Saturday, September 30, 2006

I want to live like a 3- year old

This afternoon as we pulled into my mom's driveway, M. said "Mom, look at grandma's pretty new flowers." when he noticed her new yellow mums. It struck me that kids are known for being the center of the universe in their own minds, but it doesn't mean they're not observant. We're at my mom's probably once a week, maybe every other week, and he's paid enough attention to know when the landscape has been altered at all. They were very nice flowers, did I notice them? No. Why not? I was too busy thinking about what the boys would eat for lunch, would they be grumpy after sleeping in the car?, how long should we stay before heading back home and a host of other thoughts that kept me from stopping to notice those nice new flowers.

I'm often left wondering when I run across other blogs where the posts have so much insight and introspective thought- how much time do these people put into this? How can they think this much and still get anything done? I'm not trying to say I have less time than anyone else. If there's one thing I learned from my weight loss journey, my triathlon training and other peoples' stories, it's that no one's ever got enough time. I don't know of anyone that just sits around all day with no responsibilities, so everyone makes decisions about their time based on their priorities. What have I chosen to give up while trying to pursue other avenues? Thinking. I think I have become one of the least intellectual people I know. I don't watch the news, I don't read the paper, I know nothing of current events- save my fantasy football players' stats on Sunday and Monday, I have almost no political views, very little in the way of career aspirations and I'm not looking to make new friends because I have enough trouble keeping up with the 2 that I have. I do have a good spirit, I think. I teach Sunday school, of course since I teach the 2-year-olds I basically give them crayons and a picture that says "Jesus loves me" and I call it a day. My triathlon this summer was an event with Team in Training where I raised over $3300 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in exchange for an e-mail coach, one group training, a smelly hotel room, a pasta dinner and admission to the race. It was by far a worthwhile event and I'll do another one because I did it for the joy and not the "free" stuff. I'm involved with community events to promote math and science for local junior high students and some other things that make me feel like a productive member of society. I don't, however, spend much time thinking. The only reason I'm sitting writing this is that I'm supposed to be changing the boys' closet to winter clothes from summer clothes and I'm procrastinating because it's the one chore for the kids that I dislike more than any other. Inevitably I'll pack away something I should have left out. I'll find clothes next summer that would have fit this winter that will be too small by next winter. I already lost a whole set of cloth diapers, so right now we're buying disposable diapers for C. after spending $150 on cloth diapers that were going to be a real cost savings by the time we got to kid #2. Right. Most of the time I feel like I'm running around from 4:30am until 9pm and I've got so much to do I haven't got room for a thought in my head other than what I'm doing at that moment or else I'll completely fall off the deep end. I also spend a little too much time being annoyed that I don't get enough time to myself. But you know what? I'm loving (almost) every minute of it. I've got years ahead of me to think, right now I've got 2 kids that still think mom and dad are the greatest people to spend time with. I've got 2 dogs that are often neglected but still run to greet me at the door every afternoon even if I do walk in and tell them to move so I can get to the boys. I've got a great husband who works hard at home all day to keep the boys happy and I don't tell him nearly often enough how much I love him and appreciate him. By the way, Monday is our 7 year wedding anniversary and it's just flown by so fast, it's been the best years of my life. This is the time in my life to live my life as it is today. I don't have to work towards becoming a different person because I'm okay with who I am for where I am. I don't think that means I have no goals or ambitions, I'm just a small goal, short term amibition person right now. Besides, if I had to think about things it might keep me awake at night and I'm out about 30 seconds after my head hits the pillow these days. Life starts pretty early in the morning.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Can't wait for the next 60:00 mile

That's not a typo, I'm really hoping for a 60 minute mile in the near future. Here's why:

