the following dark blue, light blue, alien green, orange, and gray and purple. All I am asking for is the shoe to come in red. Just one time. If this show ever comes in red I will purchase at least three pairs of them. The shoe salesman said he can't remember that this shoe (ladies version) has ever come in red. So what color did I end up with?

Root beer and Latte. The ugliest shoes on the planet.

Well, I guess no one can say that I am buying shoes just because they are pretty.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Are you kidding me?!?!

Being a physical therapist and having worked with people who have had prosthetics as well as learning about all of the energy expenditures and things, this interests me. I am sure that many of you have heard about Oscar Pistorius, the South African runner who had his legs amputated when he was a toddler. He is one of the fastest runners in the world and the debate has been over whether or not he should be allowed to run in the Beijing Olympic Games. This is a controversy because it is thought that he may have a biomechanical advantage over the able-bodied runners with his bilateral, transtibial, carbon fiber limbs . Known as the "Blade Runner" and "the fastest man on no legs", Pistorius is the double amputee world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meter events. In 2007, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) amended its competition rules to ban the use of "any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device". The Federation claimed that the amendment was not specifically aimed at Pistorius. Scientists were employed by the IAAF to analyze Pistorius' track performances and after looking at the data they concluded that Pistorius gained considerable advantages over athletes without prosthetic limbs. On 14 January 2008, based on these findings, the IAAF ruled him ineligible for competitions conducted under their rules, including the 2008 Summer Olympics. Pistorius most likely will appeal the decision. The article is below as well as a few comments I have to make about it.

Oscar Pistorius - Independent Scientific study concludes that cheetah prosthetics offer clear mechanical advantages
Monday 14 January 2008

Monte Carlo - The IAAF has received the results of an independent scientific study carried out by Professor Peter Brüggemann at the German Sport University in Cologne. This study made a biomechanical and physiological analysis of long sprint running by a double transtibial amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius (RSA) using “cheetah” prosthetics, and also compared this athlete with five able-bodied athletes who are capable of similar levels of performance at 400m.

The tests, which took place on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 November in the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics, were initiated by the IAAF with the approval and participation of Oscar in order to see whether the prosthetics used by him should be considered as technical aids which give him an advantage over other athletes not using them, in contravention of IAAF competition rule 144.2.*

The objective results of this study are that:

- Pistorius was able to run with his prosthetic blades at the same speed as the able-bodied sprinters with about 25% less energy expenditure. As soon as a given speed is reached, running with the prosthetics needs less additional energy than running with natural limbs.

- Once the physiological potential of Oscar Pistorius and the able-bodied control athletes had been estimated, using three different methods, it is clear that Pistorius’ potential was not higher than that of the controls, even though their performance results were similar.

- The biomechanical analysis demonstrated major differences in the sprint mechanics used by a below-knee amputee using prosthetics when compared to athletes with natural legs. The maximum vertical ground reaction forces and the vertical impulses are different in a highly significant way and the amount of energy return of the prosthetic blade have never been reported for a human muscle driven ankle joint in sprint running.

- The positive work, or returned energy, from the prosthetic blade is close to three times higher than with the human ankle joint in maximum sprinting.

- The energy loss in the prosthetic blade was measured at 9.3% during the stance phase while the average energy loss in the ankle joint of the able bodied control athletes was measured at 41.4%. This means that the mechanical advantage of the blade in relation to the healthy ankle joint of an able bodied athlete is higher than 30%.

It is evident that an athlete using the Cheetah prosthetic is able to run at the same speed as able bodied athletes with lower energy consumption. Running with prosthetic blades leads to less vertical motion combined with less mechanical work for lifting the body. As well as this, the energy loss in the blade is significantly lower than in the human ankle joints in sprinting at maximum speed. An athlete using this prosthetic blade has a demonstrable mechanical advantage (more than 30%) when compared to someone not using the blade.

IAAF Council has been able to review the full report and has decided that the prosthetic blades known as “cheetahs” should be considered as technical aids in clear contravention of IAAF Rule 144.2. As a result, Oscar Pistorius is not eligible to compete in competitions organised under IAAF Rules.

