Sunday, November 25, 2012

The MoPac Comeback.

I had a really, really good ride today.  Actually, my twitter post was much less delicate about it than that.

When I went to bed last night, I knew with certainty that I was going to back out of the group ride this morning.  I did.  Then I had to really struggle to get myself on the bike.  The winds were rocking the camper and coming in from all directions.  It was going to be a tough day on any bike, much less an ultra twitchy, super-aero, non-kamm tail TT bike that I am already afraid of.  I knew that it was going to be another white-knuckle, exercise in terror that would shave yet another few years off of my natural life.  How did I know this?  That is what all of my rides have been lately.

I have been dreading my rides, procrastinating until it was nearly too late each time, forcing myself onto the bike, then hating every last second of it.  I have been totally terrified since coming back from this latest crash. The only reason that I didn't give up is that I have been through this before.... with horses.  And I did give up.  I let fear rule me and ruin me as a rider.  It is why I "retired" from the saddle.  I loved riding horses and I love riding my bike.  I cannot, will not lose another passion to fear.
Yup.  This is about how it goes.

In recovering myself as a cyclist, there is one distinct advantage.  As long as I don't respond to the fear, my bike could care less.  (Horses, however, figure if you are afraid, they should be twice and afraid and the situation gets worse.)  The last few rides have had their fair share of scary moments.  Moments when something would trigger a memory... looking at the edge of the road, seeing a bug or bit of debris, cornering and descending, anytime the wind blows, and pretty much any other situation... and I would FEEL the bike going down and make corrections in response to imaginary sensory input.  More than once, I swerved dangerously into the road to avoid... um, nothing.  I was too afraid to drink without pulling over and putting a foot down.  At those times, I would be shaking so badly, it was difficult to continue or control the bike at slow speeds.  And compounding the problem was the fact that the new cockpit was causing a lot of pain and impairing the bikes handling.  The data from the last ride showed me climbing at 19-20 mph and descending and cornering at around 10.

So when I woke up this morning and felt those winds, I almost didn't ride.  Instead, I went to the veloway.  This is the epitome of a comfort zone.  It is short and winding with rapid little hills and offers no chance to think about anything but what you are doing.  It is two wide lanes for bike and rollerblade traffic only.  It is one way and very simple, though challenging to cornering skills.  Most of all, it is as safe as a person can get on a bike.  I went there.  Just being on the bike was enough of an exercise outside my comfort zone, especially with all that wind.

Good place to work on cornering.

I went round and round (and round and round and round...) until I could shift, get in and out of aero like normal, drink and put my bottle away on the fly, and released my death grip on the bars.  Then I took the show out to MoPac which is also something of a comfort zone for me.  There I did a 10 mile loop several times.  

Also, after the last terrible ride, I also took Seabiscuit in to Austin Bikes where Sol and I had a meeting of the minds.  Or more specifically, I whined and he listened, wrenched, and sent me on my way.  Thank you Sol for taking the pain out of the equation and returning my bike to normal (actually, slightly better than normal) handling.  It made all the difference in the world today.  I owe you all the chocolate in Switzerland, dude.

The result?  

By the end of 45 miles, the old duck was back in charge.  I felt great.  I hunted down roadies, hammered into the wind, stayed in aero (even when a wind gust moved me several feet to the left), and was really sinking my teeth into the effort.  I ended covered in salt and full of attitude.  I even made snarky comments on twitter about the guy posing at the veloway in an orange aero helmet.  I got on facebook and told everyone that we needed to ride soon.

In short?  I fell back in love.

I needed that.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!

It's not triathlon but it sure is awesome!!!!!

Enjoy.  The best is just after 9 minutes.  You'll know when you're there.

The Biscuit's Got A New 'Do'.

Seabiscuit came home today with his new cockpit installed.  He is sporting a new style of bars, brake levers, cables, and colors.  I decided to coordinate with the white accents instead of the red this time.  I have always loved white on a bike.  I will withhold my final opinions until I have the race wheels on and the picture is complete.  I am will also need to replace the red bottle cage with a black or black and white one.
The base bar has a drop but the pads sit up too high.

Extensions are still uncut and cables need to be trimmed.
Not liking the red bottle cage anymore.