Tuesday afternoon I took the boys and the dogs for a painstakingly slow walk. At one point I was carrying C. along with 2 doll strollers while holding the leashes of both dogs as M. dawdled behind. I know I should never leave the sag wagon stroller at home but with the dogs it's too hard to push and hold the leashes. I figured since I was in no rush the boys would have plenty of time to just wander the loop as they please. We get to the point in our walk that's as far from home as possible and I hear the first "Hold me?" from C. I was able to convince him to keep going a little while with "1,2,3, GO!" and by jogging in front of him and telling him to chase me. Alas about a tenth of a mile later he abandons his stroller on the curb and I get another "Hold me!" and it was much more insistent than the first request. I tried to convince him to keep walking but some tears ensued so I hoisted him onto my hip and grabbed the stroller in my other hand with the leashes. About a tenth of a mile later, Kodi decides it's the potty break point of the walk. Now I've got to put C. down, scoop the poop into the bag and hold the bag as well. I decided that the bag would be fine in the stroller after confirming there were no holes in it and we were off again. Around the next bend, M. announces "I'm all done with my stroller" and walks away. I realize that days when he's got preschool he gets a little tired so I didn't want to risk a complete meltdown- I grabbed the second stroller and we were all off again. About half a mile later, M. decides that he'd like to walk Ozzy, which convinces C. that he'd like to get down and walk Kodi- leaving me with only the strollers and I assist in holding Kodi's leash to C. doesn't get pulled over. An hour after we started, we're back home in the yard. I was a little grumpy because that walk had pushed my patience a little.

I walked up to open the back door for M. while C. was in the front yard with the dogs. The dogs hear us going in and they start running, all of a sudden I hear a scream/sob from C. I turn the corner to the front yard and there's C. crumpled in the wood chip bed, hysterical. I'm not sure exactly what happened, my best bet is that he somehow got tangled up with the dogs and their leashes as they ran for the door. He wasn't dragged, but he must have fallen awkwardly and twisted something. He did use his right foot or leg for the rest of the evening. After about 2 hours I called the doctor who said to wait until morning and if he still wouldn't walk we should bring him in. Yesterday morning he still wasn't walking, so we called and brought him in. We were sent for x-rays and after over an hour and a half- great fun in waiting rooms with a 3 and a half year old and an injured 21-month old, we found out all x-rays were negative. The doctor suspects just a sprain and we hope he'll be back to normal soon. It's been so odd for the past couple days to see C. just sitting on the couch. Today he started crawling around again, but he still can't support his weight to walk and it makes him cry if he tries. At least there's an improvement over yesterday so we're hoping it won't be too long before he's back at the slow walk loop again. Next time I will enjoy those slow minutes all the more. It's amazing how we're sometimes hit in the face with a little perspective. If my biggest aggravation on a given day is a slow walk with my 2 boys, I've got it made.

Here's a random gym rant that won't make sense but I've got to say it out loud:
If you're complaining that spin class isn't a good enough workout for you, stop chatting, shut the he!! up and pedal faster!

Monday, September 25, 2006

It was sabotage!

This afternoon at work, Paul called to tell me that he checked out the tube on my rear tire and there was a split approximately 3 inches long in the tube. The tire itself was completely intact so I didn't get a flat from running over something. He suspects that maybe he overinflated my tire and when I hit a bump it caused the tube to pop. He joked that it was his plan to insure that I wouldn't beat him, which he suspects I might have done if I had finished. I'm honestly not sure whether I could have caught up with or passed him but we won't know now. I guess we'll have to wait for another race, he's all set to sign up for yesterday's race again next year. We'll see whether I'm in racing shape at this time next year.

I felt fine today, which probably means I went against the 'rules' of multisport. I did not run like there's no bike. I ran with the thought that I'd still have to bike so I'd better save some energy. I didn't run this morning before class but I had a pretty good strength class. Tomorrow's kickboxing, that's always a good workout.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

So ends the season

Today was supposed to be a 5 mile run and 16 mile bike biathlon down near the shore. The weather was pretty overcast, which was good, but very humid and windy- which was not. They had predicted possible rain showers but we were fortunate that other than a few drops during the race we were dry until it was over. We got there about 10:30am for an 11am start. The transition area was still pretty empty and we found a spot for our bikes together. We weren't too worried about being able to find them because we were pretty sure that we would be nearly the last bikes out of transition so they'd be easy to find. I ate a vanilla PowerGel about 10 minutes before the race began and realized that I don't like vanilla PowerGel, yuck. We walked to the back of the start area, Paul started the race in last place and I started second to last. We figured the day could only improve from there. I managed to run a full 3 steps before a large bubble of vanilla PowerGel rose up in my throat, along with some breakfast, I think, and I thought of how embarrassing it would be to throw up at the starting line. I managed to not throw and things improved from there for a while. Paul immediately moved up ahead of me and I realized how impractical it was to think that we'd end up racing together. It's not as if we were going to spend the time talking or anything, so what was with me thinking we'd just run together? I figured if he was feeling stronger he should go with it and I was hoping maybe I'd catch up later.

