The "Team"

The "Team"
Haley, Marcy, Steve, John and Brandt

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 - The year of the Mdot

Holy Camoley (is camoley even a word?)

It's 2011! I know they say that as you get older time seems to go faster. Not sure who exactly "they" are, but "they are right. So much happened in 2010. Some good, some not so good. Let's do a little Webster Family 2010 recap shall we:

  • January - Nothing particular come to mind. I guess that is a good thing
  • February - Awesome vacation cruising the Southern Caribbean on the Serenade of the Seas. Ran the Cowtown 1/2 Marathon for the 4th year. Celebrated 17 years of marital bliss on the 27th.
  • March - Modest attempt top begin training for the LoneStar 70.3
  • April - Completed the LoneStar 70.3. Pretty pathetic race for me. 1:06 in the water for a half is downright sad.
  • May - Lost our baby girl Dodger after almost 16 years. She was a unique girl and provided much excitement in her lifetime. I still miss her every day :(. Broke my leg (right tibia) on Memorial day at the Honey Tour bike rally in Burleson.
  • June - Just getting through June each year is a big sense of relief.
  • July thru August - With a big unattractive boot on my leg, the summer was pretty much a big blur. While I should have been in the pool, I sat on the couch and watched my ass get bigger.
  • September - I think this is when we flew to Maryland to get a car from my brother. It mayhave been October. I lost track of things.
  • October - Started being able to run again. That made me happy
  • November - Steve herniated a disk in his back. on the 30th he had back surgery (minimally invasice microdiscectomy). After that, the remainder of the year was a big blur.

Wow, looking abck on it, it was a pretty lame year for the Webster's. 2011 is loking a whole lot more exciting!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Steve's Saga

OK, where the heck have I been lately...

Life has been a roller coaster for the past few weeks.

Two Saturday's ago Steve hurt himself running. Initially we thought it was a bad calf strain or IT band problems. A Monday visit to the chiropractor and a few strength tests later, he was getting an MRI on Tuesday.

Wednesday we got the results. The results were not good. A herniated L4/L5 vertibrea pressing on the S1 nerve. He was in a lot of pain and basically was relegated to lying flat on the living room floor. Thursday was a visit to the spine doctor who confirmed the diagnosis and suggested a course of action to start with an epidural steroid injection. 5 days later, on Tuesday he got the injection.

Things really started looking up. He was far from fine but we were able to get out for a little bit and walk around Home Depot and Lowe's.

Sunday, all hell broke loose. He woke up with a lot more tightness and took a hot shower to loosen it up. I got in the shower shortly after and about 5 minutes later I heard him calling me to come now. He was completely laid out on the floor in more pain than he had even been in. I was thinking that I would have to call 911 as I did not think I could get him up into the car to go to the ER. I was able to get him into the car for the 7 mile trip to Baylor Grapevine.

Baylor ER shot him up with some heavy-duty narcotics and a strong NSAID and sent him home. Pain level went down but mostly he was able to rest.

This Monday we were back at the Spine Dr. Steve's pain level was so bad that by now he could not sit, stand or really walk. Just going from the living room floor to the bathroom was a horribly painful experience. At the Dr's office, he had to go into the PT area to lie down until we were called. Once the Dr. saw him and did some strength tests on his leg, his first response was "How do you feel about surgery?" No messing around with more shots or PT. He was concerned about his weakness, and if it was not addressed it could become a very big lifelong issue.

He went to confer with his partner (who is the chief of surgery at Spine Team texas), Dr. David Rothbart. After doing the same tests as Dr. Kibuule, he agreed and said he could do the surgery, a minimally invasive microdiscectomy, the next day (Tuesday).

Not a lot of time to process, but we knew we had to do something and felt comfortable with Dr. Rothbart. (he is a triathlete so that gave him some immediate credibility)!

