Sunday, November 30, 2008

The joys of Thanksgiving...

Hi, all!

I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving full of turkey, sweet potato pie, glazed carrots, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, stuffing (if you didn't forget to cook it like I did), pumpkin pie and pecan pie - and lots of family and friends! We had a good thanksgiving too. We ate all of the above (except for the pumpkin and pecan pies) and then while the girls and Mr. Darcy napped, I went on an hour long bike ride. It was awesome! I combined two of my loops and added a little bit too and did around 12 miles. I think I could have gone farther in that time frame, but I was pretty full when I left! Later we took a 2nd bike ride and I pulled the girls behind me... that ride was about 4 miles long. And then we went and had pie with our good friends the Englert/Maira's! (Oh, and I skipped the Turkey Trot 5K at Lake Eola since my shin splints wouldn't let me run and it was going to be around 38 that morning, I didnt' want to drag Mr. Darcy and girls out in the cold to watch me walk... so we all slept in!)

Friday I did another bike ride - this one my usual 40 minute route. Saturday I hit the pool and swam a mile. This morning I woke up, and did a 30 minute bike to be followed by a 20 minute walk, except I never made the 20 minute walk because well, I took a turn a bit too fast toward the end of my ride and ended up having a little accident. I am completely fine other than a bruise forming on my left leg and being shooken up. The bikes brakes are acting wierd and there's a mark on the pedal from it's interaction with the road. I must say that I think my guardian angel was acting overtime for me... it could have easily been a lot worse. So, I have to take the bike into the shop. After trying to figure out the bike on my own, I decided to skip the walk. Unfortunately, though, I ate about 1/2 a dozen cookies or so for breakfast (left over from our Christmas tree trimming)... yes, I'm someone who eats under stress. The good news is that the cookies are pretty much gone now so I'll be back to healthier eating by tomorrow. : ) Let's just hope the bike isn't going to need a big fix.

Anyway. I am thankful for the time with my family and friends... and for escaping my little accident unscathed! Happy December (tomorrow anyway)!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ode to a Warm Pool

warm pool, warm pool
I have dreamt in waking moments
toes numb and in a vision of mist
of you - a warm pool
and thanks to $35 a month at LA Fitness,
you are all mine!

Yes, I broke down and got a gym membership so that I can swim. The pool was awesome! Highly chlorinated and warm. I swam a mile and wanted to do more but, alas, I had to go to work. They even had a bathing suit spinner so my suit wasn't sopping wet in my bag as I drove home. I love it! I'll have to leave earlier in the mornings to get there and back, but I think it will do me some good. I may need to start training for running on the treadmill too in order to avoid more shin splints. I'm going to ask my Teams in Training coach her opinion. I'll miss being outdoors as much, but I will not be giving up my outdoor cycling never fear!

But, yes the highlight of the day will most likely be the swim! How I missed my long swims (and lapping the guys swimming in the pool with me - they were in other lanes, though)!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shin Splint Stink!

Oh, yes. My shin splints have not gone away in my left leg. I think they were on the mend and then I did that run last week... they probably weren't healed all the way and I made it worse. Today I was supposed to run, but walked instead for 45 minutes. I stretched beforehand paying particular attention to my calf muscles. During the walk, no pain. At end when I stretched again, I had to close my eyes because of the pain. I forced myself to stretch anyway, took a hot shower, took 2 advil and put an analgesic patch on the spot where it hurts. I really was wanting to run in the 5K on Thursday so I could eat without guilt and get a good gage of where my running is at these days. (I guess I like running more than I think I do because even on my walks lately, my body has wanted to break into a jog at the very least and I have to reign myself in.) All I have to say is that Shin Splints Stink! But, I am bound and determined that this leg will heal and I will be able to run in my triathlon February 1st. Come h@ll or high water!

Ladybug did awesome yesterday with her potty training. She is still refusing to pee on the potty first thing in the morning at home, but once she gets underpants on at school she was a champ! She came home in the same clothing and underpants that she had on all day and only had one small accident at home right before bedtime! Go LADYBUG!

I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the padres on both sides decided to stay home, but we have some fun plans for our little family. Thanksgiving morning is the 5K Turkey Trot down at Lake Eola. Bill and the girls are planning to be my cheering section (When Angelfish sees me in workout clothes and running shoes - she knows the difference between my running shoes and my biking shoes - says "You go running."), and then afterwards are going to see if the girls will run in the Tot Trot (it's only 100 yards for 2 year olds). Then we'll come back home and cook Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, cranberry sauce - not from a can, green beans, glazed carrots, sweet potato pie, rolls, and pecan pie), watch the Macy's Day parade on TV, and eat! The next day we'll get our Christmas tree and decorate it and the house for Christmas while listening to Christmas music and drinking cocoa and eating cookies. We may head over to UCF for their Holiday Light show and whatever Christmas movie is playing too. At some point we'll try to get pictures for our Christmas card - either on our own (I have some ideas) or somewhere else. It will be nice to have 4 days together!