My intention was to try to maintain 10 minute miles for the whole 5 miles. I have not run 5 miles in many, many years. I ran 4 miles once this summer, but that was it, so I was sort of going on faith that I could add on another mile and be okay. I was running along and checked my watch somewhere around 13:47 and then I nearly panicked. I hadn't seen the first mile marker yet and I didn't think I had started out that slow, so I asked the woman next to me whether we had passed a mile yet. She told me we were at 1.5 miles or so, so I was glad to see that I was actually about 9:30 miles. I was even more excited when I was able to maintain that for the next few miles. I hit 2 miles at 19:02, 3 miles- 28:29, 4 miles- 37:58 I was going to come in under 50 minutes!! Right about the 4 mile mark I heard the first grumblings from my digestive system but I figured since I took my Immodium I'd be fine, just 1 mile to go, I just clenched a bit and kept running. Paul was only about 10-15 steps ahead of me and I was thinking I'd catch up before we finished the run. I had seen him walking ahead of me a few times and I was wondering how he was feeling. I looked at my watch with 0.5 miles left- 42:50 and I was psyched. Not two steps later my itestines sent an urgent message to my brain. The nearest intestines-to-English translation would be "if you try to run any more, the entire contents of your lower intestines will be evacuated onto the street immediately". The running clench was no longer working so I had to slow down to the walking clench. My hopes of a sub-50 minute run started to fade and 6 people passed me over the next half mile. I ended up with something like a 10:15 average but I know it could have been 9:30. I almost felt like a real runner for those first 4.5 miles.

I came into transition as Paul was leaving. I told him not to head home without me jokingly and then I headed off to the bathroom. I did reach the bathroom in time and the nice part was that I could sit and untie my shoelaces more comfortably than if I was sitting in the transition area parking lot. I felt much better after the bathroom break and I headed back down to get on my bike. I went through the big puddle and took a left off into the headwind. My legs felt surprisingly good and I was at about 15 mph, I figured if I could maintain that into the wind I'd pick up when there was a trailwind. I was looking forward to that 16 mile course and then I heard a very loud pop. I have not had a flat tire on my bike before and I've heard other people describe a hiss sound or thump sound, I heard none of that. Just pop. Loud enough that for a second I thought a car had backfired near me somehow. Then I felt the dragging of the tire and realized my day was over. First, it was a rear flat and I've never changed a rear flat. Second, I had no bike pump. I took off my helmet, shoes and socks and pushed the bike the 0.75 miles back to transition. Paul came by a little while later, I told him I'd had a flat and wished him luck on his next lap. I went out to the beach side for a few minutes to sulk and look at the water. I'd felt so good heading out after the run, and the run had been a pleasant surprise so I was annoyed that my season ended with a DNF.

Official results: 75/83 on the run.
Paul- 67/81 overall finish, 67/83 on the run. Total time 1:55:57
He was disappointed with his race but he finished and it's been aout 16 years since he last raced so I think he did really well.

