Saturday, December 29, 2007

All I Wanted For Christmas

...and then some.

What an amazingly fun first Christmas as three! It began with a few things before Christmas....

--A fun time with my 2 chicas, TriShannon and DaisyDuc as we met up in Columbus for lunch

--Lunch the next day with JayZ and my buddy, Steph, who came up from C-bus for a quick visit
--an 8 mile run at a 9:42/mile pace, followed by coffee at Caribou with my running buddies

--an awesome 2500 yard swim at the BRAND SPANKIN' NEW REC CENTER opened in the city where I teach...which means, folks, that I can buy a membership for Matt AND myself for less than just myself at the Y! Goodbye, 20 yard Y pool that is 99 degrees. (moment of silence for my Y membership)

--42 pounds lost and counting. (Sadly, I have a few more still to'd think 42 would have been enough, but Baby Z just really wanted me to pack it on.)

--Registering for the final stage of my comeback "trifecta..." the Columbus Marathon. Sub-4, here I come!

Christmas was spent with family and friends, and we had a wonderful time at home sharing our first Christmas morning with our little guy. He wasn't quite sure what was going on, but that's OK. I can't wait until he gets to understand the magic that Christmas brings.

And to think, that last year at this time I was sunning and surfing in the Pacific Ocean in, what a difference a year makes.

With all the changes of the past year I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude for what I am so lucky to family, my friends, and my health. As two of our friends are struggling to deal with some serious issues in their families this holiday season, it makes me realize even more how blessed and lucky I am.

I can hardly wait to see what 2008 brings.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Busy week! It's amazing how much I have going on despite not being at work.

Stopped into work to see my students today. JayZ was a trooper and let everyone oooh and ahhh over him without pooping, spitting up, or fussing. Thanks, buddy! It was good to see my students again.

Workouts have been going well, although a pesky old plantar fasciitis-y heel is bothering me slightly. I've been icing and stretching lots and lots, and sleeping with the funky sock thing, which is how I nipped it in the bud last time. Hopefully it won't bother me much longer and I caught it fast enough.

In biking news, there is no biking news.

(I know, I know. What ever happened to "working on my limiter?" Gimme a few more weeks...)

In swimming news, things are going really well! Got to drive out to Oberlin on Sunday and swim with some tri friends, including JenC, who was looking solid in the water as her usual Ironman-self always does. Even got to move up for a few sets with the fast dudes--score! Although, said fast dudes pretty much caused me to get my ass handed to me. Hey, that's a good thing, though. Keeps me motivated. I haven't been able to hit the pool as much as I've liked, so if I have any hope of staying in the fast dude lane, I'd better get there...asap!

Tuesday, JayZ and I got to have lunch again with superfast blogger Kurt! Here's proof:

And here's proof that Matt and I had way too much with hair gel:

Tomorrow, I'm driving to Columbus for a few hours for something to come!

Another 7 mile run this Saturday, as I'm holding the mileage steady at 20 for a few weeks. If the heel thingy gets worse I'll be cutting that way back, but for now I think things should be OK for a nice run outside.

And finally, happy three-years-since-we-brought-you-home tomorrow, Mugsy! You're such a good Pug Man. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Few Numbers

1 cozy nap with my three boys (Matt, JayZ, and Mugsy)

3 Clif Bloks (Strawberry)

16 ounces of NUUN

8 ounces of water

1 mint-chocolate GU

7 miles ran in the snow

1:09 total run time

9:57 average pace/mile

1 Trisaratops who looked like a human icicle upon arrival back home

3 giggles at Mommy covered in snow from one happy little boy

20 miles of running this week

70.3 miles will be covered at Steelhead on 8.2.08--I'm's official!

1 very happy tri-mommy

1 handsome little devil

Friday, December 14, 2007

Running Roulette

I've been playing a little game I like to call "Running Roulette."

Here's how it works:

1. Feed a hungry JayZ. Watch for his eyes to start a-drifting.

2. When eyes are heavy, put JayZ on bed and change into running clothes.

3. Pick up JayZ and take him to the basement. Proceed to rock him and sing him a few songs until he's OUT.

4. Put JayZ in his swing, which is right next to the treadmill. Turn on swing and classical music.

5. Quickly lace up shoes. Grab water bottle. RUN RUN RUN START RUNNING HURRY UP

6. Run 4 or 5 miles. Continually look at JayZ to see if he is waking up. (he never, ever does--must be the music and humming of the dreadmill)

7. Stretch while facing JayZ in swing. Here's where it gets interesting...

8. Wonder if I have time for a shower.

9. Make sure monitor is on. RUN up to bathroom, stripping down on the way. Jump in shower and HURRYYYYYYYYYY and take fastest shower of your life.

10. Listen to monitor. Usually still just hear "click clack" of swing and music. If this is the case, dry off and attempt to dry hair. If you hear rustling, or even worse--crying--throw on a robe, put hair in a turban, and rush downstairs.

11. If music is still playing and no rustling is occuring, attempt to dry hair. Abort mission as soon as monitor shows signs of fussiness.

12. If you've gotten this far, you can try and get dressed. MAYBE even throw on a little makeup?

13. And finally, the ultimate--you get to eat lunch.

Most times JayZ lets me at least get to shower, and more often than not, actually dry my hair and have lunch. Provided I can get outside for my long run tomorrow, I will hit 20 miles of running this week with my little game.

Thanks, Little Man. You're the best little guy for a million reasons, and this is just one. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Munch Munch Munch => ajfksdlfjsdlfjsdkldsajfkds

That's the sound of me eating my words.

Remember pretty much all summer when I was FREAKING OUT about gaining so much weight, and many of you told me not to worry and stuff?

Yeah. I get it now.

Not the first time I shoulda learned my lesson and listened to those who've been there....

Anyway, now that the running is coming along (I'll hit 20 miles this week--yahoo! Then I'll hold that steady for a few weeks before beginning speedwork/hills) the weight is starting to go.

I am officially able to button both my favorite pairs of jeans--no bella band required! This is good news. I still have 6 weeks to get back into my work pants and not have them look too muffin-top-y. The size 6 stuff still isn't a go but the size 8 stuff is. Sweet.

It looks as if my marathon plans have to change, too. One of my best guy friends from like, kindergarten, just got engaged to an awesome chick on Thanksgiving. They just announced their wedding date: October 11. Chicago's marathon is the 12th. The wedding's in West Virginny.

So that's not going to work. I can't miss his wedding, nor do I want to.

Looks like I might be heading to Columbus the following week. I've heard pretty good things and have a bunch of buddies that live there, so free room and board, and only a 2 hour drive. I'm a little sad that I can't do Chi-Town though and I know I still want to do it someday, but friends are more important, you know?

Munch munch munch. I promise to listen more to others that have been there.

And some of you told me that the anticipation of going back to work and leaving my little guy is worse than the actual event, so I'm trying REALLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYY hard to listen.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Distance Girl, Revisited


Sometimes blogs and email just go by the wayside. For like, a week.

Anyway, I had an awesome week of workouts and spending time with JayZ. He had his shots on Tuesday--which was harder for me than for him, if that's possible--and is already 14 pounds. Dare I say that he's been sleeping through the night? From what I'm reading on websites it qualifies as sleeping through the night if we get a stretch of 5 hours. For the past week, he's given us at least 4 and the past two nights we got 6.



It's amazing how much better you feel with sleep. Sometimes after I feed him around 7am I bring him to bed with me to snuggle for another hour or so. I know that I don't have much longer to enjoy this time so I'm trying to take every advantage that I can. I already had a little meltdown at 4am on Saturday morning after I put him back in his crib and wondered how on earth I'm going to leave him in January.

But I'll do it somehow, I'm sure. I think the anticipation of my first day back is going to be much worse than the actual day. Thank goodness I'm not dropping him off at the sitter's--I get to pick up. But I'm sure I'll still be a crying mess 1st period, nonetheless.

JayZ seems to just know that Mommy needs to run, and he is great at letting me do just that. So is my amazing husband who does whatever he can to let me sneak outside for anything more than 4 miles when he can. I'm trying to repay the favor for him, although he hates the cold and prefers the dreadmill. Ew. Give me cold and rainy over dreadmill any day. But, I'm glad we have the 'mill and JayZ will sleep in his swing while I squeeze in a 4-miler here and there. Thanks, buddy.

I'm also getting stronger in the pool, slowly and surely. My 100s at 75% effort this week were quite pleasing. Now, my 200s are another story. Ugh. But, it will come.

One part of my equation as a triathlete is sorely missing here. I know, I know. I'll get back in the saddle. It's just not as fun, and time is at a premium so I'd rather do what's fun at the moment. Not the best way to improve your limiter, but hey, it's working for now so I'll take it.

