Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy New Year

Thanks for the kind words on the last post. We are hanging in here and staying positive. I am kind of private when it comes to this stuff so please know I don't think I'll be sharing too much here, but I really appreciate all your thoughts, prayers, and just kind words. Thank you. Stage 3 uterine cancer has met its match, and that match is a WHOLE BUNCH OF ZIEMNIKS. We don't take things lying down.

We had a little vacay visiting Matt's sister and brother in law in Charlotte, NC. Bug did a FANTASTIC job on the plane--WAY better than his Mommy. I seriously HATE flying. Literally almost pass out every time we take off and land. I know, statistics show, blah blah blah, but it's just the lack of control that drives me NUTS. But, despite that, we had a fantastic time hanging out on Lake Norman and relaxing. It was a nice way to spend the last few days before school.

Call me crazy here--I fully admit that I am--but I am kind of happy to be back at school. Check me in a few weeks, right? But it's been fun to have a new crop of faces and some old ones, too. I have a record number of AP kids signed up for History at the moment--57 to last year's 37--so we'll see if they can stick it out. I usually lose a few in the first weeks when they see the work load, but so far these guys are troopers! :) It hasn't been TOO hot, either, which is nice. I've been taking Bug to the pool after school so we get to pretend it's still summer. Awesome.

Being pregnant when you're used to training for long-distance events makes you really appreciate free time. It's been kind of nice that I have been able to do things that I don't normally get to do during training. For instance, I've had lots more time to read. I just finished In Defense of Food (very interesting), am currently working on The Other Boleyn Girl (slightly trashy--we'll call it history-trash), and next up on the docket is Escaping North Korea. I'm pretty excited for that one. Best Friend is trying to convince me to read all the Twilight books, and swears she is going to just drop them off sometime, to which my response is I AM NOT TWELVE. AND VAMPIRES ARE STUPID. And that's my story and I'm sticking to it, so don't even try to convert me. :)

Also, Best Friend and I have decided to start "Restaurant Club." She's super crazy busy, and I usually am too but have an extra 10 hours or so in my week until March, so we decided that one night in the last week of each month we shall have a meeting of the esteemed Restaurant Club. In this way, we know we have a friend date at least once a month. The rules are as follows:

1. NO chain restaurants. There will be no Applebee's here.
2. It must be in a developing area, like downtown, Ohio City or Tremont, and preferably locally owned, so that we can help give back to the local economy and
3. At least one of us can't have eaten there before.

So far we've tried Luxe and Momocho's. Luxe was AMAZING. I loved it. Momocho's was very good, but we both decided our husbands would not like it. However, it'd be a great place to have some drinks and chips with all kinds of gourmet guac. She's picking the next one, so I'll let you know where we end up! Cleveland area peeps, feel free to give suggestions!

And on a training front, here's the funny thing: I am not working out NEARLY as much as I did with Bug, yet have gained less. And that's what we call IRONIC. All kidding aside, I'm still focusing on eating as healthy as I can and trying to move 3-4 days a week. Running is getting slower, but is still happening (yay!) and swimming will happen as long as the outdoor pool is open for sure. It will be harder to get to the indoor pool on a regular basis but I will shoot for 1-2 times a week. I've been doing some strength training still (squats, lunges, light arm weights) because I think being stronger will help with the back pain that I already know is on its way in about two months. Plus, it can't hurt to be stronger for labor, either.

Lastly, I have a new goal: I am going to do the Rocky River Spirit Run in mid-October. It's a 5K, and will be later in my pregnancy than the last 5K I did preggers, so we'll see if I can actually run most of it or if I'll need to run/walk. Either way, HEY I HAVE A RACE COMING UP! And that's pretty exciting.

Now it's time to go enjoy a tasty bagel that Matt brought for me, and perhaps watch some Elmo until the sun comes out here soon. :)

Happy training and racing to all, and especially good luck and tailwinds to my awesome teammate Rural Girl tomorrow as she takes on IM LOU! Can't wait to follow her all day--GO RURAL GIRL!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Fight of Our Lives

Suddenly, your world can change in an instant.

For us, it was last Wednesday.

