Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Post Script

I met with the dietician today.  It was nice to hear that she thinks I am doing things right.  She suggested I add 1 ounce of 70% dark chocolate to my diet and the use of cinamon to help with insulin issues.  She's going to analyze my Daily Plate entries, but says I'm already eating in the percentages that she would suggest; that I'm eating quality foods; and that she thinks I'm close on the calories and if anything I may be a little on the low side.  But all in all, she thinks I'm doing what I should be doing food wise.  We're going to meet again once I have my test results back to see what we can fine tune, etc. based on what happens with the tests and the doctor.

But I have to say that it was good to have it reinforced that I am, in fact, doing things right.  I'm eating right.  I'm working out right.  I'm doing what for anyone else would make them fit and thin.  Now it's just to figure out what my body is doing to make it not quite work right.

But what a great reinforcement.  And you have to like anyone that tells you to add 1 oz (even if it is 1 oz only) if dark chocolate to your diet.

The Sunshine Blog Award

I just saw on Tri Diesel's blog that he awarded me the Sunshine Blog Award!  I am not sure really what this award entails, but it's beautiful
 and I'm thrilled!

Some other blogs that bring sunshine to my day (other than Tri Diesel - I didn't want to regift) and thus get the Sunshine Award are:

Teta means Booby in Spanish
Courtney at Cook like a Champion
Crystal Jigsaw
Mabel's House
RockStar Tri
My Life as a TriMommy

And thanks for all the Sunshine!! (Gerbera Daisies and blue sky days are two of my favorite things!)

Life in the Fast Lane on a Friday

Yesterday, I started thinking about the issues I've been having and about the fact that yesterday was so relieving at the doctor's office just to be heard and feel like something is being done to look into things.  And then it dawned on me... I haven't really looked up Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  It's what my Mom has and my Granny had.  I knew it ran in families, particularly among women.  But I figured it was a form of hypothyroidism because my Mom and Granny both ended up on medicine for thyroidism.  So I looked it up online.  I have to say that if the tests come back and show that I do NOT have Hashimoto's I will be both relieved and amazed.  And furthermore, it ticks me off that the 1st doctor didn't bother to run more tests other than to repeat my cortisol and TSH levels because according to what I found, people with Hashimoto's often test the TSH in "normal levels" for years.  That's because Hashimoto's is a disease that slowly destroys the thyroid over time and by using thyroid hormone treatment, it helps delay the effects and replace that which is damaged.  Like my Mom, people with this are told there is nothing wrong with them for years all the while they are displaying weight gain and other symptoms. After looking at the Mayo Clinic's website about it, I have most of the symptoms at various intensities.  I know that alot of them could be explained by other things too.  But if I was a doctor and a patient tried to tell me these things, and there's a disease out there like this... you'd think you'd at least run some tests. And when I read it, I thought to myself - uhm that sounds an awful lot like me. I'm no doctor and these things can be caused by other issues.  But it still seems suspicious.

I'm glad that the new doctor is running all the tests.  I promise to drop it though until I know one way or another after the tests and doctor's appointment.  But I'm just sayin'...

Some of these tests are something.  Last night at 11 pm I did the saliva cortisol test.  I can't remember the last time I was up at 11 pm.  I forced myself to stay awake by watching the "American Idol" episodes from this week that we DVR'd.  You can get through 3 hours of "American Idol" in about 1 if you zoom through most of the back stories.  Anyway.  This test requires you to put something that seems like a long cotton swab under your tongue until it is sufficiently soaked with your saliva, then put it back in the casing and freeze it.  Not the most thrilling of events, but it definitely could have been worse.  I had to bring it to Quest this morning - frozen and on ice, no less.  And knowing that I had a lot of blood work to do as well (not to mention the 24 hour pee test on Sunday), I decided that I would do the blood work in the morning.  I talked to Mom and Dad about all the tests that were being ordered last night (let's just say the list and the insurance/medical codes were an entire page long that ran over a few lines to a 2nd page). We had a bet on how many vials of blood it would take.  Mom said 3-4, I said 5-6.

I got to Quest by 7:05 am - a few minutes after it opened.  You know you've been to the Quest center too much when they know you and chat it up, and you know the center director's name and have a favorite phlebotomist that you know by name and who recognizes you by sight (and is happy to see you again).  I was thrilled to see Francisco and he said "oh, cortisol again I see" as I handed over my frozen sample.  And then he saw the list of tests, looked at me and said "Goodness!"  I told him that I switched doctors because the other one seemed not to know what was wrong with me gaining weight while exercising like mad and eating healthily and in proper amounts, and the new one was trying to figure it out.  Francisco has a very thick accent, and is wonderful.  He smiled and said, "Well, you look good to me.  But I hope they figure it all out."  We chatted it up and he told me how his daughter turned 18 and went to give blood at the blood and plasma center and passed out when she saw the size of the needle.  He knows I have a hard time looking at the needle when it's coming for me, but that once it's in my arm I have no problems watching the blood flow or looking at the needle in my arm.  He also remembers that my veins roll and sticks them the 1st time every time.  (Except once and he got it within a second later but then apologized profusely... I'm used to people missing them all the time, so he's a pure joy to have blood drawn from.)  I told him I drank lots of water for him this morning, to which he responded "Good girl!"  I had to laugh.  I think it took him longer to make sure all the paperwork and the stickers and vials, etc. were set up right to match what the tests needed than to extract my blood - 7 vials worth of blood.  As he was about to stick me, he told me he was going to have to drain me today. And I told him that "it's a good thing I can make more."   So, to say the least, I won the bet - 7 vials.  5 Big ones and 2 small ones.  It's funny to think that some of my blood will be sent to California, frozen, to have testing done.  And that one vial will be kept out of the light on purpose.  Little parts of me everywhere. 

I was hungry (it was fasting for the blood work), and knew there was no way I could get a 20 mile bike ride done as it was about 8:10 when I left Quest - not to mention the 7 vials of blood.  I'm still feeling sickly - stuffy, tired, etc. too.  Plus, the idea of taking the chance of passing out alone on the bike in aero on the closed road by myself wasn't overly appealing.  Instead, I decided to treat myself before work to a whole grain with oats bagel with egg, ham and cheddar and a large coffee from Davis Bakery. All I can say is yum.  As well as congratulations to the Bakery Owners as William James finally made his arrival earlier this week!  I had to laugh because if one of our little ladies had been a little man, we would have named him William James. 

Speaking of the little people, I saw an article about how sports are so good for girls' body image and overall health as they mature.  I also read in Running Magazine about how children shouldn't be pushed into sports, but should be encouraged to play and not specialize in a sport until high school.  Instead, if you wanted your children to get into sports you should be into sports.  If you want them to run, you should run. Interesting factoid: most elite runners did not specialize in running until high school.  Good stuff to noodle when you're the parent to 2 little ladies.

The night before last, I went with the girls to the grocery while Mr. Darcy painted, came back home, parked the car in the garage. The girls got out of the car and saw my bike pump.  I usually keep it in the car because the bike pump is a little chicklet magnet (as is my bike in general - they love to ask me what the different components are, like shifters, the speedfil straw, the arm rests for the aero bars, the gear cassette, the brakes).  Angelfish in particular likes to push the pump handle on the air pump up and down.  I've often wondered what my children see when I do certain things... and this picture says a thousand words.  I was thrilled that I had remembered to throw my camera in my purse after finding the battery charger after all these months.

At the time, Angelfish was saying, "I need to put just enough air in my bike tires, Mommy."  I guess they do pay attention.
Last night was Team in Training's Recommitment Dinner. One of our team members dropped because she is 9 weeks pregnant.  But otherwise, everyone who is on St. Anthony's recommitted.  YAY!  Tri-Miami recommittment is March 9th, but I'm pretty sure all of them will recommit.  Here's hoping anyway.  Coach and I talked about the number of people who will be at the open water swim on Saturday and the number of wet suits we have.  Coach also has to go to her CPR re-certification class, so we have to get 12-13 people into and out of 5 wet suits, swim 400 meters with them, and get them out of the drink by 8:30 am... starting around 7:30 (if we're lucky).  I'm thinking it should be doable, but probably pretty tight.  Always an adventure!  The little ladies and Mr. Darcy went to Recommitment Dinner with me, which was nice to have them around even if the girls were not on their best restaurant behavior and running around the table despite my best efforts to control the situation. Some days are better than others on the social ettiquette front, but I remind myself they are 3 1/2 and that continued effort on my part will result in well mannered children.  At least they said please and thank you when asking for croutons and ordering their meals. : )

Tonight after work, we have to buy Angelfish's buddy C. birthday presents (his party is Saturday), wrap them, straighten the house (it looks like a bomb went off, quite literally), and hopefully get some rest for our whirlwind Saturday - Team in Training, Mr. Darcy's field day, C's birthday party, and the Junior League Blue Note Ball.  I'm thrilled that I will have nothing but grocery shopping and laundry to do on Sunday.  I may even attempt to stay in my pjs all day - although we really should get our behinds to church, and while God may accept me as I am, I don't think the rest of the congregation would approve of pjs in church.

Today I meet with the nutritionist at the Y for my lunch break. I definitely want to take any ideas she can give me about eating and implement, implement, implement! I'm excited about the opportunity to try to do everything I can to get this situation under control.  If only I could squeeze a nap in too... oh well!

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A 2nd Thursday Post - Because I Just Couldn't Wait!

First, thank you for the comments on this morning's post!  I appreciate your comments!

Second, I have to say that my doctor's appointment at the new endocrinologist today was worthy of making a 2nd post of the day.  Dr. Julie Bauer is the bomb.  She may, in fact, be my new favorite doctor.  Which is pretty hard to beat since one of the best qualities of my other favorite doctor, also an endocrinologist, is that he helped make my children possible (and that is in a medical way - no minds in the gutters... you can tell mine resides there because the second I typed it I thought oohh bad, but there's no other way to say it).