Off to the hospital for pre-surgery tests and then just make him as comfortable as possible for the next 24 hours. Tuesday comes and we get to the hospital at noon. The normal activity of 1,000 questions, IV's and lots of people coming in to talk to us. They took him back at about 2:00 (only 30 minutes late).

About an hour later the Dr. comes out to talk to me. Said everything went great. There was a lot of material impinging on the nerve, but he got it all cleaned out and the prognosis is very good. About an hour later, I got to go back to see him and there he was, SITTING UP in the bed drinking some juice. This was the first time in over 2 weeks I have seen him sitting. But the best news was when he told me that he had no pain. Zero. None. From a 8-9 on a scale of 1-10 to a 0.

2 days later, he is still pain free. A little soreness around the incision site, and some tightness which we were told to expect, but pain-free! We are walking 4 times a day. Nothing big, around the block but he is up and moving and doing fine.

There does not need to be anything under the tree this year as I feel like I have gotten the best Christmas gift ever.

So, after all of that, where does that leave us? Obviously IMTX is out for him. I have to admit that I did waver a lot during this time. How could I go out and race when he can't. We were in this together. We talked a lot about it, and I know that I want to keep going with this. As for Steve, it is going to be a slow process back, but he will get there. PT starts on the 15th.

As for now, we are taking it day by day. So I am going to be back. Still planning on running White Rock Half Sunday. May be a big mistake as I am so competely undertrained but, I have no expectations but to go out, enjoy the day and finish when I finish. I figure by Sunday Steve will want to get rid of me for a few hours as we have been together 24/7 (with a few breaks for supermarket runs) for the past 19 days.So, onward and upward!

Little steps which for both of us will turn into big steps!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The monster living in my head - Marcy

Believe it or not, I am not the most confident person in the world. There are certain things I know I am good at:

  • I make an awesome Tortilla Soup
  • I am am a good friend
  • I am good at my job
  • I am a good wife, daughter, sister and doggie mom
Likewise, there are things I know I am not good at:
  • I can perform only the simplest math
  • I cannot sew
  • I have no musical ability whatsoever (despite my secret desire to be in a Broadway musical one day)
It's those things in the middle that cause me angst. Things that I can do but am neither good or bad at. While my non-athletic friends probably don't see it this way, I know that I will never excel in any of the three disciplines of triathlon.

I am a decent swimmer, biker and runner, but for me, none of it is natural. I so envy those athletes who make it look so easy. For me, it is work, but fortunately, it is work I enjoy doing, at least most of the time.

But, is it enough? 27 weeks to go. That's a lifetime. Why am I doubting myself? Can I do this? Will my body hold up? Today I am beating myself up because I fell short of my plan for the week.

OMG - Shut up Marcy!

So you fell a little short this week. Big Freakin Deal! Suck it Up Buttercup!

I swam, biked or ran 8 hours this week. That is nothing to hang my head about.

I can and will do this, but be prepared, there will be meltdowns to come!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Well, I guess we'll start this thing in November!

Good morning everyone. This is Brandt. Remember me? I know, I's been a while. I can proudly report that if the goal for this part of the journey was to spend October in a lazy slumber, and gain a few pounds in the process, I am PERFECTLY on schedule!

That's just gives me a carrot to chase in November. There's still plenty of time to get ready for this thing, but the clock is not moving backwards, so I need to start moving forward. This coming month, the main goal is to be consistent and have fun. Life doesn't get any less crazy in my world as the holidays approach, but I just need to adjust accordingly.

I have also decided that I really need a computrainer so that I can set up a training station in my garage for those early mornings when it is too dark/cold/miserable to get outside. In fact, I recently learned that the IMTX course video is in production and should be available soon for the computrainer....hmmmm. I don't really have a grand to spend on equipment right now, but maybe I can find a used one for a bargain. We'll see.

Happy Halloween everyone....I'm going to do my best to spend as little time as possible raiding my kids' candy bags tomorrow night, so that Monday morning will be a successful start to the remainder of this journey.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's all about the numbers

Today something cool happened. Well, it was cool to me anyway.

