Saturday, July 25, 2009

To start the vacation...

I got up at an ungodly hour to (gasp) run hills. Yes, it is official. I am definitely crazy. I woke up at 4 am, thinking it was 4:45 and that I'd overslept. I didn't realize that it was only 4 am though until I was fully dressed, body glide applied, and in the kitchen getting my breakfast. What can you do at that point but just stay up.

So I ate said breakfast, got my camelbak and nutrition ready, gathered keys, money, ID and the cellphone, and checked my email and looked at Facebook. Then about 4:55 am, I headed out the front door to wait on the porch for Ryan since we were carpooling. I'm a bit of a talker (if you hadn't guessed that already) so I sometimes feel badly for Ryan when we carpool. I talk and talk the poor guys ears off. He's a good listener and always has good things to say too, but I know he's not a morning person and yet I can't control my talking. I'd like to blame it on not getting out that much during the work week and the fact that I work from home, but realistically I talked alot when in the office environment too.

We had to drive about an hour to get where we were meeting up for our 6 mile run that was going to include hill repeats. This is Florida so I didn't think they would be all that bad. Hard of course because the term "hill repeats" literally makes me think that Coach is thinking up new and fun ways to torture us along the way to the Ironman 70.3, even if I know (deep down somewhere) that they are good for us. Hill repeats at 6 am when I've had a hard week and accidentally woken up 1/2 an hour earlier than necessasry is an even more special form of torture.

Little did I know that the hill we were going to repeat was essentially a 45 degree incline (if not more) in a neighborhood in Clermont. I didn't know Florida grew hills like that. And unluckily, I forgot my recoverite at home. Yeah. Not good.

We ran about 1.5 miles out to the hill and when I looked at it, it reminded me of San Francisco. As irony would have it, we were doing this work out with Coach's San Francisco marathon team for Team in Training. Then it we did the hill repeats. The hill itself was a quarter of a mile straight up and then another quarter of a mile straight down. 4 repeats. I got about 1/3 of the way up the 1st time, and about 1/2 way up the 2nd-4th times before I had to walk, and then I would run again when I could part way up the hill (nearer the top, of course). Basically, my heart was pounding, I was out of breath, and my old friend nerve pain had returned. My HR monitor says that at one point my heart rate reached 221. Uh, yeah. Total freak out when I saw that one. Not sure that's what the cardiologist would have envisioned for me. My "max out" rate is 185. Luckily, even with the 221, my average was about 148. I'm certain that this torture was actually good for me.

There was walking involved, as well as sitting and waiting for people to complete their 4 repeats before we jogged the 1.5 miles back to the parking lot. I did what I could with my nerve pain and thought to myself that I hoped we do this again in a few weeks so that I could try to get better at it. And that's when I knew that I must have not been getting enough oxygen to the brain during it all... I was wanting more. Not that day mind you. I may have been able to do it once or twice more, but I definitely didn't want to... especially if I planned on walking later in the day (like I need to for errands).

I ended up walking most of the 1.5 miles back. The nerve pain was a little not so fun after sitting (even though I stretched), but it was ok when I walked. But the mileage got done. Coach ordered us all to have an ice bath, so I took one. Not nearly as cold as I thought it would have been, but I may have had the water a little to hot to begin with before I added the ice. The girls joined me, which was pretty funny. Luckily it was after all of the ice had melted. 20 lbs of ice, plus what we had in the freezer. They were mermaids with me in the "mermaid pool." Talk about happy times.

I'm a bit stiff and have a feeling I may be sore in the morning, but (gasp) hill repeats while torture are rather satisfying once they're done. Yup, I'm certifiable. I don't know who it is that has taken over my brain but they, ahem, almost like running. Quite frightening, and crazy in deed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's Almost Time to Go Cruisin'

Yes, there will be a week long hiatus in blogland of Going the Distance. Monday Mr. Darcy and I will embark on a cruise to the Bahamas without the little ladies. I am excited, nervous, and stressed. There is so much to do before you can actually go on a vacation.

So far the house is cleaned, but I still need to do grocery shopping since the ladies will be home with their grandparents getting spoiled rotten.... much like a pepper I discovered in the fridge this morning. I hope the girls will smell better, though. But the rest of my list is almost laughable it is so long, and somehow I have to find the time to get it done. Not to mention remembering this morning while getting my 2000m swim in that we need to do a temporary power of attorney so that if someone say splits their head open or something (ahem, Angelfish) that the grandparents can actually get them medical care. Luckily, I'm a lawyer of the kind who used to write such things so I drafted one. Now the trick is to get both Mr. Darcy and I in front of a notary at the same time to get it signed.

The items on my list that probably wont' get done are the ones that pertain to what would be nice for me, like the manicure and pedicure that I put on the list. I'm in very big need of the mani pedi, but compared with say the laundry or packing for the trip or doing dishes, I'm pretty certain that is relegated to the bottom of the to do list, even if it is listed as 8 out of 25.

The first thing I did on the list was get my bloodwork done. It pays to get up early and make it to the lab 15 minutes early. I was 5th in line and the 6th one they took back for the actually drawing of blood. Of course it helps that I'm stressed because I woke myself up wiggling my toes right before the alarm went off. Yup. You read that right. Wiggling my toes. When I am really stressed about something (even if I don't know that I'm stressed on a conscious level), I wiggle my toes in my sleep. And when it's really bad, I wake myself up because I am wiggling my toes.

I'm not sure what it is that I'm so stressed about. The 25 item to do list and what seems little time to do it in? Possibly. I think it has to do more with the cardiology stuff and whether I have issues that I've given to my kiddies, especially little Ms. Angelfish whose bloodwork at her 3 year old check up showed she had cholesterol of 192 (mine is 194 at this point, which is decent for me but high for a 3 year old). That and the fact that my kids gave me a hard time about bed time this week and I've been feeling like a big meanie and a not so good Mommy. I thank all of you for your encouraging words about how I'm doing what I'm supposed to do as a Mommy, and while I know you're right, I don't like being a grump with them - even if it is for their own good. I won't have rotten children, so I know I'll keep doing what I'm doing, but it would be so nice if we could just get through this phase.

So, yes, wiggling toes got me going this morning. The sad part is that I had so much to do today that the swim was just an item to tick off and not the enjoyable session it usually is. I realized that I prefer swimming long distances in a lake when I was half way through the 2000m straight swim and getting bored with counting. I wish I could have swum at Lucky's today - 2 full crossings, which is only 4, as opposed to the 80 lengths of the pool. Yup. I've been converted to an open water swimmer, provided I don't have 150 other people jumping in with me. I'm still not quite comfortable with that, but hey, I've only been doing this for less than a year. I'll probably get there.

Work was busy and now it's off to attempt to conquer my list. See you when I get back!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What a Day...

My day started with a bang and has been a busy one! This morning I dragged myself out of bed, wanting more sleep and with nerves. Not nerves like Sunday before the race "something's gonna happen" nerves, thank goodness. More like, nerves because I had a 1 1/2 hour bike on the schedule which meant facing the demons that were from the crash.

Yes, I know I got up after the crash and finished the race... but I wasn't thinking about crashing then. I was thinking about finishing. I've had a few days to mentally deal with the scrapes and cuts (that are starting to itch, which means they're healing!) and the muscle pains that are still lingering. With the knowledge of the crash and my boo-boos, I had to get on a bike and ride it.

And ride it I did! I did my best to keep up with my friend Ryan today. I don't know if he was taking pity on me, taking it easy, or if I was just having a good bike day, but I was able to keep up with him and even sustained 18 mph for a good stretch in part of the ride! I think we averaged around 16.5 to 17 mph for the entire ride. As I rode with him and he told me that he had a run to do after the bike (and I did not) and we were passed by some of the really fast cyclists in our morning group, I realized that I am an unlikely athlete for whom sports do not come easy and that most likely my Coach recognizes this too and perhaps was why I didn't have a run scheduled after too. (Or it could have been that I crashed my bike on Sunday or that I have back issues.) But it made me wonder if I am chasing a pipe dream with my triathlons. Do I really have the stuff that makes a good athlete?

Later as I was driving home after the bike, I realized that I may never be a fast athlete. I may never run a 7 minute mile, finish a half-iron man in less than 5 hours, or swim as fast as I would like in an open water competition. But it really doesn't matter. I am a triathlete because I like it. I like the challenge. I like seeing what I can do. The problem is that competitive streak I have. I see someone else do it faster or "better" than I can do it, and I not only want to do it too but also belittle my accomplishments as "not good enough." I think the problem is that my brain knows that I am an athlete because I want to be and I try to be, but my ego wants more. I need to focus on what I can do and try not to pay as much attention to what other people do.

I got home just in time for work and had a deluge of things to take care of... questions, minor fires to put out, regular work to accomplish, a report to complete. Plus, I had to fit a shower in because this afternoon I had a cardiology appointment. It was 12:20 before I knew it and I was jumping in the shower and getting dressed in something other than my sweaty (and most likely smelly) cycling attire. Back to the desk to take care of one or two more things before hitting the road.

Cardiology. I think cardiology is really interesting. What I think is even more interesting is that with a few electrodes and a little machine you can see the rhythm my heart is taking. No arrithmia, thank goodness. Then more waiting. Someone had a cardio issue in another room, so the doctor was a little late to talk to me. We talked about the family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks, hardened arteries, and the like. He looked at my recent cholesterol test of 194 and said hmmm. This one number is 129. For other people that's ok but with your family history this should be under 100. To which I replied, "C'mon. That's my good cholesterol test!" He laughed. We talked about what's been going on with my blood pressure, which was 151/87 in his office and he declared too high especially with the triathlon training I'm doing.

