Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Number of the Day is 6! And 8!

Yes, in honor of the show I seem to watch all too often, Sesame Street...we have TWO NUMBERS OF THE DAY.

As in, I just ran SIX miles and one of them was in the EIGHTS! Yahoooooooooooooooo

Thanks to Bean for sleeping through the night the past two nights! My what a difference some sleep makes.

And really, all I was thinking towards the end of the run was, "The extreme chafing I'm going to have from having to still wear two sports bras and forgetting my body glide is SO worth it."

And it was, my friends. It most definitely was.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I am the MASTER

The master of bringing up the rear in Lane 2, that is.

So I decided to head up to the local Masters swim for the first time in the pool. Shouldn't you swim a little first on your own, TST, so you don't get your rear end handed to you by all the fishies at masters? Why yes. Logic says that would be a good idea. However, I am cheap. And I have a free week pass to swim with the masters club, versus the eight dolla drop in fee at my old gym.

So masters it is. Who needs logic?

Now, I had a bad experience at the one time I went to masters back in '07. I showed up and met the WRONG guy. You know the type--the guy that is just so full of awesomeness and smugness that you can't possibly share the same water with him. Yeah, That Guy.

So I'm all trying to be friendly and stuff, which was a feat in and of itself, because at the time I was 10 weeks pregnant and felt like POO. So I just walked up and introduced myself to the first person I saw, which happened to be That Guy, and he kept sizing me up.

What do you swim? What are your times? What do you DO?

I told him I was a former swimmer turned triathlete and stuff. He asked what races I do, and I had just finished Ironman Wisconsin, so I told him that was my last race.

He said, with a smug little sneer on his face, "Did you finish over or under 10 hours?"

My reply was, "Well, since the winning female was 10:01, I'm PRETTY sure I finished over 10 hours."

Butt munch.

Anyway, that rubbed me the wrong way and that, combined with lovely morning-sickness heaving with every flip turn, pretty much kept me away from masters from then on.

But I decided to give it a go this past Monday. Why now, you may ask? Well, the answer is quite simple.

Hi, my name is Trisaratops and I am a pool slacker.

I am a decent swimmer who really has no reason not to turn in better swim times, except for the fact that I am a bona fide pool SLACKA. As in, when I swim by myself, I just putz around and don't really push myself very hard. And since no one can seem to figure out a way to install a 25 yard pool in the comfort of my own basement, I just don't swim enough to be very good.

(I don't ask for much, people. In my basement. That's all I really want.)

This might explain why my bike and run times dropped dramatically after I had Bug, but my pool times stayed the same or, in some cases, even got slower. BOO.

I'm happy to report that A) That Guy wasn't there, or at least stayed far away from me and B) I had a BLAST! It was hard, though. I definitely got my rear end handed to me on a platter. And I SO brought up the tail of lane 2. But you know what? It wasn't the slowest lane, I'm 9 weeks postpartum, and it was my first time in the pool. So I'm going to let it slide. And I definitely went a lot harder and longer than if I was by myself. I missed a few send offs here and there and had a foot cramp up, but still managed to hit somewhere around 2400 yards. Not too shabby!

My lane mates were super cool, too. They kept checking to make sure I was okay and told jokes on our rest breaks and stuff. And I think just having some people in my lane helped me push myself harder than I'd do on my own.

So I'm hoping to make this a weekly workout, and maybe if Bean sleeps well Friday nights I can even hit Saturday morning. In the summer, they swim outside in the wee hours of the morning, which I LOVE because everyone's asleep and no one "needs" me--hence, no mommy guilt. But for the next month or so it will require some juggling.

But I think this little relationship I have with masters is on the mend. :)

On SM Chemistry

I was really lucky to grow up where I did. I know that most of my teachers were good educators. Some were more memorable than others, though...and it's funny that my most memorable teachers were in the subjects that I had the hardest time with: math and science. Not that I wasn't good at them...on paper, I was. But it just took me WAY longer to "get it." And I was lucky enough to have teachers in those subjects who were understanding...who would meet me every morning at 7:15am to go over Pre-Calculus...and who would walk me through stoichiometry even though they had already explained it to me thirty-three THOUSAND times.

I've written before about my SM Physics class. "SM" stood for "Science Major." Or, as we liked to call it, "SO MUCH." As in, SO MUCH FREAKING CHEMISTRY. I had no business taking any SM class in high school. There was no way in hell I was going to be a science major, and by age 15 I knew that already. I knew it would be harder and I knew that if I worked at it, I could do it, and I was raised to never settle for something easy when you know you can do the harder one. So SM Chemistry it was.

Mr. Ule was one of those teachers who you could just tell loved coming to work every day. Even at 15, you know the ones who are just there for the paycheck, who are just buying the time until retirement, or who are there because there wasn't really anything else they found and they thought, well, I might as well teach. But he wasn't one of those. This guy loved his job, and he loved his students. And it made a class that was very difficult for me really, really enjoyable. I had to work--hard, by the way. I had to really earn that grade big time. And it definitely messed up my GPA a bit as it wasn't a weighted class or anything, but I just felt like it would be a better thing for me to do. I could do it--I had the ability, so to settle for anything lower seemed like cheating.