I'm trying to find an inexpensive club with a heated pool at the moment so I can try to resume my swimming... the quest never ends! Hasta Luego!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Attempt at Swimming, Lots of walking & biking

Friday there was no workout and thus no blog. I woke up Friday feeling almost as though my head was going to pop off because it was rather stuffy and I was coughing to the point it probably wasn't going to be a good idea. But, as it was, Mr. Darcy had a business meeting in South Florida at FAU so I needed to take the girls to daycare that morning (aka "school") as it was. So, the plan was to workout during lunch. Except when lunch rolled around, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open so I straightened and swept a little (since we had our friends Jen, Steve and Audrey in town this weekend) and then after work went to get the girls and ended up falling asleep on their bedroom floor after we put them down to bed. But, I must have needed the sleep because I did a good bit better the next day.

In fact, I felt so much better that before we headed off to Disney for the day with Audrey, Jen & Steve, that I woke up around 5 am and biked for 45 minutes. 2 things I learned: 1) I REALLY need to buy those long biking pants and 2) they do not leave the giant lights at the high school football stadium up the road from our house on all night like we thought they did. There was a bit of a stretch on the road there that I was super glad I bought the more expensive bike lights with more power because it was pitch black. Just me, in the bike lane with a little bit of reflective gear and bike lights hoping to God that there would be no drunk driver around. But overall, the ride was a good one and I returned rejuvenated... just in time for the sun to come up.

After getting the kiddos dressed, fed and in the car we headed for a marathon day at Disney. It was a blast!!! Ladybug even did a good job telling us when she had to go to the potty and most of the time we made it in time, as did little Audrey (who did even better than Ladybug with it). Angelfish even joined in and went pee on the potty a few times too! We wandered around somewhat aimlessly and hit a bunch of different things, saw Mickey, Minnie & Donald Duck, and even had dinner at the Liberty Tavern where we had pictures with Minnie, Goofy, & Chip and Dale while eating. Angelfish took a header down the stairs after trying to jump on Chip (who didn't see her coming), but she was perfectly fine. I knew she was ok when I got her up and she didn't cry but shouted "my bread!" (She dropped it while going head over feet.) We even stayed late for the electric light parade (or whatever they call it these days). Ladybug rather liked it and Angelfish said she liked it but Mr. Darcy said she was afraid because some dry ice mist got on her and then Captain Hook shot of a cannon of mist and it hit her straight on (Mr. Darcy too - he said it didn't hurt just startled her and him.). When I told her that Daddy said she was scared she said "no like cloud." They were both out by the time we got on 417 to go home.

We were all tuckered out though, because even my internal clock (the one that wakes me up to work out around 5:30 or 6 am on the weekends) didn't wake me up until 6:45ish - just in time for Ladybug to run in the room and climb in bed with us. And we pretty much dragged all day. We had a fun morning with our friends - chatting and the girls playing, and then when we put the girls down for their nap, we slept too! So, I switched my off day for this week from today to Sunday.

This morning I went for a 20 minute walk. Unfortunately, after my walk/run deal last Thursday I woke up in the middle of the night in a lot of pain in my shin, so it's back to ONLY walking for now. The idea was to walk for 20 minutes, swim for 20 minutes and then walk about 5 minutes home. (In case you're wondering, I found a pair of old goggles that I forgot I owned this weekend.) Well, the 20 minute walk went just fine. I got to the pool, took off the clothes that were over my swimsuit, put on my swim cap and googles, noticed that I could see my breath in the air, stretched a little more, and then put my foot in the pool. You know a pool is cold when you put your foot in the pool and involuntarily your leg jerks it back out of the water. So, I tried again, this time being conscious of not wanting to yank my leg out of the water and tried to put both feet in the water quickly and my right foot involuntarily jerked out (it was the 2nd foot I put in). And at that point, my mind told me that this is exactly what it would feel like if I were going to swim in a tall glass of cold water that had ice in it. I am sorry to say that I did not brave it out and get all the way in and swim. I wanted to swim, but I also didn't want to either suffer from a heart attack because the water was so cold it shocked my system and I want my cold to continue to leave my body. I will be emailing the Teams in Training folks to see if they know of a heated public pool nearby so I can try to find a way to still swim, but until then the swimming may have to go on hiatus (and it's my favorite so I am not thrilled about this notion). Instead of swimming I walked another 28 minutes, and part way through realized that it is not likely that I will be running in the Turkey Trot on Thursday. I will definitely walk the 3.1 miles, but I'm not sure that my shin splints are at the point that my leg can take running it. We will see on Thursday morning, but it is most likely that I will walk (quickly of course) the Turkey Trot and still try to run the Reindeer Run in Maitland on December 13th. All in all the end goal being that I will be able to run in my triathlon on February 1st! So for today, the walk ended up being just under 50 minutes instead of the original plan, but I'm still out there... it will take more than shin splints and an icy pool to stop me!