Cancer sucks. There's no other way to put it. And I am angry and sad and frustrated and scared that I am staring it in the face yet again, as I watch another loved one wearily take a deep breath and get ready to fight.

This will be a hard fight, but a fight that I know we will win. That we must win.

I'm seeing our prayers already working, and I just hope that they continue to turn the tide our way.

So, between hospital visits and tears and we-can-do-this-it'll-be-okays and anxiously waitingwaitingwaiting for results and biopsies and CAT scans, I can't say much else right now about triathlon. It might take me a bit here.

Right now, we're all gearing up for the fight of our lives.

And I'm really wishing I could just go to the track and run 800 repeats until my legs shook, until I couldn't breathe anymore, until I could barely stand. Because that's about all I think that would make it feel a little better. I tried to swim the other day, and I could barely move. I felt like it was quicksand. And, unfortunately, running to exhaustion is not allowed at the moment. Until, like, March.

So I'm going to have to channel this nervous energy somewhere else. Today I did it by taking Jackson to the dancing fountains at the park, and then to a pizza party, and then to the park again and a little DQ kiddie cup afterwards. And I said, "can you give Mommy a kiss?" to which he usually just leans in for a hug, but today,, he puckered up and laid a big slobbery one on my cheek.

And I teared up and smiled, and thought, "this is even better than the 800s."

To everyone with a loved one fighting cancer out there, we're all in this together. Let's roll up our sleeves and take care of business.


Thursday, August 06, 2009


You know what?


Why is that, you may ask?

Well, last time I went to school the first month, then was off for four, and then finished the last semester. Which meant quite a bit of battling with "Your sub didn't do it this way...." blah blah blah. I vowed next time to really try and have a spring baby. Ever wonder why so many teachers have kids in March and April? Yeah. That's it.

And personally, I won't miss a race season!

Yeah, I know. That sounds kinda silly. Is it really that important, you might ask?



No, seriously. Back in '07, I was coming off an absolute HIGH of Ironman. I can move mountains! Discover new mathematical equations! Find the answer to world peace!

(okay, maybe not quite that high....but you get the picture)

And then I had to virtually STOP. And I have to admit, it was rough. Especially with it being my first one, because I didn't fully understand just how amazing the end would be. It was hard to sit on the sidelines after I got to be a part of something so big, you know?

This year, I got to have a season. It was early, but I got to have a few big races. New Orleans was just a party and I did well despite my training restrictions and stuff. I had a BLAST at that race. And then 6 weeks later, I got to hammer it out in Cleveland. I had a huge day there, and set my post-baby half marathon PR a full 8 minutes lower than my pre-baby PR. It was like my body was telling me, "See...I told you so. Now shut up and don't worry the next time, k?"

I left out of my race report something pretty big that had a ginormous impact on the outcome of that race for me: what was going through my head the last 2.5 miles. I was hurting, I was slowing down, and it was starting to suck. But you know what I kept thinking?

"If you're lucky, THIS IS IT. This is the LAST TIME YOU'LL GET TO HURT LIKE THIS IN A WHILE. You love this hurt. You will miss this hurt. ENJOY THIS HURT, and HTFU. GOGOGOGOGOGOGOGOGOGOOOOOOOOO."

I left if off the race report, because I didn't know how lucky I'd get.

(Turns out, pretty freakin' lucky.)

So I got to really enjoy that pain. It helped me keep going, because I knew how much I'd miss it now. But I know the races aren't going anywhere, and this time I really understand that I will come back stronger.

And you'd better believe I'm signing up for the new Rev3 70.3 in my backyard next year.

Yep, this timing is much better indeed.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

This Time Around...

So, I'm finally starting to feel better (yay!) and I'm hoping a few things are different this time.

Namely, I don't gain a small country's worth of weight.

Here's the deal.

I totally wasn't going to even pay attention to my weight this time, because last time no matter WHAT. I. DID. I just gained and gained and gained. Ran through my 7th month. Swam a mile 4 times a week. Ate mostly good stuff. It didn't seem to matter. Then I lost it all, and five more, and a dress size. So I had totally made peace with the fact that my weight might just be what it is.

Then I met with my doc.

