Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Can't Fight It

So, I've had this problem/issue since I was a little kid. Often I wake up in the middle of the night for some reason and then my mind RACES RACES RACES over everything I have to do and OMG, it's getting late and did I do this already? and I can't believe I have so much to do tomorrow and oh no now it's 3:37am.

So, since I was probably 8 or 9 years old, I turn my alarm clock around. I have to, or I drive myself nuts. And this has worked pretty well.

So the plan was to work out before school so that I wouldn't have to do it when I got home. BUT, JayZ usually gets up once a night, unless we are lucky and he sleeps totally through, or to about 5am. The past 2 nights it's been around 2am.

It doesn't even matter if I get up or if Matt does. I'm up. And then I start to worry.

And then I can't fall asleep for, oh, about 2 hours.


So I had wonderful runs Monday and Tuesday, when he slept the whole way through. But since then I haven't because I've had the most random sleep schedule ever and been totally stressing about it.

So, I've decided on a new plan of attack.

  • I will run at least 2 times during the week. This will happen Mondays and Wednesdays when Matt can get home fast after his school lets out. That way I can still spend good quality time with JayZ but Matt can play with him while I run...or JayZ might even take a little catnap, which would make me feel even better. I just don't want to miss anything.
  • Runs won't be more than 6 miles for now, so I will be done in less than an hour.
  • On the weekend, I'll do my longer run of 8-10 miles Saturday, and then either swim or run on Sunday.
  • Core work will be done almost every day that I can, since I can have JayZ on the floor with me.
  • A Friday 5 mile-ish run will be added when I can, to give me 4-5 runs and 1 swim for the week.
  • I'm going to not worry as much about riding for now. I should be getting some spinervals DVDs soon so when I do I'll sneak them in on the weekend...maybe on Sundays. Something's gotta go, and since my early race is a half marathon, I feel like for now I can put cycling on the back burner. I know I should work on my limiter, but I just don't have enough hours in the day for now, and Steelhead isn't until August, so that buys me a little more time.
  • Next year, when I get more settled and JayZ hopefully sleeps through most nights, then I will resume early morning runs, since I do actually enjoy them.

This way, when I get up at 2 or so, I won't put so much pressure on myself to hurry up and get back to sleep for 5am's wakeup call. Plus, I will be leading a 7am review session for APUS History every week starting next week. I will get to school relatively early all days and use that time for grading/planning, since even that still gives me some extra morning time.

So that's the plan.


Now if I can just get through today without falling asleep...

Monday, January 28, 2008

And it's done.

We're all fine.

JayZ laughed and giggled all day long, and snoozed, and pooped. The usual. He even "left me a message" on my home machine to say he was happy and giggled. It was soooo cute and made me smile.

I got up, ran 5 miles, got ready, and then we had to WAKE JAYZ UP (seriously. the kid rocks.) to take him to the sitter's. Yes, he slept ALL NIGHT.

I cried a little when I said bye, and when I first walked in my classroom. Just a teensy bit.

And then, it felt kinda good to be back. Just a teensy bit.

I got very busy, which made time fly. And then it was time to go.

A good friend said it best to me when he tried to describe what I (and what we) are feeling right now. He said it's a revolution of your heart and mind. I think that's the closest thing I can liken it to. My heart and mind have been completely, 100% rewired over the past four months. I never knew it was possible to love something so much.

So tomorrow, we do it all again. Except it's a tempo run in the morning.

And another big smile and giggle around 3:30.

Sunday, January 27, 2008



I just cried for, oh, about an hour and a half. And I'M AT HOME.

I started while I was feeding him today, and then I just couldn't stop. He kept smiling at me, and I kept crying. Matt says I'm in big trouble when we take this kid off to college.


Maybe I'll get it all out of my system before tomorrow? Wishful thinking....?


Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Few More Days

Well, I go back to work on Monday. I can't believe it's been 16 weeks already....SIXTEEN WEEKS.

How did JayZ choose to celebrate? By sleeping for TEN HOURS.

That's right. It's not a typo.

This morning I awoke to hear my neighbor shoveling snow. Then, I had a small moment of panic. Wait...if he's out there shoveling must be...morning?


I looked at the clock. 6:31.


I darted into JayZ's room...and he was fast asleep. I had last seen him when I kissed him goodnight at 9:15 last night.