Aside from a different look, the new set up has a substantially different feel.  For one, the base bar is narrower and has a drop.  Also, the pads and extensions have considerably more stack.  The brake levers are spring loaded and so have a much different articulation.  I don't like the extra stack or the fact that the new brake levers are too large for my hands but I love the braking action and the drop in the base bar.  It's a trade off but I suspect that in my quest to get the stack down on this bike, the final result will end up being a new frame.  Since I am not ready to make that leap so soon after getting this bike, I will live with too much stack.

I rode today for a little over an hour.  Not far, maybe 18-20 miles.  I forgot to turn on the watch until ~30 mins into it.  When I was trying to power up the hills, I was okay.  Horribly out of shape, but okay.  On the descents and anytime I had to stop, shift, or otherwise do anything technical, I was terrified.  My cadence read an avg of 72 and I was initially horrified but then I realized that I was either climbing or not pedaling at all while braking.  I couldn't bring myself to handle a bottle to take a drink.  I had to stop and put a foot down for that.  The first time I did, I realized that I was shaking.  I relaxed a lot as the ride went on but still couldn't quite get over it.  I let myself descend at a reasonable speed (maxed at 36 mph) in a tuck (pedaling for greater speed was beyond me) twice.  The second time I caught a crosswind and almost blacked out I was so scared.  I figured the right answer was to just keep pedaling.

The fear is (largely) irrational so nothing will be accomplished by indulging it.

So the only answer is to keep doing it.  Do it over and over until I have forgotten what there was to fear.

On the upside, I went back for a swim lesson today.  I haven't seen the Texas Fish in a year but she is so good at what she does that I am still benefiting from previous sessions.  It was a great lesson today and we focused on the tiny form details that might be affecting how I load my shoulder.  The result?  My shoulder hurt more at the beginning than at the end.  I would call that a resounding success.

Finally, I went to the grocery store starving.  NEVER, EVER DO THAT!!  I might need to sell the car to cover the bill and I have five different varieties of kale in large volumes.  I am going to sprout leaves by the time I eat it all!!!
Holy leafy greens, Batman!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pieces Of The Overtraining Puzzle

Well, I am nearly over my cold.  I blew through my braiding list (I had finished the same number of horses by 5 am as I had by noon the previous week) and while I was tired at the end of a very busy night, I was not "incoherent, falling asleep on my feet, barely able to move" tired like I have come to expect.  I felt like a normal person at the end of an 11 hour day.  Not exactly ready to jump tall buildings in a single bound, but ready to go home and not ready to die.  I seemed more resistant to the cold while working... I felt it but it didn't shut me down.  I slept 7 hours and woke up feeling... normal.  I think that I finally feeling restored. I did a few light workouts this week and, again, did not feel sapped at the end.  It has been two full months getting to this point.... Oh, and medication.

I guess I didn't mention that part.  My trials and tribulations with doctors have been so frustrating that I didn't want to post about this right away.  I am being treated for hypothyroidism.  I haven't been on medication for all that long but the type that I am on includes some fast acting hormone (T3) that is immediately available to the body as well as the slower, more commonly prescribed T4.  I researched response times and most people seemed to start feeling the effects of T4 within a  couple of weeks, though it can takes months to fully balance the body.  I don't know if what I am experiencing is an immediate response to the T3, because it is certainly too soon for a response to the T4, or a placebo effect of some kind.

I am not sure I care so long as it works.  I believe at this point that the reason that I succumbed so dramatically to overtraining was a drop off in thyroid levels.  No matter how careful we were (and we were not all that careful), my body changed and it's tolerance for work dropped.  Add to that a couple of traumas from the bike crashes and stress from the loss of Sera and it's the formula for disaster.  I do keep having to remind myself though that the brutal, crippling bout of exhaustion happened BEFORE the crashes or the grief, leaving only the butler (thyroid) and the maid (training volume).

I make this point because human beings do not live in clinical trials.  There is no separating the person from the athlete.  It's all one body, one energy system.  If it gets overloaded with stress, it responds with overtraining symptoms.  There is a tendency to assume that if you are experiencing overtraining or overreach symptoms that it is because you made a mistake.  The kind of mistake that is recorded in training peaks.  Not enough time off, too many miles, too many intervals, not enough recovery (grab your pitchforks boys!  The coach just scooted out the back!!) etc.  I think it is much more involved.  This summer I was handling a workload that I built up to slowly.  I don't think DW was wrong in assigning it.  Rather there was a loss of perspective on the athlete as a whole.  He was busy and our communication broke down... at a time when my travel and work schedule took a long walk off a short plank.  My body went with it.

