Friday, April 6, 2012

repin the vegan athletes

another great day of training

in the pool 500,400,300,200,100 and 50 breast and 50 back to cooldown. Had some speed going.

ran 6 miles. it has been soooo windy here this week.  Got my R3 tuned up at the show today.

if you've got some time please vote for me in the following contest.

PETAs Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door 2012

why?? I'm into proving that vegans can be athletes.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vibrant Life Article

Back to feeling like an athlete again and I love it! I really enjoying training and I have a very hard time when I have to be away from it due to injury. So hitting doubles is exactly what I need! Things continue to progress with the Clavicle. I've been swimming everyday an putting down a lot more yardage than I would have though possible. It is excellent rehab for my collarbone. I just got in the water 5 days ago and already it feels much better while I am swimming. Sometimes if gets irritated around the screws from the swimming but nothing terribly serious. The same goes for running. When I first start my run it is like really? this again? but i work though it and its fine. Cycling doesn't really present a problem for it. I am even starting to do a tiny bit out of the saddle if necessary. I wanted to catch up on the training but I also wanted to post this link to an article on vegan athletes that I am quoted in. Check it out!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Rag and Bone

got released by the surgeon on friday. all my scans came back incredible and it was good news. I am now clear to ride outside, run and even swim. Of course it still doesn't feel completely healed and natural but it isn't really painful. Just not right yet. Sadly it doesnt look like the hardward can come out for 18 to 24 months. Also when I do get it taken out I will have some downtime again because i have to let the incision and the bone holes fill in from where the screws are now. I do think I will get it out because at this point the screws bother me. I can tell where everyone of them is and they rub.  Also it is probably safer for me to have it out
because if i do fall on it again it won't break where the plate is so it will break most likely in my shoulder joint or possibly even the neck. neither of which would be pretty. At this point I need to keep it and deal with it the best I can for awhile longer. I'd get it out in the winter when it is time. I also got a cortisone shot in my knee since even with all of the downtime I had for the clavicle surgery it never got any better. I think it may have been the right answer because this is the best it has felt in over a year! I really hope that it stays this way and i can finally put that annoyance behind me. 

 It's time to really start training again and getting ready for the summer of races. I went for a 35 mile ride outside on friday. Saturday I took it to the pool and did intervals from 50s to 500s. That plate and screws pinch when i swim. Today I rode the indoor trainer doing intervals while I watched the Tour of Flanders and afterwards online the Iroman 70.3 Glaveston race.  Then took it to the pool and did 4 - 500s. I am not pushing the pace swimming wise yet just getting things moving again. So far it doesn't appear that swimming the distances for my races will be a problem but i am sure i lost a lot of strength and speed over the last 5 weeks of being out of the water. But im back in the building phase so i'm letting all of the lost time go and just looking forward to using what time i do still have left to train for the upcoming season.  While my swimming certainly took a hit from where it was it isn't as bad as i thought it might be so i am happy about that. And if this knee thing if finally getting better i might actually be able to do some consistent run training for the first time in years. it's magic!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bone Broke

my recovery and training are still progressing. I am jogging during my walks and doing some controlled riding outside as well as my torture on the indoor trainer. the clavicle has been healing well. I will increase my riding and running as a result. can't wait to get back in the water!

whats the recovery diet look like?? here is today. many of these things are staples of my diet.

vega wfo w/coconut water!
Oat bars - see recipe below
Vega protein powder, soy yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds
vega protein bar
tempeh, peppers, onions, tomatoes, black beans
 tofu & brussel sprouts.

 Oat Bars
2 cups oats - any kind from rolled to scottish
1 1/2 cups soy flour
1/4 cup ground fla seed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup nut butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped nuts, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower,sesame), dried fruit, or chocolate chips or any combo

combine and press into a 9 inch pan. bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Line the pain with parchment for easy removal. Cut into bars and store on the counter or in the fridge for a few days.

