Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Back" to Running?

Okay so I couldn't help the pun.... more on my "back" and running in a moment...

First, there is a giveaway on a fellow TriMommy's blog:  I was inspired to enter because 1) who wouldn't want to go to Bora Bora (even if it's just a mental vacation while eating a Bora Bora bar) and 2) I won sunglasses from KC's give away a few weeks ago and it made me think perhaps I could win other contests too and that my winning mojo may not have been eaten up by winning my beloved bike last year.

Second, WELCOME to my new readers!  I'm excited to have gotten over the steady 43 (plus however many lurkers) that held true for a bit, then dropped to 42 for one day and then shot ahead to 44.  I look forward to reading your blogs as well. : )

And now for my back/legs, to answer Big Daddy Diesel's question "Did the chiropractor fix you?"  The answer is yes and no.  They did the nerve machine, then a great water bed machine that put me to sleep, and then the chiropractor. I told the chiropractor that I wasn't having sciatica but that I was getting the pain down my shin, into my arch and he finished my sentence "and into the 1st 3 toes and then they go tingly?"  and I said "How did you know?"  He points to the nerve map on his wall and goes, "because that's the route of your nerve!" Duh. I had only been staring at the thing and tracing that nerve up from my toes a moment before he walked in the room, of course he's know the nerve pathway.  He's the chiropractor.  So, I had a good laugh at myself.

Dr. P. adjusted my neck - crack, snap, pop.  Then my lower back - crack, snap, pop, crack, snap pop, crack, snap pop. Then my middle back, crack, nap, pop, crack, snap, pop.  And I felt like a million bucks - and like a gigantic bowl of Rice Krispies was filled with milk during my adjustment.  He told me that he knew it was pointless to tell me not to run, but that if it hurt not to do it and come back in for another adjustment.  It was off to decompression.  If I won several million dollars, I would pay to get trained to use that machine and then purchase one (after the house for my parents, fully funded college funds for the girls, paying off the house we have now, and a large contribution to various cancer charities).  It pulls on your back to put space between your vertebra again.  Very slowly and based on your weight, etc. I LOVE IT!  I was not in pain after the appointment and felt great, but I didn't try to run either.

Perhaps the 2nd best part of the appointment was seeing M. and J. - two ladies that work in the office.  M. looked at me and said her her sweet latina accent, "You look good.  What have you been doing? You've lost a lot of weight!"  I thanked her but told her that I hadn't lost any. "But, chica, you look marvelous!"  I told her I'd just been doing my triathlon thing and trained and ran a 1/2 marathon.  Then next store for decompression, glorious decompression, and J. tells me, "How much weight have you lost?  You look amazing!  Oh my goodness, you are looking so good!"  We talked about it a little and how I haven't lost weight but gained some and that I just found out I had a thyroid problem.  She told me that I could have told her I lost 20 pounds and she would have believed me that I look so good.  That was well worth the back pain and the frustrating runs just to go in and hear all that!

This morning I woke feeling good and then tried to climb over Ladybug who mysteriously appeared in the bed next to me at some point this morning. And I heard a "click."  Whatever that click was, it was not a happy click.  Pain down my shin, down my left sciatica, and then in my butt.  Grr. Another click later and it felt a little better on my sciatica, but my upper back isn't happy.  So I have another appointment this afternoon before track practice.  I can't say I'm surprised that my back re-shifted... it turned out it had been 6 months since I was in last. 6 months of training on a back that supposedly isn't made for training.

But I'm hopeful.  And that's really all I can ask for.  A little adjustment here and there and then it will be good. And then back to running!  If the chiro doesn't fix me completely, I'll talk to a medical doctor.  I know I avoid that because I don't want to hear the words "You can't run anymore."  I just got to liking it and wanting to keep doing it.  So I really want to avoid those words.  I know people that walk their run in the tri world, and I guess I can do that if I end up being told that I have to, but ugh.  I wanna run!

Of course, Coach has said she's not sure I should go to track practice tonight because (SPOILER ALERT) we're going to do lunges, hills, stair running, etc. and she's not sure my back can take it.  As a mentor, I want to be with the Team, but at the same time I dont' want to be with the Team and not doing the workout and giving disincentive to team members not to do the full workout like they should.  Plus, I don't know what I can do and it might be safer to run 4 miles even pace (like Coach suggested instead) doing 5/1's in my neighborhood than alone in the park in the evening while the others do the workout at the track.  And doing 4 miles round in circles around the track (16 laps) will probably kill me from boredom.  So I'll update you all on what happens...

Until then, Angelfish is finally listening to my advice about marrying at such a young age.  We told the girls that they don't need to think about marrying anyone until after they graduate from college and are at least 21 or 22.  Holland told his Mom yesterday that he and Angelfish already got married, and when she asked Angelfish about it this morning, she said "Silly, we have to wait until we are older to do that!"  Of course, she's very enamored with Holland, but she was also making eyes at Connor this morning when I dropped her off.  Not sure where she got that flirty look from, but my goodness she walked right up to the boy and said "Hi, Connor." and gave him "the eyes" - you know what I'm talking about.  Dear Lord, help me when they're in high school.... oh heck, elementary school, and middle school too... not to mention now.  I was a shy thing until my senior year of high school, and if I liked a boy, I didn't talk to him unless he talked to me first.  No siree.  I'm glad they're confident and as one trained classroom observer noted about Angelfish "she has a strong personality."  But this boy thing, is amazing.  Ladybug has decided that she doesn't know who she'll marry but that she'll figure it out, which I think is the best thing of all.

And at least they've stopped arguing over boys... for now.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Swim, Peace with my Bike Trainer, and Other News

A Swim
Yesterday I really needed my swim.  I made the horrifying mistake of allowing the girls to stay home from daycare while I worked.  Why I thought this was going to be a good thing, I'm not really sure.  I mean yes, my kids are super cute and it was a really rainy yucky day, and all they wanted to do was be snuggly with me and I with them.  But reminder to self - I had to work.  And work I did.  They played, colored, came in and chatted (which was fun at first and then problematic), I printed out Easter themed coloring sheets that it took them all of 5 minutes to color 8 of them, they made a mess, I made them clean it up while having to give 2 time outs for failure to listen and for sassing me, and then gave them lunch, and made them take naps in 2 separate rooms.  Luckily, they were pretty long naps.  Of course, I had to tell them that if they got out of bed they'd  be taken straight to daycare and if one got out of bed and the other didn't the one that got out would be taken to daycare while the other stayed home.  They're 3 3/4.  They can't be left to their own devices or you get holes in your wall because they think it's fun to kick over the formal dining room chairs while laying down under the formal dining room.  Red wall with while dry wall hanging out is not good.  That's all I can say. 

But once they woke from their nap and I had peace to actually get all my projects for the day done, we were back to peace.  Along with the realization that I was rather stupid while being overly big hearted because it was wholly frustrating, the girls really didn't spend time with me (although they definitely had a great time with each other), but in the end it turned out okay.  I've even given Mr. Darcy permission to tell me I'm an idiot if I ever suggest it again.  I do have to say though, that I had a great time before I started working, the 1st 2 1/2 hours of working when they were making artwork to hang in my office and coloring and telling me stories, and then once I was done working.

So when it was time for swim practice, I was ready to go.  We started a little early and did crunches and lower ab leg lifts.  Evidently I was a bit crooked on my leg lifts because I must have been favoring my right leg without knowing it.  But I did my best.  Then we hit the pool.  I had a great swim.  I was reaching and rotating and just in a nice zone.  For the main part of the swim, we did 3x500m with the last 25 m as a sprint on each and a 30 second recovery between each.  It was great!  Unfortunately, I'm definitely off somehow though because I'd hit the lane rope every now and then.  And after practice my lower back was not very happy with me, but at least I didn't feel it in my legs.

On the ride home, the moon was amazing.  It looked HUGE!  To the point that I brought the girls out to see it when I got home. 

Peace with My Bike Trainer
This morning, I made peace with my bike trainer.  It's true.  Granted, to do this I took some of your advice and leave my road bike permanently attached to it so I don't have to go through the trauma process of putting my bike on the trainer.  But peace has been made.

This morning, Mr. Darcy helped me bring the bike and its trainer into the house from the garage.  As soon as he and the little Ladies were out the door, I turned on an episode of "What Not to Wear" (a female bodybuilder who either wore "scandalous" evening attire or gym clothes all the time) and got on the trainer for my slightly over an hour ride.  A 10 minute warm up, a 10 minute 95-100 rpm ride, 4x 2 minutes of single leg pedaling with a 10 minute recovery and then 2 x 5 minutes of standing and pedaling in my hardest gear with a 5 minute recovery in between, and then final recovery of another 5 minutes.  My back and right leg IT band weren't overly fond of the right legged one leg pedal (and by the 4th 2 minute set, were saying some things that were not very nice), but it was good for me.  At least my IT band didn't speak up until the 4th one.  My left side was fine, although ironically the 1st 2 minute set was the hardest for it, and then the rest were great.  Standing and  pedaling is tough for me.  It makes me a little nervous generally, but not today.  I just cranked it to the big chain ring and the 2nd or 3rd to biggest (I'm not sure which) gear and pedaled.  Sure it was a little slow, but it was getting done and it wasn't the easiest thing.  My back was a little annoyed, but it wasn't shouting profanities at me like it did with the one right leg pedaling. 

I felt good at the end of my hour and a fraction on the bike.  Like I might have even been able to do more.  My back is a little stiff but it's not anything I can't handle.  It felt good to ride and I wanted to ride some more, but for that pesky thing called work.  I even patted my bike whilst on the trainer and said "good ride."  And that's when I knew... I had made peace with my former nemesis, the bike trainer.  That's not to say I wouldn't rather be riding out in the sun with the wind in the bits of hair that stick out from my bike helmet.  I much prefer riding in the great outdoors, but it is to say that the bike trainer is now my happy 2nd instead of my dreaded foe.

