Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Running and Bringing a Plan Together.

It's hot here in Hades Florida.  And to be quite honest, after a week of sleeping "in" to around 7:30 and playing on the beach and at the pool, spending afternoons indoors coloring, playing and watching movies (although we watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets three times because Angelfish has a crush on Harry Potter ... but she doesn't want to tell Holland because she loves him and doesn't want him to get jealous because she wants to marry Holland, not Harry Potter... yes that's all straight from her), I really did NOT want to get up this morning and run.

Not to mention that I did yoga yesterday because something non-paleo and non-zone was eaten for dinner for the girls' birthday and let's just say my body was still in rejection mode.  And it was still in rejection mode this morning.

But as it would seem I run my best when I just don't want to, I went.  Even as I left the house, Mr. Darcy asked me if I was going for a run.  I told him I might just walk 2 or 3 miles, I'm feeling lazy but my body needs to get moving.  When I exited the house, I told myself to do at least just one 5:1 and we'd see how I felt.  I got to the mile mark at 10:21.  I kept doing those 5:1s and got into a nice rhythm.  One where I wasn't even noticing that I was running, but just taking in the scenery.  It was a little eerie.  Nice, but eerie.  Next thing I know, I'm hitting the turn onto the 3 mile run course and I'm not even at 24 minutes yet.  But I'm pretty sure that I'm past the 2nd mile point.  I hit the 3 mile mark at 30:12.  A 10 minute, 4 second pace - while walking 1 minute after running 5 minutes!  I couldn't believe it.  That's faster than I've done in just about FOREVER. And I wasn't even angry with Mr. Darcy - we know I can tear up the asphalt then.

I finished the 3.2 miles total in 34:05.  I slowed down a good bit for that last 0.2 because my right calf was feeling really tight all of a sudden and I didn't want to pull it.  Even so, I was still under an 11 minute mile pace. 

I wonder if I do races on days I don't feel like getting out of bed if I will ROCK them... hmmm...

In other news, I am officially signed up and money paid for both the Moss Park Sprint Tri (July 7) and the Clermont Challenge (Olympic) on 9/12.  Of course, I'm not sure if I should be concerned about the Clermont Challenge - they refer to the Olympic distance as "the short course."  At this point, I'm the only Athena in my age group that is signed up for the race. I laughingly told Mr. Darcy that perhaps this meant I'd get some hardware.  I'm sure by September several other Athenas will enter and then I'll really have my work cut out for me. And I'm hoping that Sugarloaf is not included in the short course distance for that race.  I have yet to make it all the way to the top on my bike. 

Thank you all for offering to help with my training plan.  I am working on it and may send it to those of you who offered to see if you think it looks okay, or to get any suggestions for improving it (whether it needs more of something, or less or whatever).  Big Daddy Diesel, I too have Triathlon Training in 4 hours per week, but he says to 1.5x the training if you're doing an Olympic Distance so I got a little worried.  Then I realized that I was probably doing that already... so it's been helping with the planning.  I also decided to set out the plan all the way to take me through my two 1/2 marathons (although I'm trying to decide if I really want to do the Wine and Dine since it's at night or whether I want to try and find another triathlon to substitute for it - for now I'm planning on the Wine and Dine) and the last 5K before the true end of my season in December.  I may have to tweak it as time goes by, but I think it'll be good to have it on paper - or at least the excel spreadsheet I'm making.  I'm borrowing from a few sources... Runner's World Magazine's 6 week 1/2 mary plan from a few months ago, some of Coach's old workouts for me, and the book. 

I know I owe you all pictures of the cake and stories of our Disney Adventure.  They'll be forthcoming in a day or two.  I have a Junior League meeting  tonight and not enough time to get it all up today.  But I haven't forgotten!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Triathlon Training Plan

This morning I could not sleep.  Probably caused by the lead brick sitting in my stomach caused by birthday cake.  Ugh.

So I decided I would take the opportunity to read the Triathlon Training Bible sections that I needed to put together my schedule for the next 11 weeks leading up to the Oly in Clermont.  I remember now why I don't like the Triathlete's Training Bible.  Chock full of awesome information, explanations as to why and how to do things a certain way... and completely unrealistic for someone who works full time and has small children to raise.  While I would LOVE to be able to do bricks several times a week, it does not fit in with my time constraints.  While I would love to train 7 days a week for 3 week blocks, this too does not fit within my time constraints.  Nor would it bode well for my marriage or my children.  Yes, I get that this may be one of the explanations of why I am a back of the packer.  But as he emphasizes you need a plan that is realistic, challenging, and provides balance.

I want challenge.  I want realistic. And I want balance - not just among the 3 sports but in my life.  After flipping through the tome and realizing planning this way is not going to work with my life, I decided to look for the book mentioned in the Dangle a Carrot blog - Triathlete Magazine's Essential Week-by-Week Training Guide by Matt Fitzgerald.  I found it on Amazon, but it says it will take 1-3 MONTHS to ship.  Uh, no thanks.  I will try a book store in the near future to see if I am lucky there (even if it will cost more).  Or, if anyone out there would be interested in selling me a copy for about $15, I'd be happy to purchase it. : )

So for now, I'm going to hunt through some of my old workouts and cobble something together.  A little frustrating to spend 2 hours and not have a real plan... although as usual I learned something more from the Triathlete's Training Bible.  So perhaps it's not a complete loss.

In a bit I'll be hitting the beach and then the pool and then packing for the end of vacation.  It has been nice, and the girls had a great time at their birthday party and really racked up!  Lots of Dress Up stuff - Cinderella, Princess Aurora, Fairy Princess, and of course the super hero cape and mask from us (which was a big hit among all the kids at the party).  Some clothes and books, and toys.  They still have no clue about going to Disney, which is awesome.  Right now they're looking forward to having the day off on their actual birthday at home with Mommy!  Angelfish is ready to go home to our house.  She announced it yesterday on our way to walk around historic St. Augustine. (We needed a day off from the beach.)  I think she misses just being in her own place with her own things, and I think she may miss the dog.

Ladybug just wandered into our bedroom... so I better go see what's up.  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Cake is Made

I have taken photos but forgot to bring the cord that will let me download them, so I will post them at a later date.  But I'll at least tell the cake story as it's fresh in my mind.

Last night after dinner, we put the girls down to bed and then the cake baking began.  We discovered that morning that not only was the oven in our condo a poor one, but it also must have needed to be cleaned somewhere because it STANK when it was on.  My MIL was kind enough to let me bake the cake in their condo, which worked out perfectly because I forgot to bring mixing bowls and the hand mixers and their condo kitchen was WAY better stocked than ours which made my life so much easier on the cake baking front.

I mixed the mix, heated the oven, prepped the pans, and baked the cakes - a 13x9x2 and a 9x9x2.  The 13x9 would make up the two bottom layers of the cake and then I had to cut two 2.5" x 4.5" pieces out of the 9x9, so I figured I'd use the extra cake as mini-cakes for the girls.  I believe each person should have their own little cake on their birthday so it's not a "joint birthday" even if they were born on the same day.

I had super coated the pans with Pam Baking Spray and it worked perfectly.  I barely turned the cake and it came right out once baked.  I actually used my arm to guide the cake down to the surfaces I was using.  Once the cakes were almost room temperature, I (with the help of my MIL's great advice) cut the cake pieces, and then Mr. Darcy and I brought everything back to our condo to do the decorating because it was almost 11 pm at this point and we wanted his parents to be able to go to bed.

Once back in our condo, I constructed the bottom layer while Mr. Darcy was busy assembling the castle turrets.  Then I tried to ice.  The top of base was no problem.  Then the side... it started to crumble a little and I started freaking out.  I was dropping the F-bomb left and right.  Mr. Darcy took over from there and I can only presume that from his skills as a model builder from his college years... not to mention being used to using spackle, he made it work with as little crumbling as possible (and you can't even tell that there was crumbling... or a crack in the top layer of the base).  Then we dealt with the top layer to finalize the form of the cake castle.  Mr. Darcy continued icing because he didn't want me to cry if there was any crumbling.  We both decided that we do NOT like Wilton's frosting (no matter if they are the leaders in cake baking) and I'm going to try to make my own if we ever decide to do this again.  You put it on and then about 2 minutes later if you try to add any, then it's going to want to peel off.  Not cool.

Finally the cake was iced in white.  We opted to skip carving bricks into the icing because 1) it was LATE already and 2) we were afraid the icing would peel off.  So I mixed together the coloring with the icing to make a nice pink color, filled a decorators bag and realized we didn't have the right tip to make large lines on the cake.  Thus, small pink lining on the top of each cake layer.  Not much of fake battlement, but it looks pretty.  Next we inserted the turrets into the corners of the cake and the door way on the front of the cake. It looked cute.  Mr. Darcy piped a little bit of a door into the archway (not like the picture, but we were happy with it... we were not able to do it anyway we didn't have the talent or experience stocked up).  The cake had turned out in such a way (and the lateness of the hour) we decided not to make icing roses, but the candy flowers I had bought were perfect for the sides and the top of the cake so I was really pleased.  I'm pretty sure that Mr. Darcy was pleased too because that meant I didn't think I wanted icing flowers. : ) Then we put the top of the castle (plastic) on the top, inserted the bases and tops of the turrets and so I could take a good picture - put the princesses in place.  Mr. Darcy got inspired to decorate the non-cake base that the cake was on and made a little walk way out from the front door and then put the girls names next to each side of the walkway. 

Professional looking cake? NO.  We are not the Cake Boss or Publix Cake Decorators (those ladies and gents are simply awesome).  A cute homemade cake?  Yes.  And in the end, that's really what I was going for.  Sure, I would have loved to have a cake that looked professionally made.  But we're talking about the woman who really only knows how to bake cookies and apple pie and how to cook really good Polish food.  I'm great with a recipe.  You give me a recipe for a meal, and I can make it happen.  Other than that, I am not an accomplished chef by any stretch of the imagination.  Mr. Darcy's help was definitely a life saver and the cake looks as good as it does because of him.  As he put it, I had the vision and he could make it happen the best he could.  I was impressed that I was good at the cake construction though.  Icing skills are needed, but all in all we worked it out.  I have been referring to Mr. Darcy as the Master Cake Decorator this morning now that we've gotten a little bit of sleep.

