Thursday, April 30, 2009

2 days until Race Day, and I feel fine...

Yes, it's true. 1) It is 2 days until race day and 2) that was a bad rip off of REM lyrics (you know, "it's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine... except race day isn't the end of the world. It's super cool!) I am getting excited. Not jittery like I was earlier in the week, but feeling like I'm ready for it and that I am looking forward to the race. Maybe it was that great swim I had yesterday and the wonderful bike ride I had this morning (more on those in a few moments). But I feel alive and ready to go!

Even my horoscope is excited about race day. It said, "Today can be best spent organizing your resources and cataloging your talents. It is likely you have specific goals you hope to achieve in the near future, and while you no doubt possess all you need to move forward, you may be unsure as to how to begin (I think this is in reference to packing and getting my home/personal errands taken care of so I can be prepared for the big day). Streamlining your plans can help you better understand the rigors you will eventually face as you pursue your purpose. Accounting for every possibility will likely be impossible, but that should not stop you from preparing yourself as thoroughly as possible for the future. Whatever your dreams, the time you devote to preparations today can help you realize them." I generally like to read my horoscope more for fun than for guidance or direction, and I usually read it at the end of the day to see if it came true (so as to not predispose my mind a certain way). But today, I read it in the morning and I have to say, it's good advice and it's definitely about race day.

So my goal today is to get ready: house, family, errands, laundry, packing (for me, the dog, and if time allows, for , visualization, the whole 9 yards. No extraneous activities (other than work). Just sheer focus and streamlined purpose. A "to do list" is involved, of course... as well as the red pen to cross the items off when complete. For those of my readers who know me personally as well as through the blogosphere, this is (of course) no surprise. Dear Bill once said that I have to do lists for my to do lists.

So far this morning I had a wonderful bike ride with some of the TNT team members. The 14 miles felt good - even the hills were easy. Of course, I was riding easier on purpose as well, but still. I felt great! And after yesterday's swim where I was like a torpedo with great arm strokes (my reach and body rotation was absolutely beauty in motion, if I do say so myself) and body positioning making my 1400 meters seem like nothing, I feel completely on fire. (I was so fast, I left my own personal wake.) I feel like every fiber of my being is ready for this experience and that now I just have to carry this through tomorrow (a training day off), the travel down, and the experience of the weekend. And I think if I follow my horoscope's advice today I can be successful in doing just that.

What makes me even happier is that I raised $4,650 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in my dear Angela's memory. I know she would be pleased and that I have done something to help others with cancer and to help bankroll a cure (along with other funds raised of course). Even better is that our team raised almost $38,000, and our team is just one of many from across the country raising money for this race or for other races like it. If just one dollar I raised helps find a cure or helps a family struggling with cancer treatments, etc., I have done exactly what I set out to do.

And I will most likely do Team in Training again. It has been the experience of a lifetime on a multitude of levels - emotionally it helped me deal with Angela's death and not feel like a victim of her cancer diagnosis, spiritually it let me see the big picture of how Angela affected all that she knew and how I could pass good from the bad forward, physically it helped me tone up, rediscover a little of that competitive nature while allowing myself to accept not being the best at something and being ok with that, drop 2 dress sizes, get into physical shape, and find something that I love and am passionate about doing.

Carrying all this with me helps me with that streamlined purpose my horoscope suggests and that fire that I feel. So far today, I've gotten boarding for the dog set up (although I have on my list to find her shot records for the new vet), a call into have my prescriptions refilled so I can pick them up this afternoon, my bike computer is installed and functional (although in km instead of miles - but I can read the manual and adjust this), and I have laundry in the wash. Bill and I decided that he is going to drive back Sunday afternoon with the girls but that I will accept the ride from my coach back home on Monday so I can stay and celebrate with the team, and my coach told me the space in her car that she offered me is definitely reserved for me. (I feel a little guilty about this because Bill will be in the car for 4 hours alone with A&M, but he assures me that he is more than happy about it and wants me to enjoy celebrating the achievement I've worked so hard for the past weeks.)

This afternoon, the cleaning people are coming to clean the house, and I will pick up my prescriptions, purchase a fine tip sharpie, pull all my gear and other items together and pack it all up. And even better, the yard man just showed up to mow. I just love it when all is right in the universe!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday when It's Really Tuesday...

That's today. It seems like a Monday, but it's really Tuesday. Tuesday feels like Monday because I had Monday off and because it seems like I have so many things to do before the weekend.

We had a wonderful time this weekend in St. Pete for Lauren's wedding. It was the 1st trip we've taken without Angelfish & Ladybug since they were born, and while we missed them terribly, it was also very nice to have an uninterrupted conversation, not have people climbing all over you, and not having to chase people down and keep them from doing things they shouldn't do.

Saturday morning we packed and got ready for our trip and then headed out. But, due to Friday's swim I had to stop by Tri & Run to get a new pair of goggles and some body glide for the big race this coming Sunday. So we did that and had a leisurely lunch at a French restaurant before driving over to St. Pete. We checked in, napped, and arranged to have dinner with our friends Christine & Jon who were in town for the wedding also. We ended up eating at The Columbia at the St. Pete Pier, which just so happened to be the location for the swim leg of the St. Anthony's triathlon that Sunday.

I have the tri bug pretty badly. I couldn't help but watch the buoys bouncing around in the waves and think that I really hoped it calmed down for tomorrow's racers and feel that excitement that meant I wanted to race. (BTW, it never did calm down and in the 1st time in the tri's 26 year history, it cancelled the swim leg for everyone except for the professional triathletes.) Not to mention my checking out every bike racked on every car we passed to see what it looked like... and keeping my eye open for possible triathletes.

Dinner was a blast though, until the topic of mother's day arose. Mr. Darcy asked "when is Mother's Day?" while paying the bill. I laughed and said I wondered if that question was going to come up at some point soon, and told him that it was the weekend after next. Then I asked why... and he showed us the bill where it said "Make your Mother's Day reservations with us!" and said it was a good thing he paid the bill. But it was the next comment out of his mouth that upset me. The next words out of his mouth were "I don't have to buy you a present though because you're not MY mother." Being rather self controlled (it must have been the relaxing day), I merely responded that technically he did not have to buy me a present because I was not his mother, but that I was the mother of his children and that they can't drive and don't have a job so he'd have to buy a present from them. I couldn't help but think to myself, "Uh, no, I'm not your mother, but I only went through a lot to have your children and have done anything and everything that I can to nurture and raise them as well as I am able since they were conceived. But, no that's not worthy of honoring me as the mother of your children."

We talked about it calmly the next day, but as you can tell this topic still bothers me. He says that he understands my point of view and that he's sorry he hurt my feelings, but I'm not sure he gets why. Perhaps his father never bought his mother a card and present for Mother's Day? I cannot be certain, but I'm pretty sure that he does. Bill claims he can't remember it. So, as Mr. Darcy gets his way with most things (despite claiming that he does not - although I get my way a decent amount too), I told him that the manicure and pedicure I got that day with Lauren and Heather and Lauren's Auntie could be his present to me for Mother's Day so he only needs to get presents from the girls. I probably shot myself in the foot with that since that will probably only reinforce his notion that he doesn't have to do anything for me (other than from the girls) for Mother's Day since I am not his mother. I will get over it eventually, as with all things, but it's really bugging me at the moment.

But the time together and the wedding was wonderful. Lauren didn't have a bridal party, so Heather and I pitched in to help where we could - keeping the bride as happy as we could, and helping her step-daughter get ready when the hair and makeup was running late, and helping Lauren get ready herself. It was fun! The reception was great too... good food, good drinks, good company, and good music. Yesterday morning, we had a fun breakfast with Heather & Jeremy, Christine & Jon, and Lauren & Steve before setting out... and before Lauren & Steve decided to cancel their honeymoon to Mexico and go to San Juan instead. Wishes for a flu free honeymoon abound!