FYI - I am selling a 2011 Cervelo R3 with sram rival comps in a 56. only about 100 miles on it. contact me if you are interested.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

pride (in the name of love)

another reason why I strongly believe in crossfit is the real strength that I have gained through it has helped me in my injury recovery. It just gives you such balanced strength that I have a lot of compensation for my injury in support muscles. compensating musculature is a sweet thing. Meaning I can feel all of my supporting muscles for my clavicle taking up the slack. I don't have a lot of pain but i do get tired in my back and my chest when it is getting fatigued. For my second week of recovery. I started on the trainer and did my walks but I also started riding outside a bit too and well as adding a little bit of running back into my programming. The riding outside obviously i have to stabilie the bike and im picking up the road vibrations. but it not bad at all. The running is a little tougher so i am being cautious to not do too much too soon there.  I know many people think this insane and unnecessary but we all need to decide our own risk level in life.  It certainly isnt the conversative approach but I tend to be my own doctor to a degree. I listen to what my body is telling me it can or can't do and act accordingly. A doctor can give you hard numbers but he can't tell you what you feel like. Only you know that. It can be seen as pushing the envelope but i've never believed in commonly perceived boundaries. Overall I remain positive about my recovery. I have good ranges of motion in all directions and it feels better and stronger everyday. sometimes it is sore before bed but im dealing with it. overall it was a tough week. mostly due to the time change. it takes me awhile to deal with that. I know it is only an hour but it gets me so off schedule. Im waking up at 4:30 etc.  It is unnatural and hard on the body but im adjusting.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

titanium expose

my thoughts on recovery after surgery. anyone that follows me knows that i've had a couple of surgery and had good results recovering from them in the past. Of course I find myself in this situation once again and I want to share what I do to recover sucessfully after surgery to treat an injury.

Immediately after the surgery I being trying to hydrate as much as possible. I want to flush all of those nasty but surgically necessary drugs from my system as fast as possible. Usually it is the surgical drugs that make you feel terrible after the surgery and getting rid of those as well hydrated makes you feel so much better. I hit coconut water. VEGA of course! I am also a big believer in Tea. I mainly drink herbal teas like roobios to avoid caffine but i also drink de-caf green tea. Your adding antioidents without adding calories. Of course after major surgery most people are on narcotics. Depending on your pain tolerance it is another necessary evil. However, I believe in order to recover well you need to get off of these as fast as you can tolerate. They are not putting your body in the optimal healing state. I try to take as little as I need to of any drugs for pain from narcotics to nsaids. Sometimes you need it but if you don't get yourself back to an alkaline healing state. There are more natural ways to control pain from ice treatments to moist heat. Ask yourself are you really in pain? or are you uncomfortable? If you have to ask your probably just uncomfortable. real pain pretty much shuts down thinking (at least for me it does). When I fell and broke my collarbone, that was pain, I didn't want to move it. Even though I never broke this bone before I knew it was broken before the medics arrived. I didn't need to be told it was. Coming out of surgery that was pain. a couple of days later. not so much. I also believe that cleaning up your diet and eating to recover helps you get there faster as well. I always make it a point to make sure I get enough protein. I believe that is even more important in this state. Eat a good variety of plants so your body isnt deficient in anyway and can focus on the job of healing. I am also a strong supporter of getting back to action in some form as soon as possible. The body is designed to move. Even while working around an injury you are not only keeping up your fitness level but you are creating the very important hormone levels to aid in healing. Athletes recovery from surgery faster than sedentary people. Because they move! Their bodies are used to recovering from hard training sessions. I think it is ok to still train hard but smart. You don't want to do anything to aggravate the injury. You also do not want to train to a point where you are slowing down your injury recovery but don't be afraid to move. I think many people after sustaining an injury become overly fearful. Healing is a progression. It gets better everyday. It isn't a situation where on day 39 your broken but magically on day 40 your fully healed. I go after range of motion as soon as possible. this is simply moving your own body. your not loading up with outside weight. range of motion is lost from simply not moving. i say move, get range then its time to work for strength. sleep is important too I notice I sleep more after surgery. I go with it. It's when the biggest healing happens. Ask questions from your doctor about when you can reasonable return to activities. Doctors are conservative. They are not going to tell you any earlier than they are completely confident it is healed. this isn't a bad thing but it is why I also choose to listen to my body. I research online what is typical post op recoveries for the procedure. For this injury I had the same surgery that lance armstrong had. Lance got back on the bike within a week, so did I. After that point what you can do for the most part is based off of your pain tolerance. it is going to hurt to move it. but it will hurt less everytime. Ranges will get better. Armstrong was fully recovered in 3 - 5 weeks. I also plan to be. Why? Because I am focused on healing. I get out of the way of letting the body do what it does. Eat well, MOVE, and sleep. Yesterday I rode the trainer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Today I rode for 1 hour and 30 minutes. It is training around my injury, but it is also training something I will need to do. I work all of the position from bars, to hoods, to drops, to aero (praying) over the bars. I tried out some standing and riding today but im not ready for that yet.

