Friday, February 29, 2008

Food Fits

I am so frustrated with food.

I desperately want to lose a good 7-8 lbs. Why won't the scale budge?? Sometimes, it even goes up!

I get up before dawn, put in a hard hour or so and then do it again in the afternoon. I'm sure I'm burning a good 800 calories/day. Easy.

I eat almost all healthy foods. I eat oatmeal, raisins and almonds for breakfast. I have spinach salads with black beans and lots of colorful veggies. I have oranges or a couple fig newtons for a snack. Dinner is usually some type of lean meat with a whole grain carb and lots of veggies. I have skim milk. I make low cal (270) protein smoothies as recovery drinks when I've had a long workout. I am so careful about what I put in my mouth. Sure, I cheat. But not much. Is a nightly 150 calorie Skinny Cow ice cream bar so bad?

Is that really enough to sabotage a day of near perfect (in my mind) eating?

I spent two days painstakingly counting my calories. I wanted to see what I was Really doing. Of course, the simple act of that caused me to behave a bit more. I just cut out some mindless snacking. Now, my mindless snacking is usually on something as benign as pretzels dipped in salsa or a rice cake with a little peanut butter (even organic!) on it. So, I am just not sure what I'm doing wrong.

My calorie intake those days was around 2100 or so. I find it hard to compute exactly what dinner is since I don't have the boneless skinless chicken breasts weighed or the veggies measured either. I usually cut up a bunch of asparagus/ red or yellow bell peppers/ zucchini/onion and saute them in a bit of olive oil and garlic. That seems like a reasonable amount of calories for someone my height (5'5") and with my activity level.

I had awesome help from Marni last summer. I have a good handle on how to eat pre/post workout and for racing. But I want to lose more weight. I want to get that "free speed." I feel fitter and stronger and I even Feel slimmer lately but darnit, that scale won't budge! Maybe it's the scale. Yup, I think it's just wrong.

New World Record!!!

You might have been wondering what we Mainers do when blessed with 130" of snow. Do we sit inside and whine? Heck No!!! We build this: (Be sure to click on Live Webcam!)

Check her out!!! She's The world's biggest ever snowman. Or, excuse me, SnowWoman! She is the girlfriend to Angus King of the Mountain who was built in Bethel, Maine in 1998. (Named after our governor at the time.) This beauty is Olympia Snow. (named after our long time Senator)

I'm not sure of all the details but her eyelashes are skis, her eyes are pine wreathes, and she dons a beautiful Mica pendant handmade by a local. (replica of real necklaces he sells here ) She stands 122 Feet tall.

My husband owns a construction business and donated the use of his crane to this effort. We drive past her to ski each weekend. So, we have been intimately involved with her construction, as we were in 1998 with Angus. Kind of fun. It puts our little town (not my town, but a nearby town that we love) on the map.
Here's to a great winter! Even if it is a wee bit too long........

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


We logged snow day #11 here in Western Maine today. Unreal. The snowbanks are SO high that backing out from a road safely is nearly impossible. The kids are set to go to school until June 20th at this point. And it's still February! March is typically a very snowy month. I am sure we will have more.

The kids and I had a fun day though.

My alarm went off at 4:51. I was determined to get to Lewiston to swim because as I've been writing, I am having Serious trouble getting to the pool lately!! (Monday was another story that I didn't write about....) I was ready to go, dressed and 1/2 out the door, when I decided to check the news online for cancellations. I was mostly looking for school news when I saw YWCA Lewiston, open at 11:00!!! OMG!! It almost happened again. But instead, I was saved and I happily hurried back to my cozy bed to enjoy the first few hours of the kid's snow day. I slept until 7:00. Heaven.

Next came breakfast. I would be interested to hear from those of you with children on this issue. Breakfast in my home is not a quick process. Do most kids just gulp down a bowl of cereal and move on with life? Is it merely a 20 minute hiccup in the morning routine? Well, it's not at my house!!! I have 3 boys and I kid you not, we spend about 45 minutes/day at this meal. It's a smorgasboard. My oldest boy starts firsts. He mixes 2 packets of oatmeal and eats that with a large glass of milk. Then he waits. My six year old isn't so easy. He doesn't like cereal! I know, it's absurd. When he was 2 he gagged on cheerios & milk and that has really stuck with him. It'd odd because otherwise, he is my go for it child and he'll try anything. He is a great eater. But he won't eat cereal. So at breakfast, he ususally Starts with some yogurt, melted frozen berries and granola mixed together. And OJ. Don't forget the OJ. By then, "thing 1" is drooling over that and wants some too. (Remember Thing One and Thing two from the CAt in the Hat? We named our first two boys Thing One and Thing Two. Now we have Thing Three in the mix as well.) So, thing 1 now wants the yogurt mix. Thing 3 still isn't sure. He is usually having a bowl of cereal at this point. Now thing 2 is done with his yogurt and wants a bagel. And some melon. Thing 3 thinks this looks good too. Oh, it goes on and on and on. They eat big healthy breakfasts and I know it's the most important meal of the day, but my goodness, it really can take a while. Is this normal in your homes?