She treated me like an adult, which is the 1st step really.  I told her why I was there, what happened with the other doctor and that I didn't want to just throw medicine at something but I wanted to figure out what is going on with my body.  I even brought her print outs of what I've been eating and she said "if you eat like this, you should NOT be gaining weight."  We talked about my tri and 1/2 marathon training and she said that you can be in good shape but not a great weight, but that since I'm gaining weight instead of losing it, it's something we need to look into.  She explained to me that my cortisol may be high just because I'm on birth control pills and then she explained all about proteins and how the pill works and everything.  (It was awesome.)  She also said that even though that's her intial theory, that because my Mom's was always high, and because my Mom and Grandmother have/had hashimoto's hypothyroidism that she doesn't want to just rest on her theory - enter salvia test and the 24 hour pee pee test that will be in my near future (11 pm tonight and Sunday).  She also said that my thyroid test was in what she calls the grey zone because while it's in the range, for many people this means that you have a thyroid problem and then for some people it means that you have nothing wrong with you.  The trick is that you have to figure out which one. She also said that while looking at me she doesn't necessarily see PCOS rearing it's ugly head, that it could easily be that my weight loss is simply my PCOS saying "hello... up my metformin levels please."  Enter blood work for all of the above.  Heck, even if it all comes back perfectly normal and the weight gain issue is still a mystery, I will feel all the better for taking all these tests because even she agrees that with my lifestyle that weight gain doesn't make sense and she is doing something to figure it out.  And that's all I want.  I just want to understand what is going on with my body!

I am feeling better about things at the moment.  And I'm definitely loving the new doctor.

Now if this headache and stuffy nose would just hit the road (my throat is feeling better at least), all would be right with the world again.

Thursday Test Drive

Last night I felt it coming on... headache, tired, stuffy nose, sore throat.  And this morning it was full blown.  I have a head cold.  After sleeping poorly (Mr. Darcy decided to start painting our bedroom last night, so not only did I have my usual insomnia but was also in a different bed), drifting in and out of sleep from 3 am on, and my throat feeling like it had endured the dripping water torture throughout the night, and it being 39 degrees out, I decided to skip my swim this morning in the hopes of returning to health more quickly.  I do not plan to skip the bike tomorrow and cannot miss Saturday's open water swim test for TNT (or they literally won't let me participate in St. Anthony's), so I figured today was the day to try to fight the head cold.  Chicken noodle soup is on the menu for lunch.

While I don't have a swim to report on, I do have 3 products to Test Drive for the...


Test Drive #1: Nathan Sports Quick Draw Plus

What they say:
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. The QuickDraw Plus keeps precious fluids at easy access during runs and walks. A pocket for carrying small essentials, like a cell phone and gym card, makes it the perfect gym tote for cross-training.

Moisture-wicking, adjustable Airmesh hand strap
22 oz. (650 mL) Hydration Bottle with Clipless Cap
Zippered pocket with Key Clip
3M Scotchlite™ reflective trim

My 2 Cents (or More)

The Good: I used this on my 12 mile run because I hate carrying hydration, but know I need it.  And for $17.95 plus tax, I figured I needed to try something.  And I rather liked it.  It holds 22 oz, the padding and pouch is set in just a way that for me was comfortable and unobtrusive and it didn't spray liquid on me even when I was getting tired at the end of the run and my hand started to tilt down.  It was easy to pop the cap up and down, take a swig, and keep on going.

The Bad: Part of this may have been user error at first because I readjusted part way through the run and it did not bother me the rest of the way, but the hand strap's buckle can kind of dig in to your lower knuckle area if you don't have it just right.  It also makes it hard to get out your gel (which does not fit in the zippered pocket) of a spy belt and you end up having to readjust it afterwards.  Granted, I wore it on my dominant hand but that's because I can't drink left handed.  So, if you're more ambidexterous than I am, this might not prove to be a problem.  My other complaint is that the zippered pocket really is only for SMALL essentials.  I have to laugh that they say a cellphone can get in there.  I could fit my driver's license and a credit card, and possible one key.  Gels do not fit in the pocket and I can't imagine that my cellphone would have either.  I would have liked the pocket to be big enough to hold 2 gels (or even 1) and a DL and credit card.

The TriMommy Truth: Overall, I really liked it. Once I got my handstrap readjusted and dealt with re-tightening after the 2 gels, it was great.  I didn't feel like I had to really grip the bottle, and it let me bring hydration on my run without being burdensome.  Most of the time (other than the sound of my liquids swishing), I didn't really notice it was there all that much, which for me was just perfect.

Test Drive #2: Moving Comfort 7.5" Compression Running Shorts

What they say:
With full-thigh coverage meant to keep from riding high, there's nothing our longer Compression Short can't do with confidence. We made sure the seams flatter, the waistband won't roll and the crotch is reinforced. Features an internal pocket and reflective logo.

Inseam: 7 ½"
Body: DriLayer® Power 88% polyester / 12% spandex
Crotch Gusset: 91% micro polyester / 9% spandex

My 2 Cents (Or More)

The Good: These shorts came recommended to me by Coach because, well, while the surface area of rubbing has decreased over time, my upper inner thighs still rub together and when I get sweaty enough sometimes impede my stride a little.  For $34 plus tax, I figured I'd give them a try since they're less expensive than my other shorts.  And I was not disappointed.  I never believe anyone when they say their waistband won't roll.  I have my twin belly with it's twin skin and until the day I used these, every waistband can roll (including dress pants) in the right circumstance.  But, the waistband did not roll, the compression while present was not uncomfortable, and the extra panel in the inner thighs (that you can see from the inside but not the outside of the short - very important) held my legs in enough that I did not have my inner thighs rubbing at all during the 12 miles.  It was like heaven!

The Bad: There really wasn't much bad.  These were really comfortable.  The only thing I can think of is just that because of the nature of the shorts being like tri-shorts in a way (without the padding), that they're not as figure flattering.  But then, I don't know any company that has created a compression product in an A-line so I'm not holding my breath.

The TriMommy Truth: I really liked these shorts and plan to buy more.  They move with you, you don't have the need to pull anything down or up, and can just enjoy your run.  And the price is reasonable as running shorts go.  Wonder if they have sponsorships...

Test Drive #3: Huckleberry flavored Hammer Gel

What They Say:

For over a decade, Hammer Gel has been the benchmark of concentrated carbohydrate energy gel, primarily because of what it doesn't contain - Hammer Gel has no added refined, simple sugars, and no artificial colors or sweeteners.
Choose either single-serving pouches or the cost-effective 26 serving jugs for even, reliable energy, not the flash and crash of sugar-loaded products. You get only what's good for you: complex carbohydrates, natural ingredients, and real fruit. The result is a great tasting concentrated fuel source that goes down and digests easier than other energy gels.
Hammer Gel is versatile as well - you can drink it straight, add it to your water bottle, carry it on the go with our convenient Hammer Flasks or single serving pouches, or combine it with Sustained Energy, HEED, and Perpetuem to create a variety of tasty energy combinations for any length activity, anywhere, anytime.

My 2 Cents (Or More)

The Good: In the interest of disclosure here, I have to say that I already am a fan of Hammer Gels and that really I was just reviewing the new flavor: Montana Huckleberry.  But I'll tell you why I like Hammer Gels too.  I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and am insulin resistant because of my PCOS (yes, I know - I have a lot of issues).  So for me, complex carbs versus sugar works better.  With other gels, I can take them and end up with an intestinal cramp (no not stomach, intestine) by the end of a triathlon olympic distance or further; or I can take them just fine during the race and then have some interesting GI distress several hours after the race.  For whatever reason, using Hammer Gels gives me the energy I need without GI distress either during or after my races.

The flavor.  I was given a Montana Huckleberry flavor packet as a sample from our Nutrition Clinic at Tri and Run in Winter Garden last weekend.  I was hesitant because someone said that they had tried it and it tasted like a grape lollipop to them.  I hate grape candy.  I rarely eat candy, but if I am going to eat candy and the only choice is grape flavor, I will pass every time.  I'm not sure why this is, but we can examine that another time.  I was on my 12 mile run and decided to give it a try.  It does not taste like grape to me, but more like a subtle blueberry flavor that's even less intrusive than blueberries.  I rather liked it.

The Bad: I still haven't figured out what Montana has to do with Huckleberries and Hammer Gel.  Perhaps that's where huckleberries hail from.  The only other bad is the nature of gels themselves - sticky.  User error of the packets results in sticky hands.  Luckily, my user error was minor but I spent a few minutes attempting to lick fingers with a running bottle strapped to the hand they were on.  But that, my friends, is not Hammer's fault.

The TriMommy Truth: I like the Montana Huckleberry better than all of the other flavors of Hammer Gel, other than my favorite - unflavored.  Don't get me wrong, the other flavors are good but I just prefer lighter flavors during races (I have a hard time with tastes and even eating real food while competing or training - especially the longer the race goes.).  I used to alternate between Raspberry and Unflavored during races, but I think I'm going to be booting Raspberry out the door and replacing it with Huckleberry.  And I plan to get to Montana one of these days to compare it to the taste of a real Montana Huckleberry.

That's all for this week.  Hopefully I haven't used up all of my test drives.  I know I have at least 2 more that I can do..

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Rest of the Day and A Morning Run

For a day that started out kind of badly, the rest of yesterday went pretty well.  Work was work.  I made the mistake of having coffee though and it made me really jittery on a day I was already feeling jittery. And in some weirdness, I forgot to eat.  I didn't have "breakfast" until about 11 am and then lunch at 5:12 pm (which consisted of a calorie laden burrito from chipotle since it was next to the bike shop), and a meal replacement shake rather late at night before bed. 