We went to pick up the kids and now we're hanging out, watching football and I'm wondering what I'm training for now. Guess I'll give myself a couple weeks to just go to the gym and work out and then I'll pick my next goal. There's something out there for me, I'm in no big rush to decide.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I may never wash my hair again

This morning was strength training class at the gym. Since we've got the biathlon Sunday and I'm still getting over this cold I bailed on the treadmill run before class and got there just in time to get some weights and a bench. It's always a tricky proposition, picking the correct weight for this class. I've moved beyond the colored "girlie weights" for most exercises, that's the 5, 8 and 10lb weights. They're called the girlie weights because they're the brightly colored ones: orange, red and blue respectively. When you hit 12 pounds, they switch to the more serious looking black weights with the number printed on the outside. Depending on the exercise, though, picking the tougher weights can spell pain. The other reason it's tricky goes back to a previous post about the continuous crabbing in the gym classes. Some people seem to think that because they've used a certain weight set in the class, everyone should remember that and set the weights aside just for them. There obviously aren't 15 complete sets of every weight for each person so most people can share. Some people, however, cannot share and are incensed at the mere idea. I grabbed a set of 10s and headed off to the back corner and figured I'd just use the lighter set rather than deal with people. When the class format changed to a workout with partners, many new weight sets were freed up and it made life much more enjoyable. I ended up with the 20 pound set for bench press and rows, 15 pounds for the biceps set and 12 for the shoulder raise and triceps. We did 3 sxercise supersets in a row for each muscle group. It was a really hard upper body workout and it felt pretty good. We only did one set of lower body- squats with weights ( 1- 20lb weight) then lunges, side squats and finished with one set of jump squats. That last jump squat was really hard but felt so good. After a set of stretches I felt great and headed off to the shower. I got into the shower and that's where the real extent of my muscle exhaustion hit me. I could barely raise my arms to wash my hair. For a minute I considered just resting my elbows on my knees and squatting down to wash my hair while my arms rested on my legs. However, the lower body set was tiring enough that the thought of holding the squat that long wasn't good, either. Then there's the chance that my butt would hit the side of the shower and that just wasn't an option, so I managed to wash my hair, just a little less vigorously than usual.

When we went out for a walk tonight I didn't bring the sag wagon stroller for some reason. The kids wanted to walk up the "big" hill near the house. It's a decent hill if you're running but walking isn't too bad. Again, for a 3 and a half year old and a 20 month old it's a pretty big hill. Of course tonight is the night that C. decides he wants to be carried for about half the walk. So my already tired arms got a little more work this evening. I might not be able to wash my hair in the morning, we'll see. I like a good workout.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Toddler sag wagon

The first day of fall was gorgeous here and after I got home from work we all went for a walk, as we often do. Going for a walk is just short of a major event around our house. It's me, Paul, M., C. and the dogs. That may not seem like much on the surface but then the boys both need to bring a stroller to push. The strollers we have are Graco doll strollers purchased at Toys R Us and they are, without a doubt, the best $9.99 each that we have ever spent where the kids are involved. Of all the toys in the house those strollers are the only things that are played with every single day. They are used to transport cars, trucks, toys and sometimes little brothers all throughout the house and neighborhood. M. is actually on his second stroller because last week a wheel finally gave up the fight and fell off the first stroller. If you've got kids and they don't have a Graco stroller, get one. The other cool thing about them is that they're made in a very gender neutral pattern- the new one is red and grey and they cool just like the real ones.

Anyway, back to the walk. The boys both have a stroller, the dogs need their leashes and we need at least 4 bags for poop-scooping over the course of the walk. I follow along with the double jogging stroller to act as the toddler sag wagon. We walk at an agonizingly slow pace, one mile takes us anywhere from 30 minutes if the boys are running, to an hour. C. is especially slow and easily distracted along the way. In his defense he's only 20 months old and I don't know many other 20 month old kids that can regularly cover 1-2 miles under their own power. I'm pretty sure that at the same age M. wasn't doing nearly the same amount of walking. We try to cut him some slack for that but it still gets a little frustrating when it's 5 minutes between mailboxes. Then he'll decide he wants to ride for a while. A while being about 25 seconds and then he's down again. The boys will start racing strollers and then it becomes a crash derby for a while until C. is once again distracted by something else. Kodi is always the first of the dogs to poop and Paul usually teases M. that it's his turn to pick up the poops. There are some things that M. has a sense of humor about, picking up dog poop is not one of those topics. Whenever a car comes by the kids sit on the curb and wait until it's gone by before we move along again. We're lucky to live in a relatively quiet neighborhood where we can go for great walks as a family. While it sometimes seems frustratingly slow we're lucky to have 2 boys that really enjoy spending time outside and it's quality time that we're all together. It sure beats sitting on the couch in front of the TV.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Body Amnesia

