Monday, August 31, 2009

Wetsuits, New Shoes & a Long Brick

As Big Daddy Diesel once commented about another post, this one is going to be one where you can get yourself a cup of coffee and take a break to read. In other words, it's gonna be long.

Mr. Darcy left Friday for his trip straight from work, and since we discovered that the Savannah River starts in the mountains and during the summer (i.e. this very moment) the temperature is a brisk 68 degrees, a wet suit was in store. My friend Missey is raising money for Team in Training and had several wetsuits that were new or extremely gently used that she was not going to use anymore and offered them up to us as a fundraiser. $100 got you the wetsuit that worked best for you. She gave them to Coach and Coach and her lovely girls came over to dinner with the little ladies and I.

After dinner the wetsuit trying on began. The first suit was amusing. I couldn't quite get it all the way up in the crotch even with Coach almost lifting me off the ground. Then when we got it zipped up we discovered that there was about 2 inches of space in the shoulders too. The 2nd wetsuit was the winner. A 2xu wetsuit that had never been worn (tag still on it), with a red racing stripe. I look like a superhero, and while Coach still lifted me off the ground while I was squatting. (We were laughing hysterically as were all of the girls.), it fit me rather well.

Then the Little Ladies got in on the fun and wanted to wear wetsuits just like Mommy. Can't you just see them as little triathletes (hopefully ones that are faster than me)?!

New Shoes.

After our wetsuit adventure, Angelfish and Ladybug had a slumber party with Mommy. We stayed up late and watched a movie and then all slept in Mommy's bed. Turns out that Angelfish is a bigger bed hog than Ladybug... she knocked Ladybug out of bed twice and me once! The entire middle of the bed contained a sprawled out Angelfish! They slept in (for them) until 7:30 am and we played around the house, went to the splashpad (which turned into us playing on the playground in our bathingsuits the entire time and not once venturing into the splash pad), had some lunch, and then headed to Fleet Feet get my gait checked out.

When I started running I was an overpronator. A few months later, suffering from what seemed to be cronic shin splints I headed to Fleet Feet with Team in Training and discovered that at that time I was a neutral runner. New shoes turned in to less shin splints. But the past two weeks I've been having really awful pain while running... and it wasn't nerve pain from my back (amazingly). It would start in my arch wrap up around my ankle and up the back of my calf. The first mile would be fine but almost literally the second I started in on mile 2 and there the pain would start and get worse until it finally went away around mile 4. Thinking this odd and Coach saying my stride had changed since the Team in Training days, she sent me off to Fleet Feet. Turns out that I am now again an overpronator. To the point that the guy watching my tape went "wow!" So I'm back in Brooks (which seem to always make my feet feel nice, whether I'm running neutral or overpronating).

The people at Fleet Feet are awesome. They even had toys and the girls played with those during my shoe fitting, etc. Of course, they thought it was more fun to play with the ball weights that were to display what running without the proper sports bra was like. My favorite part was when Angelfish had the D cup sized ball and struggling under the weight of it handed it to Ladybug saying "this is super heavy!" Not so fun was when it was time to pay and I had to chase them over the store and attempt to corral them or when Ladybug completely melted down about granola while using the store's bathroom and I had to carry her over my shoulder out of the store while apologizing to everyone (it's a small store). Luckily, they fell asleep in the car on the ride home - after I had to pull over and put Ladybug's seatbelt back on at a Home Depot just off the highway.

Long Brick.

Mr. Darcy returned late Saturday night, so Sunday was my long brick. The longest of my life, thus far, and I survived it all. We did 55 miles on the bike and an 8 mile run afterwards. The bike was fun because Training Buddy and I were joined by Missey, Coach, and Carolyn for the bike. Of course because we were all slightly different speeds (Missey was doing a shorter sprint oriented ride), Training Buddy kept going faster than race pace while keeping up with Coach, and I was doing my darnedest to keep my 16-17 mph race pace (headwinds sometimes gave me a hard time with that), and Carolyn is slightly slower than I was going, we kept meeting up at each end of the loop. So I can't say that it was 55 miles completely straight. In some ways, though, for me I think this was harder than doing the 55 straight. When I get going at first my muscles are always a little slow and stiff and then when I get warmed up they're good to go until I stop. With the starting and stopping, my legs would get stiff and then get loose, get stiff and then get loose.

But the real challenge was eating. UGH. This week I discovered that I've been completely undereating. I didn't realize it because I haven't been getting hungry. When it's hot I just have a hard time eating because I don't feel like it. Well, Training Buddy blogged about his not eating enough and being shock at how much he was undereating, so I too went to Daily Plate and plugged in what I'd been eating and what my training has been to find that I have been seriously undereating. Perhaps this is why I've been falling into bed as soon as the girls do, and wanting to take naps I couldn't take? Not to mention that Coach told me that I have been undereating on the bike too.

Here I am a month out from the 70.3 figuring out the food. But better before than on race day. I felt like a stuffed pig. I ate 500 calories for breakfast. Drank my water gatorade mix every 5 miles (I can't wait for my speedfil so I can have gatorade one place and water in the camelbak... it should come soon!), ate shot blocs, ate a PB&J sandwich at mile 15 and another at mile 35. At one point in aero, liquid came up. So I had to sit up a bit to let things move down in my stomach. I felt like throwing up and strangely like I needed more to drink too. I think I made a mistake in taking my electrolytes when I ate food too. I felt like a lead balloon.

So that was not a fun start to the run, where I drank but failed to take gels (silly) because I didn't want to put more in my stomach. I only ended up running about 3 miles of the 8 (but finished the 8 miles with a 1/2 mile run to the end at least) because I wanted to throw up and because Training Buddy started worrying I was having hyperatremia. We got to the CVS and I peed. All was well. I think I probably could have run more than I did, and next weekend's 60/10 I hope to run more. My legs felt pretty good, it was more my stomach. The new shoes felt good and I didn't have that funky foot pain. YAY!

Next weekend, I plan to drink every 5 miles like I did, but eat a bit of my sandwich at mile 15, 20, 25, 30, and then again at 40, 45, 50, and transition (or 55 right before it). Shot blocs at mile 10 and 35 if I need it. Small bits of constant eating I think are going to have to be the way to go because entire sandwiches at certain points were just not my friends!

After the brick, I just wanted to go inside so badly! I rushed off (sorry, Training Buddy, it wasn't you. I was just ready to use the bathroom and see Mr. Darcy and the girls.) to the family. I got cleaned up and Mr. Darcy bought me ice while I entertained the little ladies. I took an ice bath while they splashed their feet in the cold water saying "brr. cold!" and then ran off to their own playtime in the bath. Then it was off to get some calories. I had to eat 5200 calories yesterday. I think I came close... I'll find out in a little bit when I enter it all in Daily Plate. (Update: According to the Daily Plate I should have eaten 1688 more calories than I did. Dear Lord! I was so full as it was. I never thought I had an undereating problem before...)

All in all, I think it was a rather good weekend... although it would have been nice to see more of Mr. Darcy. The poor guy has to go on a business trip tomorrow and Wednesday. Let's hope the Little Ladies decide to take it easy on me while he's gone!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What a Morning!

Today is a rest day... as is tomorrow, but that's only because Mr. Darcy is out of town as of this evening and won't be back until late Saturday and I had to take Angelfish for her bloodwork this morning. If I get a chance today, I'm going to try to make it to the LA Fitness and swim the workout I missed on Monday.

I mentioned that I had to take Angelfish for her bloodwork. Yep. Lovely genetics that I have. At her 3 year check up, the doctor asked if there was any history of heart disease in the family. I think I may have actually laughed out loud. As I like to joke with my friends who are also of Polish descent, the first question you ask someone you find out is Polish is "where is your family from in Poland?" The 2nd question? "Who's your cardiologist?"

You would think that being an American my genetics would have been diluted by now. Grammy is 100% Polish and so is Dad, although both were born in the US, but then there's my Mom who is a full-blooded American mutt whose ancestors have been here since the Mayflower. Seriously. And Mr. Darcy whose family is so "American" they couldn't tell you where there from, other than they discovered that they were enough Cherokee Indian that Mr. Darcy could have gotten a scholarship if they had known before college and grad school instead of after.

But, no. After pulling myself out of my cardiology mirth at the pediatrician's, I answered yes and explained that we have a history of the chromosomal defect version of familial hypercholesterolemia. The doctor immediately sent Ladybug and Angelfish to the lab they have in the pediatrician's office for a finger prick test. Ladybug, who looks just like Mr. Darcy with a sprinkling of me, had beautiful blood work. No high cholesterol and everything else they ran was the definition of perfection. Angelfish, who looks like me with a smattering of Mr. Darcy (and the addition of red hair) and who you cannot deny comes from my Polish side of the family (it's spooky how much she can look like my father at times), had lovely everything except her cholesterol was high.

These children eat the same food, but are fraternal twins. For the science lover in me, this is like a super cool science experiment. The problem is that the Mommy in me wants to cry because it looks like I gave her some stinky gene. So at my cardiologist appointment a few weeks later, I asked about it. He told me it could either be genetics or it could be that she had high good cholesterol which sometimes occurs in children and is nothing to worry about. I, of course, took from this that I should definitely sign the girls up for soccer would be to start developing their cardiovascular systems as a defense against the possibilty of bad genetics. Funny what my take away is sometimes.

The pediatrician wanted to re-test in 2 months. So today, 2 months to the day, Angelfish and I went for her bloodwork. I explained to her on 2 different occasions what would happen so she wouldn't be as shocked by them taking her blood. Problem is, I think it hurts her a lot worse than it hurts me. She was great in the waiting room, though. We read books and talked and laughed. When they sent us back to the back to wait for our turn, she got quiet and snuggled in. When it was our turn, she wanted to see everything. I tried to get her to sing songs. I tried to get her to read Go, Dog, Go! which is one of her favorites. Nope. She wanted to see everything that was going on. She watched the phlembotomists get everything out, and she even looked straight at the needle... and then she whimpered.

