Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Saga of my Leg and the Joy of Halloween

I skipped my run yesterday, as you know.  I had all the best intentions to bike this morning.  There was just one thing.  My leg HURTS.  Yes, in deed.  I blame it on the heels I wore yesterday. 

Yes, I work from home.  But I was teaching a seminar over the web.  The attendees can see my presentation slides and hear my voice, but they can't see me.  However, I know from Dale Carnegie and a million of my own life experiences that if all I can hear is your voice and you're in your pajamas, somehow I'm going to be able to tell.  So I was dressed in nice pants, a nice top, and heels.  I normally wear a suit when I teach a seminar with a live audience, but I haven't been able to bring myself to go whole hog with the suit when teaching online just yet.  So, yes, I chose to wear brown heels but in my defense, they were the low brown heels not the stilts I like to wear when presenting.

When I walked in these shoes it felt like I was hyperextending my knee, yet I couldn't stop walking "that way."  I ignored it because, well, other than the girls' Halloween parade and party and getting them from daycare and going to their soccer practice, and the random walking I do around the house in the evenings, I was sitting most of the day.  By the end of soccer practice, my leg really hurt.  When I walked up the 2 small steps at the front of our house, I had to grab the column for support when I led with my left leg.  I took those shoes off and my leg hurt.  It continued to hurt even after 600 mg of advil.  The edge was off, but it still hurt.

I figured I'd sleep on it.  In the morning, it hurt.  So, I stretched.  It was not happy with me at all.  No sir-ee-Bob, it was not.  It hurt worse.  I got up, walked around and after deciding to skip my bike ride today to prevent further angering the leg gods, took my children to daycare and realized my leg has been like this for at least 2 weeks.  So I called the doctor and in I went.

Now I have an appointment with an orthopedic and sports medicine doctor, who my doctor tells me is not just in-network on my insurance plan, not just very well respected in the medical community, but is also a triathlete.  In the meantime, I am required to wear a very sexy knee sleeve, take 800 mg of advil for pain each time, elevate when possible, and ice my leg.  I am prohibited from running or biking and can only swim while using a buoy.  All of this I must do until I can get in with the orthopedic doctor. The earliest appointment I could get was November 10th! I admit the reason I avoided going to the doctor before this... prohibitions on running and biking.  I predicted them, and like any good ostrich I was just putting my head in the sand so I couldn't hear it.

My doctor fears a tear because the area of the pain is around the spot where your calf muscles attach to the tendons.  I doubt a tear because I think I'd be in a lot more pain and that my body would resist things a bit more than just being painful.  It's not like I've been on the verge of tears or anything... just anywhere from a 5-7 on the painscale (10 being the highest).  I've had worse pain before.  Plus, I think her phone consult with the orthopedic doctor made her think I really needed to have it checked out with him, and he told her I needed to come in and see him.  He has a picture of himself riding his cervelo and running on the "about" page.  Sweet bike, but I'm not sure how I feel about him having triathlon racing photos on his practice website - even if it is a orthopedic and sports medicine practice.

So, I am just focusing on the crazy work I have at my job and the fun of Halloween (and the realization that I have to clean the house for the visit of my in-laws).  The best part of my day yesterday has to do with Halloween... here are some pics of Angelfish and Ladybug and their Halloween Parade and Party at school!  They're my princesses!

Snow White on Parade

Princess Aurora on Parade

Ladybug's Party

Angelfish chatting with her buds at her Party

As long as they're good listeners this afternoon after school, we're decorating pumpkins and cooking apple pie!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Day Without a Run

Yesterday evening as I was walking around getting ready for my evening meeting,  after I parked the car and walked in, walked out afterwards, and then wandering around the house when I got home, my left leg felt wierd.  It wasn't in the spot where it's been hurting.  Nope, it felt like I was hyperextending my knee.  I ignored it of course thinking maybe it had something to do with my back and it would go away.

Go away it did, but now this morning the muscles above my knee but at the back of my quad right as it tapers down to my knee aches.  It's not terrible pain, but it is pain.  I put on my running clothes anyway, got the girls in the car and off to daycare with Mr. Darcy, and decided that maybe I'd just put on my running shoes and try to run a little.  I really want to do my 4 mile run.  4 miles really isn't much compared to what I had been doing, and my body wants to get out there and run.

As I went to put on my shoe, my leg had a twinge and I thought to myself, I need to call Coach.  It was 7:30 am and if I was going to head out and be home in time for work, I needed to call now.  I figured she would be up and getting her kids out the door.  So I called.  I woke the poor woman up.  She had gotten the kids to school and went back to sleep - she's training for IMFL right now, so she grabs naps when she can before starting her day job.  I felt badly about waking her, but she told me not to run.  I think I knew that was going to be her response when I called, but I didn't want it to be what I heard all the same.  She thinks that I pulled something in my leg and that now the other surrounding muscles have been taking over for that muscle as it heals and so they are "wonky" (highly technical term) and not to run so I don't damage anything.

I told her that technically my A race isn't until March so I guessed it was okay not to run this once.  She laughed at me and said if I could get in the pool and use a buoy so I'm not even kicking to just swim for a bit.  I told her I wasn't sure if I could do that today because of the girls' daycare party and having to teach a seminar online from 2-5 pm today, immediately followed by the girls' soccer practice (yes, I like to torture myself) at 6 pm.  She said to just let her know and we'd figure something out but not to stress about it because I'm in "recovery" and the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon is not until mid March.

So I ended up doing a bit of work in the early morning, discovered 2 new projects in my email from yesterday evening that will be on a rush basis for work, and blogging.  It feels so strange not to be out there running and to be sitting.  But I know I'm blessed to be doing either.  So here's to a busy day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Ordinary Day

Today was an ordinary day, but as most ordinary days, they prove not to be so ordinary.  At 3 am-ish this morning, Angelfish woke up and was calling for Mr. Darcy, but he didn't wake up so I went.  She wanted to sleep in the bed with us because she woke up and missed us.  I don't have it in me to say no to a request like that, so in she crawled to the bed.  About 10 minutes later, Ladybug appeared on the floor in our room huffing and puffing... Angelfish had woken her up and now she was whiny and wanting to sleep in the bed with us too.  In she crawled, but she was fussy and shoving me off the bed.  So out she and I went and we slept in her little single bed in her room while Mr. Darcy and Angelfish got the Queen bed to themselves.  Let's just say that Ladybug moves ALOT in her sleep, so I slept and did not sleep all at the same time.

The next thing I know, I am waking up because a light is on and I smell coffee.  It's 6:40 am and Mr. Darcy was being sweet and letting me sleep, which was great but not helpful because I needed to get to the gym to swim and wanted to get back to be at work on time because I have a webinar to teach tommorrow and thus want my last minute practicing.

All went as well as it could with getting the girls ready for school.  Angelfish was super silly and Ladybug was demanding.  But God Bless daycare and Ms. A.  She's been talking about CHristmas and Santa Claus and how Santa Claus watches to see which are the good girls and boys.  Mention Santa is watching and Ladybug stops yelling/whining/crying.  Whoo hoo.  Of course, I'm sure it won't last long and it's probably not nice for me to laud Santa's watchful eye over her.  But it sure is nice to have some peace all at the same time.

Then it was off to swim.  Traffic wasn't so hot, so I had to skip one of my 400's, but still got a mile in during the 35 minutes available to me.  But I was late to work.  That just means I worked late to make up for it.  Thus the late in the day post.

I started to practice after getting my ordinary daily tasks out of the way.  Interruption with a question that I sent off to my paralegal so that I could practice.  Then I remembered I was doing a crock pot meal.  So I practiced while dicing peppers, cooking turkey, and throwing it all together in the pot.  Back to practicing in my office, but first having to read the emails that came in to make sure there weren't any "emergencies."  Then an email arrived for a research question for my boss and the general counsel for the corporation.  Legal research, analysis, application of facts.  Return email.  Back to practicing.  Email from Aetna denying my claim for bloodwork AGAIN.  Call to Aetna and the doctor's office.  Back to practicing.  Finally finish one full practice out loud... and it's the end of the work day.  But I got through it and I'm pretty comfortable for the material, so all is well that ends well.