I ended up taking off 1 1/2 hours of PTO time from work yesterday, talked to Little Sister on the phone, took the bikes into my LBS where they kind of laughed a little and fixed everything easily, showed me what to do if there is a problem like those next time, they rode them to make sure all was well, and loaded the car back up (and they didn't even charge me - I teased them and said that now I knew I was helpless because they fixed the problems so easily they didn't even want to charge).  I made it home in time to meet M and head out to our Junior League meeting, which was a fun social meet and greet type of thing at a Lilly Pulitzer.  I ended up buying some really cute pajamas as a little treat for myself.  I do need more pjs anyway, although I don't generally spend as much as I did on them..  I had a nice time talking with everyone, especially M who told me that my on edge jitteriness, insomnia, loss of hair, forgetfulness, crying spells, and anger/frustration issues sounded like what she feels like when her thyroid medicine is out of wack.  It was nice to be told that I'm not crazy at least.  But whether it's really a thyroid issue remains to be seen.  All I know is some hormones somewhere are not playing nicely.

The good news on that front is that I have an appointment with the new doctor on Thursday.  All I want is someone to explain things to me (and hopefully figure what the heck is up with all this stuff).  That's not too much to ask in my humble opinion.  I'm not looking for a quick fix, just to understand what the heck is going on with me physically and not to just be relegated to a weight loss pill (at least not without explanation).

This morning was a great deal better, although I was dragging my bootie out of bed. I was groggy for at least a good 20 minutes after being up and moving around.  And getting up I just wanted to sleep a few more hours.   I helped the little ladies get dressed, kiss boo boos, talk about how we'll get to spend the rest of the evenings this week together and most of the day on Saturday and all of Sunday together.  (That even got a "whoo hoo" from Angelfish.  Mr. Darcy told me that Ladybug asked him last night when they got home if they would get to see Mommy tonight, and that she was really missing me.  That may be why she scared the daylights out of me at 3 am - I opened my eyes and she was standing next to the bed staring at me.) But I got them ready and almost out the door with Mr. Darcy and then I set out for my easy 45 minute recovery run.  5 minute walk warm up, 35 minutes of easy 5/1's and a 5 minute walk for a cool down.  Can you say taper? 

My calf muscles were not happy and my left IT band was even a little grumpy at times during the run.  But I tried to be a good girl and keep to an easy pace.  It seemed like I had less pain when I ran faster though.  So, I decided to run the 5/1's as was comfortable and if my HR monitor started to beep then I'd slow up.  Right around the 2.75 mile mark my calves finally eased up and the run got to be all the easier.  I was actually pretty impressed with myself at the end of it.  I ran/walked 3.7 miles in that 45 minutes, and since more than 10 of it was walking I figured that was a pretty good pace.

It was a nice morning for a run and I enjoyed being out and about in the neighborhood. It was overcast and cool, and while my favorite run weather is clear blue skies and cool, I also don't look a gift horse in the mouth. The neighborhood in the mornings is quiet and slowly comes to life as people start to leave their driveways to head out to the work place.  Moms and Dads driving the kiddies to school or daycare.  A few fellow walkers/runners/cyclists out on the road (although I think today they were inside because of the rain - I only saw one man walking his dog this morning).  Various water fowl wandering around squawking.  Birds twittering in the trees. People walking their dogs, most of whom are cute (the dogs that is) and don't seem to mind or want to chase anyone running by - save a greyhound here or there.  A nice time to listen to your breathing, the sound of cars passing and the return to quiet. Thinking of nothing but the run, counting your 5/1s, and the sights you see on the run.

I used to dislike (okay HATE - in all caps) running, and about 1 1/2 years later and 1 1/2 weeks out from my 1st official 1/2 Marathon, I actually like running.  Now that I'm in much better shape, and I've found the joy of the 5/1, I think that running is a peaceful existence.  I rather like the 5/1.  Sure, I can run without walking.  I've done it many times and it's just fine.  I can go faster when the 1 minute walk is a run on the shorter jaunts.  But the thing I like about the 5/1 is that my back doesn't hurt (knock on wood) after I'm done - even if it's a 12 miler.  And after I hit around the 3 mile mark, my body even stops hurting.  The 5/1s make me feel like I can go forever - heck it's only another 5 minutes and then another and another.  Plus there is the mindlessness that mixes with a sense of being just in that moment and living that 5 minutes on the run before the next 1 minute walk.  And the 1 minute is just long enough for that swig of drink and my heart rate to drop a bit but not long enough for me to end the run.  Sometimes the 5 minutes are easy as pie and others are not so easy at all... and they can be right next to one another.  There's a simple joy in it, really.  So, yes, I can honestly say that I like to run these days.

I guess that's a good thing since the Princess 1/2 Marathon is almost here.  But even more than my race, I'm looking forward to Angelfish and Ladybug running in the Little Kids race. All 100 meters of it.  I just hope they don't pull a soccer practice on me and refuse to do it.  The princesses should be at the finish line, so that should make them want to run even more - I hope.  They've been practicing on the front sidewalk, which is pretty cute.  I havent' prompted them.  I just talk about their race and they either decide to run around the living room and kitchen in big circles a couple of million times, or they want to run outside.  Of course, Ladybug wants to run in her "party shoes" but we're trying to convince her that sneakers are faster.  We'll see how that goes.  Angelfish just asks me if I'm going to cheer for her, and I always tell her "Of course I am.  You're my girl!  I'll always cheer for you."

I definitely need to be around more.  The end of this Team in Training season may have to be the start of a soujourn from Team in Training for a little bit.  Last year the girls knew I was gone, but didn't seem to miss me as much.  This year, they really miss me and really notice that I'm gone and that they can't play and snuggle with me.  I think they need me more than TNT does right now.  It won't be the end of triathlon life or triathlon training for that matter, but it will just need to be different, more local, and more mornings for my workouts.   I think Mr. Darcy needs it too.  He loves being with his girls but it's been 3-5 days a week that it's just him and the girls for either a workout or a Junior League meeting.  He's vocalized that he needs a night off from being climbed all over and clung to (our children are like me - no personal space and they love to snuggle and be held and sit right on you... although Ladybug isn't as physically touchy as Angelfish.  Mr. Darcy on the other hand needs his space sometimes.)  It is a sad and hard realization because I love the Team in Training mission.   But sometimes in this life we have to make choices and raising my children and being a constant presence in their lives right now has to come first.  So in the meantime, I'm going to try to make the most out of my TNT experience and hope to get those funds raised and help others on the team get their funds raised too.  I'm $290 short on the required total right now, but I have faith it will come. (And in case anyone reading wants to donate to my cause, please feel free to visit my fundraising page at:

We're trying to put together a Team fundraiser - a beer tasting and perhaps even a Battle of the Bands at a local brewery.  That way we can have a fun, social event and also help the team raise money.  I have a little dream that we'll raise at least $5,000... but that would mean selling at least 200 tickets.  With 14 people on the team, I think it's doable, but we'll just have to see.  It also depends on what we can get donated and the like.

I may have lunch today with Mr. Darcy - King of the Xbox - if his work meetings allow it.  But one thing is for sure, I won't forget to eat.  I like eating normally a lot better these days.  Oh and even though I haven't been posting actual numbers, most days I've been within about 100 calories of the magic number for the day... except the 3000 calorie days.  But I'm trying and in the end that's really all we can do.

Kind of like running and like triathlon.  Keep moving forward and let's see what we can do!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bike Trainer 2, Me 0

Yesterday after work, I went and got the set of Trigger Point leg/body rollers that I've been wanting.  I also bought a pair of new sunglasses (Trifosi - super cool, silver with interchangeable lenses) because I couldn't find my other ones.  Then I went out to the car and something told me to look in the backseat.  There were my old sunglasses sitting between the girls chairs.  Not sure how they got there, but there they were.  So, I was a good girl and returned the super cool sunglasses to the store.  I guess I'm trying to be "good" but I'm kind of sorry I returned the sunglasses.  I really liked them.  The ones I have are just fine.  Mr. Darcy bought them for me for Christmas or my birthday or something like that during my 1st year of triathlon.  They're a creamy white color with brownish lenses and work just fine.  And I already own them, so they don't cost anything.

I think Mr. Darcy put me in a tizzy about money somehow.  He wanted to see about trying to refinance our house because the interest rates were low, despite my telling him that the real estate market would probably be a bit lower than what we paid for the house and it probably wouldn't work out well.  He decided to call the mortgage broker anyway - our house is worth $100k less than we paid for it.  Mr. Darcy was on a rant about how he thought the valuation of the house when we bought it was borderline malpractice because it came out at $25K more than we were paying for the house and now it's not worth nearly as much and that he thinks our real estate agent didn't do as good of a job on getting us the best deal on the house, etc. I think he's just mad because our house isn't worth what we paid for it and it makes him angry.  The thing is that sometimes these things happen in life and there's not much we can do about it.  We wanted to buy a house in a nice neighborhood where our kids could play outside safely, where the schools were very good, the neighborhood was a nice one, and the house was one that we could live in until the girls went to college if we wanted to.  And that's exactly what we got.  Sure it stinks that we couldn't sell it for what we paid for it and it stinks that we're all upside down in the house, but I have a feeling that pretty much anyone who bought a house in the past 5-7 years is upside down in their house too because the market was high and then the economy fell through the floor.  But now I'm tense about money and such. 