Some of my best memories were in that class.

To me, the best educators aren't necessarily the ones who are all buddy-buddy with their students, or who are mind-numbingly easy, or, on the flip side, pride themselves in being so hard and difficult and untouchable. I always felt like my best teachers were the ones who walked that fine line between caring so much for me and for the class and for the subject, but absolutely refusing to back down when it was time to challenge me.

(Even if that meant frustrating me once in a while.)

Because that's how guys like Mr. Ule did it. He guided, he cared so much, but he rose that bar just high enough that I really, really had to jump up high to get it. Even if it meant coming in early. Staying late. Reviewing over and over again.

I've long since moved on. There was and never will be any "science major" for me. I entered the same career as him--one full of challenges every day. I try now to be the best teacher I can, and walk that line that I believe makes you a great one--one that stands above all the rest. I know I have a long way to go. I hope someday I'm half as good of a teacher as Mr. Ule was to me: a student who had no business being in his "Science Major" class, but ended up loving it and growing from it.

And I can't help that think that teachers like him are partially the reason why I love endurance sports so much. Let me be clear: I'm no natural athlete. I have to really work hard at this. And as much as it frustrates me from time to time, I know that's why I love it. I credit him for developing me into a person who loves a challenge...who thrives on challenge. A life without challenges to me is just not a life, period.

It's ironic that on a day we were getting such great news about our family's battle with cancer, Mr. Ule was losing his. His family was getting ready to say goodbye. And when I heard the news today, I cried--not just because of his passing, but because I never really got to tell him how much this non-science major got from his class...and from him.

Thanks, Mr. Ule.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Eight months ago, we had ER trips and horrible, horrible news. We were all staring down Stage 4 Uterine Cancer, right in the face. Advanced. Aggressive, stage 4. You can google that to see what it said. Over and over and over.

Terminal. Terminal. Terminal.

Well I have one thing to say: screw you, terminal. You're wrong.

Matt's mom had her CAT scan and MRI this week, and we got the news at the appointment yesterday. The halfway point news was good, but there have been a few complications since then. We were hoping for more good news, but prepared for whatever the scan results said.

And they said nothing short of a miracle.

GONE. 100% GONE.

There is NO cancer left. NONE.

We are absolutely overjoyed. Prayers work. Good thoughts work. Experimental drugs work. It all worked.

She'll be with us for a long, long time. And we couldn't be happier.

Thanks to all my friends and family for their love and support for all of us, and for Linda, over the stressful ordeal the past 8 months has brought us all. We know that the future may hold more battles, but if we can win this one, well...quite frankly, we can win anything.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Coming Back

So I'm getting there, alright.

But not without a few bumps in the road. Like Saturday, when I had an absolute irrational meltdown for Matt about not being able to fit into my jeans perfectly yet. I can get them up and buttoned, but HOLY HADES do I look DISGUSTING with my muffin top. Everything else is fine, just the lovely post-partum muffin top that anyone who's been there understands. And it set me off BIG TIME.

Good thing Matt is a patient guy. He just let me have a good cry and then go for a run. Sometimes that's the best remedy, after all. I mean, for crying out loud. I gained 62 pounds. I'm down quite a bit now, but I need to be realistic here. I'll get there. It's been 8 weeks. CHILL, SELF. That's an order.

This shirt rocks the universe. Preggy swim pal Bridget's husband surprised JenC and I with them after he told us we should get some shirts made when we were running the Reindeer Run back when I was 30 weeks preggers. And the boy delivered. Thanks, Steve! I can't wait to wear my "race t-shirt" as soon as it's a little warmer...and I'm a little smaller. Check the new shoes, too--Brooks finally changed the color! WOOT! That's what I call a comeback outfit.

Speaking of which, had a fantastic run with Bean in the BOB this morning. I found a nice smooth trail and we did 4 miles. Check that pace, yo'. I was in disbelief, but felt great. The Boston Marathon is today, and I thought about how I hope to be there in 2 years...and even though this pace and distance is a far way off, I have to remember that a) I'm 8 weeks postpartum and b) I'm carrying not only a stroller, but a good 28 pounds more than I usually do. So after I had a moment and thought about that, I felt about as good as if I had just run a sub-22 minute 5K.

Patience, patience, patience. I'll be back soon.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How I'll Remember Her

I lost my cousin Sandy today.

She was special in more ways than one. Sandy was, in many ways, a miracle. She wasn't even supposed to make it to age twelve, and she made it all the way into her 50s.

The past few years Sandy hasn't been the Sandy I knew growing up. The one who loved to laugh and joke...the one who loved her diet cokes and country music and Cincinnati Reds.

So I choose to remember her that way--before her strokes. I will remember her joking around, smiling and laughing, at the dinner table with my Aunt Betsy and Uncle Jack whenever we visited them.

