Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Butterflies in my tummy.

Can I just say that I wish there was an Ironman every night, so I could watch live feed of the finish line for 2 hours or so, like, every NIGHT?!

Man. Was that FUN.

MAJOR congrats go out to all who finished IMUSA, and especially JenC and Cliff for their Iron-Debuts! I got to see Jen cross the finish line and jumped up and down. Well, as much as I can right now.

Also, major Balls to the Wall Awards go out to my IMW training buddy/partner in crime, IronJohnny, and to kIM, for signing up for IMUSA next year! I am so pumped to follow their journeys.

So I was watching the live feed of IMUSA for Jen to finish when I saw something SOOOOOOOO crazy. RIGHT within a few minutes of when I finished IMW, a girl came through carrying a little one at the finish line--not sure if it was a girl or boy--looked about 2 years old or so. I got a little choked up and teary. Stupid hormones.

IMKY '09, anyone? (For the record, Baby Z would be around 2...)

Got some butterflies from that.

Speaking of butterflies in my tummy, Baby Z is currently 3 pounds, 7 ounces. Holy smokes! That's big. Don't get too big in there, you hear? You have to get OUT somehow.


Seriously. You're lucky I can't kick very high anymore. Many, many f-bombs were dropped by me in the parking lot, as well as threats to go back in there and kick some arse. Much backpedaling occured as did promising that it meant nothing and WASN'T REALLY A MISTAKE, but I don't buy it.

Oh well. Nothing I can do now. It just makes me really upset, that's all. Why people gotta BE LIKE THAT? Keep your mouth SHUT, beeeznatch. We don't need your stinkin' commentary. I guess I'll find out if she really slipped up or if her attempt to cover up her mistake was honest in a few weeks, anyway.

Baby Z stuck its tongue out at us today. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time. So that made me feel better.

And all is well in there, too. (Except that a very LOUDMOUTH technician sucks.) But in the scheme of things, that's what really matters.

Do you know what's really sad? It took me about 40 minutes to WADDLE 2 MILES YESTERDAY.



I guess I should be glad I'm still able to walk my 2-3 miles and am not on bedrest. I can't think of a worse punishment for me than being on bedrest. I think I might pull all my hair out and start speaking jibberish, like Billy Madison did at dinner.

And....I'm spent. That's all I got. Looking forward to some open-water swimming in a very, very cool location this weekend! Here's a hint: it's NOT Lake Erie. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shakin' it up

Not really a theme to this post, just a lot of odds and ends.

FIRST things FIRST--good luck to my buddy JenC as she tackles her first Ironman in Lake Placid! Jen has worked so hard and I just know she's going to rock the course. Also, good luck to Cliff as he takes on IMUSA, too! These guys are both just awesome people and I wish them an amazing and memorable race day. I'll be cheering for everyone out there!

Second off, I never got to disclose the Super Fast Blogger I got to meet last week....drum roll was Kurt! If ya don't believe me, here's proof:

(agh! my camera is swallowing pictures...stay tuned for proof!) :)

Kurt was just as nice as could be, which is how I pictured him exactly! It was great to meet him in person and I hope our paths cross again. We talked about all kinds of stuff, and I asked him what the secret was to his super fast 5 and 10Ks, since my favorite thing to do is go out way too fast. :) Wish we could have hung out longer, but he had to go to work! Thanks for having lunch with me!

Onto next races are EXTREMELY subject to change, and they are already changing by the day. I think what I really want to do is to balance my family with my friends and racing--and racing friends. That's a tall order. So, I decided I really, really wanted to be able to go back to WIBA next year. There are just so many awesome people that I met there, and hopefully there will be a good crew next year as well. So, turning around and doing Muncie the following weekend is just too much traveling for this chick with a little one--I can already tell and Baby Z ain't even here yet!'s my new plans: (don't worry--they might change in 5 minutes)

  • End of May: Cleveland Half Marathon, hopefully to race, but at the very least just to run!

  • Early June IF life permits: Maumee Bay Sprint or Oly Tri....cuz why not? It's not too far-and I can be back by the afternoon!