Angelfish does not whimper. Ladybug, a different storoy. Angelfish has had stitches and staples in her scalp from her adventures, and never did she whimper, let alone cry. I knew it was going to be bad when I heard that whimper. I covered her eyes as they brought the needle in and told her it was going to be okay. The phlebotomist said that it would be a little mosquito. Too bad her little vein rolled and they had to move the needle in her arm just a little. She was crying, loudly, in pain. She begged for them to "take it out of me, please. I don't want it!" And I had to hold her tight, telling her she needed to be still and that she was going to be okay and that she'd definitely get a lollipop when it is over (and we know how I don't like giving these kids lollipops). I had to say a little prayer for strength so I didn't cry with her and so I could stay calm. It probably only took 3 minutes but it felt like an eternity. I feel for all those moms out there whose little ones have to go through chemo and much worse. I was a jelly fish (inside) after 3 minutes.

The second they were done Angelfish stopped crying. They gave her a lollipop and she tore into it (but remembered to put the wrapper in the trash can). I asked her if she was okay and she told me, "I want to go." So we left. In the car on the way to daycare (I felt like an evil mother sending her child to daycare after such trama), I asked her if she was doing okay. Angelfish replied: "I am not okay. That hurted and it was not fun." All I could think was that genetics really stink and that I'd really like her blood work to show perfectly okay cholesterol levels for a 3 year old. I mean, what are they going to do anyway, put her on kiddie crestor? I don't know that I'd go for that. Medicine like that for a 3 year old must have other developmental concerns. Fat is needed for brain development and growth and nerves and all that.

We'll find out next week, I imagine. But I can tell you I'm glad it's a rest day because my mind was nowhere near the 70.3 this morning. It was all I could do to keep the wolverine that Mr. Darcy says lurks beneath my surface when things deal with my children. The problem is, who would the wolverine get? Me or the phlebotomist? I'm the reason she's there, the phlebotomist just took her blood.

When I left Angelfish at daycare, she was happy. She wanted to keep her cotton ball and green polka dotted bandaid on... her little badge of courage... and it was playground time. I just hope she forgives me! As for me, I know I'll work it all out during my 55/8 brick on Sunday (or in the pool if I can get there today). Triathlon training always clears the cobwebs.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Morning and the 70.3

Ok, so this morning did not work out nearly as planned. I was supposed to do a 35 mile bike ride - fast - and it did not happen because the children and Mr. Darcy left the house at 7:30ish and somewhere my Mommy brain decided it was better for me to not do the airport ride with our group so my children could see me and for me to do it on my own. Whenever I try this, it never truly works out. Yet I keep being optimistic that this time it will get done.

I am at least going to get something done though. I am going to go to a cardio cycling class (aka spin class) at the YMCA that we just joined by our house. It's not likely that we'll get 35 miles in, but at least it's a spin class that I can use my clip ins for so quality wise it's better than me skipping the workout all together (and probably better than the stationary bike for the time I'm able to do it today). I was going to try to do the stationary bike and realized that by the time I got my nutrition together and to the gym, I wouldn't have the time to even get 25 miles done because of work. Then I got the idea about the spin class... I will do it as my lunch hour and I'll work a little late to make up for any overage (which shouldn't be more than 20 minutes at the worst).

The good news is that I have recommitted myself to the 70.3 as of this morning. From this day forward until the 70.3 is over, I am going to do each scheduled workout. I didn't go this morning to the airport ride because this week is insane. (I'm sorry I didn't go though for the workout, but I am glad I was able to help with the girls this morning even if Ladybug frustrated the bejebus out of me.) Anyway, the insanity: I had Junior League Tuesday evening and didn't see the girls Wednesday morning because of Lucky's, then tonight I have another thing I am going to so I didn't want to miss the girls both this morning and then this evening. Mr. Darcy is now leaving town for his weekend function immediately after work on Friday and will be gone all day Saturday. Then Sunday I'll be gone pretty much most of the day for our 55/8 brick.

I guess the time away from the girls is really weighing on my mind. They have been asking Mr. Darcy ALOT about where I am and what I am doing and why I can't be home with them. Ladybug in particular has been extra clingy the past few weeks since I've started having really long bricks... tearful and the whole 9 yards. She even was jealous that Angelfish and I are going to have Angelfish's cholesterol bloodwork done tomorrow while Mr. Darcy takes her to school... even after I explained that the bloodwork was going to pinch and hurt a little bit at first.

But, I want to finish the Augusta 70.3. I am not under the illusion that I will actually finish the race in 7:48:34 like my dream told me. While that would be wonderful, I am not that fast from what we've seen in my training sessions. I'd have to have the swim of a lifetime, have no leg pains after the bike and be able to run like the wind for 13 miles, not to mention be faster on the bike. (Who knows though, maybe I'll surprise myself!)

It is realistic for me to finish the race, however. Especially since I emailed the race director and asked what the time cut of is, and it's 8 hours from when the last wave gets sent out. My wave is at 8:14 am, and 8 hours from the last wave is 5:06 pm. So, if all goes as planned, I have 8 hours and 52 minutes to finish. Of course, I'm hoping that the fact that the race director asked me how many 1/2 Ironman tris I've done so far isn't a bad sign.

I am confident that I can get all of the distance done, but I am a little nervous about being able to get it done within the time cutoff. A DNF because I wasn't fast enough will pretty much kill me. I know I can do the distances, it's just how long it will take me. So, I am making the commitment not to miss any other planned workouts, even if I have to hire a babysitter. That way no matter what happens, I cannot look back and say I should have tried harder.

I am going to have to be a little creative with my time in the next few weeks and am going to have to find a way to make sure that I stay committed during that time. I know that we will taper in about 2 weeks or so, but the next few weeks leading up to the race are going to be a little crazy around our house. Here's what is going on:

Next week: Mr. Darcy has a work trip leaving Tuesday and returning late on Wednesday, possibly early Thursday (I'm waiting to find out his flight itinerary).

9/7 - 9/13: Tuesday evening I have a Junior League meeting (shouldn't be a problem with workouts though); Sept 10 is Mr. Darcy's birthday; Friday after work we're going to Mr. Darcy's parents' house until at least Saturday evening. Mr. Darcy wants to stay until Sunday morning, but I'm trying to convince him otherwise so I can make sure I get my workout for the weekend in and so I can pack and be rested for the next week.

9/14-9/20: I leave Monday, the 14th (10:30 am flight) for Arizona for work. I do not get back until 8:30 pm that Wednesday. I think I can get at least a Monday and Tuesday workout done (I am teaching a seminar Tuesday morning but couldn't get a decent flight home until Wednesday morning... it takes all day for me to get back home.)

9/21-27: I leave Monday the 22nd for DC for work to teach another seminar. I will return Tuesday evening and if I get home in time, I need to go to a Junior League meeting that evening as well. I can probably get a workout done that Monday but Tuesday doesn't look likely. 23rd I have a hair appointment. 24th a doctor's appointment, and the 25th we leave for Augusta.

The 27th I finish my very first 70.3 and get my shiny finisher's medal!

After the 70.3 is over and I have my shiny finisher's medal, I'd like to ease things back a little... perhaps have a recovery season with an eye toward doing St. Anthony's starting in January at the Olympic Distance level, maybe doing the Vera Bradley Half Marathon as well. (How far have I come on running that I would even consider a half marathon??) I'd also like to do some other Olympic Distance races throughout the year next year with maybe some fun sprint tris sprinkled in if I can find them. Because of the girls being so young and both their need for me to be around and my wanting to be around to do things with them more too, I don't plan on doing another 70.3 for a few years. But I'd like to get faster and better at each of the elements of triathlon and get to be a pretty solid Olympic Distance triathlete.

Training for the 70.3 has been great for me and I've enjoyed it. I want to really enjoy the 70.3 experience and I really want to finish the race. The 70.3 training also has been good for me to help me figure out what I want too. I want to keep active with triathlons, do TNT fundraising once a year, do more community service and meet people, and be with my girls and Mr. Darcy enough that I don't feel like I'm just squeezing it all in. (I still have to hold down my busy full time job too!) Especially since Mr. Darcy and the little ladies are my priority.

So that's my morning and my commitment to the 70.3!! I can do it!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Wonderful Birthday!

Today I am 34. Yikes. 34. Oh well, I guess this means that come January I'll be in the next age group up. Not sure if that's an advantage or not. But, I am seriously lucky to have another day on this earth let alone look forward to the year I spend as 34.

This morning, I woke up thinking "it's my birthday. Can't I sleep in?" The answer, of course, is no. I had a 2000m open water swim at Lucky's Lake to take care of. While the house slumbered, I headed off. There were half a million people at the lake today and finding a spot in Lucky's enormous front yard was actually a bit lucky as almost all of the grass was taken already. Lots of first timers. One who swam on her back without using her arms. I almost ran her over. She should thank her lucky stars I did a forward sight right when I did.

Anyway. A very sweet person I met through Team in Training, K, was there and she gave me a birthday present and sang Happy Birthday to me! A little embarrassing with the group of unknowns at Lucky's this morning, but lovely all the same. Training Buddy made banana nut muffins to celebrate Coach's birthday and mine. (We share the birthday... no wonder we get each other!) The current was not a birthday gift as it kept pushing me way to the side and then I ended up swimming diagonally to get where I needed to go, but I got all 2000m in (or as I jokingly said to Training Buddy, more like 2500m in).

After such a sweet start to my day, I went home and showered (nothing like the smell of a lake), started working, and my friend J. brought coffee by and chatted with me for my birthday. Then back to work. I checked my email and had a huge number of Happy Birthday wishes via Facebook and regular email. I got phone calls from some of my best friends in the world, and I couldn't have been happier.