Other News.
I head to the chiropractor at the end of the work day today.  I hope he doesn't reiterate his speech about how I really shouldn't run because I have less space between one of my lower vertebrae than I should and that is why I get nerve pain and such because over time the running aggravates my disk and it "swells."  The 1st time he gave me that speech was during my 70.3 training.  With 1 month left to race day, I wasn't exactly going to just give up on running.  Then it came again after the 70.3, and he finally told me to just come in when I had pain because he couldn't "fix" anything.  And then I've been pain free running for a good while.  Of course, that might have had something to do with being in the off-season... and once the 1/2 Marathon was over my back issues returned.  Probably because I didn't really train the week my Aunt passed between her coma, my stomach virus and then her passing, it gave my back the chance to think and rebel.  But hopefully, my back and I will be friends again after today's adjustment (or at least soon).

And on a completely different subject, I'm really excited because last night I got a call from the Community Team of Junior League and they asked (I had filled out a interest survey saying I would like to do this) if I would like to be the Co-Chair of the HIP Kids Program at the Callahan Center.  I said yes and am really excited!  HIP (Healthy, Independant, and Playful) Kids is a program that will help feed about 90 children at the Callahan Center daily with fruits and veggies daily and twice a month with back packs of food to take home to their families.  Plus, we're going to have 9 enrichment programs with about 30 kids about nutrition, cooking, etc. and quarterly programs where we not only have the kids but also their parents for a cooked dinner and speakers about health, nutrition, exercise, etc. So I am super excited!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Weekend Report

Friday we went to a concert.  It was a fun evening, but I'm not sure I really needed to see the 2nd artist in person.  I had a nice time with Mr. Darcy though and that's really what matters.

Saturday up early and rearin' to go for the mini-tri at New Smyrna Beach.  I wasn't looking forward to the cold water (a balmy 60-61 degrees), but I was looking forward to the practice and to getting a tri-like experience since I missed Wildman.  I did the 1,000m swim in a little under 23 minutes (in my wetsuit of course), had a 2:56 transition time, and was tearing up the bike ride.  I was going 17-20mph depending on where I was in the line and feeling great.  We came to the A1A causeway and I was getting up it fine, even in the big chain ring and then I saw some broken glass... right as I ran it over and heard the lovely sound of gas escaping.  It was my back tire, which I've never had to change before.  I tried to get the wheel off and it was going nowhere (even after loosening the brake).  One of the other team members came back and even with her help, I couldn't get it off.  Then I called Coach and next thing I know Coach Geni's hubby N. is walking up the causeway.  He got my wheel off and we start trying to change the tire.  Somewhere in us both working on it (which may have been the problem - too many cooks in the kitchen) we flipped the tire inside out and couldn't get it back the right way.  So I ended up taking a ride with Coach for the rest of the bike.  Once we got back I set out with the last group for the run.  Within about 1mile, my leg was killing me and already giving me pain and that flopping foot situation as the last run I tried.  So I ended up walking for most of the 3 mile run, and then my leg eased up a little bit and I tried to finish the run while actually running despite major pain.  All in all, it was a really, really frustrating practice for me.  And it put me in a bit of a foul mood.  I feel like I should be doing better than I am so far this season.  Yes, my season this far has been a bit adverse with the whole endocrinologist and thyroid situation and my Aunt passing, but I feel like other than my leg issue that I could be tearing this stuff up... and yet I'm not.

Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself to do well.  Maybe I'm not cutting myself enough of a break for what has gone on with my season.  Maybe I expect too much from myself.  I really don't know, but I do know that I am frustrated because I want to do better.  I want to be better.  I know it's not likely that I will ever end up in the top 3 in my age group on a regular basis or win a spot to Kona or the world championships, but it's still like I want more. 

I'm hoping that my chiropractic appointment tomorrow will help with that.  Other than that, I just have to keep plugging away and do what I can.  I need to remember that as long as I do my best on every given day that is enough.  Sometimes a particular day is not going to be the greatest compared to others, but as long as I do my best on that given day in those given situations that's all I can ask of myself.  But I'm always that overachiever that wants to do better and do more than I did.  I need to work on that... but then that's the story of my life...

When I got back from New Smyrna Beach, I did the trigger point rollers and that definitely helped.  I plan to make that an every other day thing.  I know if I try to make myself do it everyday it won't happen, so every other day will be good.  And if I can work up to everyday that will be great.

I had a fun rest of the weekend with the family - once they got back from the park that is.  I have to say I was jealous that they had a picnic lunch and played at a new local park we hadn't been to before.  But at the same time, they can't sit around the house waiting for me all the time.  But we had a nice nap once they got home, played at home and cooked some dinner. 

Sunday the girls and I made french toast together and let Mr. Darcy (and Angelfish for a bit) sleep in.  Then we went to Costco and the grocery, took Mr. Darcy to his friend's house so they could go see the afternoon rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational (which unfortunately for them got rained out and they spent about 3 hours getting there, watching 2 or 4 no name players, and then trying to get home), and took the girls' shopping for their spring and summer clothes.  Angelfish and Ladybug had a great time at Kohl's picking out the clothes that they liked and looking for their size 4's.  We then weeded out a couple of things that we didn't really need to buy and Mr. Darcy met us at Kohl's to help pick out a new bedroom comforter set for the guest bedroom.  Then we hit blockbuster because it was raining alot... and Mr. Darcy ended up buying some pre-viewed videos - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (the 1st movie the girls ever saw in a theatre) and Night at the Museum 2 (which was really for me, but the girls' like it too).  Then we had dinner at home and watched our movie.  It was nice to be all together for a relaxing evening!

Tonight is swim practice, so that is good.  Not weight bearing at this point is a good thing for my leg and my back (it started to hurt a little this morning).  Chiro tomorrow and a bike trainer ride.  All will be well on the training front, and I'm looking forward to Easter (and the girls' getting Easter baskets, which includes the "Princess and the Frog") with the girls and a visit from the Senior Mr. Darcy's before they head out to my sister-in-law's parents' house (which is only about 40 minutes from us) for Easter Day.

I was saddened to see I've lost a "follower" but I can imagine, that I'm not for everyone!  Happy Training!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gym Therapy

I had a wonderful evening with Mr. Darcy and the girls last night, and it hit me.  I am definitely starting to feel better.  Things that should be fun but have felt like a chore, like something that irritates, and that something I have had note enough energy or patience for are now starting to feel like fun again.  I even laughed with Mr. Darcy and told him something funny that had happened during my day.  We went to dinner and when the girls jumped on the seats and weren't eating their food and were misbehaving (which they seem to like to do when we go out to dinner, but that they don't do at home), I didn't want to spank them or scream at them.  I simply told them to find their spot and sit on it.  I started to count to 3, with 3 ending up in a time out in the bathroom with me standing outside the bathroom (it's a 1 person with only 1 entrance/exit at this particular restaurant).  I noticed how beautiful and funny they are, gave them kisses, asked them nicely to do things... all without that feeling of complete tension that can reside between my shoulder blades while anger would mount.  I feel like I'm returning to me.  It's coming on gradually, which I can only figure has to do with the synthroid and the B12.  It's been about 1 week of taking them, and it's like the darkness and bits I really wasn't liking about myself are receding, and the fun, more adventurous me is returning.  The me that I want the girls to know.  It makes me proud of myself in that I didn't let one silly doctor convince me that I was wrong about myself.  I knew there was something wrong and I just needed to find a good doctor to listen and help figure it out. 

It makes me sad for my Mom too because in my going through this, I told her about it and she said it was exactly what she went through for years with doctors telling her she was fine when she was irritable and angry and gaining weight without eating more than she did previously, or even worse doctors telling her that she just had to stop eating so much or that she had "hand to mouth disease" or that her problem was just that she had to "push back from the table."  Until she finally found a new doctor because the old one finally made her break down in tears, and the new doctor did tests and looked at old labs and said "you should have been on thyroid medicine for years" and in the next year dropped 35 pounds without doing anything but eating like she always had been and taking her thyroid medicine.  That's not to say that I'll drop 35 pounds in a year, I know.  But it at least gives me hope that if we get my body to work right that I might be able to lose weight.

I thought about all of this at the gym today as I was doing some weight training, and stretching the bejeesus out of my legs... and almost crying because of the pain in my right calf and leg.   It's funny what runs through your head while doing pushups on an incline, inverted rows from a laying down position, squats, shoulder presses, and deadlifts, and tricept pushes.  3 rounds of them.  I thought about my emotional situation and the nice evening I had.  I thought about the fact that the other woman doing weights was wearing her iPhone strapped to her arm to listen to music and then somewhere answered it while she was working out.  I mainly thought about what sweat could do to an iPhone and wondered if it was really made for that.  I thought about my calf and pondered ideas abotu why it hurts.

And then there were times I didn't think at all.  I think those are my favorite parts of my workout really.  My mind is clear and I'm out there getting it done.  Not thinking about what needs to happen next, not thinking about what happened before, just being right where I am hearing myself breathe or listening to the birds chirp or cars pass or whatever, being fully aware of my surroundings as I go.  You don't get it as much with the gym workouts (especially since there's music piped in and people on cellphones... or one of my favorites, reading the newspaper while on the stationary bike. If you can talk on the phone or read something made of paper, it's my personal theory that you're not working hard enough.), but then that's why I'm not generally in the gym.  But it worked today.