Friday, March 9, 2012

staples out!

an hour on the trainer today and STAPLES ARE OUT! 3 more weeks of indoor riding. Then i go back to the doc and get another ray and it should be completely healed and ill be able to run and swim again at that time. I can go to the pool and do kicking stuff but no stroking. I also can walk but no running just yet. I don't have to wear the sling anymore until it gets sore and i need a break. overall the surgeon seemed impressed with the healing so far and i get back to a more regular life with it now.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

i shall be released

yesterday - 4 mile walk outside. walking takes FOR-EV-ER! important thing to remember for ironman racing. even when walking seems like a good idea it is still really slow. try to avoid it when possible. looking forward to running again.

today - 45 minutes on the trainer. felt good. can't wait til it is strong enough to be outside in control of the bike instead of not moving anywhere but for a week after surgery im happy to be riding at all.

mostly i miss swimming a ton these last couple of weeks and really want to get back in the water. i know it is going to be a bit yet. I go back to the surgeon tomorrow to get my staples taken out and of course i will talk with him about when he thinks i should resume these activities. i will probably take whatever he says but also see how i feel. at this point i believe i am ahead of what a normal recovery schedule for this procedure would be. i haven't been wearing my sling all day today. Having the broken bone set with the plate has provided a lot of stability to it. it is just basically sore at this point. i do think it will feel much better once the tension of the staples is released too.

getting a ton of reading done. most likely ill be back to work on monday.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

back in the saddle again

got on the trainer for 30 minutes today. i used the bars, hoods and drops. My surgical side obviously isn't as good but i was able to bear weight on it for the full time so i am happy with that. I am pretty much back to most of my regular activities, cooking, cleaning, etc. I am really looking forward to getting the staples out as that will make this a lot less tight all of the time. only a couple more days til friday. The surgeon and various other people are probably not going to be thrilled and give me garbage about riding my bike already but i don't really care all that much. If I can do it at this point i am going to do it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

1 plate, 6 screws and 21 staples later

1 plate, 6 screws and 21 staples later.... surgery is done and i am getting better. had a few bumps along the way. i have to go on the record and say i am not a fan of the dehydrating yourself before surgery. i have no issue with the fasting but i dont agree with the not drinking water for that long but more on that later! surgery at the hospital was interesting. got signed by the surgeon and waited for the setup for the procedure. A bunch of the paperwork later got an iv and some drugs and go ready for the show. first time i remember in the surgeon standing over me before my eyes were even open and him saying ... mary this if your favorite doctor.... how do you feel? my elegant response. "like i am going to vomit" and him going yep your fine. recovery room was pretty painful. morphine shots provided no real relief and i had 2 really annoying people on each side. crying and whining about how much pain they are in. couldn't want to get away from them. only to get back to my room and have the same situation with different people. I was able to drink juice, water and eat some graham crackers. then you can't go home until you pee. i pushed about 60 ounces of fluid and couldn't pee. eventually after 30 minutes in the bathroom i was able to force out some fluid and get ready to head home. got home and pretty much went right to bed. woke up with a fever of 102. not happy. more trouble trying to pee and a fever for 15 hours while trying to get the surgeons office to call me back. (4calls- welcome to the modern state of medicine) finally i called my regular doctor. I eventually heard from the on call surgeon and he said it was too soon for my surgery to be infected and most likely i had a urinary tract infection as a side effect from the surgical drugs. got my regular doctor to write me a script for antibiotics for the UTI and finally i was feeling better from the surgery. the following day i was able to take the dressings off and see the lovely 21 staples. can't wait for those to come out. It is a much longer incision than i thought. I also stopped taking narcotics and am just taking OTC ibuprofen. At this point i am feeling better and able to take care of myself pretty well. I think once these staples come out it is going to be all systems go. I go back to the surgeon on friday to get my staples out!!  I know i cant swim until the wound heals. but i can ride the trainer and walk without too much ado. so that is going to be the main focus initially. then running when i can handle the bouncing. I am reading michael phelps book right now and when he broke his wrist and they set it. he was riding a stationary bike everyday and swimming again in 10 days. I don't want to be down with this any longer than i have to and i don't want to sacrifice my race season because of it. it is a small speed bump. I got lucky that i didn't have any permenant injuries from the fall. The clavicle break isn't a huge deal. I am not going to let it sideline me for the season. whatever can be done will be done.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Got a bit of activity in today to keep the body from stiffening up too much. I've been getting really sore from sitting so much. yeah im serious about that actually. I've had to become kinda sedentary from this clavicle injury and the body isn't liking it. so i rode a stationary bike for a couple of miles today as well as did some easy walking just to get moving a bit. I also did my pre-op stuff with the hospital. Right now I am on the schedule for thursday at 11:30. I would get started around 9:30 for the surgery. The hospital will call me tomorrow to confirm the time. I am hoping it gets moved a little earlier but it's not too bad. I also started my making my personal training page.  please "like" me on facebook. and let me know if you need some training.