More work, and then Mr. Darcy came by to have lunch with me. We went to my favorite deli and bakery for lunch, where I had a coconut lime cookie all to myself - along with my favorite sandwich in all the world. And subsequently vowed that after tonight, the sugar content of my diet would be decreased greatly and only fueling with the right foods will occur between now and Augusta.

More work, of course. And then, perhaps one of the best gifts I could get today.... the phone call from the doctor's office about my blood work. It finally came in, and I do not have Cushing's Disease. All results are normal! I know, several people told me so. But nothing is so wonderful as having full confirmation. It's like a weight has been lifted. Of course, I have to have my thyroid and cortisol re-run in February because having PCOS like I do makes me "more susceptible" to thyroid issues. Luckily, and perhaps because I asked the nurse 5 million questions about the blood work, why I was having to have it re-tested, etc., the next set of results will be discussed with me in person by the doctor with a true appointment. After being subject to the doctor's tendency to run very late (last time I waited over an hour for my appointment... not good when if you're 15 minutes late they'll cancel your appointment for you and charge you $50. I wanted to charge the doctor, let me tell you), I made sure to get the 1st appointment possible on the day. But joy of all joys! I am not having brain surgery or adrenal gland surgery, I am not going to have to go on steroids that make me blow up like a balloon. Best of all, I won't have to miss out on anything with my children or my husband, or miss any training! Oh yeah!

And my birthday isn't even over yet! I get to spend the evening with Mr. Darcy, Angelfish and Ladybug... and maybe even have a little cake and open a present or two!

Oh and the waves are posted for Augusta, September 27 at 8:14 am the big 70.3 begins!! I had a dream the other night (and the same number popped into my head while running the other day) that I would finish Augusta in 7:48:34. Of course, I think that is a bit unlikely based on my run times and even my bike... but who knows! Stranger things have happened!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oh and They Survived...

The Ladies survived their first day of their new rooms at daycare yesterday. Both teachers said they did well. Ladybug said she likes her teacher and her new room but that she likes Mommy the best. (And I didn't even have to bribe her!) Angelfish said she likes her teacher and her friends, and doing art. They both enjoyed the sandbox on the new "big kid" playground too - and rolled around in it pretending to be "stinky pigs"... so they were covered in sand when I took these pictures!
Angelfish's artwork from day 1 in the new room

Ladybug, my little Ham

Oh, and on a story of sheer cuteness, last night Ladybug was having a hard time going to sleep so Mr. Darcy decided to rock her. While he was rocking her, Ladybug said to him "Daddy, why did you give me a lollipop AND a cookie in one day? That is just too much sugar, Daddy!" Little ears hear everything!

A Run, Southern by Affiliation, Life Goes On

A Run.
After helping the little ladies get up and somewhat ready for school, I went for my 6 mile run. (Quick aside: while getting ready, Ladybug wrote her little boyfriend a note since he's no longer in her daycare classroom. She said it read: "I love Zachary very much." Absolutely adorable.) There's something afoot (hahaha) because the past few runs I've done, I hit the end of the 1st mile and my left leg muscles go nuts. Mainly starting in the arch of my foot going up around my ankle and then up the back of my calf, it's like the muscles are tightening - not in a cramp - but to the point of major pain. Coach says she noticed that my stride has changed so I probably need to get my stride looked at again to make sure I've got the right running shoes, especially since I have all my back issues to begin with. Who needs unnecessary pain, right?

As I've decided that I will most likely be in pain of some sort while running during the 70.3, so I've been trying to force myself to run through it until it goes away. Well, it must be obvious to others that I'm in pain while this is going on because today a few minutes after the pain started to subside letting me run faster (the pain seriously impedes my running pace), Little Miss Speedy Pants sprints by me and says "Good job! Way to run through the pain!" While I know this perfect stranger was trying to be encouraging, the fact that she was leaving me in the dust as she said it gave me the incredible urge to hit her. I don't generally get the urge to hit people, but I was not in my happy place (no, I didn't act on it).

Luckily, the pain eased up. The rest of mile 3, and miles 4 and 5 were pretty good. I was speeding up, and then mile 6, I was booking it. I'm not sure how fast I was going but I was clicking along to the point that it seemed like it was the shortest mile I'd ever run. I must have been doing alright because including the 0.2 that I walked because of drinking and eating nutrition (still working on the camelbak mold issue), and the snail's pace when my leg was evil (at one point I think my shadow might have been running faster than I was), my overall pace for the 6 miles was 12:25. I'd love to get my average pace to a consistent 11 minute mile, but with pain involved I will take what my body will let me do!

Run completed, completely drenched but feeling good. Feeling like I could run farther. I have to say I love that feeling at the end of a run, feeling like I could keep on going if I wanted to.

Southern by Affiliation.
I've come to the realization that I am Southern by Affiliation. I was born in DC, raised in Maryland and Florida (where Southerners like to say that Florida is so far South it's North again because of all of the Northern transplants). I am decidedly not Southern by birth. But, when you lived 10 years in Atlanta, one of my best friends from Atlanta is a bit of a Southern Belle (who I am going to call Belle in this blog), and my dear friend Angela was Southern incarnate from her roots (and the return to her roots) in Arkansas, I guess these things rub off on you. It's not necessarily a bad thing, either. There are certain things you do or do not do, unless you wish to be labelled for life as "the one who... back in 1984" or even worse, they start looking for "Yankees" in your family tree.

One of these things for Belle that has completely rubbed off on me is the fact that when you go somewhere that you will meet people, you should look good. This doesn't mean that I've fully embraced the concept of wearing makeup to the grocery and I certainly do not wear it while training for my triathlons, but there are times and places where I have learned it unforgiveable not to look good. Functions at your husband's work - even if they are outdoor volleball games - are ones that come to mind. Costco is another. Sounds funny, but the number of people we run into that Mr. Darcy knows either through work or one of his associations is amazing. Then there's the obvious ones - parties (even for toddlers), church, eating out, and especially meetings with other women.

It's a little known fact that while women do dress for their men, really women dress for other women. Remember, you never want to make that list of "she's the one that.... back in 1999." So when I went to the Junior League Provisional Retreat on Saturday, I made sure I looked good. Nice outfit, make up done nicely, toenails painted, hair done. The shock of it all when there were people in knock around shorts and no makeup! I had a nice little laugh to myself about it later. Belle transformed me by refusing to leave the house with me until I at least put on lipstick and some powder, helping me shop for clothes for various occasions, and leading by example. I never realized my Southerness by Affiliation until I lived outside of the South again. I may not wear full make up to the grocery, but I atleast wear nice shorts and a nice shirt. No holes, stains or cut offs, thank yee. If I'm going to be in a room full of women, I will dress nicely, be sure to wear cute shoes, accessorize the best I can, and do my hair and makeup. And realize that when I think to myself "Good Lord, where is that woman's makeup? Doesn't she know where she is?" that Belle and I are now closer in Southerness than I ever thought before.

The other way this came up was last night, I opened my Southern Living magazine excited to find all the Fall receipes and places to go to see the changing of the leaves, etc. Not that I cook many of the receipes, plant as directed, or even make my table tops look like a picture out of Southern Living... but I sure like to read about the possibilities. Well, I forgot that they change some of the content based on where you live. Florida doesn't have a lot of leave changing, cooling of the weather, and other fun that other Southern States enjoy. We have football, sweltering hot games played in the sun, but that is about Fall like as Florida gets. So some of my Fall reading was diminshed and I thought, "Well, bless their hearts. Florida fall is just like summer." Now there's something that non-Southerners need to know. "Bless Your Heart" does not mean something nearly as sweet as it sounds... it means more along the lines of "you're so stupid" Southerners just say it nicer.

So, it would seem I am Southern by Affiliation and only realizing it now that I no longer truly live in the South. Southerners don't buy liquor on Sundays at the store, you get it at the bar!

Life Goes On.
After my meltdown yesterday about well, everything, I realized that my life is good and that come what may, I have it good and life goes on. I realized that we all have things that can make our life miserable if we let it. The trick is not to let it. Yes, things stink at times. We have heartaches, like losing loved ones, that never really go away. We might not like the size of our waist or that scar we've had since we were 10. But in the end, life is good. The trick to happiness is not to keep looking for it, but to realize you're living it right now. How many times do we look back at something that seemed "horrible" at the time and realize that life was good and we were happy despite it all? Life is not easy. We go through things that are horrible, but always mixed in with the horrible are the good.

So, Life goes on and I am choosing to be happy. Here are a few pictures of what makes me happy...

How cute are the little ladies' soccer stuff?

I love that the girls like to put their lovies in time out...

And that Mr. Darcy likes to take pictures of all of his ladies...

That Angelfish loves this backpack and thinks everyone, including Sleeping Beauty, want to know what's inside....

I just love getting to have these 3 people in my life!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is it Possible for Human Beings to Implode?

Now, I'm not actually sure that I would implode or whether I would explode, but I'd hope for the implosion so as to not make the mess that explosions tend to make. But this morning, I am feeling as though I will implode at some point in the not too distant future. I apologize ahead of time if this post is a bit of a gripe session/mental health correction. The implosion would not be the fault of others, just of myself. I have a tendency to be a bit of a perfectionist - which is a bit funny when you realize just how slow of a triathlete I am... of course, I am constantly reminding myself that I went from where I was to where I am now in less than a year and I've only been actually doing triathlons since January 2009. Being a perfectionist is hard on one's psyche. You forget about all the good things you do and only see the flaws or where the good should be improved or better or well, perfect. It's a mess is what it is. I realize it's not healthy and that unless someone is going to die because of my imperfection (which is not likely), it really doesn't matter. Yet somehow I work myself up to these implosion scenarios about twice a year. I think I very well am approaching that point and am working to defuse my little bomb.