After the big cake, I constructed mini two layer cakes for the girls out of the left over cake.  But icing them literally was ripping them apart, it was 1 am (quite literally) and Mr. Darcy was at the end of his patience.  I gave it a try and realized that Publix would get some of our money for something like cupcakes so we could have mini-cakes for each of the little ladies because this was a mess - crumbling cake and icing that refused to stick.  I thanked the Cake Gods for holding it all together for us for the big cake, and trashed everything else.

And then... I slept.  Like. A. Baby.  The night before I had 4 dreams about the cake, waking up each time in a nervous state.  But now it is done.

We've hung out in the condo pretty much all morning, and are thinking of going into Old St. Augustine with the girls to walk around a bit.  There are jellyfish in the water... Aunt Sue and Cousin Julia were stung the day before yesterday, they're washed up all over the beach, and Mr. Darcy was stung yesterday.  I'd like to avoid the girls getting stung, so we're staying out of the ocean water.  We've been in it a bit every day of vacation though, so I think we'll survive.

Dinner time-ish we'll have the girls' birthday party with the family.  I'm looking forward to seeing the girls' faces when they see their cake... of course, I'm sort of scared of that too.  My little fear that they won't like it somehow.  I'll get over it though, but I have a feeling they're going to like it.

Until later...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rest in Peace Dear Doug

At 1 pm today, I checked in on my buddy Doug by looking for the newest post on the Doug's Transplant Journey website.  It said that if he survives he'd have to be on dialysis for the rest of his life, but that he was looking better than the day before although not much else had changed.

I took my lunch break by going with Mr. Darcy and the girls down to swim in the pool at our condo.  We had a great time!  Ladybug is really taking to swimming and even was looking like a freestyler out there.  Angelfish even attempted some underwater swimming too, which is a big deal for her.  an hour later, we were back in the condo and I started working again.  Half an hour after that, I realized I hadnt' checked my cellphone for messages that might have come in during lunch.  Sure enough there was one. 

The second I heard Coach's voice, I knew it could not be good.  I called her back and she told me.  Doug passed away sometime between 1 pm and 1:20 pm.  While I can believe it, I also can't believe it.

I remember the first day I met Doug.  It was at the Lake Highland High School swimming pool.  One of my 1st Team in Training.sessions.  He told us his story of having leukemia and going into remission.  He said his goal was to complete all 4 Team in Training events at least once because he wanted to give back.  He later talked about being a counselor for newly diagnosed CML patients since he'd been through it before.  It was inspiring to say the least.  Every time after that I chatted more and more with Doug.  He was a big guy with a big heart.  He always had a smile on his face, and within moments of chatting with him you'd end up with a smile on your face too.  He teased everyone and you loved him for it.  He loved to cycle.  I'm not sure how many century rides he's done, but he tried to convince me to do one.  And that's a challenge I'm going to take up at some point in the not too distant future.

When he entered the hospital for the bone marrow transplant, we were all convinced it was going to work.  This is Doug after all.  The mountain of confidence, trust in God, and the most positive of outlooks.  He had his Purple Army behind him, and all was going to be right in the world.  Things started out seemingly miraculously, and the Graft versus Host Disease struck and things were not so right in the world.  We've all been praying and hoping and checking in daily.  Still believing that if anyone would be given a miracle, it would be Doug.

So today, when I heard the words fall from Coach's mouth, it was hard to believe it could be true.

Doug, you touched the lives of so many and you will be missed.  I am glad you are at peace, but there's a whole lot of people who are wishing that you could have been here with us.  But the Good Lord has called you home. We will be thinking of and praying for your family today and in the many days ahead. 

Rest in Peace.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Joys of Packing and A Decision or Two

The Joys of Packing
Friday evening, Mr. Darcy and I decided that we were just going to relax with the kids and then go to bed early and worry about packing for our trip on Saturday.  Luckily I had made a massive "what to pack" list to cover everything from the birthday stuff to the chance of riding our bikes together while on vacation.  That's right.  I'm in St. Augustine in my bedroom using the wi fi while Mr. Darcy sleeps and I'm looking at Aerodite on the right side of the room and Mr. Darcy's yet unnamed bike on the left side.   

Let's just say it was well needed recovery from the week.  Mr. Darcy had his insane deadline and then was shadowed by high school students on Friday.  I had crazy things going on at work, and then discover that my glowing review resulted in a whopping 1.477% raise for the year (which I guess is better than last year, which was a glowing review and 0% raise).  I am thrilled to have a job in this economy, please do not misunderstand that.  There are all sorts of horror stories out there... some of them from people I love and care about, so I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth.  But I was not in the best of moods.

But hanging out with the little ladies, having a grilled steak dinner prepared by Mr. Darcy, and one or two Mike's Hard Lemonades and going to bed early were the cure.  This morning, the girls greeted us (well, mainly me - Mr. Darcy is still recovering the poor guy) at 7:15 am.  We set to work packing their suitcases (I had them pick out their outfits and lovies for the trip since we couldn't bring all 35 or so of their stuffed animals - stuffed animals I swore they would never own more of 2 of but that's another story).  And then I packed everything else we needed.  Mr. Darcy set out on a 25 mile bike ride (part of my father's day present since I will be letting him sleep in tomorrow) after waking.  I was quite industrious really.  By the time he got back (1 hour and 45 minutes later), I only had my own clothes to pack still, a shower to take, and had done 3 of the 5 loads of laundry... load 4 was in the washer.  Our mini-van hasn't been that full since we moved from Atlanta to Orlando, let me tell you.

Amazingly, I can walk around just fine despite the 214 squats I did yesterday morning.  I have to admit to you though that standing up from a sitting position (although oddly enough not squatting) and bending my leg as though to sit on my heels is extremely painful.  Even 1,000 mg of tylenol didn't do much for it.  But it's not such a terrible pain.  It reminds me of 214 glorious squats that I didn't realize I'd be able to do.

A Decision or Two
On the way to the beach, Mr. Darcy and I chatted about things.
I don't want to be so responsible in conforming to others rules that I miss out on having a better story to tell.  And I often feel like I do.  I get jealous of Mr. Darcy coming home from work and playing frivolously with the kids while I cook (this is not to say that he doesn't grill out if I ask him to, or pitch in when I have Junior League, etc. it's just that I do the large majority of the cooking when we are both in the house at the same time).   I work extra to try to impress or be super quick in responding, and then am sorry that I didn't get to play with the kids before having to cook dinner because now we're all hungry.  Or not wearing my swim suit to the splash pad so I can frolic in the water with the little ladies because none of the other parents are doing it and then wishing I was running and splashing and laughing too.  I decided to make my own rules now.  No, I won't be throwing all of my responsibilities away.  I'll still be a good and capable employee, but I will draw the line.  I will have that drink at lunch with a friend when I feel like it, even if I have to go back to work.  I won't get tipsy, but what's one drink?  I will play with my kids even if I'm the nutty Mom running through the splash pad.  This life is short.  If we're lucky, our children grow up, leave home and start their own families, while we grow old.  There will be a time when Angelfish stops coloring picture after picture for me and stops drawing a million pictures of her Mommy (just because she loves me) a day.  There will be a time when Ladybug not only doesn't want me to play with her hair (which is most of the time already) but also doesn't want to cuddle up with me on the sofa to read stories.  Do I want to miss these times because I was too busy following the expected? No.  No I don't.  So I'm going to start making my own rules.

My best friend Angela died at 34.  One of the things she told me and her good friend Liz was that if she beat cancer she was never going to work another day in her job.  She was going to find a way to be a writer like she always wanted.  My friend Doug lies in a hospital bed after having a 2nd bone marrow transplant after the 1st one failed, his kidneys are failing and he's on dialysis through a line in his chest because they couldnt' do it in his groin because of the skin break down he is having, and he has pulmonary adema too, and the doctors have said that most likely he will not survive.  Life is too damn short, and I have this nagging feeling that I'm miss too much. I'm not sure where I'm going or what I'm doing in this life of mine, but goodness knows that I'm going to listen to my heart a bit more as to what's important at that moment and that day.  I'm convince that when we listen to our hearts that is where we here God talk to us and reveal a little bit of His plan... even if we don't realize it at the time.

The last decision is less weighty by far from the others.  But it's triathlon related.  Mr. Darcy is wholly loving his bike riding these days and it makes me so happy.  Jealous because he's been getting more time on the bike than I have, but still happy that he is exercising and loving it.  We're going to be finding a nice balance somehow so that I get more training in than I have been.  I'm not quite sure yet how this will work, but we'll figure it out.  In the 4 weeks leading up to the Moss Park Tri (after vacation), I am going to get the kinks worked out but I'm going to do Moss Park as a sprint instead of an Oly Distance.  I haven't done a sprint in quite awhile, and I'm going to do my best to do it full out.... like, well, a sprint for each event.  I may kill myself in the process, or blow up on the run (but at least it will just be 3.2 miles for a blow up), but I'm going to see what I can do.  And then, then I will do my tri in Clermont 9 weeks later as an Oly and I'll see what I can do there.

I've brought my Triathlete's Training Bible with me to the beach.  Of course, I've also brought some other reading material along too. But I'm going to set up my training schedule for the next 13-14 weeks.  And then I'm going to stick to it like (to borrow this phrase from my dear departed Angela) spandex to a fat woman.

To be quite honest (as you all have seen) the past few weeks have not been very training intensive for me.  The Zone and Paleo type eating I am doing has been working its magic though as I noticed my legs look thinner to me (and I double checked with Mr. Darcy and he said that they do, not to mention a pair of pants I had on yesterday were looser than the last time I wore them).  But I miss my training.  I miss the early morning hours where it's me and my bike on the open road, or running when as the world slowly awakes from its slumber.  And I'm ready.  Ready to take it all back.  Ready to be a bit more selfish and less flexible, to toe the line, and see what happens.  Carpe Diem and all that jazz.