Feeling healthy is so easy to take for granted. When you're healthy there's almost a feeling of being oblivious to the existence of your body. Not until there's an injury or illness to bring attention to a specific part of the body do we really pay much attention, at least I don't anyway. I remember when I was pregnant with M. and for about a month I was very aware of my belly button and the fact that it got in the way all the time. It's just not normal to be aware of your belly button and it's surprising to realize how often it gets bumped into things, of course the expansive belly behind it certainly added to that frequency, but it seems like it happens all the time when you're aware of it. When I'm feeling healthy I don't remember what's it's really like to feel sick or injured and vice versa. I think that's where kids and animals have it easier. I think in their perception of time they can't really remember that they felt better the day before so if they're sick or injured they adapt so quickly it's amazing. Living totally in the present gives them the ability to ignore everything that we might dwell on because we do remember that we felt better the day before.

Having sprained my foot a week and a half ago and now having a cold, I can't really remember how it was to feel completely healthy. I've been aware of my foot and of the discomfort it causes when under pressure. Today I'm aware of my head and the fact that every footfall feels like a large percussion instrument in the large empty expanse of my sinuses. It creates an echo in my head and the feeling is something like walking around under water with all the muffled reverberating going on in there. That feeling greeting me this morning led me to decide that this was not a good morning for step aerobics, it was the perfect morning for getting a little extra sleep. The nicest thing about the morning was waking up and getting a big hug from C. who seemed happy to see me. It's always hard to leave for work if the kids have gotten up before I'm out the door. I'd rather stay home and play but the bills have to be paid somehow. I smiled and waved as C. cried at the front door and M. waved good-bye. Two minutes later they were both playing happily, my day went downhill from there. Until I got home.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Just let it go

I mentioned before that I've had trouble with gym motivation lately, here's more on that.

I joined the gym in April of 2004- it was my present to myself for M's first birthday. I stopped pumping at work since we switching him over to milk. That gave me an extra 40 minutes during my work day and I was hoping to lose some weight before we had another baby, I was about 194 pounds. So, I joined the gym and before the end of April found out I was already pregnant. Change of plans, instead of working really hard to get into shape I listened to all the advice that said "don't let your heartrate go about 140" or over exert yourself during pregnancy, blah, blah. I would hang out on the elliptical trainer and not work too hard for 40 minutes or so five mornings a week. Didn't do much to get me in shape, but my cardiovascular endurance did improve a little. I did nothing while out on maternity with C. and I returned to work when he was 10 weeks old. I finally joined some of the 6am group classes, step aerobics, kickboxing, spinning, weight class, etc. I attended class five mornings a week and that really helped me to lose the 40 pounds I've lost so far. This spring I decided to start training for the triathlons and that cut down on my class time a little because I went swimming or biking instead some mornings. Now that I'm not training any more I find that I've got no patience for the classes. Most of the people are really nice and they make going to the gym enjoyable. However, there are some people that spend so much time and energy crabbing about everything that's wrong that it really gets annoying. I realize that we pay to have access to the gym and it should be run professionally. I think it's a very well-run facility. Some people are just always going to find something wrong with everything. It just gets so old to listen to the comments that some people think are appropriate. I can't stand it when people say things like "I'm just outspoken" or "I'm opinionated", when what it boils down to is "I'm rude". There are plenty of ways to be outspoken and opinionated without coming across like a jerk. Of course the people that complain the loudest are the people that no one would dare to cross so they're basically catered to in every way. Goodness don't ever stand in their spot in the class, don't take their weights and whatever you do, don't ever express an opinion. I think it's time I just head off on my own and do the workouts myself. I love the spin instructor so I'll probably stick with that class, but I can do most other things myself as long as I get there. I wish I could just get past the comments in class, ignore them and enjoy my own workout. But it really seems to generate some negative energy that I just find draining and distracts from the workout for me. I don't know how everyone else in class, or the instructor, can stand it. The one motivation there is to the group classes is that there's usually someone looking out for you so you might get busted on for bagging class unless there's a good reason. I may die of boredom out on the treadmill, but I'll start giving myself more specific workouts, so maybe that will help. We'll see.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I've got a preschooler and I'm back on track