To spare you the gory details, it seems that I had some stuff happen in my delivery of Jackson that I wasn't even fully aware of. (And that's probably a good thing, in this case) He was SO BIG. And your chances of having a baby that's bigger the second time are high. Which means if all goes the same, I'm looking at having a minimum 10 pound baby.

To which, she said, if that's the case...she'll strongly recommend a C-section.

Say huh?

No. NONONONONONONO I do not want a C-section if at all possible. Partly because I like to keep things as natural as possible, partly because I am a petrified freak who can barely give blood without passing out so how on earth am I ever going to have my insides taken out and sewn back in?!, and partly because of the recovery time.

And I'm just scared of it. That's mostly it.

So, I asked what I needed to do to avoid this. I know there is a great deal out of my control. But she did say that the one--the only thing, really--in my control is to watch my weight. Now, she could have been blowing smoke up my bum here, but she claims that for some women, there's a hormone in the placenta that makes it virtually impossible for carbs to be changed into energy. It just turns straight into fat.

Which is awesome. Because for the past 6 weeks or so, all I could get down were starchy carbs. And then I'd sleep for 2 hours.

But that does make some sense...because I swear I did everything "right" last time and still gained 55 freaking pounds. So, I decided to give it a shot. The only thing in my control here is to eat as healthy as I can. That's it. It still might not work, and I accept that.

But it's worth a shot.

So I've been logging what I'm eating at, which is a great site full of good stuff. And, I've had enough energy to get back into workouts this week, which is awesome. I feel a little bit more like myself every day. And the great part about doing squats and lunges is that I don't even need to hold extra weights! Because I already am holding the extra weight in my stomach! And butt! And hips! BRIGHT SIDE, people!

All kidding aside, I'm able to run about 3 miles (slowly), eat things that aren't just carbs (yay!), and my arms and legs are sore from some strength exercises. Almost like a regular workout day!

But you know what? This time I am definitely trying to enjoy the ride a bit more. Watching the little bean dancing around in there today at my ultrasound makes everything better. And when all is said and done, as long as that bean comes out healthy--even if it means out of my nostril--then that's what matters.

But I'm still gonna try to do it my way.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

LONG overdue race report

All three girls: Madison, Ashley, and Brittney post-race--all triathletes! So proud of them!

So, life got in the way a bit this week, and I am very overdue on my race report from the Huntington Sprint Triathlon that my three girls did.

The good news is that my awesome buddy, aka Coach Eric, aka TriEricTri took care of a fantastic race report on our Evotri2 blog. Check it out!

To make a long story short, we are SO PROUD OF THESE GIRLS. They all finished, and all did so well. Brittney was the 8th OVERALL FEMALE (I do believe we have created a monster! We'll see her in the Olympics someday), Madison was 2nd in her age group, and Ashley displayed some SERIOUS Iron-Mental-Toughness after getting a flat halfway through the bike, then RIDING THE REST ON IT, and then still finishing despite super tired legs. We'll just call her Chrissie Wellington. :)

Oh, and I just checked results again...Brittney was the FASTEST FEMALE ON THE RUN. Her 20:58 5K beat EVERY. SINGLE. WOMAN. out there. Including the top three females! Very exciting. :)

SO...I'll just share my pics here. For the full report, go here.

It was so much fun to work with these girls, despite my almost-hurling and crazy fatigue, and I'm glad I can at least explain why now! I think all three of them have definitely caught the tri-bug.

Congratulations, ladies!

This is our own little version of the Monona Terrace...

And this is pretty much my backyard. I LOVE LOVE LOVE where I live! :)

Pre-race announcements

Brittney, Ashley, and Madison all ready to rock!

The awesome TriEric helps Ashley and Brittney with their bike adjustments

Brittney absolutely SMOKING the field with a blazing fast 5K and the win for both the 15-18 AG AND the 19-24 AG--and 8th overall!

Madison coming out of the water after a great swim!

Ashley looking confident and ready to go!

Madison and a few of her buddies show off their body marking!

Brittney and a former CC teammate at the start.

Again, I could not be prouder of these girls. They put in the miles, prepared, and dealt with what the day gave them. They all displayed a great deal of mental toughness and physical talent. Congratulations to our three triathletes!