  • July: WIBA with my Ironfriends (maybe I can pick up Jacks on my way to Madison....? :) Hear that, Jacks?) and perhaps a local sprint tri, like Huntington, since I earned a free race by volunteering this year--boo-ya!

  • August: Greater Cleveland Half Ironman--this is a great race put on by an awesome guy and HUGE supporter of all things triathlon, Mickey, and TONS of peeps in my tri club do it every year. It would be a great chance for me to get in a 70.3 close to home. It's not the flattest bike course, which for me means probably not a big PR, but I might need to sacrifice finishing time for distance. The other option is Steelhead, which I believe is a flatter bike course...but requires a 4 hour or so drive and a night at a hotel. Boo. So...we'll have to make that call probably more in May or so, when I see how I'm handling life at that point.
  • October: Chicago Marathon--big trip and a big A race...and hopefully a sub-4 or at the very least a PR with my IronSis Wil !!! Lush might be there if life allows it for her, which would be hella sweet. And I know another SuperAwesome person who might be on the course somehow, too! :)

This sounds a bit more doable. And, it only really calls for 2 weekends (possibly 3 with Steelhead but that would really just be one night) away: one to Madison, and one to Chi-Town. AND, I'd get to see lots of my IronBlogger friends while also doing a great race with my Cleveland TriClub friends. I've never done a "big" marathon before, and I think I could really feed off the crowd support and atmosphere when the going gets tough, as it inevitably will if I'm (able and) trying to go hard.

So that's the new flavor of the week. I'll have to update my chart! But for now, a storm came through and cooled things off, so a nice long walk is in order.

Sammy and Justin are coming into town this weekend for Cerveza's wedding, as are Po, Lush, and I'm pumped! And HAPPY 30TH TO MY GIRL JACKS! I have a few days on her but now we're even. :)

GOOD LUCK to all at IMUSA this weekend!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


How do you avoid triathlon burnout?

Get knocked up.


I think this is great advice. I was thinking about it the other day, and I really haven't stopped moving in a while. 2004 saw a bunch of triathlons, a Masters degree, and a marriage. 2005 brought me another marathon, some olympic and sprint tris, and my first half ironman. 2006 brought me another half ironman, 2 half marathons, a few shorter tris, and an Ironman. I did a half marathon in late November, 2006.

I didn't stop.

Until February rolled around. When my body gave me the proverbial middle finger and sort of FORCED me to stop.

I kicked and screamed. I tried to keep going...and mostly failed. I slept. A lot. In short, I really didn't know what to do with myself. If I'm not moving, then who am I?

I think that's a good question for all triathletes out there to ask themselves.

Because this thing can be taken away from you at a moment's notice. And not always for good, exciting reasons.

You really, really need to know who you are when you're not moving.

I'm getting to know her...and maybe starting to like her a bit. I'm realizing how much of a dreamer she is--that she can't stop thinking about the future. She thinks about school...will she really be able to handle an AP class and a bunch of honors kids? She hasn't really had the honors kids...ever. Far from it. Especially not with a new (or at least MUCH more detailed) subject and when 9 months pregnant.

Then, she remembers...yeah. Cum laude, Miami University. Armonk Scholar. James Madison Scholar. 3.9 GPA in MA program.

She can do it somehow. She'll make it work.

She thinks about the fall. How the room that used to be an office is now starting to fill up with blue, yellow, and green things. How she can't deny what's about to happen when she feels a strong kick to the rib cage. How sometimes it's all so overwhelming it brings tears of frustration to her eyes...this thing is so much bigger than anything she's ever done. It's so damn scary.

But she's never let herself down before. She remembers mile 5 of the bike course last year, she knew if she was going to make it that day she was going to have to adapt to the situation and throw all prior goals out the window. It was going to be all about surviving.

So she knows she'll somehow do that, too.

She dreams about next year. Of how happy she'll be to get on her bike for the first time, after watching so many rain-less, brisk mornings go by this summer. Of how she can't wait to really, really run again. To do a track workout. To gasp for air again. To see a "7" on her watch--at the front--after running a mile. To feel her heart pounding.

Of how good it will feel to be at a starting line next year.

Any starting line. And how good it will feel to finish.

