Thursday, September 25, 2014

Interview with a Vampire...er...Interviewing for a Coach--Need Your Help


I am entertaining the idea of retaining a coach to help me achieve my goal of finishing Ultraman Hawaii in 2016, and I am beginning a search. I don't think I will actually NEED the coach until summer next year, but that might be negotiable. I'd like to continue just doing some self-selected fun stuff through next summer, although I'd be actively building Ironman fitness.

The reason I'm posting this to my blog is so that readers who know of a coach that might fit my particular needs (or who ARE a coach) can make recommendations to me. Other than my data points, it would be helpful to me if said coach has:
  • Either coached others who have done Ultraman or double+ Ironman
  • Done double+ Ironman or Ultraman themselves
  • Coached competitive women in their 50's
  • Coached people who are or done the above while being a working stiff. Training for Ultraman is much different if you have several months off work during the year, or are retired or employed part-time
It was good for me to assemble this information, as it is possible that one or more prospective coaches might tell me I have no business trying to do this, and I am going into this process with eyes wide open and will benefit from all the feedback I can get!

So here goes, deep breath! Some personal information withheld, although the NSA will have that information ;)



Athlete Information for CRACKHEAD

Basic Demographics
·        Date of Birth: WITHHELD. I AM AN OLD LADY CURRENTLY AGE 58
·        Residence: STREET ADDRESS WITHHELD USA (house)
·        Marital Status: Single (divorced for so long I don’t even state that anymore!)
·        Children: None
·        Employment: Full time for WITHHELD as Critical Accounts Manager. Generally a 40-hour work week with flexibility to train during the day most days of the week, i.e., I can usually work around meetings. Work from home, so I have ZERO commute time!
·        Height: 5 feet 2 inches
·        Weight: Currently 114 lbs. (prefer to race at 110-112)

Health
·        Overall Health: Good. No heart conditions, cholesterol and blood pressure great.
·        Chronic conditions: Hypothyroidism (treated with 100mcg Synthroid daily), osteoporosis (treated with raloxifene HCL daily), missing ACL in left knee, several herniated disks L4-L5 region (generally they aren’t an issue and may no longer be herniated—wouldn’t know without an MRI), Morton’s Neuroma in right foot that appears manageable
·        Recovery strategies: Stretch :15-:30 daily (incorporates some yoga poses), massage every 2-3 weeks (every week about 12 weeks out from a major race). Generally sleep well 8-9 hours per night.

Training Facilities
·        Home Training Equipment: 4 bikes (2 TT, 1 road, 1 MTB), treadmill, universal weight machine and free weights (plus stability balls and medicine balls up to 20#), 2 TACX Satori trainers. One TT bike (custom built) has Powertap; other bikes have no power measuring device. Do not own (do not want) a Garmin and haven’t used HR monitor in years, but wouldn’t be averse to HR monitor. Do not use Strava, don’t want to.
·        Pool Access: I live .8 miles from my 25-yard pool which is at a YMCA, lap time on weekdays is 5-8; weekends 5-7 on Saturdays and 9-1 on Sundays.
·        Soft Running Trail Access: I am about a :20 drive to one which is a 9.5 mile hilly loop (Waterfall Glen), and about :15 drive to one with a bunch of flats plus a 1-mile hill (Greene Valley can’t find data on the hill but it’s pretty steep!)

Athletic Background
·        Pre-1982: nothing! I am a nerd with a Math degree
·        1982-1985: rollerskating about 40 miles per week
·        1989-1998: primarily strength training, modest cardio work
·        1998: Began running
·        2000: Began doing triathlons


Training Hours History (click on the picture to view large size)
 
Personal Records
·        Ironman 13:14 at Ironman Lake Placid 2009 (17 total Ironmans done; 4 or 5 of these were self-supported)
·        ½ Ironman 5:31 at Racine 2004
·        Ultraman Canada 2010 33:18:47 (wasn’t going for anything other than to finish)
·        Open Marathon: 4:20 Disney Marathon 2010 (the day after a 2:10 1/2 marathon at same venue as part of Goofy Challenge)
·        Most recent Ironman Cozumel 12/1/2013 in 14:05. Felt my performance was compromised as my hypothyroidism wasn’t being treated properly at the time

Current Training Cycle Objectives
·        The big goal: finish Ultraman Hawaii in November, 2016
·        Improve swim (this will be huge). Have access to local swim coach to facilitate this.
·        Have some fun at shorter (up to ½ IM) races during 2015 in order to regain speed and work my way back up to IM+ training.
·        Train at ½ IM level through May, 2015 (maybe longer)
·        Build IM fitness beginning May, 2015
·        Will need to establish qualifying race for Ultraman Hawaii—possibly Leadman 250, possibly a NothingMan (self-supported IM). Note that in 2009 to prepare for Ultraman Canada, I did a 4-day training block where Days 1 and 2 I did Olympic distance, Day 3 1/2 IM and Day 4 IM. I would like to do that again in August, 2015
·        Know that I can comfortably train about 10-12 hours across Monday-Friday (any more than that and I seem to fall apart) due to my job. Weekends are wide open. I probably now need the occasional rest day being a geezer!
·        Intend to continue strength training approximately 1:30-1:45 per week.
·        Prefer the following daily schedule off-season (October through March):
o   M: Swim, shorter run
o   T: Bike, up to 1:30
o   W: Swim, tempo run up to 1:15
o   Th: Bike, up to 1:30
o   F: Swim (longest one), shorter run
o   Sa: Long ride, possibly transition run
o   Su: Long run, optional recovery swim about :30

·        In-season (April-September) prefer the following daily schedule:
o   M: Swim, shorter run
o   T: Bike, up to 1:30
o   W: Swim, tempo run up to 1:15
o   Th: Long run up to 2:30
o   F: Swim (longest one), shorter run
o   Sa: Long ride 1, possibly transition run
o   Su: Long ride 2, optional recovery swim

I successfully trained to the above schedules from 2004-2013; seems to work with my job and other life aspects.