No news yet on Mr. Darcy's pay cut.  I have a feeling that they will wait until Friday so that everyone works hard this week and then has the weekend to get their grumbles out before Monday.  That's what I'd probably do if I was in charge of such things.  I'm just not sure I would have let them know this was coming 2 weeks beforehand... unless they were secretly hoping that people would quit, but in this economy it's not likely anyone who wanted to leave could leave anyway.  Mr. Darcy's very happy there so we're just keeping our fingers and toes crossed at this point.

Tonight I have to go get the girls and then Mr. Darcy arrives home and I'm off to a Junior League meeting.  It's a cluster meeting, meaning that you meet at a member's home with a smaller group of women for the meeting instead of the huge membership meetings that you have most months.  Should be good... but that reminds me, I need to get directions from google maps.  So I'm off!

I have a 4 mile run tomorrow.  Let's hope my leg and back cooperate!  Until then!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Giveaway - Tall Mom on the Run

Tall Mom on the Run is having an awesome giveaway (visit her blog here to enter!  She is giving away a gorgeous pink and white technical zip up running jacket from Brooks, who is sponsoring her giveaway, as part of her effort to get us all to Go Pink for Breast Cancer awareness and research.  Not to mention having a great blog as a Mommy Runner!

So go, read, and enter!

Today is a Gift

This morning I went for my bloodwork to see what the crestor has been doing to my homocysteine levels, etc.  Posted on the cubicle of the intake person was a post it note that said, "Each day is a gift, not a given right.  Let go of anger and fear and live."  I rather liked it.

I haven't been angry, but I have been a little fearful.  They announced at Mr. Darcy's workplace that paycuts are going to be given.  At some point this week, each employee will sit down with a higher up and they will "discuss" the amount of the paycut.  We are luckier than most in that we're sort of frugal.  We have money saved in the bank for a rainy day, we save for the girls' college and for our retirement.  We are not into cars, so we have one car that is completely paid off and the mini-van that we got out of necessity and still have payments on.  We tend to keep our cars for at least 10 years at a time.  We don't like the idea of debt and so we try not to buy anything we can't pay for in a given month.  Yet, I worry about how much this paycut will be and whether this will mean that I will have to clean my own house every 3 weeks (horrors, I know, but it's something I don't have much time to do - I've been kind of spoiled on that front since the girls have been in our lives), whether Mr. Darcy will have to give up the lawn service (again horrors, I know, but the man has little time to do it and my allergies prevent me from being able to do it), whether we'll have to eliminate eating out 100% (we've knocked it down to once a week), whether we should buy a deep freeze so we can buy our meat and other things in bulk to save, whether we have to not sign the girls up for sports (again horrors, they are 3 after all), whether we need to eliminate our monthly date night.

And then I volunteer at Canstruction, deconstructing the artwork made of canned food to benefit the local food bank.  I explain to Ladybug when I leave and she doesn't want me to go, that I'm going to do my part to help people who can't afford to go to the grocery store to buy food and are hungry.  I think about the program that the food bank has that gives kids backpacks filled with food for the weekends because these kids were coming to school on Mondays with headaches and tiredness because their parents can't afford enough food for them to eat enough on the weekends.  And I realize that not only do I have it very good, but that I'm a spoiled brat worrying about losing my fun stuff when it could be so much worse.

So that post it note really spoke to me today.  And I went for a run to work it out in my mind.  Coach said to do an easy run for 30 minutes but to stop if my calf hurt.  It hurt about 15 minutes into it and I didn't want to stop.  I walked for a bit and then tried to run for a bit, but it would hurt again after about 1 minute to 1:30 after I started running again.  But it didn't hurt when I walked, so I walked.  It dawned on me that I was lucky to be able to walk or even run.

Life is good and I will stop living in fear about money or anything else.  And I'm going to do my best to stop being a spoiled brat and live like every day is a gift.  Not just today.

This weekend was a gift.  We had a great time with Angelfish and Ladybug.  The local pumpkin patch was great.  It had pony rides (Angelfish LOVED it and grinned ear to ear as she rode the pony.  She even let go with one hand so she could pet the pony while she was riding and the instructor had to tell her to stop and hold on with both hands.  Ladybug liked it, but not nearly as much as Angelfish.), a hay ride where the girls got to feed the horses, bunnies and a goat to pet, and pumpkins to pick.  It was a lot of fun.  We also made construction paper bats that we put out on the front porch.  Somewhere we didn't get around to carving the pumpkins, but hopefully we'll get to that tonight! 

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Halloween Decor ... So Far

After this morning's depressing post, I decided to use my lunch break to make a much happier one.  Pictures of our Halloween Decor, as it is so far.  I am expecting to have more by the end of the weekend since we will be carving pumpkins and making paper bats.  Halloween was my friend Angela's favorite holiday, so hopefully as she looks down on us from above she'll enjoy our Halloween "treats."

Our friendly, yet plastic, pumpkin

One of our many "spooky spiders"

The start of our hanging of spiderweb

Cat #1

Our friendly witch (sans lantern) and her other 2 cats
(This was our wood project from Martha Stewart Living)

Some Perspective

I've been complaining a bit about the girls' behaviour the past few entries.  While I cannot say that I will not complain about it in the future, I will say that I have some new perspective today.

In Orange Park, Florida 3 days ago a little 7 year old girl named Sommer went missing.  She went missing while walking home from school with her older sister and a friend.  The walk was from start to finish 1 mile long. In a middle class neighborhood described as nice and lined with trees.  Sommer had an argument with the friend they were walking with and when her sister told her to stop, she got upset and ran up ahead of her sister and friend to the point that they couldn't see her.  When they didn't catch up to her after several minutes had gone by, they started looking for her and couldn't find her.  They ran home and told Sommer's Mom.  The police searched and the community searched and they couldn't find her anywhere.  Yesterday, after one of the police officers realized it was garbage day in Orange Park, the police followed the garbage trucks from the neighborhood community where Sommer lived.  They followed them to the dump.  As each truck dumped its contents into the landfill, the police searched through the trash for her body.  THE TRASH.  And there after one of the trucks dumped its contents, they found this poor little girl's body.  They've done an autopsy and are examining the trash that she was dumped with.  They've interviewed 155 registered sex offenders.  And they do not even have a person of interest yet in her killing.

Today I am thankful that my girls are alive.  That they are healthy, strong willed, happy, and that I can hug them and hold them, and even get frustrated with them.  I weep for Sommer and her family. I wonder how her sister is feeling at the moment.  A little girl who upset her sister and then she disappeared.  And I am sorry not just for their loss but also for not always appreciating my children  - who even when pitching a fit or arguing with me over a shoe or something ridiculous, are truly the lights and loves of my life.

I can't talk to them about this of course.  At their age it would frighten them beyond belief.  But I will never be sorry for how vigilant and overprotective I am of them when we go outside of our house.  It is sad that we live in a society where people prey on helpless, innocent children, where we cannot let our children walk 1 mile home from school without the possibility of never seeing them again or seeing them after they've been assaulted.  These people should be put to death.  I am not a fan of the death penalty, but people who prey on children have a sickness that cannot be "cured" and not only for the crimes that they commit that wholly change a child who survives it (not to mention those who don't) but also for the safety of all of the children they might decide to harm later, they need to be put to death.  Just as our society puts to death dogs who attack, so should these monsters be put to death.