The stretching was a bit of torture today.  My arms were fine, but my legs oh my legs.  The spot under the meat of my calf on the right kills me... when I walk a little bit of pain, but when I do certain things (like stretching my outstretched leg over to the left while laying down or doing certain calf stretches) make me want to cry.  The good news, in a way, is that my appointment with the dietician was rescheduled for Tuesday, so now I have a lunch hour during which I plan to use my Trigger Point set for my full legs.  I expect pain and tears, but I'm sure it will be worth it all.

With exactly 29 days until St. Anthony's (not counting today), I just have to make it through so I can have my A game ready to go!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Running Recap and a Public Service Announcement

The Running Recap
Yesterday afternoon proved to warm up nicely... 78 degrees or so with blue skies and some clouds.  A little humid, but after all this is Florida I live in.  As soon as my work day ended, I left work on time... for once.  It's a rare occassion that I leave work on time, which is perhaps something I need to get better about doing.  There are usually some nagging tasks that I want to finish, but generally nothing that can't wait until the next day and yet I stay. 

But yesterday, my run was calling me.  At lunch, I had my haircut which is always nice and then I headed to the pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions.  And I remembered we were out of dark chocolate.  The dietician said to add 1 oz of dark chocolate to my diet, and so I have been.  1 oz is actually a perfect amount of chocolate.  Lo and behold, there was a sale!  Lindt dark chocolate 75% cocoa for $1.99 a bar (which is a 3 day supply of chocolate based on the 1 oz per day).  So I bought 6 bars - 2 of which were infused with hot chili. Yum.  They are now hidden nicely in my secret chocolate location. : )  Oh and I picked up my prescriptions as well.  Got back in plenty of time for my conference call and snagged some canteloupe, turkey, and yogurt and munched before the call.  For some reason, that's what I was in the mood for - that and my 1 oz. of dark chocolate infused with chili.  Oh and a big glass of water.

I gazed out the window and thought that I would love to go on my run, but I knew it would have to wait.  So on to the conference call and other work. 4:15 rolled around and I was almost counting the minutes to my run.  I even day dreamed a little about what I was going to wear on the run and where exactly I had put my Body Glide.  I thought about which route was the 5 miler and how the 1st mile was supposed to be in Zones 1 & 2, and then I was supposed to do a total of 6 x 3 minutes of 5K pace with 2 minute recovery after each during miles 2,3 & 4. And then run/walk mile 5 as recovery.  And the time passed so slowly - like a little kid waiting to open presents on Christmas day.  Every second was like an eternity.  I laughed a little that my HR monitor belt and watch were sitting on my desk... calling like a beacon to run.  And then I wondered how I was going to get my swim in on Thursday - I have daycare delivery duty in the morning and a conference call at 3:30 and this type of conference call is known to run long.  We'll just have to see.  Perhaps Mr. Darcy will be back in time to get the ladies and let me go swim instead of pick them up.  One of life's little mysteries.

And then finally it was 4:30 and I ran off to put on my running gear and head out the door.  My spirit was willing, but unfortunately whatever is going on with my legs (and I'm thinking that I need to visit the chiropractor... that may be the issue) was not willing.  Within 0.1, my legs were hurting.  And the pain only got worse.  Eventually around the 3.5 mile mark, my feet from the arch to my toes and including the pads of my feet were tingly, like numb tingly.  And so I walked from about the 4 mile mark on, attempted a detour to return home quicker in an attempt to cut the 5 miles short and ended up turning the wrong way (I should know by now to just stick to the plan) so I did 5.25 miles.  About 0.6 miles away from home, the tingling numbness stopped so I ran the rest of the way doing 5/1's.  It was really frustrating.

But despite the frustration, and after having a call with Coach and a night's sleep, there were some good things about the run.  1st: I ran the 1st mile staying in Zone 2 in just under 11 minutes.  Of course, I then had to stop and stretch out my calf muscles thinking it would help while attempting not to curse out loud because there were children playing nearby.  2nd: I did the 6x3 minutes of 5K pace.  Sure, I had to walk the 2 minute recoveries and I may have been on the verge of tears a couple of times, but by golly, I was on about an 11 minute pace.  So what if when I'd walk it was as though my feet were slapping the ground because that's all I could do with the pain.  3rd: Even with all the walking and a 2nd stop to try to stretch my way out of it, I still finished the 5.25 miles in 1:03:03.  Not that I'm deluding myself that this is fast, but that's still a 12 minute mile pace.  4th: Compared to last year, I'm in a lot better shape.  Last year, I am doubtful I would have even been able to do what I am doing at the pace I am doing it.  5th: my lungs felt good and the rest of me felt good, just my stinking shin, back of the calf down above the ankle areas, and arches that were killing me.  Last year it would have been my lungs and the feeling that this was really hard to the point of mentally convincing myself I could do it.  This time it was really hard but not because I couldn't do it. 5th: I saw the sandhill crane couple with their babies on the run.  I hadn't seen them in about a week, only the other sandhill crane couples that don't have babies right now, so I'd been worried... and was relieved.  The girls saw the babies the other week and noticed that there were 2 of them and Angelfish said, "They have twins just like us!"

As I talked to Coach, I drove to get the girls from daycare.  She reminded me that the past month has not been an easy one, that I've had to miss workouts for doctor's appointments and a death in the family, that it's been a rough month or so for me emotionally, and that I've been on planes, trains and automobiles and I probably need to go see the chiropractor.

The girls were in a good mood, but wanting to watch TV.  We attempted to have chicken nuggets for dinner but were all out.  Next try, PB&J sandwiches... out of PB (Mr. Darcy had put away a completely empty jar of PB.)  Finally, we were able to settle on Kashi Go Lean cereal, a cheese stick, and some pita chips and hummus for dinner.  We kind of spaced it out a little.  We had the cereal, got hungry about an hour later and added the pita chips, hummus and cheese stick as a snack.  You'll note the lack of veggies in this meal.  Unless you count the chickpeas in the hummus, of course.  I plan to do much better than that tonight.  Of course, I also have to swim before getting the girls, so we might end up with cereal and steamed veggies.

Then they refused to go to bed.  Ladybug was up until 11 pm when I finally laid down the law and told her she was not allowed to get out of bed, she was not allowed to come into my room, and she had to go to sleep and that in order for me to be a good Mommy, she needed to stop waking me up.  This morning she told me she didnt' feel that good because she hadn't gotten enough sleep.  I told her that's why we need to go to bed on time.

But I have to say for all the torture of last night with the bed time (resulting in my sleeping until 6:45 this morning... a whole hour later than usual), they got up and got dressed without too much of a fuss.  They ate some breakfast, got in the car and were happy little things.  Of course, when we got to school I discovered that their Spring party that I thought was next Thursday was this Thursday.  I knew I should have listened to Ladybug last night when she said that they were having an easter egg hunt tomorrow, and when I said it was next week, she said, "But Ms. Ali said it was tomorrow."  Ladybug has a memory like a steel trap, especially when it comes to a party, so I should have known.  So, I sped off to Publix and bought 2 boxes of 24 Oatmeal and raisin cookies from their bakery and headed back to their school.  I dropped them off in Ladybug's classroom first (where Ladybug was hugging on her teacher - it was really cute) and Angelfish asked "Did you buy me some too?"  I told her I did and I was going to take them to her classroom now (her teacher gets there a little later, so they all play with Ladybug's class in the morning before morning snack at 8:30).  Then I ran off, stopped at the bakery for a bagel with ham, cheese and 2 eggs, got it to go along with a cup of 2/3 decaf and 1/3 caf, and made it to work on time!

Of course, that area at the back of my calves down close to my ankle area is killing me on both legs, and the small of my back is a little tight today.  And I woke up once or twice in the night because I was trying to stretch my legs out in my sleep. So I'll have to find a way to get a chiropractor's appointment sometime soon.  But I have a feeling it won't be until early next week.  I'll find a way to hobble through... like advil.

Angelfish still declares she is going to marry Holland.  But now Ladybug says she's not sure which boy she's going to marry.  I've told them both that they have plenty of time to decide such things, especially since they won't get married until after college (that's right, I'm planting the seeds in their brains...).

Oh and it's a beautiful day outside.  Blue skies with light clouds and the high is supposed to be around 82.  I'm wearing sandals and a sleeveless top with capri pants for the 1st time this season.  Spring is in the air (as my morning cough up session proves), and it's a beautiful day.  I hope to hit the pool this evening, and we know how I love the pool.  Mr. Darcy returns from Tampa, and I'm hoping his presentation will have been a sucessful one.  And I'm envisioning steak with steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for dinner.  All in all, it should be a good day.

Public Service Announcement
A friend of mine has a cousin who works in the US Marshal's Office and who sent her an email about a website called Spokeo.  This is super troubling, and I've already put in to have myself and Mr. Darcy removed from the site.  Spokeo is a publically available database which may contain a significant amount of your personal data . You may review the available data by visiting their website. If you are on this website, it may list your address, home phone number and even a Google map picture of your home. Go to and enter your name. If your information is on there and you want it removed, go to the bottom of the home page and click on "Privacy." Follow the instructions to remove your information. The
removal of information takes about 24 hours to complete.

It had a picture of our house, what we did for a living, that we had children and how many we have, a general range for income and credit score, as well as other information like hobbies, how long we lived there, etc.  Much of the information was incorrect for us, but enough was correct to be scary to me.  A couple of friends have looked at the site and the websites even had pictures of them, some with their maiden name as well.  So, I urge all of you dear readers (and any anonymous lurkers) to go and get yourself removed, if you appear on this site.

Be safe and Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's a Wednesday!

So, I didn't run this morning.  But before you even have the chance to think "What happened to all this bit about dedicating yourself to your training schedule for the next month?"  I have a plan to run my 5 miler after work today (and do my 2500m swim after work tomorrow) before picking up the Little Ladies from school.  And I have a reason as to why it didn't happen this morning.