First, I'll talk about the good stuff before getting to all the ways that I am not reaching my insane standards of perfection. We had a nice weekend.

Friday at Disney was fun, although I overslept and thus did not get to my swim workout that morning. When we did get there, the girls and I melted down after standing in the blazing sun for the castle party show that we always have to see. (Mr. Darcy and Ladybug are obsessed with it. Ladybug cried when we said we'd see the princesses first and then come back to the point that we watched the show before we did anything else.) They were messes and I became a mess. 4 minutes in the a/c, we were all sane again and sweet as pie.

The rest of the day was a lot of fun, until about 8 when the afternoon rain showed signs that it was not going to let up in time for the parade and fireworks and the children melted down again. So, having seen the show, met the princesses, ate lunch, rode It's a Small World, the Carousel, the Carousel of Progress, saw the Laugh Floor with Mike Wizowski (and Angelfish was the audience version of Boo for the comedy... super cute), played in Donald's boat, the girls rode their 1st rollercoaster - Goofy's Barnstorm (which made me a little nauseas... Angelfish loved it and Ladybug did not), had frozen lemonade, later had ice cream, saw the Hall of Presidents (well, Ladybug and Mr. Darcy saw the show in its entirety, Angelfish had to be removed), wandered a bit, and finally tired we went home.

Ladybug was sweet because in her full fledged meltdown about not getting to see fireworks in the car, I ended up sitting in the 3rd row of seats to hold her hand and Angelfish's hand, but I didn't have a seat belt on. After I asked Mr. Darcy to drive carefully so I wouldn't end up through the windshield, Ladybug insisted I put on my seat belt so I could be safe (all through tears). I put it part way on (it's a 2 part process that keeps me from holding hands comfortably if fully secured), and she insisted that I put it all the way on because she loved me and wanted me to be safe.

Saturday I had my Provisional Junior League Retreat, which was interesting and I enjoyed getting out and meeting some nice ladies and learning about what Junior League does in the community, etc. I'm not sure why but I was sweating alot. It may because of the training and muscle rebuilding... I'm not sure, but hopefully no one else noticed because I had rings under my arms and I was wearing a sleeveless top. Don't want to be remembered as the sweaty one.

After the retreat, I came home and played with the lovely ladies who were in an interesting form since they didn't have a nap during their day with Daddy. Ladybug tattled on Mr. Darcy without realizing it and I found out he gave them cookies and a lollipop all in one day. Insanity, but then no sleep and sugar are always (NOT) a good idea for 3 year olds.

Then Mr. Darcy and I had date night. We were both so exhausted and have been so busy that neither of us had planned anything. We went out in our shorts, t-shirts and flip flops and didn't even care. We had sushi which was good, but the service has kind of gone down hill. Never good. Then we tried to go to a movie but nothing caught both of our attention. Mr. Darcy suggested putt-putt but I wasn't really in the mood for that either. Bowling is an arm and a leg near us, so that was out too. So, we wandered around Best Buy, bought some video game, and then went for ice cream. We ate ice cream and chatted until we were getting eaten by bugs, so we went home. We are just wild and crazy, let me tell you. I think I fell asleep shortly after the babysitter left.

Sunday I woke early (or at least attempted to) and was out of the house for my 8 mile run around 6:45. I really did not want to be running. I wanted to be back in my bed all snuggled up with Mr. Darcy. I even told myself that I didn't care how I got the 8 miles done, whether running, walking or crawling, but that I was already on the road so I might as well get them done. I ran almost the entire 8 miles, probably walking about 0.3 or 0.4 miles of it. The walking was only because my cleaning kit for the camelbak has not yet arrived so I had a bottle of gatorade in the pack part of the camelbak along with my gels and I couldn't quite figure out how to take the gels and drink out of the camelbak, eat and drink, and put everything back without walking. Thus the walking. I was pretty proud of myself for 1) drinking and eating on the run even if I was technically walking at the time because I often ignore nutrition on the run... it sure makes you feel better when you use it; and 2) going 8 miles because it was the longest run of my life (shows you what a couch potato I've been leading up to now); and 3) running to begin with when I REALLY just wanted to stay in bed. I got home and Angelfish was up watching "Word World" with her Daddy, Ladybug was still in bed. A 13:12 pace for the run, which wasn't bad since I didn't want to be running, I walked during fueling, and my left leg muscles seized up from the end of mile 1 to the start of mile 4 and I ignored it the best I could, all while keeping myself in zone 2 for the run.

After cleaning up and having shower friends in Angelfish and Ladybug who jumped in with me, and getting us all dressed, we headed to play tennis with the little ladies. It was adorable. They loved trying to hit the ball with their new Dora tennis raquets that Mr. Darcy bought them. Afterwards was lunch and shopping for new sneakers for the girls and some clothes for the Fall (since the sales were on), then to Sports Authority for cleats (size 10c - super cute... the cleats are pink!) for soccer and another soccer ball (they each need one for practice). Home to watch a little tennis and so I could put together the grocery list, and then Mr. Darcy and Ladybug did our grocery shopping and brought home Publix subs for dinner while Angelfish and I stayed home and played. Bubble baths for the girls and then bed time. Some meltdowns here and there because the girls didn't nap, but at least there were no parental meltdowns except over the fact that Sports Authority didn't have a size 9c for Angelfish. We bought the 10c and are keeping the receipt in case I can find a pair on line between now and the 1st soccer practice in 2 weeks.

This morning it took forever to get the girls ready for school. Ladybug didn't want to go so she refused to get up, get dressed, used the potty, etc. She was so contrary that when she did pee in the potty and I congratulated her, she told me she hadn't gone. I only heard her empty her entire bladder, but whatever. Angelfish was pretty good about getting ready, but when we got to school she melted down because she didn't want to go to the new room, she wanted to be with Ms. W. By the time I left, she was ok. Ladybug on the other hand was right as rain and talked with her new teacher and friends. So, this morning's swim workout hasn't happened. If I get a chance to take lunch today (I usually don't on Mondays... they're busy!), I'm going to swim. So, here I sit in my swim suit and workout clothes - just in case.

The weekend fun and errands may have fueled part of my perfectionism issues. First and foremost is the fact that lately with all the training I'm doing, I don't spend as much time as I could otherwise with my girls. I miss spending some of that weekend time, especially. Thus, feelings of being a not so good Mommy have surfaced. Second, I'm tired every night. Heck, most days by 3 pm, I'm tired and could use a nap (yes, I think I'm not eating enough). That makes me feel like I'm not being the greatest of wives either because I'm sleeping and not spending time with Mr. Darcy. Third, I skipped my training, which in light of the not so good Mommy feelings would seem to settle me down on that issue, which in some ways they do, but then they raise the "how are you going to finish the race if you don't do the training?" Not like I'm skipping training left and right, but we're talking about the silly pressure I put on myself about things. So then I'm worrying about whether I'm training enough. Then I start worrying about my weight. If I'm not training enough am I going to gain weight? But, then I'm not really eating enough daily as it is, so am I gaining pounds because of muscle development or because my body thinks I'm starving? Why am I not eating enough/right? Because I just don't get hungry that often. And then lately when I'm eating I'm not always eating what I should because I'm stressing and cookies taste better when your stressed. So when I am eating, I'm not eating overly great (although it's probably better than most people... except for the cookies and/or ice cream). Then on top of that, I'm adding Junior League which while I think is very important for me as a person so that I can have friends, be social and be involved in community service is yet another thing that will take me away from my children and my husband. Yet the triathlons and the Junior League potentially make me happier and a happier me is a better wife and Mommy. Then there's the fact that I would like nicer clothes so I look appropriate for Junior League meetings and I haven't shopped in forever except for here and there and don't have a great wardrobe, but then I don't want to spend money especially since I'm not losing weight although Mr. Darcy mentioned that I look really good and my muscle tone is seriously more improved. Not to mention that I have all these new medicines and vitamins to be taking and I turn 34 on Wednesday and am feeling like an old woman. Mr. Darcy teasingly said I'm like a pharmacy - I have 4 things I take in the morning and 4 other things I take at night. I haven't gotten my blood work back about the Cushing's Disease yet and it's been a week and making me crazy because I just want to know one way or the other, and I'm really hoping that there will be no brain surgery involved or steroids that make you puff up. There's a good bit of prep for a seminar I'm giving in September that I need to do with work, and somehow there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day which is probably why there are times lately that I just wish the 70.3 was over and done with already. AHHHHH!

I think there is too much in my brain. A good swim might help clear it. If not, maybe tomorrow's 6 mile run will help. If only I had one of those things from the Harry Potter books where you could empty your mind of certain memories, but mine worked for thoughts. That would be lovely... and I bet it would keep human beings from imploding.

In the end, I am still an optimist so I know that all will workout just fine. I just have to keep working on not worrying about it all and just living in the moment. I know this is true, especially when I read posts about cancer treatments, or living (so absolutely amazingly) with the results of a plane crash, or finding out someone you know has an unexpected pain killer addiction. As stated in another blog I read: "Life is Good. LiveStrong!" Or as I sometimes say to remind myself of these very thoughts: God doesn't give us what we can't handle... I just sometimes wish God didn't think so highly of me! And really, what I'm handling right now could always be so much worse. No matter how bad it gets it can always be worse, and no matter how good it gets my little pea brain finds a way to think of a way it could be better.

It is true: Life is Good, even with forecasts of implosion.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Recovery Week is a Funny Thing

If you've done it right (which I evidently have), it seems that you should be tired during your recovery week and use the week to keep yourself moving but to still recover. This morning was another morning where I debated with myself. Do I get up and do the 25 mile bike, should I stay in bed and sleep, should I "cheat" a little and do the 25 miles at the gym on the stationary bike, or should I just stay in bed and sleep?