The saga continues...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Running in the mist...

This morning was another cool one and with the different lakes and retention ponds in our neighborhood (as well as the pools) the air was cooler than the water... so there was a lot of rising mist. Luckily for me, my morning walk/run was not as ill fated as the poor gorillas (and DIane Fossey) in "Gorillas in the Midst" however! I did a 5 minute walk to warm up and then did a 1 minute run alternated with a 30 second walk for 10 minutes and then a 5 minute walk to cool down. Lots of stretching for my lovely calves to help with the shins. My left shin has some residual pain when you touch it and a little when I start running, so I will need to still take it easy with these runs. I'd rather not get a stress fracture anytime soon!

But, it really was a beautiful morning - the sky is clear and blue, the air is crisp, and with sweatpants, a hat, gloves, a shirt and a fleece it felt like 70 instead of the upper 30s/lower 40s! Tomorrow is supposed to be a swim day, but I haven't quite made it to the store to replace my errant goggles and it's supposed to be another chilly morning, so I may substitute a bike workout instead.... especially since I'm either coming down with a slight head cold or my sinuses are continuously upset with the chilly weather that warms up to around 70 each day. I don't want to tempt a cold to come on. But, it's still tempting to jump in the pool and swim even if it's not heated. We'll have to see what wins out tomorrow.

Ladybug did well with the potty training yesterday and yesterday evening and this morning ANGELFISH peed on the potty! She rocks! I just have to get Mr. Darcy to be more excited and act more like a cheerleader when she goes. Of course, such things lead to the girls catching me going to the bathroom and telling me, "You went pee pee in the potty Mommy! You're such a good girl! What a big girl you're getting to be! I'm so proud of you. Let me give you a hug and a kiss." (Literally. This happened 2 days ago.) All the while they're clapping and smiling - just like I do when they go. What more can we ask for? Hopefully a few less sofa surprises - last night I asked Ladybug if she needed to go potty and she tells me no. A few moments later she gets up to hug me and her pants were all wet along with a puddle on the sofa. I guess she didn't need to go because she already went on the sofa! Luckily we have leather sofas so it wasn't too hard to clean up... the parenthood adventure continues!

The girls are looking forward to this Saturday when we "go to Mickey Minnie house" with our friends "Audey," "Miss Jen" & "Mr. teve." Mr. Darcy and I are looking forward to a visit from our friends Steve & Jen & Audrey too!

Have a Happy Thursday, everyone! Friday is right around the corner!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wind chill factor?

This morning I did a 33 minute bike ride. Not sure if I am just getting faster in general or if I was just so cold that I had to pedal faster, but I did my 40 minute route in only 33 minutes and well, since it was under 40 degrees and I was wearing biking shorts, 2 sport shirts (one long sleeve), and an insulated vest, and my legs were bright pink and a bit number. I think I may need to invest in a pair of long biking pants. It took 45 minutes for my legs to no longer look like they were pink. Frostbite in Florida? Not sure if that's possible, but I don't want to chance it.

As usual, my bike rides are very cathartic. I never come back home without an even cheerier disposition than when I left on the ride. Biking rocks! I got home as the girls and Mr. Darcy were leaving (he had a meeting at 9 pm at UCF so he didn't have to leave as earlier as usual because he didn't go into downtown first) and they were wearing sweaters with mittens. Mr. Darcy couldn't get them to wear their winter hats. Angelfish saw me getting off my bike and she asked "you go run now?" I told her no that I just finished with my bike ride and today was only a one sport day. With that, she ran into the garage and jumped on her little bike and rode it right down to the bottom of the drive where Mr. Darcy stopped her. She wanted to go for a ride! The only way we could get her into the car was to promise we could go on a ride later. So, I know what we'll be doing after work/school today!

On the potty training front, parts of the day are going well and others are not as much. Sometimes Ladybug is realizing she has to go almost right before she actually goes. So, it's still a start and she is showing promise. Her daycare teacher said that Ladybug is doing really well and that we all want it to happen overnight, but that it just doesn't go as fast as we want. And Ms. Anita is wonderful (not to mention that she has 5 children of her own), so I'm sure I just need to be more patient!