At 5:30 pm yesterday, Mr. Darcy called me.  He has a business trip today and part of the day Thursday.  Originally he was going to leave from our house and drive over to Tampa on his own so he could take the girls to daycare and I could get my run on.  But, as he was about to walk out the door his boss asked if he'd like to meet him at his house this morning and ride with him.  Of course, I'm not going to refuse Mr. Darcy several hours of face time with his boss, even if that means he has to leave the house before the girls get out of bed.  Granted I wasn't thrilled when he TOLD me that this was how it was going to be.  But I expressed my displeasure in not being asked, despite the fact that all work related items are always answered with a "yes" unless there is a major reason (such as surgery or a booked flight for a work or family trip).  I think asking even when the answer has to be "yes" is a nice and respectful way to deal with the person you share your life with.  I do my best to ask instead of dictate, but I'm sure from time to time I slip up. 

And once I found out that he found us a babysitter because our usual babysitter didn't answer my phone call and then when he found her at daycare she said she wasn't available, that was even better.  Of course, the babysitter is not for today or tomorrow but for Friday evening.  The Darcy Seniors had planned to come visit us this weekend and watch the girls while we went to a concert Friday night, but that was before my Aunt passed and they ended up watching the Little Ladies this past weekend.  Evidently, while the assured us that the girls were a ton of fun and were on extremely good behavior the entire weekend but just were very active (they're my children... really the fact that they're active little things shouldn't be so surprising), was enough to wear them out and they cancelled their visit for this weekend.  So the race was on to find a babysitter, and amazingly one of Ladybug's teachers also babysits so she's going to come over Friday after she gets off work.

This week is really turning into a nutty one.  Mr. Darcy's schedule and mine is just not really lining up, which is a bit frustrating.  Monday it was the trade of the children while I swam, and then again when he worked until 1 am.  Tuesday it was me going to my Junior League meeting for elections and then leaving the meeting 1/2 an hour early to get home in time for Mr. Darcy to go to his alumni association meeting and for me to take over with the girls.  I forced myself to stay up until 10:10 pm (and am a little more tired because of it today) thinking that maybe Mr. Darcy would be back.  Nope.  I'm not sure what time he got home, but I remember not sleeping all that well until I heard him ask me if I was sleeping and then amazingly fell into a deep sleep.  Then this morning he had to leave around 6:30 (although I don't think he left until 6:40 when I told him that he needed to stop coming back in the house because I needed to get the girls up and he said he finally had everything he needed).  He won't be back until Thursday after work.  The big plug is tomorrow at 8 am and then they'll go back to the Tampa office for a bit, have lunch and then head back to work in the regular office. But we'll have Thursday evening with the girls and then Friday the concert for just Mr. Darcy and I (which in a way, I'd rather spend the evening all 4 of us since it seems like we've not all been in the same place at the same time for more than a few days at a time in a bit).  Saturday morning, I'm up bright and early to meet up with the Team in Training team for a mini-tri (1,000m open water swim, 14 mile bike, and a 4.5 mile run for me... 3 miles for everyone else).  Of course, I have to drive the wrong direction to meet with everyone because I live closer to New Smyrna Beach, so I'm adding time to my morning.  Nothing like having to leave the house by 5:30 am to drive 1/2 an hour in the wrong direction!  But it's for the Team, so it'll be worth it - besides maybe I'll have someone to either ride with me or me to ride with... which means I need to find time to clean out the mini-van again.  I just cleaned it out 2 weeks ago and it's trashed again.  It makes me crazy.

Speaking of trashed, I'm not sure what Mr. Darcy did with the girls last night while I wasn't home (other than some much needed grocery shopping basics that I'm very thankful for) because their playroom and bedroom is a giant mess - clothing from this weekend's trip spread everywhere and toys all over the place too.  It's almost as though they were running wild and making a game of making the biggest mess.  My plan is to get them to pick up after themselves this evening.  We'll see how that goes.  They do it at school, they did it at Grammie and PaPa's house, but getting them to do it at home is painful - for me, not them.

And I'm tired today... like waking up and wanting a nap tired.  I may even make myself some coffee, I'm so tired.  Sigh.  I guess I said outloud that I was feeling a bit better since starting the medicine and B12 one too many times, and this is the revenge.

On the 3 1/2 year old romance front, it turns out that Connor has no plans to marry anyone because "Little boys don't get married."  He's quite sensible, that one.  The girls told me last night that Connor told them he wanted to marry Ladybug, and Ladybug says that she wants to marry him.  Angelfish is a bit upset about it, but I explained to the girls that you can be good friends with a boy without wanting to marry him and gave them a few examples with men they know that I am friends with. (Oh, and Aunt Jennifer, the girls said they want to see you, Uncle Steve, Audey - yeah, they're still saying her name that way, and Baby Colin at Disney.) Angelfish, I think, remains a bit heartbroken despite her declaration that she is marrying Holland and that she loves him very much.

I ran into Connor's Mom at daycare and told her the latest in the saga that the girls have told me, and she laughed.  We talked about how I never wanted to get married until Mr. Darcy convinced me otherwise, but that there's a lot of social imaging out there for girls and women about weddings and getting married.  It's the only thing that explains it all.  She told me that Connor mentioned to her that someone had said they wanted to marry Z, but that Connor told her that he didn't want Z to get married because then they wouldn't be able to spend as much time together.  She asked him why he didnt' think they'd get to spend time together, and he (this kid is quick, let me tell you) said, "Well, you and Daddy are married and you don't get to see your friends often at all!"  Of course, that may have more to do with the having children thing... but for a 4 year old, he's pretty insightful.

In saying our nightly prayers last night, Ladybug prayed "God, give us a garden full of flowers so that Mommy can get married to Daddy again and I can be the flower girl."
So I've decided the girls need a hobby that will get their minds off of getting married or being a princess.  I plan to call to see about gymnastics, and will hope that if we do that with them that they'll have a class full of GIRLS!  It's either that or an all girls' school.

I thought about triathlon of course, but the youngest for any of that I could find is 6, so we've got a few years.  I think Angelfish in particular would eat it up.  This morning she talked Ladybug into letting her wear her shoes to school - they're these dressy shoes that Ladybug loves to wear and I figure whatever gets her out the door is fine.  They're shoes, they fit and all is well.  Angelfish put them on and then tried to run on them and got upset because they didn't feel right.  So she switched with another pair of Ladybug's favorites - black Mary Jane's with bows on them.  Those ran okay but slipped, and she opted to return to wearing her regular running shoes like she wear every other day of the week.  She told me, "They fit good and let me run fast!"  If that's not a triathlete (or at least a runner) in the making, I'm not sure what is!

Well, it's off to work... and a haircut at lunch and a nice 5 mile run after work.  Cross your fingers that it works that way!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Swim, Family, Bike!

Last night's swim was a good one.  I picked the Little Ladies up from daycare and they must have been ready to go because they ran over and hugged me and were super excited to see me, took my hand, and we walked right out.  It was great!  Then we were in the car and they wanted to know why we weren't going home.  So I explained that we were meeting Mr. Darcy at the pool and he was going to take them to dinner while I swam.  Ladybug decided that she wanted to watch me swim, and I told her it was up to Mr. Darcy.
We talked about their days and what they did at school, and Angelfish informed me she will be marrying Holland.  I asked her what happened to Connor the seeming love of her life and she said "He wants to marry Ladybug."  Oh dear.  Ladybug says that she is going to marry Connor too.  The love lives of these girls is hard to keep up with.  We got to the pool and Mr. Darcy was right behind us, so it worked out nicely and the girls were off with Daddy for some dinner.

Coach Geni had spent the weekend with Dave Scott learning all sorts of new swim drills and goodies, so she ran practice and had us do one of the drills I hate and have done before.  We started witha 400m warm up.  Then 400m of 4 drills.  First, the one I hate... It's where you have to hold a tennis ball under your chin and take as many strokes as you can before breathing, chase down the ball, replace it under your chin and keep going.  It's not necessarily a hard drill for me to do, but I don't like having to chase down the ball because it ruins my rhythm.  I'm pretty good at keeping my head in the right position, I think.  Next was the catch up drill and then swimming with tennis balls in your hand, and then kicking.  Then it a 30 minute timed swim where we just counted how far we went in the allotted time.  I did a 1200 in the 30 minutes, but stopped 1 1/2 minutes early because they wanted me to get a swimming suit off the bottom of the pool.  I had really wanted to get to at least 1300, but 1200 is good too. (No worries - it wasn't mine.  Mine was still securely on my body.) But I had a nice swim.  I was in a rhythm and even sped up toward the end.  And then a 200 cool down. 

When I got out of the pool, though, I was starving!  I had to get the kiddies from Mr. Darcy so he could return to work for a project that he's going after this week, so off I went to Jason's Deli... where they were in the car watching Sleeping Beauty.  I teased them and said I was surprised they were watching that because they never want to watch it, to which Angelfish replied "You are a silly Mommy!" The girls adore that movie and it is one of my least favorite of the Princess movies.  Heck, I'd rather watch Ratatouille or The Incredibles or Toy Story than a Princess Movie, but somehow I got 2 little girls who LOVE the Princesses.  Perhaps that's why they're always talking about who they're going to marry.  I never wanted to get married until Mr. Darcy convinced me otherwise and I was quite a bit older than 3 1/2... but anyway.

I had a "smaller portioned" Pollo Mexicano Baked Potato.  It was still really big.  But I was starving so I ate every last bite and had a nice big glass of Gatorade (due to evil foot cramping during my cool down) when I got home.  The girls and I put on our pajamas, read a story and went to sleep!

I heard the alarm clock ring for the 1st time at 6:30 am.  YIKES!  Mr. Darcy worked until 1 am last night and evidently had been turning off the alarm clock the second it beeped ever since 5:30, and I hadn't heard it once until then. 