im actually feeling a little less sore today. after the surgery i was told ill b hurting again. hopefully only a couple of days and then ill b healing and back at it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

not looking for this kind of hardware

So I broke and displaced my clavicle. Need to have surgery on Thursday to get a plate and some screws installed in order to get it back in line and able to heal properly. This is a bit of a setback as far as training goes. I fell while doing toes to rings during a crossfit wod. So I was inverted when I fell. I "landed" on both my head and shoulder when I contacted the ground. I am not sure if I knocked myself  unconscious or not. Basically when I lost my grip I fell really fast and I couldn't turn myself right side up to land on my feet.  I fell from about 5 - 7 feet onto a hardwood floor.  what I learned. mats are good. Back to the story, when I hit the ground I immediately lost my vision and couldn't move.  But I felt like I could still hear. or my hearing came back before my sight. The other people  that were at the gym came yelling and running over to me to keep me on the ground since i clearly hit my head. Like i said i couldn't see them or move at first anyway. Once they got to me I did try to get up to find myself restrained to the ground. An ambulance was being called and i wasn't happy about it. I didn't want to go because i didn't think I was that hurt. then i tried to move my arm and i knew it was either broken or dislocated or both. So then I said ok i would go. The people around me told me i already had two bumps and bruises that were swelling on my head and i really should get that checked out asap. The medics came and because i hit my head i wasn't allowed to get up. 3 guys put me on a stretcher and carried me out. they knew my shoulder was a mess too because they immediately made me a sling out of a blanket they tore up. I wasn't feeling too well by the time we got inside the ambulance so they started an IV to give me some antinausea medication as i was pretty messed up. They wouldn't give me any pain medication because i hit my head. And man did i want some! They asked me to try to control my breathing in the ambulance because i was not breathing well again i think it was from the pain. yoga came in handy there and it also does for racing situations! We got to the hospital and there was lineup in the ER. yuck! luckily the medics had me fast tracked because of the bumps and bleeding on my head and because i had a line in they asked the ER doc to give me something for the pain. Which he did! yay! although it really didn't do that much. then it was off for various scans and rays of my head and body. Getting transferred even though people with picking me up and moving me was not very much fun at all. I could just brace myself and get ready for them to do it and the pain because there is nothing else i could do. Once the head scans came back clean i was able to have some real pain meds! they didn;t help as much as i was hoping. I was told i had a broken and displaced collarbone and that it would need to be plated by an orthopedic surgeon in order for it to heal properly. They gave me a sling and pain meds and sent me home to suffer. I went to the Ortho the following morning and he said that he consulted with my surgeon and they agree that my surgeon is going to plate it and i had to wait to see him in the office on monday. so a few more days of suffering and then i go to my guy this morning and i find out more days of suffering are ahead as i can't get the surgery until thursday. i was pretty upset about this and basically begged him for a long time. and told him how miserable i am. that i can't sleep well. that it hurts to eat, walk, sit, stand , breathe, etc. But I need to have it done in the hospital not a short stay center because I most likely will be staying overnight and going home the net day. Although he did say there is a possibility that if i am feeling really good i can go home the same day. although he thinks i am going to be pretty pissed at him from the pain. at this point i just can not wait to get it over with instead of being in this holding pattern of pain. Im sure it is going to hurt but at least it would be properly healing and i can get on the right path. I really begged him to do it before then but he kept assuring me this is the best way to do it and I guess I really do want him to do it right. So the following couple of days are going to be rough just waiting around for the big event. we talked a little about my recovery. ill have a splint on and i will be able to start riding my bike indoors and walking initially. I can progress that to riding outside and running when i can handle the bouncing. I can swim within 2 months as well when the incision is healed. But I won't be able to do any upper body strength training for awhile. no weights until probably july or so he thinks.  I told him i want to be able to swim bike and run as soon as possible and i am not as concerned about the weight training and he didn't believe me for a second. he said you saying that to me now because your in a lot of pain but as soon as this starts healing your gonna bug me to do handstand pushups. So it looks like i will be doing some more traditional triathlon training for awhile.Im whiling to do whatever I can do and see how it goes. At this point I am going to wait until after the surgery and see how the post op recovery and training is going before I decided on my racing schedule. I do not want to defer or skip races unless i am forced to. I dont want to make that kind of decision until I know where i am at after this. If I really can not do it and have to cancel as a result so be it. I won't be happy about it. One of the funniest things about this whole event is almost everyone assumes i did this on my bike. which is very reasonable so when i tell them i fell off a rings they look at me like WTF? So ill be doing a lot of reading and movie watching and whining. the first download on my new nook - michael phelps -  no limits!  its all about the hardware! i've been staying with my parents as i need some help with basic things. i don't have much internet access but i will try to update this post op. i wish i was training but in the long run thankfully i did no have a serious head or neck, or spinal cord injury. i was lucky in that sense.  I've put most of my memberships on suspension until i get cleared to go back and hit it. hoping it is soon. so put in some hard sessions on my behalf!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