Well there it is. Please either contact me on Facebook or by commenting on this blog with candidates! This should be fun!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ch ch ch Changes 2014 Version

Today in Chicago, David Bowie IS opens! I am so excited! There was an article describing the exhibit in this past Sunday's Chicago Tribune that has got me so excited to go, I can't tell you! In case you didn't know, back in my 20's, I was a bit punked out and Bowie was my favorite artist. I even had my hair cut like Ziggy Stardust. Back in those days, I lived in the city, and rollerskated for my exercise--40+ miles a week. I was in good shape from that plus a diet of tall boy Budweisers and many steaks. I kid you not. I also was a workaholic. But I rarely missed my evening skate. I'd skate in the dark if I had to, wearing a Walkman belted to my waist, playing cassette after cassette of Bowie, The Clash, The Police, Devo, etc. Good times!

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to recount some recent changes besides a meltdown earlier this year. In the process of taking some actual complete time off running (really just a few weeks), and then ramping back up slowly, my sciatica has resolved! I can sit in most normal chairs again without my ass hurting. Now in addition to a rest from running, in March I got a new car (I can't thank Mark enough for going with me to test drive and certify something he would approve). It's this Hyundai Veloster:
The color is called Vitamin C. I really like it! My old car was a 1999 Cougar, that I like as well, but it had bucket seats, which drove my sciatica nuts, even with me adding cushions and stuff. One of my new car criteria was NOT BUCKET SEATS! The new steed has lumbar support built in, and while I still get a twinge of the sciatica driving, I've made it on a few 3 hour trips just fine. So I know the new car seat setup is helping.

I've been doing more squats and lunges in the last 2 years then I'd been doing for years. No harm can come of that! This may be why my upper legs and butt have grown a bit. I still comfortably wear size 2 or 3 pants (they are still a bit loose in the waist, yay!). Still, I have some that are closer to a size 0 that are tight. I need to work harder on that.

What else changed? I decided to stop dying my hair blonde. I just decided I didn't want to keep putting chemicals on my head (I get enough from the air, thank you!). It was really odd at first, because I'd forgotten just how dark my hair is, and I wondered how much gray hair I have. Turns out not too much, and I am now used to the dark color and actually like it! But who knows--I may, on a whim, decide to go back to blonde!

As much as I love to cook (when I have the time), I have not been doing much this year. For one, I don't need to eat like I have a tapeworm if I'm not training more than 14 hours per week (although I sort of am again). For two, I dislike washing dishes. Since I'm not riding so much, there are less bottles to wash, and I'm not drinking Endurox daily, so even less bottles, and this all adds up to not generating enough dirty dishes to make it worthwhile to use the dishwasher, so I do them by hand. My kitchen is less messy, too. I have become perfectly OK having some lean protein and a salad for dinner, and despite that I am back in decent shape again, with aging, my metabolism is just not where it once was (that plus the hypothyroidism).

Oh yeah that--the hypothyroidism--I guess it's "fine" for now in terms of being regulated. I have flashes of the "extra perkiness" I had grown accustomed to, aka the Crackheadedness, aka what I was told the other day by a friend was me "living at light speed." Really? Is that what I was doing? That's an interesting way to put it. Hey--it was totally fun!

I have noticed over the last 8 weeks (where I've been at 15+ hours/week) that my metabolism has gone back into near overdrive, which makes me happy, because it means I can (and SHOULD) eat MORE CARBS! Still I am watchful about my carb intake because I would like to drop 2-3 lbs. of fat. Yes, I'm vain that way, yes I know it makes people crazy when I call myself fat, but if I don't care about 2 lbs. then I won't care about 4 and so on. My knees and running will thank me for losing it.

In the midst of my mental turmoil, I am getting rid of possessions a little at a time whenever I am in position to look through stuff and make decisions. So while I thought I'd have my entire house cleared out by now (silly me!), I am at least in the MINDSET of getting it done.

I find that I am excited again about triathlon, and that even planning a few weeks worth of training for short races helps me to get my "fix" of planning leading to achievement. But in starting to feel fit and competent again, I find myself gravitating towards longer stuff. But I may have a solution: a 2-year plan to get to Ultraman Hawaii. I can finish out 2014 without going crazy on training, spend 2015 in a combination of becoming Ironman-fit while also doing a few shorter races, and then begin the big training push (assuming all the prior stuff goes well) during fall/winter 2015. I already know who I want on my crew if they are willing to make the sacrifice. Ultraman is $$$$, and I can't afford to foot the bill for crew (except some of it on the actual race days), and I'd want the crew members to be able to run with me on Day 3. It's a HUGE ask to be on a crew. It's as hard as doing the race!

Anyway, I like the idea that I am looking at a 2-year plan for Ultraman. I think that gives me some more "rest" time, plenty of time to plan for logistics (which all by itself is a huge undertaking), and time to change my mind. It just feels like something I MUST DO. That may be my OCD talking, but really, I was pretty bummed out in 2012 when I didn't do it then. I was OK with "just an Ironman" in 2013, but I never felt well enough prepared for Cozumel. Can a 60 year old Crackhead finish Ultraman Hawaii? We'll see. This could be the journey of a lifetime! So many things could go wrong along the way, but I am prepared for it now, I think. Just as a bad 2005 prepared me for the death of my Mom in 2006 and then Dad in 2007, so their deaths prepared me for the stress I undertook to get ready for Ultraman Canada in 2010, and now I've had another couple of years to grow more, get more in touch with myself, and understand that planning for another significant event at an advanced age will require me to have a ton of patience, compassion for myself and others, and get that mindset back that is my guiding strength.