I also decided I will eat my paleo zone way the rest of my days.  I feel great.  I ate pasta for dinner the other night and felt disgusting afterwards... and I didn't over eat.  I even ate as much lean meat as I could to balance things out.  And I felt, for lack of a better way to describe it, as though my insides were unclean.  And it helps a great deal that on a whim while picking out clothes to bring on vacation, I tried on a pair of capri pants that 4 weeks ago I couldn't even button and looked absolutely disgusting on me, and now they fit perfectly. Fruits and veggies always have been my friends, but now they're my best friends. : )

I even brough pots and pans and the contents of our refrigerator with us to our rental beach condo. And our list for the rest of the groceries is quite paleo zone, thank you very much.  Other than the resulting birthday cake of course.  But I have a feeling, I'll be having a small piece and be just fine with a small piece.

And now... now I'm going to bed. And when I wake, I'm going to spend my vacation enjoying my time with my adorable children and wonderful husband.  I have to work on Monday (I am back up for a seminar that is scheduled for Tuesday in DC, so it's a be available just in case sort of thing), but 8:30 to 4:30 with a full hour for lunch... and if I can access the wi fi poolside and/or on the beach, that's where you'll find me laptop and cellphone in hand. The moment it becomes 4:30, I'll officially be on vacation.

Angelfish has been taking pictures of things with my camera.  It's a cool perspective on things.  The world from the eyes of an almost 4 year old.  I may do a post of some of them when I return.  I'll definitely let you know how the Disney surprise goes, and vacation in general.  I'm hoping to get a ride or two in and a run or two (or maybe a walk if my legs continue to hurt from the squats), but it's harder to do on a family vacation with your husband's immediate family and their families.  Especially, when he's still recovering from working a full 24 hours.  But I'll be following my new primary rule - listen to your heart... at all times.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Some Friday Inspiration

When we think about how "hard" things are, whether it be in every day life, in training or on race day, perhaps we should think about this young man who broke the barriers of autism to not only show how smart he is (graduating saludatarian and getting into every college and university to which he applied) but to step out of his comfort zone to deliver this wonderful speech.  You may have seen it on the news recently, but it's worth a watch: Inspirational Graduation Speech

On a personally inspiring note, the 200 squat challenge will be apparently very short lived for me because... for the initial test I was able to do more than 200 squats (214 to be precise).  My legs are burning at the moment, so we'll see if I am able to walk tomorrow.  But yay me!  Not sure it warrants the addition of the button on my blog because I didn't have to work up to it, though.

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

1. I am worried about my friend Doug.  He is in the Cardiac ICU because he went into affib late last night.  They think he has an infection on one of the sores on his back that may have entered his blood stream, which is bad in general but extremely bad if you just had a bone marrow transplant 2 days ago and literally have no white blood cells at the moment.  If you pray, please pray.  If you don't pray, please send positive thoughts in his direction and in the direction of his wife and children.

2. When I am worried, I clean.  Not only did the girls and I clean up their playroom, but I cleaned the kitchen.  I don't mean straighten either.  I got out the granite wipes and even the glass cook top cleaner.  And then I cleaned my office while the dishwasher was running. My office was next, followed by our bedroom and our bathroom.

3. I have an outfit under my desk that I bought a couple months ago.  It was too tight.  I am determined to get into it and to look good in it.

4. I also tend to eat when I'm worried. Discovering a bag of marshmellows in your pantry is not a good thing when you eat when worried.  I only ate 2/3 of a cup of them... 25 g of carb.  I wasn't quite able to eat the blocks of protein to balance that out.  I felt like throwing up.  Not eating carbohydrate sources other than fruits and veggies for several weeks and then eating mini marshmellows is not a good thing.  I am truly surprised I didn't puke - I heaved a few times because my stomach felt so sick, but they didn't come up thank goodness.  I think the protein I ate helped... and the water.  I don't think I'll make that mistake again.  Back to fruits and veggies only this morning!  I felt disgusting (and still do).

5. I saw this quote and I couldn't agree more: Motherhood - the full on, no holds barred, adventure of a lifetime.

6. The other quote I saw that is good for both my little ladies and me... "Promise me you will always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - Christopher Robin to Pooh.  I think I might start reading Winnie the Pooh to the girls.

7. I didn't go to bed last night until after midnight.  I'm completely exhausted today, but I got the girls off to school and all set for water day.  I shouldn't complain though because Mr. Darcy didn't even get home from work until 6:45 am this morning.  I talked to him a little after midnight before I went to bed, and then when I woke up at 5:15 this morning because I realized he wasn't there I called him at his office.  The poor guy was working his tail off.  He thought he'd be home by 3:30 am, but definitely didn't make it at home.

8. As you might have guessed that meant no bike ride this morning.  But, after getting the girls ready and taking them to school, I put clean sheets on the guest bed, clean towels in the guest bedroom, finished up a little something for my Junior League Committee, emptied the dishwasher, and wrote a note to an old law school friend who I saw just got a new position.  No too shabby.

9. I am now down to 14 items on my To Do List.  It's progress.

10.  I think for my lunch hour today, I may take a nap!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Wednesday Morning Mind Dump

This morning I woke up and I didn't feel like training.  My brain didn't want to go, my body didn't want to go, but I didn't care.  I put on my running gear and told myself I was going to go 4 miles.  I told my brain that I would even walk most of it if I felt too tired, but that no matter what I was going 4 miles.

Then I got the little ladies out of bed.  They had slept in the same bed, but they don't like sleeping with someone touching them so Angelfish (it was her bed) had her head on the pillow and Ladybug was sleeping with her head at the opposite end of the bed where she had pulled up the comforter for air.  I'm guessing they had a little slumber party because it was hard getting them out of bed this morning.  Last night Ladybug was trying to convince me that we should go to Disney in "either July or August, or even June."  I kept it together and told her that we'd have to talk about it with Daddy.  I told her that it was already the middle of June and next week we'd be at the beach, but that we'd talk to Daddy about going in July or August. Tee hee.  She is going to be sooo excited when we wake her up that Sunday morning and tell them we're going to Disney!

They got dressed nicely, ate nicely and I headed out for a run because they were running rather late.  Yes, the 4 miler.  You know your brain is giving you a hard time about things when you're having to tell yourself things like "the faster you run, the faster the 4 miles will go" and "you can run for 5 minutes, what's 5 minutes - nothing!"  And it starts pretty much the moment you started the run.  It was nice not to think much of  anything while I was running though.  I enjoy just being outside with the sound of my breathing and my feet hitting the pavement.  But it's hot out!  When I left at 7:30 am, it was 84 degrees with a heat index of 94.  Not to mention muggy, which makes it a little harder for me to breathe.  Summer is definitely upon us!

Despite having to coax myself along, I did my 5/1s and ended up at the 3.2 mile mark in 35:00, a 10:56 minute mile pace.  One of my fastest in a while.  It was plain crazy to me.  But I hit that mark and knew I needed to walk a bit... my legs felt good, my lungs felt good, I had a little bit of a cramp near my collarbone but I was able to breathe through it while running, BUT I could feel that I was so hot my face had to be beet red and I was starting to get goosebumps, which I know is a sign of starting to overheat. And my brain was telling me to walk, and I didn't have the gumption to tell it to be quiet.  So I walked for about 0.7 miles (and it wasn't an overly brisk pace) and then ran the last 0.1 mile home.  Even with the walking I did the 4 miles in 48:46, or a 12:12 mile pace.  So even though I was not feeling it today and got a bit overheated, it turned out to be a good run/walk. (Out of curiosity I took my temperature when I got home and it was 101.3... so my core got rather hot.)  But the heat is definitely ridiculous.  I'm thinking I'll get on the bike tomorrow morning as long as I don't have to take the kids to school (Mr. Darcy worked until 10:30 last night, so I don't expect him home tonight until 3:30 am or so since his deadline is tomorrow).  If I have to take the kids to school, then I'm definitely riding on Friday.  I'd like to get in a nice 25 mile ride.  And I'm going to be sure to do better about drinking water all day today.  I didn't drink nearly as much as I should have yesterday.

I wasn't thrilled with what my brain did on the run, although it may have been talking to me about the heat some.  And when I got home I opened up my email to find my horoscope for the day which said, "Duties that normally excite you and stimulate your curiosity could exhaust you, leaving you wondering if you have chosen an unwise life path. However, you may simply be feeling stress from recent challenges or long periods of exertion. This can be a positive time to seek out a quiet sanctuary where you can temporarily escape the pressures of the modern world and concentrate solely on cleansing your inner landscape."  I couldn't help but wonder if they were talking about my runnning/triathlon training because that's what norally excites me and stimulates my curiosity, but definitely has exhausted me today.  So I'm going to try for some quiet time at some point today  - perhaps a nice 1/2 yoga session before I run off to get the girls from daycare at the end of the work day.

Last night I ended up having to take the girls with me to buy the last of their presents.  They really like the birthday cards I got them (they practically helped pick them out). And despite their seeing me buy things from the store, they really didn't ask any questions.  We also sent my Dad's fathers day presents, so that was good.  They entertained me and each other on the way home with "jokes" but they don't quite get the idea of how jokes really work yet.  One would ask a question like you do to start out a joke, and the other would make up answers until the 1st one said yes or gave them the answer.  They aren't always funny in themselves, but the thought processes was what made me laugh.  Here are a few examples that of their jokes last night:

Angelfish: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Ladybug: To play on the playground!
Angelfish: No.
Ladybug: To go swimming!
Angelfish: No.
Ladybug: To go on a walk!
Angelfish: YES!

Ladybug: Why were the other numbers afraid of 10?
Angelfish: Because it was big and scary?
Ladybug: No.
Angelfish: Because it was not nice?
Ladybug: No.
Angelfish: Because it was night time?
Ladybug: No.  Because it was a monster number!

Angelfish: Why did Donald Duck cross the road?
Ladybug: To see Daisy?
Angelfish: No.
Ladybug: to go to school?
Angelfish. No. To eat chicken nuggets for Amanda and Megan's Birthday! (I laughed at this because I figured it was a hint...)