By the time we got home, we were completely exhausted. I had fun with the little ladies while Mr. Darcy and his Dad returned the tv Mr. Darcy decided he didn't want after the fiasco with Direct TV and while Mr. Darcy's Mom took a nap. Then I took a 10 minute nap after Mr. Darcy's Mom woke up, got ready for my swim practice and headed out. Swim practice was fun, although I was pretty slow in the pool yesterday... guess staying up to midnight and drinking a little too much at the wedding the night before isn't the best for encouraging fast swim times. But I have to say I love the wave pool we made to simulate race start was fun... including the swimming through it!

I made it home in time for bed time with the girls, which was my big goal for the evening. Not long after they were in bed, so was I... trying to read The Triathlete's Training Bible, but falling asleep. After reading the same paragraph 5 times in between nodding off, I gave up and just went to sleep. This morning around 5 am came the thought that I am going to be racing in my TNT tri - my 1st Olympic distance tri - on Sunday! Then all the things I need to get done before then (including finding a place to board Doggie since I forgot all about what to do with the dog this weekend).... it's going to be busy!

Our coming weekend will be busy too. Saturday we leave at 6 am to meet up with the team caravan at 6:30 am. (I'm thinking I'm just going to put the girls in pullups - if I can get them to agree - and then put them in the car while they're sleeping in their pjs in the morning.) Then we drive to Miami and straight to packet pickup because it closes at 2 pm, then to the hotel to check in, then at 2:30 I have a light training session with the team. Then there's getting ready for the pasta dinner, meeting the teaam at 5:15 in the lobby, the dinner, then a team meeting in Coach Beth's room afterwards. Then getting the girls down to bed and going to sleep myself. Sunday I have to be up at 3:30 am so I can be in the lobby with the Team at 4 am and hopefully carpool with someone to the race. We have to then set up our transition area, get body marked, warm up, and be ready to race by 6:30... my wave is at 6:40 am. After the race, I have to turn in my time chip, check in at the TNT training tent, root for any team members finishing after me, then get packed up and ready for the celebration lunch. Mr. Darcy wants to leave after the celebration lunch instead of staying the rest of Sunday and Sunday night... something about not wanting to take another day off from work, and since he's my ride, that's what the plan is. He will drive and I will sleep. I can't imagine I'll be able to keep my eyes open too much into the drive. It will be a busy weekend for him too since he'll be in charge of the dynamic duo. He'll be tired too, I'm sure. Running after the ladybugs on your own isn't an easy task. Of course, I'll help to the extent I can, but with all we have on the schedule that might not be too much. They should be a hoot at the pasta party, though. : )

I've set my goals for the race too. They said that we should have ABCD goals, so that if things don't go according to plan, we at least accomplish one of our goals for the race. So here are mine: D) finish; C) finish in an upright position; B) finish in an upright position with a smile on my face; and A) finish in an upright position, with a smile on my face with a time of 3 1/2 hours or less. I know - very lofty, but for my 1st Olympic triathlon and literally the most physically intensive thing I've done in my life (other than perhaps a full term of carrying twins who were basically full size babies when born), I think I need to start small and gradually think bigger. I'm already thinking 70.3, so that's a start in that department.

I made my race week muffins this morning (for that slow carb build) and have a run practice this evening after work. Hopefully all will work nicely because I have to get the girls, hand them off to Mr. Darcy, run my 3 miles with the team, meet back up with Mr. Darcy to get the girls before he has to go to an evening meeting and then possibly back to work since he has a deadline this Friday. But, at least we got to relax this past weekend! (Thanks, Mom & Dad Darcy!) : )

Friday, April 24, 2009

Feeling Lucky?

This morning I joined some friends from my TNT team and swam Lucky's Lake. It was a great experience and put me in a rather chipper mood, despite the need to straighten the house, pick up medicine from the pharmacy, bring $5 to daycare, do the grocery shopping, try to fit in some shoe and clothing shopping (both good and bad thing about tri training - not having clothes that fit), pack for our trip this weekend, and oh yes - work a full day. It's funny how a fun and new experience can put a "my life is wonderful" spin on things even when you have so much to do!

Lucky's Lake. The lake is touted as one of the top 10 cleanest in Florida and it was great. It was relatively warm as lakes go and you could see better and farther than the other 2 lakes I've swum in. There were turtles and fish too. Somedays there are alligators, but not today. Other than the 2 stone alligators at the edge of the lake that I (in the early morning light and being half awake) thought at first were real. And the water smelled much better than any of the other lakes I've ventured forth in, although there still was some sort of earthy smell to it.

The swim. The swim would have been perfect if not for my google issues on the first traverse. They were fogging up like steam from a hot shower was infiltrating the lenses. So, I ended up sighting on a white thing that turned out to be a boat not the beach shed I thought it was. Part way across I realized I was going the wrong way and tried to clean out the fog on my lenses.. and my goggles broke. I caught them before they sank, though. At this point, I was pretty much in the dead center of the lake and the water is deep. The rest of the 1st traverse was pretty slow after that because I was swimming with my eyes closed and with my goggles in my hand, sighting while swimming breast stroke instead of the closed eye freestyle. Luckily, the goggles were broken in such a way that I could tie the strap and make them functional. I met up with Beth, Ryan and Gabe at the beach, fixed the goggles, watched a bald eagle get a nice big fish out of the lake for breakfast, and then swam back across the lake. What more can you ask for than an amazing sight like that? The 2nd leg was so much easier with goggles and super fast. At one pont when I was turning my head to breathe, I saw another bird swoop down about 10 feet away and grab a fish. Super cool.

After the swim, I got to sign Lucky's wall and he gave me a patch and a bumper sticker. Too fun. I will be trying t work this swim into my schedule when I can. Not only was it fun, but it was a good learning experience too. I learned that even when things don't go the way you want or you're having problems (thanks to my goggle saga), you can still make it work and have a good time doing it. And celebrating even small accomplishments, like swimming 1K across a lake, is something that should not be overlooked. I forget to celebrate my accomplishments, or at the very worst do not acknowledge how much I have accomplished (even if it is just folding and putting away 4 loads of laundry when you're very tired) because I'm off to the next thing that "has to get done." Stop and smell the roses, indeed. Or, in my case, stop and swim Lucky's!

There wil be a small hiatus on the blog as we are getting away for the weekend for our friend Lauren's wedding. A wonderful occasion and our first weekend alone since the girls were born. So, until the next post...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A lunch time run...

Just so you all know - it's hot as hades and twice as humid, but I got my 2 mile run in as my lunch break. Now for some food and drink and hopefully time for a shower! My workout for the day is now complete!

Sleep? Who Needs Sleep?

Last night was a sleepless mess. I fell asleep on the sofa, exhausted, after the girls went to bed and at some point during "American Idol" - my guilty pleasure. There was no swim yesterday because, well, the day was insane and never quite let up (see yesterday's posts for some of the details). Somehow my brain at least remembered I needed to get a going away party for Ladybug's teacher as today is her last day and we will miss her terribly. I remembered on the way home from getting the girls from daycare, right as Mr. Darcy called and asked if I wanted to meet him up by Waterford Lakes for dinner... which happened to be right as we pulled in the driveway to the house.

So off we went. A drive filled with Ladybug insisting I turn the car around because she wanted to go home and didn't want to meet Daddy. While Angelfish told her, "No. Daddy will be lonely and sad. We go see him." But somehow seeing Daddy made Ladybug stop crying. I think Ladybug was just tired from not sleeping that well the night before due to her little accidents. Dinner had a couple trips to the bathroom for the little ladies... dry pants all around! Whoo Hoo! Then to the store where the girls asked if we could buy all sorts of silly things for Ladybug's teacher - a ball with wierd stuff on it that lit up when you bounce it, a jar with a fake worm in it, plastic worms, glow sticks, etc. In the end, Angelfish settled on little note cards that have a picture of a crown and say"You Rule" and Ladybug chose a little pot that will grow a pink zinnia flower, and we got a gift card from us. Then back home, time for bed for the girls, a temper tantrum for Ladybug, reading books, and finally into bed for the girls. By this time it was almost 9 pm. I couldn't keep my eyes open so I knew the swim was out. I fell asleep on the sofa before they announced the second person to be eliminated, shortly after KC and the Sunshine Band.