Of course the good news in all of this is two fold: I slept an entire night and there were no little people that climbed into the bed with us during the night.  The bad news was that we were running late.  Way late.

But the girls got up pretty nicely and dressed and stalled and finally got out the door much later than we generally needed but it was still a nice morning.  It was drizzling at the house, so instead of getting on the slick roads I went to the Y and did 25 miles on the stationary bike... in exactly 67 minutes.  It's always amazing to me that I can go so "fast" on the the stationary bike.  It would be a dream come true for me to do 25 miles on my beloved Aerodite in 67 minutes.  But I at least got 25 miles in.  It wasn't exactly what Coach had planned (a 90 minute ride with some speed work), but for this morning it was all I had time for.

The good news is that I chatted with Mr. Darcy via email and told him that there is 1 month and 2 days until St. Anthony's and it's an A race for me, not to mention it's a Team in Training event where I'm a mentor and unless there is a crash or other accident (God forbid), it'd be rather embarrassing not to finish.  So I explained that I need to commit myself big time to my training and get done what is on the schedule every day from here on out and that I was asking him to kick me out of the house if we have oversleeping days and for him to step up and get the kids ready the rest of the way.  He said he would, so now it's time to implement it!

Next up - more work (since I wrote this on my lunch), a Junior League meeting, time with the family after the meeting (hopefully), and a run tomorrow morning...

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Garden State and Back Again

Friday's brick did not happen.  I could not sleep Thursday night.  I laid in bed from 10 until 11:30 when Mr. Darcy got home, and finally fell asleep.  Then Ladybug wandered in at 3 am, climbed into bed afraid of the dark and I couldn't fall back asleep.  I must have fallen asleep around 5 am because I remember looking at the clock thinking "it's 4:50 and I'm still awake.. .should I just get up and try to do the 25/5 brick?"  And then the next thing I knew the alarm was going off at 5:30 am and there was no way I could get my body out of bed.  I slept until 6:45 am when Angelfish came in wide eyed and wanting to play.  I let Mr. Darcy sleep and got up with her.  We watched an episode of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and had some breakfast and once Mr. Darcy got up and went to his eye doctor appointment, we started to straighten the house.  I was tense and frenetically cleaning.  Nothing could be out of place.  It had to look perfect so when we got back it would be nice and neat.  Not sure why it mattered, but it did.

Mr. Darcy's appointment ran long, and I finally got a shower and finished up the house and we got in the car by noon.  It took us one stop for lunch, 2 potty breaks, and a total of 3 hours to get to the Senior Mr. Darcy's when it normally takes 2 1/2 hours.  Sigh.  So we dropped the kiddies off and Senior Mr. Darcy drove us to the airport.  I was worried about missing the flight.  We ended up sitting for half an hour after going through security, book shopping at a concourse store, and using the potty.  As Mr. Darcy said "See? No worries." 

And somewhere I started to relax.  I read magazines from home.  I napped on the plane.  We had crab cakes and beer at a seafood restaurant on our layover and headed to Newark.  Our flights were early.  We found my parents without problem, got the car without a hitch, used the GPS (my new best friend - it took all the stress out of not knowing where we were), and were at the hotel in about 1/2 an hour.

Friday night was the first night I didn't wake up in the middle of the night.  Saturday we "slept in" until about 7:30, discovered we were going to end up paying $50 for breakfast if we ate at the hotel and used the GPS to find a great little Diner - like the NJ Diners I am used to eating at when I go on a visit to the family.  Then we talked to my cousins on the phone.  They asked Dad to read a reading he said no.  Carry Auntie's ashes up to the altar - no. Say a few words - no.  Mom asked him what was up and he said that he was having a hard time dealing with things just then and didn't want to cry in front of everyone.  So I told my cousins that I would do one of the readings.

The memorial service was nice.  A lot of my aunt's former students and friends from the area (not to mention our large Polish family) attended.  It was really touching to see how many lives she had touched.  I went to the wrong podium to do my reading and heard my Aunt's laughter in my head and how she would say "That was so funny."  I did the reading and had to take time to breathe here and there so I wouldn't cry.  I looked up at the audience only once or twice - not because I have a hard time with public speaking but because it hit me that all those people were there for my Aunt because she had been there for them and it was all I could do not to cry.  My cousins said a few words and cried a bit and then when they were done, the biggest shock of all.  My Dad.  He stood up, went to the podium, and talked.  He told us we needed to dry our tears and remember the joy of his sister's life and joked about how she'd give advice even when you didn't want it and how she always had the last word, and how she looked out for the people she loved (even if it meant beating up the neighborhood kids on his behalf), and how she was this little tiny person who could show the world that she was boss, and how she loved us all.  It was the best eulogy I have ever heard. Not to mention the best I've ever heard my Dad do with public speaking of any sort.

Afterwards we talked with family and ate and drank and enjoyed being with everyone.  It was a party of sorts - one that my Aunt would have loved.  And I'm convinced she was looking down on us with smiling eyes... especially because in a fit of inspiration (and one that was very Auntie Liz) Mr. Darcy decided we needed to go into New York City (only an hour away) and see a show.  The Cousins (my Dad's cousins, who we all call Aunt because they were more like siblings than cousins growing up together in essentially a 15 minute radius of each other) thought this was a great idea and told us how to get discounted tickets and the best way to get to the theatre district once through the Lincoln tunnel... the trick is to keep getting over to the left and then turn on 8th.  So once all was over, we headed to the hotel, changed clothes and even though Mom and Dad decided to stay at the hotel and rest, we headed to the city. 

It was the best impromptu thing we've done in years.  Hands down.  I loved it.  It was almost surreal though... here we were in NYC after being at a memorial service all day.  We found great parking in a perfect location, got tickets in the orchestra (4 rows from the stage and a little to the left, but still good tickets), and saw "Mamma Mia" which was absolutely great and perfectly upbeat. (Even Mr. Darcy agreed that it was a better choice than his originally wanting to see "The Phantom of the Opera.")  It was amazingly good.  We had a blast!

We got back to the hotel by 11:30 and were asleep by midnight... only to be awakened at 4:15 am by my Dad turning on a light that he didn't think would bother anyone - it was shinning right in my eyes.  I eventually got up and shut it off and tried to fall back to sleep while my Mom snored like a buzz saw... a very loud buzz saw.  And then the wake up call came early at 4:38 instead of 4:45 am.  My Dad wants to be at the airport EARLY.  We got there early alright.  We drove from Parsippany to Newark airport, returned the car, went through security and were at our gate by 6:40.  Our flight was at 8:15 and my parents was at 8:40.  Mr. Darcy slept at our gate while I got a little present for the Little Ladies, and then I too napped at the gate... and on our flight... and on our next flight.

Seeing the girls again was amazingly wonderful.  There is nothing like your children greeting you with running hugs and kisses and jumping on you and telling you they love you and missed you... and then telling you to watch them dance like ballerinas. It was awesome.

Somewhere in all of this, I've had a little less despression and anger.  Not sure if it's the B12 or my body reacting already to the thyroid medicine, or what.  But it's good.  I still woke up tired this morning, but not quite feeling like death's door.  Let's hope the next few weeks only show more improvement.

One thing I learned over the weekend is that we touch each other's lives.  As the Deacon who presided at the Memorial Service said, and that I'd like to believe is true, is that when we die we would be able to look over our lives and see all the good that we brought to the world and where we asked for forgiveness for our sins just blank spots where our misdeeds were erased through God's forgiveness. 

Time seems to fly so fast.  I thought about our girls this weekend and how they're almost 4.  I thought about how my Dad said that it was almost like yesterday that he and his sister were kids, and that I was born.  I told Mr. Darcy that it was as though we blink and we're older.  We blink and our children are grown.  We blink and our life has passed.

So I, for one, am going to do my best to make the most of the few moments we do have in this short life.  I'm going to make mistakes in doing it.  I'm evidently going to have some health issues from some silly genetics, but I'm also going to have some wonderful things about me that I got from alot of great genetics too.  (Mr. Darcy said it was fun to sit back and watch me and my relatives at the repast because he could see so much likeness in how we act and move and it made him feel like he somehow belonged there even if he wasn't Polish and the NJ family doesn't know him so well.)  And I'm going to make the most of it.

So I didn't get to my brick this weekend.  I'll turn on the juice with training this week and with spending time with my Little Ladies and Mr. Darcy, and I'll do my best to enjoy each moment of this fleeting life. And perhaps, just perhaps, that is my Aunt's last little gift to me.  A reminder that life needs to be about love and laughter and good times and that yes, you'll take on the bad times too, but "dynamite can come in small packages" whether a dynamo in a little person like her or in the small moments of our lives.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Not So Good Day, Followed By A Slightly Better One

Yesterday was not a very good day.  I woke up on edge and ate a cookie and chips during the day as comfort food.  Not only did I wake up early and on edge, but my laptop got a computer virus that I tried to fix per symantec's instructions and it ended up locking me out.  I dealt with someone who was not very competent and I literally had to demand that he open a support ticket so that I could get someone who did know what they were doing to help me, and then I ended up having to send out the laptop anyway.

Even my run wasn't that great.  My calf was killing me the entire time and my leg was so tight that I couldn't go nearly as fast as I wanted to and just had to sort of plod through the running ladder (400m run, 400 recovery; 800 run, 400 recover; 1200 run, 400 recovery; 800 run, 400 recovery; 400m run, 400 recovery).  But I got it done... eventually. I felt a little better after the run, but only for a little bit.  Then it was back to being on edge, and then being weepy about the fact that I was on edge and was sick of feeling that way.