Note for editors concerning test procedures and parameters:

- Analysis was carried out by a team of more than 10 scientists, including staff from the physiology laboratory of Professor J. Mester (Institute of Training Science and Sport Informatics).

- 12 high speed cameras (250 frames per second) were used to record 3D kinematics, with another 4 high speed cameras to observe sagittal plane motion

- Force platforms were used to record ground reaction forces and point of force application

- Athletes ran the 400m test with a K4 mask to record max VO2. VO2 testing was also carried out in the laboratory (Wingate and Ramp Test) on static bicycles. Blood lactate records were taken regularly

- A 3D scanner was used to record body mass and anthropometric measures of all the control athletes

- The prosthetics were also subjected to material testing

* IAAF Rule 144.2 extract

Relates to the use of" technical aids" during competition

This rule prohibits:

(e) Use of any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides the user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device.


A few comments:

•It seems to me that the prosthetic company would have been better off naming the legs something slow so that they didn't sound so fast, but what do I know.

•In this article they didn't touch on the fact that a single below-the-knee (BTK) amputee increases their energy expenditure in walking as compared to an able-bodied person and if you are a bilateral BTK amputee you have an even greater energy expenditure. This is different than the energy that is gained or lost from the material in the prosthesis itself. VO2 testing on a bicycle won't give you energy expenditure when walking or running.
•Also, note that this study was done in response to the IAAF's request. That is similar to a drug company paying for a study to be done on their drug. The IAAF seems to be trying to protect their other athletes as they have been against him participating in the Olympics from the beginning.

Now I am not saying that if he has a true biomechanical advantage that he should be allowed to participate but I am saying that this particular study does not convince me this is the case.

Videos are coming...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Post #100!!

Yay! It is definitely a milestone. Here is the last batch.

76. I know absolutely nothing about pop culture and it really doesn’t bother me. I can hardly keep track of my own life, let alone the gossip from everyone else’s.
77. When I was a little girl, I was terrified of anything in costume, especially if it had a really big stuffed animal head. That stuff still freaks me out.
78. Crest Regular Paste toothpaste reminds me of my Norfolk grama.
79. Those little candy Conversation Hearts remind me of my Lincoln grama.
80. My biggest pet peeve is hair on the soap. Yuck! We use body wash at our house.
81. I have taken anatomy in high school, college, and at the med center. I love dissection!
82. My husband and I were married twice. Once in the protestant church and then six months later in the Catholic Church.
83. I received my most painful sports injury in an Ultimate Frisbee game in undergrad, a deep thigh bruise.
84. I have never been to Disney World/Land. Probably due to #77.
85. I need to eat regularly or I get extremely crabby, just ask my husband.
86. My husband proposed to me at a Halloween XC race that we were at. I was dressed as running with scissors and he was dressed as a 49er in the gold rush. Nobody understood the humor in our “running” costumes.
87. My biggest vice: skinny-dipping! I love it.
88. In college, I rappelled off a grain silo one night with a few friends. I would do it again.
89. When camping, I prefer to sleep under the stars and not in a tent. Although I have learned that you should always set up your tent, otherwise you will get rained on for sure.
90. You know the ketchup that is in the gallon pump at restaurants for mass use? I used to think that it was somebody’s job to squeeze all the tiny packets in there day after day.
91. It makes me crazy when my husband cranks up his “kick ass” rock (editor’s note… I have lost control of my blog) music. I try to put up with it when he is lifting weights in the basement because he likes it.
92. I get car sick in the backseat. In fact, the last time I threw up was the summer before 4th grade in the backseat of my mom’s car on our family vacation. Yuck.
93. When working with kids, bodily fluids don’t bother me. I can deal with any diaper that comes my way, kids landing their recently eaten lunch on the floor, g-tubes, colostomy bags, drooling, you name it… however I have serious issues with anything that comes out of a nose. Ugh, disgusting. Again, this is something that makes me gag.
94. I big-time hated having my face painted when I was little.