I watched Ironman Wisconsin on TV and got so pumped up. It reminded me of everything from my Iron Summer of 2006, and all the amazing things I got to do an amazing people I got to meet. It got me thinking about what I plan to do next year. Things are going well so far so I feel like I can start to really firm up some goals and state my intentions. I'd rather reach high and fall hard than not reach at all, you know?

From 2002-2004 I did lots of short course racing--5Ks, 10Ks, sprints and olympics. It was fun and I had a great time--mostly because of who I was with. My buddy Canada Jenn and I raced almost every weekend and often placed in age group, although I was almost always a good 30 seconds behind her. Speedy girl, that CJ is. I now realize that I built up my base from these years, and that's a good thing.

So I thought I'd just want to get back into that in '08. I wouldn't have time for the long stuff. It would be fun to hammer again. Maybe I can try for age group glory again.

But a funny thing happened on the way to basework.

I don't want to do that anymore.

I want the long stuff.

Now, I realize that this doesn't make sense on paper. Why wouldn't I want to do shorter things? Won't that be easier to train for? But I can usually place in age group in small, short stuff...and I ain't even CLOSE to bringing home any hardware in a half marathon, marathon, half-ironman, or IM. Why would I want to do it?

I don't really have an answer for that. When I was running my six miles on Saturday one of my favorite running songs came on the ol' iPod...

"The sun has gone down and the moon has gone up
And long ago somebody left with the cup...

...No flowers, no flashbulbs, no trophy, no wine
He's haunted by something he can not define..."

I think the only way to explain it is that it's just more me.

So that's what I'm going to do.

Perhaps I should state my intentions.

(this is a little scary, but I'm aiming high with the realization that if you aim high you might fall hard)

My A goals include the following:

May 18th: PR in the Cleveland Half Marathon. Ideally, sub-1:50.

August: Sub-6 at Steelhead HIM.

October: Sub-4 at a marathon.

There. I said it.

Let the adventure begin.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Maybe it was because the Ironman World Championships were on TV last night.

Maybe it was because I got to play Whirlyball with my friends yesterday afternoon. (Which is amazing, by the way)

Maybe it was because I got to see all my running friends again this morning.

Maybe it's because two days ago I finally got my butt on the trainer for 40 whole minutes and lived to tell the tale.

Maybe it was because I was wearing my sweet new Brooks Hoodie aka "Comeback Shirt."

For whatever reason, my first "long" run blew me away. I can't believe it's only been 2 weeks or so since I started running again...things just seem to be clicking. I'm increasing 10% per week and supplementing with core work and yoga. Whereas two weeks ago I was only able to go about 12 minutes/mile, today...

...I ran 5 miles at an average pace of 9:56, with my last mile being 9:36. But the great thing is I didn't even know it until I was done. I just went by feel and hit my splits without checking until it was over.

Me. So. Happy.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yippee Kay-Yay

So the scale moved this week! Yahoooooooooooo

And someone lost 2 pounds! During Thanksgiving week, no less! I'd like to credit running. So good to be running again...although really slow!

This brings my grand total to just shy of 40 pounds in 8 1/2 weeks. But, there is still work to be done.

Workouts have been AWESOME and I'm so lucky that my little guy and my big guy (Matt) are allowing me to do them. Matt came home really fast after work yesterday just so that I could run outside instead of the dreadmill. It meant a lot to me. Also, Matt's Mom has been great and has watched JayZ a few times so I could hit the lap pool during the lunchtime open swim. I'm very lucky to have this kind of support around!

No biking yet. Haven't gone there. I know it's all mental, but I'm still a little afraid to put my butt on the saddle, despite it having 8 weeks to recover. Maybe this weekend I'll be brave.

Here's what things are looking like so far:

Monday: 4 mile run on dreadmill, 10:10 pace. Core work and lunges. (let's just say that core work is quite humbling when your core was ballooned to smithereens for 9 months. OWIE.)

Tuesday: 22oo yard swim with kick drills (ew), pull drills, and 12X50s. I held my 50s at a pretty consistent pace. 20 minutes of yoga. (Shout-out to "Inhale" on the Oxygen Network and my TiVO for letting me have yoga on demand.)

Wednesday: 30 minutes of yoga AM. 4 mile run outside--10:07 average pace, with my last mile (mostly into the wind) at 9:55!!!! I never thought I'd be so excited about a sub-10 mile. I was as happy as when under normal circumstances I run a sub-7 mile.

Today I'm feeling a little sore from the above so I will just most likely do a little more core work and take it easy otherwise. This Sunday I am looking forward to actually doing a run with my running buddies and then have a training seminar afterwards!

And, it's official. I am signed up for the Cleveland Half Marathon in May '08. Plunked down the ci-zash. I'm in. Not even going to attempt to set a time goal until I get closer, but I will be there. I'll be wearing a number again.

And that feels good.

And now, a dose of cuteness...a Through The Wall outfit...

Friday, November 23, 2007

What it means to put a number on

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I got to put a number on again. A race number. 564, to be exact.

It felt really, really good to put a number on again.

It was strange--usually for a 5K, I'm with my buddy Canada Jenn, and we are plotting how to PR. I get nervous. I have to pee. And then I have to pee again. And by then the line's inevitably too long, and I can't, and I worry. And we line up. And we go go go as fast as we can and I usually run the first mile at a pace I have no business running and I wheeze and occasionally feel like I'm going to puke. Sometimes I see a PR. Usually I don't, so then we talk about how we could have done this or that, and how we could have done better and "if I just would learn not to go out so fast "blah blah blah. And then there's a banana, and water, and if we have time, some coffee.

Yesterday, there was none of that.

For starters, there was no Canada Jenn. My friend is gone and in Peoria, Illinois. And I was a little sad about this. My friend I spent so much time racing with for so many years is gone and isn't coming back. So our weekly chat sessions will have to do.

And then, there was no thoughts of a PR. Or anything resembling fast, really. There was still the chance of wheezing and puking though. I tried to run 3 miles outside for the first time on Monday and it did NOT bode well. After a painstakingly slow 1.5 miles, I mostly shuffled home, dejected. I had really begun to doubt I'd be able to even finish this little 5K race.

But it's an important 5K race. It's for a wonderful cause and a wonderful person, whom I never got the chance to meet before she passed away of breast cancer at age 38. But my Mom did. She taught her 3-year-old daughter that year, as the little girl's mom bravely battled her cancer. She even made a special storyboard for the three year old class that goes along with the story, "There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly." My Mom still uses it with her classes today. From what my Mom tells me, she was a brave and special woman. And this race honors her memory and legacy.

So what did this race mean? What does any race mean?

For many, a cause. Because she isn't around anymore to hug her son, but I can. And my Mom can still hug me. That's why I ran.

Because sometimes just lining up is exciting. Smiling, waving, and enjoying the starting line with friends. Sometimes that's what we're there for.

Sometimes we're there to push ourselves and our boundaries. For me, yesterday, that meant running the whole 5K seven weeks postpartum and feeling great. Knowing I could have gone faster and farther. Surprising myself and once again, being so proud of this body--this thing that does so much more than get me from Point A to Point B.

Yesterday I was there for those reasons, but also to run with my Mom, who I am so proud of. She pushes herself and, like me, sometimes doubts...but never, ever, ever gives up. And sometimes feels like she has to hurl at the end.

Just like me. :)

She tried to get me to go on without her, yesterday. My goal was to keep up with her and she kept feeling like she was holding me back, which was how I was afraid I'd feel. I know that feeling, and it's not fun. So there was no way I was going to leave her, no matter what. Every time she told me to "go ahead," I said NO WAY. Why? So I could finish 1 minute ahead of her? That's not what the number was about this day.

"We're in this thing together," I told her around mile 2. And she finished strong--we both did--and got to hug at the end. Which, I remembered, was part of the reason why I put the number on in the first place.

564 didn't mean what 2198 did. But in many ways, it means even more.

It means that I'm back to enjoying something that helps me grow and discover lots about myself. And being able to hug my mom at the end. And then going home and being able to snuggle with my son.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves

Reasons to do a little jig:

1. I can wear my old jeans...WITH a Bella Band, and it is not pretty. I basically have all muffin top to still lose. BUT--I can get in them and wear them if I chose, and the last time I tried 3 weeks ago there was NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO way. So yay!

2. The scale didn't budge for the first time this week...boooo...but I can do a little jig because of the above, and because a few other things are fitting better. So apparently things are "rearranging."

3. Yesterday, during my 2nd time in the pool since JayZ, I swam 100 yards in under 1:30. My jaw about hit the bottom of the pool. The other 3 100s I did totally blew, but it was a nice little boost for a second!

4. I got a HAWT little Brooks Hoodie Number at my fave local running store. I had a gift certificate from my birthday and had been saving it until I could actually run again. Yahoo! It's officially my comeback shirt.