I talked to my friend M about it though.  She told me that if I didn't have thyroid issues she'd be shocked.  M has thyroid "issues" after having her thyroid removed because of cancer.  She told me that I was okay when you have these nutty days because this is what having a messed up thyroid is like.  I literally thought to myself, "Dear Lord, let the tests show that I have a messed up thyroid because if I don't, what the heck is wrong with me?"

Well, this morning I went to the endocrinologist for my follow up.  It turns out that my cortisol is actually okay and that its elevation is because of being on birth control pills. So nothing to worry about there.  I don't appear to have Hashimoto's based on the thyroid testing, but the doctor says that she thinks my thyroid is starting to fail because it tested at 4.27 (which for that lab was border line normal on the slow end, but at most other labs would be abnormal) and the fact that it tested at 2.7, 3.5, 2.9, and then 4.27 and in the past few weeks my symptoms have been worse tells her that it's starting to sputter essentially.  She also told me that my depression symptoms are also normal for someone with thyroid problems.  And my B12 level was low, which can also produce very similar symptoms.  I told her about getting upset and being on edge and then weeping for seemingly no reason, and she said that it's normal when you have thyroid issues to have those issues too. 

So tomorrow I will take my 1st 25 mcg of synthroid and add a 1,000 mcg of B12 into the mix of B vitamins and such that I already take. (I take B Complex, which includes B12 already and she wanted me to have B12 shots, but I talked her into trying the vitamins first - I don't really like needles.)  She told me that the thyroid medicine might not cure all my depression like symptoms, but to give it 2-3 weeks and if I didn't feel better then to see a counselor.  She told me that for some people the thyroid medicine helps the depresion symptoms alot and for others it only helps some.  We'll be retesting my thyroid and B12 and Vitamin D (which she somewhere didn't get results for) in 6 weeks, and I go for a follow up to see how the synthroid dosage is working (and to see if the vitamins will do the trick or if I have to switch to B12 shots).

Just knowing that all this is because of my thyroid seems like a relief.  Having this nice doctor explain to me that while I'm not normal because I have a thyroid problem but that I am normal in the symptoms of that thyroid problem made me feel a lot better.  I'm still tired and my skin is flaking, and all that hasn't changed, but it's almost a sense of relief in a way.  I wasn't nuts - I was right.  There was something wrong with me, and it wasn't all in my head.  And if I'm "crazy," it's because of the thyroid issue not just being randomly "crazy."

Of course, I started the day with the discovery that the tire Mr. Darcy had patched for me yesterday was half flat - when I was leaving for the doctors office and had no time to take care of it just then.  So I had driven hoping all would go okay for 26.5 miles to the doctor's office.  (Yes, I'll drive almost anywhere for a good doctor...) After the doctor's office, I headed to the tire shop... except when I glanced at the receipt Mr. Darcy had left in the car, I misread it and went to the tire shop next door (there are 3 on the road leading to my neighborhood).  But they were really nice there.  They don't charge for patching tires, so I stayed right there to discover that 1) there was a hole in the side wall of the tire, which means that you can't patch it and 2) it looked like the other shop had left one of the nails in a different hole that they patched.  So, they gave me options: a) put the spare on and wait to talk to Mr. Darcy; b) replace the one tire (which my Dad always told me you should replace the other tire on the same axle if they were both pretty evenly worn but not if they were new of course); c) replace the 2 tires on the same axle; or d) replace all the tires. 

I personally liked a salesperson that was willing to put a spare on and send me on my way to talk to my husband.  But, I decided to look at the prices of the tires, etc. And opted to replace the 2 tires on the same axle.  But they were good and technically replaced the front right tire instead of the back right tire because it was the worst worn of the tires.  They simple rotated the back right tire to the now empty front wheel, and put the new tires on the back wheels.  It wasn't cheap, but they were the original tires on the car and we're at 48,087 miles as of this morning... so they were going to need to be replaced in a few months anyway.  So, now we'll only have to replace 2 tires in a few months time.  Kind of lessen the blow... or draw out the financial pain, I'm not sure which.  But once the tire was taken care of, it was off to work.

And now that work is over for the day, I'll pick up the little ladies from daycare, have them help me pack for their weekend trip to Grammie and Papa's house, order a pizza for dinner (because we know how healthy that is, but I've decided that I don't feel like cooking steak since Mr. Darcy has to work late for a deadline and there's not much else in the house), play with the girls, finish putting away that laundry that I folded all those days agon, put the girls to bed, pack me and perhaps even Mr. Darcy for this weekend, straighten the house (including my office - it looks like a paper bomb went off in there) and hopefully get to bed at a decent hour.  I already filed the taxes the other day (yay, refund - it can pay for our tires and trip to NJ... how I had wished it would get to grow in the savings account, but no such luck).

Tommorow the plan is to wake up early and do my brick (25 mile bike and 5 mile run) and get home before Mr. Darcy leaves for his eye appointment.  Make sure the car is packed and all is set at the house and as soon as Mr. Darcy is home from his eye appointment, head out for the Darcy Seniors' and  then on to Newark Airport... as my Dad likes to say about Newark - it's the armpit of New Jersey.  But, we'll hopefully get to see the Anhaiser Bush plant with the eagle that flaps it's wings as we leave the airport... although I think we may miss it since we're going to Montville instead of Clifton. Let's just hope for no delayed flights and no more flooding while we're there.

It's been a little under 2 weeks since my Aunt's passing, and yet it seems both like so long ago and like a bad dream.  Life, especially mine, is a bit strange and a bit wonderful all rolled into one.

I'll let you know how it all goes upon my return....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day in the TriMommy Household

Today is St. Patrick's Day and I only realized it in the car while driving the wonder twins to daycare.  I knew it on Monday but forgot about it by the morning.  In my defense, I was up since 3 am due to a combination of Ladybug being afraid of the dark, Mr. Darcy not wanting her to get up in the middle of the night and try to sleep in our bed, and insomnia that started as awakened by Ladybug (but really I was on the way to waking up as it was... but if I didn't have to get out of bed, I probably could have fallen asleep after a few minutes like most nights as of late).

I announced that it was St. Patrick's Day and Angelfish declared that it had to be tomorrow.  I told her that, no, it was today.  To which she responded, "But I don't want to get pinched!"  And it dawned on me.  They were not dressed in your standard St. Patrick's Day attire - green.  Yes, I am a terrible Mommy and have not dressed my children in a festive manner.  I'm Polish, French, German and British.  Does that get me off the hook for anything?  Probably not.  St. Patrick's Day is pretty much an American holiday as it is.  Besides, Mr. Darcy is Scottish, Irish, Afrikaans, Native American and all around mutt.  Ugh - I've stopped giving them failure numbers, but there's another "bad Mommy" item to add to the disdain of the other school children and parents, I'm sure. 

It's official.  I am completely forgetful.  To forget the holiday of green clothing and green beer, and to forget to dress your children in green? Luckily, Angelfish is wearing a floral dress with striped pants (she picked it out herself, not wanting to wear the cute outfit I chose for her this morning) and the dress had some green leaves in it and the pants had stripes that were green.  Ladybug has it a bit tougher.  She is wearing jeans with a turquoise and lime green dress (the double of the one she wore on Monday come to think of it - we don't buy 2 of the same clothing for our girls, but often get presents of that sort) over which she has on a black t-shirt that has a pink cat on it.

I did try to impart a bit of St. Patrick's Day knowledge to the girls while driving - gleaned from my days at Catholic elementary school.  St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland and also happened to spread Christianity to its people.

I may try to make up for it by going to the bakery and seeing if they have any St. Patrick's Day themed cookies.

Of course, I'll be spending my St. Patrick's Day at work and then at track practice doing ab work and sprints. And wishing that I had several more hours of sleep.  And attempting to finish our taxes.  And putting away the laundry that I at least folded last night.  And trying to pack clothes for Friday's trip so I don't have to do it Thursday, but I have a feeling I'll be doing it Thursday because keeping my eyelids open is quite the trick.  Did I mention I'm already dressed for tonight's track practice because well, I decided I might as well do it this morning so I could have one less thing on my to do list?  I'm planning ahead.

I have beer in the house, but no green food dye.  I'll just have to pretend it's green beer this evening after track practice.  I may not be Irish but I can pretend with everyone else - even if I'm not wearing green.

Happy St. Patrick's Day and try not to get pinched!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Princess 1/2 Marathon...small correction

So the official results were posted today.  And I have a small correction on my time.  The official time was 2:46:01, 7 seconds faster than I thought I did.  I'll go with the official time, since it was faster!  The average pace per mile was about the same.

5K split: 37:34 (12:07 mile pace)
10K split 1:16:11 (12:17 mile pace)
15K split: 1:55:33  (12:25 mile pace)
total: 2:46:01 (12:40 mile pace)

To say the least, I did not negative split and definitely slowed down a good bit in those last 4 miles.  But I have to say, my hip flexors were definitely killing me those last 4 miles especially.  I don't know if I should have run faster to start with or whether the wheels would have just flown off the bus if I did that.

But all in all for my 1st stand alone 1/2 Marathon, I'm pretty pleased.  It would be awesome to be able to run the Women's 1/2 Marathon in November at under a 12:00 mile pace.  But we'll just have to see what happens....

Baby steps first, right?  Next up St. Anthony's!

Happy Swimming and Me 1, Bike Trainer 0

Happy Swimming

Last night was the Team in Training group swim.  Last week, I pretty much didn't do any of my workouts other than the group swim between the stomach virus and running off to be with the family, etc.  But this week, I'm literally rearing to go.

Of course, I remembered around 5 pm that I don't have any goggles.  I can't seem to find my goggles anywhere, and when I tried to use Mr. Darcy's speedo specials, they broke.  So, like the redheaded stepchild, I emailed Coach and asked if she could arrange for an extra pair for me to borrow.  I did stop at CVS and buy a pair of adult goggles from the beach aisle - I have a feeling they won't last long.  Coach evidently emailed Coach Geni who hadn't taken her goggles out of her car from last week, and she was awesome and lent them to me again. (I've now ordered a pair of my favorite Kaiman's - I'm trying the Ladies version this time around because I love the ones I borrowed from Coach Geni.)