I know this is a blessing, but it sure doesn't make it any easier. I love you, Sandy.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Pat On the Back

So two kids can be pretty tiring, from what I'm experiencing. But pretty amazing, too. Like today. Bug and Bean and I went to storytime at Barnes and was a windy and almost-rainy morning, and it was Curious George (who we all love) day. I figured Bean would sleep the whole time, but since she pretty much slept through the entire night (thanks, baby girl!), she was up the whole time. She started fussing a bit during the story, and Jackson quietly came over by me so he could rub her back.

It was pretty much the sweetest thing I've ever seen. And every day that goes by, something else like that happens. Just when I think they can't top it, they melt my heart again and again.

Today was my first run outside. I was pretty much rarin' to go by the time Matt got home. Three miles never hurt so good.

Garmins that you turn on after a year are kind of like purses you find buried in the closet after a year. It's like a little time capsule of who you were. Receipts. Lip gloss. Concert ticket. Airplane ticket. Random diaper. I turned on the Garmin and it was the last run I did before I got pregnant, I guess. It said: "4 miles: Average pace 8:44."

Ha ha. My, what a difference a year makes.

I must say, I'm pretty sure the Garmin flashed "WHO THE HECK ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY OWNER" across the screen a few times, but I got it done. Never has a 10:20/mile felt so much like a 7:20 mile. But three miles of just me, the iPod, and the road was amazing.

Got home, gave Jackson a high five, and picked up my baby girl. And that's what I have to call a perfect day.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Lucky Stuff.

Have you made your video yet for Team Evotri?

You should.

Seriously. This team is such an amazing group of people and I am so happy that I'm a part of it. It's great to share this sport with people in all different "life phases," who just love to give back to the sport of triathlon. I can't say enough about the wonderful opportunities its given me, and also for the friendships I've made. I know we are all so excited that we are able to add a new member to our team this year, and I can't wait to meet whoever it will be!

I just booked my flight to Madison for WIBA this year and am SO excited. I get to see my teammies and some really cool people and IronFriends from back in the day. Plus, I get to hammer those hills and fly down Garfoot again. It doesn't get much better than that, folks. Wait--I lied. Actually, it does. I decided that 20 hours of driving roundtrip in a weekend was INSANE in the membrane, so I'm flying. Well, the flight's actually to Chicago (way cheaper) and then I'll be carpooling with my Nutter friend Jacks and her fiance, which will be crazy fun. And, the real bonus is I don't have to miss all that time with my kids--win-win!

Also this year, our team race is Rev3 in Cedar Point. I can't wait to be the hostest with the mostest of Northeast Ohio. It's going to be AWESOME. Stuff like this is getting me through this awkward "I-still-can't-even-fit-into-my-fat-pants-without-some-serious-rubber-bands-and-sucking-in-for-8-hours" phase I'm currently rocking. Yes, I had a slight meltdown trying to find something to wear for Easter. Sucked it up and just wore maternity pants. Whatever. I'm getting over it, slowly but surely. Partially because as of today, I am hereby cleared to work out--yahooooooooooyippeeeeekay-yay!

(Which is really good, because I've been working out for the past week anyway. Shhhhhh. Don't tell.)

And I think I rode the adrenaline high from purchasing my Southwest ticket today on the treadmill...I'm up to three whole miles, suckas. THREE whole miles. Boo-yah.

So I hope I get to see your video soon--can't wait to meet my new teammate in my stomping ground here this September! I'll bring you some Stadium Mustard for our post-race party. Trust me. You won't be sorry.

Oh sweet nectar of the baseball gods, you Bertman Ball Park Mustard. Get in mah BELLY.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Can I please stop being ridiculous

....and give myself a freaking break?


I'm angry because the scale hasn't moved in a week.

It moves 30 in 4 weeks, and then it doesn't move at week 5 and suddenly I am an EPIC FAILURE AT LIFE.

I know. This is ridiculous. As soon as I was able to run and work out after Jackson, it came off. But the past two days I have stared cursing at an inanimate object (the scale) and getting mad.

Mind you, I just gave birth less than six weeks ago. Perhaps I should CHILL THE FREAK OUT.

Bean is still fighting fighting fighting on the bottle, which really just stresses me out to no end. I hate hate hate that she hates it, because a) she hates it and I hate to listen to her scream and b) I am afraid I'll never get my freedom back nor leave the house for an extended period of time EVER AGAIN.

I know. Silly. She'll come around, eventually. She's not about to starve herself...the girl has about 18 chins and the pudgiest little legs ever--clearly she's doing just fine.

I have decided the best remedy for this is to go up to school to say hi to my kids, pick up some new running shoes at my favorite running shop, and buy my plane ticket to Chicago where I will then hitch a ride with Jacks and Soon-To-Be Mr. Jacks and head to WIBA in JULY! You should, too. It's going to be awesome.

In July, these last 30 will be history and she'll be taking a bottle like a pro, and I'm pretty sure I'll look back on this and laugh. Right?