Tomorrow is a run day... so we shall hope for warmer weather!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My goggles broke!

It was rather cold this morning and it was supposed to be a swim day. I love swim days, so I decided to wait until this afternoon in the hopes that the weather would be warm enough. The pool was still frigid when I got there this afternoon at a little after 2 pm, but I figured I walked 7 minutes to get there I might as well jump in... and then my goggles' strap broke. I tied the strap, tried to put them on again and they broke again (this time in 2 places) so I tied both of those places and tried one last time and the strap broke a 4th time. All this while I'd been standing in the really cold pool water up to my knees on the 2nd step into the pool, and well, my feet were numb. I decided this was a form a divine intervention that obviously meant I should not swim today (as my goggles are now completely useless and I need to go get new ones).

So, instead (no - I didn't just let myself off the hook for the day, although it was tempting due to my frustrations with the goggles), I did a 45 minute walk that included a 5 minute run. Only 5 minutes because I'm trying to let my shin splints completely heal up. Oh, and I found literature online that indicates my theory about high heels and shint splints is true. I found some extra stretches that should hopefully help too.

As for Ladybug's potty training we're zig zaging, it seems. She had only one accident yesterday at school but insisted on wearing pullups again this morning. I wish she would make up her mind. I read that this is more stressful for the parent than the child, and I believe it now!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend workouts and Monday morning...

Hi everyone. Sorry for the weekend hiatus on postings... it was a busy (but fun) weekend that did not entail getting a chance to be on the computer. Saturday morning I got up with the chickens (not really, but it sure seemed like it... it was more like 6:30 am), both girls and Mr. Darcy were still sleeping, and jumped on the bike. I decided that since I'll be racing on open roads that perhaps I should venture out of our subdivision. So, I eased into it. I did the 1st 1.5 miles in the neighborhood starting with the usual loop and then turned right instead of left at the exit of the subdivision and I was off! I went past the high school (Timbercreek), past the shopping center with Starbucks, ColdStone and Little Anthony's and went into a subdivision called Bella Vida. I did the big loop of the outer portion of their subdivision (probably 2 miles), and then back out to Avalon Parkway (or whatever it's called). Had to stop at the traffic light and darn if my right foot didn't pop out of the binding even though I didn't think I turned my foot at all. I REALLY need to figure out how to tighten that binding. I'll be out there with the hex wrench later today. The light turned green right after my right foot popped out. So I had to peddle with my feet not clipped in. But as I got myself out of the intersection and into the bike lane, I was able to pop my feet back in with no problems. Then I continued back into the subdivision and went down to the village area (where the shops are), rode by the Village Green where they were setting up the Farmer's Market for the day. It's kind of fun to observe that kind of thing while riding by - like a little vinette of someone's morning. Then the normal loop to get home. A nice 40 minute ride.

When I got home, the girls were having breakfast at the table and Mr. Darcy was looking disheveled while making coffee. I chatted with the girls and they informed me that I looked cold even though I was hot and sweaty. I told them I was hot and Angelfish offered me some ice. I love how their minds work.... they're so imaginative and creative at this age. Then Mommy got ready to go shopping with her friend Jen and Daddy got the girls ready to go to the park with Nick, Alex and Colin. Unfortunately, the girls refused to nap so when Mommy got home Mr. Darcy was at his wits end. He had 1/2 an hour of alone time and then we went to Kim's house for their neighborhood barbeque and so Bill could talk with Kim and Sean about the house they want to build.

Sunday, it was 50 degrees when I got up to swim and run. I was exhausted so I decided that I would make Sunday my off day and do the run (the required piece) on Monday. I went back to bed and didn't wake up until 8 am when the little ladies woke us. It was great! We had breakfast and played and watched a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode, after which the girls asked if we could go to Mickey's house. So, we decided to pile in the car and go to Animal Kingdom. We had a blast! The weather was cool (high of 67) and compared to other times of the year the park was relatively empty. We got some great pictures of the girls! Mr. Darcy rode the Mount Everest rollercoaster and loved it - we tried to keep an eye for him and take a picture, but we're not positive it was him that we took a picture of! Evidently, though, our mistake was that we didn't take the girls on the safari ride. We took them out on the train to the conservation station where they pet goats, a tortoise and a Malaysian rodent (with subsequent hand washing, of course), but that evidently was not enough. On our way out of the park (which was precipitated by a flurry of pushing, kicking and pulling of hair by the two people riding in the stroller), Ladybug informed us that she wanted to see a tiger, a bear, and giraffe and didn't want to leave until she did. Unfortunately, we had to explain that even in Animal Kingdom they didn't have tigers and bears, but Mr. Darcy mentioned they might have some lazy lions. So then we had the chant from both Angelfish and Ladybug to see the lazy lions. Somehow we distracted them and the ride home was spent with Ladybug and Angelfish making up stories (very creative ones at that) and songs for the ride home.