I was so glad that Coach Geni lent those goggles to me.  It felt awesome to be in the pool last night.  It was a little brisk out and the pool wasn't quite as warm as it's been in the past, but it was still great.  We started in the small pool for our warm up due to the Canadians that were in town training at the pool and hogging up all the lanes.  But then we switched to the big pool and it was set up for long course - 50 m in one direction.  It was great!  I finished up my drills in no time flat, and moved on to 2x500 with the last 50 of each being a sprint.  I love the long swims and even enjoyed kicking it in the last 50 of each.  In a way, I wish it had been 1,000m straight because I was just enjoying the long distance swim.  But then the sprint wouldn't have been nearly as fun... anyway, I had a nice peaceful swim, despite sharing the lane with 4 gents a few of whom kept stopping every 100m and kind of breaking up the rhythm of the circle swim.  But, what can you do?  Then the cool down and a piece of recovery birthday cake (it was a small piece, no worries) for Coach's daughter's birthday.  She got clip in pedals and shoes for her birthday... ahhh to be 12 again.  I think she was pretty excited... she's been wanting to clip in on her bike for some time now.

On the way home, I noticed my tire pressure light came on.  I thought, hmm that tire patch must not have been a very good job.  By the time I got home, I figured something was a little flat.  Exit the car, front left tire looks fine.  But I hear the sound of air coming out of a tire.  I walk toward the back and my left back tire is FLAT and there is definitely hissing going on.  I'm not sure how this is happening.  I'm not driving erratically, driving over anything unusual, just the roads of Orlando.  2nd tire in 2 weeks.  Mr. Darcy figures I've run another screw or nail over and promises to take the car for a patch for me (but forgot this morning but says he'll do it tomorrow or later today).  Mr. Darcy handles all things automotive because when it comes to tires, I'm not sure when they're taking me for a ride down the million dollar highway.  Engines, I know enough to keep that from happening, but tires... no.

Then I was greeted by Angelfish who ran so fast and hugged my legs without slowing down that she almost knocked me and her over. It's nice to be loved.  Of course, then she was back to playing with the toy laptop (she's getting really good with her letters these days) and Ladybug looked up to greet me as she was rather busy drawing and coloring.  She drew a cute picture of the family... and had Mr. Darcy label everyone.

Once the girls were in bed - at 9:30 because Mr. Darcy didn't believe me that it was that late. Darn that Daylight savings time!  We got to bed shortly afterwards.  And just as I was waking around 3 am, 2 small children climbed into bed with us declaring they were afraid of the dark.  I'm guessing one of them woke the other and then they concocted their diabolical plan to get into bed with us. So I slept on and off until about 6 am when I discovered that Ladybug had peed in her sleep.  She's been doing great this past week with sleeping without a pullup and not having an accident, but evidently sleeping in Mommy's bed was the triggering factor. 

I hate pee.  I hate the smell of pee.  I can smell pee 5 miles away, I'm pretty sure.  So Mr. Darcy got Ladybug changed into dry clothes and carried Angelfish into her own bed while I stripped the bed and tried to soak up the pee that had been in such a quantity it went through the sheet, the matress pad and into the bed.  My side of the bed.  Did I mention I hate pee?  I soaked up as much as I could with paper towels and sprayed it down with lysol.  And suggested to Mr. Darcy that perhaps it is time to flip and rotate the mattress.

Me 1, Bike Trainer 0

Then Mr. Darcy helped me set up Ruby, my old road bike, on the trainer.  I didn't want any slipped chains, or other issues this bike trainer session.  We had to adjust a few things and find the missing spring from the axle, but it all worked out. 

After getting the little ladies up and dressed and out the door with Mr. Darcy, I turned on an episode about a double mastectomy breast cancer survivor who was 32 (and had cancer at 28) who was getting a new wardrobe.  (She was so inspirational and yet had no self confidence.  It was kind of amazing.)  Then I jumped on the bike and started.  I can only guesstimate my cadence because I don't have a computer on the road bike (the bike computer now resides on my tri bike), but since my regular rhythm on the bike hits around 85, I'm pretty sure I did what I was supposed to do.  10 minute warm up at 85 cadence.  6 sets of 1 minute of 1 leg pedaling.  The 1st 4 weren't so bad and I did them rather smoothly.  The 5th was a bit hard, and then the last one pretty much kicked my booty and was a little choppy.  But it got done.  The 5 minute recovery was nice.  The 10 minutes at high cadence (95-100) got my heart beating high and my sweat pouring, and then another happy 5 minute recovery and then jacking my gears almost all the way up (in the big chain ring even), I had to pedal standing up (which is not my favorite thing to do and freaks me out a bit on the open road, but doesn't scare me on the trainer) for 5 minutes.  I was uber happy when that 5 minutes was over.  And then the last 10 minutes in recovery.  I have to say I love the recovery spin at the end.  It's a nice reward for a job well done.

Today will be somewhat busy, but manageable all at once.  I have a conference call during the lunch hour for a Georgia Bar Committee, and I have to leave work on time because I have volunteering with Junior League.  Tonight I need to fold and put away laundry, wash some more laundry, and finish our taxes.  Tommorrow is going to be the tough one... 8 am conference call for my other Georgia Bar Committee, a department conference call, hopefully a fixed tire, and then TNT track and core practice after work, and an attempt at organizing us (and perhaps packing?) for our trip on Friday. 

I'd like to get all packed on Thursday so I can have one evening this week that I'm not doing something, especially since I find out the test results and such at the endocrinologist on Thursday.  I'm a little nervous about the endocrinology appointment.  I don't want her to tell me nothing is wrong with me because weight gain with all the training and healthy eating makes no sense and I've been depressed lately (and my little foray onto the Mayo clinic website's self test yesterday confirmed that for me) which I know is a symptom of hypthyroidism and one that I don't want to be a stand alone issue. 

But at the same time I don't want to have an additional health problem.  I'd rather not add to my list of why I'm an unlikely triathlete.  Of course, I guess that would make all of my efforts and accomplishments (as unimpressive when compared with the performances of others, but impressive for me), even more impressive.  But really, it's all relative.  I'm no world class athlete, but at least I enjoy doing it.  I just need to remind myself that I need to do this for fun and that it helps keep all those genetic wolves at bay the best I can.  Maybe it's in my head, but I feel like when people find out or know that I am a triathlete and they look at me they say to themselves "really? She does that?  She doesn't look like she does that."  Or even worse, running into someone from high school back when my genetic issues hadn't kicked in yet and I was a size 2.  I fear that everytime I go back to my hometown.

But in the end, I have to remind myself of something that the endocrinologist said to me when I saw her.  She told me that you can be in good shape and be bigger than expected.  And when people think of the BMI that I have, she said they think of round BMI but that I am not round.  And I have to remind myself that as an endurance athlete, I endure.... even my own genetic makeup.  As I said to a cancer survivor on my TNT team last night, we have to cut ourselves a break.  For him, he already endured cancer and cancer treatments before he ever stepped foot into the pool or on to a triathlon course.  For most people, what we do as triathletes is amazing.  But for ourselves, it's just something we do.  I just need a good reminder of the fact that I am amazing, or even just pretty cool.

Oh and if anyone has some good cures for children who are afraid of the dark, let me know.  I've tried spraying water to dissolve whatever is scary in the night and sitting with my girls and having them point out what shadows or things are scary to them and me explaining them and showing them that nothing is unusual there.  We've tried prayers and setting the house alarm to create an extra sense of security.  I even explained why we have night with the earth spinning and facing the moon instead of the sun as it rotates and goes through its orbit (not sure they got it, but I tried it).  I just don't want them to be afraid.  And on a selfish note, I wouldn't mind sleeping in my own bed without extra bodies - a Queen really isn't made for more than Mr. Darcy and I, especially because the Little Ladies are bed hogs.

Well, off I go....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Getting it Together

We have returned from beautiful Sarasota.  If the jobs were as good as the schools there, I would live there in a New York minute. Of course, Mr. Darcy might object as it is farther from his parents, but you would think the beach would be enough to tempt him.  Those beautiful white sands and the gorgeous blue green water is enough to make anyone want to simply become a beach bum.

We spent a good bit of Saturday with Mr. Darcy entertaining the children while my Dad and I got the travel arrangements together for Saturday's memorial service.  It took us a bit longer than I had hoped because Delta kept telling us the fares we were opting for were sold out... the 1st 4 times we tried the booking.  In a bit of irony, my parents airfare ended up being less expensive than the 1st 4 times we tried.  Of course then we got a bit tense because we realized they hadn't assigned seats when we booked.  I went back in and was able to get seat assignments for 2 of the 4 flights involved, and eventually Dad ended up calling Delta directly and they gave seat assignments for the other 2 flights and re-confirmed their flights and seats.  Once that was done, I worked on flights for Mr. Darcy and I.  That took some doing too and I was already tense.  Flights short term are (of course) rather expensive, and Mr. Darcy's comment "Do I really need to go?"  truly upset me.  Granted $432 plus taxes for a flight is rough, but I really wanted and needed him to be there to support me and my family.  I've been feeling rather alone lately as it is, so to go with my parents only was do-able but seemed even more isolating for some reason.  He explained that he preferred to go but it was a money issue.  I was feeling like I needed to be more important than money, but looking back today I see his point about the money.