On that happy note, the girls and I had a fun evening last night.  After I picked them up from daycare, we went to the store in search of felt to make bats.  No felt was found, but we did find some fun static stickers that were spiders and decorated our front door's windows with them.  We also put up some spider webs and drew jack-o-lanterns - some with happy faces and some with "pooky" faces (as Angelfish drops the s).  Tonight we plan to make black construction paper bats and put up more fake spider webs.  Tommorrow after soccer, we're going to go to a pumpkin patch nearby that is having face painting, pony rides, hay rides, etc. This year is the first year that our Little Ladies have gotten into Halloween and it's really cute how much they like to decorate for it and how excited about it they are... although I think Angelfish is really looking forward to the candy part a bit more than Ladybug is.  That's not to say Ladybug isn't thinking of candy, but she's more into the idea of being Snow White for Halloween than the candy she will get, which is just an added bonus.  Our community is having a Halloween Street Party that is family oriented next Friday with a costume parade, a Haunted House (we'll skip that this year, although Mr. Darcy might go in), a pumpkin carving costume, games, etc.  That should be fun too.  Let the Festivities begin!

Oh and I did 18 miles in 47:30 on the stationary bike at the Y this morning.  It felt good but I missed my bike... at least until that upper left calf started to hurt a little at the end.  I gave it a good stretch, so hopefully it will not hurt later.  We'll have to see how it goes.  I don't like this super modified schedule... I need some more mileage and activity!  My body is sending messages to my brain like "it's such a pretty day outside.  Wouldn't it be a nice day for a 5 mile run? Or a couple of loops on the closed road on the bike?"  And then my leg/back/lungs send a complaint in the form of an ache, sciatica, or cough.  But at the moment, the idea of tougher workouts is overriding any bodily complaints.  So let's hope for a better calf and a better back and decreased coughing SOON!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Splish Splash

I went to the pool this morning and, despite some issues with my goggles leaking every now and then, I felt great to be back in the water.  It felt odd at first, as though my muscles were super tight.  But after the 1st 100m, I was back in it.  It was supposed to be an easy swim and I was running behind schedule due to a "lovely" morning with Ladybug.  She can be rather infuriating at times.  I fully expect that she will have had an accident or two today at school merely because she can "control" that situation.

Anyway, I focused on my stroke and reaching out.  When I swim "easy" I sometimes swim "lazy" and don't go through my stroke like I should.  But, I did a mile in 35 minutes.  Not a world record or even as fast as before the 70.3, but I was happy with it as my easy swim.  If I had more time, I would have gotten to the 1.2 miles, but as it was I was doing my best to make it to work on time.

It is lovely to be in the water and just swim.  The fact that the girls were atrocious at soccer last night (to the point that another mother gave one of the other mothers a look, which was the last straw in an already difficult situation with my children) and that Ladybug was the spawn of Satan this morning (and I'm guessing that I'd have to be Satan in that reference since Mr. Darcy had more patience than I did with her this morning), while still weighing on my mind now was a distant and removed memory while in the pool.

This morning, I wished I had more time to stretch out my muscles and swim for hours.  I even wondered what it would be like to spend the time to swim 2.4 miles in the pool, as though I was preping for an Ironman.  I bet it's fun... and relaxing... to get into that swim zone where it's just you and the sound of the water as you swim.  I think I could swim all day, if you let me. 

But that stuff called work, and life, and errands, and ugh - responsibilities - gets in the way.  At least I had 35 minutes of splishing and splashing in the pool. A good way to re-start the morning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sleep & A Doozy of a Morning

Last night I talked to Coach and told her about the wierd pain that was terrible and making me limp in my upper calf near the back of my knee.  It's been just a twinge here and there since the 70.3, but nothing I worried about.  Not even in Seattle as it was uncomfortable while walking and carrying a 30 pound child.  It didn't hurt during the run yesterday but by the evening, I was limping.

She said no running for a few days.  Swim for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, easy.  Bike easy on the stationary bike with no heavy resistance the next day, and then we'll talk again.  I took 3 advil and went to bed.  And I slept.  Like a log.

I woke up at one point 5 minutes before the alarm clock was set to go off.  I opted to sleep for the next 5 minutes, which some how turned into an hour and 5 minutes.  I only woke up because Mr. Darcy woke me to ask if I could take the girls to daycare.  Forgetting that I had an 8 am conference call for a bar committee I was on, I said yes.

But my leg doesn't feel so bad this morning.  I'll have to swim tomorrow and move the bike to Friday, but maybe that's not such a bad thing.  I'm still coughing here and there, but it's so much better that it's amazing.  And yet I wouldn't mind a bit more sleep.  So I'm plotting to spend my lunch hour napping.  We'll see how it goes.  Hopefully it will give me patience to deal with Ladybug and her attitude of late.

This morning, Ladybug yelled at me (literally) and cried and threw herself on the floor because I cut her yogurt open (it was a squeezer) after she asked me to remove the top piece.  Evidently, she didn't want me to open it but instead to just remove a little piece of plastic.  I told her she had the option to eat the yogurt or go without yogurt and then said that Angelfish and I were going to get socks.  And we walked away.  Then Ladybug is screaming "Mommy" as though I've deserted her in a pit of vipers.  I ask her why she is screaming and she tells me "You scared me."  I ask how and she says she thought I left her.  I told her that I said we were going to get socks.  Then she lies to me and says that I yelled at her, which I decidedly did not do at any point.  I told her that I did not and that I didn't appreciate her making up lies.  Ladybug then starts yelling about how she didn't want me to open her yogurt.  So I said, "fine, give it to me.  I'll eat it."  "No, it's mine!"  I walked away with Angelfish and put her socks and shoes on.  The next thing I know Ladybug is eating her yogurt and singing "Nanny, Nanny Boo Boo.  Nanny, Nanny, Boo, Boo.  You have zero."  I'm sure she's picked this up at daycare because we certainly have not taught her this. I'm grateful it's not the version I know from childhood too - "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo Stick your Head in Doo Doo."  That would be a bit too much for me this morning.

We get to school and the girls are angels.  They walk in nicely, and we go to their classroom, they start to play with their friends outside.  One of the teachers tells them (after they've given her a morning hug) that they make her day and then tells me how sweet they are and how at picture day yesterday they did wonderfully with the pictures and gave beautiful smiles and everything.  I thought to myself, at least they are both sweet and wonderful for other people.  They are sweet and wonderful at home, but they also will be so silly that you can't get them dressed or get something done (Angelfish) or be so demanding, yelling, and act as though nothing is good enough (Ladybug) to the point that your brain wants to scream.  I guess it's as someone told me recently, they know how far they can push you but they don't know how far they can push their daycare teachers.  Whatever it is, it's frustrating.

But good news on the potty front... Ladybug kept her underpants dry and clean.  Bribery with a token for "good behavior" and a piece of gum will get you everywhere.  Let's see if it works again today.  Angelfish gets to benefit from this as well, since what rewards one rewards both in this house.  It was cute too because yesterday when I got the girls from their different class rooms at daycare, the first thing Angelfish did after hugging me was to ask Ladybug if she kept her underpants dry and clean.  When Ladybug said yes, Angelfish said "Yay! Ladybug!  I did too!"  So I had two cows (girls) chewing cud (sugar free bubble gum) loudly in my back seat on the way home.  Happy as can be.

And we finished our witch and cats.  We also decided we need to get some orange lights to put out behind them to make them glow a little.  So we'll be off to Target at some point in the not too distant future.  I just have to find a way to get through this evening's soccer practice first...

Maybe a nap at lunchtime...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Joy of a Run

I emailed Coach yesterday and told her I was feeling better.  She told me I could do a 3 mile easy run, doing 5/1's but if I started coughing or felt light headed to stop.  So, this morning, after the kiddies and Mr. Darcy were out the door, I set out on my run. 

It felt SOOO good to be out there running again.  I have missed it.  I even dreamt about running twice in the last 3 days.  My loop is 3.2 miles, and it seemed to go by so quickly... 37:10 (11:36 average pace).  Not bad for doing 5/1's, one of which was actually a 5/2 because I was coughing a bit during the 1st minute  I had a hard time keeping my HR in zone 2, but didn't cough while running.  I coughed some while walking, but chalked it up to post nasal drip.  I didn't think I was getting light headed, but when I finished up the run, I definitely was.  OOPS.  I couldn't help but run like I did.  I tried to hold myself back some more, but it didn't feel comfortable so I just ran in a way that I felt good.  After coughing up my lungs the 5 minutes after I finished and having to stand still and gulp down Gatorade so I could stop feeling light headed, I realized that maybe I went out a little too fast for my first day back.