This morning (Monday) was colder than yesterday morning, so no swimming. I couldn't bring myself to do a cold pool this morning. BUT, the good news is that I decided to put my legs to the test and see how my shins were doing. I walked 5 minutes, ran 10 and walked another 5. I think I will keep to walking for the rest of this week, but am pleased to report that the pain after stopping was just a twinge and very short lived. It's amazing how easy it is to run when it's colder, by the way.

On the potty training front, Ladybug didn't want to wear underpants (only pull ups) all weekend and after Friday night (which btw on Friday she had no accidents at school and the 1 she had at home was because she was just a little too late in getting to the potty but she recognized she needed to go while we were playing and stopped to try to get there), she didn't even want to use the potty. This morning she asked to wear pullups not underwear. So I feel like we're going backward instead of forward after all our progress on Friday. Perhaps we will get potty trained eventually.

Oh, and all you Gator fans will be happy to know that whenever Angelfish & Ladybug saw an alligator at Animal Kingdom I would ask "what do we say when we see a Gator?" and they would respond "Go Gators!" (and Ladybug would even do the Gator chomp with her arms)... Little Gators in training! Happy Monday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A good day in the pool and on the bike...

It is a gloriously nice day in Orlando today. The sun is shining and the sky is blue and so far it's not super hot. Of course, it is expected to reach 84 today so it will be hot. But that keeps the pool from being so cold, so I really shouldn't complain!

I swam 1 mile and then hopped on the bike for a 30 minute ride (so probably about 7 miles+). It was great! I don't know if a lot of people took the day off today, but there wasn't as much of the usual car traffick this morning so the bike ride was even better than normal. And I passed the same woman I seem to pass almost every morning with the very yippy Collies. This woman wears a huge hat that covers her face and generally a baggy long sleeve sweatshirt and baggy sweatpants. I can't help but think to myself every time I see her that 1) I'm glad she walks her dogs on a leash because I think they'd try to bite me if they could; and 2) she has to be hot under all of that gear! But I digress... the swim bike combo is my favorite workout by far. Now if only I could like running as much, but I have to admit while I still don't like it, running is growing on me (like a fungus!)... when I don't have shin splints that is. : ) Oh, and I have a theory about my shin splints. I think my shin splints might be directly related to my wearing heels for all these years. I know that wearing heels does something to the calf muscles (I think it makes them be in a tightened, shortened position) and tight calves are directly related to shin splints. I think I may be on to something here, but if only I could find a way to discover if I'm right!

Anywho. On the other training front: Megan had a successful potty morning. I decided not to take no for an answer this morning about the potty. I walked her into the bathroom and told her I wanted her to go potty. She told me no, so I prepared her to sit on the potty and placed her there. She cried and said no, and I told her calmly that it was her decision, but that if she did not go pee on the potty that she would have to wear a pull up to school that morning. I also told her that Ms. Alizette (one of her teachers) told me that she goes potty for her at school and asked why she would go for Ms. Alizette and not for Mommy. (I wanted her to connect the idea that going potty can be applied everywhere.) And then I bribed her. I told her that if she went pee on the potty not only could she wear underpants but she could also have a sticker (the holy grail in our house right now is stickers). She told me to "get out of the potty room, please" and I asked her if she wanted privacy and she said yes. So, I went just outside of the bathroom and she put the potty seat back on the potty, climbed up and went PEE! YAY!! It was great! So, she got lots of praise and hugs and kisses (and she looked very pleased with herself as well) and 2 star stickers too. It was so cute because after she got the stickers, she asked if Amanda could have a sticker and I told her that stickers were for going pee or poop in the potty. So she walks up to Amanda and shows her the stickers, and says "You no want stickers too? Hmm?" (Megan says Hmm? just like yoda. I love it!) Amanda says "yes!" and Megan tells her "Go pee in potty!" Unfortunately, at that point Amanda decided she was more interested in eating. But 1 out of 2 isn't bad!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So, turns out that tomorrow is pool day on my training schedule (followed by a bike ride). Today was supposed to be a 5 minute walk followed by 10 minutes of alternating walking 60 seconds running 30 seconds and then a 5 minute cooldown. Well, I did a 25 minute walk and 5 minute cooldown due to my shin splints. I thought they wouldn't hurt too badly today since I had a little time off, but instead today my left leg decided to throb about 3/4 of the way. I was tempted to run a little bit because my music was so good, but I think my run lasted all of 20 seconds because it hurt too much. But, the good news is that it will heal. A little ice and advil will do wonders! I just hope I'm able to run by the time Turkey Trot comes on Thanksgiving. If not, I may just walk the 5K instead of running it.