So, tomorrow I go for specialized blood work. A test to see how "sticky" my cholesterol plaque is, one to see something else that I can't remember at the moment, and yet another to tell them what type of cholesterol I have - not just LDL vs Triglicerides, etc. but what size they are. Turns out big bouncy LDLs are less scary than the densely packed small LDLs. Which ones I have determine my propensity for more serious heart disease issues.

When I get back from the cruise, I'll be going back for a stress test and an echocardiogram. And they'll give me a special 24 hour blood pressure cuff that I'll have to wear for 24 hours (obviously) and that will take my blood pressure about every 20 minutes until 10 pm at which point it will then go to every hour. Then I'll take it back to them and they'll download my data.

The following week, I will find out the results. Being the eternal optimist, I am hopeful that nothing will be wrong at all. But the realistic side of my brain says we'll just have to wait and see what they say. He's already determined what class of blood pressure medicine he would put me on, if he needs to put me on such a thing. It's one that won't keep me from my triathlon training or competing on triathlons. As the doctor put it, the triathlons will do me a lot of good so we don't want to mess with that.

And I asked the dreaded question... do I need to cut back at all on training for my Half-IronMan in September? Happily, the answer he gave was "no." At this point, he said, keep doing what you're doing.

So while I have yet one more item for my to do list before our cruise, I'm feeling pretty good about the cardiology front. Sure, I'd rather not have to worry about it at all, but I'd also rather get everything looked at and be able to be around to see my grandchildren graduate from college and get married and have great-grandkids. All scheduled, I headed back to work. And then to do my blog.

And now to get the girls... we'll see how it all goes! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It all involves Water.

My children are crazy things. Mr. Darcy has a deadline this week and hasn't been home until after midnight and promises more such evenings until the end of the week when the deadline is finally over. The past 2 nights the girls and I have been hanging out, having a good time and then bedtime comes. At some point either during or after story time, Ladybug turns into a grumpy troll. I'm not sure how it happens, but all of a sudden she fixates on something and starts screaming and crying as only a 3 year old can.

Last night, I thought all was well. Sure Ladybug screamed her head off and all that, but after a few minutes of leaving the room it got quiet. I thought they fell asleep. Nope. At 10:30 pm, I was awakened by the sound of Angelfish screaming. I run to their bedroom to discover that neither of them are in their beds. Now I start to panic because I didn't have the alarm on because who knows what hour Mr. Darcy will get home, and they are gone. And then I hear it. A happy screech and splashing. But they are not in their bathroom. I follow the sound to the guest bathroom and throw open the door. The light is on, all of the handtowels and bathtowels that were hanging up or folded nicely near the sink are soaking wet. The floor is covered with water, and there are 2 naughty little girls in their pajamas splashing about in the bathtub while water runs from the faucet.

I shouted. at the top of my lungs. GO TO BED! They looked at me like I was the biggest meanie ever. I do my best not to yell. I come from a long line of yellers and have been working hard not to yell at the girls. But this time, I think they deserved it. I just yelled that one thing and then told them that they could have gotten hurt or drowned as they marched grumpily to their bedrooms. I told them that because of their behavior - not staying in bed, making a mess of the bathroom, playing in the tub without supervision - they would both be getting spankings. The gnashing and wailing of teeth (on their part) started as soon as I said it. Then I gave each a spank (not that hard at all). I HATE to give spankings and only give them very sparingly. To be honest, it makes me nauseous and gives me a sick feeling to spank either of my children. But, post spanking they cried only a minute or two more and were silent. And I'm pretty sure that they went to sleep that time. Water.

This morning I got up early because it's a busy day. 5:15 am, I'm up and packing my gym bag and about to put on my swim suit when Angelfish appears out of nowhere. Running. I jumped about 20 feet in the air and she says "I'm going to the potty" as she sprints past me. Why she didn't use the potty in her bathroom, I have no idea, but then I'm still working on understanding the minds of 3 year olds. I get my bathing suit on and she tells me "I'm not tired." How can you not be tired when you go to bed at 10:45 pm, wake at 5:15 am, and you're only 3? But she insists, so she watched me eat my breakfast, tell her I was going to the gym, and leave (Mr. Darcy was home, of course.).

I got to the gym by 6am, hit the pool at 6:07 am. I had a 2500m swim consisting of a 500 m swim, a 500 m pull, 5x100 drills, another 500m pull but with breathing changes, and then a 500 m cool down. I was psyched. I always am slower when drills and pulls are involved, but I still finished the workout by 6:57. 50 minutes for 1 1/2 miles. It made me happy. Water.

Then it was off to get showered, dressed and get myself home. Where I was greeted by Ladybug and Mr. Darcy as Mr. Darcy was trying to convince her that she needed to use the potty before putting on her bathing suit (it's WATER day at school today). Ladybug followed me around a bit and then decided she wanted water to drink, but it had to be out of the red cup that I had just drank my Recoverite and that she refused to let me wash first. Oh and I had to get the water just so. I ended up walking away because she was yelling at me (the way 3 year olds yell at people with that whiny annoying voice... it's not a good thing to be a Mom with one her pet peeves is whining). I told her I would be happy to help her when she was ready to ask me nicely. She tried to hit me. I told her that she should not hit her Mommy and that it was not acceptable behavior. Ladybug in her 3 year old rage walks up to me, looks at my knee to find my scraped up leg, and hits me as hard as she can on my skinned up knee (which is very tender at the moment). She intentionally harmed me over a glass of water.

I told Mr. Darcy the situation, walked into my office, closed the door, and prepared for my teleconference at 8 am. Water. Ladybug cried a river because Mommy walked away and didn't give in. Mr. Darcy put her in time out and only got her when he was ready to take her to the car (about 5 minutes later... she wasn't there long). She never apologized but grabbed for me and wanted her Mommy. She wanted to stay home with me today. Tears running down her face.

I felt for her and of course forgive her mean but childlike anger and actions. I love my Ladybug and Angelfish so much that sometimes it makes me cry. But at the same time, they can frustrate me to no end. And I will be honest... as soon as Mr. Darcy took Ladybug to the car, I thought to myself: "This time next week, I will be on a cruise ship, alone with Mr. Darcy (the first time since our children were born over 3 years ago), in the Bahamas looking at the beautful... water."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back on my feet...

This morning I ran 6.2 miles. Well, I ran about 5.5 of the 6.2 miles and walked the other .7 miles. But still, I think that is pretty good since I am in pain from my crash still. Last night I laid in bed with ice all down my leg and I think that helped a little.

I think I may have pulled a muscle in my leg and one near my knee, but nothing is swollen up, so I'll stick with advil and ice for now. If things get worse, I'll see a doctor. I just hate the idea of taking the time out of my day to see the doctor, pay a $20 co-pay and then be told to ice and take advil.

If you took away the leg pain and the wierd clicking noise that either my collarbone or my shoulder were making every now and then, and the rib pain that came and went, I felt pretty good on this morning's run. I kept a pretty steady pace and only walked when I had to because the pain got too bad. But there were stretches of the run where I was able to just ignore the pain, so that was good. I wasn't fast - a 13 minute, 12 second average pace per mile - but I really didn't want to be either. I wanted to just get out there and try to get the mileage done because reality is this it's only a little bit over 2 months until the 70.3 in Augusta and the less training I get in, the less likely I'm going to be able to say that I completed the 70.3.

And with the knowledge of how much time training for the 70.3 has taken away from the family and the fact that Mr. Darcy would like to see a little more of me (which is a good thing in reality) and the girls ages, I know that this is the closest I'll be getting to an IronMan (70.3 or otherwise) in the next few years. After Augusta, I'll be focusing on getting faster at everything but sticking to the Olympic Distance races for awhile. So, I really want to do my best to get my training in... even if I'm limping along.

The irony is that I went to the dentist this morning and after laying in their ergonomic chair while having my teeth cleaned, my legs feel better. Not stiff any more or anything. Of course, it just dawned on me - I also took 3 advil before I went. Hmm. I bet it's the advil.

Tomorrow is a nice long 2500m swim with drills. Let's hope that feels better than today's run did!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Race Report: Not so Bad, Considering...

This Race Report is subtitled: Not so Bad, considering I crashed my bike and had a flat tire.

But, to leave you in suspense (haha) we'll do Mr. Darcy's 1st ever Triathlon race report first. I have not obtained permission to disclose times, so I'll just give you an overview.

Mr. Darcy's 1st Triathlon
When I saw Mr. Darcy at the finish, I asked how did you like it? And he replied: I hated it and I'm never doing one again. After time has passed a little, he has revised this statement to: I didn't enjoy it but I might do one again if I train for it. (He did little preparatory training for this one.)

Mr. Darcy says that he has a new found appreciation for what I do as a triathlete and why I train like I do. He said I was amazing and that I'm crazy for wanting to do the 70.3 which is 4x what he did Saturday, which made me laugh.

The swim: Mr. Darcy swam for about 30 yards and then did the backstroke for the rest of the 400 m. Safe to say he was not the first man out of the water that morning.

The bike: Mr. Darcy said he enjoyed the bike but that he was not fast and I quote "passed 3 people: 1 woman who was very short and looked like that was why she was having a hard time on the bike, 1 man on a beach cruiser, and 1 man on a fat tire hybrid like me."

The run: to quote Mr. Darcy, "I don't know why anyone would ever say they like to run."

But the girls and I had a great time cheering him down to the finish line and give him hugs afterwards. I must say I'm very proud of Mr. Darcy who didn't train for this event (other than about 3 runs and 3 bike rides and 1 trip to the pool) but still was able to pull things together to finish. When we got home, he slept most of the afternoon and then let my friend Anna and I go to a movie while he put the girls down to bed. (We saw "Public Enemies" - very good movie. Great acting!)

TriMommy's Race Report

Now for my race report. Overall my time was 3:36:55.05. So I didn't make my A or B goals, but I came rather close to the B goal... and the fact that I had a bike crash I think is justification for such a situation. I still consider it quite a successful race, which is somewhat ironic because my ultimate nightmare came true - I was dead last out of EVERYBODY. So here's what happened.