But then I woke up at 1 am thinking. Somehow I was able to fall back asleep until 2:12 am. And then it was impossible to go back to sleep. No matter what I tried, a million thoughts and feelings just kept running around in my brain. When I went to what time it was (around 3:30 am), Mr. Darcy elbowed me in the eye and that was it. I pretty much lost it - not yelling or crying, but my brain was definitely frazzled... I was at the point of complete and utter exhaustion. So, poor Mr. Darcy was now up and we had a conversation that we probably should have had anyway, but that has been avoided or just not made time for. One of those conversations about family workloads, things left unresolved, lack of communication and hurt feelings over things said and done. Conversations either previously started and aborted or avoided because you didn't want to argue, but unintentionally ended up festering in your subconcious.

No sleep for either of us until after the alarm went off at 5:30 am when I was supposed to have gotten up to go for a bike ride down at the airport. Around 6 am I called my coach and told her that my insomnia probably had not put me in a place to ride a bike on the open roads. Only then could I sleep. Essentially one hour until Ms. Ladybug greeted us - with dry underpants - and climbed in to bed with me until she realized she needed to pee and then wandered to the bathroom. Then she went to wake her sister. Angelfish also was dry and wandered to the bathroom to go potty. 2 girls with dry beds and dry underpants! YAY!

After we got the girls ready for school, I felt the fatigue set in. But I had Mr. Darcy help me set up the trainer - me doing the hard stuff and him watching to make sure I was doing it right, so I could learn. Then we got the girls in the car, calmed the crying Ladybug with kisses and hugs and promises to pick her up from school this afternoon (she wanted to stay home with Mommy today), and I hit the trainer for an hour. My bike computer is not working, so I can only guess at what I did - I did an hour thinking that would be about 15 miles since lately I've been averaging around 17-18 mph on the flats. Slower on the up hills and often much faster on the down hills.

I will do a 2 mile run either at lunch or this evening. I'm thinking lunch is my best bet... so I really need to make sure I take a lunch today. Perhaps my 2 mile run, a quick shower, and a quick nap? Oh, perchance to dream...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drama Wednesday..

Really, it's been drama week. And all because of Direct TV and Mr. Darcy's attempt to get HD service. The problem I think is that we are existing Direct TV customers. It's the only thing I can think of... other than the fact that someone somewhere is completely incompetent. That may have something to do with this as well. I'm not the type to bandy about with the word incompetent, but it seems to describe our situation. Who the incompetent party is, is the question.

Mr. Darcy decided he wanted the HD service to go with our tv that supports HD programming. He went to Costco and bought the Direct TV HD DVR. Then a simple call to Direct TV to set up the installation of the upgraded satellite, the installation of the upgraded HD DVR, and moving the existing DVR into the other room where our tv that does not support HD lives. He's told installation is free and that it will be only $10 more per month. He's gung ho and sets up installation for that Thursday. The installation contractor comes out with a work order and an HD DVR. No satellite. I send him away, Mr. Darcy calls Direct TV, they supposedly fix the work order situation and reschedule for Saturday between 8 am and noon. No one shows up but we had a call from the contractor asking that we call him if we have any problems with the technician. I call and am told that they can get the technician out by 3 pm. I say ok. No one ever shows. Mr. Darcy calls Direct TV again and they say they don't know what happened and reschedule for Monday between 8 am and noon. No one shows, but I call and am told that the appointment was supposed to be between noon and 4 pm, which we know is complete BULL POOP. But we say ok, but he better show up. At 2:30 pm, a technician arrives WITHOUT the satellite dish and an HD DVR (which we already have one of). He makes a call to Direct TV and doesn't really get anywhere and leaves. After a telephone call with Direct TV that lasts 1 hour and 5 minutes, the old orders were cancelled and a new order was created to prevent confusion. I get an email from Direct TV that says exactly what we want to happen will happen - satellite, HD DVR installation, etc. - on Wednesday between 8 am and noon. That's today. The technicians arrive and guess what? NO SATELLITE.

These technicians were pretty nice guys. They called Direct TV explained the problem and put me on the line. I explained the problem and the Direct TV person tells me that the work order in their computer shows that what I want to happen is supposed to happen, and is exasperated that they do not have a satellite. I tell her that at this point, if they can't get this fixed today that I'm cancelling the account. She talks to her supervisor. She talks to the technicians. The technicians call their supervisor and I am told that no matter what, they can't get a satellite and install it today because they don't have the right information on their workorder - which they show me and let me have a copy of. It shows a satellite dish but also says deleted next to it which is why they don't have the satellite because the work order has to show it as active for them to be able to get one from the wear house. They then try to get the information to match their work order with what Direct TV has emailed me is the work order. Then they call Direct TV who tells them to call their home office. They call their home office and try to get them to fix it and eventually are told that they need to call Direct TV. They call Direct TV again and after going round and round are told that they cannot change the work order because according to Direct TV's records the work order is correct. They ask me to call Direct TV and work this out because they are now late to their next installation and they are out of ideas as to who to call and what to do. I call Bill several times during this exchange, and one time Mr. Darcy agrees to allow them to come out one more time if they can get the work order corrected and the same exact technicians are the ones who come out. These guys really did try, I will say that. I give into him on this at the time, but after the technicians leave I called Mr. Darcy and told him that we need to cancel the account and that I'm going to call. He says no, he's going to call and talk to Direct TV.

Meanwhile, I can't take lunch AGAIN today (despite the fact that grocery shopping has to be done and I need to get my swim in) because I spent so much time messing with Direct TV.

So, it looks like an evening swim will be required... and hopefully I can find enough food for today because I have no clue when grocery shopping will be done... maybe after my swim if the grocery is still open.

The real question is do we really need a TV? And if we do, I vote for another service provider. I bet if we're a new customer they'd treat us better - at least at first.

Oh - on a positive note, as of last night, my Team in Training triathlon team has raised just under $58,000. Go TEAM! It may be a drop in the bucket for the cost of cancer research and patient services, but at least it's a drop that didn't exist before.. and that drop can still help someone find a cure! And there's still time to donate... visit my fundraising website (see the Upcoming Events on my blog for the website)!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I May Have Gone Crazy..

but my readers, you are guaranteed to have continuing installments of my blog. I have, with the support of my darling husband, decided that after the Olympic Distance triathlon on May 3rd (only 12 days from today), I will train for and complete the IronMan 70.3 Triathlon in Augusta, Georgia on September 27th.

This means that I will willingly (and at the moment am saying this with euphoric glee) swim 1.2 miles in the Savannah River, followed by a 56 mile bike ride through Augusta across state lines into the state of South Carolina and then back across state lines into Augusta, Georgia, and then finish up with a 13.1 mile run. As you might have figured out by now, the 70.3 in the name of this race is the total number of miles I will be doing in one day. I am almost giddy in my insanity. But then am I insane if I realize that this is quite an extreme adventure? Just keep me in your prayers as I train, and all will be well. God loves idiots and fools, as a good friend of mine likes to say.

At the moment the only thing that troubles me about the race is the elevation map of the bike course. Let's just say it's a little bit hilly. But I have time to get ready. 158 days per their website.

In other news, we had 2 girls who slept in underpants last night. They made it through the night and then peed in their beds after waking up but before running naked through the house - because who wants to be in wet clothes? The night before last Angelfish made it through the night in underpants and we woke her up so she made it to the potty in time. Day time (knock on wood) has been dry for Angelfish and mostly dry for Ladybug. Ladybug is dry if she goes to school, but she has some difficulties on Saturdays but catches on again on Sundays for some reason. So we're making progress with the other training that is going on around here too.

As for training for my upcoming race, it's going well. Saturday we did a 40 minute swim followed by a 15 mile bike and a 2 mile run. I had a lot of fun doing it and worked on my hill riding - not losing momentum by continuing to bike on the down hills - my computer isn't working (it's getting looked at this evening) so I don't know how fast I was going but it felt super fast and I rather enjoyed it! Sunday was an off day, which is good because I went to my friend's bachelorette party Saturday late afternoon until Sunday morning (we stayed overnight in a hotel) and I had a bit more to drink than I have in ages, but luckily I kept myself drinking water too so I wasn't hung over - just tired.