I won't go as far as to say I shouldn't have run though. It felt much too good to be out there. Listening to my shoes squeak as they hit the pavement.  Feeling the sweat beading up (I opted for a long sleeve performance shirt... not sure what I was thinking it was 60 when I left the house... not nearly cold enough for it).  Thinking about my arm posture and driving my hands toward the "finish line." Looking ahead and thinkng about the next turn in my route and little else (except for when I had to do the math for the next 5 minutes in the 5/1). 

I've never been a big fan of Galloway.  I like the idea of being able to run the entire distance and somehow getting faster from there.  But, I fully admit that it works.  You can cover a distance faster and feel pretty good both during and after.  Plus my back doesn't feel as bad afterwards, which is a definite plus.

On the non-running side of things, we've decided that the girls are going to have to finish out their soccer season.  They claim that they are "afraid" of playing soccer, of the other kids running at them.  Saturday we let them skip their game because I was sick, Bill wasn't feeling the greatest, and we had just gotten back from vacation.  But they'll be at the rest of the games.  Not sure that they'll play but we'll be there.  The Y is now saying that no parents can be on the field with the kids during the game anymore.  That's the only way we could get our little ladies out on the field.

On the potty training front, Ladybug is making me crazy.  We've been at this for over a year and she'll do great for several weeks (like on our vacation) and then be terrible about it (like this past weekend and yesterday).  I have to say I HATE pee and just completely feel like she's never going to be potty trained.  I think she uses it as a control thing.  So now I'm reverting to making it into a HUGE deal everytime she pees in the potty at the house, cheering and clapping and the whole 9 yards to try to keep from having to do a million loads of disgusting laundry. (Which reminds me, I have to put a load of pee clothes and sheets in today.)  Angelfish on the other hand (KNOCK ON WOOD) is potty trained.  She has an accident once in a blue, blue moon... like once every 2 months or so.  At least I can be thankful that one of them keeps her underpants clean.  I hated this stage of having a dog too.  Ugh.

The girls are being sweet but WHINY.  And Ladybug is trying to order us around, which we (of course) are nipping in the bud.  It gets under my skin.  Yesterday she ordered me to give her a piece of gum and when I told her no she threw herself on the floor at daycare.  On the floor.  Over a piece of gum.  It didn't work of course, but it was a bit embarrassing.  I just told her she could lay on the floor if she wanted but she wasn't going to get a piece of gum and that I was going to get Angelfish from her classroom.  Next thing I knew she was pretending to cry and holding my hand.  Still no gum.

But then there are those great moments when all they want you to do is hold them and read a story or chat with you.  That makes it all worthwhile.

That and getting to go for a run. : )

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Decision

I woke up this morning and made a decision.  It's something I've been thinking about for a bit but concentrating on training and trying not to worry about it.  The thing is, I want to lose weight.  I haven't lost any weight during all of my triathlon training although my body structure does look a bit different and clothes fit much looser, etc.

So here it is.  I plan to lose 20 pounds.  It's that last 20 pounds that has been lingering since the girls were born and that it seems like wants to stay.  But I want it to go.  I'd like to get rid of it all by April 1st.  That's 28 weeks from now.

I think that the key for me is going to be lowering the amount of carbs I eat.  I know, I know.  Triathletes need carbs.  But the fact is that I have PCOS, which means I am insulin resistant and carbs are not necessarily my friends.  I already eat whole grains and whole wheat pastas and look to avoid sugar as much as possible.  There has to be a balancing point where I can lose my weight and still have enough carbs to train without triggering fat storage like us PCOS'ers are prone to do with the normal amount of carbs others eat.

So the plan is this.  I've been eating the 60 carb/20 protein/20 fat ratio.  I'm going to switch that up to 40 protein/40 carb/20 fat and see how it works.  I'll be prepping for a half marathon in March and the tri season after that, so we'll play with the numbers.  I just want that 20 pounds gone and to stay gone.  I read that you can shave 8 seconds per pound off your run time. That's 2 minutes and 40 seconds!

So there it is.  The decision has been made and now to adjust the diet.  I'd do Phase 1 of South Beach (the cleanse your body of its addiction to carbs where your only carb intake is from low glycemic index vegetables. Phase 2 you get to eat low glycemic index fruits again.) if I didn't think Coach would shoot me.  Of course, I am only getting back to working out tomorrow, I think... It would only be for 2 weeks.  Hmm.

No matter what I do, I'm planning to drop this weight.  Of course my high cortisol issues may have other plans for me, but I'll do what I can to get it gone!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The (Short) Photo Version of Our Seattle Trip

After sleeping practically all day Friday and huge chunks of this weekend (in between laundry and working on our witch and cats for the front yard... almost done), I decided to post photos from our trip to Seattle.  You all got the long word version the other day and now for the photos... much more fun!

I'm hoping to get back into doing some training this week.  I'm only hacking up half of my lungs these days instead of all of them, so it's progress....

Looking at airplanes before our 1st flight

Angelfish at the Space Needle

Ladybug the Jellyfish at the Seattle Aquarium

Angelfish doing the fish walk at the Aquarium

Girls and the Piggie at Pike's Place Market

Deception Point

Little Ladygoats

Diablo Lake

Bushart Gardens

Ladybug and Angelfish and their friend the Humpback Whale

Mt. Rainier

Seattle Skyline

Super Girls in the Airport on the Way Home

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Seattle and an Unwanted Souvenir


WARNING: This is a long post, so grab a cuppa and maybe even a snack...

We had an amazing time on our trip!  The little ladies were excellent travelers and a lot of fun (as was Mr. Darcy).  We didn't do as much as we could have but we wanted to try to take it slowly and enjoy ourselves instead of overprogramming.  And I'm really proud of myself because I didn't have every minute planned and didn't have any freak outs - even when I thought we were a little bit lost trying to find our hotel in Victoria.

We spent Wednesday traveling out to Seattle.  2 plane rides later we arrived - all happy and in one piece.  Ladybug seemed to either have an allergy or the start of a cold... it turned out to be a cold, but she was (overall) still cheerful and fun in spite of it.  The girls even carried their back packs and carryons the entire time.  I think they liked being in charge of their gear and they loved riding on the planes and watching planes take off while waiting for our next flight.

After getting the carseats from the carousel, we wandered with a ton of stuff to find a taxi to take us to the airport.  Turned out the shuttle was more expensive than a taxi ride, the taxi with all our bags would be just as (if not more than) a ride in a town car, so Mr. Darcy opted for the town car - which they decided to let us ride in a LIMO for the same price.  We were laughing hard - riding in super style to our $110 per night hotel, which suited us just fine with the girls.  The little ladies' 1st limo ride and our 1st limo ride since our wedding almost 12 1/2 years ago!

Once we were checked in, we got some dinner and went for a walk and ended up riding the monorail down to the Seattle City Center to see the Space Needle.  The girls loved the monorail, and we had a great driver who let them each honk the monorail's horn. : )  They also loved the Space Needle (as did we) and looked through every telescope and binocular on the deck.  After that when they would see the Space Needle, one of them would shout out "It's the Space Needle! We went there!"

After an interesting night's sleep in what would be a pattern for the trip - one of the girls would wake up and not recognize where we were and call for Mommy to come sleep with them - we wandered down to the Pike's Place Market area.  We had breakfast in a little french bakery and discovered that Angelfish doesn't like crossoints or flakey french pasteries of any kind.  But at least she drank a good bit of milk.

We loved the market and wandered it a good while.  The girls' loved the pig statue, the flowers, the fish, and just everything.  We had the most delicious fruit samples (and bought a decent amount of fruit for snacks)! Honeycrisp apples are the family's new favorite type of apple.  The best part for me was when a street performer saw Angelfish and I and sang the jazziest version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" that I've ever heard.  She was singing that song the rest of the day.  It was awesome!