I woke up with that awful on edge feeling. The feeling I get when something not so good is going to happen to someone I know - either me or someone else. When I get this feeling, I am 99% right about something happening. I just am not psychic enough to know what "it" is. I even questioned if I should go to the race and then told myself I was silly, but spent the entire ride saying the rosary and hoping that no one would get hurt and that I would still be around for my children at the end of the race. To say I was nervous and jittery was an understatement. I could barely eat my breakfast it was that bad.... but somehow I kept it down. When I got to the race I found out my coach had a migraine and couldn't race and that another team member had a blood infection and wasn't allowed to race either. I thought, that must have been what I knew and had me nervous. Little did I know.

Swim (0.93 miles, 31:09.167)
A good swim, but not the best of my life. I still have troubles with swimming in the pack. This time I got kicked in the eye (thank God for goggles) toward the start which gave me some pause for the swim. But then I got into my rhythm right as I rounded the 3rd buoy in the first lap of the lake, and it seemed to go better. I still hate not being able to see at all in the water at Moss Park, but I didn't panic this time which is an improvement. I also need to work on sighting when I'm in a throng of swimmers... I end up doing the breast stroke instead of my normal way of sighting and I'm certain this makes me a little slower. Overall, I was relatively happy with the time but think I could have gone faster.

T0 (run from the water to the transition area, 2:29.737)
I was discombobulated when I got out of the water and ran through the sand instead of my plan to get to the pine needles as fast as possible. Oh well. I got there and was hitting a good running stride once I got to the asphalt in the parking lot.

T1 (2:10.665)
Definitely needed to be faster, and even felt slow in the transition area. I had a terrible time with my socks which decided to get stuck on my toes twice before I could get them on. Life goes on.

Bike (with crash and terribly long tire change after the crash, 1:40:39.84)
Normally I would be horrified at my time. In reality, I'm thrilled with it. I was having a great ride during the first loop. The slowest I saw on my bike computer was 16.1 mph and I was hitting 18 mph at times. For me, this is a good ride. And then, I'm on the last loop before the 2nd lap. I'm doing great. Going 18 mph and only been passed by 2 people (who were not in my age group anyway). And then. It's really hard to peddle the bike all of a sudden and I look at my bike computer and see the mph dropping like mad while I'm peddling the heck out of my legs and it dawns on me - I have a flat tire. But I'm coming up on a turn and there are people who are now coming up on me because I'm slowing down because of the flat. I decided I would make the turn and pull over since it would be too dangerous to just stop right there.

I should have stopped. I took the corner pedaling, hit gravel and the bike (and I) hit the pavement and skidded about 3 feet. Doesn't sound far but it's far enough to sustain shoulder to just past the forearm road rash, a road rash like bruise under my arm and on my side (it was under my tri-top), a skinned and bruised knee, a 4 inch road rash down the side of my right leg, a bruise and road rash that is about 3 inches in diameter (and circular) on the outside of my upper right leg, a bruise on my butt, and bruises and cuts on the inside of my left leg where the bike pedal cut me as I fell. I let out a scream that I didn't realize was coming from me as I skidded and my 1st thought was "this was what was going to happen" and my 2nd thought was "pick your head up so your face doesn't get mangled. " Not pretty. It looks like my bike only got scraped up on the right side handle bars - the tape got ripped up and the bar underneath has some grooves etched into it. (I'll know more today. I took her to the bike shop right after I left the race.) The rest of the cyclists were able to avoid me so no one else went down. At first my right foot felt really wierd like I might have broken it and then it was fine and I was able to walk on it. So I got up and looked at my bike.

And yes, my tire was flat. Luckily, I crashed at the turn right before the end of the 1st loop - right in front of a race official and a police officer. Police officer Curtis was awesome. He came over to see if I was okay and when he saw that my hands were shaking like mad as I tried to change my tire and I couldn't get anywhere because my mind was shaking too, he took my tire and tried to change it for me. He's not in the habit of changing bike tires so after a minute of my calming down we did the change together... and the race official, other than joking that we were not the pit crew at the Daytona 500, didn't penalize me. I introduced myself to both of them and thanked them for their help even though we weren't finished with the tire change. They were awesome. At one point when we were having so much trouble I said "maybe I should just call it a day." Police Officer Curtis told me "don't quit. You were doing great. You can do it." The race official shouted over "Kate, don't quit. You can do this."

And so, after all was finally right with the tire and we got the chain to get back on to the gears with the derailleur, I decided to finish. I was last and I didn't care. Ok, I cared a little, but I realized that it was out of my control that I was last. It was what it was, and I was going to finish. Yes, I got beat by the guy who was morbidly obese but was out there doing it. I cheered him on as I passed him going into the turn around (he was on the 2nd lap already, I was finishing my first because I just got back on the bike), and he shouted back "I feel like dying." I told him he was doing great and that he could finish. I hope he did.

The course officials tried to wave me into transition and I told them I had another lap. They looked at me like are you sure? So I told them I had crashed, and they said "ok. Go again." So I turned around and kept going. I was slower because I hurt, but I still was at the slowest 15.7 mph and the highest around 18.0. But I got it done. Unfortunately, toward the end something in my ribs seized up and I couldn't tell if it was my ribs themselves or some sort of cramp because it was in my rib cage not under it.... I'd never had that before.

T2 (3:46.806 - much too slow, but understandable in the circumstances)
So I asked if there was a medic tent when I dismounted, and cried. I wasn't crying because of the pain but because I didn't want to DNF. I didn't want to stop. I hated being last.

When I got into transition, people were packing up their stuff to go home. Luckily for me, Josie C. (my friend Ryan's wife, who was watching and who I think is awesome) and 2 guys in my row were there packing up their stuff. Josie came in and asked me what I needed and talked me through it all. She told me I could do it. The guys realized that I was the one who crashed (remember, pretty much everyone passed me on either their 1st or 2nd lap while I was crashed and trying to deal with my bike) and told me that if I had been able to finish the bike, I could do the run. And I believed them and said, "quitting is not an option and if worse comes to worse and I have to stop, I can stop on the run."

Run (5.6 miles, 1:16:39.596 - slow, but understandable in the circumstances)
So off I went. I hobbled a few feet and then walked a bit. I got some water and drank it down. Threw my bike gloves that I forgot to take off to Josie and her boys for safe keeping, and wandered past. Then I decided to try to run and I did a little. Slowly of course. I caught up to my friend Ryan who was on his 2nd lap. So I ran some with him and walked some when the muscle in my leg would cease up on me from the crash, and then ran some more. I lost him at one point when he was approaching the finish, but my leg was too ceased up right then to run to catch up.

I got to the start of the 2nd loop and the race officials tried to send me down the shoot. I told them I had a 2nd lap. They said "WHAT?" And at that point with my leg in pain and my goals for the day shot to heck, I said "I crashed my bike and had a flat tire, and I'm gonna finish this damn race. What do you want from me?" At which point the guy suggested I try to run a little, and I told him I would once my muscle in my leg stopped ceasing up. Hello? I crashed my bike and was covered in dirt and road rash on one side of my body. You can't see that? And you want to give me a hard time because I'm LAST? As I passed the opening to the finish line I heard over the PA "in about 3 minutes we're going to do the awards ceremony." So I put my HR monitor up to the front so it would show me the time and I had been out there just under 3 hours. There was hope for at least more than my E goal and I decided I was going to do my best to come close to my B goal if I could.

Not long after that I got a cup of water from the last station and the ladies there (including some racers) cheered me on and I heard one say to the other, "that woman crashed her bike. I can't believe she's still out here. That's awesome." I wish I knew her name and address so I could send her a thank you note. I needed to hear that right then, and a few minutes later when my leg relaxed again, I ran. I ran 3/4 of the last 2.8 miles. I had to walk some because my leg muscle kept ceasing up, but the one thing I realized during it all was that other than being in pain from the fall and from sweat stinging my open wounds I felt good. My lungs felt good. My left leg felt good, and if I hadn't had such a problem with the crash and the pain afterward, I would have been able to run way more than I was - if not all of it.

As I was coming up on the 2 mile marker for the 2nd lap, a very nice guy named Rick came running up and asked me if I was Kate. I said yes, and he said Brandi (a team mate of mine) sent him out to look for me because she was worried about me. She had seen me crash and then heard that I was determined to finish. He ran and walked with me and chatted and was wonderful. I teased him and called him my sherpa because he took my gu arm band that was falling off and my camelback which was pretty much empty. Brandi found us and asked if I wanted to run it in. I told her I wanted to run it when we hit the turn for the finish but I needed to walk some because my leg was ceased up. When we hit the turn for the finish they ran with me the whole way and there were race officials cheering me on. (I had chatted with some of them along my way and they all knew I had crashed but was wanting to finish.) Z, the guy in charge of the race, was cheering me on because they told him about me and he gave me a high 5. Josie, Ryan and their kids were there cheering for me. I love each and everyone of those people who helped me finish with their belief that I could do it. They rock!

So I finished. Last. And it wasn't so bad being last after all. I'm scraped up and bruised. My muscles in my right leg and my right arm are sore and stiff in spots, and certain places on my left leg are bruised and sore too. But I feel good. I could have quit. I almost quit. But I didn't. I believed in myself (with the help of some friends) and I finished.

The irony? Only 2 other Athena category women finished the race. So by finishing, I took 3rd place in my race category. I got a call last night from Z, who told me that they fixed the error in the listing (they had all my times listed but said I DNF'd... it made me cry and I sent a somewhat strongly worded email about it because I was a bit upset. I wasn't rude but it was kind of bordering on it, which I apologized for when I talked to Z.) They're mailing my 3rd place plaque to me today. He told me I did the right thing in finishing because never giving up is the most important thing, and I needed to hang my plaque somewhere that all could see. Normally, I'd be upset about the fact that I only got hardware because I just finished. But not today.