(Mr. KT wrote the last 6 of these facts… just thought you should know.)
95. I have long femur bones according to a professional bike fitter.
96. I am a daddy’s girl. Always have been.

97. I belonged to a sorority in College. Delta Gamma. (Try and keep that under wraps, it might ruin my reputation.)
98. I hate watching all the documentary movies my husband seems to enjoy…what a dork.
99. I only like old school video games, like Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo from 1985...Most likely because I can beat the game and some of the video game wiz kids my husband works with can’t get past the first level.
100. I don’t mow the grass. I just don’t. Well, I have twice when Patrick was gone. First I had a dad that did it and now a husband.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Here is your third dose of random facts.

51. I cry during almost every episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
52. I have a soft spot for animals and I get easily upset if I think one is hurt, lost or in trouble.
53. I am not a crier but I do have the occasional meltdown.
54. Mr KT is especially patient with me when this happens.
55. The first time I cried in front of him was because he majorly dropped me on a bike ride.
56. I was born in Wyoming and am a cowgirl at heart.
57. I love to ride horses especially when I can go fast.
58. I lived in Arizona for 5 months after undergrad.
59. I loved the mountains and desert but missed the grass and pastures.
60. I HATE plucking my eyebrows.
61. I blush very, very easily. Bright red.
62. I very rarely paint my nails and when I do, I use clear polish.
63. I have no idea what the point of clear nail polish even is.
64. I can squat 135 lbs 10 times.
65. I hate to hear my alarm clock go off and so I always wake up subconsciously 1 minute before it goes off.
66. I like mornings and usually get up right away.
67. I have had one broken toe (goofing around with my brother) and one broken finger (falling off uneven bars in high school). That is it for broken bones.
68. One of my favorite parts of the day is when I climb in to my bed and Brick snuggles in on top of the covers between my knees and Kona curls up under my armpit.
69. I don’t mind speaking in front of large groups but I hate asking questions during a lecture. My ears, face and neck turn bright red.
70. In high school, I had an anatomy teacher that made us cook and eat everything that we dissected. I tried everything. Most of it was really, really bad.
71. I love fleece. (Blankets, gloves, hats, pants, vests, jackets, blankets, you name it.)
72. I could sleep anytime, anywhere. I believe that it is because I am relaxed and not sleep-deprived. (See # 43)
73. I really only like to breathe on my right when swimming because when I breathe to the left I get water in my ear. However, I am determined to have this fixed by the 2008 season. I have already started practicing it during swim workouts.
74. I love camping with my husband. There is something sexy about a guy who can build a fire with very few tools and doesn’t mind if he gets a little dirty in the process.
75. One of the only things I really dislike about winter is a cold toilet seat.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Here are the next 25! I know, you are so excited you can't wait. No need to push, everyone can have a turn to read them. =0)

26. I didn’t know that people drank alcohol in high school. (See #23)
27. Some things I carry in the car at all times include a Frisbee, a towel, animal beanbags in a bucket, sidewalk chalk, and a first aid kit. (I would be fun to be stranded with).
28. I like to sleep with a pile of blankets on me. I like the weight of it all.
29. I don’t have a favorite season. I love them all as they get here.
30. I have never been drunk.
31. I have never taken a single drag of a cigarette.
32. I have never been tempted to do either 30 or 31.
33. I love REAL potato chips.
34. I am allergic to caffeine. It makes me so sick it isn’t even funny.
35. I love to run during training, but usually dread the run part of a triathlon. I don’t love to train on the bike but love the bike part of the race. (Kooky, I know.)
36. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with minors in Studio Art, Biology, and English. Which is funny because I am now a physical therapist.
37. I have never, ever dyed my hair.
38. By my sophomore year of high school I was practicing gymnastics at least 25 hours a week at the gymnastics club that my parents sold their souls to in tuition. I didn’t appreciate all of that until recently. (See look, here I am ready to take my baby to practice.)
39. I was a high school diver and gymnast and I am here to tell you that diving is WAY scarier than gymnastics.
40. I love the word “undulate” especially as it related to swimming fly but maybe in other ways too. =0)
41. I was 4 feet 11 inches tall when I got my drivers license.
42. I grew 5 inches my senior year of high school.
43. I need at least 8 hours of sleep and I get it almost every single night. (I don’t do well after 9:30 pm.)
44. I am still a very, very picky eater but I have always been willing to eat peanut butter. Just ask my mama. (And yes, that really is me.)