RTRS update

FINALLY! I am posting on my blog again. It has been a long hard busy month. I had to work some long days and get my training in around that. It was a bit of challenge but happily it all got done. It should be a few more busy weeks but I've been getting some messages reminding me that i haven't updated this in awhile so here I go! Obviously I can't do that much back detail but some of the bigger themes were the continuing sinus saga. I got a cat scan and nasal swabs done and it is all pointing to my allergies. So I've gone off my allergy medication and in a week or so I am going for allergy testing (my second round) because this time I found a doctor that isn't afraid to actually treat my highly allergic reactions. I raced my final Cyclocross race of the season the "fire and ice" race. True to it's name it was held at night in the dark and it was 6 degrees when the gun went off. The course was lite by lumaand had a couple of fire jumps in it. There wasn't much ice on the course. there was a little snow in the grass so the ice portion was more about the cold temps for me. Luckily my friends hooked me up for it. Chris let me borrow his helmet lite so i could see in the dark a bit better and  Jeff let me borrow his Balaclava so my face wouldn't be totally ice. I bought a pack of chemical hand warmers and put them in my shoes and gloves. It was actually so cold during the race i didn't think they were working. After the race I noticed that they were! I kept everything on before the race as long as possible. Got a warmup lap in on the course which helped because in the dark you come up on the barriers FAST and need a quick dismount. I almost clipped them a few times during the race because you just can't see them until your on top of them. It was basically the blair witch project with bikes. You could hear other rides around you but you really couldn't see them for the most part. It was super cold waiting around for the start but once they released us the hour went by without any thoughts about temperature. I did crash onces on a turn down a steep off camber hill. But i was fine. The course road pretty well. I didn't ride the rock wall and i didn't ride through the river that was coming up into the course. The only reason I didn't ride that section was because it was so cold. getting wet on top of it wasn't in my plans. especially if you feel into the river you were screwed. I did do the fire jumps this race. I was the first female to finish in the open class. There wasn't much of an after race hang as it was so cold everyone changed and took off. I picked up a lot of points and won $150 bucks from the rivertown race series for my effort. I attend the awards luncheon which was super fun. They showed videos of the races and we talked with the sponsors etc. I don't think im going to post the video on here because with it being dark you can't see much. They put on a fun run before the lunch which was a 5 mile loop around a lake. But it snowed here the day before so it was 5 miles of running in 6 inches of snow around a scenic lake. The snow made the running much tougher than I thought it would be. that is deep snow to run in without yaktraks or something like that. I probably should pick those up. Although I don't know how much they would have helped the difficulty came from not being able to see what your running on underneath all of that snow. I've still been out mountain biking working on my skills. The other big event was the 3 day yoga workshop with Pradeep.  That was some challenging asana. classes were about 3 hours long. Sweating like mad and going super deep. I've been getting to yoga as much as i can to try to keep myself loose as possible. all of the crossfitting makes me super tight. All of the biking and running have the hips tightening up so i gotta keep workin on opening those puppies up. Thing have been going well training wise. The knee is still a little weird after I run so I started going for some ART on it.  The weather has been pretty mild here in the NE so it has been decent trainin so far this winter which i am so thankful for. Sorry about being off of here for so long but i do plan to update this more regularly again.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Add it up!