First we begin small. Step 1 is to get the right foot able to run long distances with no pain (or minimal). That starts tomorrow (new, wider running shoes). Get back on the massage train (I quit for about 5 months and if I am going to "train" again, I need to get back on). Get my metabolic parameters measured so I can dial in my diet. Re-evaluate my strength program and make some changes. Do a 1/2 NothingMan in November. Get some swim coaching. Seek trusted help from a few friends. This time, I'm not doing this by myself!

I truly do welcome any and all takes on the above. I am finding out in dribs and drabs how some people view me, which I really shouldn't give a fuck about; however, I do find it helpful to a point, since I am sure that some of the "truths" about myself do, in fact, shine through transparently to others. So I ask all of you reading this to keep me honest and not be afraid to speak your mind. Instead of just cheering on my Cracktacular antics (because, hey! It's totally fun to watch someone living on the edge!), remember to look for the vulnerable human being inside here who needs people on her side as much as (if not even more than) "regular" people.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rambling

I have heard that blogs are going out of fashion. Fuck that. I write because I find that when I go back and reread things that I had some clarity of thought at the time.

I had made my blog private because I thought that when I meet someone new that I didn't want them to Google me and find this blog and they go into the archives and see all these wacky pics of me and some of my prior ramblings. But you know what? That is who I am/was at the time, and I am OK with it. There is really nothing in this blog that is (pick one):
  • illegal (I don't think so anyway)
  • pornographic (that is a subjective statement)
  • libelous 
Now, I know that there are some things I write that are inflammatory. But no more so than some of the stuff I see on social media.

Anyway, back to what I want to write about today...

I have heard in the past that the only thing anyone wants to read about on this blog is my triathlon exploits, so I shall basically stick to that with occasional sprinklings of other stuff.

I was depressed earlier this year. It got kicked off by the incredibly harsh winter here in Chicago area. I know that I experience some amount of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). In fact, I felt it yesterday. Monday I went for a swim (and for the first time tried something that I think might help me which was to wear a paddle only on my left hand since my left side still doesn't have as much "feel" for the water as my right and may actually be weaker), and was also supposed to run. But the week prior I was in a 3-day training class for work and couldn't work out much during it, so I had purposely stacked a lot of workouts over Friday-Sunday:
  • Friday I swam 3100 and ran for 1:45
  • Saturday I swam 2800, then ran :40, then rode 1:40, then ran :20, since I'm preparing for a duathlon on 9/21
  • Sunday I rode about 3 hours and ran :20 off the bike
Now, if you have known me for over 3 years, the above looks like nothing compared to some of the shit I've done in the past. But here's the thing--I've learned how to manage my "total stress load" a bit better, and frankly, being in a class where I have to be all smiley and participatory wears the hell out of me, because I am intrinsically an introvert (I draw my energy from within and being with a lot of people exhausts me).


So while I swam pretty well on Monday (I am back to swimming 3x week and regaining some form and speed!), I found that I was still pretty shelled from the weekend and decided not to run. Of course, this created a mind fuck in the sense I wanted to "make up" the run, even though technically I didn't need to (I'm only training for a 1/2 marathon at this point, for fuck's sake!). Also, I was on the fucking Food Channel, even though lately I have been feeling like a total fatty.

I divert again. Remember those 13 years I spent doing Ironman-level training? I was so used to my ultra-lean self that it has been hard for me to accept a little more fat on my body. Although people are telling me I'm more muscular, which might be true since I've been the Queen of Squats for the last 2 years. In truth, I'm only 2 lbs. off my "Ironman weight," and it's all in my legs and butt.

One of the decisions (and in addition to SAD earlier this year, I decided I needed to completely change my life!) I had made earlier this year was to back off from long course triathlon. And I have. Why? Because I want there to be room in my life for romance, friends, family and a general buffer zone to account for unintentional stress.

While that was a logical decision, implementing it made me depressed, because for some reason, I didn't know what to do if I wasn't training for long course. Old habits die hard! Then I rediscovered the joy of shorter races, and found I still had some fitness. I have yet to get a 1st place in AG this year (4 2nd places), so that tells me I'm not where I want to be, but it's a start. I have done this mostly by biking less, which sucks. I FUCKING LOVE RIDING BIKES!!! But I am finding that 5-6 hours a week is still respectable.

Anyway, so I'm fat, I didn't run on Monday, I was depressed from March-June. I did go to a therapist, and she wanted me on meds. I tried some and decided I didn't want to be on that train. Mostly, I just needed time to realize that I was overloading myself with the desire to make huge life changes all at once (in addition to giving up long course triathlon, I wanted to sell my house and move and downsize and get rid of 1/2 my possessions), and wasn't cutting myself any slack. Not that I've ever been good at that!

One of my personal issues is an addiction to achievement. So when my job changed at work in April, I was thrown for an additional loop in terms of the depression, since I felt temporarily incapable of succeeding and believed the workload would get excessive. So I'm going to give up long course triathlon, sell my house, move, downsize, get rid of 1/2 my possessions and significantly change my job! No pressure! Fuck, I was really losing it. But the job thing actually helped because it caused me to focus on ONE THING and solve that problem (how I did so I will not write here), and then I was able to see that as an ACCOMPLISHMENT, which of course made me feel better about things, and once I realized I could still work and train a fair amount, I was able to see that I had overloaded myself, so I quit seeing the shrink and got on with things.

Another nice thing that helped me to be OK with no long course triathlon was being given the gift of being asked to coach a friend for a short while (or maybe it will turn into something more, who knows?). I truly do love sharing my knowledge of triathlon with anyone who wants it! And so I began this little adventure maybe 10 weeks ago, and got back onto Facebook and now here is my blog.

