Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009: A Year in Review

Way back in July, in one of my first posts, I listed out some personal goals I had for the year.   So how did I do?  

1) Go to Italy - great time; biked alot, met fabulous people, ate wonderful food,  and got to see Lance Armstrong race live in the Giro D'Italia.   I still keep in touch with many of the people I met on the trip and am looking forward to hopefully meeting up with them again sometime! 

2) My second goal was to see Lance Armstrong race live in his comeback year.   This was done while in Italy, see above link for pics!  

3)  My 3rd and 4th goals had to do with athletic accomplishments.   Looking back at the year, I have completed:  5 - 5k's, a 4 miler, a 10 miler, 3 - 1/2 marathons, and a triathlon in each distance (sprint, olympic, 1/2 IM, and full IM).  I also did 5 century rides, including, Pelotonia where I got to see Lance Armstrong for the 2nd time in a year.   Of the races that I participated in, I had a PR in every distance except for the 1/2 marathon.   So, all in all, I think it was an excellent year and I far exceeded anything I thought I could do in a given year! 

4) Stay healthy:  overall this was also accomplished, I made it to the start of all of my main races injury free and I didn't get the H1N1 virus (thus far) so I will call this a success!

5) Spend more time with family and friends.   Despite all of the training that I did, I still feel that I accomplished this goal!   I spent plenty of time with my family, we traveled to South Dakota for the first ever Kurtenbach Family Reunion;

Went on a family adventure to Hocking Hills for a zipline course;

Had no fewer than 5 meals together as a family (this is tough since my sister moved to LA) and took an updated family shot;

Met up in Phoenix for IMAZ and Thanksgiving:

I got to spend alot of time with CT's family, in fact we started the year in Boston;

Met up in the middle of the year for a 1/2 IM in Michigan and a family sprint tri in Lima, Ohio;

Phoenix for IMAZ;

and fnished off the year in Lima, for Christmas!

As far as friends go, I was able to spend quite a bit of time running, riding, and eating with friends.   In fact, I couldn't have met the majority of my goals above without them!  

I would love to list my stats for the year, but I have no idea!   Instead I will simply list out what I have done since the last post:

Stats for the last 11 days:
12/17/09: 45 minute run, with some hills
12/18/09:  55 minute swim
12/19/09: 10 mile run, no timing
12/20/09: rest
12/21/09: 40 minute run
12/22/09: 45 minute core strength/LE stretch
12/23/09: rest
12/24/09: 45 minute run
12/25/09: 50 minutes on the trainer, 30 minute strength/stretch
12/26/09:  8.1 mile run, no timing
12/27/09:  5.4 mile trail run at Highbanks, no timing

And of course, the most important thing I accomplished this year is the bragging rights to:
1) Declare that I am an Ironman!

2)  Get a matching tattoo to my boyfriend's:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Okay, I have a confession to make.   I have done absolutely all of the wrong things for my "recovery" the past 2 weeks.   I didn't even look at the recommended recovery plan since my last blog entry.   I have eaten very badly, drank alot of alcohol and coffee, exercised very little, and slept very erratic hours.   Terrible, especially since I am a PT and should know better.   

Things have been a little hectic.   My sister, Lora,  has been in town for the past 10 days so I have visited quite a bit with her and my family.   She was here b/c my dad had a pretty major surgery, he had an acoustic neuroma removed and was in the hospital most of last week.   My mom, sister, and I took shifts throughout the week to make sure he had a familiar face at the hospital for most of his stay.   This combined with still trying to work, left me very little time to exercise.  

There was also a Cheryl's Cookies on the way from the parking garage to my Dad's room.   Unfortunate for me because this is my absolute favorite local cookie company and they were having a "sale" each day where you could get 5 cookies for $5.   Needless to say, I could not pass this up and I am still finding cookies in random pockets and in various bags from last week!   I also managed to eat out about every evening and had at least one or two medium mochas per day.   My dad did very well with his recovery at the hosptial and was sent home on Friday.  CT and I "celebrated"  and finished out the week with a pizza and wine festival on Saturday night.   Let's just say, by Sunday I had a food/wine hangover like I haven't experienced in years, it wasn't a good day.