It was more like this...

... and less like this.  Not all "planks" are created equal!

Did the workload tip my already failing thyroid over the edge or did the failure of my thyroid result in a reduced capacity for work volume?  How did the travel and work load play into this?  What about the races?  How about the overuse injuries that developed this summer?  I'll never know.  The reason for the strain on my relationship with DW was a sense that while this situation may not have been preventable, there was a certain lack of due diligence at the critical moments.  I don't think we know the answers even as much as we could.  It makes preventing future mistakes very hard.  He blamed me for not communicating my fatigue levels well enough.  I was frustrated with him for being (in my perception) virtually unreachable for two months.  Round and round we go.

None of this was his fault.  He spent a great deal of time building up an athlete that could handle a certain volume and suddenly that athlete was replaced by one that was much weaker- a sheep in wolf's clothing.  It is reasonable that he was surprised when the wheel fell of the bus.  My takeaway?  It doesn't matter what caused what.  The situation, probably as it will always be in these cases, is far to complicated to reach conclusions.  We both played parts and there were factors outside both of our spheres of control.  In the end, his program is designed for athletes that do not require intensive monitoring.... like me.  Square peg... round hole... 'nuff said.

You get the idea.

What matters now is going forward.  I have been working with a woman in NC (poor girl) on a consulting basis.  I was referred to her by another coach (he must like practical jokes) as being the right person to help me pick up the pieces and find the lessons in it all.  She has been doing just that.  I kind of feel bad for her because there were some seriously, stressed, frantic conversations/emails, especially at the beginning.  We seem to be through that phase and now, armed with an RBC that has returned to normal ranges, a thyroid that is supported by medication, and after two months of unwelcome R&R, Monday morning I will return to active training.  The goal now is to recover and reinforce the foundation so that the house doesn't blow down quite so easily the next time the big, bad wolf happens by.

On the downside, another condition that I have not posted about that has been plaguing me since before the medication change is hives.  Red, welted, itchy hives.  It started when I came to Houston this time.  It started with my hands and feet and soon the breakouts covered half my body.  I had to do a short course of Prednisone to break the cycle a couple of weeks ago and now they have decided to return.  I was eating a lot of nuts at the time and took those out of my diet.  I had some last night and by morning my legs were covered again.  I HOPE I am not seeing the development of another food allergy, though it would make sense as angry as my immune system has been recently.  Hives and food allergies, along with itchy skin, are all symptoms of thyroid malfunction.  I am hoping that perhaps with the new meds, this train can be derailed.   I am running out of things to eat!!

In brighter news... Seabiscuit returns home tomorrow from his surgery.  They tell me he is fully recovered and I owe them most of my life savings... and a kidney.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Undersea Underpants And Other Adventures

Things that are or look fun to me:

Climbing mountains (not the snow covered kind though.  I hate ice!)

Climbing Rocks

Mountain biking


Trail running (possibly even the Ultra kind)


Going down rivers in all manner of floating things

Diving below the oceans surface

Any of the above in strange, exotic places

I just finished Chrissie's book and what struck me was how functional her fitness was.  She was going and doing intense, crazy things that had nothing to do with training.  There was a point when I was doing things like that (see below!).  Now I seem to be so fragile and limited.  My fitness is all one-dimensional.  I love triathlon but I want to return to a state of being where I can trust my body to answer when I challenge it.  I want to feel strong, fit, and alive.  Right now, I don't feel that way at all.  I feel weak, tight, limited in my movement, painful and achy all over.  I do believe some of that is endocrine malfunction and we are working on getting to that answer.  I am not sure when these changes took place.  It was slow and sneaky for sure, but getting back to feeling alive and strong, indulging my sense of adventure, THAT is now a priority.  Training for triathlon might mean you don't have time for these things but I do not believe that it should mean that you don't have the strength.  Something went wrong.  It was never meant to be this way.
I won't tell you what went through my mind here.

Some waters were cool, some were boiling.
"Don't hand on, you'll trigger a rock slide" he tells us.

Halfway through an all day hike.  Lunch at the largest (second largest?) boiling lake in the world. Boiling Lake, Dominica

That crevice led to a hot, mineral spring.  Only way down? JUMP!