But for now, she's forcing herself to be in the present, because she has to. The kicks remind her. Snap out of it. Think about now.

She's packed away all her trophies and age group awards, and really wasn't sad to see them move to the attic after mostly gathering dust in the old office. She's starting to realize that's not what this is really about. That she'll never, ever be in the top 3 at an Ironman, a marathon, or for that matter, probably at a half-ironman. But she knows that those races are where she needs to be.

She's getting as ready as she can...because you never will be ready. You can wait your whole life to be "ready," and still not be there. She's figured that part out, at least.

But sooner or later, she knows she's going to have to trust herself and her abilities.

And that's who I am when I am not moving.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Okay, Blogger won't let me put a title on my posts now. WTF?

Anyway, I have a few additional and somewhat unrelated things to say.

NO more watches for my swims.

I wore a watch today and it was sooooooooooooooooooo sad. I just didn't have more than 1600 meters in me today. I had to have a break in the middle because the "lifeguards saw lightening," which I think was total bull and they just wanted a break. So yeah. One mile. A LOT slower than usual. Many, MANY minutes. Ew. I've had to scrap the flip turns, so maybe I can blame a few minutes on that...? Ah, who am I kiddin'. But, I guess that's what I get for carting around a 2.5 pound, 15 inch being (or so the books say at this point in the game).

Furthermore, it was too hot for me to walk at the track so I passed. Ugh. I miss running so much. Boo. Saw a lot of people braving the heat out there and it reminded me of all my runs last summer, to "get ready for the heat" in Madison (now that's just COMICAL). Iron Johnny and I would have LOVED to do a nice 2 hour run on a day like today. We used to wait until it was as hot and humid as possible. And then on race day I had to wear a garbage bag...ha ha!

While Matt was putting our floor in and I felt useless, I tried to assemble one of those "easy assemble" shelves. I SUCK at that stuff. Sure enough, within 5 minutes, I screwed it up and put 2 holes in it and started crying. So Matt came up to help me and saw in the directions where it said to use the SMALL dowels instead of the large ones and I SWEAR THE WORD SMALL WASN'T THERE BEFORE. Anyway, the holes are in the bottom so at least I screwed up the part no one would see. Matt helped me get back on track and then had to read for his classes, so I finished it up and put the blue, green, and yellow drawers in it.

And just for fun I put some stuff on the shelves that we've gotten. A piggy bank my niece made the baby. A blue stuffed bunny. A book.

And then, I realized it's starting to look like a baby's room.

And then I cried again but just for 10 seconds or so.

Damn, I wish I could go for a run.

There's a reason I don't live in the Southeastern US, folks.


Yes, that's right. I will take 3 months of snow, sleet, and blustery winds in exchange for my nice, temperate spring, summer, and beautiful fall.

So this 93 degrees and high humidity thing BLOWS. And not just when I'm pregnant. Pretty much all the time. I enjoy living in a city with very few 90-plus degree days, and I have not been a happy camper the past few days! Man, how do you guys that live in the south DO THIS? Ugh....

Anyway, we had a great weekend. I feel like Rae with our kitchen remodeling! It's about halfway and unlike Rae we are ONLY doing the floor. I will post some pics when it's done. I'm not much help though, since I can't bend over very well and am the most un-handy person alive. Good thing I married the most handy person alive. But, I'm good at organizing, so while he was working on the floor, I cleaned out and organized all our cabinets. Yay! I contributed. :)

We also have some bathroom remodeling going on--the last of our wallpaper infested house to go down! It's not going down without a fight. The shower stall with pink and black tile, I'm proud to say, is no more. But we still have the fugly wallpaper with butterflies and stripes. Our whole house was pretty much covered in wallpaper when we moved in and we've saved this little gem for last. Hopefully we can just finish the stall this year and tackle the wallpaper later, because......

The nursery is still a disaster.

Maybe I'm just worrying too much here, but sersly. Alls I got is STILL my jogging stroller. Uh oh. Good thing we have a room that's yellow and blue. Matt likes to say it's because Baby Z is a Michigan fan (ew). It was our old office, so going through everything has been a pain. We're getting there, but we need to get rid of some more stuff PRONTO. And, like, get some stuff we need. But, I guess we've got time for that.