5. The Buckeyes pulled it off today, and I totally did not expect them to.

Now, why I should NOT do a little jig:

1. Trying on those cute little running skirts on clearance at said local running store is a HORRIBLE IDEA when you've still got 20 pounds or so of muffin top to lose. HORRIBLE. WE'll definitely have to wait a few months for that. Ew.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Six Week Smiles

Monday I got a smile.

A real smile.

Not an "I just pooped" smile.

And it was amazing. And I just knew it would be a good day.

I went to the Doctor's for my six week checkup. Got all checked out, and passed with flying colors. I bombarded her with questions, just so I wouldn't get "yelled" at for doing anything wrong, like I did after 4 weeks.

"Can I run?"


"Can I swim?"


"Can I lift weights?"


"Can I do core work?"


"Can I leap tall buildings in a single bound?"

Okay, maybe I didn't go THAT far.

So of course, you know what I did that night. I hit my treadmill.

I was pretty nervous. I mean, I've heard all kinds of horror stories about the first run. How bad it's going to suck. That you will piss all over yourself. I laced up my shoes which hadn't been laced for this purpose for a looooooooong time. I stood on it for an extra minute or two, and was a little afraid to push the button.

My intentions were to walk four minutes and run two at a slow pace. For 30 minutes. If I could.

Deep breath.


I started...and then it was four minutes in. And time to run again.

So I did.

And it. was. awesome.

There was no pee. There was no suckage. It was slow, of course, but it felt so good. I felt like I was seeing an old friend again. I made it the 30 minutes with my plan, feeling GREAT.

See? I knew it would be a good day.

Lots of stretching later, I took a shower and gave the little guy a bath. A different post-workout routine, but one I'll be getting used to as my roles are shifting.

The next day, I decided to try a swim. Again, a little nervous. I hadn't been in the pool since September, and at that point, I was in a whale-like state. Would I be able to get through the workout I wanted to?

Warmup: 200 swim, 100 kick, 200 pull

4X50s with :25 rest (drill/swim)

100 kick

4X100 with :25 rest

300 CD

1500 yards

A short workout, but one with some purpose to it. What would my 100s look like? I had no idea and feared the worst.

You know what? They weren't too bad. They were, without too much effort, about 10-15 seconds off where they are when I'm in peak shape. That's a lot in swimming time, I know...but 10 seconds was less than I thought it would be. So I've got that going for me.

Which is nice.

Today, another run. I started off with 3 minutes of walking, then 3 of running. Then two of walking, and four of running.

So far, so good.

Two more of walking, and five of running.

Still good.

Two more of walking, and six of running.

Three walking to cool down.

I've never had so much fun running so slow and taking walk breaks. JayZ slept in his bouncy seat the whole time. I think he knew how much it would mean to me to get this little run in.

As I was running, I was listening to the new Foo Fighters...highly recommended, by the way. The first track particularly struck a chord.

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays

You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

It's amazing how much I got done this morning. I fed, I burped, I changed, I pumped, I ate, I drank, I changed, I ran, I stretched, I showered, I cleaned, I fed, I snuggled.

All before 11am.

It's possible, I think, to pull this off somehow. I'm learning as I go, and I'm sure it's not going to be easy.

But that smile. You don't even understand...I can't even begin to explain...that smile, that smile that will make me do anything to protect him. That's what it's all about now.

The rest is just icing on the cake.

So, I'm back. But I'm definitely not the same...not just physically, either, but that's painfully obvious. I've been permanently changed and am changing more every day.

But I can still run.

And I can still swim.

And now I can do those things and get a smile.

But it made sense...for a second.

So I had this theory.

The theory was, that, after consulting with several friends with newborns, formula costs an average of anywhere from $15-25/week.

I am nursing, which costs zero dollars a week.

So I think that since my knockers are saving us, let's say, $25 a week, than it's only fair to use that $100 a month and put it towards a sweet new tri bike.


I mentioned this theory to Matt, who replied by raising an eyebrow and saying, "How many bikes does one person really need?" to which I replied, "Well, that's road, one mountain, and one tri...and I only have two."

Then I got a look like I had just asked for a poop sandwich for dinner.

The theory holds well, until I considered that perhaps the $25 a week my girls are saving us could probably be better spent on, oh, maybe a college fund...or putting food on the table...or paying the electric bill...


I thought it made perfect sense. For about five minutes.

Oh well.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Inevitable Conversation

Mind: Next week is six weeks already.

Body: Yep. I'm still recovering.

Mind: I can't believe it's been six weeks already.

Body: Still recovering. You hear me?

M: I can't even put into words how much I love him.

B: That was all me, by the way. I grew that.

M: Seriously. More and more every day.

B: You're welcome.

M: I can tell things aren't the same. Anywhere.

B: Ya think?

M: I get down on myself sometime for not having things instantly back to normal.

B: Give me some time, for crying out loud. Look at what I just did. Can I have a little credit? Please?

M: I wonder if I can start running...or should I say, run/walking (aka wogging) next week?

B: I wish you'd give it a rest and chill out already.

M: I hope I can.

B: You're going to get frustrated if you think you can just go back to the way it was instantly.

M: I know, I know! Seriously, I know. I'm ready. I'm ready for the first "this sucks and I just peed my pants" run.

B: (No you're not.)

M: I'm slowly but surely dropping this weight, and that's good.


M: My stomach looks like a deflated balloon.

B: SERIOUSLY I can't even talk to you right now.

M: I signed up for the Turkey Dash again this year...I know I won't be out at the bars driving my drunk best friend around until 3am like last year so maybe I'll actually make it?

B: If you think you can run the whole thing, you're on crack.

M: I KNOW!!!!! I'm fully accepting the fact that I will be wogging.

B: (No you haven't.)

M: It will be fun just to be out there and at a race again.

B: Don't forget. I just baked a person for you, so no getting pissy at being slow for the first few months.

M: I know!

B: (No you don't.)

M: No, REALLY. I know, I know, I know. You're much smarter than me. I think I finally understand that. You got me here. And you got me this:

...and because of that, I respect you now more than I ever have in my entire life.

B: Well it's about time.

M: I wonder if I will be OK to start running next week....?

B: Oh brother.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

This Just Isn't Supposed to Happen

My heart goes out to the wife, family, and friends of Ryan Shay. This is a sad day for distance

Thoughts and prayers to those that knew and loved him. Very sad stuff.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thanks for the kick in the pants!

Thanks for the much-needed kick in the booty. I feel better knowing that a) my feelings are normal and b) I'll get there eventually. I know I can't rush this, and if I try I will only screw things up. My body is way smarter than my head, after all.

Speaking of which, JayZ is sleeping on my shoulder and making the CUTEST. NOISES. EVER. He'll be a pumpkin tonight and help us pass out candy. :)

Just got back from the Docs. Without giving TMI, and/or grossing out the world at large, let's just say that she was VERY excited to see that things are healing VERY well. Also, inconvenient/embarrassing/nasty things that often happen when you have certain procedures that I had are NOT happening, which is outstanding. Then I had a conversation to ask her about using the elliptical that went something like this:

TST: So I have a question for you...

DOC: Yes?

TST: See, I've been walking 2-3 miles a day the past 2 weeks....

DOC: (Making a face like I just told her I smoke crack for breakfast) WHAT? No, no no.....

TST: Huh?

DOC: 2-3 miles is WAY too much. I don't want you to have that much friction there...(yes, she said friction in regards to my bum)

TST: said I could walk...?

DOC: Like, a mile or so at a leisurely pace! Not 2-3 miles and not fast!

TST: Oh. (Thinks in head that now is probably not a good time to ask about using the elliptical)

DOC: In two weeks you should be able to get back to exercising.

TST: Oh. (Thinks again that she might smack me if I ask about using the elliptical) Okay.

And so it goes. But when you tell me I can start walking, then I START, you know? Homey don't do leisurely one mile slow walks.

But I guess I will for 2 more weeks.


The weather here is absolutely GORGEOUS--I heart NEOhio in the fall. The leaves are bright colors and it's a nice 68 humidity, no mosquitoes...perfect for Halloween.

So I guess me and the little Pumpkin will be going for a slow walk and then passing out candy, which I am going to REALLY try hard not to eat.

Except for one fun-sized Butterfinger. 2 glorious points. MMMMMMMMM.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Pardon Me While I Beat Myself Up

Today was a BEEEYOOOOTIFUL crisp, fall day in C-town, and all I could think about was how good it would be to go for a run.


I had to settle for a walk. Which was nice, but just not the same as a good fall run.

And I'm being irrational about my weight and need to cut it out, pronto.

I dropped 30 pounds virtually instantly, but since then the scale has not budged much. And I want it to. NOW. NOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW.