Afterwards we went to the Seattle Aquarium and spent several hours just wandering around looking at the fish, the octopus, the birds, the sea otters and the seals.  It was awesome.  The girls' loved getting to touch sea urchins and starfish, staring at the octopus moving in its tank and all the jellyfish.  Not to mention playing with a board that let them put sea creatures whereever they wanted.  But I think Angelfish's favorite part may have been the hand dryer in the ladies' bathroom... she would hoot and holler and clamor to use it again every time we went past the bathroom. It always cracks me up what they like the best.  Ladybug's favorite was probably the board with the sea creatures.

After a leisurely lunch or two - we had a "picnic" of dried meat and fruit from the market while watching the sea otters eating their lunch and then got a regular lunch an hour or so later - we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit and for Mr. Darcy to get our car from the rental place that was in walking distance from the hotel.

Then we were off to my Aunt C and Uncle B's on Whidbey Island.  What a gorgeous place!  We met them after a nice little ferry ride - our first ferry ride ever - for dinner.  After discovering that the portable DVD player we brought for the trip didn't work, the girls fell asleep.  At dinner they were a bit of a handful at first but settled down and were a hoot after a bit.

Mr. Darcy and my Uncle rented a van so that we could all spend the day together riding out to Diablo Lake in the Cascades... they also bought a new portable DVD player that rocked the rest of our trip and made the little ladies happy during the car ride. We took a wonderful ride through the Cascades that let us stop every so often to see amazing views and for the girls' to get out and stretch their legs.  Deception Point was one of the family favorites - very cool bridge built originally as part of the New Deal and absolutely amazing views.  Even the girls were impressed!

Of course, at one stop the Little Ladies were so enthralled with the Spooky Halloween Word World episode they were watching that they didn't want to get out and see the hand hewn long canoe we thought was pretty cool.  They did like a few of the other stops and liked running around pointing out water falls or pretty leave colors which Ladybug deemed was happening because "Halloween is at the end of the month." 

We also had a gorgeous view of Diablo Lake and had a fun picnic lunch were we relaxed and kept an eye on the girls who were playing all sorts of make believe games.  The drawback was the National Park latrine, which Angelfish just used because she had to go but Ladybug had to be coaxed into using because it "smells bad and yucky" and she didn't like the way it looked.  She eventually used it and it was back in the car.

On the ride back we saw a buffalo farm and stopped for homemade ice cream at a pumpkin patch and farm.  Back at the house, we had amazing freshly caught Salmon that my Aunt & Uncle's neighbor had given them. YUM!  And once the girls were in bed, we had port and chatted.  It was a great visit!  The only drawback was I realized I was starting to get Ladybug's cold.

We took an early drive to Port Townsend, rode a ferry with amazing views of Whidbey Island and the sound, and then drove the rest of the way to Anacortes where we bought our ferry tickets to cross over to Canada's Victoria Island.  After a stop for scones and coffee and a running around session for Angelfish and Ladybug, we drove to the top of Hurricane Ridge where we had some more gorgeous views and the girls napped in the car.

Cutting it close for the ferry, we parked the car and threw some stuff into a bag or two and headed off to Canada.  Angelfish and Ladybug are now international travelers without any international incidents!  We played games and did an activity book that we bought for them during the hour long ride.  At one point the captain came over the intercom and announced that there were humpback whales out to the right side of the boat.  It was awesome!  Ladybug and I were really excited - as was another lady who when I asked Ladybug how cool is that?  The woman enthusiastically answered "AWESOME!"  A lot of the people on the ferry were going for the next day's Royal Victoria Marathon and Half Marathon. I jokingly said to Mr. Darcy, "maybe next year we can come back and I can run the Half."  If looks could kill, I would be thoroughly deceased... later Mr. Darcy ran into 4 women from his old firm in Atlanta who had come to run the Half.  We had a good laugh about that.

At one point during the ferry ride they announced that they were doing a drawing for tickets to the Bushart Gardens and all you had to do was fill out a little piece of paper for each member in your party - we had 4 people so Mr. Darcy got us 4 tickets.  They announced some numbers but none matched.  I said to Mr. Darcy, "well, it would have been too amazing to have gotten to see humpback whales AND win tickets to the gardens" (which we were planning on seeing anyway).  No sooner than the words had left my mouth did they come on again and announce they had more tickets to give away - and we won one!

Once we got through customs and were questioned thoroughly as to why we were there and what we were doing and where we were staying, we were allowed into Canada!  We took pictures along the waterfront, saw the finish line for the marathon (and yes, I was feeling sad I didn't get to run), and wandered in the direction of our hotel.  Right when I thought we were lost, Mr. Darcy said let's just turn left and try up a block or two.  The girls were happy picking and blowing dandelions as we walked, I was enjoying the picturesque quality of the town, and poof there we were right at our hotel. : )

We checked in at the Helm's Inn, which we rather liked except for the party that went on in the room above ours which coupled with my having to sleep with the Little Ladies led to maybe 3 hours of sleep for me.  But before bed, we walked through the downtown center, saw some cool totem poles, and discovered that you can't even eat in a pub if you're not 19 (so 3 year old twins were not allowed - I guess their pubs are like bars here... and we wouldnt' bring the girls into a bar in the US, but the pubs were way nicer and looked more like eating establishments that contained a bar in part).  We sat down to eat and I wasn't feeling so good and we were all tired. 

The Little Ladies suceeded in spilling water 3 times and soaking Mr. Darcy and I (and our pants) in the process.  I spilled water once.  That was a bit tense for a little bit because I wasn't handling it overly well and the girls were probably a bit punch drunk on lack of sleep at that point, but we all calmed down with a local beer (for Mr. Darcy and I) and french fries for the girls.  Afterwards we wandered some more, played in a toy shop, and got some ice cream.

It was race day and when we set out, people were already running.  By the time finished breakfast, the half marathoners had finished and were sporting their shiny finishers medal.  If you ever have thoughts of running the Royal Victoria Half or full Marathon, I'd recommend it.  The course looked nice, there was tons of stuff (gatorade and food type things), and the medals were really cool as were the tech shirts these people got.  At breakfast we spilled 2 glasses of milk, but this time laughed about it.  Really good breakfast though at a place (Smitty's) described as a type of Denny's, but that was way better.

Then we took the bus out to Bushart Gardens and got to see a little of the surrounding area via the bus.  The gardens were absolutely gorgeous and I wish we had gotten more pictures, but we had forgotten to charge the camera battery.  Mr. Darcy took a few with his camera phone, though.  The girls had fun playing hide and seek among the plants and then fell asleep on us while we were carrying them.  So I got a bit of a workout as I wandered the gardens, but loved the views and the beautiful surroundings.

Somehow we were able to get the bus back, Mr. Darcy grabbed our stuff from the hotel while the girls and I played near a totem pole that they liked putting pine cones in its nose, and we still made it on to the 3 pm ferry.  But somewhere in here we lost 1 1/2 hours between the ferry leaving at 3 pm and arriving at our car in Washington.  Not sure if there was a time change we were unaware of or what.  But we headed out of town and on to Gig Harbor where we stayed with my Uncle T and Aunt N.

They thought (as we did) we would be there earlier and my Cousin L. and her children were there waiting to see us.  We felt terribly that we were so late, but had a wonderful time chatting until Cousin L and her 3 little ones had to go home.  After that we enjoyed spending time with my Aunt and Uncle too.

Monday we woke to a wonderful pancake and bacon breakfast that my Uncle T made.  Unfortunately, my cold was in full blast so I ended up with toast because I wasn't feeling well with all the congestion.  The toast did the trick, the girls and Mr. Darcy loved their breakfast and we all headed out to Mount Rainer. 

The drive was beautiful and we had a great time with my Aunt and Uncle.  The girls got to use their first port a potty on this leg of the trip too.  Try explaining why there is a cup and why they can see poop and pee in the potty and why it doesn't flush to a 3 year old.  They eventually decided it was "silly" and moved on.