This Sunday I volunteered for the Lorain Sprint Tri and Du. It was hella fun! I did bodymarking and then was the "pointer" for T1 and T2. It was REAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLYYYYYY hot though, and even though I drank a lot of water, I still didn't quite feel like myself even yesterday. Saw lots of CTC people kicking some butt, which was good. It's a great race for first-timers, too, so it was fun to see people getting bitten by the tri bug. And my buddy Marie was 3rd in Age Group, so she picked up some hardware! The best part? I get a FREE RACE VOUCHER for next year for ANY NCN race! Yahoooooooooooooooo! I might need to bail on the Chicago Oly for next year and just stay local and do the Lorain Oly...two trips to Chi-Town might be too hard to pull off, and I definitely want to do the marathon. Don't hate me, Wil....I'm still in for Muncie and the marathon though!

Today I'm going to do a 2000 yard swim and then maybe meet the Second Sole crew for a walk while they run. I don't know....I gotta see how this heat factors in. I might have to bail on the walk. Luckily, it is supposed to go back down to the 70s later this week.

And guess what? Tomorrow I am meeting a SUPER FAST and SUPER COOL Blogger for lunch! Super Fast Blogger is from quite a ways away and coming through on business, so I will leave you in suspense as to who it is...but don't worry, I'll get pictures!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Embracing 30

Man, so many changes in the last year.

I became an Ironman.

I became pregnant.

I became the new AP US History teacher for next year.

I became unsure of what to do with myself in the face of all these changes.

It turns out, all I have to do is believe in myself and lean on my friends. My husband, who is the most amazing person in the world to me. And I am blessed with the most wonderful, supportive group of friends EVER. Thanks to all my buddies for helping me celebrate a new year--I was bombarded with voicemails, texts, emails, and cards on Thursday. It really brightened my day!

So they say that when you're 30 you finally start believing in yourself. I think I believe in myself for the most part...but I have a long way to go. These next three months are going to really test that, I think. I'll be volunteering at a triathlon this Sunday, and then volunteering at the Burning River 100 mile race this year...I have sent away my wetsuit to my good buddy Jacks, and sent away my wheels to TriEric.

This year, it's my turn to step back and return as much tri-karma as I can, because I know how lucky I was last year to receive so much.

This year, I'll watch my good friend TriShannon cross that finish line at Ironman Wisconsin, after she was forced to sit back with an injury and support ME last year. Her dedication, talent, and perserverance never cease to amaze me.

This year, unfortunately, I'll have to settle for to watch Greyhound at the finish line. Last year, I got to put my sweaty, nasty, rain-soaked and shivering arm around him at the finish line and RobbyB put the medal around MY neck. I wish I could be there to do the same.

This year is my Iron Sis Wil's year. I can't wait to watch her finish Ironman. I can only hope to repay her somehow for all she's done for me in the past few months. It's amazing how something as seemingly insignificant as a race can bring people together and bond you for life, you know?

So in the spirit of embracing this year's changes, here I am. I'm done hiding.

13 weeks to go until things change more than I can even imagine.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I am a HUGE dork.

I hate to admit this, but I saw this movie yesterday and it was AWESOME. (Except for the part where I got MASSIVELY motion-sick and since I can't take any dramamine, I had to beeline for the bathroom afterwords like a 19-year-old at a keg party. Ugh.)

It kinda makes me want to go find my bro's Optimus Prime.

I must also give big birthday shout outs to the Great One, Huey Lewis, who shares a birthday with me tomorrow.

Seriously. He's, like, the only famous person that shares my birthday with me. I guess I'll take what I can get.

I have MAD love for Huey though, and threw a few songs on our July 4th picnic playlist for tonight! Hopefully this rain will hold off and we can get in some good games of cornhole tonight. I just made potato salad and deviled eggs, and am taking a little break before making antipasta salad (yum) and my extra special burgers. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

To all here in the states, Happy 4th!

Monday, July 02, 2007

No Sugar Coating Zone

Alright, I'm keeping it real now.