I realize that tomorrow is 28 days since JayZ got here, and I am being stupid. I am doing everything I can...dutifully entering my Weight Watchers points, walking 3 miles a day, blah blah blah. I can't possibly expect my body to be back to normal now.

But I want to.


I think once I can actually start running/swimming/more-than-walking, I'll feel better. I'm going to ask the Doc Wednesday if I can try the elliptical. I mean, if I'm walking...that shouldn't be a problem...right?


But I look at my little man's face and think how much it was worth it.

And then I eat a piece of celery and want to go for a run.

Can somebody please send me some patience?


Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Soothing Sounds of Axl Rose

First, before I start, let me say last night was AWESOME!!!!

By "awesome," I mean JayZ slept from 11pm-2:45am!!!!!!!!!!!!

(it's the little things that make me happy)

Then he was up until 4:45 but then let me sleep with only 2 or 3 interruptions until 8:30!!!

That's my boy!

Okay, enough of that. So yesterday I totally thought I could go during his "mellow time" (usually 6-8pm) to Trader Joe's to get me some WINE (yahooooooooooooooo), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (my staple for cooking and it's hella cheap there), some Emergen-C for Matt (also cheap there), and tasty cereal and peanut butter (the bomb). Things were OK until I made it to the peanut butter, and then my little man decided to freak out on me. I was sort of embarrassed. I decided to high-tail it to the checkout aisle without looking like an even worse mother by perusing the wine aisles with a screaming baby. So, no wine for TriSaraTops yet. Sigh. Although I have had some tasteeeeee Hoegarden (yum!!!) which rocks.

I paid and sheepishly got the heck out of dodge, while JayZ continued to melt down. I got to the car and put him in, hoping that the car would mellow him out as it usually does. Not until I turned on the radio did he calm down. And who was on the radio? My boy Eddie Vedder, singing "I Am Mine," which is on my running mix.

Sigh. Running.

He was pretty calm during that, but what really lulled him to sleep was the next song: Mr. Brownstone by G N' R. WTF??????

This is also on my running playlist and gets me so pumped up! But apparently to JayZ it is a sweet little lullaby.

I guess that's what he gets for having a father that listens to nothing but Iron Maiden, Anthrax, and Pantera in his car and a Korn onesie that he proudly wears.

Anyway, listening to these songs got me soooooooooooooo excited to start running. I really really really hope I get the all clear on the 12th to exercise, as I signed up for a tri swimming clinic that meets every other week to work on my stroke and just miss running and my running buddies so darn much.

I also saw that my Iron Sis Wil has started a 23 minute 5K challenge. See, that rocks on so many levels. I have run a 23 ish minute 5K a couple of times, but not in, like YEARS. That will be a fun goal for me to try next year. It got me all pumped up. My Runner's World Guide to Running and Pregnancy says to "disregard your pace for the first three months of running."

You know me. That's gonna be hard. But I'm gonna try.

So I figure if I can start run/walking in 3 weeks, hopefully by the holidays I'll be able to do some half-hour-45 minutes of consistent running...even if it's slow. Then I can gradually introduce some speedwork and hills in the new year, and hopefully be back on track by the time the first few 5Ks roll around in February and March. Maybe by early spring I can actually see some decent times.

Or not. Or I just get to make it to the starting line of some 5Ks this early spring and I'll have to be happy with that. And you guys will have to remind me to be happy with that.

And if spring comes early I can even take my little man out in his SWEET jogging stroller!

hee hee

So anyway, obviously, all plans are subject to change depending upon what the doctor says and what my body says. But for now, I'm getting excited to get back out there again. Fall is here--my favorite season by far--the leaves are changing and everything's preparing for winter.

So thanks to Eddie and Axl for lulling JayZ to sleep and for getting me mentally prepared for my very different winter.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Last Night Was a Bad Night....

He had 3 good nights in a row...but last night he was up every 45 minutes.


But how can you stay mad at this face?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Seventeen Days

Seventeen days ago my world changed forever.

It has been, as I thought, harder than anything I've ever done. Anything.

From the labor...the most physically demanding and painful and joyous experience I've ever the tears from lack of sleep, to the amazement and wonder as I stare at this little being that my body created.

For several years my life involved the buildup to this thing called Ironman. It was scary. It was going to hurt. It made me doubt my very abilities from time to time. It wasn't something I could necessarily plan, but something I had to prepare for and cross my fingers and hope for the best.

In the end, it was worth every second...despite the setbacks, the sacrifices, and the occasional disappointments. Somehow I made it to the finish line, and felt so alive in the realization of what my body had just done.

I was amazed.

So far this journey is even more amazing.

I just look at him sometimes...just stare...and think, "How did my body do this?"

How did I help create something so wonderfully complex and challenging and perfect?

I look at him and see so much of Matt and myself, but also his own little drive and personality. Already. It's crazy. I wonder what he'll be and do and enjoy...and if I'll be good enough for him.

I'm utterly, completely amazed.

Still, my body is providing everything he needs. I don't have to think about this; it just does it. Just as my body helped him grow before he arrived, it continues to do so now. There is nothing I can say or do to change this. It's just what I'm supposed to do, and what I'm doing.

The nights are getting easier. I'm starting to adjust to this new life, despite the "two week shell-shock" that my friend described to me before. I'm crying a little less and trusting myself a little more. I'm learning to get by on an hour of sleep here and avoid getting peed on (the joys of a little boy) and to laugh sometimes instead of cry.

He knows me. I say words and he knows me...he recognizes me. That has been the most amazing part so far. It's a feeling I can't describe in words.

I think about how far we've come in seventeen days, and how much I've already changed. I can't stop thinking about where we'll go from here.

I hope I can be everything he needs.

I hope I make him proud.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crawling before you can walk...

...and ride...and swim...and run...

Today I had my first doctor's appointment to check some things out. I'll spare you the details as to what those things are. Let's just say they are healing well...good news! I go back in 2 weeks to check again.

And, I got the all clear to start walking today! You don't understand how FREAKING excited I am. See, I have been literally in my house for 2 weeks now. It's been nice to forcefully get me to rest (relatively speaking, of course..resting in 2 hour increments) and relax a bit. But, as stated before, I DON'T SLOW DOWN WELL, and have been feeling very antsy. However, I know what my body's just been through is worthy of recovery and recovering RIGHT, or else it will mean more time on my (sore) ass in bed.

So, to hear I could walk made me happy.

I've been replacing Pregnancy magazines with Inside Triathlon and Runner's World.

I've been able to check blogs a bit and get excited from reading other's goals and plans.

I've been excited to start my plans...which begin with walking.

It will still be 4 more weeks before I can swim and, according to my Doc, at LEAST 4 more weeks before I can run. I'm going to do all I can to try and make it 4, but if the body needs more, I guess it needs more and I can't rush it.

I can't even FATHOM sitting on my bike right now. I didn't even ASK the Doc when that will be. Arcaro the Road Bike will just have to wait a while.

It's a little ironic that I'm having this forced recovery in the beginning of what most of my tri-buddies are calling their off-season. I feel strangely like I am following that, too. Slow recovery, followed by nice easy base. Funny...for the first time this year, I don't feel like I'm missing anything...I feel like I'm right on schedule.

And I have a little JayZ man, to boot. Life can't be better.

If only he'd sleep more at night...but hey, he's only 2 weeks old so I've gotta cut him some slack. :)

Off to walk!

Friday, October 12, 2007

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

....or Jackson. Who will now be known as JayZ. Because he's big pimpin' and spendin' G's. Or maybe just big.

I have neither the time, brain capacity, nor energy to compose a witty paragraph list format it is.

1. My friends, family, and coworkers are AMAZING, and I'm quite sure that without them I'd be a crying exhausted heap on the floor. Special props to my Mom who has been my own personal nurse on call...and maid...and coffee maker...and laundry folder...and baby rocker...etc. etc. etc.

2. Multiply that by about 57 and that's how amazing Matt has been. I thought I loved him before...this whole adventure takes that to another level entirely.

3. I sorta feel like a milk machine.

4. I've lost 28 pounds in 10 days. Can you say, water weight? Sadly, I still have quite a ways to go....but it's a start.

5. I'm getting really good at changing diapers in the dark.

6. I haven't slept more than 3 hours at a time since September 30.

7. Sometimes I'm not sure who cries more at 3am....JayZ or me.

8. Once again...Matt is amazing. Even more so at 3am when I am exhausted and not making sense and babbling.

9. JayZ is the cutest thing I've ever seen, and I can't believe that he's mine.

10. He's now 9 pounds 6 ounces, and has gained back all of his weight, so I must be doing something right.

11. Every day the world is a little more amazing to me, and every day I'm surprising myself and slowly getting the hang of this whole thing.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The hardest thing I've ever physically done...