By Monday I recovered and swim practice was really good actually. We swam a mile and then ran a mile and then did some visualization for our upcoming race. For some reason this morning, I was rearing to go for my 5 mile run. I kept thinking of it as I slept - about having to get up and do it, about the route I was going to run, etc. So after helping get the munchkins in the car I took off on my run. 5 miles later I was completely sweaty, smelly and happy.

Tonight is our bon voyage party where we find out details about the upcoming Miami race and tally up the amounts our team has raised for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. And then swimming tomorrow morning! I'm getting super excited about the race and am looking forward to bringing the family down to Miami for the race and festivities!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I have returned from the land of Ohio...

... to realize that God is in the details of daily life.

I am back. Ohio looks like the other places in the midwest that I've been too (which I guess would really only be Chicago), but on a smaller scale. The people were friendly which is always a plus. Another state off the list of places to go... although I am certain there is much more to Ohio than I had a chance to see in the day I was there. Airports really are not a measure of a state, nor are taxi drivers who when asked "is there a drug store nearby" offers ganja for purchase. Not exactly what we were looking for as the person who asked the question wanted nail polish and I wanted a pair of pantyhose. But it gave me a good story.

So the past few days have been quite crazy. First, Tuesday afternoon I got a call from daycare that Miss Ladybug had a low grade fever that was not quite 101. So I zoomed over as soon as I could, picked her and Angelfish up, drove down to the bike shop, picked up my trainer and camelbak (it's red. I rather like it.), and headed home. (Oh, and thank goodness for Coach who helped entertain my children while I was paying, etc. at the bike shop... where we also used the restroom - the girls are now in the stage where they want to pee in every potty they encounter, or so it seems.) At first Ladybug seemed ok, but then there was laying about and a hot forehead. Temperature 101.3. Called Mr. Darcy and he said he wasn't sure what we should do.

Ahem. Here is the difference between fathers and mothers. Mommies can make decisions in a split second without having to think it over and weigh things. So, I called his mother and asked if it might be possible for her to come down and watch Megan since I had to go on a business trip the next morning and Mr. Darcy had a deadline at work on Friday. However, I told her I wasn't 100% sure that we needed her because Mr. Darcy had to get back to me. Temperature persists. I call Mr. Darcy again. He's at a Mason meeting. He calls me back. I tell him the deal. He still isn't sure. So, being the good Mommy that I am, I call his Mom and say we need her. She, being the wonderful person she is, accepts and says she will head down bright and early in the morning. Go MIL!

Turns out that my Mommy gene for decision making comes in handy because 1) I have to go on my business trip. There's no opting out. 2) Mr. Darcy has a 9 am meeting with a new client that he can't cancel or be late to. 3) Ladybug's fever went away with Motrin but was back when it wore off. Mommy's just know when to make a decision. Daddy's will get to the same conclusion, but just about 1 hour after the Mommy has already acted. : ) Mr. Darcy also neglects to tell me about his 9 am meeting until the next morning so that I can have anxiety about what if something happens and MIL can't get there until after I have to leave for the airport. But all works out. No broken down vehicles or accidents.

And then I get too engrossed in my legislative tracking, lose track of the time, forget my laptop, double back for it and get to the airport 1 hour before my flight, only to discover a check in line the length of the airport followed by the longest line I have ever seen at the Orlando Intl Airport. Somehow it all works out (I give credit to God who I begged and pleaded with in my rather fast car ride to the airport to please help me and get me on my flight to avoid the chances of losing my job) - I'm pulled out of line as a "last call to Cleveland" and then discover that there's a TSA agent who is just standing the the midst of the throng of people waiting for someone to come into his line. I jump in that line and after looking at the time, the length of the security lines beyond the driver's license check point, and after saying out loud "Oh dear Lord, how am I going to make my flight"? Another line opened up and the TSA agent told me the one on the left is faster... then there was a lot of running in heels, jeans and a sweater involved (and thus a lot of sweating too). And the miracle of arriving at the gate while they are boarding 1st class. Too many things to chaulk up to luck, if you ask me.

So, I arrive in Cleveland to await my flight to Columbus (yes, I realize this is silly but talk to the airlines about it). All goes well. The plane is the smallest I have flown in, other than for skydiving. It has propellers and only 10 rows. But it super smooth and only 40 minutes long. I get a cab and head out to the hotel. The hotel turns out to be nice, which is good because I was getting a little worried when I saw all the bail bonds places along the route to the hotel. Generally, not a good sign. But it was fine. And I ended up running into one of the event planners in the lobby so I got to have dinner at somewhere other than the hotel with 2 people who I really have a good time with whenever I see them.

Unfortunately, the swim had to be abandoned. It didn't happen in the morning due to sick child duty and there was no pool at the hotel but across town and it was too late after dinner to go traipsing across town in a taxi to try to find a pool. So, I called and talked with my hubby & the munchkins, practiced for my seminar and watched American Idol.

The next morning was much calmer... seminar went well. Airport issues were fine. I made it home in time to have ice cream to celebrate the girls' Art Show at daycare (that I missed because of the flights) and help put them to bed. Then Mr. Darcy helped me put together my trainer and set up the bike. By 10:05 I was pedaling away... the computer is still not working though so I need to get the bike shop to fix it. At 11:20 I stopped. Completely exhausted I headed for the shower and then to bed.

Somehow this morning I woke up, got ready, helped get the munchkins out the door for daycare (Ladybug screaming she wanted to stay home with Grammie - she gets a little spoiled by her Grammie, I think, but that's what Grammie's are for!), and got to the pool to swim 1800m.

I have to say I am tired, but realize that I am blessed in all the craziness. And this is what hit me. I read a friend's blog who said sometimes she doesn't know what to say because she thinks her life has not a lot to report. My comment to her was that I look forward to her posts and that God is in the details of daily life, you know. It hit me right then and there as I typed it. It is so true. All these little things that add up to make the big portions of our lives are where grace resides.

So, I plan to look for more of those instances of grace whilst running around like a chicken with my head cut off so that I realize all of this shows me I am where I should be, doing what I should be doing, and that I will endure it all hopefully with the grace that hides in all the details.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Well Meaning People Can Be Evil

I got a call from my Mother yesterday. She means well but has a personality that can be as abrasive as sandpaper... the coarse kind. Good Ol' Mom starts by asking if I have time and I tell her I'm about to go get the girls from daycare and head to SWIM practice. And she tells me,
"I'm worried."
"About what, Mom?"
"Me? Why?"
"Because you're too heavy. You're doing all this exercise and you look heavy and you weigh too much."
And she continues. "Your butt looks bigger and your stomach sometimes looks like you're pregnant from the side."

She eventually tells me that she thinks I have a metabolic problem and that she kept gaining and gaining weight no matter what she did and she was always told that she just didn't know how to push back from the table. And that she will always be honest with me. To which I tell her, there is something to be said for tempering what you say. The problem is, I haven't gained any weight. I gained weight right around our move when I stopped working out with my personal trainer and we were eating out alot. But since I started training for triathlons in September I have lost 6 1/2 pounds and am wearing a 6/8 instead of a 10/12. Granted that is not alot, but I also had no muscle mass and now I have some. I'm not perfectly proportioned. I'm still not my ideal weight, but I have an endocrine system problem. The doctor has told me that there are studies that show that women with what I have who have children often cannot get the last 15-20 lbs off after having children. I am exactly 2o lbs heavier than before I got pregant with twins. It's not rocket science. Mr. Darcy says it's an excuse and I should stop making excuses.

Well, I workout and I eat healthy. Then Mr. Darcy tells me "maybe you're just eating too many calories... it's really a simple formula - burn more than you take in and you lose weight." While I realize that my Mother is concerned and means well, and that Mr. Darcy probably does too, there are proper ways to discuss these things that are not akin to running into someone with a mac truck at a high speed. I had to force myself to eat dinner last night because I couldn't even look at food after these conversations. I'm hungry now and don't want to walk into the kitchen to eat, but I know I have to or I will cause my metabolism to slow down even more.