I was determined to start out this week better since my dad is now at home (doing much better) and I took some time off of work to spend time with him and my family.   It did start out well with a nice run through Sharon Woods Park on Monday.   Of course I haven't worked out since, preferring to bake and cook for the past two days.   Yesterday I spent all day in the kitchen and today I was too tired to go run.  I also found that I packed the inappropriate clothes for an outdoor run (I don't think 3/4 length shorts and a t-shirt works for 20 degree weather) and I couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to run on an indoor track or dreadmill!  

On the flip side, I have gotten to spend some quality time with the family; we sat down together for 3 different meals, something we haven't done in years.  And, with all the homecooked meals and baked goods that Lora and I made, my dad is finally finding his appetite (which I am convinced will help him to continue with a great recovery)!  

Here are recipes for some of the wonderful things we prepared yesterday:
  • Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons
  • Winter Salad
  • Chicken Tortialla Soup: (from Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook)
    • 4 breast halves, cooked and shredded
    • 1 garlic clove minced
    • 2 tsp. margarine
    • 2 - 14 1/2 oz cans chicken broth
    • 2 - 14 1/2 oz cans stewed tomatoes
    • 1 cup salsa (mild, medium or hot - your choice)
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 TBS cumin
    • shredded cheese mix of your choice (optional)
    • sour cream (optional)
    • tortilla chips (optional)
      • Add margarine and garlic to slow cooker, saute on high.  Add remaining ingredients except cheese, sour cream and chips; reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 hours.  Once ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Lora and I also made Christmas Cut-Outs from my Grandmother's recipe.   I made the cookies and Lora frosted them!  

Sugar Cookies:
1 cup butter
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Mix together and set aside.
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Once mixed, combine with flour mixture.  Let chill in the refrigerator until stiff.   Once rolled out and made into cut-outs, bake on ungreased baking pan 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.   Wait until cookies are cooled to frost.

My stats for the last 10 days:
Sunday: rest
Monday:  45 minute run
Tuesday: 45 minute strength/stretch
Wed: 40 minute run
Thursday: rest
Friday: rest
Saturday:  6 mile run, no timing
Sunday: rest
Monday: 4 mile run, no timing
Tuesday: rest
Wed (today):  rest

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Recovery: Week 2

Post Race Training Plan: Week 2 (per Dr. Devor, based on a running program/post marathon):
  • Training goal:
    • Resume regular running:  by "regular running"  if he means placing one foot in front of the other and advancing faster than if I were just walking, then I am getting there!
      • Keys to achieve goal
        • Easy runs of 20 - 60 minutes - done!  I was able to complete 3 runs last week that were between 30-45 minutes in length.
        • Run with friends and keep conversational pace - unfortunately I didn't run with anyone but myself last week.  I did, however, run with my ipod and sing along.   I am sure the people at the DHC were not thrilled with this, but it did entertain me!
        • No more than 70% of maximum HR - I didn't wear a HR monitor last week, but I am pretty sure I did this, I didn't push myself on any of my runs! 
        • Mileage goal for week:
          • 25% to 50% of average pre-marathon week - Considering I only ran about 10 miles total for the week, I know I acheived this goal! 

Maybe all of Lance's runs have really been training to eventually become an Ironman!  Earlier this year, he confirmed that he would like to do IM Hawaii "sometime in the future"

Stats for Last Week:
Monday:  30 minute easy run, 30 minute core strength/stretch
Tuesday:  rest day
Wed:  30 minute easy run, 30 minute light strength/stretch
Thursday:  2800 swim (400 warm up, 8x75 on 1:30, 400x1 kicks, 8x75 on 1:30, 400 x 1 pull, 3x50 drill - body roll, 200 cool down).
Friday:  rest
Saturday:  45 minute easy run
Sunday:  3+ hours Christmas Shopping


It has been a little over 2 weeks since I finished IMAZ and I am still basking in the fact that I am an Ironman.   I still get giddy everytime I think about it and wear my "Ironman Finisher" gear any chance I get.  