...was to bring my little man into the world Tuesday night.

Jackson Adam Ziemnik arrived at 7:39pm. He was 9 pounds, 4 ounces. Yep, I grow 'em big. Somehow I made it through with Matt's help and avoided a C-Section, despite Jackson being in a difficult position and being such a big little man. I've never experienced something so surreal and amazing. Ever. Evereverever.

We're finally home and doing well...not sure when I'll be able to update as I'm lucky to get 10 minutes to take a shower here and there. But soon, I promise!

Thanks for all the happy thoughts over the past 10 months. We are so happy right now, and I just love him more every second.

IronMom, signing out! :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

So Tuesday, October 2nd, it is.

I just found out today.



Not much else to say.

I'm ready, and I'm scared, and I don't feel like I'm ready, and that's about all.

It's go time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Strange Silence

It's been a little while, because I really don't have much to say.

What do you say on the eve of your life changing forever?

Yeah, I don't know either.

All is well, and I've been beaming with pride for all my IronFriends in Wisconsin. Seeing you cross the line and reading your stories reminds me of where I've been and where I'll go again someday.

That being said, I definitely pushed myself too far the second week of school and ended up a little overwhelmed, dehydrated, and exhausted. A day off school helped, and so did the weather finally breaking to my favorite temperature EVER....high of 60 something, low of 40 something. Now, if I could just fit into my favorite jeans and sweatshirts, I'd be set...but these maternity ones and Matt's sweatshirts will have to do.

School is challenging me and keeping my mind off things, which is good.

I've gotten to do lots of fun things with Matt and my friends the past few weekends, and will continue to do so as long as I can.

I have less than 3 weeks now.

Saturday night at the Tribe game some drunk guy touched my belly in the elevator and told me I'm having a girl.

In the elevator, people. No escape.


I can't wait to be done and meet this little monkey that's been climbing around and kicking around like crazy, but then I remember how it has to get out. And then I get pretty scared.

And as excited as I am, for 30 years now it's just been me, myself and I making my decisions. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little scared to give that up. I know it's worth it, or we'd all be only children....but I'm pretty independent and it's a little scary, and that's all. Somewhere I read that becoming a mother is like having your heart forever walking outside of your body. It's a little intimidating.

Tomorrow, I will find out how big this critter is. And Thursday, some decisions might be made. And when it comes down to it, as of today I'm full term. Which means it could happen in 5 minutes, or in 4 weeks.

And that, my friends, is scary.

Please don't let it happen in front of a room full of 16 year olds.

So I don't know if I'll get to post again before...I feel a little like I'm at the edge of the high-dive at the pool when I was about 7 years old, looking down, thinking, "It will be so fun...just do's can't stand here forever..."

And in that situation, there's really nothing left to do, but close your eyes, turn off the voices in your head, and jump.

So, for lack of a better I go.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Year Later I sit.

At home. In front of my computer. Nowhere near Madison, Wisconsin.

It's hard to believe it's been an entire year since I felt the whirlwind, since I was checking the weather report every hour, since I layed out all my gear and food and socks and tubes and stuff on a hotel bed and stared at a series of 4 bags and went, "What am I doing here? Do I really deserve to be here?"

But I did somehow. I earned the right to enter the water that morning, and as I blew a kiss to Wil and said a nervous "good luck!" to TriThomps and then, about 17 seconds later when I heard Mike Reilly say, "ONE MINUTE! WHO WANTS TO BE AN IRONMAN TODAY?" I spontaneously thought, "Oh sh*t" and peed in my wetsuit.

And then the cannon went off.

And I didn't have time to think about the doubt anymore. I just had to go.

Now, 36 weeks pregnant, I feel an entire new kind of scared. Every Saturday I wake up, I think, "Is this the last Saturday I have to sleep in a bit?" I wonder if all this baby gear will get easier to figure out, as I still can't figure out how to fold up the damn travel system stroller. And why is it called a "travel system?" I mean, seriously. It's a baby. Does it really need a "system?"

I feel this little being tossing and turning around in my stomach and watch it roll. I still wonder if I'm cut out for this or if I really deserve this. If I'm really ready for this. If I can still do this and be me.

Pretty soon my proverbial cannon's gonna go off, I guess. And as much as I can't wait for it to get much as I've thought and researched and mulled it over for nine months now...I still have some doubt. But once that moment's here, I'm not going to have time to worry or doubt anymore.

I just need to go.

I pray for my friends tomorrow that they trust themselves and go. They're ready. It's time. So to everyone who's toeing the line in Madison tomorrow at 0700, and especially to my friends that made my IronDay the amazing day it was last year: Bubba, Greyhound, Wil, TriShannon, Tac Boy, Walchka, Pharmie, Stu, and Steve...I'll leave you with the quote that I read before I left my hotel room at 4am:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." --T. Roosevelt, 1910
Go get 'em, guys.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Squeaky Wheels

Okay, this is a little funny. I just had to share the email I just sent off to our town's Recreation Director about an incident that occurred twice in the last two weeks.



I am a city resident, and let me first say how lucky we are to have such a wonderful pool to swim at all summer! I only wish it was here when I was growing up in this city. I am 9 months pregnant and can't wait to take the baby there next year.

I have a question about the lap lanes. I LOVE that there are permanent lap lanes to swim in all day--thank you so much! As an endurance athlete, it's great to know I can hop in anytime and get a workout in. Even this summer, as I've gotten bigger and bigger, swimming has been my solace. I have been swimming up there 2-3 times a week and love it. However, last week and this week there was a little minor confrontation that I had never heard of nor experienced before all summer, so I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight, as well as make a suggestion to avoid any confrontations next year.

The 4th lap lane (closest to the actual pool where everyone is swimming--not the slides) has been open pretty much all summer. I have swam there several times. Last week there was a group of ladies there who would not let me swim in it. They said it was for "Senior Citizens only." I was puzzled, as I thought they were all for lap swimmers. These ladies were not swimming, but merely standing/bobbing around. Every once in a great while they'd move, but for the most part they just stood at the shallow end of the lane and chatted. Luckily, a nice lady in the lane next to her let me share. I didn't think too much of it. I asked the girl at the front desk on my way out if it was a senior only lane, and she said "no--unless they are doing laps they can't just stand there." She told me if it happened again to ask a guard to have them move.

The following day, I went to get in my (very slow!) mile swim, and there was one lady in the lane. The other lanes were all taken again with lap swimmers. This lady was just standing there, so I asked if I could share the lane. She said, sure! I hopped in and began my swim. I saw a few other ladies get in as I swam the first 6 laps. Then, a lady STOPPED me to tell me I couldn't swim there! I was puzzled again. They said it was for "seniors and the handicapped only." I told them that the pool staff had told me it was for lap swimming. We asked the guard above us, and he said, "No, that lane is for LAP SWIMMING." The ladies erupted in anger and said that they had talked to you, and you promised them that they would have this lane, and the guards would also allow this lane for them.

I said I'd be happy to move as soon as another lane opened up, but I really just needed to do my swim so I would be happy to share the lane with them. They wanted NOTHING to do with that. One suggested that I swim on the other side of the lane lines, in the actual swimming pool where all the kids were. I told her that I'm sorry, but I'm 9 months pregnant, and I'm not going to risk getting kicked in the belly.

Here's where it gets a little funny.

They immediately said, "Oh, you're pregnant? Then you can use this lane too!" The one ringleader of the ladies said, "We INVITED pregnant women and the handicapped and disabled to use our lane." But, they eyed my swim cap and goggles and said, "Well, can we ask how long will you be swimming here?"

I replied, "Probably another half an hour."

To which they all responded in unison, "Oh, no. That's way too long."

I resisted the urge to laugh really seems that if I were to act like a 9 month pregnant woman and bob like them, I'd be "allowed" to stay in their lane, but according to their arbitrary rules, I was just NOT acting like the pregnant women they "allowed" in their lane. It was almost too funny.

Luckily, at that very moment, a girl got out of the the lane next to me and, since the guard was not taking any action and I was clearly outnumbered by some angry women who were bigger than me and not going anywhere, I said, "Okay, here...I'll solve ALL the problems and get in this lane." They were happy, and continued to bob for another 45 minutes...not moving!

So, I guess I just wondered if all this was true. Is that lane reserved for Seniors/The handicapped/Pregnant women? (for the record, this pregnant woman would like to separate herself from being considered handicapped and/or a senior) If so, can it be clearly marked next year so that I don't have angry bobbers harrassing me? I won't be pregnant next year so I definitely won't "qualify." :)

If it's NOT and it really is for lap swimming ONLY, can you please have the guards enforce this and also put up some kind of sign? The guard there said it was a lap lane, but did not do anything, and, again, I was outnumbered...and they weren't about to go anywhere. I think it would make it all clear to everyone if there was some kind of sign and consistency. I never had a problem until last week, and had never heard of it until they were so up in arms and swore that they "petitioned the director" to get "their lane."