45. I love to rock climb. Unfortunately Nebraska is a very flat state.
46. I had more sports equipment than my husband when we got married. He is still trying to catch up.
47. Guys that shave their legs, chest and arms… sexy. The less hair the better. (Faces may be the exception to that rule.)
48. I have overly sensitive ears. I wear earplugs when I use the vacuum or the blender.
49. I have done rescue breathing two times in my life. Once on a child who nearly drowned, and once on an adult who stopped breathing after a seizure. Both instances were at the pool I worked at in college. Both lived. The 4-year-old little girl actually ended up throwing up in my mouth. Gross, I know.
50. I only like movies with happy endings.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

1-25 Things about me

Well ladies and gentlemen...

The PT Triathlete blog is 4 posts away from its 100th post! I can't believe it. So, as is tradition, I am going to try to post 100 things about me. Don't worry, for your reading pleasure, I am going to split it up into 4 posts. (I hear you should always leave them wanting more.)

I challenge some of you who really think you know me well to keep track of how many of these things you know and then leave that in the comments section.

1. I love to be hugged with my arms tucked to my chest.
2. I have serious issues with the texture of pudding, Jell-O, yogurt, Gu, and cream of wheat. I gag on them pretty much every time.
3. I love my dogs. They are the cutest things ever, even when they are being naughty.
4. One of my guilty pleasures is buying new running shoes when my old ones aren’t worn out yet.
5. I have bought the same brand and model of running shoe 10 times in a row, Asics Gel Nimbus.
6. I prefer to sleep with my head under the covers. I had to quit doing that when I got married. I think you all know why! P.U.
7. I read the comics in the paper first every day.
8. I still sleep with the blankie I got when I was a newborn.
9. My elbows don’t straighten all the way, they never have.
10. I try to live within the motto, “never find fault in something unless you propose a solution.”
11. I love water; puddles, rain, lakes, rivers, streams, the shower, you name it.
12. I have never seen the ocean, but I think I would love it. (See #11)
13. I had an eyebrow ring for a couple of months in college. Not sure it was really my style and no, I don’t think I have a picture.
14. I love working with kids. They crack me up everyday.
15. I like to be busy. Sitting around is for the birds.
16. My longest run to date is a self supported half marathon on Oct 22nd, 2007, in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
17. My longest bike ride is 52 miles. A group rides in the hills of Iowa.
18. My longest swim is over 4000 yards during a double masters practice.
19. I don’t wear makeup.
20. I like my ponytail.
21. I really don’t like elevators, they make me feel sick. (See #24) I would rather take the stairs.
22. I have the best job ever, PE, recess, field trips, and toys.
23. I am a bit naive.
24. I get motion sick on planes, boats, cars, playground swings, and any other moving objects.
25. I adore power tools! I am currently into our circular saw (with laser) and cordless drill! I even used the drill on my pumpkin last year to make a disco ball.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Swimming machine

I have been swimming like crazy! I know, I know E, too much swimming and not enough biking and running!

But tonight we did a 500 warm up, a set of 4x150 with the outside 25s as easy as you could make them and the middle a very fast, 90% effort 100 IM.

We then did 4x25 fly, ez/fast/ez/fast, 4x50 back ez/fast/ez/fast, 4x75 breast ez/fast/ez/fast, and 4x100 free ez/fast/ez/fast. :10-:15 rest interval.

I would just like to say that on the last 100 of that 1000 yd set, I swam a 1:18. My lightening fast swimming buddy has decided that I could swim a sub 1:10 if I was fresh and got a good strong start off the blocks. Yay!