Boulders MUST be climbed.  Trafalgar Falls- Part of Pirates Of The Carribean 2 was filmed here.

Undersea underpants.  Johnny Depp lost something during the filming.

I am forty lbs lighter now but feel half as alive.  These were taken in 2010.

Discovering The Protest Ride.

One of the cool things about traveling all the time is that you get lost... often.  My GPS has decided that with it's latest update it was going to forget the ideas of right and left, particularly as they pertain to North, South, East, and West.  Way to GPS.

So in a recent trip, on one of those occasions that it was saying turn right on North Blah Blah St., when in fact a right would put you onto SOUTH Blah Blah St., I followed the wrong part of the direction.  I ended up wandering off down some road for a while before I realized my mistake.

Sometimes, getting a little lost can be very rewarding.  I discovered this incredibly cool bit of sculpture on someone's lawn.  I just couldn't resist and pass it by.

It had a plate that was difficult to read but named a ride and a date that this apparently honors.
It reads Protest Ride, CAG 2011.  Most protest rides are in honor of or prompted by a cyclist's death.
This is certainly the best bit of lawn sculpture I have ever seen.  Each rider is an individual piece cut from sheet metal and there are a variety of rider positions.  I don't have any idea what the yellow rider signifies but in light of the plate, I suspect it may represent a fallen member of their personal peloton.  Regardless, it was an amazing thing to see and getting lost TOTALLY worth it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Just Saw This...

... and had to share it.

Seriously.  Feeling.  This.

Bringing You Up To Speed.

Monday I drove to Austin for a doctor's appointment and to meet with the Austin Area Triathlon Meet-Up Group.  I took over organization of this group in September to alleviate some of the isolation of my lifestyle, to make connections, and to have a project while my athletic well-being was going up in smoke.  As it turns out, I am really enjoying the work.
The Duck is in appropriately colored duck-foot shoes (orange-yellow)

We had a double event.  The first was a running form clinic at Luke's Locker.  It was basic but didn't offer anything overly trendy or dangerous.  It was run by a local athlete/coach named Raul Garcia.  (Former workout buddy of Leo Manzano, the Olympic silver medalist, who I met not long ago.  Raul knew his stuff.)  He discussed the advantage of a high cadence, the biomechanics involved in different types of foot strike, posture and lean, etc.  We did some exercises to illustrate various points and he also filmed each of us running shod and barefoot.  He played the video back in slow motion then found a freeze frame where he analyzed each of the clinics topics as they pertained to that person.  It was enlightening and informative.  Apparently, the duck has very good running mechanics.  I find that slightly depressing because it implies that I am just slow... and for no good reason.

Then the second part of the even was a group of triathletes descending on Baby Acapulco's on Barton Springs.  This is basically a part of the Austin woodwork and a great little Tex-Mex place.  I had to drive back to Houston afterwards so I did not take part in one of their signature purple margaritas.  Several of the others did though and we all had a great time.

Yesterday, I took the bike over to Bicycle World (on Rice Rd.) and dropped it off.  When I see it again, the entire cockpit will be different... right down to the color of the bar tape.  Seabiscuit has always worn red and now it will be white.  (I harassed each and every long suffering soul in that bike shop while making THAT decision!)  I don't know how  it will look but perhaps it will lighten his attitude a bit and he will stop bucking me off!  He comes home Sunday night.
Bye, bye red... hello black and white.

By the end of the day, I was so sick with the creeping crud going around the horse show that I took the night off of work.  Even though no one else got all that sick, my traumatized immune system felt the need to have a meltdown.  No molehills around here... Only MOUNTAINS!!

Today, I got the results of my blood work back and the doc feels that perhaps some of the results may be why I feel so terrible so much of the time.  He has decided to take a proactive approach to treating it.  Fingers crossed, this could be a turning point for me.

I also tried a pomelo.  It is a fruit similar to the grapefruit that is as big as a cantaloupe and has a flavor that tastes the way some flowers smell.  I realized at the store this week that I hadn't tried something new in a WHILE.  It was rather tasty.
This thing is HUGE!