So you all (all 5 of you) reading this see that I am quite fallible and now I am able to be upfront about it. As for the long course triathlon, we will see how that pans out. There is still a part of me that would like to do Ultraman Hawaii since I am qualified for it. Maybe at age 60. Wouldn't that be a trip? I have tentatively agreed to do another Ironman in 2016. Or not. I do want to do a 1/2 NothingMan on Thanksgiving weekend.

Oh--about my right foot. I have a confirmed Morton's Neuroma, but it's not as bad as some people get. It only hurts at "some point" into "some runs." I also discovered that I am wearing the WRONG FUCKING SIZE RUN SHOES. Do people at running shoe stores not think to remeasure your feet when you are asking them how to fix problems? Oh well, I am figuring it out on my own. I got new custom orthotics that will help, will be changing shoe sizes again (larger size is not the answer--I need to go with wide width now), and we will see if that completely stops the foot pain. It won't FIX the neuroma, it will just help me manage it, which is all I can ask for. Then if I'm able to run 15 miles pain free, well...the next logical step would be...

OK so Monday I skipped my run. I did get it in yesterday, though, in 2 increments--:30 of really slow on my treadmill, then later I went outside for :20 hard effort followed by a 1:30 ride. I was still tired from the weekend festivities, but I needed to BE OUTSIDE since all I did on Monday was swim.

So through all this past 9 months I've learned I need to be more careful about SAD (maybe I need a light box), that I still love triathlon, that I need to workout a good amount for my own mental health (and that amount appears to be about 14 hours per week don't judge me!), that my life isn't so bad, that I can deal with this whole aging thing for now, and that I'm OK with who I am.

One of the themes of this blog is letting go of attachments. While trying to let go (or not) of an attachment to long course triathlon, I discovered that I have an attachment to achievement. Not necessarily of being #1 or some amount of something, just goal-->plan and work towards it-->achieve.  That one will be tough to break, and I may never succeed at it. Ha! I just figured out my own existential conundrum--trying to SUCCEED at being detached from SUCCESS!!!


I might not be Crackhead anymore, though. If I'm not, that's OK, and if I AM, that's OK, too!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hey Carbs, Fuck Off!

During the last year knowing I'm hypothyroid, I mostly observed what my body was doing with calories, as it had been a good while since I'd been formally training, and while I had thought I had all that dialed in perfectly in years past, I wasn't so sure this time around.  I am fairly certain that right now I am having a hydration issue (I seem to need a shit ton of fluids to the tune of maybe 2 gallons/day) that will hopefully resolve once we get my TSH level back to a reasonable level.

Meanwhile, I wasn't exactly delighted with my body comp these last few months.  On the one hand, I'd had several people tell me how muscular I appear, which I sometimes took as code for fat.  On the other hand, it wasn't like I was busting out all of my clothes.  I just wasn't my usual lean as shit Ironman self.  It's possible that some of this is just aging, particularly being firmly post-menopausal, it's possible that some of this is thyroid malfunction, but it's also possible that some of it is a lack of focus.

But cramming for an Ironman is not the time to do any sort of calorie restriction.  Still, I was somewhat careful, despite my joking about candy and such.  Once upon a time, I though 116 was plenty small for me, until I got down to 109-110 in 2009 and felt outstanding training and racing at that weight.  I've been around 113-116 this year, which isn't a complete tragedy, but still more than I would have liked.  From a calorie perspective, I knew I was fueling appropriately for the most part, and when I'm training around 20 hours a week, some candy/Pringles/Cheetos are almost required because they lack bulk, and after all the "regular" food, they are a good way to get in needed extra calories.

While in Cozumel, I looked forward to coming home, training less, and doing a cleanse of sorts on my diet.  Well I got the jump start to the cleanse by having a bit of Montezuma's Revenge or whatever it is I had for 3 days.  Much as I'd wanted to avoid Gatorade or any engineered nutrition for 2 weeks, Gatorade is the perfect antidote for severe hydration, so in it went and it fixed me up.

I'm not one to go on a 2-week eating binge after an Ironman, because a) I'm hypothyroid and b) I don't want to deal with having to drop 5+ pounds--it's just no fun when I am already tiny and don't need that many calories to maintain my weight, especially with reduced amounts of training.  So after I got over the brief illness, I stocked up my fridge with my low training staples--lots of salad ingredients, fruits, veggies, cottage cheese, yogurt.

It's been 2 weeks since IMCOZ and while my weight has changed only maybe 1 lb., my fat distribution is changing already.  I am reminded once again how simple it can be to drop weight if I just focus on less starchy (and thus overall as a % of daily calories) carbs.  Cut out the pasta and rice and presto.  I'm aiming for improved body composition more than weight loss, although mentally, I still have this picture of myself from 4 years ago when I was a lean, mean, ab-tacular fighting machine.  I did receive some comments on my abs in Cozumel, but I was like shit they're not all there yet! 

I have begun training again, but will only be in the 10-15 hours range for the next 6 weeks.  At that weekly volume level, I will stay off rice and pasta at dinner time (I may have some rice at lunch after my second workout of the day), and the leaning out should progress.  I will also be upping the intensity of training in a big way, so you put these two things together and voila, I should be good to go!  I am already back on the Gatorade during workouts, and Endurox R4 (only 1 scoop) for recovery (plus vitamins).

For my desired weight (110) and 10-15 hours of training per week, my handy carb chart tells me I should be doing about 3.3g carb/lb. of body weight daily (assuming 60% of daily calories from carbs), which is about 1450 calories/day from carbs.  Pretty sure I'm doing a bit less than that, and making up the calories with protein.  I want to get back in touch with hunger.  I'm not starving myself, but it's OK to be a bit hungry at times, and I will let my body catch up to calorie needs as I add training/intensity.

I am always amused at a person who asks me for weight loss advice when they tot out all their alleged good habits like "I eat really healthy and yet I can't lose weight."  My first question is, "What did you eat yesterday and about how many calories was it?"  Blank stare.  Wrong answer.  While some people think I count calories daily and track it, I don't, but I can tell you what I ate and about how many calories it was.  You learn and eventually it becomes automatic. 