Then we got home and had breakfast for dinner.  Eggs, fruit, and toast for the girls too. Yummy!  The girls even cleaned their bedroom for me.  Of course, it sort of consisted of throwing toys into the play room that were in their room, but they know tonight we'll be cleaning the play room too.  Once the little ladies were in bed, I wrapped the last of the presents, finished up the laundry and played on Facebook.

I sometimes think getting ready for these condo type of vacations where you have to bring so much with you is more hassle than it's worth, but I'm sure we'll have a great time when we're there.  My To Do List was over 35 items at one point, and now it's down to about 24.  So I'm making progress.  I plan on more progress this evening after the girls' gymnastics.  I got in the new triathlon magazine for the month, so I'll be reading that during their class.  Last week it was Running magazine.  This week it's Triathlon and I'll bring National Geographic just in case I read faster than I anticipate.  Of course, I usually read slowly at gymnastics because I love watching the girls do their routines!

I did discover something today though that I'm worried about with Angelfish and will have to talk to the pediatrician about at her annual appointment in a few weeks... other than the speech issue (where she's running everything together and you can understand her when she's trying to talk quickly and also her failure to use the letter s at the beginning of words most of the time)... she cannot jump up and down on one leg.  She can jump up and down on both legs, but not on one.  By the age of 4, the academy of pediatrics says that they should be able to do this for 5 seconds.  She can jump on one leg once, but not more than once - she can't string them together.  Hopefully I am worrying for nothing on both accounts.

Anyway, now that I've dumped out my brain for the morning, it's off for more work!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nuun and Spibelt Giveaway at Barefoot Angie B's

There's a cool giveaway over at Barefoot Angie B's... Nuun and a Spibelt.  As a Nuun Lover.  Hmm.  That sounds kind of wierd.  I like the product, not Nuns.  Don't get me wrong, Nuns are lovely people, but I'm not a Nun Lover... just a Nuun lover.  Okay, well you get the point.  Check out the Giveaway here:

200 Situp, 100 Pushups, and the New Challenge

Last night we stayed up late.  Mr. Darcy helped me with the laundry while I wrapped Father's Day presents, some of the girls' birthday presents, sent out some cards that needed to be mailed this past weekend, put together the sasquetchuan list of items to pack, and then fell into bed at 11 am. So, naturally, we completely overslept.  And it was so muggy outside that despite being dressed in my running clothes, I really really did not want to run in the humid soup outside. But the bike wasn't really calling either.  I fear that I am getting lazy on my workouts.  At the moment, I have a feeling that it's because 1) I stayed up too late and 2) I know vacation is right around the corner.  I get lazy in general, but I'm fighting the good fight and plan to get on either my bike or on a run in the morning... even if I have to go to the Y and use the dreadmill to do it.
After pulling ourselves out of bed, we got the girls up and moving, breakfast in everyone's bellies, and finally after Ladybug had 2 wardrobe changes, 1 meltdown, and a partridge in a pear tree while Angelfish and I sang "Do you know the muffin girl, the muffin girl, the muffin girl do you know the muffin girl who lives on XXXYYY?"  And she realized that she was, in fact, the muffin girl and was delighted.  I also got them revved up for their birthday since I wrapped presents last night.  Ladybug asked me what they were and I told her it was a surprise and then later she reminded me not to tell them what their presents were since it was a surprise. Angelfish wants to know where I hid them because she wants to "look at them."

Finally, everyone was in the car with sufficient quantities of milk, and in Ladybug's case a cup of oatmeal since she was late coming to the party.  Angelfish had a bag of cereal despite eating 4 mini muffins.  I love that she refers to Kashi Go Lean as "my cereal."  I figure if she's eating cereal, at least it has protein and whole grains for carbs.  Then they all headed out.  Mr. Darcy will work late tonight, but I can't complain because he came home on time last night after all.  Plus, he folded and put away laundry last night. : )  Of course, I had to take out the trash because Mr. Darcy realized as he was pulling out of the driveway that it's trash day... what he failed to tell me when he asked if I would put the trash out was that the handle on the trash can is broken.  And our trash can has only one handle... or that there were 3 very smelly bags of trash that do not fit in the disgusting putrid smelling trash can.  I almost vomited from the smell.  Admittedly, I am sensitive to smell... in fact, running past Publix when they are baking something sugary can make me want to throw up too.  Or worse, one race we had to run past a fast food joint and the smell of the grease literally made me dry heave.  But I got the trash to the street just fine, despite having to tip the trash can forward while walking backward holding the lid and the side of the can.  I had visions of trash spilling everywhere, but luckily they were just visions.

So I went inside and realized.  It is Tuesday.  Tuesday is pushup and crunch day.  But this Tuesday it was on because it was final test Tuesday.  100 Pushups and 200 situps.  Oh Yeah.  After repeating to myself about 10 times that I could do this, that I've been doing my pushups and situps according to plan, I decided to go with the Pushup Test first.  I figured that if my abs were worn out, I wouldn't be able to hold myself in plank let alone actually do the pushups.  I counted in 10's, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20 and so on. It sounds less difficult in your head.  By 70 my arms were hurting.  But I told myself that I only had 30 more and kept pushing.  For me, this is quite the feat with pushups.  And admittedly the pushups started getting ugly when I hit 80.  My back was still straight and I wasn't sagging, but I also wasn't going as far down as to almost touch the top of a slim pillow if it was underneath me.  But I made it to 100!  Granted I collapsed on the floor the second I got back up out of the 100th pushup, but I did it!! I think I may repeat the program though so I can get even stronger.  I feel like I can do even better though, plus my arms are still needing some work and I rather like the pushups versus going to the gym to do weights.  Of course, that may have to wait a few days since my arms are having major lactic acid build up at the moment.  Surprisingly my chest and back are fine.

In my euphoria with my big grin across my face, I thought of the sit up challenge.  I realized that really I had one more week to do crunches before I had to do the 200 sit up challenge, but after about a 10 minute recovery from the pushups, I decided that I was going to try the challenge today and if I didn't make it to 200, I'd so the last week of the situp challenge.  Situps/Crunches are much easier for me than pushups ever are and mentally they are not daunting to me, so I went for it.  Again, counting in 10's... I'm actually not 100% positive whether I did 200 or 210 because when I got to 180, I couldn't remember if it was really 180 or 170, so I decided it was 170 and did 30 more crunches.  I did tell myself only 30 more, only 20 more and only 10 more because it helped me keep track.  I may have been able to do more even, but with as tight as my upper abs in particular feel at the moment, I'm glad I stopped at 200. 

So what's next you ask?  Well, other than getting my butt out on my bike and running and perhaps even swimming, when I was looking at the Challenge websites, I noticed there is a 200 squat challenge.  All I could think was "next up!"  So I'll be starting the squat challenge soon.  I can't decide if I want to at least do the initial test this week and then start while on vacation or the week after or to just wait until I get back.  I have a feeling I'll end up doing the initial test this week because now I'm curious as to how many squats I can do.  Want to join me? Here's the website for this one:

And now for your viewing pleasure... Mr. Darcy's bike!  Still nameless, but he's asked me to bring our bikes to the beach so we can try to get his parents to watch the girls for an hour or two and let us ride together.  So I'm pretty excited about that.  Whether it will happen may be another story, but we will at least bring the bikes to St. Augustine (and I already plan to bring my running shoes for either walks or jogs along the beach).  Anyway, without further ado...

I think that if this was my bike, I'd name it Nitro.  Not really sure why.  It just says Nitro to me.  But, it's up to Mr. Darcy to decide.  I'm going to let him ride for a few more weeks before I broach the subject of naming the bike.  He's still laughing over bike porn.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Weekend

Ok, so I just have to share this as I have designated this week to be the week of my 100 pushup challenge test.  Probably tomorrow morning. I pre-warn you that I may or may not have to repeat a week and try again.  But still.  At this very moment, outside my window a man is doing pushups.  This man is not known to me at all.  Evidently he lives in the neighborhood and road up on a bright canary yellow hybrid, wiped his face off with his shirt (that he is not wearing), and did pushups (he's finished now) - about 20 of them.  With his ankles crossed. For some reason, this amused me and I just had to share.  I guess it's sort of like the day the girls rode by my window on their horses.  You just don't see that everyday.

Friday was a bit of a stressful morning.  In my stress laden state, the only thing that made sense was to simply clean the house in a frenzy and then set out on a 2 mile run.  I should have probably done 3, but it was just too late in the morning already (due to the house cleaning).  And as it was, it probably turned out to be a good thing that I didn't run the full 3 because my lovely asthma which I only get when the pollen count is abysmal kicked in nicely.  The run was a good one though.  In my stressed state, I didn't put on my heart rate monitor or my watch or even my road ID or a hat for that matter.  I just went.  I ran when I wanted to and walked when I wanted to, and some how made it back to the house in about 22 minutes.  I did not run fast.  I just jogged the entire 1st mile, then walked a minute or two - not tired in the least but just feeling like walking. It was hot.  I was drenched.  But I felt better afterwards.  I didn't feel like my head was going to explode any longer.  I did deal with a tight chest from the asthma for the rest of the day.  I'm stubborn and didn't use my inhaler because I wasn't "wheezing."

Saturday was a little stressful too.  Primarily because I couldn't seem to get Mr. Darcy out of the house to do our errands and the kids were wanting to run wild in the stores and it was hot and we were spending money... the cause of my stress.  But then it was okay at times too.  I didn't get my ride in because I was up early with the girls and we ended up making Mr. Darcy's father's day presents and we didn't end up finishing our errands until 7 pm and I had a horrible headache.  At some point on Saturday though, I had a really funny laugh.  Mr. Darcy was talking about his bike and I said, "I need to take some pictures of your bike.  I promised that I would post some bike porn for everyone."  And that was when I knew Mr. Darcy has not crossed the threshhold to become a true cyclist yet because he said "Bike Porn? I don't have to pose naked with the bike or anything here, right.  I mean I don't know that I'm comfortable with this.  Have you posted bike porn of your bike."  As I was trying to keep my water from shooting out of my nose in my hysterics, I explained that no one wants to see a picture of him naked with his bike and that I would most likely get major complaints if I indeed posted such a thing.  I explained the concept of bike porn in all it's G rated glory.  To which he responded, "Oh."