It was snow flurrying on Mount Rainer so we got to enjoy the snow a little and had some breath taking views, although we were amazed at how little water there was due to the drought they've been having out there.  River beds almost completely rocks.  At Paradise we stopped, got out and looked around.  There's a nice visitors center so we looked at the mountains, took pictures, did the handson displays with the girls and chased them around, visited the bathroom with them a few times (again Angelfish loved the hand dryers much to the amusement of some Indian women in full saris), and had a nice lunch.

After lunch, the girls threw a few snowballs at Uncle T. in the parking lot and when sufficiently cold piled into the car with the adorable black bear stuffed animals that my Uncle and Aunt surprised them with.  The ride back was even nice although everyone had a nap, except Uncle T. who was driving.  The poor guy.

Then we had fun playing and visiting some more at the house, and Angelfish and I played on the playground in their neighborhood a little bit before dinner.

The cold I had was definitely bad at this point... to the point that my Aunt (a retired nurse) told me I did not sound overly healthy.  After a bit we headed back to Seattle, stopping at Dairy Queen for a morning blizzard (Mr. Darcy's idea).  We headed to the Pacific Science Center only to discover that it is closed on Tuesdays.  It was raining at this point, so we didn't get to the Olympic Sculpture Park or the Ballard Lochs either.  It just gives us a good excuse to go back at some point!

We checked into our hotel and Mr. Darcy returned the rental car and set up our town car for the morning ride to the airport.  The girls and I rested and colored in their coloring books.  Then we decided to go to Top Pot for coffee and donuts, which the girls loved (although they had milk - no coffee to stunt their growth!) and we enjoyed as well.  Then we went to the Seattle Glassblowing.  We held the girls the entire time even though they assured us that "glass breaks.  You won't have to pay for anything if they break it."  A few artists were making some blown pieces so we got to watch that for a bit.  The girls (and we) were enthralled.  Mr. Darcy and I liked the pieces so much that we ended up buying a small vase - purple with some blue overlay that I'm not sure how to describe, but it looks great on the mantle in our family room!  It took us some time to do choose a piece while one of us would play outside with the girls (who would hoot at the monorail every time it went by and were playing in their make believe world again and locked me up in the "dungemon" for some reason or another), but we eventually agreed on a piece.

Back to the hotel for more coloring and resting because at this point I was feeling pretty badly.  Mr. Darcy went to the deli across the street and got us soup and sandwiches for dinner, we watched Madagascar on the portable DVD player that Mr. Darcy hooked up to the big screen tv in our hotel room, and then went to sleep.

We were up early and ready to go.  Headed to the airport and got there in plenty of time for our first flight of the day and played a bit in the airport with the girls.  Once in Dallas, we played some more and had lunch.  We had a 3 hour layover and all I wanted to do was sleep.  My head was killing me, I was coughing, etc.  Mr. Darcy took the Little Ladies to the bookshop and read some kids books so I could at least rest a little bit.  After finding some Dayquil, I got a very minor amount of relief until our flight (which was delayed because of a malfunctioning autopilot system) left.  The pressure in my ears and those of the girls and Mr. Darcy was pretty bad on this flight.  Gum helped a little bit, but my right ear in particular was really bad.  Poor Angelfish at one point woke up with really bad ear pain but was still asleep enough that we couldn't get her to chew gum or eat anything.  Finally her ears popped and she fell back asleep.

Finally we were back in Orlando, off the plane, and at our car.  The girls had been talking about how they wanted to go see their friends at school and how they missed their friends and school, so I think our trip may have been 1 day too long for them.  But they were still troopers and traveled amazingly well and they seemed to have fun with us.  I know we did with them!

Unwanted Souvenir.
So, as I mentioned I got sick on our trip.  Turns out that whatever Ladybug gave me (which she is completely over) took a good hold of me and turned itself into bronchitis and an upper respiratory infection.  My doctor (who I saw Thursday during my lunch break) said she is absolutely amazed that my right eardrum didn't rupture because it is just that swollen up.  She's put me on an inhaler, decongestants, a prescription cough syrup, and antibiotics and ordered me to stay in bed and not work on Friday.  After work today I pretty much got into bed and slept.  Mr. Darcy picked the girls up from daycare and fed me soup.  The girls kept me company while I ate and told me about their days.  You'll all be happy to know that Ryan is still Ladybug's boyfriend even though she was gone "so long."  The girl cracks me up!

More sleep and then waking because I was coughing so hard... thus the blog entry.  We have yet to download our pictures since we got home around 1 am last night and then had work today, but I hope to update you all with pictures soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seattle, Here We Come!

Well, at least after I finish my workday, go to the chiropractor, feed and care for the Little Ladies, get the packing done, the house straightened, the lingering laundry washed, the refrigerator cleaned out, and everyone into bed for an early morning wake up to get to the airport in the morning.

But still, we're going.  I hope.  You see our plane tickets that we got with our World Point miles don't have assigned seats.  This is something that worries me.  I've been on too many work trips where I would have been bumped if not for an assigned seat.  I've seen too many people bumped for the same reason.  This is our vacation.  I don't want anything coming between me and a good time with the family, especially after all the training and vanishing Mommy acts because of training leading up to the Ironman 70.3. 

I guess I have guilt about all that training.  I didn't realize how much guilt I had until last night when my back pain was getting to be a 7 on the 10 point scale and I thought to myself that I'd like to do a full Ironman even if it resulted in rather painful nerve pain shooting down my legs afterwards. (Yep, I've definitely drank the coolaid.)  The next thought was that I'd have to do it the year I turn 50 so that way the girls wouldn't be too heavily impacted by my training schedule. The year I turn 50, they'll be 19.  I guess I could do it at 49, but 50 just sounded so nice.  And then I saw Big Daddy Diesel's Monday Movie this morning (guess I'm behind the times), and that sealed the deal.  I'm going to be an Ironman at 50, if not before.  Who knows the little ladies are rather smart, they could be child geniuses and solving the world's problems at the age of 12!?

Anyway, I love to travel and see the world.  While Seattle might not be an overly alluring location to some, for me it is a place I have never been before.  Another state to cross of the list of places to go before I die.  When I was 8, I came up with my list... not knowing this was fodder for philosophy professors and later an author and movie.  My Granny had died of lung cancer and something must have been said about not having regrets in life or something, and it turned into my coming up with things that I wanted to do before I died.  As irony would have it, it did not include triathlon, getting married or having children.  It did, however, include many things I have now done - like skydiving - and those that I am still working on - getting to all 50 states and not just in airports or passing through to somewhere else.  I am constantly adding to the list and crossing off things I have done... but at this point it's more of a mental list... and Ironman is now on it. (Sorry, Mr. Darcy!  Maybe by 50, you'll want to join me and will have drunk the cool-aid that is long distance triathlon.  Or you can just be my sherpa...)

Oh, yes, so I'm excited.  We're going to see Seattle, the Cascades, Victoria (in CANADA), Mt. Ranier, and points in between.  Not to mention the girls' first ferry ride and my eager anticipation of their take on the Pikes Place Market and the throwing of fish.  Ladybug helped me this morning by trying on some clothes that I had bought them for Fall.  The pants fit pretty well for length but the skinny minny had issues in the waist on some of the pants (which means Angelfish who is even skinnier despite eating more than Ladybug on most days will definitely have issues).  Luckily, most have the adjustable waists so we can make due.  Ladybug is definitely excited.  She kept saying "oooh. I want to wear these in Seattle.  They fit be just right and they're so cute" - even if the pants were about to fall off.  The girl loves clothes.  I think I may be in trouble.

All the same, it was fun to see her so excited.  She even decided to wear shorts and a shirt today instead of a dress because she wanted to wear something "new" and saw the Halloween shirt that I bought with the cat wearing a witches hat. : )  Angelfish insisted on a dress because "Seattle is too chilly for dresses."  (I told them that the other day.)  I guess she needed to get her dress fix in before we leave.