Thanks, buddy! :)

So I think I'm all ready. Diapers, wipes, and extra clothes are already at the babysitter's house. I have my first unit planned for AP and ready to go. World History is set since I've taught it for several years. I just need to get in there and make copies.

Monday. Monday it is.

I am really lucky that we could arrange so I didn't have to go back after 6 weeks. We only get 6 weeks paid, but Matt and I really wanted to have more time than that, so I've been unpaid for quite some time now. It's been a bit of a challenge and we've had to use our credit cards more than we'd like to, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Anything.

So I'll be bringing a few extra kleenax with me on Monday, and at least it's a teacher work day. So if I need to cry a little, no students have to see. I do want to be there. I do want to go back. I am choosing to go back, which I always said I wanted to do...I didn't want to have to go back unless I wanted to, and I do.

But it's still so hard to imagine my day away from him. Even though he takes a good morning and afternoon nap, as my buddy K at work told me to make me feel better. "Dude," she said, "He's gonna be sleeping for what, 3 hours anyway? And we only work 183 days out of the year."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It's still kind of hard to think about next week, though.

One of my former students was home for break and I got to meet her for some coffee. She's studying to be a high school science teacher, which is awesome, because she's one of the good ones. We really, really need the good ones to go into this field. I had her as a freshman in World History and she was wise and mature beyond her years, which she still is now. She just texted me the other day, because she knows I'm worried about how I'll handle going back. She said, "You love JayZ and you love teaching, and there's enough love in you for both."

She's right. There is. I just have to remember that when I step back into room 221.

I'll adapt and we'll make it work. I'm amazed at how well we've adapted so far. My body's never really let me down, and it's always been my mind that's my biggest foe. So I just need to remember to trust myself here. If chores fall by the wayside a bit, it's OK. If I can't cook a nice meal like I enjoy, then the microwave can be our friend for a few weeks. I'm lucky that Matt is so helpful. Now that we're both working out a lot we have a TON of smelly laundry, and he always pitches in. I'm hoping to get up early 3 times during the week (at least) to get a run or swim in, and then fit in longer workouts on the weekend.

I'm going to be a little tired...I can't expect JayZ to sleep as well as he did last night every night. But somehow, we'll make it work. We always do. We've made it work the past few months and had to sacrifice some things.

But it's been amazing.

And I wouldn't change it one bit.

And there is enough love in me for it all. I have to remember that.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy Stuff

Okay, so now that my rotten week is over, and the worst of the bad stuff seems to have passed, here's some happy stuff:

  • soooo excited to race this year I can barely stand it

  • able to hold my 2 miles of tempo at an 8:07/mile this week--yippee! Am slowly working my way down to 7:50 tempo miles as "official" half mary training starts 2/17

  • despite swimming 3 times in the past month, I didn' t get my butt kicked TOO bad today in the pool...yippeeeeeeeee

  • also surprising today was my 1000 yard swim as it wasn't TOO far off what I would like to see it at...did it in 17:19...again, very pleased as I have been a total pool slacker lately

  • the trainer is so much better when watching the Colbert Report

  • Matt's birthday present totally kicks butt but I can't write what it is yet because he SOMETIMES reads this (and with my luck if I write what it is he'll check)

  • got to have dinner with 2 of my Miami AGD buds, Miles and TBone last night--we had some good laughs, girl time, and pinot noir...mmmmmm

  • Friday night got to have dinner with my funny friend Jon and his awesome fiance, Amy, so that cheered us up quite a bit

  • 45 pounds down, my friends. 45 pounds.

  • Guess who ROLLED OVER this week? I'll give you a hint: it wasn't me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I was trying really hard to keep everything here training only, but life is spilling over into training lately.

This has been a really, really rough past few weeks and especially an awful few days. More so for my friends than for me, but that in and of itself is quite hard.

Yesterday I just needed to zone out and spin on my trainer, and the whir of the wheels helped me to not notice as much the taste of salty tears mixing with salty sweat. Today's 6 miles on the treadmill did the same. Some days you just need these workouts--not for any time or distance goal, but for keeping your head together goal. It wasn't the first time nor I'm sure the last that I've felt tears well up on a run or ride, and dealt with my own fears and demons by putting one foot in front of the other.