Sunday Mr. Darcy had his 25 mile ride with the Team in Training Group.  He excitedly told me about how they got up to 32 miles per hour at one point on a downhill, yet they averaged about 14 mph for the entire ride.  Mr. Darcy said how much easier it is to ride the distance on the road bike and that he loved it.  So that made me happy.  Jealous that I didn't get to be on my bike this weekend, but happy for him.  While he was out doing that, I was hanging out with the girls and doing 5 loads of laundry.  I still have 2 more to fold and I have a feeling Mr. Darcy forgot to transfer one of the wet loads into the dryer like I had asked, so I'll have to rewash and then dry and fold that one.  Then we napped and went next door to our neighbors, and had a lovely time with them.  Ladybug attacked their pool like no tomorrow and was jumping in and practically swimming - not just doggy paddling, but swimming freestyle almost - by the end of it.  Angelfish was happy to float around in her swim ring instead.  Now if only Ladybug could figure out how to remember to come up with air without ripping off my swim suit or grabbing the side of the pool in such a death grip that her fingers were abraded.  A good time was had by all, although the pollen count was HIGH.

So high that this morning all 4 of us woke up with stuffy noses and itchy eyes.  My eyes were so itchy that they hurt so I took out my contacts.  Not to mention that my back was stiff (probably from stress) this morning.  So, I decided that an hour of yoga would be the best bet since I was so congested and stuffy and ick.  So 1/2 an hour on yoga for distance runners and 1/2 an hour of yoga for the lungs.  I felt alot better afterwards. 

Of course, we will be vacationing next week and Mr. Darcy has a project deadline (meaning very late evenings) this week, so my to do list for the week is a bit ridiculous.  I don't think I'm going to go for a vacation with the girls' birthday party as part of the vacation again.  I am going to have to pack up alot of my kitchen baking and cook wear, not to mention paper plates and such, presents, etc. in addition to everything else you need for a beach vacation for two 4 year olds, and 2 adults. Ay Caramba!  But in the end, I hope it will all be worth it.  I told the girls this weekend that we couldn't get the cake from Publix for their birthday.  They asked why and I told them it was too expensive, but I told them I was going to bake their birthday cake this year and it would be just fine.  Ladybug's response was, "Okay, Mommy.  That's fine, but I'd really like it if it could have the princesses on it. They're really beautiful."  I told her that I would just have to see what I could do, and Mr. Darcy tried not to laugh his bottom off in front of them.  Now let's just hope that I'm able to make this cake and am not running down to Publix at the last minute because everything is a disaster.  I will definitely take pictures of the cake I make - pretty or ugly.

I haven't forgotten about pictures of Mr. Darcy's new bike... I just have to charge the camera battery 1st because both of the cameras batteries are DEAD.  So, as soon as I can, the pictures will be on line!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mr. Darcy's New Ride

It dawned on me that I did not mention that Mr. Darcy has officially gotten himself a new bike!  It is used, but nice looking.  The previous owner told Mr. Darcy that he had about 2,000 miles on it and purchased another bike that he rides more often because... it's a tri-bike.  Mr. Darcy contacted him on ebay and arranged to ride the bike meeting part way between his office and the seller's home.  He said it felt good to him and everything seemed to work well.  We'll take it into the LBS for a once over.  They won't be happy that he didn't buy from them, but at least they'll still get the bike maintenance charges and the extras that we all buy. 

It is a 2005 Felt F-70 with Shimano 105 shifters and derailleur, mostly aluminum with a carbon seat post.  It also came with a fully functional Cateye computer (the guy has one for his other bike too), an upgraded seat (that Mr. Darcy asserts is comfortable... lets hope that lasts), new tires (that the guy said were worth $100), and a bottle cage.  Mr. Darcy is quite excited and will be picking up his prize tomorrow after work.  Bike porn to follow.

One moment at a time...

Mr. Darcy ended up working until 3:30 am last night and is NOT going to West Palm Beach after all.  The poor guy.  I called him in his office at 10:30 and asked, when do you think you'll be home and he said "I hope it will be soon, but this is taking much longer than I expected you might not want to try to wait up." So I didn't.  I fell asleep. Soundly.  Until I heard the dog excitedly whimpering and footsteps and I said "Hello?" And Mr. Darcy responded, right as I looked at the clock that said, "3:32."  I asked him how in the world was he supposed to get up and drive safely to West Palm Beach... and he said, "I'm not and I'm going in late to work, but can you still take the kids to daycare?"

So I did.  The girls were a lot of fun this morning.  Angelfish told me, "I have some ideas, Mommy."  "Like what, sweetie?"  "I think we should have happiness, laughter and goodness. And I'm not going to let anyone change my ideas."  "Honey, if you keep that way of thinking your whole life, you will be a very happy girl."  And then she wandered off to use the potty.  Deep thinking from my almost 4 year old.  Next up was Ladybug who was all business and asked why we don't get blueberry waffles anymore and had me explain what a flood was and why it ruined the blueberry waffle eggo plant and "How are we supposed to grow up now?" all while eating a whole grain eggo waffle just fine and dandy.  It was all I could do not to laugh.

I didn't make it to the pool or on a run.  I did my pushups and sit ups though.  I also thought it was "water day" at school which is where in the summer they have the parents bring their children on Thursdays to school in their bathing suits and beach shoes to run and play in the sprinklers and hoses since it gets super hot early in the day.  You also have to bring a towel and a change of clothes.  The girls were all set for water day... but water day doesn't start until NEXT Thursday.  DOH!  So, I spent time helping them change their clothes while they cried.  I finally told them, "I made a mistake and misremembered when water day started.  I'm sure you can put this in the book of why I was the most terrible mother ever."  That got them both to stop crying and ask "why are you a terrible mother?"  So I told them, "I am NOT a terrible mother.  In fact, I'm a great Mommy.  I do the best I can everyday with what I have and I love you two very much, and that makes me a great Mom."  They then changed their clothes nicely, told me that I was not a bad Mommy and that they loved me and that it was okay that I made a mistake.  Ladybug also told me she knew that Mommy's and Daddy's make mistakes because we yell sometimes.  I told her we yell because we get frustrated when she or her sister make the wrong choices over and over and we know that they can make the right choices, and that we get so frustrated we get upset, but that we try our best and that's all we can do.  She was okay with that.  The funny part is that we do not yell at them all that often, but I guess it makes an effect on her when we do.

On the way home from daycare, I stopped and got Mr. Darcy a bagel with egg, ham and cheese and a coffee from the bakery.  I got one for me too, but only ate about 1/4 of the bagel... but all of the egg, ham and cheese.  I have to say my body isn't really fond of breads and crackers anymore - or fries for that matter.  Last night we took Mr. Darcy some chik-fil-a for dinner.  I ordered a salad with grilled chicken and a side of fruit.  Ladybug wanted fruit with her nuggets and Angelfish said she wanted fries.  Well, I accidentally gave Ladybug's kids meal with the fruit and milk (our kids do NOT drink soda) to Angelfish and she was munching away on the fruit so I had Ladybug trade the fries (which she had just announced she did not want) with Angelfish... who ate one fry and said "Mommy, I want fruit." So I gave her my fruit (and had a very proud Mommy moment that my girls were picking the healthier options even if I had just given them deep fried chicken in a moment of "we're out of groceries and I didnt' make it to the store and it's 6:30 pm and right after gymnastics" terror).  I ate a couple of her fries and realized that to me they tasted disgusting.  Mr. Darcy thought all the fried items were wonderful, so I know it was just me.  The bagel was only eh.  So I'm pretty sure my body likes this whole no processed food thing I'm doing.

Mr. Darcy asked me at lunchtime (he still hadn't left for work yet but was headed out the door) if I had been on a scale lately.  I told him no, nor did I intend to.  He told me I look like I've lost a good bit of weight because the outfit I had on was looser than he's seen in it awhile and it looked really good.  So that made me happy too.

I had a hair appointment during my lunch hour, so I won't make it to the grocery until after my Committee meeting this evening... although I may stop in to quickly pick up a zone bar on my way to the meeting.  But I'm dreaming of cherries. Yum.  The meeting tonight may be contentious, but we shall see what happens.  Maybe if I dont' need a drink after the meeting, I'll try to get in that elusive 3 mile run from the other day.  Right now, I'm just taking one moment at a time...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Lovely Day for a Ride on the Trainer

The weather outside is gorgeous - hot as hades and humid as all get out, but definitely one of those blue sky dreams that I love. 

I didn't get to my 3 miler yesterday because Mr. Darcy had to be somewhere all the way across town at 8 am so I took the little ladies to daycare.  I was all dressed for the run.  The big plan was to do it after dropping the girls off but before beginning work.  No such luck.  I think the girls think it's a treat when I take them to daycare, which makes me rather happy but also makes it very difficult to get them out of the house.  When we did make it into the car, they really cracked me up.  They each had selected a stuffed animal to bring with them to school, or as they call them, their "animal friends."  Angelfish chose her blue fox (who looks more like a cartoony type of fox than a real fox) aptly named "Foxie" and and Ladybug had picked "Bunny" (a pink bunny who has been her snuggly for daycare since she was 11 months old).  There they sat pretending to play hide and seek with each other AND their animal friends while strapped into their car seats.  Angelfish even does a special voice for Foxie when she has conversations with her or for what Foxie says to Ladybug (or anyone else for that matter).  It's quite cute.  While I wish I had found the time for my 3 mile run, I'm glad I didn't have to miss out on the car ride.

But today, it made me antsy for my bike ride.  On such a glorious day, I was raring to go and then I remembered... I had a trainer workout.  I let the dog out before getting the kids up and realized it was a bit hot and muggy already.  So I decided the trainer wasn't such a bad option afterall.