On the potty training front, Ladybug has had a bit of a set back. Yesterday she had 4 potty accidents at school and this morning she peed all over our foyer while announcing that she was going pee rather gleefully (unfortunately we were in the kitchen and didn't get to her in time to get her to stop and sit on the potty for the rest of it). We ended up getting her to sit on the potty afterwards and then had to put her in a pull up because she kept saying that she wasn't going to tell anyone when she had to go pee. Not sure what we're supposed to do in these situations. I suppose we'll figure it out as we go (at least I sure hope so)!

I can't wait to swim tomorrow! It's hot here in ol' Florida!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm back and so is the hot weather...

So it's been a couple of days... sorry for the hiatus. Saturday I did not work out because I headed to the airport for my morning flight to Atlanta where I was for training... I'm a Regional Director of Recruitment for the Southeast for Alpha Xi Delta (my sorority) and I had to find out what I was supposed to be doing. It's going to be fun and challenging, but a good bit of work. The weather was cold compared to Florida, but beautiful fall foliage and chilly evenings are what Fall is all about. Sunday morning I walked with my friend Nealy for 45 minutes (it was chilly... my hands were a little numb at first) and had plans to hit the pool at the hotel at some point, until I found out that the outdoor pool was not heated. Temperatures in the 50s and an unheated pool just didn't work for me (despite the fact I've probably done it on a brisk morning here), especially when I could have lunch with my friend Nazrina instead! Monday was my normal day off from the workouts (last Monday I worked out to make this past Saturday my day off) and unfortunately I didn't get to workout yesterday because Mr. Bill was in Richmond with work and our refrigerator was on the fritz again so between getting that fixed, getting the girls to school, working all day, restocking the refrigerator, and being with the girls in the evening - no workout.

But this morning, I had a nice 40 minute bike ride and did about 10 - 11 miles. The weather is so warm here it was in the mid-60s while biking this morning and the high is supposed to be around 81 today. But, it made for a good ride (although I was sweaty by the end of it). Nothing eventful on the ride other than being successful at stopping without accidentally unclipping both of my feet from the pedals (until I started going again - I need to figure out how to tighten the clip in pedal part so it's not so easy - biking without using your feet is a bit of a problem). Someday I'll get it. I'm getting there as it is and loving every minute. I also practiced taking the turns at faster speeds... I stopped breaking into the turn weeks ago and have been leaning in to the turns, but now I'm trying to do it faster. Lance Armstrong I am not, but maybe someday (but female of course... Lancita perhaps?)!

I think tomorrow will involve the pool...

On the potty training front (yes, the pool water made me think of it), Ladybug is doing rather well although it's a little perplexing. She's wearing her underpants all day at school (with only 1 accident each day so far), but she refuses to go potty at home. It makes no sense to me, but I know it is common among the toddler set. I figure that this week I will let her wear the pull ups in the evenings at home and then next week we'll start with the underpants (and perhaps plastic sheeting for the sofa - just joking!) in the evenings too. Baby steps. Now if only Angelfish would get on the band wagon too. She wants to wear underpants but only over her pullup!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A bright sunny day...

So with the change in time has come brighter mornings for working out. This morning I hit the pool and swam just under a mile and then biked for 25 minutes. While I set out a little later than some other mornings, I was startled while swimming to realize that I wasn't watching the sunrise as I breathed during laps... instead the sun was bright and up over head. It was a nice change of pace! Of course, that means that it's darker earlier (i.e. when I get the girls from daycare around 4:30 it's already getting darker), but it was rather cheery especially after yesterdays news. Plus it wasn't nearly as chilly for the bike portion of my morning workout. I must say I love my newly improved bike. I feel like I can ride for miles!

Last night we went to dinner with the girls and tried a new (to us anyway) pizza place called Little Anthony's. It is the best pizza we have had since we left Atlanta and the prices were reasonable too! So, we finally have found that family pizza joint here in Orlando. On the way to dinner Ladybug and Angelfish were whining for juice. Angelfish piped down after 5 times of our telling her that she could have her juice when we got to the restaurant, but Ladybug continued. I finally (after the 20th time of hearing it) told her that I heard her and I understood that she wanted her juice and I promised that I would not forget that she wanted her juice and that as soon as we got to the restaurant Mommy would be certain to give her the juice, but that Mommy would much prefer it if she did not keep repeating it. The best part was Ladybug's response, which was "Ok. Mommy in charge." And then Angelfish of course had to stick up for Daddy, as though his authority had been impuned and said "Daddy in charge too." Mr. Darcy and I laughed and said that both Mommy and Daddy were in charge... to which Angelfish replied "I in charge too." I asked her if she was in charge of Angelfish land and she said with a big smile "YES!" and then I asked Ladybug if she were in charge of Ladybug land and she said "OH YES!" and we all had a good chuckle.