Tuesday morning was M's first day of preschool. I wanted to go with him to drop him off but we decided that might add to his anxiety because it's not the normal routine. So Dad and C. brought him there and he stayed without too much convincing. He seemed to enjoy himself and said he'd like to go back. Which is good because he was going back this morning anyway. Day 2 also went well and he likes singing songs, doing projects, playing outside and drinking from the very small juice cups. Those small cups were a hit. It's hard to believe how quickly he's growing up. Here ar e the boys, ready to head off to school.

I finally got back to the gym this morning after "resting" my sprained foot since Friday morning. It feels almost 100% but I'll hold off on running or anything with side to side motion for a few days because some of those stresses hurt a little. Clipping out of my spin shoes was a little painful on that foot but spin class went well. I've been a little un-motivated lately. We added this biathlon a few weeks ago and I'm really looking forward to doing a race with Paul, but it doesn't have the same excitement as my triathlon training over the summer. I think it's partly because the run is 5 miles and I haven't run a continuous 5 miles all summer so I'm just going to wing it. I have no goal other than to finish the run and be able to get on my bike without falling over. If I can be done in less than 2 hours, great. The other part is probably like wedding day blues, where you train and practice and think about the race and then it's all over so fast. My life went back to the same way it was before the race, and it's just a memory now. The cool feeling that I'm a triathlete lasted a couple days but now I'm left looking for my next project or plan. Not sure what that will be, until then I'm going to try to get up and go to the gym and take things as they come.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Just a person in training

I'm glad that I didn't run across any of these tri-blogs until about a week before my first sprint. My first was Nancy's Run Big and I'm not even sure where I happened across it, but since then I've just followed links from one blog to another, reading more than a year of many people's lives. Siren, Iron Wil, Trimama, Tri-Geek, Flatman, Misty and many others I look forward to "meeting". I can't just read the most recent posts, I have to start from the beginning so it takes me a few days to get through just one. I know about their training, their families, their philosophy and much more. I feel like they are all my friends, but none of them would know me if they tripped over me on the side of the road. If I had started reading earlier in my training I might have decided that this sport, or multisport, just isn't what I'm cut out for. Everyone is so strong, so committed, with so much heart and dedication, there's just no way I can measure up to that. I'm not an inspiration, I've had no trauma in my life to overcome, I've had no great insight into how to become a great triathlete. I'll never be a geat triathlete.

My initial plan was that this whole triathlon thing was a one shot deal. I signed up with Team in Training after losing a close friend to breast cancer. I did my first (and only so far) marathon with TNT back in 2002 after hearing a former high school friend had died of kidney cancer. This spring I had some time to myself, my two boys were out of the high needs infant stage of life and I needed something to focus my attention and activity. I had been going to the gym for over a year, I had lost almost 40 pounds, but my motivation was waning in that arena. Working out for the sake of working out just wasn't as rewarding at it had been when I was losing weight and starting out. I decided the whole triathlon thing would be good for the summer, I could add it to the list of things I've done and then move on. I know it was only a sprint and my goal was just to finish, knowing I'll never really be a competitor against anyone except myself.