After getting the girls ready and ignoring Ladybug while she had a tantrum about how the bow on the back of her dress was tied, spending a little bit of time with Angelfish while she ate her muffins (the girl loves muffins), and Mr. Darcy showing me a video of soldiers surprising their loved ones upon returning home (within 5 seconds of the start I was crying), we got everyone into the car and off they went.  Mr. Darcy may or may not be going on a business trip today.  I'm not even sure if he took a suitcase with him when he left.  He said that he doesn't see the point of going when all he is doing is sitting next to someone while they work on a program called Revit so that they can ask him questions if they come up.  He feels like he can do that over the phone, but I can see the benefit for the person in having Mr. Darcy show the use of revit not just tell it.  He had a meeting at UCF and then is going into the office and then will determine fully (with the parties involved) whether to go to West Palm Beach or not. 

Anyway, once they were off, I put in the movie "Becoming Jane" - if you're a Jane Austen fan, you'll love the movie.  It's fiction but based on some recently discovered letters that indicated that Jane Austen had fallen madly in love with a man but was unable to marry him.  Great stuff, wonderful acting, and I love the way the scenes are set up.  So I spent my hour on the bike watching the movie while doing a 10 minute warm up with a cadence of 90, 5 x 1 minute one legged pedaling (for each leg), 10 minutes at a cadence of 90, 2x5 minutes in a hard gear (my leg muscles were really tight after these) with 2 minutes recovery in between, 2x5 minutesat a cadence of 100, with 1 minute recovery in between, and 6 minute cool down.  It took me right to the part of the movie where the Judge (her boyfriend's uncle) refuses to give consent to her marriage.

It was interesting because while I was watching, there's a point where they were trying to get her to accept the proposal of a Lord with quite a bit of money and her father says to her, "There is nothing that breaks the spirit like poverty."  And I couldn't help but think of the kids at the Callahan Center.  But I kept pedaling.

I have work (of course), a bit of laundry to finish up, the house needs to be straightened (somewhere it looks like I've been the only one picking up after myself... and the girls have been a bit of whirling dirvishes leaving toys in their wake), we're pretty much out of groceries (somehow we never made it to the grocery this weekend), and the girls have gymnastics after "school."  So, I have a feeling I'll be a bit busy!  I'm thinking laundry and house straightening during my lunch hour.  I'd rather go to yoga at the Y for my lunch hour, but no such luck today.  Not much else is "afoot" around here.

We're counting down the days until vacation (10, should you be curious), and the girls are counting down the days until their birthday.  We're having their birthday the Friday of our vacation, so I have 10 days to purchase the needed baking items (I've found a way to come close to the same dimensions of the cake instructions without the need to purchase a $20 1/2 sheet cake pan... yay!) and 15 days to figure out how to make roses out of icing.  I've watched about 5 U Tube videos on the topic, but I need to find a way to physically try it out.  I even learned a new word "torting" and it's not legal related (as in torts), but means cutting an existing cake into thin layers and then either icing or filling the space between the new found layers.  I can honestly say that I am glad that this cake will NOT entail such a thing.  I'm thinking I need an updated  To Do List...

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Wierd and Winding Road of My Monday Brain

The past few days have been interesting.

I really enjoyed the training that Junior League put on.  I enjoyed even more the 2 1/2 hour conversation in 103 degree heat that I had with a new friend.  Miss D. is pretty cool and we had the best time chatting.  We only discovered how long we'd been talking when Kim called because she was in Borders and was wondering if I was there too.  6 pm!  So I was off to dinner hoping that I didn't stink to high heaven because I had been sweating like mad all the while we were talking.  Yummy sushi for dinner and a Bonsai to drink (yum! Plum wine with a shot of saki in it.)  Then Sex in the City 2.  I never really watched the series to begin with but it was a very "Girls Night" type of movie.  It was awful.  SPOILER ALERT: there is a definite schism with reality in the movie.  If I were to kiss another man, Mr. Darcy certainly would not bring me a 3 carat black diamond ring to wear as "punishment."  He might bring me a set of divorce papers, but not a diamond.

The next morning I woke up exhausted.  It took me forever to fall asleep the night before and then I was up at 6:55 with the girls. TriMommy on 5 hours of sleep is not a pretty picture.  But somewhere in there I got all my ideas together and emailed my committee with them - I'm a co-chair and there are 2 assistant chairs as well.  Evidently I am a wild child, an incendiary thinker because I seem to have annoyed at least one assistant chair with my ideas because I am exceeding the scope of what she thought we would be doing at the Center.  But let me tell you, I do not think that talking about nutrition for 9 months to a group of 10-13 year old kids is the way to make a meaningful program.  Sure we're feeding hungry kids with take home back packs and hosting potentially 4 "Family Nights" where we'll have dinner for them as well.  But to talk only about eating healthy and exercising in an area where 76% of children live in poverty, 47% of their parents do not have a HS Diploma or a GED, the area has the highest rate of reported child abuse and neglect in the county, and the median household income is $13,613 is not what these children need.  Yes, they need to talk about nutrition, but the need kitchen safety, personal safety, confidence builders, something to show them that with hard work they can go to college and get out of poverty, and I dare say it safe sex and that inappropriate touching is not okay.  An apple is around $1 in my neighborhood and so is a packet of ramen noodles.  The ramen noodles feeds 2 people.  The apple?  These kids don't need me to read them a Richard Scary story about food choices and then feed them Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter and raisins on top).  Okay, maybe a little of that.  But they need more than that.  Their parents often work 2 jobs, so were going to have them come to a Family Night and give them yoga lessons?  No.  These parents need to know a bit about what we've been doing with their kids, how they can buy healthy foods and make healthy meals on a shoe string budget.  Most of these parents ride the bus and don't have a car.  They shop in the neighborhood conveinence stores because it's close to home.  I feel like if we provide them more education we can help them maybe someday get out of poverty.  We have a health, hunger and poverty initiative.  It doesn't make me sleep better at night to give some kids a piece of fruit every day, some packs with a small amount of food in them every 2 weeks, and then a quarterly dinner with their folks, and some chats about eat this not that.  Well, a little bit better because at least they are being fed.  But I feel like we're missing the boat.  All that does is give them food and a chat on health.  It addresses health and hunger that way, and I guess poverty because these kids are poor.  But how do you get out of poverty? Education, staying off drugs and alcohol, and NOT getting pregnant as a teenager are the Big 3.  Me telling them how to make a healthy snack and that they should brush their teeth is not getting them out of poverty.  And I'm sure they'd love to eat healthier, but when healthy food is so much more expensive than non-healthy food and the budget is super tight does what we tell them really matter?  Not to mention we already have a program that is all about healthy eating.

So that's my "fight" at the moment.  I'm not a conflict oriented person.  I like things to go smoothly and often act as a consensus builder, but there are some things that I stand my ground about... and they are those things that matter. And I feel like this matters.  I've seen these kids.  These kids aren't statistics.  They're smart, they're growing, and they need direction in a directionless atmosphere.  These kids live in a situation where they know the smell of pot, what a crack pipe looks like and who does drugs by the 2nd grade.  There is rampant teenage pregnancy, starting as early as 11.  I can't give them all a chance all by myself, but we can maybe plant a seed somewhere in them that can grow to help them out of poverty.

All I can think of today is this situation.  It's already driving me a little nutty, and we're not having our meeting until Thursday. Sigh.  A few phrases come to mind, like "Give a man a  fish and he'll eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime."

But other than that, all is well.  I did a 2250 swim today.  I felt great - super strong in the water. Drills and then half of a ladder - 400, 300, 200, 100, 50 all out.  The funny bit was that I did my 50 all out, but evidently I had more because it seemed like I could have gone farther at that pace... and it was super fast (for me).  Who knows... maybe one of these days I'll bust out a killer time on race day too. : )

Lots of work at work.  Mr. Darcy is grumping a bit because every Tuesday except the 1st Tuesday of the month will be dedicated to Junior League stuff.  But, I don't have sorority stuff anymore.  I don't have Team in Training practices anymore.  Just work, training and Junior League.  You'd think that would make him happy.  I think he's kind of jealous, actually, and that is what the real issue is.  He hasn't found that something where he's been able to make friends and have fun while doing it.  Not for lack of encouragement on my part.  For me, it's a necessity to have something.  I work out of our house on a job that is primarily done via email.  Phone calls are rare.  Then I get the kids after work and bring them home, cook dinner, play and eat, and take care of the chores.  I need external interaction.  I'm a social person.  You close me up for too long and I become angry and irritable.  Take me when I'm like that to a crowded place and in 15 minutes, I'm happier.  So, while I'm sorry that Tuesday evenings will be engaged otherwise and Mr. Darcy doesn't care for it all that much, I'm not sorry.  It's my only chance to interact with others and possibly have the chance to make a difference in a small little corner of the world with my evidently incendiary and shocking ideas.

On the radio this morning they asked the question, if you were to die today is there anything that you wouldn't want people to know or discover.  Perhaps I live a rather boring life, but there's nothing that I can think of that I wouldn't want people to know or discover about me.  It did make me want to get my skydiving videos put on DVD though... I would want the girls to see those.  To see their Mommy, the lady who is saying "please stop that - I don't want you to get hurt" jumping out of an airplane and loving every blasted moment.

My friend Doug is not doing well at all.  He is not responding at all, has terrible sores on his skin and his skin is weeping, he's back on blood pressure medicine and the doctor has said that he is a worst case scenario.  He's seen people come back, but it's extremely rare.  I hurts me to think of his lovely wife and children and the pain they must be going through seeing Doug like this.  It hurts not to know the right words to say or the right thing to do or how to make it better.  His leukemia had started poking through the 2nd medicine too.  He needed the transplant.  And it's also the transplant that caused all these problems.  It is hard to wrap your mind around.  I still believe in miracles.  Now it's just up to God to perform one if he sees it fit.  That's another difficult thing to wrap your mind around.

I'll have alot to think about on my 3 mile run tomorrow.  Or is it to run away from?  Either way, running seems to help. So until tommorrow.  Tell the ones you love that you love them, and thanks for reading my blog.  It is nice to have bloggy friends out there!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday Morning Check In...