I am starting to see some of the definition in my lower abs again, and that means I'm on the right track.  Next up I hope to add a bit more strength training to firm things up a bit more.  I have no idea whether I can get back those bitchin' abs I used to have, but I am going to give it the old college try.  I do know that I am already getting stared at at the Y while I'm on the treadmill, and I don't think it's because I look disgusting.  Maybe I will ask someone the next time I'm there!

Here I am in 2009 with my friend Brad:
Call me vain, but damn!  Can I get back in that shape at the ripe age of 57?  Give me 12 weeks.  I hope to be running the Red Rock Canyon Marathon in that kind of shape!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fuck fuck fuck

I don't have a glamorous medical condition--it's not cancer, diabetes, heart disease or anything that requires invasive treatment.  You can't tell by looking at me that I even have a problem.  But it's there.  Today I got test results from yet another thyroid blood test, and I'm worse than I've ever been since we started measuring.  Based on the ups and downs and further downs I've had in the last 12 months, this confirms that my thyroid is crapping out, and I don't know how much longer before it just gives out and I can get off this rollercoaster.

In a way, it confirms that despite a decent training cycle, I just didn't feel right at IMCOZ.  Someone asked me if the thyroid gyrations are due to training--my doctor claims no.  I am seeing an endocrinologist in 2 weeks, and we will see what he thinks. 

Meanwhile, I am going to press on with my training and racing plans.  It may be that I just need to go into every race with no expectations other than to finish.  I can live with that.  Some of the things I'm doing would be considered a stretch for people younger than me, so I feel fortunate that I've built a relatively strong engine that can get through this shit in one piece!

I do know that I need to be as good as possible with my diet, try and get enough sleep (and I'm sleeping 8+ hours again, so that seems to be back on track or maybe it's because I'm even more hypo?), stretch, get massage, do more strength training and manage stress where I can.  And stay connected with friends and family.  Despite what my body is doing to me right now, at least I am not depressed like I was most of last year!

While I am tired of this rollercoaster ride, I'm going to press on because this is what I do. But you have to know that sometimes it sucks to be me, and to have a metabolic problem sometimes feels like the biggest slap in the face, and it makes me cry because it's taking so long to get me regulated.  But it could be worse, and unless and until this or something else takes me down, I intend to keep at it and see what I can make this old body do.

Fuck it, I'm still Crackhead.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Ironman Cozumel 2013

This was my 17th Ironman+ distance (18 if you count Ultraman Canada as 2 of them) race.  That number includes 4 NothingMans, so technically 13 (or 14) "real" ones.  However you count, that's a lot of stuff over 13 years.  IMCOZ was my one and only triathlon for 2013, unless you count that 1/2 NothingMan back in July.

I had not done an Ironman or run a marathon since 2010, and while I would generally not advise (in a coaching capacity) someone to run a marathon in training for an Ironman, in some cases it makes sense, and I would say that would be when you are in your late 50's, as I now am.  Or at least I feel like I was missing some leg toughness that you can only get by subjecting yourself to that either through an open marathon or Ironman.  In 2010, I did Goofy Challenge in preparation for Ultraman Canada, and the 3 prior years I did an IM plus a NothingMan, so this hiatus left me lacking in leg strength.

Regardless, I had no clue how my body would be working for this race, with all the gyrations I'd been through with my thyroid.  I have never felt so out of touch with what/how much fuel my body needs as I have for the last 15 or so months.  I had had all that dialed in with a fair degree of precision.  Not that I tracked everything I ate and drank, as I haven't done that for years, but being able to tell at the end of the day whether I had taken in enough calories to support training.  Then I had that little episode with sodium which led me to believe that not only was my body misbehaving calorie-wise, but in many other aspects as well.  So, as should always be the case for an Ironman, goal #1 was to just finish.

One of the things that guides me in feeding myself on a daily basis as well as during a race is the degree to which I am experiencing hunger, specifically mechanical and chemical hunger (read this excellent piece which describes the types of hunger).  Needless to say, I have a pretty good amount of control over aesthetic hunger (except for beer and candy LOL), which is where I think most people get into trouble in their diets.  From fall 2012 through even now as I sit here writing this, I haven't felt that I've been dialed into mechanical and chemical hunger feelings as much as in the past.  Perhaps it is just being out of practice, but I honestly think it has to do with my thyroid hoops.  That is the one thing I am looking forward to getting "fixed," because when you are trying to do something as metabolically demanding as long course triathlon training, it's pretty much priority #1.  In fact, I would say that when athletes err on the calorie intake side, it's because they have never really been in touch with mechanical and chemical hunger as much as they should be.

Sure, I practiced all my sports nutrition as best I could, only because that is job #1--take in Ultrafuel for training sessions of 4+ hours, use Infinit for any 3+ hours otherwise Gatorade, drink Endurox every day after the first workout on a day when training 1.5+ hours (pretty much daily).  So that is what comprised my sports nutrition plan, and that takes up quite a bit of calories.  I did not have to think about it--I just did it--because I know that is the baseline.  Then "regular food" fills in for the rest--to make up for whatever calories I'd burned plus what I need on a daily basis just to exist.  But I never felt like I knew whether either the sports nutrition or regular food was enough, too much, or whatever.

Now, you might say that I would know depending on whether I was losing, maintaining or gaining weight.  I went through a number of weight fluctuations during the year, too, sometimes seemingly justified, other times puzzling.  That's the thing with a wacky thyroid (and wacky drugs, in my case!)--you are constantly experimenting.

Well enough on that.  Let's just say that all during the race, I never had the sense of I have it right or not, could not sense fullness or full hydration or lack of it or a need for more or less calories.  It fucked with my head and I knew it would fuck with my body, and that played a big part in my inability to run, I think.