Over the past few weeks, and especially the past few days, my prayer list has gotten longer and longer, and I am finding myself wondering if God is getting sick of me always asking him to help my friends.

In between text messages, phone calls, a wake, and a funeral, I have been forced to think about a few things.

What if it was my dad, who was shoveling snow a few days before Christmas and found himself having a hard time talking to his wife, only to have emergency surgery on Christmas Eve morning, and then to find out a few days later it was stage four brain cancer?

What if it was my ten month old in Intensive Care and on morphine for almost two weeks?

What if it was me who had to jump the red eye to Denver because my brother had tried to commit suicide?

What if it was my dad who fought a courageous battle with stomach cancer and lost the fight this Saturday?

In all four cases, it wasn't. It isn't. And all I can do is thank God and pray and pray and pray as much as I can for those who it is. But I was forced to think about what it would be like if it was...if I lost my husband, my father, my brother, or my son. I see the strength that my friends have right now and as I ran today I really thought to myself, "I don't think I'm that strong."

I hope I don't have to find out.

Why do I do these things--run, swim, bike, push myself like I do? Because my legs can move, my brain is fine, my heart beats. Because I have those privledges. I have a wonderful family and friends that I can't imagine life without, but every once in a while, I have to, and it sucks the wind right out of my lungs.

So I do the only thing I can do. Be there for them as much as I can. Pray for them.

And to keep me strong for them, I have to run. So I will.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I Told You So...

...said the body to the TriSaraTops.

Had to stay close to home for my run this morning, and I don't know why, but it was so awesome. I had to SLOW MYSELF DOWN. Huh?!?!?!??!

For real. I really had to hold myself back.

Maybe it was Sweet Brooks Comeback Shirt?

Could be my new iPod nano and my new purchase of tunes, including Kanye's "Stronger," which pumps me up big time?

Could be a nice run along Lake Erie with no breeze, 37 degrees and sunny?

Man, it just CLICKED today.

I finished 8 miles in a negative split. Average pace 9:23/mile.

For me, that's like, good and stuff. That almost makes me able to keep up with ESpeed on her really really slow recovery runs!

I think the little bit of fartlek/tempo stuff I've been throwing in, combined with dropping a few more pounds, must be contributing. Coach Kara told me when I was preggo and slow about all these studies showing women about 6-12 months postpartum coming back stronger than they were before. Then I saw Paula Radcliffe won NYC this year just 10 months after giving birth to her daughter.


Steelhead 70.3, baby.

So clearly, that means I'm going to WIN Steelhead.


But I think it means that setting some lofty goals this year like I have isn't too totally crazy and insane. It's a little insane, but not quite Britney Spears insane. So that's good.

All that time last year when people were telling me to ENJOY being pregnant, stop fighting it so much, be slow and happy, and know that I would come back faster...and you know who you, yeah. Go ahead and say I told you so.

It's not the first time I should have listened to others who had been there before. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Coca Cola Shirts and Cavaliers

So today on my tempo run (which was fabulous, by the way), I got to thinking. I've been wanting a new, hawt, sexy tri bike for a while now.

But why? I dunno. I guess because it just seems like a natural progression or something. You know...start running, do a few sprint tris on mountain bikes, get an entry-level road bike, run a marathon, do an MS 150, think maybe an Ironman's not so crazy after all, spend a few seasons getting ready for it, finish Ironman. Want a new sexy hawt tri bike.

Now that I'm realizing how much child care costs (seriously...second mortgage, anyone?) and just signing up for races in general (for real, dawgs...does Steelhead REALLY need all $200? Would they also like my soul?), I'm thinking it's just not going to happen.

But I think that is OK.

See, I really have no business going out and getting a hawt sexy tri bike. Not just because I can't afford it. Because I'm not really even cool enough to ride it.

Seriously. I have no business on one of those things. Who am I kidding?

Growing up, my parents THANKFULLY did not allow me to succumb too much to the ridonkuluss-ness of the dreaded Middle School Years. Where most girls are mean girls, and where you tried your hardest to look like everyone else. Where you buy that purple ESPRIT sweatshirt...marked up $50 because it has the word "ESPRIT" on it and at age 11 you're not even really sure what that means but you MUST. HAVE. IT. because so-and-so has it and made fun of your outfit from Sears.