Again, I really enjoy the pool--this is the only little problem I've ever had there, and I must admit, it's almost a little funny. I caught myself laughing several times as we went back and forth as to whether or not I was qualified to swim in "their" lane. But I think a little clarification and consistency will nip this in the bud for next year.

Thanks so much! Please let me know what you think so that I am clear on the lap lane rules.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I (finally) start school tomorrow. It's my own personal New Year. Year number nine of teaching high school. That's really hard to believe.

I worry a little...that I'm not good enough to do this AP class. That once my kids have me for a month and my friend who just retired, who will be my amazing most perfect maternity sub EVER for four months, that when I come back, they'll know. That I'm unsure of myself at times. That this is all new to me. That I'll be balancing this newness and fear with a 4 month old baby and a life of my own. I try not to think about it, but every once in a while it creeps in.

Today in the pool, swimming my (slow) mile, I thought of what a different state I'm in at the beginning of this New Year. Last year, when school started, I was 17 days out from Ironman. Heh. Yeah, this school year is a far cry from that...that's for sure.

I see a few of my friends going through much of the uncertainty that I felt last year at this point. I've tried to say what they need me to say, and not necessarily what they want to hear. I would be doing them a disservice if I didn't.

It's going to be hard.

Really, really hard.

But they know this. That's why they signed up.

There are no guarantees.

And that, in my humble, I've-only-done-one-Ironman-so-really-what-the-hell-do-I-know?-opinion, that's what makes it so intoxicating and surreal.

I'm going to try and sit here and articulate a few things that I wish I knew last year that I do now. Again, I am clearly NOT an expert on this subject. But there are a few things that, as I swam in the pool today, I remembered about that day.

I wish I knew how raw my emotions would be. From that morning, when it was clear that I wouldn't be able to see Matt before I got into the water, to on that shivering bike ride and sopping run--how unbelievably raw and open all emotions were. I felt tremendous love, pain, doubt, fear, and joy. I experienced the full spectrum of these emotions, and tried as best as I could to keep them in check, since that was the advice given to me. You will feel all these things. Remember that each will pass. Your day will have many highs and lows, and there will be times when you doubt that you can make it.

This is what makes it different than any other triathlon I've ever done.

I wish I knew to trust my training more. Even until the end, I could hear the little voices in my head..."Are you sure you did enough?" "Were four century rides too little?" "Don't you think you could have done more hill work?" "You've only ran 15 miles at a time, and you think you're going to do this marathon?" "You usually only swam twice a week. Don't you think that's awfully low?"

The truth was, it was plenty. For me. Probably in some ways even more than plenty. I rode the course ahead of time. I gave everything I had for nine months. My body was ready to do what I asked it to do.

Which leads me to the next thought.

What if that still is not enough?

I wish I would have known that no amount of training can prepare you for some of the things that happen out there. You have to trust yourself and your abilities to stay as calm and clear-headed as you can. I remember making adjustments that day--even as I was riding!--because I knew if I didn't, then I wouldn't make it. It meant a bike split about an entire hour slower than I knew I could do. But, after seeing person after person spinning out, laying on the side of the road with road rash all down their sides, I made that decision because I had to. And I'm glad I did, even though I can't say I'm satisfied with my ride. Keep your eye on the prize, and adjust as necessary.

I wish I knew that some parts of my day would profoundly disappoint me. I don't think I really anticipated that. Personally, I was disgusted with my swim. I came out of the water, saw what I did, and felt as if part of me had blown it. But you have to keep things in I tried as best I could to leave it there on the Terrace. And I did, during the race. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't still think about it today. Maybe it will help fuel me the next time.

Finally, I wish I knew what that finish line was like before I got there. So I could really, REALLY slow down and enjoy it. My TriBro, TriEric, told me after he did IMUSA, to really look around and enjoy that moment. I thought I did, but looking back, I think I could have gone even slower--walked even!--to really take it all in. It's a magical place, which I can't even really explain. It makes you absolutely amazed beyond words at your own strength and ability. For me, it was the culmination of Faith, love for my friends and family, and absolute amazement at what my body just did.

(Sort of what I'm hoping childbirth will be like...but without the cameras and Mike Reilly)

Now that I'm forced to spectate, I'm reminded of all these things that I felt during those 15 hours, 32 minutes, and 32 seconds.

I wish I knew how much it would change my outlook on things. On pretty much everything. I still have plenty of doubt and fear, as evident in my first two paragraphs. I still have my own personal demons to slay from time to time. But when I remember that day and how it worked out, I always sort of get a sense of calm. Anything really is possible. If I did this--me, who was never a star athlete or really anything special--than I can handle pretty much whatever life throws at me. I'm reminded of that today.

I wish I had known that this race would show me that.

I wish nothing but the best for my friends who are getting ready to head to Madison. I can't wait to hear how their days unfold, because it will be different for every single one. And I dream of watching them all cross that line and seeing their faces.

No matter what happens. The weather. A flat. A disappointment here or there. Doubt, pain, and ultimately elation will come to each of them some way, and I just wish I could be there to physically experience it again, with them.

But this year, I'm on the sidelines...where I'm supposed to be for now.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Awesome, awesome weekend

I just had to end an awesome weekend with my 2 close friends from college, Sam and Mindy. It went WAY too fast. They couldn't make my shower, so they picked a weekend to fly out and celebrate the baby and Mindy's upcoming wedding, too. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Why must my college girls live so far away?


Sam helped me pack my diaper bag (whoa) and we ran out of time to put together a hospital bag. It was on my "recommended things to do" email this week, which is just crazy.

I'm getting huger by the second it seems. The dress I wore to my shower on August 5 is almost too small. I wanted to wear it to school but fear that the first day of school is prolly the last time I can fit into it before Baby Z arrives.

You know what really made me freak out for 30 seconds? Matt came home with some Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale Friday night.

If they are selling Pumpkin Ales, that means it's close to October.

And close to Baby Z.


Meeting 2 of my tri-mom friends for a walk tomorrow--the weather has finally broken and this humidity insanity is pretty much gone. Good news for me as I head back to school Thursday!

Pumpkin Ale.

They are selling Pumpkin Ale.

I really want some.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Somethin' pretty cool

So, I forgot to mention this before.

My Aunt has been doing some research into our family tree and going through old documents and stuff. She found some really cool pictures and documents that I can't wait to get framed. There's this great picture--in the middle, are a man and a woman who are my great-grandparents. They are each holding little baby girls. Sitting in front of them, with an impish little grin, is my grandfather when he was about 3 or so. And behind them, are three tall dark and handsome young men.

Upon further review, the three boys in the back are my great-grandfather's sons from a previous marriage. Very unheard of for the 1920s, but pretty cool. They were a very early, 1920s Brady Bunch.

We also found my great-grandfather's naturalization papers from 1921. They are really cool to see. It's so interesting, and tragically funny, how classifications were made back then, and how much things have changed. For instance, on the papers there's a spot for "Color" and it says, "White," but then under the next spot for "Complexion" it says, "Dark." A little tongue in cheek how funny it is that they felt, in 1921, they needed to make that distinction.

His name that he wrote on the papers was John, and it says, "Country of Origin: Italy." So of course, I was like, ain't no WAY his name was JOHN if he was originally from Italy. Sure enough, on another paper, my suspicions were confirmed: John was originally Giovanni. He must have changed his name to sound more American. Again, a little sad that it had to be done, but this was the decade of extreme nativism, of Sacco and Vanzetti, and of NOT wanting to be seen as anything other than a hard-working American. So that's exactly what he did, and he made his new life here.

So, where am I going with this?

One of the boys in the back--my grandfather's half-brothers--I can't remember which one, had a son named Tom.

Yeah, so?

Okay, here's where it gets really bizarre.

Tom is a professor at Elon College in NC...of Sociology. Cool--another social sciences Arcaro, like me.

And now it gets REALLY CRAZY.


A CLASS. On TRIATHLONS. A Sociology ELECTIVE. Looking at the course requirements...20% of your grade is your race report! All of us bloggers would get A pluses! ha ha

If you don't believe me, here it is.

Now THAT'S what I call some family ties!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Please no more TWO CENTS. I've got TWO MILLIONS CENTS.



This crazysick humidity is not helping, either. BUT--it makes for a nice swim. Swam another mile today and felt GREAT. Getting out of the pool is getting more and more entertaining. I ditched Mom Suit and swam in Big Girl Suit. There weren't too many people there and I'm past the point of caring. At Trimama's suggestion, I wore my IM MOO swim cap. It was a pretty entertaining sight.