No, I haven’t been resting for the last two weeks just been really busy with the usual holiday insanity so haven’t had time to blog.  Things have been going well I am rebuilding after the knee injury and getting back on track for some serious training heading up to an awesome racing season this year. I updated my race schedule on this blog  for the races that I am already registered for and will do this season. I may include some more local races as training for this races as the season progresses but those four races are my big events for the year Tri wise.  During my run outside this morning I was thinking about what I’ve done in the last year and what I have to look forward to for 2012.

1) Raced my first 2 - 70.3 distance triathlons (EagleMan and Pocono mountains) .  Saw significant improvement from my first to my second even with a knee injury hampering a lot of my season.
2) Raced a great sprint tri  (in an hour and a few seconds!) and qualified to go to the USAT - Age group National Championships for Olympic Distance in Burlington, VT.
3)Raced at Nationals even with the knee injury and probably had my most fun race to date. The course itself was tough and the competition was even tougher but that racing environment was super fun. Burlington did a great job of promoting the race and provided a beautiful venue and incredible fans.
4) Started racing cyclocross and had a racing shot of me make the crossfitendurance website

1) improve my time at eagle man / half-iron distance
2) race some “big” oly tri’s in NYC and Philly  and drop my time for Olympic racing. Want these specific races as prep for racing #3 below
3) Race my first FULL IRONMAN Tri in NYC!
4) Compete in more cyclocross races and improve my technical skills.

Overall one of the things I wish to improve from 2011 - 2012 is to be more tuned to what my body is telling me. In the past I’ve ignored that and just pushed through whatever pain and signals to stop my body was giving me. I feel like I missed a lot of time training and racing last season as a result. It wasn’t a terrible season by any means but I could barely “run” with the knee injury. While it is hard to turn off that kind of mental perseverance I probably should have accepted it when I couldn’t even walk down the steps.  Lol. I would like to have a better “base” of run training. Not meaning volume of miles but of consistency of just training running regularly.  I can say I improved my swimming and cycling this past season but I think my running may have gotten worse as a result of the injury. One of the major commitments I’ve made is returning to yoga and actually keeping my body mobile. It’s been wonderful! I also believe it is excellent mental training.
Probably my other biggest training change this year has been the off road riding both cyclocross and mountain biking. Both are incredible for the skill work and it’s so much more fun than the trainer! Got a great 34 mile road ride in today with some friends to roll into the new year. The weather was wonderful for it. I won’t go back and detail all of the workouts I’ve done since my last blog because it is sooooo many but I am moving some seriously weight around again. Not near my old Prs but I  was pulling 220 off the ground yesterday and I’ve had 85 lbs about my head. Ive got connected kipping pullups back too. Starting to feel better at the cross fitting wods that I have been still not great but getting there. I am doing jumps, burpees, lunges etc. The walking lunges are still the toughest on the knee.  In other news I ordered a pair of race wheels for this season and I got a ton of new tri geat for the holidays.  Including the shirt in the pictures above. Another kool thing in the nice TYR Transition backpack.  Im pretty happy that tomorrow is january 2nd and the holiday madness is pasted for another season. So far the winter hasn't been too bad in the NE. I've still been able to get outside on my bikes and to run so that is happiness. Although I did sorta bang up my mtn bike a bit yesterday. Nothing that isn't repairable though just my usual requisite fall. Although this is the first i had to be towed out of the woods. I'm told thats part of the sport. 2011 was pretty awesome and 2012 is going to be even better! much love and thanks for reading! hope to see you out there!