By the time I made my mind up, I had slept about 1/2 an hour later than I would normally, and Mr. Darcy hadn't gotten up either. I realized that if I didn't do the bike ride, I'd probably be annoyed with myself later on, so I figured that due to lateness of the hour and the fact that I wasn't feeling it, I would go to the gym and do 25 miles on the stationary bike.

For whatever reason (I think it may have to do with the fact that I don't have to worry about balancing or directing the bike and a difference in the type of resistance and body position), I am much faster on the stationary bike. So that was settled.

Angelfish and Ladybug were very excited about school today because they are having a party. Any party that involves cookies and juice boxes, and they're in. What they're not excited about is the reason for the party. It's their last full day with their current teachers. Angelfish loves her teachers, especially Ms. W. I asked her yesterday if she was excited about starting her new classroom and she said no. I asked her why and she said, "You know what I told Ms. W, Mommy? I told her I would go if she went with me." Having to explain that Ms. W. is going to have a new class full of students didn't go over well. She wants to be with Ms. W. Ladybug is feeling the same way about her teacher Ms. A. Ladybug told me "she loves Ms. A. so very much" and doesn't want to leave her. I have to say, in a strange sort of way, I'm thrilled about this.

No, I'm not looking forward to the calls from Mr. Darcy saying how awful it was in the morning to take the girls to their new rooms until they get used to it. But it makes me feel very good about the love, care and attention that they are getting at daycare. To become attached, they must be getting shown a lot of love and care. We've seen them always happy and loving with their teachers and seen that it's been returned when we were there, but it's good to know that it happens while we're not there too.

So, anyway, it was pretty easy to get the girls to the car this morning... aside from Ladybug who couldnt' get her hair just they way she thought her little boyfriend at school would like. Who knew this stuff would start at 3? Ladybug has already had 4 boyfriends in the space of a year, but this current one was the one she had before he went home for the summer (his Mom is a school teacher) and as soon as he came back, #3 was out the door. Evidently the feeling is mutual because they spent the afternoon holding hands and boyfriends' Mom even wanted them to be in the same class together, but Ladybug and he are set to be separated. He'll be in with Angelfish, but they'll still get to see one another on the playground. Heartbreak at 3!

Drama aside, proof of cookies for the party reviewed, off they went. And off I went to the gym. 25 miles in 1:06:30. 24 minutes faster than on the bike. If only that could happen on the real bike! But, I got the 25 miles done even if I did miss the wind in my hair and the sun shining down, not to mention the open road. Next time, I'll get on the bike.

Recovery week is a funny thing - want sleep, want workouts, want sleep, do not want workouts, want sleep!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rambling Thoughts on a Wednesday

I don't even know where to begin today. So, I'll start typing and we'll see what gets said. Soemtimes I think that's how life is, you just have to jump in when you're not sure where to start.

This morning, I woke up at 1:30 am to hear Angelfish crying and calling for me. I ran in and she needed to use the potty, so I told her to go into the bathroom. Last night they were giving us a hard time about bed, Ladybug in particular, and I think Mr. Darcy got to the point that he said if anyone got out of bed they were going to get a spanking. Spankings are given out sparingly in our household, and only when absolutely necessary. Evidently Angelfish took this to mean that even in the middle of the night she couldn't leave the room to go potty. Luckily, she made it in time, but I was feeling badly for her. Then she and I snuggled together as she fell back asleep in her bed. Angelfish told me she wanted me to snuggle with her and I couldn't refuse. I love feeling the hot of her breath as she breathes on my neck, or her sweet little arm that she puts around my neck, or when she switches to holding my hand when she's starting to really drift off. How can I refuse? I'm sure there's something somewhere that says this is why they want to stay up or insist that we stay in their room when we tell them it's time for us to go to bed in our room, but I can't help giving in to those middle of the night requests. They don't happen all that often, and eventually they won't want to snuggle like that.

Finally back in my own bed, I woke later realizing I needed to get myself out of bed and to the pool. I had a 8am conference call to play a major part in, so there was no stalling this morning. I grabbed breakfast, packed my bag (should have done it the night before... oh well), and headed to the gym. It was a wierd swim. I felt slow at times and then I felt fast and strong at times. I paid attention to form and stroke thinking that was the difference, but in the end I just chalked it up to the fact that this is a recovery week and well, my body must be recovering. It was a ladder starting with 100m and culminating with 400m before repeating and decreasing in length. I always have such a hard time waiting the full time Coach puts down to rest between each. 1:00 after the 200m swims and 1:30 seconds after the 400m swims just seems inordinately long to me. But, I stuck to it. It took me 39:30 to finish a 1800m swim. Of course there was 6 or 7 minutes of rest time in there and I swam some backstroke and breast stroke during my 200 cool down, but it still seemed like a long time today. As always, though, the swim was refreshing and cathartic. No worries, no pains, watching the guy in the lane next to me swim with his wierd stroke as I swam past and thinking about the advice I'd give if it wouldn't seem too impertinent.

And then I got home. A friend is going through a rough patch. One that I have been through myself, although possibly in a slightly different way. When I found out, I told her my story and that she could talk to me at any time day or night. I told her that what she was going through is hard but having someone to talk to will help. I was a little nervous sending the email to her because she is a new friend, and with knew friends you aren't quite sure if you can say something and not seem like you're being a busy body (which I decidedly am not) or well, wierd. When she responded, it made my heart sing. Literally. I believe that God puts us in people's lives for a reason. Maybe I believe too much in fate, but I think every person I meet (including through the blogosphere) is in my life - even if it's the grocery check out person or whoever - for a reason. Not just for me but for them too. Sometimes it's just to be a friendly face, to be someone who listens and understands, and other times it's to be a friend. Whenever I've really needed something, it somehow falls into my lap and sometimes from the hands of perfect strangers. I might not recognize it at the time, but when I look back I notice it. When I read my friend's response, I had that warm feeling you get when you know you are doing exactly what you should be doing and that you're exactly in the right place at the right time. I just hope she takes me up on my day or night phone call offer.

Then I had to hop on a conference call for that Georgia Bar Committee I'm on. I've been a little annoyed as of late because all email references to the proposed draft of changes lately has been referred to as drafted by x and TriMommy. I know it's really petty, but I did the large majority of the work and X did some minor work on it. I guess I wanted credit where I felt credit was due. Today, the Committee head did just that. There were new members to the committee and she explained the work we had done, etc. Just the fact that she mentioned that I did the lion's share of the work made me feel better and happier. I don't want accolades, just credit for what I have done. It makes me wonder why I needed that so much. Does it really matter? Probably not. In the big scheme of things, it definitely doesn't matter but my silly brain thought it did.

And now I'm hungry. So I'm off for a snack. But before I go, I realized while swimming that I probably haven't been eating enough and that may be why I was so tired last week. Not only was I doing a heavy load of workouts, but I not only did not increase the amount I was eating I actually had forgotten to have the 2nd half of my breakfast (I do about 250 cal before and then about 250 cal after, usually) each day for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Why I didnt' realize this, I have no idea. I wasn't getting hungry, but then I have times when I don't get hungry and have to eat by the clock or else I can go the entire day without eating once I've had breakfast. Too bad that doesn't work to make you thinner. So I'm happily off to eat.

Oh, and I'm excited. I mentioned previously that I planned to join Junior League so I could get back into community service and meet some people. I applied and our Provisional Retreat (where we get to learn more about Junior League and meet the other ladies who are joining as well) is this Saturday. I feel badly for Mr. Darcy because he has another full day with the little ladies and then will have them when they wake up on Sunday while I do my 8 mile run (but luckily it should be a much shorter workout than a 50 mile bike and 6 mile run). But he's been fully supportive, which makes me happy. I'm a little nervous too. It's kind of like the jitters I used to get before starting the 1st day of school... what should I wear? I hope I like the other kids... and that they like me. I hope I like what I'm getting myself into. But, getting back into community service and meeting new people will make me happy too. It's my nature.

So I've rambled on a bit and my stomach is telling me a few things... until tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I didn't wanna, but I did and I'm glad.

Yup. The title pretty much sums it up. I woke this morning and thought to myself that I REALLY did not want to get up and run 6 miles today. I just didn't feel like it. But I put on my running clothes and my HR monitor and went to get my camelbak.

For some reason I decided to pull the entire bladder out of the camelbak and thank goodness I did because well, I evidently haven't been cleaning it well enough with soap and water because I found a disgusting mess of mold. I wiped as much as I could out and then went online and purchased the lovely kit that I should have bought when I got the camelbak to begin with, but was trying to economize. I got extra cleaning tablets too.

Obviously, I did not use the camelbak today. No. It worries me enough to think of how long that mold has been in there and that I've been drinking out of it. But, I'm not sick so I'm just glad my immune system has been a good one. And we'll leave it at that. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any water bottles either. So, I'll be stocking up on cheapie ones in the near future.

But, I decided to attempt to hydrate well and just head out. The girls were awesome little angels this morning, loving on their Mommy, getting dressed so nicely for school, and wandering out to the car with Daddy. We chatted while Mr. Darcy went back and forth to get things he forgot our of the house, I gave them kisses and hugs and off they went.

I had no excuse at this point. So I headed out on my run. My left leg muscles were tight as a drum and hurting but I decided to ignore them. I figured I was out there, I needed to get my run in not a walk. I told myself as I ran that I would probably have hurting muscles on race day and that I needed to just get over it. By mile 2, my leg was still hurting pretty badly so I told myself that if I had to when I got to mile 4, I could stretch and walk a little. I also told myself that if I could bike 51 miles and run 3.2 afterwards, that I could do a measly 6 mile run without walking.