I have an all day Junior League Training from 8 am until I think 5, and then I'm going to dinner and a movie with my friends Jen and Kim and two other ladies that I'm becoming friendly with.  But I wanted to make sure to get up early enough to at least do my pushups and situps.  Today was Day 3 of week 5 for pushups and day 3 of week 4 for situps, with an exhaustion test at the end.  I have to admit that to save a few minutes of time so I could blog before running out, I did my exhaustion test at the last set for each because it's where you're supposed to do a max.

Well, I really surprised myself with how well I did!  For the Pushups, after doing 2 sets of 20, 24, 20, then a set of 22, I maxed out at 65.  I may have been able to do more but my brain got in the way and was telling me things like "oh my God!  60!"  But, I did fall down after the 65th pushup.  For the situps, I maxed out at 130, but I definitely could have done more - I just want to make sure I'm not in excruciating pain for later in the day.  Nothing says "make friends and influence people" like abs that don't let you sit up straight because you're hurting.  And the 160 was after doing a set of 45, 50, 45, 45. 

I am feeling stronger.  I had to laugh though because I was thinking about the fact that I can do so many situps and realized that I don't have that 6 pac as "promised" by the website.  I do have looser twin skin, and I've got the definition down the sides of my twin belly and near my hips.  At one point while doing pushups I thought that maybe a tummy tuck isn't a bad thing.  My stomach skin hangs down while I do pushups while meanwhile my abs are tight (I know they are because I tense them when I do pushups to help keep me in plank).  But then I wouldn't trade having my children for a flat belly... so I'll stick with my situp and pushup challenges!

Funny part is now I feel like I want to go on a run... but I need to shower and get out the door!

Good luck to all racers today!  I love reading the race reports!

Friday, June 4, 2010

And the winner is...

the 4 mile run! 

I woke up this morning and Mr. Darcy asked me, "So, what's your morning look like?"  And I wanted to respond "the inside of my eyelids."  I really cannot pull off going to bed at 11 pm anymore.  Call me old, or whatever, but beyond 10 pm is just asking a bit much of me.  (But you can tell my thyroid is working because when it wasn't anything beyond 8:45 was near impossible.)  I didn't feel like swimming.  I didn't feel like running.  I felt like laying in bed.  And I told Mr. Darcy that, and then I said, "so I'll probably run.  I just have to step out the door to do that one, and really it's the 1st 2 minutes that are the hardest."

Then I got out of bed and realized that my hamstrings were sore.  I find some cosmic irony in the fact that my hamstrings are sore from yoga.  Even though I know that yoga is about strength and balance and mental stillness, it always amazes me when I get sore from it.  I think of it as active relaxation.  But then I guess you could say that about all of my physical activity.  I'm blaming the repeats of head, heart earth followed by chair position and backward bends.  Oh and quite possibly all those forward folds.  I stretched a little and put on my running gear. 

Next was getting the Little Ladies out of bed and ready for school.  I had a zone bar on the way in to their room as my pre workout snack.  Ladybug evidently could smell it on my breath and wanted some.  I told her I finished it and she asked if she could have one for breakfast.  I was thrilled quite frankly.  It's healthier than her usual option of a whole grain waffle.  And it's part of my sneaky plan to get the girls eating Zone!  Mr. Darcy said he'll eat more in the Zone but that he wants to keep his breads and such.  So no Paleo zone for him, but then he's the reason why my children love carbohydrates - I'm convinced it's in their blood somehow.  Even more exciting, at least at first, was that Angelfish opted to share the Zone bar with Ladybug instead of eat muffins! Of course, she ended up eating a couple of muffins too... the child LOVES her muffins.  Which might as well say she loves her sugar.  But at least she eats cheese and fruit and lean meat... we're still working on the veggies... the rest of the time.

So anyway, out the door, kisses and hugs given, and they're off.  And so was I.  I decided that since my hamstrings were hurting a little that I would plan on 4 miles but if I needed to I could shorten to 3.  (Like I ever let myself shorten the run unless I'm in excruciating pain... but I still fall for it everytime.)  I also decided that I would take it easy because sore hamstrings can be easier to pull, and if I pull a hammie I'm out for awhile.  I did it once in high school during winter running season. 2 months later I could run again. Not the type of "rest" I'm looking for, thank you very much.

It was/is very humid this morning but yet a little cooler because of the cloudiness.  You can almost feel the air (not a breeze, the air) on your skin it's that humid. Or as the girls like to say "It's sweaty out."  But I took it easy and ran along doing 5/1s.  1st mile in just a little over 11 minutes.  My hamstrings, particularly the left one, were talking to me but nothing major.  By mile 2 my left hamstring had a couple of things to say that might not have been particularly friendly, but I ignored it.  I laughed as I went up the hill because it dawned on me that I have never hit that hill where it was my walk minute. Never. It's not that big of a hill, but it was just something that entered my brain.

At the bottom of the hill is where you have to make the decision - cut it short to 3 miles or keep running for the 4.  So as I  knew I would, I told myself, go for the 4.  You need to keep up your running progress and besides if things get bad enough, you can walk it home.  It was like my left hamstring was listening because it got mad at me.  I ignored it and kept running my 5/1, and told it that if it really wanted me to I could do  4/1s once I got to the 3 mile mark.  My brain answered "or even 3/1s" to which I told it "No. 4/1s"  It's like a toddler lives in my head when I'm tired and I have to convince the toddler to be quiet and let me do what I've got to do.  But today the toddler listened.

I'm running along and I get hooted at.  By a guy in a silver Cherokee with Semper Fi and Marine emblems on the back.  Uh, yeah.  I like being told I look good as much as the next girl, but having it shouted at me out of a car window while I'm running and you're driving and hanging your head out the window looking back at me is not me idea of a compliment.  I am not a piece of meat.  I had a friend once who liked it when men hollered at her.  I find it rude and it ticks me off. So then I started thinking about that and just chugging along.  And my hamstring decided to cut me a break.  Sure it was still sore, but it was whispering now instead of getting all feisty.  I think it knew that I was not giving in at that point.

I hit the corner where I know I have a little bit under 1 mile left right at 36 minutes.  I thought, well, I guess I said I was going to take it easy today and just kept running.  I thought about how it would be nice to finish my 4 miles in under 48 minutes because I've been enjoying the idea of my average running pace being under 12 minutes.  Even if some days it's high in the 11 minute range.  I would love to get down to 10 minute miles.  Of course, ultimately 8 minute miles would be lovely, but I am also in no rush to get there.  I don't like pain when I run, so it's going to take some time just to get down to 10 minute miles.  For me, the joy is in running and being out there doing it and I'm not so obsessed (except on race day) with how fast I go.  At the same time I like getting faster.  I just need to embrace the pain.  I know it.  And I'm getting there.

By this time it was 41 minutes in, my walking minute when it dawned on me that based on the distance I have left I can get this done in less than 48 minutes if I at least keep the pace I had right before I walked.  My hammies were still reminding me of their existence, but I told them that they could handle it. So I ran it on in. 

47:13, or essentially an 11:48 minute mile pace.  Under 12 minutes, so I was happy with that even if it wasn't by much.  Especially since I could feel myself holding back a bit because of my vocal hammies.  I felt good at the end.  Sweaty and hot, but good.  I had more distance in me, but I had to get to work.  But I will have a date with my foam roller this evening.  The hammies demand it.

A quick funny.  Last night we're eating dinner at the table and all of a sudden Angelfish falls off her chair.  Out of the blue.  I asked if she was okay and from the floor we hear her little voice, "I'm okay!"  Then Mr. Darcy asks her, "what happened?" to which she responds in an exasperated little tone, "Well, Daddy I fell down!"  A little while later I asked Ladybug what her favorite thought about our coming vacation at the beach was and she answered "the birthday cake!"  She also added that she was looking forward to building sandcastles too.  Angelfish said she can't wait to jump the waves in the ocean.  And I said that I'm looking forward to a week of just being with my girls and my hubby with no work.  Only a few more weeks - for me to learn how to make a cake... my SIL gave me some pointers, but told me that she wasn't sure that even she would attempt the cake I was attempting.  But if you go, you might as well go big right??

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Thursday to Amaze Many A Thursday

Today has been a crazy one.. thus the late post.  We slept in a little bit by accident this morning.  Never a good start.  While I could have gotten up and left to go to the pool, I didn't even realize what time it was as I was doing Day 2 of Week 5 of the Pushup Challenge and Day 2 of Week 4 of the situp challenge all while 1) trying to convince Angelfish that she and Foxie would be less likely to be hurt if they didn't lay under me while I did my pushups (although it was funny that she put herself in plank position and put Foxie - a stuffed blue fox - under her like she was under me); 2) giving Angelfish breakfast; 3) talking to Ladybug about the fact that she should not order her father around or lecture him, even if he did forget that he had taken Bunny into the play room and said he hadn't touched it; 4) trying to convince Ladybug that it was time for her to get dressed, and we meant now.  Talking while doing pushups is difficult.  The last 2 sets of crunches I had to do with Bunny resting on my belly while Ladybug did her own version of sit ups - lifting her butt up and saying her arms were getting tired (but I didn't complain because it was cute AND she was fully dressed).

Then we piled the children in Mr. Darcy's vehicle and off they went.  I walked into the living room and saw there was no way I could get my swim in... it would put me there in time to swim for about 10 minutes before needing to turn around and go home.  SOOO... today was yoga day.  A full hour of yoga.  Leg and spine flexibility and strength and confidence poses.  It was better than wasting the hour in the car, and while not as strenuous as my 2000m swim would have been, Warrior 3 is not a pose to be triffled with. Balance and strength.