And then I hit the pool.  Practice was good.  I was stiff in my upper back from riding in aero on Saturday.  So the swim really worked that out nicely.  200 warm up, 4x400, and a 100 cool down before we had to pull the cover on the pool.  Excitedly, I got home and after helping get the girls in bed, I got my roller set out and Mr. Darcy said, "Why did THAT cost so much?" Sigh.  I guess when you're not the one in muscle stiffness and you're not into triathlon and all of that, you won't understand.

But I used them and while it hurt like mad and the deep breathing they tell you to do is probably so you won't cry, afterwards I felt like a brand new person.  I'm a tiny bit tight in my calves this morning, but it's like a miracle.  I plan to use it again tonight.

Unfortunately, this morning has been pretty much awful.  On schedule was a 45 minute bike trainer session - 10 minutes of warm up, 5x1 min. (on each leg) of single leg peddling, a 5 min. recovery, 10 minute spin at 85-90 cadence, and then a 10 minute cool down.  I do not like the trainer, but I was actually looking forward to getting it done.  I woke up tired, tense and on edge, and sweating though.  I'm pretty sure that my hormones are out of wack, but there's not much I can do about it until I finally get to see the new endocrinologist.  But, I ended up fighting with Mr. Darcy (and it was probably my fault) because I couldn't find the replacement axle to use with the trainer.  I ended up finding it about 15-20 minutes in the garage, behind a bunch of Christmas boxes that have not made their way back up to the attic and are sitting in front of where last year I used to put my bike and gear and such.

I got the tribike and put it on the trainer.  And something was definitely wrong.  The derailleur (the part up near the gear wheels) was on the left of the gear wheels and rubbing the gear wheel.  I tried to fix it and nothing doing.  I could pop it back to where it needed to be, but the second you try to move the wheels, back out.  So, I get upset about it because I know this means money at the bike shop.  And I'm upset because there's something wrong with my bike and I have to ride it on Friday and because now I can't do my trainer workout.

I put the bike in the car and help get the kids in the car at this point.  Then I look at Ruby my old road bike and think, "I can use her on the trainer!"  I get the bike and it has 2 flat tires, as in flat on the floor flat.  I almost give up (and I should have), but decide I have a bike pump, I'll just pump up the tires.  The front tire, no problem.  The back tire decides that the stem is going to recede into the wheel.  After fighting and jiggling, I finally get the stem back to where it should be and pump up the tire.  I decided that I wasn't going to switch out the axle though and just see if I could use it on the trainer without switching it out.  I put it on the trainer but can't get the lever that holds everything securely just in the spot it's supposed to be but it seems fine and secure, so I decide to give it a whirl.

I get through the 1st 10 minute warm up.  I get 4x1 minute 1 leg peddaling done on both the left and the right.  I finish the 5th 1 minute on the left leg and go to switch to the right leg and my bike falls off the trainer and almost crashes.  Luckily, I'm only clipped in with one leg so the other one and some quick reflexes save me from true disaster.  At this point, I really should have just stopped.  But no, I'm determined to get this done and even imagine what glee I will have when I am finished.  So I put the axle that belongs with the trainer on the bike.  Evidently, I did not screw it tight enough though because now I have not one but two bikes in the back of my car to take to the bike shop because the chain is off the gears and the entire gear trainer in the back and the wheel is not attached at all.  And to say the least I did not get anything else done.

At this point, I'm not even contemplating doing the rest at the Y because I think the universe is telling me NOT to do the workout.  I'm going to attempt to work (oh and to eat something and take my morning medicine because I havent' done that either) and if the day doesn't get better by 1 pm, I'm going to take the afternoon off.  What I'd really like to do is to go back to bed and just sleep until it's Wednesday, but we know that can't happen because I have too much going on.  Maybe the moon will move out of this phase because right now, it's like I have a KICK ME sign on my back and the universe is taking the opportunity to do just that as much as it can.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Weekend Report

This weekend was a busy one... but then nothing is new on that front. But here's how it went.

Friday evening I picked the girls up from daycare and cooked us a psuedo stirfry... without all the salty goodness of soy sauce.  I didn't want to be swollen up for Saturday morning's workout.  Steak with broccoli, carrots and watercress, and long grain rice.  It turned out well.  Even the girls ate one carrot and one bite of broccoli.  Of course, they were each being bribed with a thin mint and a carmel delite, but it was still a moment of epic proportions - my children ate a tiny bit of vegetables!  These children like V-8, but refuse vegetables.  I'm not opposed to giving them V-8 if that's how I have to get them to get some vegetables in, but still.  Non-liquid veggies, I wanted to dance and sing but knew that would be over the top.

Then we watched a little of the Olympics and Ladybug and I played with toys while Angelfish and Mr. Darcy watched more Olympics.  Angelfish eventually wandered in and played with us too.  I asked her where Mr. Darcy was and she said, "sleeping. shhh..."  At the girls' bedtime, I tried to wake him and he was out.  Completely and utterly.  I guess playing X-Box until the wee hours on a regular basis can do that to a man.  So the girls and I did bedtime together, which I must say was a nice bit of alone time with my little ladies.

Then I packed up the car with the bike, etc. for Saturday morning's workout.

Up at 6 am, I dressed, had some breakfast, printed out directions and headed out the door.  We were in Winter Garden, which is a bit of a hike from the house (45 minutes driving at a bit over the speed limit).  Had our nutrition clinic, bought a Nathan running water bottle (I may review this on Thursday) and some more body glide (my friend), and then hit our workout.  We did a 2 mile run followed by an 18 mile bike.

The 2 miler was awesome.  I did it in a hair over 23 minutes, which included me talking to 3 of my mentees about their fundraising, some ideas for them, etc.  I did the first mile in 11 minutes flat all while talking and not being out of breath.  Of course, I realized that I didn't do my 5/1's, so on the way back, I did 5/1's which is why the pace slowed a little bit.  On the short stuff it slows me but on the long stuff it helps me go faster.  It's a quandry. 

Then the 18 mile bike ride.  Coach told me not to overdo it because I had an 11 mile run on tap for the next day.  I tried to follow her advice, but my body wanted to ride.  I felt awesome on the bike and was having a great ride - at least once I realized the reason I was having a bit of a difficult time with one of the hills was because I was in the big ring.  Crazy kid.  And then, I couldn't remember if I had to push down or pull up to switch to the small ring.  Yeah, a few months off of riding - not to mention last season pretty much always riding in the small ring - is not necessarily a good thing when you're new to cycling.  But, I figured it out and worked it. 

I have to say part of it is because it's nice not to be the last person all the time like last year.  Of course, these TNT'ers pretty much smoke me on the run.  The large majority of them are hard core runners - marathons and such are nothing to them.  It was awesome to be able to ride on the way back leaving last (other than Coach and Co-Coach) and end up finishing 2nd.  Of course, I kind of paid for it too.

Later on Saturday (despite wearing my compression sleeves), my muscles got stiff and hurt.  No matter how much I stretched.  By Sunday morning, I was tight as can be.  My muscles between my shoulder blades and lower back were tight too because I spent most of my 18 miles in aero... and it's been awhile since I spent almost all of 18 miles in aero.

Sunday I woke at 7 am after having insomnia (which is almost a nightly occurence at this point - I just make myself stay in bed with my eyes closed for it now because I've found it lets me fall asleep faster - and it's not insomnia because I'm thinking of things it's just this thing where I wake up and can't fall back asleep for a bit that I wish would go away), put on my clothes (including my new running shorts, which I also hope to review for Thursday), had a small breakfast and headed out.  I had hoped to be up and running by 6 am, but that's okay I needed some sleep too.

As I headed out the door around 7:15ish, the girls woke up and I directed them to the bedroom where Mr. Darcy was sleeping. I knew if I didn't I'd be not hitting the run until much later.

So out I went.  I knew I was going to run the closed road near the house because there would be no cars and it's barely under 10 miles for the entire loop.  For some reason I was thinking to myself that the distance to the loop was only about 1.1 miles.  As I was running, I passed the Y's tri group gathering for their long run and bumped into Training Buddy.  We chatted for a minute and then I ran off. 

As I got closer to the closed road, I started thinking that it was taking me an awfully long time to get to the closed road even with stopping to talk to Training Buddy for about 1 1/2 minutes.  24: 31 to be exact.  And I know I don't do 24 minute miles even when walking.  But I told myself not to worry about it, I was going slower like Coach told me to do for this run (although she also told me to do negative splits, which I think I did, but I can't be 100% certain because I forgot that I usually do the closed road on the bike and I had no way to tell where the mile markers were out there... maybe if I'm a good girl Santa will bring me a Garmin for Christmas), Mr. Darcy hadn't fueled me with an argument, and just to do the 5/1's and keep trucking. 

I'm finally hitting the turn around, which should be a mile farther than 1/2 way in the 11 mile run and I'm thinking, I know my stiff today but I can't be going this slow and it hits me.  It's not 1.1 miles to the closed loop the way I went... it's 2.1 miles.  So, I'm not at 6 miles, I'm at 7 at this point and by the time I get back to the start of the closed road, it's going to be 12.1 miles and then I have 2.1 miles to get home.  I decide that I will definitely walk the last 2.1 miles home, which I had planned on doing when I thought it was 1.1 miles so that I wouldn't run more than I was supposed to.  But I'd run the 12.1 because well, I couldn't figure out where the 1 mile mark would be.

I picked up the pace at this point too, and the muscle that hurt last week started hurting again.  But not as bad as last week, so I just kept going.  Amazingly my calves had stopped hurting somewhere around the 3.5 to 4 mile point, so that was good.  I startled 2 young deer while I was running and they froze in the brush.  Absolutely beautiful animals.  I think I also surprised some workers laying sod at one point on the side of the road.  But it was mutual - I didn't expect to see them and they didn't expect to see me. 