I went in knowing I'm a decent swimmer, an okay biker and a pretty poor runner. This was confirmed in my second race where I was in the top half of the swim, the 75th percentile for the bike and the slowest runner of all 62 participants to cross the finish line. I was thinking of making my own t-shirt. It would have the Superman S on the front as the start of Slow triathlete. The back would say "Faster than a Couch Potato". Really, I give myself credit for getting to the start line for those 2 races when most other people chose to stay home. Of course some of them stayed home because they were training for other things like marathons, century rides, half irons and Ironman races, but most just stayed home. I think I probably hit the highlight of my entire triathlon career that very first morning in transition when I met Sarah Reinertsen. Meeting someone in person that has made me cry with her perseverance and amazing courage and seeing that she was the most incredibly nice, down-to-earth person, it was just over-whelming. The minute I hit the water on that first swim I knew I wanted to do it again. The second time I still felt the same. I was a little more nervous that race because my family was there and it was a race against co-workers. If I had a bad race in New Hampshire, no one ever would have known anything I didn't tell them, so it was safe. I was a little worried that I'd get to the finish and my parents, or Paul, or the kids would ask why I even bothered if all I could manage was a second to last place finish. I was pleasantly surprised when everyone seemed pretty proud of me, even though I hadn't done anything particularly special. I tend to think that once I've been able to accomplish something, if I could do it, anyone can, so it can't be all that great. To get an e-mail from my dad the next morning saying that what I did was impressive really hit me. To hear that I'm setting a good example for the boys made me think that maybe I am doing something important and worthy of note. Then a few days later, M. was sitting in his car seat, swimming with his arms. I asked what he was doing and he said he was in a swimming race. I asked him if he'd like to be in a swimming race when he gets bigger. He looked up and said "When I'm big I'm going to do a swimming race, a biking race and a running race. Just like Mom." To hear him say that he thinks of me as someone that races, that made it worth it to me. I have a dream that some day he'll be able to say "My Mom's an Ironman". It would be awesome to some day compete in races with the kids because we will raise them thinking that people regularly train for things like races and make it a part of their lives. That would be cool.

I read the post about the Ironman Wisconsin '07 sponsorship and it was exciting. This just isn't the time for me to take on something like that. We'd like to have another baby and my kids are still young enough that I'm not yet willing to sacrifice my time with them for what training would entail and it wouldn't be fair to expect Paul to take on more care of a toddler and preschooler while I'm off training. I'm not there yet and sometimes, like while I'm sitting here with a sprained foot, I wonder when I'll get there. I don't think it's a question of "if" I'll get there, it's a feeling of "when". That's not a question I need to answer right now, I'd like to get some more sprint races under my belt, at least a few Olympics and maybe some half IMs. I need to work the most on my running and I know that just takes time. Time, I've got. At some point I hope to have a maternity break from some aspects of training, but now that I've gotten a taste of this ultra-cool multisport I intend to stick with it.
I may not have a great philosophy to share and my blog may never be a place where people turn for inspiration or great training tips. But maybe some time another plain old person will stumble across this blog and realize that they can get there, too. I think that every blog I've read is written by someone on a level above me. Maybe they don't see it that way, maybe they feel average in their life, but I feel like they're all at a place I can only hope to get some day. They're athletes, I'm just a mom trying to survive a few little sprint races. For now that's all I can be, and as long as I'm working at being the best mom and wife I can be, that's got to be good enough. Ironman isn't going anywhere and it's good to have a dream in the wings.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Oh, the grace

After over-sleeping last Monday, triathlon calf muscle recovery last Friday and Labor day this past Monday, we finally all met up this morning for the 5am run. It's been cool in the mornings lately so it's almost perfect weather to run, although still slightly more humid than I would prefer. We started off alright, although one of my running-mates is still recovering from a cold so she wasn't feeling as well as she would have liked. A little more than half a mile in we were running in an spot where there are many cars parked along the street in front of residences. It was garbage morning and one of the cans out front looked as though it had been disturbed. Thankfully we decided to cross the street at that point as a small skunk emerged from near the can and was running, tail straight up, parallel to us for a few seconds. Nothing to put a little speed on like a skunk sighting. The rest of the run was nearly uneventful and I felt pretty good right up until about 100 feet from the end. I was running in the road next to the sidewalk. I looked ahead, noticed the storm drain and said to myself "Don't step on that." and I didn't. All of a sudden I was headed towards the road, rolling, flailing, then landing in the middle of the street. My running mates heard my graceful stumble and stopped to make sure I was okay. I had scraped up my left knee in a couple spots and my right foot felt a little sore but I was able to walk it in fine. Strength class was fine, not too much stress on my legs or feet.
I got to my desk and noticed more pain in my right foot. By 9:00am I was barely able to walk and my right foot was swollen. Fortunately, my mom works at the same company and she had a clear enough schedule that she was able to drive me to the clinic for x-rays. Two hours later I left with an ace wrap, crutches and a diagnosis of right foot sprain with torn ligaments. I've spent the afternoon on the couch, watching the boys run around as my husband takes care of everything, hoping that this injury passes quickly enough that we can do the biathlon on the 24th.
Paul and I were talking about how many times I've needed medical attention since we got married almost 7 years ago. I've broken 2 toes on separate occasions, sprained a wrist and now the sprained foot and ligaments thing. That's 4 emergency room/clinic visits in that time, and except for today, none of them were exercise or training related. If I do stick with triathlons, of any distance, am I destined to become a clinic regular? The weirdest thing about today's injury is that I have no idea what it was that caused the fall. There was no hole, no curb, no stick to trip on as a did a few weeks ago, nothing. Just my stupid size 11 feet, they're big enough that they should help my balance not impair it. Are some people just more prone to injury? Am I one of those people? Is there anything that can be done about it? Maybe I just need to figure out how I can workout in a plastic bubble, with a padded floor.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Not a runner, yet