While in the pool, I started thinking about a possible hairbrained idea for next's too early to even mention it, but it got me all pumped up. I even emailed Coach Angela to talk logistics with her about it. We'll see!

I'm feeling good--mostly because I'm feeling so uncomfortable. If I'm this uncomfortable, it must mean I'm getting close. And that's good. Nursery is all decked out and adorable, if I do say so myself. Clothes and blankets are all washed. Bouncy seat that everyone says is a lifesaver is ready to go and even has batteries. Picture frames are hung, just waiting for pictures to go in them. Baby classes are done. Stroller and car seat are ready. Lesson plans through the week after I am due are done, as are copies.

Let's. Get. It. ON.

Speaking of getting it on, best of luck to my tri-buddy Rob this weekend at IMKY, and to all who are racing! Holy smokes, is it going to be HOT and HUMID. I still, for the life of me, can't figure out why they put a race in Louisville at the END OF AUGUST. I used to live in the 'Nati, and I KNOW what it's like in August on that river. But, I guess you never know...I trained with the assumption that IMW was going to be hotter than Guam, and we all know how that ended up last year, right?

I'll tell you something I'm NOT going to miss...EVERYONE THROWING IN THEIR 2 CENTS. For the love of ALL THINGS HOLY I can't seem to go ANYWHERE without randoms throwing in their 2 cents. See, I am undeniably pregnant now. It is abundantly clear that this ain't just fat. Last night I had a little meltdown to Matt because I am just SOOOOOOOOOOOO sick of it and I really want to just not leave my house.

You'd be amazed at what total strangers will say and do. Matt's lucky--we decided--because unless he SAYS anything, no one KNOWS he's expecting. I might as well have a neon sign and marching band following me around. And people just seem to want to tell you how BAD things will be. They LOVE to say how "you'll never do this or that again" and "oh, don't even think about ___________________ (*fill in the blank with ANYTHING, really*), because you won't have time to worry about that, you'll barely have time to eat or shower or blink your eyeballs," and in general tell you how miserable you're going to be, because they are or something.

World at large--just because you might be miserable, doesn't mean I'm going to be. So trying to make me miserable really isn't justifying your miserable-ness. It's just ANNOYING.

I think the craziest thing I've heard was when I was at work about 2 weeks ago, and the UMPIRE there (I work for a Rec Department) in between games, who I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW...and this was a DUDE!.....decided to tell me all about how since his sister-in-law's baby was big, they HAD TO BREAK HER PELVIS IN THE DELIVERY ROOM.

THANK YOU, Random Umpire Man! That is SO what I NEED TO HEAR RIGHT NOW!

So I am really, really, really looking forward to NOT having to deal with 2 cent-ers at the grocery store, the post office, work, the baseball diamond, or anywhere else. Really...I promise...if I want to know, I'll ask you. Unsolicited miserable-ness is just not good.

/end soapbox rant

On a positive note, I heart air conditioning. But hopefully it will cool down before school starts next week, since 221 sorely lacks it. I'm getting really excited about this new class, too. It's a LOT of work--I've already put in so much time reading these college-level articles (man, how do these 10th graders do it? but my friend swears they will rise to whatever bar you set) and stuff, and it's exciting to have a little change. We'll see if I'm still saying that next February... :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Matter of Time


It totally makes me look like a mom. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOO not triathlete. I look like one of those moms who just sit at the pool and read magazines. It's like a black lycra tent.


But I did manage to swim 1200 meters in it--I could have gone longer but I wasn't wearing a cap and my hair was driving me up the wall. I figured I shouldn't wear a cap and look like a poser in a Mom Suit. But then I went INSANE all swim with my freaking hair everywhere. I think I'm just going to have to look ridiculous and wear a cap with my Mom Suit in the lap lane and my stomach that looks like I swallowed a watermelon.

The Mom Suit is temporary, and at least I know I won't EVER SUCCUMB TO THE HORROR of the dreaded MOM JEANS.

It's kind of funny how, as I looked through my lesson plan book today, I had "Leave for Ironman" with an arrow and a homemade M-Dot on the week before I now have a ultrasound scheduled to see just how big this kid is. Cuz it's BIG, people. We may have a little TriSaraTops early.

What's even STRANGER is that TriShannon called all this a LONG time ago. Like, right after she signed up for IM MOO. In November or so. She called me and said, "I just had a dream that I was at the finish line of Ironman, and you were pregnant. REALLY, REALLY pregnant."

I was like, "GIRL, PLEAZ. U CRAZY."

She can tell the future, people.

(Please tell me the future will not involve this tent of a Mom Suit or the Mom Jeans.)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Where did THAT come from?

So, today, I swam a mile.

That's not really a big deal...but the big deal is that I DID IT WITHOUT STOPPING ONCE!!!

Where did this newfound lung capacity in the water come? I can assure you I don't have it on land, and this baby hasn't dropped yet....

Pretty sweet!

Bad news is, that even my Big Girl Swimsuit is getting too small. You know it's bad when you can't tell if the bottoms have a front or a back. It just looks like one big black lycra granny panty. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I miss my old body.

Oh well...home stretch here, home stretch....Baby Z loves to swim, and that's good, because that's about all I can do at this point. Even walking is presenting its own challenges. I walked too far the other day and had to call Matt to pick me up. So. Sad. I wonder if I'll ever be able to run fast again! Good thing I have some awesome tri mom buddies who are showing me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Riddle me this: why are my legs really skinny but my fingers too sausage-like for my rings? Seriously. I think my ring finger is the size of my ankle. I thought your ankles were supposed to swell up?!?!


Two more weeks of freedom...I kind of want to get the show on the road already, as we go back extra late this year, which stinks...because that means a June 11 end date instead of June 4. Boo. I like to get started early and get out early...more time for training.


Very behind on blogs, and probably will be for a while...helping a few friends get through some rough times this week, and still dealing with our poopypants basement.

Slow, continuous mile swimmer, signing out!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Silver Linings

....after yesterday's utter homeowners disaster, it looks like carpet being full of sewage is covered by our insurance. Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Still have to pay a deductible, though, but let's just say that Baby Z will have the cleanest and newest basement carpet to crawl on and be all cute on. So that makes things somewhat better. :)

At least we didn't ACTUALLY WITNESS the type of encounter that my poor neighbor found floating in her basement water.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a Baby Ruth in their basement.

My buddy Steph DID give me a HILARIOUS shirt for Baby Z this weekend at my says, "If Pooping Your Pants Is Cool, Consider Me Miles Davis." This is not only a take on my favorite Billy Madison quote, but pretty much the first thing I told her and my AGD friends when I crossed the finish line in Madison last year...except I swapped one bodily function for another.

On a lighter, and less smelly note, I got an AWESOME swim in today. Just a mile...but I felt so good and had I had more time, I could have kept going. Instead of doing sets of 200 like I normally do, I did sets of 400. It took me roughly the same amount of time, and I didn't feel as out of breath. Yippee! Now, it was still REALLY slow...let's not get ahead of ourselves...but at this stage in the game, I'm just so doggone happy to be out there doing SOMETHING.

I dream about next year and racing, too. I really miss racing, but I think even more than that I miss training. I love long solo runs, group runs with my Soler friends, and long rides with IronJohnny and my other IMW buds. I know that things will need to be flexible next year but I'm already planning on how to make it work as much as I can.

Case in point: just got my schedule today, and it is AWESOME. My favorite lunch period (later--I'd rather eat later for some reason) and instead of 147 kids like I had last year, I have...are you ready for this?....101!!!! AWESOME. This is in 5 classes. I have one pretty big class of freshman and the rest are small. I knew that teaching the AP would have this effect, but I guess I didn't realize how much. So, I will have a MUCH higher load of grading, and a much higher quality of work to grade (like essays and the beloved DBQ's), but not as many bodies. I'll take that.

I'm still nervous though. But excited. Even more so now that I know my awesome friend who retired this year and whose schedule I'm essentially taking over agreed to be my sub! She is, without a doubt, the best teacher I've ever seen. I feel so good knowing my kids will be in her hands for almost 4 months.

The other good part of my schedule is that I have 1st period planning...AGAIN! This makes 3 years in a row. I used to hate it....before I started doing the long stuff. Now, I really enjoy having my first period free so I am not as rushed in the morning. AND, this just might work out well with Baby Z, since I've sort of (GASP) become a morning workout person. I can get my swim in--maybe even swim with my Y friends, like Dave the Lifeguard, TriEric, Noodle Lady, and Navy Guy again! Or, I can hit the treadmill or trainer in my basement for an hour before the shower. The main thing, of course, will be lack of sleep...but I feel like my body's preparing me for that a bit already. Matt HATES working out in the AM, and is MORE than happy to have AM Baby Z duty so he can work out in the afternoon. We're already discussing it, and that's going to be half the battle, I think. The other half is SLEEP.