Today, I'm happy. I got my first piece of hardware in a race. I crashed my bike and felt pain, and was last, but I finished. And not only did I finish, but I finished with a PR. 3:36:55.05 to be exact. I also finished with the knowledge that I could have been even faster if I hadn't crashed. So maybe, just maybe, sometimes being last is OK.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Friday Fifteen

1. I am still lonely after living in Orlando for about 11 months now. I tried to have a dinner with some ladies I've met here and felt lonely afterwards. The 2 that were able to make it have been friends with each other since college, and while I've been friends with one of them since law school, I felt like a 3rd wheel a bit as they talked about people I don't know and plans that they were making with each other (but not inviting me to join them for). I broke down and called a good friend from Atlanta on the way home from dinner because the entire time I was feeling like a third wheel, I thought, if these 2 particular girl friends had been there, I would have had the time of my life... like I always do with them.

2. I'm still trying to find ways to make new friends. I'll keep up the attempts for Ladies' Dinner Club, and join Junior League starting in August. It just seems so long from now.

3. I need to find something to do with my life that I really enjoy. Said dinner companions seem to have done so. One is starting a law firm with another college friend of hers and the other is trying to figure out when the owner of her vet practice is going to sell to her, as promised. To have the desire to put oneself into something so fully with your career is not where I am with mine. In some ways I opted out by staying in an in house position that doesn't have much (if any) room for upward mobility (unless my boss who is in her early 40s decides to quit or retire). The best I can come up with an idea is to have a coffee-wine-book-kitsch shop (all rolled into one). But I've worked retail before and it's a lot of long hours and dealing with some of the nastier people in the general public from time to time. Besides, I have no clue how to make a latte and only know the types of wines I like... same for the books and the kitsch.

4. I do like planning things - parties, events, and trips. But I have a feeling that I wouldn't be nearly as happy doing that for others because I won't get to attend the party, event, or go on the trip. That's the really fun part of the planning...

5. I had an idea once that I could be like Samantha Brown and have a travel show. I'd call it Travels with Twins, and I'd show how to travel with kids to all sorts of random places around the globe and still have a good time. Problem is, Mr. Darcy doesn't even like the idea of trying to go to a foreign country with the little ladies. Parental refusal won't work for such a show.

6. Mr. Darcy insists that I should write a book and be an author. I always say "about what?" Yes, I can guess the endings of books and movies but that's because I am good with human nature and have read more fictional novels than most people even consider reading in their life time. I'm addicted to reading, actually. Even if these days I only get in a few pages a day. If I ever figure out what to write about, I think I will write. Not sure it will be "the great American novel," but then there are claims that it's already been written a 1,000 times.

7. Maybe I should get into the infomercial business. HA! Talk about having to deal with my body image to make a career of getting in front of the camera. I have to get myself to look in the mirror longer than a few seconds a day to make sure my outfit looks OK on my body, first. Baby steps, baby steps.

8. Luckily, I do triathlons and training for them has made me feel better about my body. Even if the number on the scale doesn't seem to change AT ALL. When I had decompression at the chiropractor, the technician made me get on the scale again. I asked "Can't we just use my weight from last time?" She told me that I looked like I lost weight from last time. I loved that... even if I ended up weighing the exact same as the last time.

9. I can't wait for Sunday's triathlon. I just want to get a new PR. The old one, just under 4 hours, is not what I want to stick with me and I feel like I'm in a lot better shape than back in May. I think I can do better and I really want to!

10. Speaking of which, I need to get my bike to the shop today for my new saddle to be installed as soon as it arrives. Dear Lord, please let that saddle arrive before race day. 25 miles yesterday went well on the bike, but I was sore afterwards.

11. In other topics, Facebook quizzes amuse me. Today I took "what is your Native American Name?" and "What is the one word to describe you?" My Native American Name would be Thunder Horse, and the one word to describe me is Optimistic. No surprise on the Optimistic one... I do tend to see the glass half-full 99% of the time. Too bad you all are often stuck with my moody writings and don't get to see that.

12. On NPR the other day there was an interview with two comedy writers for a show on Comedy Central (evidently they are a pretty big deal, but I hadn't heard of them... but I had heard of a show of theirs from the 90s). In it the one guy said that he prefers kind of rude people because people who were pretty much always happy and friendly when you talk to them make him nervous. I started laughing and thought, he would absolutely hate me.

13. I like being a happy, friendly person. And while someone told me once that people don't really trust happy lawyers, I am wholly unapologetic about being a happy, friendly person. I have my moments, of course, because I've not had a lobotomy and do not suffer from a psychological disorder making me impervious to things.

14. I miss my friend Angela. She used to tell me I was Miss Sunshine and she was Miss Doom and Gloom, and together we were just about right. In thinking about my lack of friends in the area as of late, it makes me sad to think about the fact I will not see her in this life again. There are things I see on a regular basis that make me think of her. I almost sent her a link to a blog I thought she would like the other day. I refuse to take her blog off my "follow" list or to delete her email address. I just can't bring myself to do it.

15. Life is good and we should not waste it. As Angela taught me, each day is a blessing. Even if it doesn't seem that way at the time. It's another day we are on the planet and able to be with those we love, to learn more about people and things, and to meet people. We should find what makes us happy and pursue it, instead of wasting time at things we don't really enjoy. The problem is figuring that all out. I guess that is why life is a journey, and not just a straight line. So enjoy your life this lovely Friday... and all the rest of the days too! I plan to!

If you'd like to do your own Friday Fifteen, please do! It's fun and you can always include a link or reference back to my blog or to others who participate in doing a Friday Fifteen list. The trick, in my case, is limiting myself to fifteen. Reminds me of that part of the Jane Austen novel Emma when they're at the picnic and Emma makes the mean comment to someone (name is escaping me and kills me I can't remember) that she will have a difficult time limiting herself to only 3 boring things to say. Not nice, not nice at all, as Mr. Knightley chides her afterwards. But, as to myself, I hope my 15 have been entertaining and not droll. Only you can truly decide!

Until the race report for both Mr. Darcy (since he is not a blogger) and I - most likely on Monday!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life is Good, Busy, and Sweaty

Yes, all that applies to my life at the moment.

Life is Good.
I went to the chiropractor yesterday and he told me he wants me to have an MRI of my back because he thinks that I may have a swollen disk. A swollen disk would explain why I have recurrent nerve pain when I run despite the adjustments and treatments (water massage bed, nerve stimulation, and from time to time decompression... I have to say I love the water massage and the decompression, which I jokingly call "the rack" to the lady that is the decompression technician). This did not make me happy one bit, especially when he told me that the "cure" to a swollen disk is to stop running. I told him I would think about it because 1) it was expensive and 2) I didn't want to hear that I needed to stop running as a definitive answer, but I also don't want to permanently damage myself. What I wanted to do was cry and I felt a little panicky. I think he sensed this and told me I didn't have to make a decision right then and that we could keep doing the treatments because it would help the situation but just not cure it. He also told me that I could still do my triathlon on Sunday and that he's not saying that I can't run. He's just saying he wants to investigate the situation further and that I currently will not do any permanent damage to myself with my training.

So why is life good? Well, Mr. Darcy has concerns about the cost of the MRI so I (at present) plan to be blissfully ignorant. I will keep going to the chiropractor and doing my stretches, and have promised the doctor to ice my back 10 minutes each day. And after talking to my Coach, she said that if worst came to worst, I'd just have to walk the runs. So in the end, I do not have to give up what I love. I may go to a sports doctor to see what they say about the whole thing too.

The girls and I also got to see the space shuttle lift off last night from our front yard, and then had a nice time watching it on TV since our neighbors DVR'd it and invited us in for a few minutes.

And, I read a blog of a person named NieNie (see my blog list... I don't know how to do the links yet) who is absolutely amazing. She survived a plane crash with her husband because her husband went back into the crashed planed (that was on fire) to save her and she (and he) suffered multiple burns over a large portion of her body, including her face. Her most recent post made me realize even more that I have a good life... and so does she.

Life is Busy.
Where to begin? Training, of course takes time. I have a seminar to teach next week, and craziness surrounding that seminar. Mr. Darcy has a deadline next Friday, of which he informed me that he will be working extremely late nights next week. I have a hair appointment at noon today, packet pickup tomorrow (not to mention getting a new seat installed on my bike and a tune up for Sunday's race). This Saturday is Mr. Darcy's 1st Tri, and Sunday is my 2nd Olympic Distance Tri. We're also excited because my friend Angela's sister, Anna, is going to visit us this weekend too. Angela's husband and his parents and niece and nephew are to be in town at Disney this weekend and we're to meet with them for dinner one night. Next week I have a dentist appointment, seminar to teach, cardiologist appointment, chiropractor appointment, evening conference call, and I have to get ready for our cruise. Mr. Darcy's parents will be watching the girls while we are on our cruise, and they'll be arriving sometime next weekend as well. SO, as I said, Life is Busy (with a capital B).

Life is Sweaty.
It's hot. Florida is hot as all get out. And muggy. Did I mention muggy? It was already in the 80's when I got to bike this morning... and muggy. Sweat pours off of you like you're showering in it. It gives new meaning to the bike and run... even the swim. The water in the lake for this weekend is predicted to be in the 80s. Hot. Water. Better than cold. I'd rather sweat during the swim than shiver during it. Training makes you sweat, and Florida makes you drenched with it.

I'll eventually get used to the heat. It just might take a few years... and then I'll be wearing wool coats when it's 50 degrees.

But, most importantly, life is good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Open Swim at Lucky's

This morning I resisted the temptation to hit the snooze and swim at the pool, and ventured forth to Lucky's Lake. I must say that I have missed my once a week open water swims at Lucky's. I just didn't realize it until I got there to see the sun rising up over the tree line making beautiful pink light emanate from behind some fair weather clouds. Definitely not the sights I get to see doing my workouts at the LA Fitness pool.