I never heard it would be like this before, so maybe if I just keep it real someone out there like me might feel less alone on this stuff. If you'd like a happy entry come back later, I guess.

Except for one thing: had a WONDERFUL swim today outside in a beautiful blue sky. 2500 meters. Felt great. Felt almost normal.

Other than that, here goes.

I only cried once today, which is down from 3-4 times the past 3 days, so that's a start. And at least Matt was here instead of backpacking in Michigan out of all cell phone reach. I think that's why I cried so much this weekend. Lonely house. No way to talk to my best friend. Ugh.

I went to lunch with some of my close friends from work, and it was so good to see them....but so overwhelming. There were 5 cute little ones there and 3 of them are 6 weeks old or less. The others are 2 and 3. Just watching my friends and hearing them talk totally, completely overwhelmed me. Two had to go to the bathroom--one to try and stop her sweet little newborn from crying, the other escorted another friend's adorable daughter so she could hold her son. Then a little cutie started crying and I was the nearest I tried to help and realized I really didn't know how. I couldn't even get her out of the CAR SEAT. I had to get instructions from my friend. All I could think of was, "What have I gotten myself into? I know NOTHING...." So that freaked me out. Big time.

This calorie stuff has me feeling like I'm in a prison for the next three months. I don't know if I can do it, because old habits die hard. Old habits being whenever I've counted calories before, I turn it into this sick almost-game where I try to keep it as low as I can. I can pull that crap off when it's just me...(not that it's GOOD. I'm just saying that unfortunately I can and did) but I can NOT be doing that now. It's not just me that might get hurt.

"The charts" that I have come to detest say that you are supposed to eat 300 extra calories a day, plus if you work out, an additional 200 or so on top of that. So, the past 4 days, my 1400 calories and 4 workouts really aren't cutting it. I know this. I sort of knew this would happen. I'd like to say I could track my food and count my calories without it happening, but that's not true. Maybe someday, but apparantly, still not now.

So I don't know if I should track my food anymore. I'm fearing that it will only make me feel worse (as it has), but more importantly than that, only make things worse for the baby. I might just have to tell my doctor to stuff it.

By the way, I'm in the process of trying to switch doctors. That's stressful, too, as I've only really gone to this one, but I know that things are only going to get more tense and emotional and scary from here on out, and I can't have what happened on Friday happen again. I just can't. Asking if I "drink a lot of pop" and then leaving the room when I'm in tears is just not cool. I think I need one that is a bit more sensitive, and I've gotten some great recommendations from friends. I just have to see if insurance will allow it this late in the game.

Thanks for the emails and comments with stories of others who don't fit the charts. It's nice to know I'm not alone. For the record, I'll just lay it out here: my doctor is freaked because I am up 27 pounds. According to ME, I am up 33, since I go from what I weighed before I got pregnant and not what I weighed my first visit at 10 weeks. Whatever. Compared to numbers I'm hearing from some of you out there who have been so gracious to share it, that's the only thing making me feel better. 27/33 isn't 400. I am 27 weeks along today. 13 weeks to go, so if I can keep it to 1/2 pound a week, I'll be at 40, which from what I'm researching for my frame is still considered pretty average. But, what if I can't? I worry about that, too.

I remember sobbing when I was 7 or 8 because one stupid kid would call me fat and I would just fixate on it and it was all I heard. My Mom tried over and over again to tell me I wasn't, that I was a strong little swimmer, that I was tall...when I was in high school, my friends said the same as I started the calorie counting ridiculousness. For some reason, I just can't shake what my doctor said, even though all the voices of reason out there are knocking me over the head with the obvious. And when I'm counting these damn calories I just can't stop being worried to put anything in my mouth that's not spinach, fat-free yogurt, carrot sticks, or a plain piece of chicken.

I can't do that for 3 more months. Not only will I drive myself insane, but it's not healthy. So I don't think I'm going to.

I think what I need to do is block OUT the one voice that doesn't make sense, and focus on all the other ones that do.

And focus on mine, too.

And stop crying, too. These hormones are freakin' out of control. Maybe this is a girl in here...I've sworn it was a boy all along until this past week. :)