Case in point: I've become a third-trimester insomniac. My pal Suzi had a similar issue. I just don't seem to sleep well, and when I do, the baby wakes me up with kicks or I have to pee like SEVEN TIMES A NIGHT. Last night, I really don't think I got more than 2 hours of continuous sleep at all.

Practice, anyone?

See, I know this is going to factor in next year. PLEASE don't tell me again how it will. I swear I understand. :) XT4 and I were just discussing how very well-intentioned people who keep mentioning how we have no idea how much things are going to change are starting to drive us batty. WE. GET. IT. We'll figure it all out. But, I for one refuse to just throw the towel in and give up because I'm tired. Like today. I so did NOT want to swim, but I dragged my sorry sleepy ass to the pool and had the best swim I've had in probably 2 months.

Lesson learned. You will be tired, and sometimes, a workout will make you feel better. Even if it's small.

So there's another silver lining for me. The girl who loves to sleep...the one who with DaisyDuc could BARELY MAKE 1:00pm brunch in the dining hall ...she is realizing she can do more with less sometimes.

It's not going to be easy, but it'll work somehow.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Why, surrounded by muck and humidity, I am the luckiest girl alive

August 7--our third anniversary.

I awake to hear storms. I love storms. I lay in bed until almost 10 listening to storms.

I come downstairs to see a note from Matt to block out 12-2 for lunch. How sweet, I think, so I call him.

"I'm at my parents. They're flooded. Are we?"

Uh oh. I don't know.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah. Really flooded.


Not too much standing water, but sopping everywhere. Matt comes home with his dad and tries to clean up. I can't really do anything and feel useless yet again.

Noon comes. I figure lunch is out. It's not. Matt tells me to get in the car so I do.

We pick up sandwiches. We go to a little gazebo where we got our wedding pictures taken. Matt unloads card table and chairs, CD player, and sparkling grape juice. We have a nice lunch under the gazebo and he made a mix CD of songs like Ice Cream (Sarah MacLachlan---our first dance, because we love our ice cream), I Wanna Grow Old With You (from the Wedding Singer) and Brown Eyed Girl. He. Just. Rocks.

Then we go back to the insanity and try to clean up the muck. I, still feeling useless, decide to take the ruined laundry that was already done and folded in a basket in the floor to my parents to redo it. When I open my trunk, a screw pops out. "Hmm," methinks. "Wonder what this screw's for." I put it in the trunk.

Laundry is done. Go to the car. Trunk won't pop.



Try not to cry. Go home. Too tired to make dinner and too hot. We order wings (ew--but he loves them), some fries, and a soft pretzel from local pub. I pick it up. We eat it on our china in the living room. Yes, we ate WINGS AND FRIES on our china. Sweet. I only ate a few fries because I was too not hungry to eat anything.

We exchange gifts and his card makes me cry, because he wrote a funny poem in it like he always does.

Then, we commence cleaning. He primes and paints the shower area. I use a steam cleaner on the carpet, dumping buckets and buckets of muck out. I feel like I'm getting nowhere.

Man, it's hot down here.

Check thermostat: AC is running....with warm air.

AC is now broken.

TriSaraTops starts crying.

I'm hot and tired and the electrician won't even call me back anymore and it's been a month and what does it take to get a freaking electrician to follow up after a month? and I can't take this humidity and someone better come tomorrow and fix our AC because it's a heat wave and our basement is still mucky and I look at the yellow pages and we can't afford this crap right now and I cry.

He makes me laugh again and of course, he's right, there's nothing we can do's 12:30am. And I just looked in the nursery because he told me to and he put together our bouncy seat. I start laughing hysterically while I'm crying.

So now it's time for bed. And I know that this is going to be a funny anniversary someday. And one thing's for certain.

I married the most amazing man on earth.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

So What Are You Craving?

One of the most frequent questions I get asked, aside from "do you know what it is?" (I usually like to respond, "homo sapien"), is, "So what strange cravings have you had?"

Really. I can't say that I've had ANY strange cravings. There was a bizarre macaroni and cheese thing for about 5 days back around week 13, but other than got nuthin'. No pickles. No ice cream, really, which for me is quite a shock.

There are two things I crave more than anything though, but I can't indulge in them. You can't buy them in any store.

They are:

1. A 10 mile run

2. A 3 hour ride

Well, I'm just sayin'.

THAT'S what I'm craving.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

No....not August....

So I always get a little sad on the first day of August.

For teachers, that means school is a reality. It's kind of like when you were a little kid and you knew school was coming. We get the same way. And I really, really do enjoy my job...but there's just something about relative freedom every summer that rocks, you know? We're quite spoiled that way. That's why we make the big bucks.


Anyway, I am feeling so good this August 1. Why is that? I just got back from my doctor's appointment...

  • Weight has leveled off! I have no idea what it is, but it leveled off! Yippee kay yay!

  • Glucose test came back totally normal!

  • Blood pressure is great!

  • Cervical measurements from last ultrasound are perfect! I have no idea what that means, but rock on!

  • Baby Z is measuring a little big...SO, what that means is that the Baby's growth spurt was most likely what caused mine! Would have been nice to hear that last month instead of that it was MY fault...but hey, live and learn! Also means Baby Z could come a week or so early...hey, FINE WITH ME!

So I am actually, for once, in a good mood after an appointment. Yahooooooooo!

I headed to Raleigh, NC last weekend to visit Kim and Jeff, the bro and sis-in-law. We had a great time! It was so nice to spend time with them and see their adorable place. I thought we'd be a little closer to the ocean than we were (try 3 hours away--oops) so no open water swimming for me. Bummer. But, we got to eat some tasty Mexican, relax a lot, and go see a free concert in downtown Raleigh where the "headliner" was....ready for this?....NIGHT RANGER! Haaaaaaaaaaaahahhahahahahaha

Sing it with me, now..."Sister Christian now you're time has come.....and you know that you're the only one....."

I don't know the rest of the words but it involves something like "MOTERHEAD."

On our way back we stopped at this AWESOME Bed and Breakfast in Wytheville, VA, to sort of celebrate our anniversary and have a little "babymoon." It was SO beautiful. Everything is renovated to look Victorian but is brand spankin' new. I even mentioned it was our anniversary next weekend and they surprised us with a little heart cake in an antique cake holder! So cute. It was very nice to get away and relax.

This weekend, I'll be volunteering at the Burning River 100 Race. I'm so excited for this! I've never gotten to see an ultra race...let alone one that's 100 miles. Rootsrunner Lloyd, Ultra Runner Extrordinaire, is the leader of our aid station. We're at miles 30.3 and 36.3. Espeed, DaisyDuc, and some other friends will be manning Mile 91. Man. I can't even imagine what people will look like when they see them. It should be an awesome race and a fun way to see my Soler friends. Wish I could join them for their AM run on the Towpath, but I'll have to wait a few more months for that. Best of luck to all 175 runners who will start the 100 mile race Saturday morning!

Then Saturday is my first baby shower. I'm getting pretty excited to see my friends! The following weekend is our first of 2 baby classes in the AM, and then my niece's 3rd birthday party. We're really pumped about the gift we found for her. :) It involves Spiderman, because she LOVES Spiderman. Then, Saturday night, we have Matt's grandpa's 80th birthday, and the following day is another baby shower with our families. Busy, busy, busy. The downside of this is that I won't be able to help out at the GCT expo OR go cheer on DaisyDuc and my buddies. :( Oh well...I'll be rooting for them the whole morning!

Speaking of Daisy, I had the opportunity to swim with her yesterday and we had a blast! We had to dodge the occasional old lady or wayward kid, but we got in a nice distance at my local pool in the sun, so we can't complain about that. She's training for her first 70.3 so go to her blog and give her some love. She was looking strong and steady in the water, and I know she will do well. She's gonna have a fun day picking off all the bikers and runners with her blazin' speed, that's for sure!

For now, I'm going to head up to the pool for another swim...I felt really good yesterday, so we'll see how we feel today! I'm definitely slow, but I find if I do steady, slow sets of 200s with a minute or so in between to catch my breath, I feel like I could go all day. My goal of at least a mile every time in the pool helps keep me motivated. Baby Z seems to love it.

I think for these last few weeks I am going to start blogging pregnancy related stuff on a new blog that will take me into Baby Z's first few years. I can then focus on training here and try to keep the pregnancy blabber to a minimum. I'm going to password protect it, though, because I'm a little afraid of psychos in cyberspace. :) If you'd like me to add you to the password list, just post here and I will (if I know you)! No offense if I don't, just gotta protect yourself, and your kids, you know? I'm gonna call it, "And Baby Z Makes Three." That's about as creative as I can get.

Off to the pool...happy training everyone!