And then there were the buddies from Team in Training and my Coach. It was so nice to see them in person and chat before the swim. Hannah the Dog, barked us to start in her usual fashion and off we swam. For me, this time around I needed to do 2 full crossings - each full crossing is 1000m, if you stay in a straight line... a little more if you get off track with your sighting.

The swim itself was fabulous. I was pretty speedy, which was nice because it made me realize that I can be speedy outside of the pool too. I love swimming at Lucky's Lake because when you breathe you see amazing things, like birds flying in formation, trees, the sun and the blue sky, a bird swooping down for a breakfast of fish. Not to mention that even on days when there are a good number of swimmers, like today, the people are friendly and smile or chat a bit at the ends of the lake. Today, though I only stopped long enough to re-orient myself for sighting on the next leg and to make sure I wasn't going to crash into anyone as I started to swim. Then I was off again for the next leg.

I was speedy, and even felt speedy. Unfortunately, though, I pulled something in my right arm that now makes straightening my arm out (which is rather important in a good swim stroke) a bit painful around my elbow area (but on the front side of my arm). So I'll ice it and take some advil in a bit, try to rest it as much as I can, and try my best on Sunday to swim like a speed demon.

Yes, Sunday is a race day. I'm racing the Olympic Distance triathlon at the 6th Annual Moss Park Triathlon Festival. Not really sure why it's called a Festival, but I'll definitely be one partaking in the "festivities" if that means a 1.5 km (0.932 mile) swim, a 40km (24.856 miles) bike, and a 5.15 mile run. I haven't started getting truly nervous yet, but I still have time. It's only Wednesday, after all.

The course is a nice one for the most part. The lake is gross. The color of coffee and smelly... not to mention that you can't see in it. Yes, this is the lake that I had my first open water swim and my first freak out in the water (but pulled it together by yelling at myself "You know how to F'N swim!"). The run from the lake to the transition area is longish (about 1/4 mile) through sand, a parking lot, and messy pine needles. But the bike is through the neighborhood surrounding Moss Park, which is nice and you even have people who live in the neighborhood that shout encouraging things to riders as they pass. (And there are no gigantic hills involved.) Finally the run, which is in a relatively shaded area of the park itself. The thing is that the Olympic Distance is merely the Sprint Distance but with 2 laps of everything. I have noticed that I dont' really like repeating a lap I've done in a race. I had to do it in the Olympic Distance in Miami earlier this year, and I have this funny thing where I finish the 1st lap and my brain says "yeah! We're done! Oh, wait. I have to do that again, don't I?" It's almost like my brain is happy to reach the "finish" before it's really the finish.

I even have to trick myself sometimes while I run in the neighborhood. I avoid passing the house at all costs because my brain just wants to stop because well, the house is the end, right? As Angelfish and Ladybug would say, "that SILLY BRAIN!"

So, I think that's my 1st challenge for Moss Park. The 2nd one is the distance of course, especially with my newly pulled arm muscle and my lovely back situation. The 3rd is just mentally packing it all up and not caring about the pain I am in while doing it. The 4th is making sure that I do my nutrition right. I do not want a duplicate of the Miami Olympic Distance where I basically remembered to drink on the bike but forgot about eating. Uh, yeah. Not pretty for the run or my brain during the run.

The goals I've been kicking around for this race, are: A) Finish in 3 hours and 15 minutes or less, in an upright position with a smile on my face; B) Finish in less than 3 hours 30 minutes, in an upright position with a smile on my face; C) Finish in less than 4 hours, in an upright position with a smile on my face; D) Finish in an upright position with a smile on my face; and E) Finish. I think my A goal will be a challenge for me to make, and may even be a stretch to make... but I am making an attempt to throw the gauntlet down for myself. Especially in light of the fact that I pretty much completely forgot about this race after registering for it a few months ago until this past Sunday when I saw it on my calendar. But as I often remind myself, all I can do is my best. So stay tuned.

Other than that, it is pretty much life as usual in our house. The girls were fun last night "ballerine" dancing in their underpants and socks since they deemed that they couldn't properly "ballerine" dance in their shorts and shirts. It was fun watching them and their dancing antics, slowing down at points and wanting applause or praise for their graceful dancing (which sometimes looked more like an attempt at kung fu), while I cooked dinner.

Mr. Darcy arrived home late because he stopped at Sports Authority to try to buy clothes for his slightly modified (shorter swim) sprint triathlon. I had to explain the concepts of friction and compression and express my concerns that the swim shorts he purchased were great for swim training but perhaps not especially what he would like to bike 12 miles and run 3 miles after doing that initial 400 meter swim. Padding, compression and Body Glide. It's hard to remember not understanding the importance of those concepts before my first tri but I learned too. I just hope to impress upon him their importance so he doesn't learn the way I learned - the painful way. So I am hoping that dear Mr. Darcy will go by the bike shop and pick up at least some tri specific shorts for the race sometime between now and Saturday, which is when he races. In the meantime, I will stock up on frozen peas should he decide not to heed my clothing advice.

The many uses of frozen peas. They're great for shin splints too. Molds right to the leg. Anywho.

After a nice day of work where I'll be focusing on preparing for a seminar I teach this coming Tuesday, I'll head to chiropractor where I'll chat with him about the need to fix my back and fast so I am no longer in pain. I'm sure this is his aim too, but I just want to make sure we're on the same page. Maintenance to me is not I get back in pain every 2 weeks. It's no pain and I come in once a month to make sure I maintain my spine stability so that I can remain pain free. I just hope that is realistic. My old chiropractor felt the same way, but I wasn't training for triathlons then either. So keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Odd Morning Run...

My morning run was, well, odd. Actually, the entire morning before I started work was odd.... the run was odd in kind of a bad way, but the morning was odd in kind of a good way.

Last night Ladybug decided she would be a night owl. She was playing in her closet while Angelfish slept, and only was discovered when she came out into the playroom for more toys. But I'm not sure she went to sleep when I turned off the lights and told her it was late at night and she needed her sleep as I tucked her into bed. All I know is she was up late. I caught her at 10 pm as I was headed off to bed myself, and then some hours later (I didn't have my contacts in yesterday) she arrived in our bed and slept the rest of the night with us.

About 5:30 am, Angelfish arrived and wanted to be with her Mommy, who was starting to get ready for her day. Mommy (of course) stopped and snuggled with her for a bit and once Angelfish was sleeping, I returned to getting ready and having my breakfast.

Mr. Darcy, who kept himself up until about 11:30 last night reading his FDR book (he says it's finally gotten good because the war has started), was not motivated to get up and get going this morning. But we had a nice chat and agreed that I would do Team in Training again in the Spring season (which starts in January, I believe) and aim for the St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Pete. Mr. Darcy even agreed that if they'll have me, that I'd like to be a mentor. So fingers crossed! But it took some doing to get Mr. Darcy moving along so I could run.

And then (brace yourselves, or look away for a moment because this may be Too Much Information) as we were talking, I sneezed and pooped at the same time. Clearly not expected and a bit gross and unsettling. I ran off to deal with that situation.

(TMI is over.) Angelfish sprung out of bed and was in a happy, silly mood. Racing herself to the potty, dancing around naked, singing songs, and using her toy stethoscope to pretend her belly was a doctor but that she wasn't. I asked her if she had a nightmare and that was why she slept in Mommy and Daddy's bed. She said, "No. I opened my eyes and I was all alone. Megan not there. Mommy and Daddy not there. I was sleeping on my floor and even Minnie wasn't there. So I decided not to be alone." (She sleeps with a stuffed Minnie Mouse as her lovie, but why she was sleeping on the floor is still a mystery as she didn't seem to know either.) I thought that was pretty good reasoning for a 3 year old!

Ladybug on the other hand was very sleepy and very precious sleeping in our bed. We really do have beautiful children! When I got Ladybug up, the first question she asked was "Are we going to stay all together today?" I had to tell her no, but promised that we'd spend the weekend together. She was OK with that, went potty nicely, and then evidently had a meltdown with Mr. Darcy about wearing shorts and a shirt instead of a dress... and the next thing I see is Mr. Darcy carting a fully dressed Ladybug (in shorts and a shirt) out to the car. Ladybug is wailing and gnashing her teeth. I got Angelfish out to the car by luring her with her bag of muffins and chatting.

Mr. Darcy went back in for the girls socks and shoes and the little ladies and I discussed that sometimes Mommy and Daddy get upset because they don't listen but not just because we're in charge but because we're trying to keep them from getting hurt or to keep them safe. That seemed to calm Ladybug down a bit. Angelfish even gave her example of how she didn't listen the other weekend when she was playing with the rope and she fell down and hit her head (this was back when she got the staples) and that Ladybug gave her a toy flower to make her feel better. The memories these kids have is amazing! I told her that was a very good example.

Then Ladybug told me that she wanted to stay home with me. I told her that it was a school day and that Mommy and Daddy had to go to work. That was when she said, "Angelfish can go to school. I want to stay home with you, Mommy, please." Talk about heart wrenching. I told her that we couldn't do it today but that we would do a Mommy-Daughter day soon. I felt so loved and so torn all at once! But, I'll be looking on the calendar to find a date for us.