Then this evening, I got over my creeping crud enough to enjoy a light swim and strength workout.  Nothing crazy... a handful of 200s and a short posterior chain/core routine.  Just enough to get the blood pumping and leave me craving Pho.  Huh?  Oh yeah, did I ever mention that I love Pho.  I am so glad more and more places are leaving out the gluten.  It is a primo indulgence!

Well, there you have it.  You are now up to speed.  :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mad Props!!

Ok, so Mike from Bicycle World... Dude is a great, big WIN!!  Regardless of what goes on from here, I have never received service like this before.  If you live in Houston and you ride a bike, this is your shop.  Trust me on this.

Another note worth mentioning:  Felt, the company, another impressive response.  I got my brain in a giant twist yesterday trying to discern everything I needed to know about clamps and shims and stems galore, degrees of drop or not, forward sweeps and upward stacks, carbon and aluminum in red or black, shifters and brakes, green eggs and ham, Sam I am.  SO I did what any ruffled feathered duck would do... I freaked and contacted Felt.  Amazingly, I received an email response immediately.  I am not talking a business day or two, I am talking as soon as they opened and some nice man named Justin clocked in (that is lightspeed- not the brand- considering I sent the email basically in the middle of the night.)

Credit where credit is due.  Working my way back to the goal.  Pedal lots, sweat lots, forget the world while you discover it.  The rest doesn't matter.

Traverse City, 2013

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shaved Legs Are Better Than Prozac.

Today was spent in a bike shop.  I am once again in love.

About 48 hours ago, the bike bug bit me again and I suddenly wanted to be out on the road more than anything else.  Getting the bike repaired has gone all the way to the top of the priority list.  I miss my baby.

I will be replacing the cockpit that you see here.

It's amazing what a day spent thinking in millimeters and grams while rubbing elbows with skinny dudes who shave their legs will do for a girl.  My whole attitude has been coming around in the last 48 hours and today was a really good day.  I was energized and passionate about things.  Of course it I am now exhausted and ready for bed... but hey, it's progress.

I managed to work up a head of steam when the first two shops I tried were less than helpful and more than a little condescending.  Here is the quote from the twitter feed: Dear Arrogant Bike Shop Guy, Patronize me for one more second and I am going to rip this bent base bar off my bike and beat you senseless with it. I may not have DZsNutZ but I still have a clue, you knuckle dragging dickwickle.  But the important part is that I got worked up.  I haven't had that much energy in a while.  I haven't cared enough... until today.

The third and final shop I tried was wonderful.  It was a chain, Bicycle World of Houston, but when I walked in, it had a small local shop feel with a dedicated knowledgeable dude named Mike who pretty much rocked.  He took measurements, he considered angles, he noted every detail of what I liked and did not like about my current set up.  We chatted about bikes.  I showed him the picture of my broken shoe.  It was a happy day for the duck.

I'm still proud of this.  It takes real effort to break shoes like this!

I have a load of information to consider since there will be some changes made to the cockpit when the bar gets replaced.  It does appear that the bike did not fit correctly in the cockpit and that the handling and balance may have been compromised.  I can't say that this is the entire reason for the crashes but it was certainly not doing me any favors.  It appears that we can do quite a bit with the fit to improve the handling of the bike.  Thank goodness.  I think that if nothing else, even believing that I've improved things will help.  I haven't been on the bike since the last crash and need all the confidence I can get.

Hopefully I can be back on the road within the next 10 days.  While I wish I had not waited thirty days to start the repairs, I am not sorry that I waited until my desire returned.  I am still a little weak but getting better each day and now I am seeing my passion for the sport returning.  While I had not said much about it, I think the most distressing part of all of this was the total loss of desire.  Part of me wondered if it was going to come back.  Now I know for sure that it is.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quoting Marilyn.

These last few months have been hard in many different ways.  The outcome of it all in regards to triathlon includes but is not limited to a complete failure of my racing plans, multiple injuries, exhaustion, ongoing fatigue, the breakdown of my support system, and finally a breakdown of my daily workout routine.  I feel like I have spent the last two months trying to turn into the skid and now I have just run out of road.

While I am going through the motions of figuring out my next step and trying to go forward, I realize that I am totally paralyzed.  There is no real momentum.  People keep offering helpful, but often off base suggestions (last night someone suggested that taking a boxing class would cure what ails me) and with each friendly deflection, I am finding myself less able to maintain any humor or positivity.  The fault is not with the people or their suggestions, the problem is mine.  I am not running under my own power, my own motivation right now.  Until that is happening again, there is no true solution to the problem.