So that's where we'll be during my hiatus from blogging.  I'm bringing the camera, so I hope to have photos to go along with stories that I can regale you with when I return.  And we can all dream our IM dreams.... even if it won't be acted upon for another 16 years.  That's what the "List of Things to Do Before I Die" is for... right?

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Run, Aliens, the Weekend and Vacation Plans.

A Run.
It's still a recovery week, but today was a 30 minute run doing 4/1's.  It was great! I did about 2.5 miles in the 30 minutes and loved every minute of it.  I think my body has been missing being in movement.  When I started running, I felt TALL.  Not sure what that was about, but I really did feel taller than usual.  As I ran along, my left leg was not really happy.  It's the nerve pain from my back that decided to return after the 70.3 was over.  I'm glad it held off until now, and I have a chiropractor's appointment tomorrow afternoon so I'm sure things will be back to normal in no time.  What a happy 30 minutes though.  My right leg and the rest of me felt great, I was happy to be running and loved to be out there.  I sweat like a pig, but I do live in Florida.

The aliens have invaded, though... and that is because I was really enjoying my run.  They have absconded with the old me and replaced me with someone who likes to run!  I guess that is a pretty good thing since I'm training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, and Coach wants me to run the 15K at Gasparilla in Tampa this year.  Fun is to be had!

Tomorrow is a 45 minute swim, which I am looking forward to... I love to be in the pool!  Coach has another run, another swim, and a 1 hour easy bike on my schedule for the week too.  I am not sure I will get them done because we leave on Wednesday for our trip out to the Seattle area.  We're staying only a few days in hotels and a few days with family.  So, we'll have to see what we can do.  I'm not thinking that the bike is going to happen since I won't have a bike with me, but I'll pack the clothes for it anyway.  Plus, I'm putting the family first on this vacation so while I don't want to lose my endurance, etc.  We're still going to be doing a lot of walking and perhaps a little bit of hiking... while carrying the little ladies. So, it's not like we'll just be sitting all the time either. 

The Weekend and Vacation Plans.
Besides after the weekend of clinging children, I think they need some dedicated Mommy time.  Saturday the girls had a soccer game.  Angelfish was on the field for an entire 3 minutes.  Long enough for a play or two and to run around in order to score the post game treats (Capri Sun, gummy fruit, pretzels, and grapes).  Ladybug on the other hand decided she wanted to play, but only if Mommy would hold her hand.  So I ran up and down the field holding her hand and encouraging her for .... an entire quarter! (Keep in mind these games are a whopping 40 minutes long at this age.)  But, during that time, she scored a goal, assisted with 2 other goals, and was really good about kicking the ball, trying to get the ball from other kids and running around following the ball.  And even better was the fact that when I asked her if she was having fun, she said "Yes!" and wanted to keep playing!  It was great!  She did every so often ask if she could have the post-game treats now, but was perfectly okay with me telling her that we had to wait until the game was over.  So now we know, the way to get them to play is to tell them NO POST GAME TREATS unless you play!

The best part of the weekend though was when the little ladies told us they wanted to play "Swoopsie, Whoopsie, and Bob."  We're a little on the creative side in our house and so when we tell the girls the story of the 3 Little Pigs we spice it up a little.  Some of that "spice" is that Mr. Darcy decided to name the pigs... Swoopsie (youngest pig), Whoopsie (middle brother pig), and Bob (eldest pig) ... and it stuck.  The girls now refer to the story of the 3 Little Pigs as "Swoopsie, Whoopsie, and Bob."  The other thing the girls like to do is play with Q-tips to use them to "draw" pictures on the floor by using the Q-tips as lines.  They decided (on their own) to combine the 2 things.  We helped them draw the 3 houses for the 3 little pigs, and then they had us all act it out.  They took turns appointing each of us to different roles among Swoopsie, Whoopsie, Bob, and the Big Bad Wolf (who they deemed we're not allowed to name because "he's not very nice.")  We did this over and over for more than an hour.  It was so much fun and we all laughed and laughed!  At one point Ladybug tried to be a creative Big Bad Wolf and ask for water or snacks to get let into the little pigs' houses.  Another time, Angelfish changed the story and let the Big Bad Wolf have the ability to knock down the brick house and pretended to eat us all up.  Nothing short of hysterical.

Mr. Darcy got some of it on film, so I'll try to figure out how to insert the movies for your amusement (if I have time in between packing and getting us out the door for school and our trip...).

Other than that we had lots of errands where the little ladies wanted to be right on top of me, especially Ladybug.  So lots of snuggle time while we were home and a lot of reassuring that yes, we were "staying all together" today.

Of course that made this morning tough on Ladybug.  She wanted to stay home with Mommy and tried pulling the "I have a headache." "My tummy hurts." routine.  At least I hope it was a routine... she's at daycare and they haven't called yet, so here's hoping.  I don't think it helped things that Mr. Darcy is on a business trip to Ft. Bragg and won't be home until late tonight after they're in bed (and I'm asleep too).  But we made it with not too many tears.  Angelfish announced that school was her work and she was ready to go.  On the ride to school, we talked about what we would do on Wednesday to get to the airport, to fly to Dallas and then to Seattle, etc. Ladybug in particular can be funny about new things so I tried to go into as much detail as I could - even explaining that the "gate" wasn't like a normal gate but had chairs all around, etc.

They're pretty excited about the trip and once I finish packing, I think I'll be just as excited as they are.  I'm looking forward to seeing someplace new and experiencing things with the girls and Mr. Darcy.  I'm also looking forward to seeing my Aunts and Uncles and introducing them to our little ladies.  The last time I saw these 2 sets of Aunts and Uncles, I was pregnant with Angelfish and Ladybug.  So that should be pretty cool.  Not to mention we're going to Canada!  Even if it is for 1 day, it will be cool (and not just temperature wise either).  We're going to Victoria, which is supposed to be very pretty, and we're going to see the Buschart Gardens as well as the town... unfortunately, it's also the weekend of the Royal Victoria Marathon so it will be a busy place that weekend.  We're going to take a ferry, so that should be fun experience with the girls too.  And it will be nice to be "all together."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 2 of Trying Not to Be Consumed by Triathlon

Today I went to the Y to do my 30 minutes on the stationary bike in Zone 1.  I thought, this is going to be ridiculously easy... which it was and it wasn't.  The exertion was really easy.  I barely broke a sweat.  But, my hamstrings evidently have not yet forgiven me for the 70.3.  They were okay during the ride, but decided to twitch to the point that it was a pronounced feeling for 1/2 an hour afterwards.  I hear your complaints and they have been registered! 

I had a feeling my hamstrings might not yet be on speaking terms with me after my massage yesterday.  Every other muscle was greatful for the massage, feeling happy and relaxed the more they were massaged.  My hamstrings shouted out in pain and tried to make me cry from the agony.  They were more relaxed afterwards, but I had to laugh when the masseuse told me that my "glutes were hard as rocks."  Isn't that what we all dream of?  A rock hard butt?  Unfortunately, I don't think she meant it in the "woo hoo. nice butt" sort of way.

I will baby my hamstrings some more today by doing lovely stretches for them.  Hopefully they won't get too mad.  They don't hurt while I walk around.  I happily can say that muscle pain is gone and only a little nerve pain remains (which hopefully will be eradicated by this afternoon's appointment with the chiropractor).  And even the nerve pain is less than it was before... I thank the massage therapist for that one.  She said she could tell that I needed an adjustment.

As for my return to life outside of triathlon during my recovery period, I'm not sure how well I'm really doing on that one.  Other than working, hanging with the little ladies, and doing some laundry, cooking and dishes, I spent my free time yesterday planning my races for next season.  I have to say that promising Mr. Darcy that I would not do any 70.3's this year has been a little bit torturous.  There are a lot of awesome 70.3's out there with great looking courses, etc.  And there's something a bit addictive about the Ironman 70.3 thing that no one tells you about.  Now that I've done one, I want to do more.  As Missy said to me on the phone the other day, "You've drunk the cool-aid."  And I liked it.