Everyone was finally out the door, and I set off on my run. I was supposed to do a 5 mile run alternating easy and hard. And that's what I started out doing. But my back had other plans. I did the 1st mile at a nice pace in Zone 2, and the pain started radiating from my back into my butt and across my quad and down around the base of my knee. I ignored it. Mile 2, I stepped it up trying to run pretty fast but the pain got to be excruciating so I probably wasn't running nearly as fast as I could if I wasn't in pain. Mile 3, I walked at a brisk pace trying to keep my HR up to around 140. I haven't had to walk in a long time and I must say, I didn't like it. I felt like a woosie girl. I knew I could be running but when I tried the pain was so bad I knew I shouldn't run. At this point I decided that 5 miles needed to be turned into 4 miles because I wanted to be able to do a 6 mile run on Sunday during my race and that listening to my body today would let me tear it up on Sunday. But I didn't completely give up. I did my best to run fast (and was at least running in Zone 3) for that last mile. It hurt like hell, but it got done. And I even surprised myself. My time for the entire 4 miles? 47 minutes and 46 seconds. Less than a 12 minute mile pace on average... even though I walked about a mile of it!

So the pain was bad (and still was for a bit afterwards, but seems to have subsided a little bit), but my time was still decent. I wonder what I could do if my back situation was better? The mysteries of it all...

Monday, July 13, 2009

When Your Subconscious Gives You Perspective...

I figure it's time to sit up and pay attention. Last night I had a really awful dream. I was being held hostage with a group of people in a hotel while on a work trip by a crazy man who wanted to make sure we were "real Americans" by 1) making us take a test and 2) blowing us all up, no matter how well we did on the test. Here I was dressed nicely in a suit, looking rather good, and feeling like all I wanted to do was see my husband and my children again. Somehow at one point in my dream, I escaped to the parking lot where none of the cars would start but I had my cellphone and called Mr. Darcy to tell him that I loved him beyond anything in this world and that I loved our children more than I could express and that everything was going to be OK. I asked him to try to raise our children so that they always knew I loved each of them and would be proud of them, and that if he re-married in a few years after my death I completely understood but to please choose someone who would love our girls like their own, and that I knew that because our girls were so young that they would probably forget me but to try to let them always know how much I loved them, and that my life would have never been as good or as happy as it had been if it weren't for him. I told him that I was sorry we'd been having our issues lately and that what I really needed him to know was that I love him and our life together and I always would. That's when the crazy man caught up to me and forced me back into the building at gunpoint and I got to be the lucky lady to sit on the top of where the bomb was even though I had gotten a 100% on his little history test. Then I woke up.

So I made sure to tell Mr. Darcy how much I loved him. I didn't say anything about the getting re-married thing because well, that would only apply if I were DEAD, which I was most gratefully NOT. I did tell him I was sorry we'd been having issues and that I love him and our life together even if we fight sometimes. I hugged my children when they got up (Ladybug a little after she got up since she was in a bit of a mood and I gave her some space) and told them I love them.

I think that whatever this dream was about, it's about making sure that the people I love know it. I need to let go of whatever ideas I had about how things are supposed to be: time for myself, not having to be in charge of everyone else's life, food and schedules, things not having to fit into perfect little boxes of what I think they should belong in. Just be happy and love the time I have in my life and to make sure the people I love know they are loved.

So that's my plan. I hope to stick to it so that it won't take either a disaster or dreaming about a disaster to make me get back to the plan.

Luckily, I had a 1700 m swim today. The 3 x500s with negative splits for each helped get the jitters from the dream out, and help the mental plan stick. So, be sure to tell the people you love in your life that you love them today.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Friday Fifteen

So, I'm going to try something new (and hope to remember to keep doing it) in my blog. I'm calling it the Friday Fifteen. I've noticed other bloggers do something like this where they pick a day and either give a set number of thoughts or some other thing. I really enjoy one blogger's Thursday Thirteen, so I thought I'd do The Friday Fifteen (Five was just too short for a rambler like me). Here's the first Friday Fifteen...

1. I could not for the life of me, pull myself out of bed this morning for my 5 mile run. I was just physically exhausted. No more GI issues, though, thank goodness. It doesn't help that Coach basically gave me permission to slack off this week by saying it was a recovery week, so recover. I laid in bed until 6:45 am, at one point with 2 children piled in with us. I put on my running clothes, got the kiddos dressed and as I was helping get them into the car for school it started to rain. I decided it was a sign from God, ate breakfast and watched "What Not to Wear."

2. I need to be a contestant on "What Not to Wear." I truly need to scrap my wardrobe of outdated and rather unfashionable clothes and start over. Unfortunately, I don't have the cash to do it and without help probably would end up buying not so great stuff again anyway. Not to mention the need for makeup application training.

3. I saw an ad online today that said "Have parasites? Then you have a problem!" Uh, really? You mean intestinal parasites aren't friends we should cultivate? I am easily amused.

4. Speaking of being easily amused, I love it when you're in a restaurant and the waitress recommends a type of bean sidedish and to convince you of it says "They're good. And I'm serious about beans." Can you be that serious about beans? It makes me smile.

5. Something that might not make me smile is our trip for the girls' annual check up at the pediatrician. They're 3, so I'm hoping there aren't any shots involved because the girls don't get upset with the doctor or the nurse when they get the shots, they get upset with me because I took them there. Plus, they just don't like the idea of going to the doctor because usually when they go they're sick or getting shots. Who can blame them, really? But at least I'll get to ask about allergies for Angelfish... the poor thing gets puffy eyes and sometimes sort of loses her voice when the pollen is bad.

6. It's gray, cloudy and raining off and on. I spent probably a good 15 minutes trying to decide between wearing a red t-shirt or a blue t-shirt with my jeans. And 5 more deciding if I really should wear jeans because it's hot in Florida at this time of year.

7. I'm worried about my lack of training this week. I have an Olympic Distance triathlon in 8 days and I have barely thought about it. I've been thinking about the insanely hilly 56 miles in September instead... and not doing much about it this week. I need motivation but I also feel like I'm tired and really need a vacation.

8. I have a vacation scheduled starting July 27th, but somehow that seems like a year and a half from now. We have alot going on between now and then that makes it seem like forever until vacation.

9. My vacation is exciting but worrisome too. Mr. Darcy and I are leaving Angelfish and Ladybug with Mr. Darcy's parents and going on a cruise to the Bahamas (a gift from Mr. Darcy's parents). It will be the longest that we've been away from our children since their birth.... not to mention I am worried about the amount of sugar they will consume in our absence and how spoiled they will be when we return. It's fun for the grandparents to spoil them, and extra work for the parents to get them back to where they were before getting spoiled for a week. But I'm certain we'll have fun.

10. I hope the cruise ship has a good gym because I'm going to need to do my training while on board. Mr. Darcy will love that I'm sure.

11. I am seriously afraid of the 56 mile bike, followed by the 16.1 mile run in Augusta. I wasn't afraid of it until they revised the bike course and the hills now look impossible. I really don't want to DNF because of time or because I just can't do it. I would be completely angry with myself and I would feel like I wasted a bunch of time that Mr. Darcy had to be with the girls on his own and that I could have spent with them.

12. Thus, I need to get my butt in gear and get serious about training again. I have a 20 mile bike followed by a 3 mile run on the schedule for tomorrow and I'm going to force myself to do it. Unless it's raining. I refuse to bike in the rain... but I have a trainer so I'll still get the 20 miles in, even though I hate using the trainer. Probably not smart to never ride in the rain because it could rain in Augusta at the end of September, but I don't want to take the chance of breaking something in the meantime.

13. I need to have some self affirming thoughts about the race, my abilities, and my body. I don't say negative things to myself on a regular basis, but there are times when I can't help myself. I think that's part of the reason I like triathlons, every time I do one I realize I can do something more than I thought I could and it builds me up. Kind of like when they told me I was a natural on the camera at the "infomercial" shoot. I felt even better about myself. I wish I could do that without having to have others tell me I'm good.

14. As they used to say on that old Saturday Night Live Skit, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!"

15. As my parting thought for the day, I'll leave you with the wise words of Angelfish and Ladybug from this morning:

Angelfish: Annie, come here. I want to pet you. (petting the dog nicely) See? I'm petting you nicely I'm not hitting you like this. (Hits the dog.)
Ladybug: We do not hit dogs. Dogs are living creatures like you and me, and we need to be kind to all living creatures, right Mommy?

My Adventures in Making an Infomercial...

I’m back from Charlotte, NC! You didn’t even know I’d been missing – other than the lack of blog postings, did you?. : ) I was off to my “big debut” into the infomercial world.

I left Tuesday morning for Charlotte. But let’s back it up. Tuesday morning I was stressed. Super stressed. It all started Monday late afternoon when I headed off to the mall to find a new suit to wear. I hate to admit it, but I had been putting off buying a new suit until I had gotten rid of my baby weight and was back to my “old” body. I even procrastinated over the 4th of July weekend.

Three years after the birth of Angelfish and Ladybug, several realizations finally came to me: 1) it is highly unlikely I will ever get back to my “old” body due to the spreading of my hips and my rib cage (Twins are a gift but they also do crazy things to your body while in gestation.) and my PCOS issues; 2) the last time I bought a new suit was in 2003 or 2004 before I went in-house and no longer have to wear suits on a daily basis; 3) squeezing myself into the old pre-baby suits is not as attractive as I could look; and 4) I am going to be on television. I decided the need for a new suit could no longer be denied. It is no secret that I do not like the way my body looks. I avoid mirrors and having my picture taken… unlike a vampire, it’s not that I fear my image won’t show up; I fear that I will definitely show up and not like the way I look. If a skirt is too long or too short, my legs end up looking like tree trunks. If a pair of pants waist is a little too high or too low, I look pregnant if you look at me from the right angle.

All the training for triathlons has helped my body. I am more muscular instead of more flabby (although I still have some fat too), except for my stomach. The irony that is my stomach is this: the stronger the muscles underneath my stretched out skin get, the looser the skin gets. Sure it doesn’t stick out as far as it used to when there was more fat under there, but it sure sticks out. I even tried what a girlfriend of mine calls the gift from heaven, “spanx.” For me, it didn’t really do much to change the situation… maybe I need a smaller size because it doesn’t seem to pull things like described by my friend. While I can pull the skin out, stretch it and even pull it up to my rib cage, I cannot make it disappear. I never realized how vain I was until my old body was gone and I was left with the one I have. Trying to find the beauty in what is left, is rather difficult. So, to say the least, I do not like to shop and generally having small people in tow helps me have an excuse not to do it. Of course, this also explains my complete lack of a decent wardrobe… But off I went. The quest in hand – the search for a black suit.