Amazingly, I did. By mile 4 I was feeling good. My leg finally had worked its issues out and didn't hurt anymore (or at least my brain was ignoring it if it did). My lungs were feeling great. I didn't feel over tired at all. I just was jogging along. My HR was even really good. This is a recovery week and my 6 mile run was supposed to be at an easy pace, so my goal was to jog keeping my HR in zone 2 and to just keep moving while running. It was awesome. At one point in mile 5 I looked down at my HR monitor and saw that I was running with a HR of 149. Unheard of for me. Only a few months ago it was all I could do to run 4 miles with a HR of 158. And mind you, I hadn't had anything to drink during the run either although I enjoyed a refreshing, but short lived, rain shower toward the end of mile 4.

Of course, I figured I was probably going at a snails pace. Especially since I slowed myself down the few times I did hear my watch beeping because I had hit 159. Imagine my surprise when I got home and discovered that I did my 6.1 miles in 1:15:36. A 12:24 pace! For me, this is quite good. I know that some people would be done with a half marathon in that time, and would probably cry at a 12:24 pace. But for me, this is quite something. Not only was it 12:24, but I felt good at the end. Not super tired. Like I could have gone farther.

That's something I talked about with Training Buddy the other day as we crossed over into mile 46 of the bike and were officially on the longest bike ride of our lives. Last September, I couldn't run 2 minutes straight without wishing it were over. By the time I met Training Buddy at Team in Training, I could run 1 mile without stopping but it was hard and it was not fun and I pretty much wanted to stop afterwards. Biking 25 miles seemed like a pipe dream and we worried that we'd even be able to get it done for our event... let alone the 6 mile run at the end. Swimming wasn't so terrible for me, but I still wasn't nearly as good or as fast as I am now. All these miles of training later, here we are today, able to do so much more sometimes because we convinced ourselves that we had gone x miles already somehow we could go 1 more mile to the end. Not to mention Coach sticking to us and giving us our weekly plans so we wouldn't freak out when we saw what she had in store for us a few weeks into the future. Planning to finish a 70.3 Half IronMan.

For me, it will be almost exactly 1 year and 1 week from the day I decided to do a triathlon. I'm pretty sure no one thought I would stick with it. My father-in-law has told me that he didn't think I'd stick with it. I remember discussing signing up with Team in Training and telling Mr. Darcy how long the olympic distance race would be and him saying "Do you know how long that is? Just for the bike, that's a little farther than riding to my work and back from here." My parents never have said much about it, although my Dad once said he thought that maybe I was overworking my system. I like beating the odds. I love triathlon, even if I continuously have to explain to people that it's more than just running.

Ever see the movie Kung Fu Panda? It's like the scene where the Panda (strapped to a chair covered in fireworks that he's lit, trying to get over the wall to see the martial arts masters) confesses to his father that he didn't have a noodle dream that he "loves kung foooooo." Maybe I'm crazy but I love triathlon enough to make myself go on a day that I really don't want to go. I know I'll thank myself later... sometimes not only on race day, but while I'm out there getting it done.

Basically, there are days when I didn't wanna, but I do, and I end up glad. Sometimes, I even surprise myself on those days with how well it turns out too. Perhaps triathlon is a bit like life that way.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Weekend Report and a Monday

For whatever reason I now have the Lion King tune that goes "It's the morning report, it's the morning report" stuck in my head. It is official. I've watched too many animated features since my 3 year-olds have been born... primarily in the last 6 months as that's when I finally broke down to let them watch more than one 1/2 hour show. Hopefully I haven't ruined their brains.

Anywho. The weekend report. Here it goes:

Friday night I was exhausted. It was a rest day so you'd think I would have more energy but I had none. Fell asleep pretty close to after the kiddies were in bed.

Which really was a good thing because Saturday started with a 4:50 am pickup time with Training Buddy, that was a little more closer to 5 am because I accidentally set the alarm for pm, not am. Wishful thinking, I guess.

Somehow Training Buddy and I made it out to Lake Sumter Community College before anyone else and in record time. (Perhaps it was the extra adrenalin from running behind and jumping out of bed in a flash. Good thing I have a strong body clock...) A few moments later, everyone from the Team in Training Nike Women's Marathon team appeared and we began our morning torture, uhm, run. It was hill repeats. The TNT group is running their marathon in San Francisco, and coming from Florida that will definitely take some hill training. This is Florida so the only place to go for hills is Clermont. In our case, a neighborhood with a hill that is essentially a 60 degree incline, if not more. We warmed up in the parking lot, stretched, and ran 1.25 miles to the bottom of the hill. During the 1.25 mile run, I couldn't help but think that this really wasn't the morning for this.

But, once everyone arrived at the bottom, we started. 1/4 mile up and 1/4 mile down the evil incline. I made it 3/4 of the way up while running the 1st and 2nd time and then somehow tuned out my brain telling me this wasn't the thing to be doing 3rd time and made it to the top while running. I was thrilled but my HR was 182. Let's just say that while I ran all of the downhills this time around and that I did all 6 hills AND ran the 1.25 miles back to the car, I never quite made it back all the way up the hill.

Afterwards, it was party time. Training Buddy & I got back in the car, I drove like a mad woman, dropped him off, got home, showered and changed, and out the door by 9:15 am. Off to a 4 year old's birthday party at Monkey Joe's - a cute bounce house sort of place. The girls had a blast and I had to climb in with them a couple of times so they weren't scared at first. Mr. Darcy had nothing to do with climbing in, and I have to admit it was difficult for me to do because these things are built for kids not 5' 7" women (or 6'1" men in Mr. Darcy's case). After pizza, cake and a little more fun, we were off to Costco. After that Mr. Darcy decided to drive around a little so the girls would fall asleep in the car... and all 3 of us did. Ladybug, Angelfish and TriMommy. All sound asleep in our seats.

Sunday was another early morning, but luckily not as early. 5:30 am is better than 4:30 am. But I didn't get an icebath in on Saturday so I was stiff legged (and stiff butted) as Training Buddy and I started out on our 50 mile bike ride and what should have been a 6 mile run afterwards. The bike ended up at 51 miles and just a little over 3 hours. Yet again another Longest ride! Whoo Hoo!

The ride was good too because we had amazing animal sightings - a family of 3 deer crossing the street in front of us, 6 deer on the farmer's hill, other deer scattered about, 2 cranes, an animal that we thought might be a possum but really were not quite sure (other than it was bigger than my dog, brown and had a big tail and wasn't a racoon, ardvark or other known creature... kind of scary) - and some terrible headwinds. You know the head wind is strong when your computer says you're going 16.3 mph, the wind starts, and you notice that you're going 14.1 mph within moments. Add stiff legs to the mix and you have quite the workout.

When we got back to the house and started the run, my legs were not happy. I told Training Buddy that they were giving me attitude because it was literally as though they were saying to me, "Are you serious? You ran 6 miles of hills yesterday and had no ice bath, made us do 51 miles of cycling and now you expect us to run?"

I ran the 1st mile and then did a 4 minute/1 minute Galloway for the 2nd mile and then a 4 minute/2 minute Galloway the 3rd mile. My HR was staying down this time around which was good, but my legs were screaming everytime I did the running. Walking they could handle, and I could even walk at a decent pace, but running was torture. Training Buddy wanted to stop at the house for a refill on beverage, and when we stopped I realized that because we stopped I literally could not make myself restart and felt a little tingly (the lack of electrolytes...I'm pretty certain). So the 6 mile run turned into a 3.2 mile run. But it was better than nothing.

I did a lot better about drinking on the bike this time, but think I probably should have drunk a little more. I definitely need to take endurolytes because I have a feeling that's what I was missing - especially when my hands were swollen so badly that bending my knuckles was an optional activity for a bit. That and I probably need to eat more on the bike. I may try Training Buddy's suggestion of a PB&Honey sandwich during the ride because I really can't bring myself to eat more shot blocs or gels than I already do.

After a shower and an ice bath, things were closer to normal. Fingers were still swollen for another hour or two, but they were atleast functional again. Had lunch with the little ladies and played a bit, then we signed up for the YMCA and enrolled Angelfish and Ladybug for Fall soccer. This is gonna be good. Our cutie pies playing soccer. We asked that they be on the same team for our sanity in having only 1 practice a week and only 1 game to attend each weekend. They are both super excited and were "practicing" with Mr. Darcy in the backyard yesterday evening (while wearing dresses). I will be sure to post pictures once soccer begins. Our 3 year old phenoms (Angelfish already blocks out Ladybug for the ball). Tee hee.

Then a haircut for Ladybug, who when I told her that I thought her haircut looked beautiful told me in a rather self-assured way "I know Mommy. I look like a princess!" Angelfish wanted a haircut but hers is still growing out from the massive cutting that occured a few months ago and looks really good. She was trying to get it all over the place while telling us she needed it cut because she had "crazy hair." All she did was make her hair look even cuter! But the lollipop she got for waiting like a well-behaved girl at the Hair Cuttery smoothed things over. Then we played a bit and watched "Word World" (and somewhere I fell asleep only waking to discover the show was on but no one was in the room with me), practiced soccer and ate dinner. The girls played in the tub for awhile and then helped us bathe the dog before bed. How they laughed when Annie ran like the wind around the house and scratched at the floor and rubbed her head on the floor! They chased her and finally made her a bed with a blanket so she wouldn't be too cold since her hair was still wet (such sweetie pies).

They hadn't had a nap, so they were tired little things last night. Angelfish sat watching me read her story with her mouth hanging a little open like both she and I do when we're super tired. Ladybug yawned and laid on the bed listening after petting Annie a good while during the story. They were asleep within minutes of us turning off the light. And so were we! Mr. Darcy was tuckered out from the weekend and I was from all the training.

Monday morning was here all too soon. The girls are happy to be with their teachers one last week before they start with new teachers next week, and to be going to Disney with us on Friday. It is a half day at daycare as it is that day, so we decided to make it into a family fun day since our seasonal passes are back to being useable. I went for my next bit of blood work, which took a bit of waiting for but it got done within the right window of time. The doctor's office says it will take a week to get the results, which stinks. The waiting is the bit I don't like. My theory is that I will not have Cushings disease because while I have some of the symptoms, I also do not have some of the symptoms. But, let me tell you... I will feel much better once the doctor tells me that the blood work came back and all is well.