Then it was work.  The second I started, I was off and running.  All the way up to lunch with Mr. Darcy... which we ate fast so we could also hit Party City for stuff for the girls' birthday... plates, cups, etc. for the family party and some fun things for their friends who are joining us for Disney.  We figured it was a big deal for them to be able to go with us, so we wanted something more than the usual party favors.  Mr. Darcy made sure that the stuff for the boys wasn't too girlie, and was smart enough to remind me that bubbles at Disney might not be the best idea.  Then I was off and running again to get home in time for a conference call - which turned out to have been moved again while I was at lunch.  And then boom, one after another about 10 or more emails all on the same topic came flooding into my in box.  My computer must have been saving them up instead of letting them come in one at a time for some reason, so I was late to the discussion.  Big research project on a law that is new and that it looks like from my cursory reviews of the various state attorney general's websites no one seems to either 1) know about it or 2) if they know about it, they're not letting anyone else know what they're doing.  That and 3 other things took up my afternoon.

Mr. Darcy was able to come home early during a torrential downpour but I pretty much have ignored him because I've been working, and then as my only socialization of the day (other than with him and two 4 year olds) I visited blog land and decided I'd just write a quick note. Oh and I ordered the autograph books for our Disney visit for the ladies.  Mr. Darcy convinced me that paying $4 additional for less pages but that would let us put pictures next to the autographs was really what we should do.  My miser that lives inside my brain is questioning this because I know I can use scrapbooking corners to stick photos on pages without a sleeve, and 100 pages is a lot more than 24 pages, but the books have been ordered and so it is done.

I also sent an email a moment ago to my sister-in-law for cake baking tips.  She is a cake maker and decorator extraordinaire.  She makes amazing cakes.  For my first attempt this is the bite I have taken...
I am really excited about making the girls' birthday cake, but at the same time I am a bit fearful of how it will turn out.  Luckily, Mr. Darcy has a masters in architecture so we should be able to figure out how to construct this... especially once the cake kit comes in.  I've asked my SIL for advice on what tools I need as well as whether it's true that you can use a snipped corner of a zip lock bag as easily as the real icing bag (or whatever it is called).  I can cook, but cakes... Heck, I can do a HIM so I can do this... right??

So as soon as the items we ordered for gifts come in, I am done with the birthday planning.  Just a few weeks and it will be Birthday implementing. 

And tomorrow I will be happy running - my 4 miler that is... unless I decide to swim instead.  You never know with me.  You just never know.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

National Running Day...

It's Today!  I had no clue or I would have given you all a head's up.  I only found out after my tempo run this morning when responding to my sister-in-law on facebook and saw Coach was a fan of National Running Day.  I clicked on the link and it turns out that National Running Day is today.  So if you haven't had a chance, get out and run today!

After last night's dinner "guest" and waking up stressed, I wasn't overly enthusiastic about my run this morning.  I realized though that I woke up stressed because of the bike situation with Mr. Darcy.  I am fine with spending money on a bike that has components I believe in, but I am not okay with it when I'm not.  I am more comfortable spending more money than less money and getting a good (but not over the top) bike.  And I guess I felt like Mr. Darcy wasn't taking my advice regarding the bike situation.  But he has assured me that he is listening and that he understands what I am saying, but that at the same time he doesn't want to spend money and then not end up using the bike other than for the Century Ride.  But he says that he's enjoying getting out and riding so far... of course, he's only doing 5 - 10 miles a day at the moment.  But at least he's enjoying it.  So I'm still left wondering what it would cost to put 105 shifters and casette on the Fuji.  But he's also found a Felt F-70 on ebay that is 4 years old, was used for 2 seasons for racing and training and then some training here and there since then.  It is his size and it has 105 shifters and cassette.  He's supposed to arrange to ride the bike with the seller before the end of the auction or if the bike doesn't sell, after the auction.  I'm not sure which.  I've pretty much decided that I want Mr. Darcy to definitely ride more bikes - so far the only ones he's been on are the Fuji and the Trek (but the Trek was on a trainer) - and I don't want to settle for components I'm not thrilled with.  So I think we're agreed that he's going to take his time and not rush into buying anything, but that he'll still rent the bike for his weekend ride.

Ladybug has helped me in the past two days realize that my children may be a little bit spoiled.  Angelfish seems to be greatful for all that we give her, but Ladybug seems not to like the idea of not getting exactly what she wants.  For example, when we went to the zoo this weekend she threw a fit because we brought lunch and she wanted to order lunch from the "restaurant."  And then this morning she asked for a bagel for breakfast.  We told her we didn't have any bagels, but would she like a waffle with peanut butter on it or a breakfast bar?  Her response was to ask Mr. Darcy to stop at "the coffee shop to get her a bagel."  When we told her no, she demanded to know why not.  I explained to her that she was acting like a spoiled child because she has so many wonderful things and food options and she isn't accepting of what she has.  I told her that when I was growing up, my parents didn't take me to Disney, Sea World, the Zoo, the splash pad, or anywhere else, and I didn't get to do gymnastics.  In fact, when I was growing up, I didn't have many toys either.  I had books and a library card, and I was allowed to play in the backyard or at our neighbor's house down the street, and that was it.  Ladybug asked me why and I told her because Nanna and Poppop didn't have the money to pay for all those things.  I got to do swim team, but only as long as I kept my grades really high, and I wasn't allowed to do swim team and piano lessons... thus the end of piano lesson's in 4th grade.  It's a catch 22, really.  I want them to have a better life than I did (and I had it good - not a lot of material things, but parents who loved me and spent time with me), to get to experience what the world has to offer, but I also don't want them to be spoiled brats who just expect everything to be given to them.  So I'm going to have to think about turning activities into a reward system some how that won't be too torturous for me (meaning if one gets to go, I'm usually the one to stay home with the one that didn't do what she was supposed to do and I miss out on the fun). Although, we're not planning on changing their birthday plans at all... I think everyone (young, middle aged, or old) should get spoiled on their birthday because it's a celebration of their continuing life!

Last night Ladybug did a great job cleaning up the mess she and her sister made and she got to pick a prize from the goodie bag - all we had to do was ask her to clean up and she did it.  Meanwhile Angelfish kept playing and didn't pick up anything.  So Mr. Darcy wanted to make a point, and Angelfish cried for a good 5 minutes and was angry at Ladybug because she was rewarded.  So I had to talk to her about making decisions - good or bad - and having to live with the consequences and how she cannot be upset with Ladybug for making a good decision but only with herself for making a bad one.

So I had all this to noodle on my tempo run... except the tempo run kicked my butt so hard that I didnt' have the ability to noodle much more than okay 2 minutes walking/jogging until the next sprint.  My chest was already a little bit tight when I started out on the 10 minute warm up in Zone 2... high humidity, a hot morning and of course allergy induced asthma seemed to be a little against me this morning. My HR was pushing 158 during the warm up a time or two so I had to walk a few seconds here or there.  And then I did my sprints... 5x1 minute in Zone 4, with 2 minutes of recovery in between.  With these I had to walk the 1st 45 seconds just to get out of Zone 4, then I walked another 45 seconds to get my HR sufficiently lower, and then I jogged for 30 seconds before the next sprint.  Then immediately following that, I had 5x1 minute sprints in Zone 5, with 2 minutes recovery in between.  This was hard.  My lungs hurt for these, but I pushed myself through them anyway.  I had to walk anywhere from 1 minute to 1 minute 10 seconds just to get out of Zone 4 after finishing out the minute of running in Zone 5.  And I pretty much just walked the 2nd minute recovery to make sure I could keep on going.  By my last 1 minute sprint in Zone 5, I was having to tell myself to run harder and faster because my lungs were hurting and my legs were starting to call me nasty names from 30 seconds in and really got nasty by the 55 second mark, but I made myself keep going.  Which might be why it took me 1 minute and 30 seconds just for my HR monitor to stop beeping at me afterwards.  So I walked 3 minutes instead of 2, and then I ran for 3:30 before my HR was up in Zone 4 again.  So I walked 1:30, and then jogged very slowly for almost 4 minutes before my HR was up again.  So then I walked a bit, jogged 30 seconds and then gave up the jogging for the remaining little bit.  I ended up being farther from the house (by 0.15 miles) than I thought I would be, so I took a little extra walking to really get my heart rate down. 

When I got in the house, I headed straight for water and the Nuun.  That 2 minutes letting the Nuun dissolve was like agony.  I. Just. Wanted. A. Drink.  I guzzled down my Nuun water (that made me think of Holy Water for some reason...Catholic upbringing anyone?) and headed to the bathroom.  I was definitely heated.  My face was bright purple.  I turn red when I run normally because well, I'm of eastern european descent and we do that, but this was almost PURPLE. When I peed, it was hot.  That was a first for me.  Even the hot water in the shower felt cool.  I was sweating like mad just standing still.  Drying my hair felt cooling and I was still sweating.  So I made a nice "shake" out of water, ice cubes, frozen blueberries, frozen blackberries, some whey protein, and a little bit of almond butter.  All that frozen stuff finally did the trick! 

I decided that while I don't really "like" tempo runs, I love what they are supposed to do for me - which is make me faster.  In calculated how far I went in 50 minutes, and it was 4.75 miles.  That's pretty darn good for walking as much as I did and the very slow jogging that took place when I wasn't sprinting.  If only I can get to a point where the sprinting pace was my real pace.  Of course, I guess that's the point isn't it?

So I, unwittingly, sorted out my stress and took part in National Running Day.

On a different note, if you could send prayers or positive thoughts the way of my friend Doug, I would appreciate it.  He is not doing well since his bone marrow transplant.  Last week he had a small heart attack and is in ICU because they suspected sepsis.  The blood test have come back negative for any infectious diseases and the heart doctor says that the heart attack was a minor one and that his heart is still strong.  But they can't figure out why he is still not responding to people, not opening his eyes, moaning and rambling about stuff but you can’t really understand him. He’s still very sick.   This has to be frightening for his family (I know it is for his friends), and at this point the power of positive thoughts and prayers really is the only thing I can think of to do.  The same day I found out that Doug had his little heart attack, I also got a letter saying that I am a potential match for a patient that may need a transplant, but that the patient isn't ready for that step yet so I may hear from them at some point in the future.  I can't help but think that whomever that patient is, I really hope they don't get to the point that they need me.  I'll give what I can, but I hope they don't need it.  I know Doug would much rather be participating in National Running Day than going through what he's going through right now.