I've done calculations with formulas from sports nutritionists and books and they say I should be eating 2500 calories but I'm eating 2000 calories. Mr. Darcy says this is proof that I'm eating too much because I should have lost more weight. Maybe so or maybe just maybe, I'm gaining muscle mass. Mr. Darcy says I can't just continuously be gaining muscle mass, but at the same time I think I still am. Who knows.

All I really know is that I don't need to be having these conversations (especially not an abrasive manner) 2 1/2 weeks before the biggest race and the most physically strenuous thing I have done in MY ENTIRE LIFE. It's all I could think about during my swim practice yesterday. I did hit one point where I wasn't thinking about anything during the swim and that was great. But right out of the pool, I was thinking about it again.

And then this morning on my run... I was supposed to do 7 miles but due to a miscalculation I ended up only doing 6.7 miles (oh well, it's close enough for today)... I had to stop and walk (albeit for only about 1/2 a mile total). Not because I couldn't run or was in pain, but because I was crying. It's really hard to run and cry and same time. It screws up your breathing and causes a lot of snot production. All I could hear was what they were saying over and over in my head and nothing I told myself could get it out. So I finally told myself to just get it all out, to get out all of the hurt feelings, all of the feelings of not being good enough for the people who love me, the idea that people won't see me as a good person but just a lazy @ss because they see me as "heavy," the feeling that no matter what I do there is always something that I am a complete and utter failure at (in this case getting myself skinny enough). I told myself that I needed to get it out so that I wasn't carrying this stuff with me for my race. I told myself that I needed to get it out because while I was letting myself walk right then, it wasn't going to happen on race day. So meltdown now instead of later. And then I made myself run the rest of the way and kept telling myself that even if I was fat, I could run (what I thought was) 7 miles. Not to mention be projected to do a 34 minute 1500 (just under 1 mile) swim, and bike 25 miles... and sometimes I've even done more than that... Like a 45 minute swim followed by a 20 mile bike. Or a 25 mile bike followed by a 6 mile run. I may not look pretty doing it but I can do it.

So I've decided that there will be no more discussions of how much I weigh, how much I eat, how I look, whether I am "heavy," whether I do or do not have a metabolic problem between now and the race. I don't need to hear it. I don't want to hear it. I want to hear that I am awesome. I want to hear that I CAN SWIM, BIKE, RUN. I want to hear that I am a good mother and a good wife. I want to hear that I am a good friend. I want to hear that I am good at my job. And that's about all I want to hear between now and 2 days after my race. I want to race, race well, and celebrate the fact that I will have swum, biked, and ran over 30 miles (31.93 miles to be exact) in one day and that I finished in an upright position with a smile on my face. And then people can be as well meaning as they like. And I'll still be able to say "yes, but can you do almost 32 miles in one day?"

Afterwards, maybe I'll go see an endocrinologist to see if I have metabolic problems and maybe I'll see a sports nutritionist to get an expert to tell me the number of calories and the distribution among what foods I should eat. But unless you're an endocrinologist or a sports nutritionist, step off because I'm not looking for amateur hour. I'll be too busy training for my next race and if I'm "heavy" then oh well.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Saturday, Easter and a Small (Guilty) Spring Break

Before we get to Easter, I have to tell you about Saturday. Saturday... Google gives bad directions, but luckily I had the foresight to turn around at a certain point. Saturday morning, our children decided that they wanted to get up at 5 am. At least Ladybug did, and she then woke up her sister and then they wandered into our room to wake us up. This was supposed to be a morning that I got to "sleep in" because even with an hour drive to get to my training session I didn't have to be up until 6:15 am instead of my usual 5:30 am. Angelfish wanted to go back to sleep... Ladybug wanted breakfast. So, I got dressed and gave her breakfast and then laid on the sofa. She joined me for a few minutes until I needed to leave to get teammate Ryan on the way to training.

First set of Google directions, good. Got to Ryan's house (not far from ours) with no problems. Getting to Lake Louisa was a bit ... different. 2nd set of Google directions, bad. It was foggy for one, but the directions were wierd. It had us turn down a little side street and then another that had no signage so we had to guess to turn left where we did. Then it told us to turn onto Lake Louisa Road and make another left somewhere. Let's just say that does not take you to Lake Louisa State Park, although you do get a view of the lake as you drive by. Finally, I told Ryan I was turning around. He called Coach and told her we got a little lost but were on our way and she told us that we had just needed to keep going straight instead of turning where we did. (Thankfully we never saw what we thought was Missy's car turn onto Lake Louisa and after 15 minutes I decided that was good enough of a reason to turn around... that and we were seeing signs for other Lakes in the Clermont area. The spidey sense was tingling.) But there was a line to get into the park, so we ended up being "on time" anyway.

First was a lake swim followed by about a 20 mile bike ride. (Note to self remember to check on magnet for bike computer as it was acting wonkey Saturday - my favorite was when it said my cadence was zero but that I was going 20 mph on a downhill while I was pedaling my butt off. 2nd favorite - cadence of 25 while going 18 mph and pedaling to the point my quads were aching.) I have to say, I hate lakes. They smell, they are brown and your clothing is brown when you leave them and you smell. This time I was not frightened and was smart enough to realize that the water was very cold so I needed to acclimate by sinking down into the water slowly and getting my chest used to the temperature before I started to swim. The tight chest sensation was adverted this way, letting me swim as though I was in a disgusting swimming pool and letting me focus on the buoys. The buoys actually made me smile. They were little kids pool floats - fish primarily - anchored to the lake bottom. Brightly colored but small, made sighting pretty interesting. But, I seemed to do pretty well and swam pretty straight. I was able to pass people without too much effort during the 45 minute swim because they were not sticking close to the buoys like I was. But that was to my advantage because I was able to get on the bike before them.... which I need to do. 3 of them caught me (and these guys are fast on the bike, so I expected it), but not until the 2nd lap... and then I later learned that your aren't supposed to coast on the downhills but pedal so to use the momentum to help with the up hills and keep you going fast. So we will try it for next time. And I have vowed to go to Sports Authority at the very least (if I can't get out to a bike shop) this week and get a camelbak because I'm sure I'd do better on the bike if I was drinking something (yes, Coach if you're reading this, I know you are going to kill me. But, hey. I did well for not having any liquids until after I finished didn't I?). I'd really like to get to a bike shop though because I need Chamois Butter and a trainer too. I'd love to get that done before I leave on my work trip Wednesday because then I can ensure my ride on Thursday will get done if I have a trainer sitting in my house waiting for me since I'll be in Columbus, Ohio that morning when I normally do my ride. (Another note to self - check to see if the hotel has an indoor pool for my swim workout.)

But the Saturday workout was great. I felt pretty good while doing it all. The swim wasn't bad, and the bike was good - even with all of the hills and no Chamois Butter and no hydration. When I got home, my parents had gone out to the store so I gave the girls & Mr. Darcy kisses and jumped in the shower because I smelled like a dirty, wet goat. By the time I finished my parents were back and we started our visit.

Easter was very nice. No temper tantrums save 1 or 2 at the end of the day. Angelgish kept her underpants dry and even took herself to the potty without any assistance on one occasion. Ladybug had 2 accidents, but it was better than the 5 the day before.

The night before the Easter bunny and her crew put together Easter baskets and put out the eggs for the egg hunt (courtesy of Nanna and Poppop). The girls got up on Easter around 7 am, but Nanna read them stories and took them to use the potty before we even knew that anyone was up when I woke up around 7:30 am. I was tired. The egg hunt was great and the girls loved their stickers, erasers and what not. Then breakfast and artwork, reading books, eating homemade chocolates from Nanna and playing afterwards. A walk with the family stopping to throw the frisbee around before walking to the pool where the girls put their feet in and we wandered around talking to other people at the pool (the girls were chatty) and then back to the house. Ham, potatoes, green beans, and Mango key lime pie for dinner. Parents left to head back home; we tried to get the girls down for nap and Mommy fell asleep to the point that I slept for 2 hours or so. Then we went back to the pool and the girls swam and we helped them swim. Back home for ham sandwiches for "dinner." Then off to bed for the girls. I laid in bed reading my Triathlete magazine and feeling a bit guilty for not running my 4 miles (thus the spring break) that Sunday. I even contemplated running it this morning despite having swim practice this evening. But then I realized I needed to focus on work and my blog entry and just chaulk it up to needing the sleep more than the run yesterday.