This morning I had grand ambitions of running 5 miles at the gym since our race on the 24th is a 5 mile run and 16 mile bike. I had the iPod, figured I'd have some good music, TV for extra entertainment and get in the 5 miles. That didn't happen. I ran 3 miles at 9:40 miles and then I walked for 2 minutes before running 1 more mile for a total of 4.25 miles in 42:08. My heart rate was pretty far up there, over 170 by the treadmill heart rate monitor and I was feeling tired after that distance. The thing that bugs me most is that I just don't have the mental running thing yet. I'm not really so tired that I can't go on, my mind just completely gives in and gives up. I've got to get my mind doing some practice runs so that when my body takes it out, it doesn't give up so easily. I think maybe there's a part of me that feels like now that I've completed my 2 triathlons for the this year, I'm done. I'm taking it easy. I don't think I want to take it easy, I want to stay in shape. The thought of an extra 30 minutes of sleep every morning is so nice, though. It's hard. Tomorrow morning's spin, that's always a good workout.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Family workout day

Three day weekends are just about the best thing there is. Today we met up with my brother-in-law's family and hiked up a local hiking trail. It's a 1.6 mile trail that climbs 739 feet so it's a challenge while carrying backpacks of lunch and pushing one or two kids in the jogging stroller. I only pushed about half way today and then I handed the kids off to my husband and I took the dogs. I ended up carrying C. for a while, so that's an extra 30 pounds to carry and then I had the stroller on the way down. I think it was good enough for a workout for today.

I have got to get back on track with my diet. I gained six pounds last month. I think I ate like I was racing every other day, not twice in one month. It's a little depressing when I think of how long it took me to lose thos six pounds back in the spring and they came back on so fast. I've just got to regain my focus on eating healthy. I've also got to remember that just because a snack is healthy doesn't mean the whole box is!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Injury update

The cramping I noticed in my left calf during the run of Wednesday's race really intensified over the course of Thursday. I was alright once I was moving for a while but as soon as I sat for any period of time it cramped up again and walking was tough for the first few minutes after I got up. I skipped running yesterday morning but I still went to weight class. Unfortunately, it was a leg intensive weight class with a lot of squats and dead lifts. During the third set of squats with a 15 pound dumbell the pain went from hurts-from-exertion-but-its-a-good-hurt to ouch-something's-wrong-with-this-hurt. I made it through class but getting around yesterday was tough. Of course there's a large flight of stairs between the gym and the rest of the building and I actually considered taking the elevator up after that class. I couldn't be that big of a wuss so I took the stairs and walked around most of the day looking like I was about 80 years old, no offense intended to any 80-year-olds out there.

I took my motrin last night and this morning my calf seemed a little better. My quads are sore from the weights class, but at least I'll be back on track for training next week. We've got the biathlon at the end of the month and I've got to run five miles. I have yet to run five miles since I started running again, it's probably been over 5 years since I've finished that distance. I'm hoping that I can just slow down a little and my training with 3 mile runs will carry me through. It might get ugly.