First stop, Florida Mall which has a Macy’s, a Dillards, a Nordstroms, and a Saks Fifth Avenue. Should be perfect. Uh, yeah. I either didn’t like the suits they had or they were complete inappropriate (hot pink? Black skirt and short sleeve green blazer?). Definitely not the attire I was looking for. I did find one nice brown houndstooth pantsuit, which I bought because it was a beautiful suit and I will have the occasion to need more than one suit… plus I don’t need to wear black suits every time.

Then I asked where the local Ann Taylor was. Pre-baby, these were the suits that fit the best and they never were lacking in the black suit department (remember this is like 2003/2004) and, that’s what I’d been squeezing myself into, so I had a general idea of what size I probably needed. I get in the car and start driving. I called a friend to find out directions, and followed what she said to discover she told me to go East when she meant West on the highway, turned around and passed the exit I needed, circled back around and finally got to The Mall of the Millenia. I headed straight to Macy’s, which had exactly the same selection as the other mall. On to Ann Taylor. They aren’t really carrying suits right now. Huh? The only suit they had was on clearance (cool) but they were completely out of the blazer. I need a suit, not pants or a skirt!

So, I go to Banana Republic, a place that I typically do not do well in because I have to go up a size from what I wear pretty much everywhere else and post-baby this used to make me hit a number that I refused to allow myself to buy for that kind of money. But, while still in double digits, one heck of a lot better than I used to be… and the black suit that they had and the suit shirts they had fit so well that I didn’t even need to get a tailor. I was tired – 4 hours after I started the quest – but feeling pretty happy that I got a suit and it wasn’t teetering on plus size.

Until I got home and totally freaked out because somewhere they didn’t ring up or give me the blue shirt that I REALLY had wanted to wear on TV because I thought it made me look pretty. There’s not a lot that I think makes me look pretty these days, so melt down central.

Poor Mr. Darcy had to endure the meltdown that resulted from 4 hours worth of my looking at my body under florescent lighting making my stomach looking even more like whale blubber than it normally does. I called the store and even with the miracle of fed ex, the timing would not work out.

After finishing my packing and recovering from the meltdown (hopefully poor Mr. Darcy has as well), you would have thought that Tuesday morning I would be jumping on my bike for a 25 mile ride. Nope. I just wanted to be home with my girls as long as I could, get some work done that I didn’t want to pile up before I left, and just go to the airport. Which is what I did. I optimistically told myself that I would run 4 miles when I got to the hotel before I went to dinner with my cousin and her new husband. Nope.

I called my cousin who got a hold of her husband and they came and picked me up pretty much right away. While I waited the half hour for them to arrive, I watched 1 ½ episodes of “The Golden Girls.” But I was in a better mood. And I had a great time with my cousin and her hubby. Ate at the best Mexican restaurant I’ve ever been to, even better than my old favorite – which is rather tough to beat. But move over Nuevo Laredo Cantina, Cantina 1115 has taken over top billing. All I can say is this: incredible house margaritas, guacamole, chicken Milanese tacos, and even (bad girl that I am) Nutella peanut butter pie (we split it 3 ways). No place better. Perhaps part of my problem is my love for food too.
Wednesday morning, I got up and biked 25 miles on the stationary bike in the hotel gym. I figured it would be better to leave out 4 miles running instead of 25 miles biking in the big scheme of things. Plus, if I get myself motivated enough, it would be easy enough to squeeze that into my Sunday morning than the 25 mile bike.

I missed my sweet Aerodite, even if I have seat issues with her. Stationary bikes are just not the same. I am definitely stronger than I was, doing a random hill program for 25 miles in level 10 and level 9… something unheard of several months ago. I laughed when I saw it estimated my mph at around 25 at one point. Definitely not reality. I’ve never gotten above 23 on my bike and that was on a downhill. But, it was completed at least. I read on another blog that sometimes we do not always have to have perfect workouts, but we do need to be present. Yup, that was today. So I’m hoping I’ll squeeze that 4 mile run in sometime soon too.

After doing some work and trying to make myself as beautiful as possible, I finally headed downstairs to check out and wait for the call to go for my filming. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and about 10 fries. It was the best resistance to the fries I could muster… they didn’t have vegetables for substitution. Not the best idea to hit a sports bar for lunch, but I didn’t know where else to go. They were running late due to malfunctioning equipment, so it was set to meet at the law firm’s law library at 1:15 pm. So, I am waiting in the Champion Sports Bar telling myself I’m beautiful, strong, intelligent and ready for the infomercial. The 1st part takes some convincing, but the rest of it I believed in. What’s the saying 3 out of 4 ain’t bad?
When I headed over to the other building, it turned out that it was literally just up the block from my hotel. I was thrilled because I was wearing very cute, but rather uncomfortable shoes. I had a lovely time chatting with the office administrator at the law firm we were filming at while we waited for the camera crew and the General Manager of our sister company to arrive for filming.

I had a great time! I've never done anything like this, so I was kind of nerve wracked but settled down as the make up artist made me beautiful. She did such an amazing job that I honestly had to take a double take when I saw myself in the mirror because I didn't recognize myself. I looked really pretty. Even the camera guy said that with the room we were in and the back drop that I looked amazing on camera. : ) I did my takes pretty easily, not too much stumbling - just once. I had practiced my lines a good bit... I didn't want to make a fool of myself! Then I helped prompt the General Manager for her lead ins, and it turned out she has twins too. So we talked about twins and things like that between takes as they were setting up shots. Then we did the "B-shots" which are basically stuff that's used in the background of voiced over information. I had fun giving pretend legal advice to a pretend client, and thumbing through documents, etc. It was like make believe about stuff I know about - being a lawyer. It took awhile though - getting the scene and the lighting just right, having make up freshened etc. I can see why movies can take a year or more to film!
The "infomercial" is really going to be part of a show with Fred Thompson (of Law and Order fame and a stint as a US Senator) called "Inside Business" that airs on MSNBC and sometimes on the LifeTime Channel. It can also be picked up by random local channels too because it gets put into the FoxFire programming thing. All I know at this point is that it will appear sometime in the Fall, and that hopefully I'll get an email with a more specific date in the future. So keep your eyes open! I'm hoping to DVR it. : )

After we finished filming around 6 pm, the General Manager drove me to the airport and I made my way through security, ate some dinner and got on the plane. The captain announced that we were to expect a pretty rough ride because of the rainy weather and that it had been so turbulent the up and back that they did earlier in the day that there would be no beverage service. While there was, in fact, no beverage service, we also didn't hit any turbulance. Thank goodness because my stomach wasn't feeling overly well.
I made it home and took some pictures of myself with the makeup that was left (which are what you see in this post - I looked even better when the makeup was fresh or freshly touched up... this is several hours later). Mr. Darcy saw me when I walked in and said "look at you all made up!" He was smiling, so I guess he thought I looked good. I was so tired that we just went straight to bed (we'd chatted on the phone on my way home from the airport).
At 3:30 am, I had the unpleasant experience of uhm, GI distress. Followed by periodic recurrences. So there's been no swim practice yet today and the way things are going at this point, no workout will be occurring today. You can't run, bike, or swim with this GI distress. Not sure if it was something I ate or if it's a little virus. Either way, I just hope it ends soon! A not so glamourous end to my adventures...

... but I'm glad to be home to my silly little ladies and Mr. Darcy!

Can't you just see the mischief unfolding in these pictures?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fun, Fireworks, and Mondays

The 4th of July weekend was, all in all, a good one. We had a lot of fun, despite the obstinancy of little Ms. Ladybug on several occasions and a few non-functioning sets of "listening ears" for Ms. Angelfish here and there. And now it is back to work as it's Monday, yet again.

Friday I woke early and got on the bike for what was intended to be a 40 mile bike and a 3 mile run. I rode a little in the neighborhood before hitting the closed road near the neighborhood, which was fun because no one was up yet. I even rode the traffic circle, which I'm always wanting to do but too fearful for my life most days. Very fun! At first my legs were stiff (due to my lovely stiff back), but they eventually loosened up right around mile 10. Then it really started getting fun until around mile 18, when I began having... ummm... seat issues. This is a bit of a delicate matter that many female cyclists have issues with and we tend to go through different seats trying to fix the problem. By mile 23, I was in such pain that I could not get in aero without involuntarily starting to cry from the pain. So, I stopped and left a message for Coach asking if she had any suggestions (other than purchasing a different bike seat as that wouldn't help in the midst of my ride). I took a breather for a bit - probably about 10 minutes - to let the area decompress a little and then started again. The first length of the loop I probably only pedalled about 60% of the way trying to get myself comfortable again. I don't know what happened but either my brain turned off the pain censor or my nerve endings had it and weren't functioning anymore, but all of a sudden I could pedal and get back into aero. I couldn't go super fast, but I could go at an average of 15 mph.

Right at 37.5 miles, I am doing great and excited about the fact that this is the longest ride of my life (the next longest being 30 miles) and that I'm almost at the 40 mile mark and I'm going 19 mph and sustaining it when I hear SHHHHUUUUUUSSSSHHHH from my front tire and see a rock bouncing away. Yup. Flat tire. At this point, I'm just tired and as I get off the bike my nether regions start complaining again. I decide I'll fix the flat tomorrow and call Mr. Darcy to come and get me. After I call a nice married couple who I've seen riding on the closed road a time or two stop to help and chat. They were wonderful and the husband changed my flat for me. It was great and I got to watch (since I'm still a newbie to the tire changing techiniques) how to change a tire again. He finished right as Mr. Darcy pulled up. I told Mr. Darcy the situation and he said "do you want to ride home to finish the 40 miles?" He said he really didn't mind, so I "raced" him home. I got all 40 miles in and felt great - until I got off the bike and had some uncomfortable pain due to my seat issues and decided that there would be no 3 mile run. Not because my legs and lungs couldn't handle it, but because I was afraid my other areas couldn't handle it.