But I'm still feeling guilty about it. I just have to make sure I get in all my workouts this week so the guilt of not running the 4 miles will subside. I know I needed that nap - I never nap - but I probably needed the 4 mile run to mitigate all the food I ate (including that 1 beer I had). It is what it is and there are only so many hours in the day. I will regroup and focus.

So, I'm off to work.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My 100th Post - Herding Cats

This is post #100! Time has flown and you, my dear readers, have endured the ups and downs of it all. Hopefully this post will entertain and delight...

Being a mommy and wife is sometimes like herding cats. Take yesterday evening for instance. Mr. Darcy had a volleyball game and wanted us to come and watch. He sent out an email with alleged directions to the game... granted, it's my fault I waited until the last minute to look at the attachment but there was nothing helpful for someone who doesn't know where everything in downtown Orlando is already located. So, time was spent on the internet figuring out how to get there. Then off to get the kiddies. They were happy to see me and pretty much listening well, so things were off to a good start. I asked if they needed to go potty and the answer was No and No. So we piled in the car, and I buckled Amanda in and moved on to Ladybug. As I'm buckling Ladybug's seat belt I notice her pants feel a little damp.

I ask Ladybug, Did you go pee pee in your pants?
Ladybug: Just a little, Mommy. Only a few drops.
Me: Do you need to go more?
Ladybug: No.
Me: Ok, we need to get you out of those underpants and pants. Luckily, Mommy brought extras.
Ladybug gets out of her car seat and walks to the back of the mini-van so I can change her. Just as I get her underpants and pants down ...

Angelfish announces in an urgent voice: Mommy, I have to go potty!
Me: You really need to go potty?
Angelfish: Yes, Mommy. Need to go now!
Me: Ok. Hold it, Angelfish! Ladybug, lets get these pants up and we'll go into the potty. Quick!

So I unbuckle Angelfish as fast as I can, pick her up, have Ladybug jump out of the minivan and shut the back door, grab her hand and we run back into daycare straight to the bathroom. Angelgish has made it in time, save one drop of pee. She goes. She is happy and asks "Are you happy, Mommy?" I give her lots of praise and tell her, "Yes, I am happy." Then I get Ladybug's pants and underpants off and ask her to sit on the potty.

Ladybug: I don't have to go.
Me: Well, let's just give it a try because I'm not sure when our next chance to pee will be & we don't want to go pee in our pants again.
Ladybug: Ok.

She sits and about 30 seconds later, she pees. Not just a little bit either... like someone turned on a waterfall full blast. I say nothing but think to myself "Naw, you didn't have to pee at all, did you kid?" I give her praise and she is happy. We get clean underpants, pants, and shoes on all toddlers (Angelfish insisted she needed a new pair because hers had one drop of wet in them.); wash hands and start the minivan routine all over again. Except this time they want to go on a "nature adventure" and are inspecting every blade of grass, plant, and tree on the way to and next to the car. Finally, I get them into the car after explaining that we are running late and may miss Daddy's volleyball game. They cooperate. I attempt to buckle them in when Mr. Darcy calls me. I tell him I'm on my way and am having a difficult time so I will call him back. Everyone is buckled, I "loosen" everyone's too tight seat belt (which is a charade but it works), and then Ladybug starts fussing about not wanting to sit in her seat. I tell her enough and get in the car. We're off. I call Mr. Darcy and no answer. The game has obviously begun because well, it was supposed to start at 6 and it's 6 pm right now. That's right - 45 minutes at the daycare. 15 minutes at home getting intelligible directions.

Half an hour later we arrive at the park where there is no parking to be found anywhere... I drive in circles, down side streets and find nothing. Mr. Darcy suggests a parallel parking spot (via cell phone) he sees. I get there and the spot isn't even as big as the mini-van. 20 minutes later a spot about 1/4 mile away is found and Mr. Darcy is in the car because he had decided to help us park should parallel parking be involved. We walk to the park, diaper bag, snacks, and children in tow. Mr. Darcy plays one set while I chase the girls off the court, keep them from running into the lake that is only a few feet away, and run with them over to a playground that is within sight of the volleyball court (oh yes, and we're all barefoot at this point because it's a sand volleyball court and the girls decided it was the "beach"... plus I was wearing high heel sandals - not sure what I was thinking on that one). Next thing I know Mr. Darcy is standing next to us. 15 minutes at max after we arrived at the volleyball court. "What's up?" I ask. "Game's over. They're just playing for fun now." After an aborted attempt to eat dinner at a restaurant next to the park (Angelfish is fussy and tired... not surprised she was up at 5 am playing yesterday.), we go home. Mr. Darcy in his car, the girls and I in mine. Ladybug having a fit screaming "Stop the car! I ride with Daddy. My Daddy!" over and over. She finally stops screaming by the time we hit the highway, but continues with the crying and every so often yelling at me "Please stop the car!" (Yes, she used please. Not sure if she thought that would work because she was yelling "nicely"...)

Angelfish and I listen to the radio and sing songs, and ignore the screaming banshee. Finally, we get into the neighborhood (that's 1/2 an hour later, btw) and Ladybug stops with the yelling, crying, and we talk. I explain that sometimes she needs to ride with me, and that next time if she wants to ride with Daddy she needs to ask him before she gets into Mommy's car and has her seat belt on. I tell her, all you have to do is say "Daddy, could I ride in your car?" I say it in a very nice voice, and she repeats it word for word and inflection for inflection. I tell her that is very nice and that to try to remember for the next time.

And it's still lent, and I gave up alcohol for lent.

This morning, I had a wonderful swim. I did a 200 swim, 200 pull, 200 kick (with only time long enough to switch out the buoy and kick board), and then swam 1,000 m straight, and then did a 200 cool down. I loved it! And I felt very fast in the water too. I think I must be improving because I've felt and been decidedly faster this week in all of my training sessions. Go Kate Go! It is fun being faster and feeling faster. I was also thrilled after my workout too because... well my jeans fit. It sounds funny, I know, but these are jeans straight out of the wash and the dryer. Not been worn since they were washed and dried. Usually, they need a day to stretch out again and are tight in the waist and thighs until they stretch out. Not today. Buttoned with ease and no tightness in the thighs. Faster and thinner? What a morning!

Then I call Mr. Darcy to see how the tantrum that Ladybug was starting when I left turned out. Ladybug refused to wear either of the dresses she was offered (she wanted a dress, so we offered 2 to her), and Mr. Darcy after warning her she had 3 minutes to decide, counting it down, then decided for her. She continued with the fit and he let her wander around crying while ignoring her and putting breakfast together for the girls to eat at daycare. He put the breakfast and Angelfish in the car. He comes back and Ladybug is completely naked. Mr. Darcy tells her to put on her underpants and dress. She refuses. So he puts her in the car naked. She relents. He gets her underpants on and she refuses the dresses. He puts in the car in her underpants and brings the dress with him... and stops a few blocks away and puts the dress on her. Meanwhile, she is screaming "I don't want that dress" the entire time. She finally stops with the crying and the screaming as they pull up to day care. Mr. Darcy has successfully ignored her the entire time. (Go Mr. Darcy Go!) She has another crying jag when he goes to leave, so he asks me to check on her at daycare.

I call daycare and speak with her teacher, and I tell her that Ladybug is in a dress she didn't want to wear etc. She said we did great and that Ladybug is actually doing just fine. In fact, when Ladybug went to the classroom from the cafeteria, Ladybug went up to each of the boys in the class and asked them "Do you like my dress? It has pink and white in it." All except one said "yes." To the one that said no, she said "But why? It's pretty." And the little boy replied, "ok, ok, I like it." (Typical boy... shows how early it starts!) So, yes, we see that Ladybug is all about wanting to be in control... and likes to flirt with the boys. Wonder where she gets that!