It was a gorgeous day - blue skies, warm, and the small lakes were so still that they were the perfect mirror reflections of the trees and sky above. And all I was thinking about was doing the math for run 5 and then walk 1.  I don't notice distance or even really true time that way.  I did pay attention to time a little bit because Coach wanted me to eat at least 2 gels on the run, and I was taking a sip or two out of my new running bottle almost every time I walked.

At 2:26:31, I finished my 12.1 miles.  As I started to walk home, I saw a truck and thought "that looks like Training Buddy's truck," but decided to keep on moving because the truck was on.  I didn't feel scared though like I do when things have been sketchy, so I wasn't worried.  It turned out that it was Training Buddy.  He, knowing that I sometimes have back issues and such and that I hadn't run that long in a bit and that I was running the closed road by myself, had come to wait on me to make sure I was okay.  Training Buddy is awesome and I have to say that I really miss training with him and getting to see him and Mrs. Training Buddy.  So it was wonderful to see him... and he gave me a ride home and we chatted.  So my 11 miler didn't turn into the 14 miler like it threatened... only a 12.1 miler instead.

I got home and tried to stretch a bit, talked to my Dad on the phone, played with the girls, got a shower in, stretched some more, put on my compression sleeves, ate lunch with the fam, and then headed out to dress shop with my new friend M.  The Blue Note Ball is this coming Saturday, and I needed a cocktail dress.  M. showed me what she was wearing (it's beautiful), and then we headed out. 

We went to Dress Barn, which I while I hate the name of the store, I really like the clothes and the prices.  I think it was record time for finding a dress.  I found a cute black dress (even though I originally had said I didn't want to wear black) after trying on some other dresses that were cute but didn't quite grab me, I had a 20% off coupon, and paid.  We laughed that it was so short of a time and then decided to go to a movie.

We saw "Valentine's Day" which I thought was going to be complete fluff... and that's pretty much what we were going for.  We figured we should see a chick flick since neither of our husbands ever want to see that sort of movie.  And "When in Rome" wasn't playing again until 4 pm.  "Valentine's Day" was actually pretty well put together and everything interconnected (most of it was a little predictable but that's okay), and it was really funny in laugh out loud sorts of ways without being overly mushy.  It was a nice surprise.

My legs were stiff as all get out when we got up from the movie, so after getting some groceries on the way home (including subs for Mr. Darcy and I for dinner), I stretched some more.  I finally broke down and took 2 advil before bed when stretching and Mr. Darcy rubbing very hard on my muscle didn't quite work.  It was nice to hear Mr. Darcy say he missed me on Sunday too.  I had a fun time with M, but I missed spending time with the loved ones too.

My mission is now is to call Fleet Feet and make sure they have the Trigger Point leg rollers I want in stock, and then get my butt there to buy them.  My realization is that I am in serious need of a massage but the leg rollers will do that same trick - and it will be less expensive and more beneficial for me to buy them in the long run.

Monday (and beyond)
This morning I am a little stiff, but have stretched, and my side leg muscle hurts.  I need to call the nutritionist who evidently called yesterday while I was out.  This week should be a little slower (I hope) than last.  I have a TNT swim tonight, a Junior League meeting Tuesday night, TNT Recommitment Thursday night, and then a block buster Saturday.  Saturday is going to be a round of musical chairs - in the morning, I have TNT practice, Mr. Darcy has a fraternity alumni association field day at 11 am, the girls have a birthday party at 3 pm, and the baby sitter arrives at 5 pm so that we can get out to the Blue Note Ball, which starts at 6 pm.  I doubt we'll be 100% on time to the Blue Note Ball, but I'd like to get there by 6:30 if possible.  To make Saturday work, let's hope there are no monkey wrenches in the works!  I have a feeling I'll be taking the girls to the party on my own and then Mr. Darcy will meet us there.  I will leave around 4 to come home and start getting ready (the party is about 1/2 an hour from the house), and he'll bring them home and get ready too.

As the wonderpets would say, "What's going to work? Team work!"

I'm looking forward to tonight's swim.  I always like a nice swim when my muscles are tight!  This week starts a "taper" of sorts for the Princess 1/2 Marathon, so we'll see what Coach has in store for me... and now, "hi ho hi ho it's off to work I go!"

Happy Monday!  I hope your weekend was a good one!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lenten Promises, Smiles, Workouts Deferred, and Other News

Lenten Promises
I have to admit, I missed Ash Wednesday services.  But I know it's Lent and every year I give something up for Lent.  This year, I've been hard pressed to think of what I could give up.  In past years, I've given up swearing (with mistakes benefiting charity at 25 cents a pop, which doesn't sound like much but I was working in my old law firm with all men who all swore like sailors and well, that thing sort of rubs off), alcohol, and sweets.  This year, I rarely swear, don't drink but maybe once a week (if that), and don't really eat sweets (although I did have 3 Thin Mints yesterday - I allowed myself the treat).  And my thought is that if it's not difficult to do, it's not really worth of a Lenten promise.

So I've been wondering, what can I do for Lent?  This morning, as I drove home from daycare it hit me (not literally, thank goodness).  But I am going to give up getting worked up about every little thing.  The phrase that came to me while driving is "Live in the Light of God and be that Light in the World."  To be honest with you, I have no clue where that phrase came from but it repeated itself in my mind when I started to write this blog.  I've been reading a book written by the noetic folks (I got interested in what that was all about after reading Dan Brown's most recent novel) about living in a more connected way.  It's pretty interesting, but basically the message seems to be that you need to be open to the inherent knowledge of humanity that is floating around out there.  It's pretty out there, don't get me wrong.  But at the same time, things seem to happen to me at the times I really need them in my life - and the way it happens is always random, whether it's someone who calls out of the blue, a stranger that I happen to sit next to on a plane, a friend who calls as you're picking up the phone to call them, words out of either a child's mouth or someone's overheard conversation, or a though that comes from nowhere.  So while I get that this is really far out there, a small part of me seems to resonate with it as well. 

Now not to worry, this blog will not turn into a hold hands, sing in a circle, chant, and do a little dance cultish kind of thing.  But I figured I'd need to explain myself as to what this Lenten Promise thing is for me this year.  It's giving up the resistance to what is going on in my life.  This is not to say I will become passive.  Not at all.  Instead, I'm just not going to fight so hard against the tide.  A friend sent an email yesterday that was a forward that said "When God takes something from your grasp, he is merely opening your hands to receive something better.  If God brings you to something, he will give you the strength and the tools to see your way through it."  And that is what I will focus on during Lent.  Anger about crazy doctors or children who stall to get dressed and put on their shoes before the day starts is wasted energy.  Focusing on what to do about it, and handling it with grace, is much better use of energy and it allows me to act as a more Godly person.  So that is my Lenten Promise.  I'm sure I will fail at times, but when I do I will donate money to charity and put my faith back into play.  It's probably the best Lenten Promise I have ever made, and perhaps the most difficult one too.

Talking about those things that make me feel lighter - I thought I'd share some things that made me smile yesterday and today:
1. Receiving an email entitled, "Your Full Guide to Poultry" (as opposed to the partial guide, I'm sure)

2. Seeing a comment on FB to a friend's comment from "Leslie Whodat Martin."

3. Angelfish telling me that a little boy named Ty and she are getting married and I'm invited to the wedding.

4. Ladybug telling me she has a special suprise just for me, but she can only give it to me on a day that we're going to be all together the entire day.

5. An LA Times article entitled "Fear the Blobfish" and an ensuing discussion of said article that pointed out the fish looks like both Churchill and Ziggy.

6. A discussion about the tasty properties of Thin Mints and how the only thing I want more than eating Thin Mints is to be thinner. 

7. The realization that my plans for riding my Tuesday bike on Friday morning just wasn't going to happen because Mr. Darcy has a meeting in South Florida (3 hours away) this morning and he was going to have to drive to it.  Why would this make me smile?  It's the 1st test of my Lenten Promise.  I never mind helping Mr. Darcy out, but I get stressed about missing workouts and this week with the doctors appointments workouts have been missed.  But I focused on getting to spend extra time with my little ladies and told myself that it's early in the season and I still will be at Saturday's workout and do my 11 mile run on Sunday, which is still 4 days of workouts.

8. This conversation in the car on the way to daycare between Angelfish (who has a plastic alligator looking monster finger puppet on her finger and is using a low voice) and Ladybug (who is using a higher pitched voice than usual):
   Angelfish: Hello there, Ladybug.  I am Alligator man and I've come for breakfast.
   Ladybug: Oh, you don't want to eat me.  You might break your sharp teeth.
   Angelfish: I'm a nice Alligator I don't eat people.  I eat bugs and worms and sometimes birds and bunny rabbits.
   Ladybug: You can eat birds, but just not ladybugs because they're my favorite.
   Angelfish: But your favorite bugs, ladybugs, are TASTY!
I actually laughed outloud at that one.

9. The flowers that are spread throughout the house.

10. Knowing that it is the weekend as of 4:30 pm today.

Workouts Deferred
So as you saw above, I did not get to bike this morning.  If my work day allows for it and if the weather holds out (it's a bit cloudy at the moment), I'm going to attempt to ride during a lunch break.  If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.  Sometimes life happens while your making other plans. : )

I dreamt about riding my bike though.  It was a great dream.  I was in aero and riding smoothly with the wind in my hair (even though I had a helmet on), there were no cars around, and it was a blue sky day with no wind (other than what I was making from the ride) and it was warm.  I felt great and at ease and I as having fun.  My brain got a bike ride in, even if my body didn't.

Saturday I'll be with TNT for our nutrition clinic and the brick in reverse - run and then bike.  The Sunday, I hit the road for an 11 mile run - my last long run before the Princess Half Marathon.  I have to say, that's pretty much snuck up on me.  I can't believe it's going to be 2 weeks from Sunday.  I know I have the ability to finish it.  The question will be how fast?  As long as I don't get swept by the bus, I'll be fine and sporting a nice shiny finisher's medal.  I have no plans of being swept by the bus, let me tell you.