I put on a pair of shorts right out of the dryer, and they were a bit loose on me. This is cool because in the past, these shorts right out of the dryer required a little bit of time to loosen up.

Last weekend, Steve and I had our RMR - Resting Metabolic rate tested.

From Wikipedia - Basal metabolic rate (BMR), and the closely related resting metabolic rate (RMR), is the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about twelve hours of fasting in humans).
The release of energy in this state is sufficient only for the functioning of the vital organs, the heart, lungs and kidneys and the rest of the nervous system, intestine, liver, lungs, sex organs, muscles and skin.

So on Friday morning, we woke up and our friend Coach Aaron strapped this lovely mask to our faces and for about 15 minutes we just say on the couch and breathed. I like tests that are impossible to fail.

The results were for me about what I expected, for Steve, a total and complete shock that really explains a lot about some struggles he has had.

My RMR is 1512 which coincidentally is the street address of the house I grew up in in New Jersey. Not a surprise at all. Before the "real" test I did one on an on-line calculator and it said 1480 so pretty close.

Steve on the other hand was a big surprise. We figured him to be somewhere in the 2000 range. What Aaron said floored us both. Steve's RMR is 1224. 1224, are you serious? How in the world could his RMR be 288 calories a day less than me?

But, like I said, this is a test that is basically impossible to fail. You sit and you breathe. It does not get any simpler than that. But, this really explains why Steve has been struggling with weight loss. He has not really be gaining, but not losing. It's all about calories in versus calories out, but if you assume that the number of calories you can take in every day are about 800 more than you see the issue here?

So, there have been sweeping changes in the Webster house. There has to be.
  1. Start reading labels. When we really thought about the empty calories we were consuming on a daily basis, it is crazy. Little things. Like at the supermarket checkout, we would more often than not grab a Peppermint Patty for each of us. No real thought put into it. Did you know that there are 140 calories in a little Peppermint patty? That is about 10% of our DAILY calorie intake. And we never gave it a thought.

  2. Pay attention to serving sizes. I know I was easily having at least 1.5 servings of cereal in the morning.

  3. Measure and weigh. This is really not as big a PITA as you would think. Protein servings should be 4 oz. When I weighed out that amount on my new handy dandy digital scale I was amazed. While it is still a very healthy portion, I can only guess that we were eating twice that for dinner every night. Now, instead of just pouring cereal into the bowl, I pour it into a measuring cup and then into the bowl. Same with pasta, rice and really now everything except veggies. Those can be plentiful.

  4. Log everything. We are now using's food tracker to log everything we eat. And I mean everything. If you snack it...track it! Even those 15 calorie sugar-free Popsicles get tracked. Accountability is the key!

  5. Eat to our RMR. For now, this will work for us. We are giving our bodies what they need. Now remember that RR does not take into account any normal movement you do in the course of your day, or any calories lost by working out. But for now, as we are about to enter the base phase of our IM training, that will work. As our activity level increases, our nutritional needs will change and we will adapt to that.

We are on track. We are motivated. We are committed. Look out world. Armed with a little knowledge we will be unstoppable!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

30240 minutes until it's On Like Donky Kong - Marcy and Steve

October 26th. Circled in a big red block on the calendar glaring at me. Daring me to look at it.

October 26 = 30 weeks before Ironman Texas.

October 26 = The day we stop slacking, get our act in gear and follow a real training plan.

October 26 = Day 1

The plan is pretty simple.

10 weeks of base, 10 weeks of build, 10 weeks of peak.

We are going to be following a hybrid of the 30 week Be Iron Fit intermediate plan with some customization built in. (after all, I need to put my USAT coaching license to some good right?)