So, let's keep our fingers crossed for a peaceful Easter weekend. And if it's not, at least lent will be over and we have wine in the house!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A little bit of perspective...

First, I have to admit that I did not swim yesterday. It was a wild and wooly day fully of temper tantrums (Ladybug), calming people (Mr. Darcy), questions (work folk), and meetings. Plus a request for a meeting with Ladybug's teacher. Plus we needed to straighten a little (errant laundry) before the cleaning people came today. Stress ran wild. I even cried because Mr. Darcy told me that Ladybug's terrible two behavior might be exacerbated by my workouts in the evenings.

But today, after getting a chance to step back and take a 20 mile bike ride plus have a chat with Ladybug's teacher, perspective has been regained. Ladybug is what you would call a strong willed child, so the boundaries we set with her merely need to be more defined and we need to give her a shorter period of time within which to comply. Tightening the reins as it would be... but even better - we are now empowered with the knowledge that it is perfectly ok and actually the only proven method of curing tantrums is to walk away and completely ignore her until the tantrum is completely over. I am no longer responsible for trying to reason with her when she is in an unreasonable state. I merely have to make sure she won't hurt herself or others and then walk away until she is sane again. What a load off of my shoulders!

Then to add to my lightness, the yard man came and mowed and the cleaning people came for the first time and did a good job (except for my cook top, but I've already talked to the owner about it and he's making a note of it for next time). It's like yet another weight has been lifted. Now if only my laundry would get up out of the baskets, sort itself, wash, dry, and fold itself... and if the grocery list, meal planning, and grocery shopping could miraculously occur on its own. But, 3 of 5 (I'm including the "Ladybug situation" in here) isn't so bad!

My ride this morning was good too, btw. Although I did have to ride my bike through a busy intersection without being able to trigger the turn signal which was a little disconcerting but luckily I was careful and so were the cars. I was a good bit less stressed by the end of it which is always a needed and delightful side effect of my training efforts. I even got up to 18.4 mph for a stint of road, and it wasn't even down hill! I felt really good on the bike today, so that made me happy.

Now it's off to get the girls from school and head to watch Mr. Darcy play volleyball... no rest for the wicked!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

58 minutes!

It may not be a world record, but it's freakin' fast for me! I just finished a 7 mile run (in the wind no less, although I have to admit it's died down quite a bit since this morning) a few minutes ago. While I was running tonight, I felt, well, fast. It was the fastest I can ever remember running. Despite the pain at the beginning from my shins, I refused to walk. I felt good, great even. 7 miles in 58 minutes for me is unheard of. I didn't even have to trick myself with silly banter about what I saw on my run. I did sort of put together a blog entry during the last 1/2 mile or so though ... it went something like this:

Thoughts while running 7 miles on a cool, windy day:
1. When it's colder my thighs still rub together...
2. but between the breeze and the body glide it's not that bad...
3. and getting myself able to run 7 miles has decreased the surface area that rubs.
4. When the wind blows the hardest, that song with the chorus "running against the wind, still running, running against the wind" involuntarily plays in my head...
5. evidently even my subconscious is a comedian.
6. I run even when my shins are in pain...
7. because I'm either a glutton for punishment or I'm crazy...
8. I guess it depends on who you ask.
9. I think people who run marathons are nuts...
10. but sign me up for a triathlon whose mileage adds up to more than a marathon...
11. I'll love it and ask "when's the next one?" when I finish.
12. I'm not a likely triathlete...
13. I have extra poundage, twins, endocrine system problems, asthma, high cholesterol, a slightly degenerated disk in my lower back, recurring shin splints, and one shoulder lower than the other...
14. that's why I laugh when people tell me that they could NEVER do a triathlon...
15. I do it because my brain tells me that I can... and I believe that little voice in my head.
16. I also do it for money - not for me, for cancer research so that I can endure for others.
17. When I started Team in Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I wasn't sure I could do it... Mr. Darcy wasn't either... he kept saying "do you know how far that is?"
18. Then he reminded both me and him that "one thing I know about you is that when you decide to do something, you do it." And that was that.
19. Cancer sucks. Cancer research will some day find a cure. I believe it in my heart of hearts.
20. And how cool is it to think that maybe some of the money I raise will have helped make that happen.
21. When I looked at the Team in Training schedule when we first started training, I saw the day with a 7 mile run on it (today) and panicked.
22. This week when I looked at it, I just saw another day to better my "farthest run to date" again.
23. I actually like this running thing...
24. and I feel really fast today...
25. I'm done? Already?

So not only did I run farther than I've ever run in my life tonight (7 miles), but I did it fast (58 minutes!!). How about them apples?

Katie the Mommy and the Blustery Day

You try to get 2 children (one of whom is fully engrossed into the terrible twos) into jeans, long sleeve shirts, and jackets after weeks of hot muggy weather and see how well you do. With a promised high of 65 and gusting winds of around 30 mph, shorts or dresses are simply not an option. Angelfish, as usual, was a happy little morning sprite this morning - happy to sit on the potty and make us laugh, asking us if we were happy when she went pee in the potty. Angelfish got dressed with ease and happily chatted with whichever of us was not dealing with her cantankerous sister. She is just one of those rare children who almost always seems to be filled with a light of happiness and joy - and thank the Lord because I cannot imagine 2 little ladies going through the terrible 2's at the same time!

Now, I can't get too upset with Ladybug. She is who she is. Ladybug will be a good leader some day. She knows what she wants (this morning it was a bowl of cereal and to stay in her pajamas) and she knows how to go about getting it (pushing a chair over to the kitchen cabinets to get said bowl and then to the pantry to get said cereal... and tantrums for the pajamas). The problem at the moment though is that she does not wish to recognize the authority of others (aka Mommy & Daddy, and sometimes her teachers at school who instead of tantrums she chooses to ignore at times). Tell her no and she either ignores you (aka the cereal) or she has a fit. Being stern is not generally who I am, but while being a Mommy these days it is who I have become.

I do not care for it. I would much rather be the fun loving imp that makes my children smile and gives them all their little hearts desire... but then they would be rotten and there is nothing worse than rotten, obnoxious children. So will have to wait until I am a grandparent to be that fun loving imp I guess. Spoil and return.

I felt a bit like a drill sergeant, but more sweet and loving, today. I had to put Ladybug in time out, chat with her, cajole her, and inform her in no uncertain terms (and a very firm tone of voice) that I was her Mommy and that I was in charge and that she had to listen to me. Unlike a drill sergeant though when I was going to leave for the gym for my 7 mile run this morning and she begged and pleaded for me to stay, I relented. I hugged her for a bit and then resumed the role of parent getting her child ready for school. I personally feel like someone should tell you that this tough love idea is painful for both parent and child alike. Not taking no for an answer and ignoring your child's desire to stay in her pajamas so she can stay home with her Mommy on a work/school day and making her get dressed despite crying, throwing her clothes across the room, and ranting. It breaks my heart in all truthfulness. If it wasn't for the fact that she would turn out to be a tyrant and sycophant without it, I think I would give in to her at every moment. I always wanted to be the fun parent, but I am forced to be the disciplinarian. Ugh.

So the run didn't happen this morning, but my bag is packed for the gym and I have plans to go this evening. Why not hit the neighborhood? It's a blustery day. Despite the fact that my husband saw a man running in the neighborhood this morning, the wind is blowing constantly and not at a light breeze type of pace. The trees are rustling rather loudly and swaying like someone has gotten a hold of them and is attempting to shake all of the change out of their pockets while they dangle upside down. 30 mph is not something I want to endure while running 7 miles.... even if hate running on the treadmill. I would much rather keep myself from injury only 3 1/2 weeks out from the race than run in the chilly blustery weather and take my chances. Besides when you take about an hour to run that distance, you can't just start running 1 hour before you have to start work! While delayed, I am still determined to have my run.

Looks like I'm a disciplinarian for myself today too. I guess that some days (or maybe most if not all days), that's part of what being a Mommy is about - keeping your children, your family, and yourself on task. Even when you long for those impromptu, fly by the seat of your pants days that you once loved and lived by. Order, smorder. Highly over-rated... unless you're a Mommy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A confession of sorts...