Other News
I had a lovely evening with the family last night, and in the mail, I received the copies of all of my blood work from the endocrinologists office.  So today I'll be making my appointment for the 2nd opinion.  I'm a woman on a mission. And you know me, I'll keep you posted.

I hope you all are well and that you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Thursday Test Drive

So I said that I would do a review of the book Forever Fit a few posts back.  I finished it this weekend and decided that perhaps I would just go ahead and do my first "product" review.  So here's to the first installment of The Thursday Test Drive! I'd love to say I'll do these every week, but my wallet is not deep enough and as of yet I don't have anyone throwing items for review at me.  But I can always dream... until then, we'll have The Thursday Test Drive when I try or read something new that may be of interest to my bloggy friends.
The Thursday Test Drive

What they say... (an exerpt from the back cover)
In this easy to follow life plan, Dr. Rick Kattouf uses his fitness expertise to help you achieve an improved sense of mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Time is at a premium for most people today.  Multitasking has become an accepted way of life.  Unfortunately, staying fit is moving further down the list of priorities - not because of lack of desire, but because there never seems to be any time available in your daily schedule.

Dr. Rick Kattouf, a Nutrition and Fitness Coach and ACSM Certified Personal Training, offers an effective method for self-improvement.  Enhance your body and mind with an easy to follow life plan that includes step by step information on:
  • Getting started
  • Nutrition programs and guidelines
  • Weight training and cardiovascular exercise
  • Putting it all together
  • People just like you: FAQs. success stories and testimonials . . .
 My Two Cents (or More)

The Good: it has good pictures of the weight training exercises and does give some good ideas for how to include weight training into your schedule as well as some good conceptual ideas about how to eat - mixing carbs, protein and fats. 

The Bad: It was basic.  Too basic.  It doesn't address calories in or out.  It doesn't address what specifically needs to be done other then cardio 2x a week and weight training 3x a week. (And that struck me as odd because the author is supposedly a "top ranked multi sport athlete in the country.")  I doesn't talk real portions, etc.  It doesn't really even talk about fueling needs during and/or after exercise. 

And the pictures.  Dear Lord, the pictures.  We all like to talk about ourselves.  It's human nature.  But the book ended up feeling like it was a narcissistic trip down the author's memory lane as well as self promotion for his personal training services.  Lots of pictures of him doing different things around the world.  I think the idea was to try to bring you a personal connection with the training and the vague plan, but personally I found it to be a turnoff.  Especially the chapter dedicated to products of his sponsors.

The TriMommyTruth: Forever Fit has decent basic information that perhaps for a non-multisport athlete or someone who is just getting into a healthier life style may get them moving and give them an idea of where to start.  But as a triathlete looking for a guide and ways to reach lower body fat levels and overall better health and improved abilitiy, I wouldn't buy it again and I'm glad I didn't have to pay for shipping and had a discount because I was a Barnes and Noble member.

A Beautiful Day

Today is a beautiful day.  It's in the upper 40's and the sun is shining and the sky is a brilliant color of blue. 

Today, my friend Angela would have been 35 if she hadn't been taken from us by sarcoma.  Today is the type of day that Angela would have loved when we were in high school.  She probably would have skipped class in the afternoon to go to C'ad Zan her favorite museum and cavort about the grounds.  If I was feeling extra daring (which was extremely rare - I was more afraid of being caught by my father who was a school teacher and thought of skipping school as a mortal sin), I would have gone with her and we would have hung out on the triangular sculpture on the museum grounds, overlooking Sarasota Bay.  It would have been awesome.  So mentally, that's where I'm going with Angela today.  For her Birthday.  Tonight after work, I'll pick up Ladybug and Angelfish from daycare and meet Mr. Darcy for dinner somewhere for a mental birthday celebration in her honor.  Angela was as beautiful person and so it's only fitting that today would be a beautiful day, even if there's a bit of heartache in it because she is missed.  Happy Birthday, Angela.

Today is also a beautiful day - and I should have known it would be this way because it's Ang's birthday and I should have known she'd look out for me - because my hystereoscope was perfect.  Not the most thrilling procedure in the world, but also kind of cool.  I now know what my cervix, uterus and entryways to the fallopian tubes look like.  And even better than it being cool, the doctor said everything looks perfect.  No sign of cancer, polyps, or any other issues.  He said it looks so good that he could have used it as an example of perfect health for his medical students.  So, his theory (which ironically was Mr. Darcy's guess as well) is that the crazy bleeding was because of a build up due to taking my pills the way I do to prevent the endometriosis from growing and my body just decided to get rid of all that old stuff.  And the pain is due to having a "frozen pelvis" as they call it and possibly endometriosis on my intestine.  So now, it's just to regulate the pain and if it gets bad enough that I cannot take it any longer, a hysterectomy.  But we're all hoping that won't be for many years to come. 

When we talked about options for the pain, I told him about my cortisol being high and my thyroid level and that I gained 15 pounds over the past year instead of losing any weight despite eating healthy, typically undereating (and that I'm working on that too), and all the training I do and he said I need to get that checked out. I told him that I had and the doctor prescribed phenamine and that I plan to see a different doctor. He gave me the names of 2 that are good (1 of whom is someone that a friend suggested as well) and asked me who I saw so he would be sure not to send anyone to her. So I feel a bit vindicated on that front too. Now, if those test results would just arrive in the mail so I can get the appointment set up....

Today is a beautiful day because Mr. Darcy found my running shoes last night.  My beloved new Brooks Trace 9's (and no, I'm not sponsored... yet.  I still haven't heard).  Yesterday I was stressed.  Stressed like I've not been since I can't remember when.  I think it must have been a build up of missing Angela, worrying about the weight issue, the doctor issue, everything that is on my plate, the fact that my scope was today, the pressure I put on myself in general, the realization that the house was a wreck (despite cleaning it up 2 days earlier) and that the cleaning people are coming... you name it.  I've been having problems remembering things lately too, which is not like me at all.  I have the memory of an elephant.  But stress can do that to you.  First, I put on my clothes for the trackworkout and couldn't find the watch that goes with my HR monitor.  4 treks around the house, and it's in the drawer that I've already looked 3 times.  Then I can't find my running shoes.  I go around the house looking everywhere and get the towel, the cellphone, a piece of paper and pen for a sign up sheet for this weekend's Team in Training fundraiser, my spybelt, my keys.  But I can't find the one very important thing that I need - my shoes.  And I guess it was my tipping point because I balled my eyes out on the phone with Mr. Darcy over not being able to find my shoes and knowing that there is something wrong with me when I'm so forgetful and fat and I'm getting so upset over not being able to find shoes.  So, Mr. Darcy suggested the obvious - where my old pair.  It was only 1 workout. 

But that made me cry harder because I just spent so much on the new pair and new inserts.  I am not a crier, so this was troubling.  I ended up wearing my old pair and going to practice so I could collect all the letters from people and to get people signed up for the fundraiser because well, that's my responsibility.

I ended up going and I'm glad I did.  We did abs.  We ran a 800 warm up and then did 4x200 speed work, an 800 recovery, followed by 10x100 speedwork and a 800 cool down.  Coach told me that I was going to be a runner yet and that my form was so incredibly better than last year.  That of course put a bit of a smile on my face.  I liked the speedwork, and it helped with stress.  Of course, it's cold as all get out and I was in shorts, a t-shirt and a long sleeve top.  My legs were numb, but I didn't mind.  Funny how getting those endorphins pumping make you feel better.  Not perfect but better.  I got home and Mr. Darcy and the girls had scoured the house and couldn't find my running shoes either.  Then while I was playing with the girls, Mr. Darcy was doing something in the kitchen and called out my name.  I turned around to see him digging through a green publix bag and he says, "What's in this bag?"  Me: "Dunno."  And then he starts laughing and pulls out my running shoes.  I started laughing too.  My beloved running shoes, for whom I cried only hours earlier.

Today is beautiful because the girls love me and I know I'm being watched over by my Poppop.  Last night, the girls were playing and Ladybug said to me that Charlie was watching over them to protect them.  Charlie was what my Poppop went by (his real name was Casmir... we're Polish, remember?) and I somehow has this warm feeling go through me that in fact, he was watching over all of us.  I asked her who Charlie was and she showed me a doll.  I asked her where Charlie got her name and she said, "It just came to me."  Usually the names that my children make up for dolls sound like something out of the United Nations - names that are just made up words that sound like a foreign tongue. So, I'm pretty sure the universe gave me a little hint last night.  Last night, the girls snuggled with me and wanted me to tell them stories about when they were little bitty babies.  I told them about how their Daddy and I picked their names and the next morning I woke up and knew which baby belonged to which name, even though they were still in utero and that when I saw them when they were born, I knew that their names suited them and that we'd been waiting for them.  I told them about their 1st Christmas and their 1st Halloween and their learning to walk.  They begged for more.  It was amazing.

This morning they wanted me to tell them more stories about them as little babies on the way to daycare.  They were so sweet and loving and while stalling as usual, they were pretty good about getting ready and out the door.

Today is beautiful because Mr. Darcy told me that he loves me.  I cried about being heavy and not as attractive and he told me that he loves me for me and that he knows that I am trying my best and that no matter how big or small I get, he will always love me and never leave me for anyone.  I really, really needed to hear that.

Today is beautiful because I am alive and even though I've been having a tough time of it I realize that I am loved and that my life is really a good one.  I may not get to do my swim workout today because of the doctor's appointment and work and all of the things on my schedule for the day.  But I will survive and I know that sometimes life isn't going to be just how I want it to be and I might not get to everything I want to do.  It will be okay.  Life sometimes gets in the way of our plans, but it tends to be for a reason.