Ladybug will be starting uncharted territory this coming Monday... her daycare has asked us if (with our permission) Ladybug can start wearing "big girl underwear" instead of pullups because they really think she is ready because she does such a great job of going potty at school. So this evening she and Mommy (and Daddy and Angelfish if they want to go) are going to buy her some big girl underwear. As Elmo on Elmo's Potty Time says, "Hurrah for underpants!" I'll keep you posted on, I'm sure (and I'm certain it's exactly what you want to know about - triathlon and potty training all rolled into one... but that's life in our household at the moment!!).

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Return of the Shin Splints

It's like a bad version of the Star Wars movies, although I'm really hoping this won't turn into a trilogy (or even worse a six movie saga)... my shin splints are back. Luckily though this time it's only in one leg (the left). I thought they might be making a return, but I didn't want to believe it... but this morning I did a 5 minute walking warm up and intervals of 30 second sprint and then walking back to the start (essentially 15 minutes worth of them) and then a 5 minute walk cool down. By the time I started stretching my legs at the end of the workout, I knew. So, I'll be on advil and ice and walking only for my "run" workouts the next few weeks (probably 4 weeks because evidently the 2 1/2 weeks wasn't long enough last time). Good news though is that my 1st sprint triathlon isn't until February 1st... long enough to recover and get back into it for the big day.

But, I know I can do it. As some of you know one of my dearest friends on this earth is battling cancer right now. She has been my friend since the 1st day of 7th grade when she asked if she could sit next to me in English class and another friend decided to sit with a different person in class and our other friend was late to class. I just could say no - she was new (it was a small school) and she looked a little lost. As fate would have it, we were inseparable from that point forward... pretty much until we graduated and even after we have stayed very close. It's always been nice to have someone who knew you in the awkward, gawky, braces stage and who you have such a history with. For an only child, she has always been the closest thing to a sibling that I've had - we had our tiffs and yet we always looked out for one another and as adults I think we love each other all the more for all those memories (both as kids and the ones we've made in our post-childhood years). Unfortunately, her cancer has not responded to chemo and radiation and due to where it is located is inoperable as well. She is a private person, so I hope she's not feeling upset that I've mentioned this all in my blog. I just needed to talk about it I guess, but also to express that she is my inspiration to do not only the sprint triathlon but also to take on the international distance triathlon that I will do in order to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For all that she has gone through, I know that my triathlon experience will not even come close to comparing to what she endures or for that matter what her husband, parents and sister endure. I love her more than trees (if she reads this she'll understand... it's one of those childhood things between us) and I know I can't do anything to change what she is going through even though I so desparately want to. My fundraising for cancer research and support services for cancer patients and their families is only a drop in the bucket, but at least I can try to do something... so if you (the readers of this blog) would like to help add to my drops in the bucket (if you haven't already), please donate in support of cancer patients like my friend and their/her families as well as my triathlon endeavors via the following website: I will be eternally grateful. I know I am blessed to know my friend like I do and I hope I make her proud as well as earn money for cancer research.

God bless you all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I love to bike!

Yes, it is true. I love to bike! I never biked as a child really, and for the life of me I have no idea why. I learned to ride my cute little turquoise blue and white bike and got a few scrapes from falls on the rocky asphalt of the street that I lived on, but I never really did any bike riding. Even in college... I walked everywhere. Mr. Darcy loved his bike and rode it all over campus and in fact, Bill had to convince me to buy our bikes this past summer. And now I am addicted to riding! I love the sound and the feel of the wind as I bike and the fact that I enjoy the exertion as well as the scenery. For some reason, I don't feel the same way when running. With running it's just hard for me and I don't really notice the scenery other than to pick my next goal of what to run to so I can get through it.