So, anyway, I did enjoy the race!  The race was really well run with my only complaint being not enough porta-potties on the run course.  Other than that, it was superbly run.  Young children manned most of the aid stations, and they were so enthusiastic and helpful it was crazy.  And almost all of them looked to be in good physical condition--I can't recall any that weren't on the thin side.  Many of them knew English, but a lot of my Spanish came back to me while I was down there, so whenever possible, I tried to go with their native tongue.

Race morning: I had set my alarm for 3:15, and had told my compadres, Brad (the young man I coached to a 1+ hour PR!) and his mother in law, Melinda (who is in my age group and also racing) that I was NOT GOING TO WAKE THEM UP.  But we'd agreed that we would leave for the start at 4:45, so a little after 3:30, I began knocking on bedroom doors, and probably said WAKE THE FUCK UP!

It's annoying that I have to take the thyroid meds and then wait 1/2 hour to eat anything, although I was used to it during training.  On a race morning, it sucks, because you want to start getting calories down, and it was like I was pacing waiting for 30 minutes to pass, but it did, and I had my usual Power Bar Triple Threat, then at 4AM I drank 400 calories of Ultrafuel.  I felt full-ish, and had a bottle of Gatorade to sip on until the start.  I tried to be social and not flip out, but the truth was that I was nervous as could be, only because I felt like I was stepping into the great abyss.  You'd think that with all the races and such I've done that I wouldn't feel like that, but I just didn't have a sense of this going one way or the other.

Let me back up a few days.  On the day we arrived (except for Morgan, Brad's wife, who arrived on Thursday), Wednesday, the winds were kicked up pretty good, making for some challenging surf conditions.  No small craft were allowed to leave the harbors until Saturday.

The Three Amigos went for a :30 run on Thursday morning, since we couldn't pick up our bikes until later that day.  Along the way, we saw 4 penises spray painted on the sidewalk alongside the ocean--2 were pointing north, and 2 were pointing east.  We don't know the significance of them, but they certainly made us laugh!

By the time we shlepped around Thursday (we didn't yet have our fabulous cat piss jeep) and collected our bikes, I didn't ride that day, but Brad and Melinda did get in a short ride.  Our condo was about 1.5 miles from the expo/bike to run transition, and maybe 6 from the swim start.  We all walked a lot, but Brad won the prize for walking that day.  He tried to secure a rental car on Thursday, but he ended up walking all the way to the Cozumel airport to pick up Morgan and ended up with no car.  I secretly think his 6+ mile walk was the reason he did so well in the race ;)

Brad and I did another :30 run on Friday morning, once again laughing about the sidewalk penises, and the Three Amigos went for a 1 hour-ish ride after that.  We had an amazing tail wind going south and then a good headwind back north to our condo.  Here's the view from our condo:
That's the biggest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas.  Cozumel is the world's largest cruise ship terminal, so we got to see many, many boats docking and leaving while we were there.  We all became cruise ship aficionados!

The winds were still really hefty on Friday, and at the race meeting the officials (Michael Lovato and I can't remember the other guy's name--some Aussie) were confident they would die down and we would still have a swim on Sunday, but it sure as hell didn't look good on Friday.

We all got tired of walking so much so on Friday we also became hell bent on getting a car.  We (or I should say Brad as he acted as the negotiator) tried several different places, but it was tough with all the cruise ship traffic and it seemed we might be out of luck.  Finally, though, this guy Victor guaranteed we'd have one at 5PM.  We placed bets on whether it would actually materialize, and were pleasantly surprised when there was actually a vehicle waiting for us not even a block from our condo!  It was a deep green jeep of some sort with many charms--a little string to help close the driver's door, missing snaps and such to secure the "hood," and the whole thing smelled like cat piss.  Oh well, at least we had something!

We were able to drive down to the pasta dinner, where we met up with Brad's parents, Darcy and Jim, and his sister, Caitlin.  It was like a big family reunion, even for me, since I feel like I'm part of their family now.  The dinner itself was nothing to write home about (and there was no dessert, WTF?), and while I'd expected some sort of local dancing extravaganza like they'd done in Brazil, there was just a video about a physically challenged athlete, which was still cool.  We said our goodbyes, knowing we'd meet up with the rest of the family again soon enough.

Saturday morning all we'd planned was to check in our bikes.  They'd told us at the pre-race meeting that we could drop our T2 bags at the same place, and then the race people would transport them to T2, but when we got there, we were told that no, we had to take our T2 bags there ourselves.  Whatever, we were getting used to "Mexican time" pretty well by now.  At least we had a car, and Morgan met us after we dropped our bikes, then we made a trip to drop our T2 bags, and then we decided to go for a drive to see the other side of the island, aka the rest of the bike course.

Here we are somewhere in our fabulous jeep contraption:
Pretty flat, huh?  Decent enough roads, though.  We ended up heading east near town (there is really only one town on the island, San Miguel) to get to the coastal road where there is pretty much nothing:
Well, except for a lot of beautiful waves and sand and wind!  Here I am pointing at some Punta (it means "point") or other:
We knew there would be a shit ton of wind over on that stretch of the bike course.  After we finished our tour, we went to Brad's parents' resort to try a little swim (and also indulge in free food and drinks as it was all-inclusive).  The winds on the west side of the island, where the swim took place, seemed to finally have calmed down.  I really needed to get in the water, as it had been almost 2 years since I'd even been in open water let alone ocean!  Brad and I got in and swam against the current for maybe 200 yards or so, and it wasn't too bad, and then got a little push on the way back in.  I felt like I would be able to survive the swim, which was supposed to be 700m into the current, and then you turn and go with it for 2100m, plus some turns at both ends.  We'd heard stories about last year's swim where several hundred people didn't make the swim cutoff because of the currents.