Luckily, we were able to work it out anyway.  For some reason when I first searched from Jacksonville, which is near where the Darcy Seniors live, it came back as $800 per flight.  But when we went to US Air's website and did the Jacksonville search we got flights for $382 including tax.  So we saved a little and it will be easier on the Darcy Seniors to watch the little ladies while we are gone because we will bring the girls to them.  Mr. Darcy told me on the way home yesterday he has to work late this coming Thursday night for a deadline, so I guess it's a good thing our flight is late in the day on Friday as we'll have to drive to the Darcy Seniors Friday morning.

After the flights, I took care of the car rental and the hotel reservation.  Using the web is hard for my parents, so my taking care of it for them really was the best all around.  Plus, we bought a GPS this weekend (YAY!) so we'll be able to bring that with us and use it to get around the lovely Garden State of New Jersey.

So the plans are set there.  It's funny how it weighs on my mind even though it is "far off" into the week.  That's how grief works, though.

I missed my Tri season opener on Saturday to be in Sarasota, but I honestly was okay with it and felt like I was right where I needed to be. 

This will be a bit of a busy week, but then when is it not? And the busy-ness of it all may be a good distractor for me.  Tonight is swim practice; tomorrow a bike trainer workout (lets hope we do not have a repeat of my last attempt with the trainer), conference call and Junior League; Wednesday conference call and track workout; Thursday a swim, a doctor's appointment and packing everyone up. Friday I'm going to try to get my Saturday workout done on Friday before we leave - 25 mile bike and 5 mile run. I plan to get up EARLY for this one and if it's too dark I may have to do the 25 mile bike at the Y (the trainer is out because the Little Ladies can wake up and then want to play with the trainer while I'm on it - I always envision missing fingers). I figure I can sleep either on the way to the Darcy Seniors while the girls watch a video in the car and Mr. Darcy drives, or I can wait and sleep on the plane.   If possible on Saturday, I'll do some weights in the morning before the memorial service. Sunday will be the rest day.  Ah yes, the plan.  I really want to stick to it because I feel like I need the happy distraction.

We'll see how it works out.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and Happy Training!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Past Few Days

The past few days have been strenuous.  I wish I could say that they were strenuous because they involved a lot of training, but alas not the case.

I mentioned in my last post (and thank you everyone for your supportive comments!) that my Mom had called about my Aunt being in the hospital.  Well, Monday we had no more news really.  It was swim practice night and I'd had a really bad feeling that afternoon and a visit from my Aunt's spirit.  For those of you who don't believe in that sort of thing, you'll never experience it but since almost everyone in the family had an experience where they literally knew my Aunt was with them at a certain point I'm telling you it's real.
I was sitting in my office and I literally started looking around and I fully expected to see my Aunt standing right there with me in the room.  I said out loud that I knew she was there and the next thing I knew my forearms were ice cold, and just like she used to grab my forearms when she saw me to look me in the face and say "let me see you" and then give me a hug.  Forearms like ice and then on my back just like someone was hugging me.  I told her I loved her and that I just wanted her to be happy and to be at peace.  And then both the cold and the feeling that she was in the room disappeared.  So I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to work and trying to get my parents on the phone.  I finally got to my Mom when I arrived at the pool for practice and she told me that there still was no news, that they had done an EKG and EEG that came back as inconclusive and so they'd wean her off the medicine and try to warm her body to see if she'd come out of a coma and they'd test again.  They were still telling me that I needed to go to Boston on Wednesday for my business trip.

I was in a foul mood.  I was pretty angry at this point with my Aunt.  The fact that she never stopped smoking and that this was the result.  I broke a pair of goggles, had to borrow another, and finally got in the pool.  My body was pretty heavy in the water and I was pretty slow, but I figured it must be because of the 1/2 marathon the day before.  After practice I headed home and my stomach wasn't feeling overly great.

Angelfish had been missing me, to the point that she had been crying for 15 minutes according to Mr. Darcy.  She snuggled up and just really wanted me from the second she saw me.  Looking back, I wonder if she's gotten the Polish Spidey sense that my Dad's whole side of the family has.  She wanted me with her to the point I had to lay in her bed until she fell asleep.  By the time I left the room, my stomach felt rotten.

I made it into our bedroom, put on my pjs, ate some chocolate (big mistake), and laid down.  In 5 minutes, I was in the bathroom puking my guts out.  I would say luckily I hadn't eaten all that much that day because I wasn't overly hungry, except that meant that at one point I would be drinking water just to have something to throw up because my stomach bile was the only thing left and that was plain awful.  3 1/2 hours later (and sparing you some majorly disgusting and painful imagery), I finally stopped and got some sleep.

Around 3:30 am, I woke up thinking someone had poured sand in my mouth because I was so thirsty.  I drank 8 oz of Gatorade that tasted like the best thing I had ever had in my life, and drank a 2nd cup and then a cup of water.  And prayed to keep it down.  It stayed down, thank goodness.

I got up in time to take the girls to daycare and then emailed my Boss.  I told her about my Aunt and about my terrible stomach virus and said I'd still go to Boston if she wanted, but I wanted to leave the option of having someone else go up to her.  She suggested I check with my back up who told me she could go.  As soon as I found out she could go, my Mom called and told me that the doctors had declared my Aunt brain dead.  Turns out the 1st tests had showed no brain waves, and the 2nd set confirmed it. I cancelled my flight, took care of details regarding the seminar I was to have taught, and slept the entire rest of the day.

That evening, I talked to my parents again.  My cousins were going to meet with the doctors about organ donation that evening and they were going with them. 

By Wednesday morning I was finally feeling somewhat better, but as soon as Mr. Darcy and the kids left, I felt like I had to go to see my parents and my cousins.  So I packed up, called Mr. Darcy with the plan, got in the car and drove.  I had an idea of trying to make it to see my Aunt before they took her body to harvest the organs.  The policeman that pulled me over while I was doing 75 in a 50 (which I honestly did not see any signs that said the speed limit was 50 on that ramp and 2nd I really didn't know how fast I was going because I was thinking I just wanted to get there while my stomach was rolling a little bit from the breakfast I ate) prevented me from making it in time.  That and my having to stop for gas.  But at least I got a warning and a nice talking to and a sympathetic police officer when I told him my Aunt had died, I was trying to get to my parents house and I honestly had no clue how fast I was going.  He made me promise him that I would watch the speed and be careful.  So I'm guessing I was visably upset, aside from the obvious when I started crying.  I didn't miss it when he said my ticket would have been $281.  Thanked him and was an angel the entire rest of the drive.

I got to my parents' house essentially 15 minutes too late.  But at this point, I think that maybe I wasn't supposed to see the shell of her body laying there.  Even my cousins said that it was kind of strange seeing her for the last time knowing she wasn't in there and that she somehow didn't quite look exactly like her anymore.  It was good to be there for my parents and my cousins, and to be able to answer legal questions (before my corporate foray, I was an estate planning and estate and gift tax attorney too) to help them understand what they had to do legally with things.

I spent the night and most of yesterday there too.  I went to see my Grammy too.  We had to decide as a family that we weren't going to tell Grammy that my Aunt, her daughter, my Dad's sister, had died.  She has really bad Alzheimer's and the doctor told us that the point she is at is where she may absorb one piece of information in a day, but that if she absorbs something it can get caught in a loop and replay itself in her head.  So he said that if we told her, either she wouldnt' get it at all or if she absorbed it her brain could play it in a loop making her suffer for the rest of her days.  So, we all agreed.  She is not to know.  Grammy doesn't talk anymore, and she pretty much sits or lays with her eyes closed and opens them every so often for just a moment to look around and then closed again.  It was horrible to see her that way.  The only bright moment was when she opened her eyes when I first got there and she had this amazingly excited and happy look for about a minute - as though she at least recognized that I was someone she loved and she was happy to see me.  She repeated that again when she saw my Dad, but she couldn't say a thing to us.  To say the least, I cried after we left.  I wish she wasn't suffering like that, and I wish that my Dad and Mom didn't have to suffer from seeing her like that.  Dad goes 3-4 times a week minimum to see her and drop things off at the facility.  Then we did a few errands that my parents needed to do and met up with my cousins for a bit before they had to head to the funeral home to finalize payment on my Aunt's cremation and then head to the lawyer's office about what to do for the estate proceedings (they both live a good bit aways from there).  Then I drove home, picked the girls up from school early, and played with them and watched a movie.

Mr. Darcy had a deadline for work that he had to work late for, so he didn't get home until 11:30 (and I'm pretty sure I fell asleep around 9:20 last night).

This morning I woke up with some anxiety.  Worrying about my Grammy and my parents and cousins and having a worry or a feeling that something else might happen.  Mr. Darcy and I decided we'd go visit my parents this weekend and we'd leave after he gets home from work.  I called my Mom who said as far as she was concerned we were welcome to come.  I told her good, we'd be there this evening.  And I felt a little better about things.  We told the girls that we were going to see Nanna and Poppop and they hooped and hollered and literally did happy dances.  It made me smile like nothing else.

The girls and Mr. Darcy headed out the door and I got that anxiety feeling back again, but my friend N. called and then Little Sister called to check on me afterwards and it seemed to ease away again.  I'm working today so that's helped distract me too.

It will be good to be with my parents for the weekend.  And then next weekend looks like it will be the memorial service.  I'll miss my sprint triathlon this Saturday, but I'm okay with it.  I feel like I'm going where I'm supposed to be right now and this time I'll have the people I was missing when I was there the past two days - Mr. Darcy and the Little Ladies.  Now let's just hope this anxiety shoos away.  I'm bringing running gear, in case I need a run. And Mr. Darcy mentioned the beach.  That might be a good thing for the Little Ladies, Mom and Dad, the Cousins, and me.  I'll have to see what I can manage.

Highs and lows and back again.  But unlike Sunday's 1/2 marathon, my hip flexors aren't cursing at me.  Thank goodness.