So, as you might have guessed, today was a biking day for training. 40 minutes and probably about 10 miles in Big Gear 3 and Little Gear 4. I really should probably join a biking club so I can find out the right terminology for all these things... I just need to find one that is encouraging to newbies. Our neighbor told Mr. Darcy that the first time she did a road race people made fun of her because she had a kickstand on her bike and had left the little bag with the flat tire kit and pump on her bike. How encouraging is that? But I think I might try to find a group at some point... perhaps after the Teams in Training Triathlon in May. Focus on one thing at a time!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting in Florida and still getting to run

So today is Election Day. The day the political parties have been preparing for for what seems like years now. We got up, got Angelfish and Ladybug ready for school (Angelfish looked very cute in her pink pants and flower top; Ladybug is on a dress kick so she wore a pink Minnie Mouse dress with turquoise shorts underneath - she picks her own clothes these days... and while not what I would pick she still looks like a cutie!), took them to daycare and got to the polling place at 7:25 am. It opened at 7 am. Back in our Georgia voting days, that would not have resulted in a very long wait - an hour at most. BUT NO.

THis is Florida. The home of the infamous hanging chads. We waited in line to vote for THREE & A HALF HOURS. That's right - 3 1/2 hours or 210 minutes. (As Bill put it, we could have watched a movie while we waited.) Luckily, I had dressed in my running garb because I thought I might have time to run after voting... well, there happened to be a walking path next to the line we were waiting in and my lovely husband decided he was secure enough in his manhood to hold my purse for me - so I skipped the 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down, and ran for 10 minutes and came back into the line. He had only moved about 3 feet forward, so I probably could have done it a 2nd time but I could tell that he wasn't thrilled with holding my purse. So, at least I got a run in even if it wasn't very long!

And eventually, I even got to vote. Why did it take so long to vote? There was ONE voting machine. (We had actually both tried to early vote last week and the lines were 2 1/2 hours long then... if only we had known!) We asked one of the poll workers if she knew why they only had one machine and she told us that they requested another one from the state and they were told no. Absolutely ridiculous. BUT, we still voted. So, if things don't turn out the way we like we have the right to complain all we want...

SO GET OUT AND VOTE (if you haven't done so already)!!

Mixed Bag of Training Tricks (Sat. through Mon.)

So, it's a mixed bag when it comes to my training the past few days. I found out that I was overestimating how far I've been biking... but I also discovered that the pool is pretty much twice as long as I thought it was so I've been doing distances that are twice as long as I thought I was doing (so I'm not so super slow after all! Yay!) The good news on the biking front though is that I went to the bike shop (Orange Cycle - if you need to go and Thjis is working he was really helpful) on Friday and got clip in pedals and the shoes to go with it and a more comfortable saddle (along with some other gear like biking gloves so my hands don't hurt as much when I ride, tire changing stuff, etc.). I did a bike on Saturday and on Monday (today) and I am fast compared to before and am biking in harder gears because otherwise it's just too easy for training. Biking with pedals and clip in shoes makes everything so much more efficient that I did my normal route and then added a little over a mile in the same time it used to take to do the original route. I already liked the biking but now it's even better! I also found out that one of my neighbors is big into biking so I'm going to mosey over to her house sometime this week to chat with her a bit.

Sunday I did a 25 minute swim followed by a 20 minute walk run. The pool guy was there testing the chlorine levels and I asked him if he knew how long the pool was and he said "about 25 feet long in each direction"... I didn't quite believe him because I thought it was probably about 12 1/2 feet long, so I paced it off knowing that my foot is around 9 to 10 inches long and adding extra by taking a mid-size step and sure enough, it appears to be around 25 feet long (it might be a foot shy, but close enough). So I felt better about my times from the other day and boy did my workout seem a lot easier than normal! I had bought some triathlon specific clothing (i.e. you can swim, bike and run in it without having to change or add clothes) and tried it out. The shorts were a trip because they have a built in pad like regular bike shorts but not as bulky so it's not like running in a diaper after swimming... but they added boyancy in the pool so I had to adjust to that. Not sure they're as quick drying in the bike pad area as I thought they would be, but then again I went straight from the swim to the run without the biking in between (which probably would help get some of the water out) and it was rainy and cool out during my run. (Amanda asked me if I was going pee pee when I was talking to her after coming in from the workout because a little water was running down my leg.) But I definitely like the tri clothes better than trying to pull running clothes, etc. over a wet bathing suit.

This week's workouts are going to be a little different than usual (i.e. Monday is usually my day off, etc.) because we have voting in the National Election on Tuesday and Saturday through Monday morning I'll be in Atlanta for a different type of training (I'm the regional director for recruitment for the Southeast for my sorority - Alpha Xi Delta). So, I switched Saturday's workout to Monday and am going to try to split my Sunday workout into Saturday and Sunday (although I need to see if the hotel I'm staying at on Sunday has a pool) so I at least do something on those two days even if it's not as intense of a training session as usual. But, fear not my dear friends... tri training will happen!