I was glad I got in the water, and this lessened my jitters about the open water swim with currents.  We went and had dinner just a short walk from our condo at the same place we'd gone on Thursday night.  Here's what we had on Thursday:
 Here's Brad and Morgan, one of the cutest couples I know:

I had the fish sandwich on Saturday.  It was huge.  I felt like I got in enough calories and was full, but in retrospect, maybe not.  Who knows?  We talked to some folks at the next table while there.  2 guys were doing their first IMs, and were self-proclaimed "bike gods."  One guy predicted a 9:35 finish (he came in at 10:3x, still pretty good), and the other was going to blast the bike course and then walk the marathon because he had a bum ankle.  He put on this skinsuit for the ride that looks like a woman wearing a bikini.  I saw it and got a kick out of it.  Turns out Brad beat his bike split (way to go!), and the dude gave up on the marathon because he just didn't see the point in continuing.  I think it was because he didn't meet his objective of crushing the bike course.

I failed to check my email that night which would have told me that they were shortening the swim course and making it point to point all with the current, but we found out right away on race morning, as they kept announcing it over and over again.  This, of course, made me feel even better about the swim, but part of me was disappointed in not getting the full challenge of the course.  I heard several repeaters remark that in normal years, IMCOZ is the most challenging swim of all the IM races, and I can believe it.

The swim course was going to be 3.1k, or 1.9 miles, in a bracket shape, and they bused us just a ways north to get to the start.  The Three Amigos should have been the last people let onto the bus we took, but then 2 more guys snuck in, one of them saying they HAD to get on the bus.  I turned and said, "What, are you pros?"  Yep.  One of them was Peter Kotland, and it took a few minutes for my brain to kick in and recall that I'd met him at IMFL in 2008, when he was training for Ultraman Hawaii and pulled out after the 1/2 marathon.  Here we are back then:

Peter said he remembered this, but who really knows?  I told him that I went on to do Ultraman Canada, and I had a lot of fun chatting with him, and I think some people around me were like WTF she knows this pro dude.

We got off the buses and walked in our bare feet down to the swim start area.  It was a tiny little bay, and I couldn't imagine how all 2800 or however many there were of us, would fit in there.  I hope eventually there are pics posted from that, because it was really cool!  I chatted up a Canadian guy, and we waded out to near the start line and just floated, talked, and treaded water.  He asked me how long I thought my swim would take, and I pulled 1 hour out my ass.  Turns out I was dead on!  Anyway, we'd watched the pros start, and then we were waiting our turn, when my watch said it was nearly 7AM and somehow all those other bodies got into the water, and then I don't remember hearing a cannon or anything, but it looked like people were going, so I just started swimming.

The water temperature was awesome--maybe 80--and clear as shit.  Also very salty, but that didn't bother me.  I just swam and swam and swam.  Most of the athletes were quite polite--only one guy grabbed the middle of my calf a few times and the last time I shook him off and stopped and said, "GET THE FUCK OFF ME!"  Everyone else was good.  I saw divers on the bottom waving up at us, and that was cool.  Some fish, but I really wasn't looking at fish.  Somehow I could just tell how far we'd gone, and when it had been about an hour, and I looked up, and we were making the turn for shore! 

I'd heard it could be tough to swim back in, but there was such a pull from the hundreds of people around me it was no big deal.  I got to the stairs that went into the water about shoulder high (for me, anyway), and grabbed on and waited a few seconds to get my slot up onto them and I was out.  I looked at my watch, and 1 hour on the nose!  I was good with that, as I am the world's crappiest swimmer.  Still, with all the people getting out with me, I couldn't have done that badly.  Here I am coming out:
The skinsuit was great for just holding the clothes tight to my body.  I couldn't imagine swimming without one, so that was $250 well spent, I guess.  I ran through the crappy showers (hanging hoses) and tried to rinse off, including my mouth, and went to grab my T1 bag.  It was mayhem with so many people coming out of the water, but I knew where mine should be and got it fairly quickly.  I went into the tent and found a chair, and a chica offered me some mouthwash to rinse out my mouth, which was such a great idea!  I already added that to my awesome packing list and bag checklist.

I got changed fairly quickly and we had to take our T1 bags with us to our bikes and leave them there.  That turned out to be a great idea, as there really wasn't room near the tents to collect them, and that way, the volunteers could grab them in numerical order for transport down to the finish.

I got on the bike all soaked with salt water, and of course, I wanted fresh water, but I needed to wait.  I just started pedaling, and there were so many bikes around me, but I tried to stay to the right.  There was an aid station quickly enough so I could grab a water bottle, and right away, I was like, I want to keep one of these!  I managed to keep 2 of them, and gave one to Melinda, since she hadn't saved any.

Pretty cute, huh?  I saw athletes out on the bike course stashing 3 or 4 of these in their jersey and cages just because they are so cool looking!

Anyway, I'm pedaling and have a slight tailwind and life is good until we make the turn around Punta Sur (South Point) and get on the east side of the island.  Right away the winds were kicked up we had a good headwind and there is also a slight elevation gain over there, just enough that combined with the headwind makes you go hmmm...maybe I should dial back a little.  So I just went into my small chainring and spun, even letting my watts dip lower than I might otherwise, so all was good.

I got caught up in a drafting pack and was like WTF none of us are winning anything and was conflicted as to what to do.  I almost needed to come to a full stop to let them pass, but it didn't take very long for me to just kind of shut things down and let them go by.  I saw a number of blatant drafters--people wearing the same kit riding side by side ("drafting buddies") and groups of 3-10.  I didn't get pissed about it, since none of us were going to be winning the race.  There were penalty tents, and there was always at least one person in there.  It was tough to distinguish a race official from a bike support guy, as everyone was on scooters, so you just had to be careful, and I was.  Still, there were some times along this stretch where I would just go ahead and pass the person in front of me as they were struggling.