And that's why today is a beautiful day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Things of Life

This may be a bit of a long post as I've been missing in alot of crazy, furied action the past few days.

It started last Friday afternoon when my work computer froze up on me.  I had to turn it off.  When I turned it on there was this message saying my computer was infected and I needed to run an antivirus.  So I did... thinking this was something from our security system.  Uh. No.  I should have called our support center to ask because it resulted in LOCK OUT.  As in, no more computer for you.  I tried to figure it out to no avail.  In the end I was told I'd have to ship my computer for fixing and I'd be lucky if they could save all my data.  Data that I haven't backed up in awhile because I have to use a flash drive and for whatever reason, this seems like the thing I tend to forget to do.  STRESS.

Saturday it was freezing.  Wind chill made it 28 degrees and 15 mph winds. We had our TNT training anyway.  Those of us who showed up were troopers.  We wanted to ride and run as planned.  Coach told us that if we started to get numb or tingly to head back.  I headed out on my bike, tried to get into aero and realized that in that sort of weather, aero is not a good idea.  Up on the bars, I'm riding.  We come to a decent size bridge, but nothing I can't handle on a normal day.  Unfortunately, this day is different.  The Wind is a headwind, straight on, I down shift and am eventually in the easiest gear and I'm pushing and pulling with my legs the hard.  My legs are starting to burn and I know I can make it to the top.  And Then.  The wind blows harder and blows me and the bike backwards.  I made it up to the point where I could turn around using the turn lane... about 4/5 of the way to top.  Wind blowing me backwards is a deal breaker because I am not exactly what one would call a small person.  Back down to the bottom of the hill and back to the start.  I tell Coach what happened, and then the other riders come trickling back.  We decided to call it a day.  And as my bottom will tell you, it was a good idea that we did.  You know it's too cold for a ride when you end up back in the car and your butt and legs are tingling because the blood is returning to them now that they're in a warmer place.

So I ended up at Target getting goodies for the Little Ladies for Valentine's Day and picking up the Valentine's carrot cake from the bakery that I had forgotten to pick up the afternoon before because of computer virus land.  It was so cold we stayed inside the rest of the day.

Sunday it was warmer.  After a little spat with Mr. Darcy, I went for my 9 mile run.  I think I need Mr. Darcy to make me angry before every race because I did the 9 mile run in 1:40:07.  For me, this is like I had a rocket pack on my back... I was doing my 5/1's.  Which means, I was booking it while thinking over the spat and how angry I was.  I got over it by mile 5, I think.  And then I just enjoyed the pretty day.  I used the closed road that I bike on at times.  It's funny how I never really noticed exactly how hilly that road is. Not major hills, just a lot of inclines and small hills.  I'll be out there again for a run or a bike at some time soon, I'm sure.  I'm glad that they haven't opened it yet, and am hoping for at least another year before it is opened officially.

Monday I had off.  Mr. Darcy took the day off as well and we sent the little ladies to daycare.  Mr. Darcy took them as I talked to the support center about where to send my laptop.  More discussion about data and whether it could be saved.  Then I was off to the place where I could overnight the laptop at an exorbitant price... switching to UPS from fed ex with tracking and delivery by 10:30 am was $150, which was a $57 savings from 8 am and using fed ex. Sigh. 

Mr. Darcy and I met up at the house and then went to the bakery to have breakfast... except we forgot that they are closed on Mondays.  So, no breakfast.  Next stop, the YMCA for our body fat and measurements.  I can't believe I'm going to put this on this blog, but I know I am doing it so I will hold myself accountable - my body fat was 34.1%.  The most frightening part about this to me, is that I know that my body composition has changed since last year... I'm really glad I don't know what my body fat used to be.  My goal is to drop it to 23% and keep it there.  I love the idea of getting it down to 20% during race season, but at present I'm going to focus on 23% that's a big drop to begin with.  I broke down in tears when I saw how much I weigh - although ironically it's 2 pounds lighter than last week at the doctor and all I've done is eat more.  And yesterday it was down another pound when they weighed me there.  Basically, it tells me that there is definitely something wrong with my metabolism and body right now - with all the training I do, the healthy eating that we do, the fact that I don't over eat but undereat (although I'm trying to remedy that too), I should not have gained 15 pounds over the past year.  It's almost like in some ways I have gained muscle but the fat just doesn't go away as fast as it does for other people. It's especially strange because I've gone from a 12/14 to a 10/12.  It really makes no sense.  I talked with the people at the Y for a bit and met their nutritionist who I am going to try to work with.  They told me it would be okay, but that's easy for them to say when they're not the one standing there with the fat sirens going off in their heads.

So to say the least, I was depressed.  Crying throughout the day.  Mr. Darcy was supportive and told me that I was doing my best and that's all he could ask for and that he knew I was doing all that I could.  Of  course, all I could think about is that I had 3 pieces of cake over the weekend and that while I don't normally even eat cake that this was the sign of a terrible person.  We went and played putt putt.  I enjoyed it but was kind of numb to it all at once.  Then I napped for a few hours and went to swim practice where we did speed work for the more advanced swimmers.  Swimming and talking to my Lil Sis after swim practice made me feel better.  Then watching of the winter olympics ensued.  I tracked my calories and saw that I could have eaten about 100 calories more.  Since I had to force feed myself during the day because the thought of eating when I was so heavy was really the last thing I wanted to do, and the fact that it turns out the TooJay's Mediterranean Turkey sandwich despite being on the "Heart Healthy" menu has 43 g of fat in it (which is decidedly NOT heart healthy), making my fat for the day a bit high, I figured I did okay.

Tuesday started out with a visit to the endocrinologist.  I thought that this would maybe help.  It didn't.  My cortisol is still super elevated at 25, my thyroid is testing in the high range of normal still, and the doctor pretty much said at first there was nothing that we needed to do.  I burst into tears and I told her that I know there is something wrong with me.  I eat whole grains, vegetables, fruit and lean proteins.  I told her what my workouts for the week are.  I told her that I've been tracking my calories and that I don't over eat and have a tendency to undereat.  I told her that I'm doing everything I possibly can do and I'm gaining weight not losing it.  I told her that I don't get hungry most days and have to eat by the clock (although now that I've been doing my best to reach that 1515 calories plus workout calories, I'm starting to get hungry sometimes).  And so she handed me a weight loss prescription for Phenamine and told me to up my metformin for the PCOS.  I asked her what it does and whether it was a good idea to take it while I'm training for a 1/2 marathon and triathlons.  She said yes, but to wait to start it until after I finish the 1/2 marathon in case I'm one of the 1% that gets heart palpatations.  I asked more questions and she got annoyed.  I told her I wasn't trying to be a pain, I just wanted to understand how this would fix the problem.  She told me it would make me lose weight and she'd check my cortisol levels and if they were still high then we'd put me on thyroid medicine too.  She told me to take the medicine for 4 months.  Something about the whole thing didn't sit right with me.  I called my doctor's office to talk to them because they sent me to this person to begin with.  I haven't heard back.  I looked on line abotu Phenamine.  It works like an amphetamine to suppress appetite (and I guess speed up your metabolism because that's what the doctor told me it would do) and can be habit forming if taken for longer than 3 months.  Why do you need to suppress the appetite of a woman who has no appetite to begin with?  And why in god's name would you prescribe an amphetamine like drug to a triathlete/endurance athlete?  It's like my spidey sense is all a tingle.  And how does this fix the problem that my cortisol is through the roof and my system doesn't seem to be working right?

So I've asked around for the names of good endocrinologists and have gotten 2 recommendations.  I've called the doctors office and asked for them to send copies of all of my test results from the past year.  And as soon as I get them, I am making an appointment with a different endocrinologist.  I'm getting a 2nd opinion and if need be a 3rd opinion.  I am not going to just let this go.  It's not just about losing weight for me.  This is about being healthy and making sure my body is okay.  I put it through a lot for my entertainment - triathlons and 1/2 marathons are not little weekend trots.  Yes, I desparately want to lose weight (35 pounds to be exact) and I desparately want to decrease my body fat composition.  But there is no way in H#LL I want to do it with a quick fix as a bandaid without figuring out what is wrong.  Heck, in the wait time I had for the doctor they had a thing about hypothyroidism and I had almost everything on the list.  No, thyroid medicine doesn't make you lose weight but it makes your system work right.  So maybe that would help the situation.  Or if it's not that, fine.  But what the heck is it?  So that ate me up (and still does).  I can't wait for those test copies to arrive so I can get another opinion.

In away it relates to the self defense class I went to last night for Junior League.  The police officer teaching it told us that when you get that, Hmm.  Something's not okay here that you need to listen to it because it will  help you.  Well, that's exactly what I'm feeling about the doctor right now.  Anyway.  The self defense class was great.  The first half focused on thinking through things, not ignoring your spidey sense, what predators look for, etc.  The 2nd half was about physical moves.  Awesome.

I also got a call yesterday about the laptop.  They had to completely reimage the machine because the virus was nasty and widespread.  BUT... they were able to save my data!  WHOO HOO!  That was the best piece of news I heard that day!  So now I anxiously await for my machine to be returned to me by the fed ex man. Oh Happy Day!

Oh yes, and the girls scout cookies are arriving.  2 boxes yesterday.  2 boxes on Thursday.  I think Mr. Darcy even bought 2 boxes from someone at his work.  I haven't eaten any yet.  I think my plan is to eat 1 or 2 every 3-4 days.  Mr. Darcy will devour them in the meantime, I'm sure, even though he says he plans to lower his body fat percentage too. I'd love to have his body fat percentage as it is.  It would be so much nicer than where I'm at now.  But it is what it is.