Anywho, hoping for a little snow here in the next couple of days and trying to decide if this is the year for a HIM. There is one in the middle of June or one at the end of August. I will be comparing pros and cons in the coming posts.

I will leave you with this picture of Kona, asleep on the bed with her tongue hanging out. Not sure what that means but hilarious.

Monday, January 7, 2008


My alarm woke me out of a very sound sleep this morning at 6 am just in time to put on 50 layers of clothes, grab the leash, the dog and my iPod and go running. I got dressed with bleary eyes (usually do pretty well in the morning but this was an exception) and Kona and I headed out the door to get in at least 4 miles before work. I have NEVER, I repeat, never, gone out for a run and then turned around due to weather. It is just not in my nature. This morning, however, my mother would have been proud of me. The temps yesterday may have reached 50ºF. Nice, I know. The temp this am was probably hovering at about 32ºF. Not a great combination when there was still 6-8 inches of icy snow on the ground at this time yesterday. Lots of melting, which was good and sloppy combined with a refreeze last night meant slippy conditions for my run. I don't mind running on ice and snow but this was different somehow. The sidewalks looked alright but let's just say I got about 100 yds down the hill from our house and had a heck of a time getting back up, especially with Kona. I tried the street, it was worse because of the snow that had refrozen and the grass was out because of the giant ice piles from everyone taking advantage of the nice day yesterday to chip the ice off the end of their drives. I decided that it just wasn't worth it. I turned around twice, the first time I thought to myself, "self, don't be a wimp, the temperature is decent, you and Kona both need a run, just go". I turned back, took one or two steps, slid about 3 feet with my running shoes supposedly planted and called it a day. We slid our way back up to the house and that was the end of that. I decided 30 minutes of abs would due and I have a 90 minutes swim workout tonight so I will switch things around and run tomorrow. Just not worth an injury.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My goal for 2008...

... to be an American Gladiator.

Granted these guys are from 20 years ago... but come on, fess up. Who watched American Gladiators tonight besides my husband and I? This is one of the only shows that we actually both want to watch. I really like Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy and Patrick likes Heroes and the Daily Show and we both kind of like House, but Gladiators? I don't know if this show came about before or after the writer's strike but who cares, because it is awesome!

My brother and I used to watch and debate which one of the challenges we would be best at and which gladiator we could totally take. By the way, we were about 9 years old. The funniest part about all of this, that is exactly what I was doing when it was on tonight. I SO want to do that!

By the way... Patrick says that my gladiator name would be FireStorm.

Change is hard

Can I just tell you that finding a new running route has been challenging. Stupid Pacific St (rather busy) has no sidewalks over in my neck of the woods. Been winding through icy neighborhood streets trying to find a safe route for the dog and I in the early (dark) morning hours.

I suppose it is good for me to change it up. Using different muscles at different times by incorporating all the hills in at the beginning and end of the runs.

Alright, sucking it up and running on. Apparently I just needed to vent.

Also, seriously, is it never going to snow again? I am hoping that I will get to use my xc skis this winter. My husband keeps telling me that this is just a January thaw and that we will get all the snow I could ever want in February and March.

"Fine," she said with her arms crossed and a minimal little stomp of the foot.

All I really want is a little stinkin snow! =0)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Yeah, you heard me...

...I said "Cowgirl up".

This is an odds and ends post.

First of all, I would like to say that I cowgirled up and went to the gym to lift weights on a Friday night. Yeah, that's right... happy weekend to me.

Also, if you haven't been to TriBoomer's blog lately, you should definitely scurry on over and watch his year in review video. I loved the music and his post was very touching. Check it out!

Now for last years numbers (not that you all care but it is nice for me to see it in writing):

101 Swims: 266885.0 Yd (151.6 miles)
54 Bikes: 1022.2 miles *
187 Runs: 646.5 miles
Lifting Weights: 92 times

* Pitiful. I am aware. Goals to follow.

These numbers are all without the entire month of January 2007, not sure where the data went although I think I have it written down somewhere!

Seems to me that it may be time to set some goals and start thinking about the 2008 season! Yay!