At time is seems like I simply need more rest and healing time, at other times it seems like I need a freakin' intervention.  I read a post in an online forum discussing depression and the endurance athlete.  A lot of opinions weighed in as it was a fairly unstructured conversation, but one comment stuck with me.  At the risk of mushing a toe under the boot of plagiarism, here is the entire comment:

"I'm no clinician but my take is that so many endurance athletes, especially those at the professional/elite/even top AG level truly must make this "sport" a "lifestyle" in order to be competitive. Just look at weekly training hours for those aforementioned groups, and then think about all the other variables excellence demands; early bed-times, lots of couch time, etc, etc. Given that the sport becomes a lifestyle, it also becomes a big part of one's identity; ask lots of serious endurance athletes what they are, and my guess is that you hear often hear husband/wife, father/mother, triathlete/runner, accountant/engineer. 

So, it follows that when you disrupt a part of someone's identity, they are likely to become depressed (not sure all the reasons, but it's certainly true) which is why I think that so many athletes start showing signs of depression when they are injured, during the off-season when they are not training, or when they retire, because that big part of their identity goes away, which I would guess creates a lot of cognitive dissonance. 

I think that is why it is important to be mindful of the balance that must be struck between completely giving your all for/into something (good thing IMO) but also, not allowing any one thing to become your identity (also good thing, IMO), which can be at odds with each other (no magic recipe here). 

Lots of good ideas have already been thrown out here re; getting involved in coaching, supplying, etc when time comes not to compete, or for some, it may mean completely stepping away and finding something else. "  -Bstulberg

I have highlighted the part that I think is at the crux of the problem for me right now.  I am not a wife, mother, triathlete, braider.  I am a triathlete who braids to pay the bills.  I also am a bed warmer for a Jack Russell Terrier.  At this point in my life, I am not much else.  My job and lifestyle inflicts so much isolation that triathlon has become the central focus of my life.  I cannot run right out and buy a life, a new career, or a loving relationship.  It just doesn't work that way.

Initially, I was able to stay focused on how not training or doing something more remedial was just another way to make myself a better, more solid athlete.  In the wake of the dissolution of my coaching relationship, though, I am having trouble finding focus.  With the loss of focus has been a loss of motivation.  Intellectually, I recognize this as a rough patch, I have been through them before, and I know there are better times ahead.  Marilyn said "good things fall apart so better things can fall together".  This has always been true in my experience with one caveat.  You have to stay active in trying to move to a better place.  Losing momentum derails progress completely.

Right now, this is the way things are and to make sweeping changes based on a degree of discomfort would probably lead to regretting those decisions.  It is better to be lonely than in bad company.  I cannot and to a degree would not, change the situation.  This is just a patch of rough ground and it would be a shame to quit just because it is hard.  It is easy to look around at other people's lives, their journey's and think that they had smooth sailing from moment one.  I doubt that is really the case.  It's just that we don't always post the true struggle to facebook.  Life's challenges are personal, often private things and that cannot be contested by anyone but yourself.

Essentially, the situation boils down to this:  I am feeling around in the dark, looking for my bootstraps.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ah, So It Has Come To This.

A friend of mine says that the perfect response to a bad turn of events is to say "Ah, so it has come to this..."

"Ah, so it has come to this..." followed by the thunk of the guillotine.

"Ah, so it has come to this..."  followed by the clatter of the gallows door.

Dude's havin' a really bad day.

"Ah, so it has come to this..." followed by your newly minted ex deciding to take up residence in a tent in the back yard.  (Oh, is THAT ever a story!)

"Ah, so it has come to this..."  followed by the amicable termination of a coaching relationship.

I would rather break up with my ex again.  That was an easier decision.

The "this" that it has come to is that my circumstances have changed and we are no longer meeting each others needs.  DW is an elite coach who coaches elite athletes to spectacular finishes.  I am a broken down duck that needs something a lot more basic.  With everything that has happened, this is the last thing I want to be dealing with, but as was probably true with the above speakers in the guillotine, gallows, and tent, sometimes life doesn't take your personal preferences into account.  At least I am not sleeping in a tent.

For those readers who know what I am talking about... your daily laugh was provided by

For those that do not, I promise to post that story.