Training wise, today is a rest day. And I'm tired. For lunch, I may just take a nap!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Friday Fifteen

1. I've seen several postings and articles recently asking why do you do triathlons (or run)? I do it to raise money for cancer research and increase cancer awareness because I lost my best friend from childhood when we were only 33, this past December and it sucks. I started because I wanted a goal for my workouts, motivation, but really it was a tough time in my life with Angela battling cancer and our moving to a new city when I hadn't really wanted to move. It helps me run away from and then somehow muddle through my problems. I love feeling my body move. I love discovering I can go farther and farther (even if it's not necessarily faster) than before. I've met amazing and inspiring people in the triathlon world who make you want to do more and be better both in speed and in life. It lets me be a better wife and mother because I work things out and have something I love doing.

2. Why is a popular question in our house. The girls like to ask why about everything. This morning it was why do Mommy and Daddy have to work. Somehow I ended up explaining supply, demand, and how basic economy in daily life works... at an elementary level, of course.

3. I'm always amazed at what my children understand. They're 3 and they get stuff and later explain something to you showing that they understood what you talked about a week ago.

4. That's probably why people who say "oh they (kids) don't understand anyway" annoy the heck out of me.

5. I love how my children find joy in the easiest things and beauty in everything. It reminds you that life is more than working, paying the bills, getting to the next item on the to do list. Ladybug showed Angelfish a tree out the window this morning on the way to daycare and gushed about how pretty green it was. I hope they never lose that sense of wonder and appreciation.

6. It's funny how I have a great time out with friends and completely miss my children at the same time. I guess that's part of being a Mom. I've often missed my freedom and ability to do what I want when I want, the spontaneity I so loved about life before kids. Yet, when I pay attention to what's going through my brain, I don't mind being tethered by my Angelfish and Ladybug and wouldn't have it any other way.

7. Kids should come with warning labels about their addictive properties... in that you become addicted to their loving you and your loving them back. There is nothing better than a spontaneous hug or a kiss on the cheek or their blowing you a kiss or throwing you a hug as they run past you. Even if they have sticky hands with peanut butter or honey or food that used to be in their mouths.

8. Somehow this is not nearly as wonderful when the children are not yours.

9. In the hall at daycare this morning, Angelfish and Ladybug started running. Angelfish said "We're doing our triathlons, Mommy."

10. Some people say that my children have no idea that I do triathlons and that right now it doesn't make an impression on them as a good example because they're only 3. See #4. I think they get it. If I were to stop doing triathlon they would eventually forget because they're only 3, but they get it.

11. I hope this weekend is a nice one so I can take the little ladies swimming.

12. I also hope that tomorrow's 6 miles of hill repeats in Clermont ends early enough that I'm home by 9 am... we have a birthday party to go to for our neighbor's son. Ladybug has been making him pictures for his birthday all week at school. We are all looking forward to the party because we really think our neighbors and their little boy are wonderful!

13. Sunday's brick - a 50 mile bike and 6 mile run - has me a little nervous. It was super hard for me to get it done last week in the heat once we got to the run. I did it the day after a rest day. This week, it's the day after 6 miles of hill repeats and it's a little shorter.

14. I really need to get better about hydrating on the bike before September 27th. Although my training buddy and I put in our "order" for the weather for race day during last week's brick. We'd like weather in the mid 70s with slight cloud coverage during the swim and bike, and light (but only light) rain during the 2nd half of the run. That way the roads will be dry for the bike but we'll be cooled during the run. We'd like the river water to be smooth with no current to swim against too. Oh, and we'd like the hills during the bike to be smaller than they appear on the info we've seen for the race. And we'd like to kick some major booty time wise. Not too much to ask right?

15. Going back to why. I do triathlon for my kids. I do triathlon for me. I do it because it makes me feel alive and sense that wonder and appreciation that I sometimes miss in life and that I always want to share with my hubby and my kids. I do it for those who can't and these days I wonder why I didn't do it sooner!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Morning again?

My first thought when the alarm clock went off was "Morning? again?" Mr. Darcy was awesome last night and let me go to bed early while he straightened our house. It's something that annoys me and makes me laugh at the same time - the need to straighten the house so the maid can clean. We're so good for the 2 weeks after they clean, and then the week before they're scheduled to come the wheels pretty much fall off the bus.

Anyway, Mr. Darcy seeing how tired I was offered to put the girls down to bed while I slept but I told him I wanted to help and then started to fall asleep during storytime. I did wake long enough to help out though. Afterwards, I got my gear together for this morning's ride and then went to bed around 9:15 pm at the latest.

When the alarm clock went off at 4:15 am, I just wanted to sleep more. I guess I was catching up with myself from so little sleep the night before last. Somehow I pulled myself out of bed and into my training gear and ate breakfast. While waiting for my training buddy, I thought to myself that I'm looking forward to a week where I didn't wake up so early. The truth is I don't like super early mornings because I miss seeing the lovely ladies when they wake up and I miss some sleep. Yet, once I get going I love being in the moment.

This morning we arrived ready to ride at 5:30 am. We waited for others to arrive and when we finally realized that Coach definitely wasn't coming because she is under the weather, I pretty much told everyone we needed to head out. I like to socialize, but if I got up at 4:15 am I want to ride as close as we can to the scheduled departure date.

The ride was great! I have to admit that at times I had difficulties staying under 17 mph on the bits that were supposed to be at race speed. I can go faster but I understand Coach's point that I have to have legs to run on afterwards. At times I just got into the ride and looked down to see myself about to hit 18 mph. I was good and pulled myself back though. I felt really good on the bike and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise too!

After the bike was a 3 mile run, which I did in about 36-37 minutes. (I stood there chatting for a few minutes afterwards before I realized I hadn't turned off my watch... oops.) I felt pretty good on the run. My legs felt good, which was amazing since I wasn't having any nerve pain. The problems I had I think were allergy related. At one point, I literally had to stop and cough up my lungs because crud was running down my throat and decided to cover my windpipe. Breathing, it seems, is important. Later in the run, I was doing well with my HR about 168 (which is my normal running HR it seems) and passed a man mowing the lawn. I'm allergic to grass and have problems when I pass mowers sometimes (and luckily for me I'm not able to mow the lawn because of it). It only dawned on me when I was going home that this may have been the reason that my HR elevated to 172. I ran a little with it at 172 and then decided that perhaps I should let it come down (that's 90% for me) and walked a little. I walked probably about 4 minutes at most and since my HR was 151 at that point decided to run the rest of the way. I was only a short way from the end of the run when all of this happened so I wasn't too thrilled that I had to walk.

The other thing it could be is that I may not drink enough on the bike. Coach says I need 24 oz. per hour on the bike, and I'm not sure if I do that or not.

Either way, I had an enjoyable workout and had fun. Now if only I can get a shower in... and maybe a nap would be nice...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life's "Little" Surprises and Swim Therapy

Life's "Little" Surprises.
I should have seen it coming, I really should have. Instead, as I drove to the cardiologist's office I thought to myself that my blood pressure readings were so good during the 24 hour test that the doctor's going to tell me that I'm afraid of doctors and there's nothing else to worry about.

No such luck. The doctor did tell me that my blood pressure looked great. That part I was right about. What I wasn't right about was the rest of it. The stress test looked good. The echocardiogram looked pretty good, turns out I have 3 valves with trace murmurs which means they leak a tiny bit but the doctor assures me there's nothing to worry about. The blood work. Total of 203 for the cholesterol which was a little high, but nothing to necessarily jump up and down about. My LDL's were higher than he wanted at 132. They need to be under 130. My HDL looked good.

And then. There's a chemical in your blood called CRP that essentially measures how inflamed your cardiovascular system is... blood and veins, arteries, etc. Below 3 is "normal." Above 10 means you probably have some sort of infection in your body. Mine was 7.2, which means I have a "higher relative cardiovascular risk." The doctor said this put me in the category where people seem healthy and then pieces of plaque break off causing issues. I, unfortunately, have known 2 people who had such a thing that caused a massive heart attack. One was playing tennis and died before he hit the ground. Thus, I said to the doctor, "that's not really good for someone who does triathlons." He said, "No, but it's not good for someone just walking around either."

The result? I have to take a slew of B vitamins, a baby aspirin each day, and a daily dose of 5 mg of Crestor (cholesterol medication). In 3 months I have more blood work to see if it's working and go back in to chat with the doctor again.

The good news? I asked the doctor point blank if I can keep doing triathlons. He said yes. Realizing that we triathletes speak our own little lingo:
I asked: Can I keep training for my Half Ironman competition?
Doctor: Yes.
Me: A Half Ironman is 70.3 miles in one day.
Doctor: (Laughing and looking at me like I was crazy.) You have to RUN 70.3 miles?
Me: No. I don't run the whole thing. I swim 1.2 miles of it, bike 56 miles, and then run 13.1 miles at the end. No breaks in between.
Doctor: When is this race?
Me: September 27th.
Doctor: That should be okay. Make sure you get the prescription filled, the baby aspirin, and the B vitamins.

So I left a bit shocked and bewildered. It had not gone at all as I had envisioned it. I had lunch with Mr. Darcy and told him all this. He said that the medicine would help things and there wasn't much we could do about it. It was the shock of it all. I thought all was perfectly fine and it turned out it wasn't quite.

Unfortunately I sometimes turn to food for comfort, so I stopped at Davis Bakery on the way home and bought a slice of Chunky Monkey cake (a layer of hummingbird - banana nut - cake in between 2 layers of chocolate cake... a normal 3 layer cake... with cream cheese frosting). It was good.