But, I know that my children and my husband need me to be around more, and that is the most important thing of all.  I have to admit that with Mr. Darcy working until at least 1 am every night this week, it was nice this morning to have both Angelfish and Ladybug be upset when Mr. Darcy was the one to take them to school and not me.  I felt bad they were crying, but happy that they wanted to be with their Momma!  And besides, I'll be spending my time trying to get faster, and especially improve my run.

I'd like to eventually be able to run in races at a 10 minute mile pace.  For me, that would be super fast!  Somehow I have to figure out how to get weight off which will help with the speed.  It's not easy when I have PCOS which makes my cortisol hang out in the rather high zone... I wonder if there's medicine for that.  It's hard to understand how I can train like a mad thing, eat less than I'm supposed to (sticking the majority of the time to the 20% fat and the good fats), and still not lose a pound. There's got to be something to help.  My body composition has changed some... even Mr. Darcy commented earlier this week that my legs were really toning up... but the scale has not and I'm no longer losing clothing sizes either.  It makes me fearful to eat during recovery... but not to worry, I am eating healthy whenever I get hungry.

Anyway.  I'd love to look like a triathlete as well as be one.  But I will settle for getting more toned and getting faster.

See?  It's all still coming round to triathlon.  But I did start a non-triathlon related book last night.  It's really good, but I fell asleep pretty quickly.  I think I'm still catching up to myself.

Well, the tummy is grumbly... so I'm off for an egg, a non-fat Activia yogurt and a V-8!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Life After the HIM Begins...

After reading the comments from yesterday, particularly Big Daddy Diesel's - and the article he provided the link to - I am taking the advice and reconnecting with my life as well as planning for next season.  I have to say that planning for next season has been taunting me with lots of 70.3 distance races.  But, I promised Mr. Darcy no 70.3's next year and it makes sense to spend my 2nd year of triathlon life actually getting better at triathlon and working on speed.  This I know, but the temptation still remains. 

Training Buddy and I were emailing yesterday to see how each other was doing and he said he's already planning out his next 70.3 race.  I told him I couldn't help but be thinking about what could be next on the schedule and planning for next season, let alone knowing what to do with myself during recovery.  He told me that his wife told him "for some people, a switch is clicked. It is almost an audible "click". And then you are hooked.. For those without the flipped switch, it is very hard to figure out.. For those of us with the switch stuck in the "on" position, we don't know what we did before this."

Mrs. Training Buddy is a verifiable prophet.  The truth of those words just hangs in the air.  I remember my very 1st triathlon this past January.  At the end of the modified sprint (we swam in a heated yet outdoor pool, I rode a hybrid bike, and could barely run the 3.2 miles at the end), when I crossed the cones that served as the finish line I said "I'm done?"  and a few minutes later "When's my next race?"  Since then I've lived and breathed triathlon.  And I really can't imagine life without it.... or even what I did with my time before this.

You know you've got the bug bad when you're cleaning and discover that the new issue of Triathlete magazine has arrived but been put where you didn't know it was there and you get annoyed.  It's a magazine for goodness sakes, but one that I read cover to cover at least twice.  I used to read my National Geographic like that.  Don't get me wrong.  I still love me some National Geographic, but Triathlete will win every time.

This weekend I have decided that we will decorate for Halloween.  Angela's favorite holiday was Halloween.  She loved the creepy stories, the ideas of witches, warlocks, goblins, and all the bumps in the night.  So this year (and every year from now on), I plan to decorate for the holiday.  I used to let it come and go, but we need more love of costumes, spookiness, and fun in this world. 

Mr. Darcy may not be as thrilled, but that may be because I have a project for the family to do.  It's much less expensive than purchasing what I want, but it will be a time drain on our Saturday.  We will be building this:

As you can see, I don't think small.  Of course, I'm not sure that we can build the lighting that they have here, but it will be fun to have in the yard.  And we'll be able to use it year after year.  I'm also thinking cheesecloth spread out like spider web for the front porch and a pumpkin with holes carved in and plastic critters like mice, spiders, and snakes coming out.  Pumpkins on the mantlepiece inside the house, perhaps.  Nothing to scary, but lots of fun.  I figure Mr. Darcy will handle the jigsaw and the hammer and act as foreman, but the girls and I can help trace the images onto the plywood, paint, and maybe use the screwdriver to help attach the posts.  A family project.  We'll see how it goes.  I have a feeling poor Mr. Darcy will end up with the brunt of the work while I chase Angelfish and Ladybug down the road as they practice their "trimyathlons" on their trykes.

Speaking of which, I love their idea of transition from the bike to run.  They just jump off the bike and take off running.  The bike usually ends up on it side or rolling off somewhere, but they laugh like mad.

We also have a soccer game on Saturday.  I'm about to give up with soccer.  Yesterday's practice consisted of their refusing to play and refusing to listen to me when I told them they have to stay seated and watch practice if they were not going to participate.  We ended up leaving about 3/4 of the way through because I had lost my patience with it all.  I didn't pay $65 per child (plus shoes and shinguards) to watch other kids play soccer.  I should know that they are 3 year olds and this might be too much for them at this age.  But it's hard to remember that when I'm sitting there and they're clinging to me like saran wrap to a bowl of leftovers.  Not to mention that the other moms, while nice, know each other because their kids go to the same daycare (different from the one the little ladies go to) and it's like having to make your way into the cool cliche when you've got almost nothing in common.  But I figure we'll give Saturday's game one more try.  We'll miss the next 2 practices and the next game while we're in Seattle (and the surrounding area) for vacation, and then give it another whirl.
This morning I thought I should have signed them up for gymnastics and or dance.  Angelfish loves to show me how she can do a somersault and do "plits" (Angelfish, unless pushed does not use the letter S to start words that have the letter S in them.  I'm hoping this goes away by the time she's 3 1/2.  If it doesn't I may bring her to the doctor.  She can say it, but seems to choose not to.  If you get her to repeat the word correctly she'll do it right.  Anyway.  I probably worry too much.)  Ladybug meanwhile was singing "Let's have a party. Sing a song as much as you want. Now sing!"   I used it to get them to party into the car, but then had to sing the entire way to daycare.  Finally, I sung badly enough that Angelfish requested I stop singing.  Meanwhile, she was in the back with a picture her sister had drawn for her rolled up and using it like a microphone!  Of course, they may just be more like Mr. Darcy and enjoy to be at home.  I'm the adventurer in the household... thus the trip to Seattle.
 I'm having a hot stone massage this afternoon at my doctor's office, and it may just very well be the highlight of my day.  It felt so strange not to train this morning (it's a day off - tommorrow is a whopping 30 minutes on the stationary bike or trainer staying in zone 1, just to get my muscles moving).  Even Mr. Darcy asked me if I had a workout this morning. I got a cup of coffee from Starbucks after taking the girls to daycare - I had a gift certificate with a little left on it and only had to pay 25 cents for a tall non-fat, decaf, cafe latte.  It put a smile on my face but isn't the same as the feeling after you've cycled for 35 miles.  Not bad, just different. 
Luckily recovery can't last super long because I'll be building that endurance core and I've talked a little to Coach about adding some weights into the routine to try to help get faster (not to mention add even more muscle tone - Mr. Darcy said to me yesterday morning "you're legs are really toning up" - yes, I'd like to hear more flab to fab, please!).  The recovery period for me is hopefully going to be about gaining speed - especially in the run since I'll be tackling a 1/2 marathon in March.
In the meantime, we have our family vacation to Seattle (which will include the Cascade Park, Victoria Island in Canada - as irony would have it we'll be there the weekend of the Royal Victoria Marathon - Gig Harbor, and Mt. Rainer areas).  Airplanes with 3 year olds.  I must like torture. : )  And when I get back I have my "Ladies Dinner Club" that I started and that is starting to shape up a bit. Not to mention Junior League Provisional requirements to fulfill.  A rolling stone gathers no moss, they say.
Looking at this post, I'm not sure I'm fully at the place where I'm reconnecting with my life just yet but at least I'm giving it a try.  And a girls' allowed to dream and plan for the next tri season, right?