So how am I doing so far?   Actually much better than I thought.   The first few days I was sore, but it felt similar to that feeling after you have done a marathon.

 By the Wed after the race I no longer hurt just walking around and by that Saturday I was able to do a little light jogging.  Last week I tried to slowly get back into some cross training by doing some swimming and light strength training mixed in with some shorter/easy runs.   Being the good athelete and PT that I am, I decided to finally look at Dr. Devor's Post-Race Recovery Program today.   Hmm, perhaps I should have looked at this a little sooner?   Per his guidlines, and the length of the race (14 hours)  I should have a recovery period of at least 56 days!  

This is a sample of the first week, let's see how I did:
Post Race Recovery and Training Again:
  • Post Race Training Plan: Week 1
    • Recover as quickly as possible - don't we all try to do this?  
      • Keys to achieve goal
        • Minimal easy running - done, I did a walk/run one day and a light run of 30 minutes the Saturday after the race.
        • Cross training (e.g., ride, swim, elliptical) - hmm, does walking around ASU's campus for a few hours and baking for a few hours count?
        • Massage and extra sleep - done, I had my post-race massage and pedicure the Tuesday following and I didn't wake up to an alarm for the entire week following!
        • Frequent high carbohydrate meals - done, this wasn't hard to do the week of Thanksgiving.   I also stayed with one of my favorite foodies Liz Brinkman,and we managed to hit the town for Sushi, Wine, and gourmet pizza!   I also convinced her to help me make Carmel Rolls from my grandmother's recipe.   I am pretty sure these fall under the catagory of "high carbohydrate" and I know I ate them with several meals!  
        • Mileage goal for week
          • No more than 25% of average pre-marathon week - pretty sure I accomplished this, I didn't run more than 4 miles the week following the IM! 

Grandma Kurtenbach's Cinnamon Carmel Rolls:
Dissolve 2 pkgs. yeast, 1 level tsp. sugar in a bowl with 1/2 cup lukewarm water.
Add 1/2 cup shortening and 2 cups (scalded milk)
Add 1/2 cup sugar, 2 beaten eggs, and 2 level teaspoons salt. 
Slowly add "about 7 cups" of flour until dough reaches desired consistency.

Knead the bread dough into a ball.  

Cover the bowl, set aside in a warm, dry place and let rise until the dough doubles in size.  Mix down and let rise again.   Shape into rolls:  Roll dough out on floured surface until about 1/2 inch thick.   Spread with 1/2 cup melted butter or maragarine.   Mix 3/4 cup sugar with 2 teaspons cinnamon and sprinkle over the dough/butter.   Roll up and slice.   Put into 9 x 13 pans (on top of carmel sauce) and let rise again until doubled in size.  

Carmel Sauce: (for one 9 x 13 pan):
Over med-low heat on stove, mix together, stirring the whole time, and heat until just combined:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 Tablespoons karo corn syrup. 

Once carmel sauce is done, pour into pans and top with rolls.   Once rolls have risen to double size, bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until rolls start to turn golden.   Remove from oven, turn over onto a cookie sheet and let cool before eating! 

Stats for Thanksgiving week:
Monday:  Rest, managed to walk a few miles, slowly, to go to the free breakfast buffet and then later in the day toured ASU's campus with my cousin.
Tuesday:  30 minute walk around the neighborhood, 90 minute massage, 30 minute pedicure
Wed:  30 minute walk around neighborhood, 3+ hours baking
Thursday:  40 minute walk/run around the neighborhood, 20 minutes floating on a noodle in my aunt/uncles pool.
Friday:  Rest, most of the day spent traveling back to Ohio
Saturday:  easy 30 minute run
Sunday:  Rest