As I walked in the door though, I heard someone leaving a message on the answering machine. Seeing it was the endocrinologist letting me know they had the lab results for the re-test of my thyroid and cortisol levels. I called them back and was told that just like last time, my thyroid was in the normal range but my cortisol levels were still "elevated." The person I talked to then told me I needed to have a DEXA scan done.
Me: What's a DEXA scan?
Person: A bone density test.
Me: Why would I have a bone density test because my cortisol levels were high? Doesn't that have to do with my adrenal glands?
Person: I don't know. That's just what it says here.

So, being one who wants answers, I went online. DEXA scans are sometimes used to test bone density when cortisol levels are high to see how far along Cushing's Disease/Syndrome has gotten. I look up Cushing's Syndrome. The Mayo Clinic says it's when your body has been exposed to high levels of cortisol for long periods of time and is commonly caused by either over exposure to steroids (nope) or tumors (usually benign) on either the pituitary, adrenal glands, or tumors on the lung, pancreas, thyroid, or thymus gland. Unfortunately, a lot of the symptoms are also symptoms of PCOS and then add high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatigue, anxiety, muscle weakness (including back pain), weight gain particularly around the midsection. All of which I suffer from.

It could just be that I have other existing things that cause such symptoms and the high cortisol levels are from stress. This is my mantra at present.

Of course, I also found out that there's a test that is used to help determine whether someone has Cushing's Disease that is called a dexamethasone suppression test. As in DEXA test? I call the doctor's office back and start asking questions. The person asks me if I am TriMommy. I tell her, yes. She asks me if my phone number is X. I say yes. She tells me that she is talking to the doctor about me that very minute and could she call me back? I of course say yes.

4:57 pm rolls around and no one has called me back. I call them. The nurse tells me that the person I spoke to earlier misread the doctor's handwriting and that they were very sorry and that I am, in fact, supposed to have a dexamethasone suppression test and that they will be sending the documents I need for the prescription and the blood work to me in the mail. As soon as I receive said paperwork, I need to follow a set procedure and they'll call me to discuss results or have me come in.
Me: Why am I having this test?
Nurse: To rule some things out.
Me: I've been online, so I'm guessing you mean Cushing's Disease?
Nurse: I'm not supposed to say so that you don't get worried, but yes.
Me: Ok. Well I have PCOS that has a lot of the same symptoms.
Nurse: Well, the doctor needs you to do this blood work.
Me: Ok. Thanks.

I'm not feeling overly confident in the doctor's office at the moment. Although, I can easily see how someone could misread a doctor's handwritting in this situation too. And I'm also completely freaked out by the possibility of even having to determine if I have Cushing's Disease.

If I do end up having it, they have to figure out why I have it. Where will the tumor be? My pituitary gland (which is in my BRAIN!)? My adrenal glands (top of the kidneys, more easily dealt with)? Or places unknown? My mind is going a mile a minute, especially when I see that the 1st line of treatment for either type is to REMOVE THE TUMOR. Brain surgery? Kidney Surgery? Other surgery? Or will I be the small group that has Pseudo-Cushings, which means I'll display all the symptoms, the tests will tell them I have Cushings but then they'll never find any tumors? And then literally: If I have to have surgery how much time will I lose from my TRIATHLON TRAINING!?

Last night I dreamt about being told I have to have brain surgery. In it I went on a rant that when something like this: You're not going to crack open my skull to do this right? You'll go in through my nose or my ear or something (this morning's research showed it's through your nose)? And you're not going to be the one to do it, right? You're going to send me to a brain surgeon that specializes in this. In fact, you're going to send me to the be brain surgeon that specializes in this in the country because if someone f's up, that's my brain we're talking about!

So you probably wouldn't be surprised if I told you that I was up this morning starting at 3 am and spent some time on the internet doing more research. Saying the rosary. Repeating "Everything is going to be fine. You do not have Cushing's. You probably just have other things and unexplained high cortisol."

Swim Therapy.
When it hit 5:35, I left the house to get training buddy Ryan. We swam Lucky's Lake this morning... 3 full crossings for a total of 3,000 m (a crossing is over and back). I worked on a new, more efficient sighting technique than what I had been doing. I liked it and it was great. Now to get myself to actually use it in a race... The lake was busy with swimmers this morning, but it was gorgeous. Plus, it thinned out after the 1 time crossing group headed out. Thankfully the guy swimming a frog style swim on his back was part of that crowed. Try to avoid the guy and he swims over and kicks me... twice. Annoying.

The swimming really helped calm me down and realize that my mantra is true: Everything is going to be fine. And you know what? Even if I do have Cushings and I end up having to have surgery (brain or otherwise), it will still be okay. I'll just be even more of an unlikely triathlete than I am already. And I'll be even that much more amazing when I finish my races.

It's amazing what a great swim can do. How can it not take your mind off your problems when you're counting "1, 2, 3, breathe left; 1,2,3, breathe right; 1,2,3, breathe forward" the entire time? Or when you feel like when you get to the 2750m point that you're swimming but you're not moving forward? You really want to get to the dock, so you definitely have focus elsewhere, and discover that you are moving forward because now you're at the dock.

A little swim therapy goes a long way. Even if I do smell like a lake afterwards...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why Not to Be a Mush Pot

Yesterday I gushed about Mr. Darcy and his love via the Ice Bath. There was a partner at my old law firm (who was pure evil, I might point out) who used to always say to me "Good deeds never go unpunished." Normally, I would not agree with that statement. Without getting on my soap box about it (suffice to say it is one of the many reasons I chose to leave law firm life and practice in house for a corporation), let's just say yesterday it was true.

I gushed and Mr. Darcy showed me why I should keep my gushing to myself.

Last night, Coach posted the training schedule for this week. Mine is a hair different because I swam yesterday and Coach insisted I skip the team's bike workout today because I didn't rest on Monday. The rest of the week is going to rough, so I didn't fight her too much on it. Usually I have one weekend day as a rest day but because of the need to have a high volume week, it couldn't be done. I apologized to Mr. Darcy because this week will be tough on him. I won't be able to be home when the girls wake on Wednesday or Thursday morning, and I'll be MIA for part of the morning on Saturday and then a chunk of the day on Sunday. I told him that I felt badly about it. I told him that I needed to do it all because I wanted to do my best in the 70.3 and make sure I finish the race because 1) I want to do it for me; 2) I want to make sure that all the time and effort that he has put into letting me train didn't go in vain; and 3) I've missed out on playing with the girls weekend mornings and I didn't want that to be in vain either. Mr. Darcy replied, don't think you're doing this for me and the girls because you're not. I don't care if you finish the race or even do the race. When I got upset about it, he said "I'm just being honest."

Sometimes, folks, it doesn't matter if you're being honest. Sometimes, you just need to keep your darn mouth shut. That whole "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."

In some ways I like Mr. Darcy's honesty. I never have to worry that he's lying to me, and since lying is one of my pet peeves and something that I do not believe needs to occur between two people who are married to each other, I appreciate the honesty. However, I do not appreciate the inability to use the v-chip. You know, that chip that tells you if you should or shouldn't say something. I'm sure I've failed to use mine from time to time too. We all make mistakes, but you would think that something this big in my life - training for a Half Iron Man - would be something that would register "use the v-chip." Perhaps not.

Now that I vented about it, I'm over it. It's not like I didn't already know that Mr. Darcy could care less about this race or that it was something he is probably counting the days until its over. It's that I didn't actually want to hear him say those words. Oh well.

Today is a rest day, and so I slept a bit later than I normally would, which was nice. I took a nice shower and put on work clothes. (I work remotely from home, so lately I've been wearing shorts and shirts because it's darn hot, I'm usually still hot after my shower, and I don't go into an office. Today I put on dress pants, a nice blouse, kitten heels and even did my makeup.) I had a nice time getting the girls ready for school, having breakfast with them, and then drove them to school to give Mr. Darcy a break from the usual morning routine.

The gas light was on in the mini-van, of course. I'm not sure what it is but somehow the gas light in our 2 vehicles comes on when I'm driving. I seem to be the resident gas pumper in the family. Luckily, daycare isn't far from the house so I made it there and back without incident.

Ladybug was amazingly chipper and happy today. She didn't give me a hard time about getting in the car or putting on her shoes or going into daycare. Angelfish was pretty good too... until we got to daycare and she didn't like that her socks weren't as long as Ladybug's socks (they do this thing where they pull their socks all the way up and say that they are going to ballet dance, which was what Ladybug did that set Angelfish off when her socks only went up to her mid shin and Ladybug's went all the way to her knees).

Angelfish simply refused to get out of the car. I had to pick her up (with her tightening all her little muscles so it was harder for me to pick her up... the smarty pants) and carry her in. She was crying and said that I scratched her when she was in the car. I apologized and told her I didn't even know I had scratched her and that it was an accident. But the waterworks had started and weren't stopping. She's so very fair that she gets crying spots on her face and those were forming. Little pink spots, it makes me so sad to see them.

Ladybug was great though... after I talked to Angelfish and tried to calm her down and then told her that I had to leave, Ladybug came over, gave her a kiss on the cheek and held her hand. What a good sister!

Then as a little treat to myself, after I pumped the gas, I went and got a cafe latte from Barnie's. Back when I worked in the Atlanta office, I would walk to work from the parking garage and every once in a while get a cafe latte when I needed a little pick me up to get me going. It was a rare event because on principal I have a hard time paying $3 for a cup of coffee. But sometimes, you just need to treat yourself. Thus the latte.

It was scalding hot so I let it cool as I drove home, made myself an egg, and ate my orange. A beautiful morning, really. Today I go to the cardiologist to find out my test results. I moved the appointment up to this morning because they had the spot and the doctor was double booked tomorrow. Afterwards, I hope to have lunch with Mr. Darcy.

A beautiful start to what is shaping up to be a beautiful day. Tomorrow will start with a 3000 m open swim, which I'm sure will be beautiful and butt-kicking all at once.

Until then!