Yes, here it is. A confession of sorts. I've been toying with the idea of getting a tummy tuck. Remove the vesitages of stretched skin and muscle from having twins. It's something I swore I would never be so vain to do - go under the knife for beauty, vanity run amuck. Mr. Darcy knows a guy whose wife had one recently and it turned out really well. It costs a lot less here in Orlando than it does in Atlanta. The doctor even has a website. I've looked at it and read the FAQs.

Two things, well 3 or 4 really are stopping me. #1: I wouldn't be able to pick up my children for 8 weeks!! #2: I wouldn't be able to train or participate in a triathlon for 8 - 12 weeks! #3: It's still expensive. #4: I would be that woman who said she never would but then she did.

So for now, I am confessing the notion of a flat stomach obtained by surgery ... free from the flabby overhang and the stretched out muscles - tight muscles but that look like my stomach starts at my rib cage and has, on occasion, prompted strangers to ask when I was due. Confessing in the hopes that I can move past the idea.

I do wonder at the idea that this has sprung up when I am the most active I have been in perhaps my entire life. Maybe it's the fact that the rest of me gets more toned and more slender the more miles I do, except for this area. Instead it gets looser albeit a little better while it gets a little saggier because the fat underneath is shrinking and it has less to hold it up/out/whatever. So I confess it to hopefully rid myself of the notion. No lifting of children and no training workouts? Perhaps that definition of hell will prevent my mind from wandering this way again...

Reality Returns...

It's the true evil of every good thing... it comes to an end. (Oh, but before I forget - thank you Neil for your nice note and for reading my blog!! You gave me a nice smile.)

I am back from a wonderful weekend in Savannah. A much needed soujourn from the daily grind. I met 2 of my wonderful girls from Atlanta Friday afternoon and just talked, wandered, and relaxed. Good food, good drinks, good friends, and wonderful weather. (I got in a 26 mile bike ride, but no running because all of the treadmills at the hotel gym were taken by the time I finished my cycling. I walked all over Savannah, though...) No taking care of anyone or anything, no cleaning, laundry, or being stuck in the house. It was wonderful. The part that was not so wonderful was the lack of air conditioning in Mr. Darcy's car - he had the mini van for his use with the girls and his visit to his parents this past weekend. Talk about hot! And then returning home to an empty house that seemed somehow to have exploded laundry and toys and an empty refrigerator. Both unfortunately and fortunately, I had a massive allergy attack with running eyes, stuffed head and closed over nose so I did absolutely nothing about the laundry, toys, and empty refrigerator. Instead I filled my allergy prescription at the pharmacy, took my medicine, drank some water and watched a chick flick until my husband and children returned.

It was lovely to see the girls and Mr. Darcy again. Angelfish just wanted to snuggle and snuggle with her Mommy and was so proud to tell me that she had gone pee pee and poopie on the potty all weekend without any accidents. Evidently she had been telling Mr. Darcy and her Grammie that Mommy was going to be so happy and so proud of her all weekend long. And I definitely am. I absolutely loved snuggling with my Angelfish last night. Ladybug on the other hand greeted me with the demand that I go back in the house, then she rode her bicycle and finally came inside to give me the cold shoulder until I agreed that she could cut up some paper with scissors. Then she snuggled with me while she created her artwork, albeit wiping off any kisses I gave her from her cheek. But she made up for it this morning by throwing a fit for Mr. Darcy because she wanted to keep her pajamas on so she could stay home with me. I eventually got her to daycare after a trying hour, but I have to admit to enjoying it at the same time.

And now it's back to reality - having to figure out a meal plan for the week so I can do grocery shopping and feed the family, sending out Easter cards, doing random errands for the house (or at least trying to fit them in the schedule), working, attempting to do laundry and straightening the house, back to training, being with the family, and trying to find a moment or two of peace without the hustle and bustle of my daily life. Perhaps I'll find that in the pool for our swim workout this evening...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Crazy Day...

Ever wake up with your hair on fire and your day seems to match? That is my day today. I woke up because I was dreaming about having to get up and discovered Sweet Mr. Darcy either turned off the alarm clock or never set it (it's on his side of the bed). So I bounded out of bed, dressed in my cycling gear, grabbed breakfast (thank goodness I had the bike etc in the car already), and sped out to the airport area where we had a lovely 20 mile cycle while working on our skills with 1 professional and 1 very good amateur cyclist giving us tips, etc.

Then little fires everywhere at work having to be extinguished so I could attempt to go on PTO a little early today. Ugh. And now, 20 minutes later than I was supposed to I am on PTO and headed to do a little shopping before getting the girls. Girls' Weekend here I come!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

0 comments and Rain

There are days that I am doubtful that anyone reads this blog. Day after day I have "0 comments" yet again. But I know of some of you (Hi, Dad M & Larry!) read it because, well, you've told me you do. Sweet Mr. Darcy reads it when I suggest he does. I guess he figures those are the days that I have something to say that he needs to "hear" but don't want to regurgitate it again. And yet, here I am, day after day baring my soul into the internet ether. Some days probably frightening readers away with my overly honest and rather dramatic postings. Other days who knows what my ramblings do.

A friend has an immensely popular blog. I read it and love it. She has gorgeous pictures and talks about things people like reading about. Somehow I haven't the same knack for it as she does. But then I'm a lawyer. By trade, entertainment value has been sucked out of my writing style. So I am here writing. I've never been into diaries and such, yet this blog seems to serve that same purpose - without the lock and key that so many other diaries have - as though I just need to tell someone about "it" - you know, the nebulous it that makes up my life on this planet.

Today, life on the planet started with Ladybug having a tantrum, Angelfish being an angel and Mommy heading to the pool as Mr. Darcy told me to go so he could try to get the girls in the car. And then the pool... 1 mile of unadulterated swimming. The pro team, as I call them, was at the pool today. The Pro Team consists of 3 people completely unknown and unrelated to one another. A guy who always swims in red swim shorts and jumps in to swim a really fast 400 followed by another really fast 400 and then he gets out. A woman who is long, tall, and has a swimmer's physique, strong yet lanky all at once. And then a guy I see now and then who starts out really slow and by the end of his millions of laps in the pool seems to be sprinting faster than I can drive a car. I secretly try to "beat" the girl, even though she has a good 4" to 5" of height (and therefore stroke length) on me and has no clue that I'm racing her. When she alternates her freestyle with backstroke or breast stroke, I can beat her. Otherwise, I have to keep trying.

Work has been super busy - one thing after another - which is good in this economy. Being in demand is better than sitting around worrying whether I may be next on the layoff chopping block, if that raises its ugly head again in our department. Despite assurances that my boss has no knowledge of anymore layoffs coming down the pike, it's not as if she could truly tell me if she did anyway. So trudging onward and hopefully upward as each day progresses.

Training has been fun, yet time consuming. Yesterday I took my bike to get fit at Adventure Cycles (another bike shop I really like) and according to their laser sensors and computer's calculations it fits me for the aggressive riding style I aspire to (which is a good thing of course). They made a few adjustments to get it to fit even better, and was told I need a different stem size because it was too short for me. Called the shop where I bought the bike today and since I'm biking with the owner and our Team in Training group tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning (which reminds me I need to put my lights on my bike), I think they're going to fix it after my ride. I might need to leave the bike with them to get home in time to start working though, especially since I plan to take off from work a little early tomorrow to maybe do a little clothes shopping before my girls' weekend trip. Of course, if we're as busy at work as we were today I'm not sure I'll be able to take off early. Emergency situations just popping up like those purple moles in that wackamole game.

I hope it doesn't rain in the morning. We just had a monsoon of a rain a few minutes ago that lasted all of 20 minutes and reminded me of those late afternoon summer showers that you could set your watch to... 3 pm every day on the dot.

Speaking of watches, it's about time to go get the little ladies from school. There may be a soujourn in my writing (but not in my training) as I will be going on a girls' weekend to Savannah with some lovely friends from Atlanta. Until then!