Today is a busy one (as usual).  8 am conference call, 1:30 conference call.  Track workout this evening.  Life in between.  Ladybug asked me if I was going to be home this evening.  I told her I had a run tonight, and she said "Okay.  You can do that today but can you be home tommorrow night?  I need some time."  I wanted to cry. 

Tomorrow is the scan with the lady issues.  Let's hope it goes better than Monday and Tuesday's appointments!  Tonight's run practice should be a good one.  Stress relief here I come!

Friday, February 12, 2010

After a Little Self Affirmation...

After a little self affirmation from yesterday, I plan not to write too many more vitrolic posts.  But I cannot apologize for being honest.  I can't help what comes out of my finger tips.  Okay, I can and I actually often do tone things down...sometimes. 

Thank you everyone for your comments yesterday.  They were really helpful!  And it's nice to know that someone is out there listening/reading.  Oh and I am thrilled that my blog has gotten to 40 followers! 
In my tizzy yesterday, I forgot to tell you some funny things the girls have done/said lately.  So, here's an installment of the Ladybug and Angelfish comedy show....

Ladybug: Mommy, don't forget your cheese stick.  It's the breakfast of champions.  Oh, and here's the bag too.

Angelfish: I know I don't have hair on my face, but I like to pretend shave anyway.  That way I smell like Daddy.  Ladybug: You mean STINKY!

Angelfish: I didn't have time at school to make you a valentine, Mommy.  Me: What were you doing?  Angelfish: Oh, you know.  Playing, reading, going to the potty.

Ladybug: If you have to go run, can you run over there and get me a tissue? My nose has boogers.

Angelfish: The moon is going down and the sun is coming up, that means GET UP!

Ladybug: (on the way to school this morning) When I'm older, I'm going to be a Mommy.  And when I'm a Mommy, my babies are going to go to school in the morning, then my husband and I are going to go running or swimming, and then I'm going to work with princesses.  I might even be a princess.

Ahhh.... yes.  Speaking of running, this morning I had a 9 mile run on the schedule.  I really am trying to have a day on the weekend as a recovery day, but that was not in the cards.  Last night, I was exhausted.  Plain and simple.  I fell asleep listening to Mr. Darcy talk.  I don't even know what he was saying other than it was something about muscles burning more calories than fat and needing more calories the more muscles you have and how this worked with his theories on weight loss.  You could already tell I was tuckered out because even when I had been talking, my eyes were closed.  I couldn't keep them open for the life of me.  Mr. Darcy had convinced me it would be raining in the morning anyway (which it wasn't), but even if he hadn't convinced me, there would have been no way I would have gotten up.  At 6:38 am, I opened my eyes because Ladybug kicked me.  She had come into our bed around 2 am with some story about almost falling out of bed and being afraid of the dark.  I really am not sure what she said, I just remember helping her into bed and then I was out again. I hadn't even heard the alarm clock when it went off multiple times as Mr. Darcy pressed snooze.  Well, at that point, there is no way that I could get a 9 mile run in before work.  So I closed my eyes.  A few minutes later, Angelfish was saying the bit about the moon and the sun that I shared above as she crawled into bed and snuggled in.  I kicked Mr. Darcy out of bed to get ready for work and agreed to take the girls to daycare, even though all I really wanted to do was sleep.  In fact, my lunch plan is to sleep and then eat while working.

But, despite all of that, last night was quite successful.  I came within 160 calories of my 1965... with the help of sharing a little chocolate cake with Mr. Darcy and the girls at dinner. My fat was at around 27% (thanks to the cake), which was a good bit higher than I want. My goal is tostick to about 20% because I know that's where my cardiologist would like to see it  and because I know that will help get me to my 23% body fat goal. But, I don't plan on making desert part of my eating plan.  Since I missed the run, today I need to eat 1,515 calories.

I already have the food all planned out, and as long as I stick to the plan, I will come within 86 calories of the 1,515 (which I figure is fine because there could be a margin of error since my breakfast came from Davis Bakery - a homemade quiche with artichokes and red peppers - and I inputted the ingredients of the quiche as told to me).  It's quite the laundry list of food when I look at it.  I even wonder how I might get it all in, but it will be just fine I'm sure... it's got lean meats, whole grains, veggies and fruit and a large coffee to keep my eye lids open.  But the proportions are nice too: 55% carb; 29% protein; 16% fat.  I really want to get down and stay at 23% body fat, which is the low end of healthy for a woman my age.  The trick though is that I have to find out what my body fat percent is now... so I have to get my courage up to get them to do it either at LA Fitness or a the Y (yes, memberships everyhwere - our Y doesn't have a pool and the LA Fitness is closer than the next closest Y with a pool and the cost works out to be a little cheaper to do the LA Fitness membership for me plus the one location family membership.).  I know I have to do it, but I fear it all at once.

I'm glad I forced us to do the grocery shopping last night after dinner before attacking the valentine's day party cards and such.  Of course, I still am amazed at how the other Mom's have time to do goodie bags for every kid in the class (maybe that's what other Mommies do instead of training?)... which wasn't on the list of things to bring, but I guess I have been slacking on the Mom duties... and it dawned on me why Ladybug asked last night if we could bring goodie bags for her friends at school.  When I was 3... heck when I was 12... we didn't have goodie bags for every holiday.  But, times have changed, I guess, and now I'm the "slacker mom" that only brought in the chocolate chips she signed up for, little cards for the class members, and NO goodie bags.  I'll have to get on that for the next school party - which probably will be St. Patrick's Day. 

I'll resist the urge to put Green Beer in the St. Paddie's Day goodie bags... I have a feeling the Department of Child and Family Services would be called.  It's bad enough that last night at dinner it was happy hour and they had $2 glasses of house wine.  I had a glass of pinot noir and Angelfish yells out, "Whee! It's wine!" and then Mr. Darcy gives the girls a sip of his beer against my objections.  We rarely drink, but the way the girls talk (especially Ladybug when she sipped Mr. Darcy's beer she says loudly "MMM. I love beer!") you'd think we were regular lushes.  At least it's not like a friend of mine who told her daughter that she couldn't have a sip of her wine because it was special Mommy juice, and then a week later in a restaurant the little girl says in front of the waitress, "Oh look, it's more special Mommy juice for you Mommy.  Are you going to have another?" Or is it...

Anyway.  I'll get on the goodie bag bandwagon next time so as not to ruin the girls' social life this early on.  And I'll get on my run Sunday morning... I'll even attempt to get up early so I'm home before everyone else wakes up. I have a Team in Training workout tomorrow morning - a 20 mile bike and a 3 mile run - thus the 9 miler on Sunday instead of tomorrow.  It should be a chilly one, but we'll get 'er done!

Unfortunately, my parents aren't going to visit this weekend after all.  My Dad has been sick for days with a virus that has given him stomach issues and body aches, and he doesn't want to give it to us.  We're completely understanding but just really disappointed.  We were looking forward to it!

And that's why I ended up in Davis Bakery for breakfast this morning.  I had ordered (and paid for) a carrot cake birthday cake for my Dad.  I ran in there and asked if they could change the writing from Happy Birthday to Happy Valentine's Day.  They said they had it baked but not decorated yet, so it was all good.  They really are delightful people.  Alex and Chris, the owners, are truly sweet and really nice.  They made a donation to LLS  for my fundraising efforts, and I wrote them a Thank You note, which is what I do.  I don't do things to get thanked but when you give a gift especially (which is kind of how I see a donation to support my fundraising efforts), you should send a handwritten thank you note.  First, it's an acknowledgement of the gift and 2nd it should be natural to want to thank some one.  Anyway, they feel the same way and they both thanked me for sending them the thank you note.  I told them that they are not supposed to thank me for the note because it's my responsibility to thank them for their generosity.  Anyway, I love a place where you really like not only the food and the service but the wonderful people who own and run the place.  It's like a mini home away from home, even if you are paying for the food.

So now I'm plotting to have a Valentine's Day party for the girls and Mr. Darcy after my 9 miler on Sunday (don't worry - I'll shower first).  I just have to figure out what little gifts to get for the girls (I didn't get to that part of my list yesterday), and what to have for dinner.  I may even get a balloon or two.  (Not to mention how and when to get it done.) Look out, I'm on a wild tear! HAHAHA!

I saw a great opportunity on Big Daddy Diesel's blog the other day... Brooks has a program where you get discounts and such if you agree to wear their products at all your races.  (If you want more info, visit here)  I know I mentioned the other day that I love their Trace shoes, and I'd love it if they would send me products to test, so I decided to apply for the program.  (I need more training apparel as it is...) Who knows if they'll accept me, but I love their running shorts, running shirts, and running shoes, so I figured it would be a natural fit (at least for me).  It was interesting to put in my 3 last USAT sanctioned races and to look at the times.  Times can be misleading sometimes.  I'm not saying that I'm the fastest lady out there, that's for certain.  But when your official time for your 2 last races includes the time that it took for a bike chain that broke to get repaired and the time that it took you to change a flat tire and recover from the bike crash caused by said flat tire and still dig it out to finish the race while all cut up and bruised, it helped me realize that mental strength and the desire to get it done no matter what is often more meaningful than the official time.  There is that champion that resides in all of us, even if we are back of the packers (who are attempting to become middle of the packers).  As Buzz Lightyear says (and is oft repeated by Angelfish): to infinity and beyond!  So we'll see what happens.  And if I do get in the program, it will definitely make it easier for me to test their products...

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!  May the day be a sweet one.

Post Script: I'm holding myself accountable - I have an appointment for a body fat measurement on Monday morning at the Y.  I am terrified to find out, but am hopeful it will be better than I expect.