We made 3 loops around the island, and on each pass, the wind got worse on the east side.  Oh well, it was the same for everyone.  I did not pay attention to my speed, and just rode the appropriate effort/watts for the conditions.  I came to refer to all the various points jutting out into the ocean on the east side as Punta Fuck-o.  Every time I'd see one, I'd say in my head, "Yay, we're at Punta Fuck-o!"  You have to find a way to make the ride festive, as it's otherwise just grinding away on the pedals.  It got hotter on each lap, too, but I wasn't sure if I was guzzling water or what.  I was on top of my Infinit consumption, and never felt hungry, but that is not normal.  So either I need less calories than I think or my sense of hunger is fucked up.  I'll take fucked up for $400, Alex.

Here I am coming back into town, I think this was the last lap.  I always try to smile for the spectators and photogs no matter how crappy I feel:


Anyway, on each loop when we turned off the Punta Fuck-o road to head west back into town, it was cool because locals had line the road and were cheering their heads off for us!  There was an aid station in this stretch that I chose for my 3 potty stops, one per loop.  Of course the porta-potty was disgusting, but that's what happens in an IM.  All I know is that on that last lap I was plenty ready to be done biking.

When I dismounted my bike, I could feel that my legs felt like someone had been pummeling them with a hammer.  I have no idea whether I was dehydrated (probably to an extent), out of shape (probably to an extent) or I had just forgotten how bad this feels.  I am going to say (a) and (b).  I never felt like I was riding too hard, and my watts bear this out.  They were pitifully low.  Also, I ended up with 117 miles on the bike computer.   Now some people say it was 113, others 114, but I did not think my computer was off.  At any rate, the bike was long, and it more than made up for the shortened swim!

I did not change clothes, but I did change socks, and was glad I did.  I didn't pee on myself on the bike, but it was still nice to change into fresh socks.  My feet had felt like they were on fire on the bike for the last lap, and others commented the same thing, but I was glad that it was BOTH FEET for me, since I'd had trouble with my right foot on and off during training.  I put on my run hat and sunglasses.  I already had the number belt on since we had to wear it on the bike, so sadly, I wasn't able to wear my streamers.  I'd wanted to, as it's been a tradition, but unlike some of the other recent IM races, we were required to wear the bib on the bike.  My bike time was something like 6:44, which was slow for me, so maybe I am just slow now or maybe I paced right, or maybe I just suck.

In starting to run, I couldn't believe how trashed my quads were, more so than any other IM I've ever done.  I still chalk this up to having taken a break from IM and marathons, and will never do that again!  I know part of it was the constant pedaling on the bike, but still, I'd done plenty of that in training.  Oh well, gotta do whatever I can now.

I saw Brad pretty early on as I started the run and he looked great.  One of my secret goals for this race was for him to have the race he deserved, regardless of how I did, and that goal came to pass.  I couldn't even hold 11:30 pace out of the gate, and I knew this "run" would be a struggle for me.  The entire time, I just couldn't tell if I was on top of or behind on calories or hydration.  In retrospect, while I liked the compression shorts I wore, I may never do that again, since I like having my belly free to roam and distend, which I think is helpful for sensing whether I need calories or water.  I like the compression on my legs, but not on my belly, and even though it's less there, I think it might be too much for racing conditions.  So I will do something different for my next IM.  Also, it feels really good to fully change in T2, so I will go back to that mode again.

I was only able to run with Brad for a few blocks, and then I let him go.  I felt good in knowing that he seemed to be on track for a very good race, and now I just needed to suck it up as best I could and get this thing done.

I forgot to mention that we did get rained on on the bike, and my bike was sprayed with sand and shit, so when I get it back I will need to clean it up in the house!  I had no sense of my body temperature, and it wasn't until the third lap of the run that I decided to put ice down my top and what the fuck do you know, I was OVERHEATED because the ice felt great!  So fucked up thermoregulation and sensing and calorie/hydration miscalculations.  Oh well! Still, I tried not to revert to complete walking, and I ended up with a "run" split less than my bike split, so oh well, I'll take it.  Here I am on the run looking WAY better than I felt:
It rained on the run, and HARD.  The streets don't drain too well there, so we were running through a bunch of puddles, but in the big scheme of things it didn't bother me, as I felt like ass anyway.


My legs felt so rotten I couldn't even pick it up as I approached the finish line.  Trust me, I tried!  But then as I got close to it I saw they had put a ramp there, and I was like WTF???  You can see me saying this:
I had to pick up my left foot like I was marching to ensure I wouldn't trip.  Oh well, it was over.  I had some pizza (again, just because I thought I should not because I was particularly hungry), got a cool beach towel, finisher shirt and giant medal:
So, I have some work to do, and that work begins next week.  Training for a March marathon, then Triple T, the Chicago ITU Olympic, 24HOT, and then Leadman. I get a blood test next week, too, and we will see how my thyroid is doing.  I have a feeling I need a tad more Synthroid, but we shall see.  I'm also getting a complete blood panel, so it will be interesting to see what everything looks like post-IM.  And then hopefully I can start to get my body back in touch with the sensation of hunger and adequate nutrition and such.  I am not implying that I am all that special, but being small by nature with a thyroid issue I think makes it even more challenging to manage myself.  I am glad that I was OK with this race being a crap shoot, and I could have done worse.  At any rate, I gave my legs some much-needed toughening up, and I think that will help me in my training over the next few months.  Hell, I only trained for this thing 20 weeks and I'm pretty old now, so I shouldn't complain, right?  Still, I want that IM PR! 

If you made it this far, congratulations!  You just won nothing!










Monday, November 25, 2013

Almost Ready

Here's what's going through my head right now:

WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   


WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???  

WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???  

WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???  

WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???  

WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???  

WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???  

WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   
WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK???   WHAT THE FUCK??? 
T minus 6.  Head adjustments in progress...