And right then Coach called with the news that she would email me with the name of the bike seat that two other ladies on the team have used with seeming success and that comes with a 90 day (or 180 day, not sure which) return policy... it doesn't fix your seat issues, you get all your money back. Not cheap from what I understand, but if it can prevent the excruciating pain I was experiencing, then well worth the money.

But I made up for not going on the run with at trip to Sea World. Walking around carrying a 30 pound child should count for something!

Saturday we played around the house, went to the pool, took naps, and headed to see the fireworks. Ladybug woke up ornery from her nap - insisting she was right about everything and that she was in charge. Not so much fun. Luckily she settled down before the fireworks, and we had a nice time seeing the pretty explosions. Even Angelfish enjoyed them a little bit. She admitted they were pretty but declared that they were just too loud for her to like them. Angelfish has very sensitive ears and extremely good hearing, so fireworks are not fun for her delicate ears - even when Mommy or Daddy cover her ears while she covers them too. Next year, I'm thinking industrial strength ear plugs.

Sunday I woke early and contended with small people out of bed at 5:45 am (much to early for them... I was about to go run), got them a little bit settled, leaving Mr. Darcy in charge and went for a 4 mile run. The chiropractor gave me a little lift to use in my left shoe while my back is a little out of wack still - my right leg is longer at the moment than the left. I had a lot less pain than I have been, although I still had some toward the end. But, I was able to run comfortable at a 12.11 mile pace for the 4 miles. Not fast, I know, but getting faster at least.

Afterwards, we went to the Central Florida Zoo with friends of ours and their little ones. We had a nice time even if it was hot as hades. We got there a little after opening time hoping to avoid the heat. Saw some cool animals, which the girls liked - even the poisonous reptiles section. Ladybug kept saying in an incredulous (but not fearful) voice "it's looking right at me!" about a West African Green Mamba (even when it wasn't). Angelfish liked the blue frogs but was nervous that they might get out of the cage and poison her. She liked the elephants much better. I think they liked their popscicles and the splash pad at the zoo the best, though. Then it was home and naps and Mr. Darcy cleaning the garage out (and deciding to put all of our stuff to donate in the back of my car creating a very cluttered and somewhat stressful environment to my car - although admittedly the garage looks great).

This Monday I returned to the pool. It's a recovery week, so it was only a 1200 m swim. 2 x 100 m of it was breathing every 5 strokes. I had to laugh because the first 2 1/2 lengths of the pool breathing every 5 was ok, but then it would start to burn a little for the rest of the way. But, I was able to do it so I was pleased. And even happier to go back to breathing every 3 strokes like I am accustomed to doing for my 500 m swims. It felt odd to get out of the pool after only 1200 meters, but Coach warned against adding distance or extra exercise to this week since it is supposed to be a recovery week. Tomorrow is a 25 mile bike, so let's hope my seat issues have abated enough to let me handle it!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend full of fireworks and fun! Now get back to work! HAHAHA!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Return to the Bike

It's been a little more than 1 week since I rode my bike. I was a naughty triathlete and skipped my bike ride last week. This week, I have 2 rides. Today - 25 miles and tomorrow - 40 miles and then a 3 mile run. At first, I thought I was not going to get the 25 miles done, but not for lack of trying.
My back was tight as could be this morning and I had evil nerve pain in my right leg. So I stretched out as best I could while trying to explain to Ladybug that she could not shower with Mr. Darcy because she was a girl and Mr. Darcy is a boy. Angelfish got the concept, but Ladybug was insistent. I somehow ended up distracting Ladybug with a discussion of her clothes for the day during which she informed me "I am 3 years old now. I can be in charge." Having to explain that Mommy and Daddy are in charge because we have more experience didn't work, until I told her that Mommy is 33 years old and that is 30 years older than Ladybug and Angelfish and that when Ladybug is in her 30's she can make all the decisions she likes, but that today she needed to listen to me because Mommy has reasons behind everything she tells her to do. Today the reason is that she needs to get dressed because Daddy has a deadline at work and he has to get there on time. Amazingly, it worked.
As the girls were fighting over backpacks and such this morning, I exited for my bike ride after attempting to get kisses and hugs (to no avail). It was later than I intended to leave, but luckily for me people seem to be vacationing this week - perhaps taking advantage of the 3 day weekend so they only have to use 4 days of vacation time instead of 5. So, my life was not quite as endangered as usual on my way out of the subdivision to the closed road. As I started out, my legs were both complaining - super tight quads with nerve pain. The culprit is decidedly my back. The first 5 miles were excrutiating and somewhat slow. It didn't help that I had a pretty strong headwind either. You know it's bad when you're excited that 5 miles have passed and that means you "only" have 20 to go. But eventually, things loosened up a bit... and oddly getting into aero helped. I think it actually stretches out my lower back a little. Of course, I may end up stiff as ever later (must remember to do stretches).

The road less traveled - Closed Road Heaven!

But the ride, despite the headwind, was a good one. On the up hill side of the loop, I was able to get to 17.8 mph and stay there a bit. And on the down hill side of the loop, I got up to 21.8 and kept that going for about 2 minutes, but ranged around 18.8 to 21.8 most of the 2nd side of the loop. I was one happy girl!

Transformers, more than meets the eye...

The wild life was out in full force today too. And I had my camera... but most of it I missed because they were too fast for me or I was going too fast to stop and take a picture. Here are a few shots I did take, but it was overcast so they didn't turn out that great.

Cranes of some sort, having breakfast

Some things I didn't catch on camera:

  • two young deer running along side the road as though they were racing each other. They were going pretty fast - I was going about 17.9 mph at that point and they passed me.
  • a brown and white cow that was wandering around in grass that was up to her shoulders and following a yellow moth like butterfly.
  • a white crane standing on one leg in the middle of a lake.
  • another brown cow walking around a meadow.

Pretty awesome! The deer racing each other was my favorite though.

As for the ride, once things loosened up it was great. I finished off the 25 miles in the neighborhood and was going about 18 mph even though I wasn't in aero. So that was awesome. What was not so "awesome" was that my right leg did not want to unclip (thanks to some mud I picked up while entering and exiting the closed road area) when I was stopping (luckily in my driveway). I always unclip my right leg first. When it wasn't working, I unclipped my left leg and as I went to put it down realized that the bike was going much to slowly (i.e. it pretty much was stopped) and, you guessed it - I fell over. Luckily, my left leg unclipped on the way down but I scraped up my elbow and left leg... and let out a rather loud curse beginning with the letter F. I was just so glad that the Ladybug and Angelfish were not home to hear it. It is definitely one of those words you do NOT want them repeating. And it's one that I very rarely use. I just hope the neighbors kids didn't hear it. Kind of embarrasing to fall and to poison the minds of young children all at once. Bad TriMommy.

But on the bright side of things, I did my 25 miles in less time than it took me to do in my May Olympic triathlon!

Plus, last night the girls and I had a "Girls' Night." They wanted to know if Mr. Darcy was going to be coming home so we could be all together and I had to tell them that Mr. Darcy was going to be working very late because of his deadline. Their little faces were so sad that I wanted to make them feel better. So, I told them that it was okay that Mr. Darcy wouldn't be home because we were going to have a "Girls' Night" and Mr. Darcy was a boy so he couldn't be there with us. They got pretty excited about the idea so we got a pizza, had some ice cream and watched "Sleeping Beauty." After "Sleeping Beauty" and a million "why" questions about everything that happened in the movie, the girls took a bath and got to pretend to be mermaids. Then we turned on this cute lady bug that their Uncle and Aunt gave them for their birthday. It puts some constellations up in the room along with other "stars" and acts as a night light. We sang a few songs and then it was bedtime. It was pretty fun, but let me tell you all those "why" questions can get frustrating. At one point, I pulled what my Dad used to say to me "because I said so." It was after I had tried turning the question around on Angelfish and she said, "I don't know Mommy, I asked you." I also had the joy of trying to explain how potholes are formed to them too. They're really smart 3 year olds, but I'm not quite sure they got it... especially when they touched the pothole and said "but it's not cold or hot, Mommy." But I tried. I'm not one who believes you shouldn't explain things as much as possible because the child is "too young to understand." I might not go into all the details like using the words expansion and contraction, but I do explain. It makes me batty when people say "just make something up, they wouldn't get it anyway." My kids get more than I ever expected they would at such a young age.... like Angelfish bringing me "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein, which is a book that used to be mine as a child. We hadn't read the book in literally 2 1/2 months, and she brought it to me and asked me to read it. I told her I would and she responded, "Do you like this book?" I said, "Yes." And she remembered and said, "But not Daddy. He not like this book and thinks writer looks mean." (There used to be a jacket on the book with Shel Silverstein's picture and he's not smiling. Mr. Darcy thinks he looks mean for a children's author and said so the last time we read the book.) Uh, yeah. Kids get lots of stuff. Anyway, that's my soapbox story of the day.

To sum it all up, my ride was good and animal filled; I had a fun "Girls' Night" with the little ladies (and am looking forward to Mr. Darcy's deadline being over - as is Mr. Darcy); and kids are wicked smart! Now to conquer the work day and my doctor's appointment about my blood pressure...

Tommorow I have off from work as it is the 4th of July Weekend, and I have a 40 mile bike and 3 mile run. If I don't get a chance to blog again until Monday, Happy Independence Day!!! Enjoy your cookouts and your fireworks!!