I really didn't have much ESPRIT stuff. Except for one purple sweatshirt.

But one thing I did have was a Coca Cola shirt. Exhibit A:

It was red, because it had to be. And I wore it on the first day of 6th grade with my denim skirt and loafers with the laces tied in some ornate knot that I had to do because everyone else was doing it.

I loved that Coca Cola shirt. It was the one piece of clothing I had that I really allowed myself to "buy into the hype" and feel all cool and stuff and do what everyone else was doing.

And then a few years later...and even now...I look at this thing and go, HUH?

THAT'S the fugly thing that I wanted to wear? Because everyone else said so?


Since when have I cared what I'm riding? Honestly. Sheesh. I am currently driving the only car I've ever owned... a '99 Chevy Cavalier (total base model--no power locks or windows) with 92,000 miles on it. The heater and AC has two levels: high and off. The cupholder blows. There's some weird stains on the seats. It came with just a RADIO. Not even a tape deck. I splurged and spent $125 on a CD player, lest I succumb to the idiocy of Cleveland radio stations. The rust spot on my trunk is covered up with an Ironman Wisconsin magnet.

It is NOT a HAWT SEXY CAR at all.

I drive it to school and sometimes my students make fun of my car. SERIOUSLY. My students, many of whom have brand new or leased cars that are wayyyyyyyyyyy cooler than mine.


Last year there was an H3 in the student parking lot.

I wish I was kidding.

I am always quick to defend my car. It's been hella more reliable than many of my friends cars. I gotta give Chewy some love. (that's her name) In fact, I sort of pride myself a bit on having a car that I paid off in 2002 still, that doesn't have any bells or whistles, and that I have money to spend on other things. Like a backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon, or whitewater rafting in the New River with friends.

(Or, lately, diapers and wipes.)

So I think I'm going to embrace my bike. Love the bike. It's a 2002 Trek 1200. I bought it with no experience whatsoever, and it took me on my first MS 150 that August. It allowed me to think, "Hey...maybe that Ironman thing...maybe it's not too crazy, since I just rode 150 miles...?" And it took me to Ironman Wisconsin. And it got me to the finish line.

She's not very sexy. But she's a workhorse.

This year, I'm going to put my FP60s on this very ordinary, very entry-level, very non-hawt bike. These FP60s, which are WAYYYYYYYY cooler and hawter than my bike, or really me for that matter. And I'm going to see how far they take me. And how far my bike takes me. But really, I'm going to see how far ME takes me.

Maybe the transition area at Steelhead will remind me of my high school's parking lot. I'm used to driving the oldest car there and it doesn't affect my work performance at all.

Perhaps ol' Chewy is trying to tell me something.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I Just Fartleked

Yes, I did! And it was a good one.

Decided I would throw a little teensy bit of speed in now that things have been good for the past 6 weeks. I was able to hold my pushes in the low-8s without too much trouble. It felt good to kick it up a bit. Hopefully this will also help Operation Melt the Muffin Top, too.

I've been thinking of ways to help me feel better about going back to work. It's not that I don't want to teach; in fact, I miss that. I miss the students and I miss teaching. It's that I don't want to hand JayZ off to someone else. Ugh. I'm dreading that day. Good thing I have 1st period free in case of major waterworks.

Reasons its' not so bad, right:

--Since I only work 9 months out of the year, or 75% of the year, then it's ALMOST like I'm ALREADY working part time...right? So I'll just pretend I'm "part time." That sounds better.

--Think of all the famous moms who are back at work...Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar after having 2 kids...Paula Radcliffe kicked booty in NYC just 10 months after her surely somehow I can grade papers, right?

You get the picture. I'm gonna have to really talk myself down from the "this is the worst day ever" feelings I'm having about January 29th...

On a lighter note, we enjoyed Matt's last day off of school yesterday by taking JayZ to the pool for his FIRST! SWIM! EVER! We'll be starting sets of 100s soon. :) He wasn't quite sure at first but then he loved it! He looks a little bored here, but you'll have to take my word for it.

And this picture quite pains me, but it's so darn cute at the same time. Look at the twins! New sweatshirt courtesy of Auntie ESpeed. :) As a Big 10 fan, I have to admit I was really glad to see Florida lose. Don't worry...he'll be wearing the RIGHT COLORS on Monday!