The thing I like about this plan is the consistency. For the two of us, that is the key. Tell us what to do, for how long, in what zones, and we will do it. Leave it up to the training Gods and while the workout may happen, it probably is not what we need to be doing. The plan goes something like this:

Monday - Off
Tuesday - Run and Swim
Wednesday - Brick
Thursday - Bike and Swim
Friday - Run
Saturday - Bike
Sunday - Run

Times and intensities will obviously increase as the weeks go by, but it is nice that we already know what we will be doing and when. We can plan out the week in advance and there should be no reason why we cannot complete the plan. I would like to say that our goal is 100%, but life does get in the way sometimes so we are just going into it with the hope to do 100% and deal with life when it interferes.

In the coming weeks, lots to do to get ready. Have our RMR (resting metabolic rate) test set up for this Friday morning. That one scares me a little especially seeing Haley's number. If she is in the 17's, I am afraid I will be somewhere in the 1400 to 1500 range given my age and weight. What that means is that I am already consuming way more calories than I should on a daily basis. But, that is why we are getting the test. We need to see what our baseline is so we can make better food choices. It is all the little things we need to start doing now that will get us to the finish line on May 21st.

Also on the schedule are run and bike LT tests. Yes, we will be training in heartrate zones. That may be frustrating as I know for me, i am going to have to go a lot slower to eventually get faster. Very counter-intuitive, but I know it works.
When we started designing the training plan back in the summer, it felt like October was so far away. And now, it's here. Just like right now May 21st seems so far away, but in the blink of an eye, it will be here too.

Friday, October 1, 2010

1714. It's just a number? -Haley

Well, shit. That didn't go as I expected, or had hoped. I had that same dreadful feeling like one does when they step on the scale. Or is that just a woman thing?

As many people know, I pride myself on my strength, ability to push through some pretty stupid stuff because of that strength and was expecting a much higher number on my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test. This test tells one how much, or in my case how little, they should eat. With my bulk (weight) and muscle, I was hoping for well over 2,000 kcal a day. Apparently, giving yourself a borderline eating disorder and not working out for over 6 months due to injury, your RMR goes down the toilet.

Let me explain the 'eating disorder' comment. For someone that is supposed to be an 'athlete' (I use that term loosely now, really, I know this), I have mentally shunned food for fear of gaining weight since my injury. Well, it backfired. It caused my RMR to decrease, working against me, and I have gained weight anyway. I'm not surprised. To go from running regularly, the gym and/or CrossFit every day (in Iraq) to nothing for over 6 months and eating only once a day, is a shock to the system. Back to food...with my huge life changes right now, I am almost the opposite of an emotional or stress eater.
I can't look at food.
I can't eat it.
It makes me nauseous in a horrible way. I'm lucky if I eat once a day. Or not at all, save for coffee and some ice cream at dinner. Really, that's it. :(

Right now, to look at 1714, while I'm disappointed it's so low, is still a lot of food for me at this point. Yesterday was the first day I tried to eat that many calories and...I wanted to vomit. Well, mostly emotional reasons, but it is a lot of food for me right now. I'm not used to it. I made myself eat to get close to that number. I got to about 1630kcal for the day. Close, but not enough.

I'm not even really working out right now, in "Ironman" world that is. When I start doing more, I need to eat more. I need to replace those calories, stay above 1714 if I even want to think about losing weight and improving my athletic performance...that I know can be awesome...if I just get some energy! I want to still be successful at CrossFit, which I'm told I can still do while IM training (yay!) and I need to do all I can to move myself towards that finish line since I can't run.

I encourage my fellow Village Idiots to get their RMR tested. It's eye-opening and gives you some hard numbers to work with. If you say it's not necessary, or too early in our training, well, you're all doing more than me and I am still finding it useful!

So some goals I can work on, while I can't do real training, are:
- eat 1714 kcal a day
-log it at on a calorie tracker website
-start losing this 15lbs I gained in one year
(having a major life event, like going to Iraq, is good for remembering what awesome shape your body was in...I was 15lbs lighter when I left and when I broke my leg)
-log on BT. It keeps us accountable. I have issues with this as I don't want to write personal stuff about leaving the military, but I can just log and not write anything else.

Time for breakfast! (ugh...not even hungry!)