The thing that really gets me though is that by 8:30-9:00, they are ready for a snack. Breakfast usually ends around 7:30!!! I am truly holding my breath for when they are teenagers. Right now, we drink a WHOLE Gallon of milk in 1 1/2 days. It used to be one/day but we've backed off a bit now that some have OJ at breakfast. Woah.

After breakfast, I changed into my bike shorts, set the bike on the trainer in the living room and let them "get cozy with blankets and pillows" and watch the Fox and the Hound while I pedalled away. It works well. I sweat like I can't believe, drenching a whole towel, but I get to watch a movie with them and "monitor" all that. They actually seem to love when I do that. We have the volume cranked and the sound of my wheels is so overbearing. I am impressed that they put up with it to be honest.

Now it's 10:00 and I had promised the boys I'd take them to the Children's museum in Portland. They ask to go all the time. It's an hour drive so we had to get moving. I showered and then ran around trying to get them all dressed, hair brushed, teeth brushed and snacks packed. I made PB & J sandwiches and filled water bottles. We are just about ready to go and you guessed it, "I'm hungry!" We had to stop for some snacks. I was enjoying the yummiest post-workout smoothie. Thanks to my friend Marni, I have learned some delicious and nutritious post-workout drink recipes.
1 cup vanilla soy milk, 60 cal vanilla dannon light yogurt, 1 scoop protein powder, and frozen mixed berries. YUM!!!
We hit the road and headed to Portland. The boys were excited and also prepared for my first stop. Peak Performance Sports!!! It's my tri shop. You bikes are "almost" in!!!!!
No, I am not buying bikes...just one will do. But I have to try one more out before I can make the big purchase. I tried 3 a few weeks ago. The FELT B12, Cervelo P3C and the P2C. The FELT B12 is great but the aero bars are positioned in such a way that it hurt my shoulder, the P3C was Awesome and the P2, too big. The P3C is just a tad bit pricey. Ugh. I am waiting for the P2C in my size to arrive in Portland, to try it, and then decide between the two. "My" P3C is in the store and the other one is due today. They are holding both for me until I can try them. Very cool.
Today I just stopped by to glance at my P3C in waiting and well, pick up some gloves I left there. I also bought a fun new Splish suit. Can't wait to wear it tomorrow.
And, my friend Roger gave me some free Lava Gels to test for him. He's the store manager and is trying these out. I'm psyched to be a guini pig even if it is just gel. They have electrolytes and are more liquidy (word? ) so the need for water isn't as great. I'll let you know.
My other friend at the store, the owner and a big helper toward this bike purchase, is having surgery today. I am hoping he's ok. He's going on that Ironman training trip with me too. I hope he can still make it!

We were finally on to the museum. The kids just Love this place. It really says somethign about kids and their innocent sense of play. I'm not sure if that's the right way to phrase that but let me explain. This is not very big. The same main attractions have been there since I started going about 7 years ago. There's a big fire truck that you climb in and honk the horn, blare the lights, slide on the pole etc. There's a fishing boat, a grocery store, a tree house, a car, a space shuttle, a cow to milk. All of these are very interactive. It's all fun. It's all cool. But they've been So many times!!! They love it just as much each time! It's as if they've never been before. It is so simple and yet so perfect for them. Kids don't need tons of bells and whistles. A big plastic cow with a rubber utter that you squeeze and tiny drips of water comes out. That's it! That was Nick's Favorite thing!!!

We got home around 3:30, had more snacks and the boys headed outside to play in all the snow. I changed, again, and hopped on the treadmill for a run. Another shower. Another outfit. I do shower and change all day long it seems.

The boys came in, had a snack and played hide-n-seek. See, we eat a lot around here. I completely omitted our lunch time too. Of course, that was squeezed into our day too.

Dinner time, Mom headed to the town office for baseball registration, showers for the boys, playtime, story time, some homework for Cameron and now....relax. I sometimes feel like, "ok quick, relax. You have to relax before you can go to bed and start all over again."

It was a good day. They've had too many snow days. I do not get excited for them any more. They have not had a full week of school for 2 1/2 months. Since before Christmas. Their learning is interrupted all the time. I feel some stress about all this. However, I had a bonus day with all my little boys. As tiring as those days can be, I do cherish them. They are my little guys. They are my pride and joy. I know they were happy with their day today and so now I am happy. I hope they know that. I do hope I can succeed at this Motherhood journey. It is not easy. But it is oh so important and I feel oh so lucky that I am a Mom.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Starting Fresh

Today is a new day. The sun is out. The air is warm. I feel so so good. I have climbed out of my sleep deprived fog. Wow. I missed a whole week! I went to bed at 10 p.m. last night and woke up at 8:00! Ten hours of uninterrupted sleep. I can't believe how much I've been missing! Now that I feel good, I realize just how bad I felt. I am ready to conquer the world!

My weekend was pretty eventful. Here's a recap: I knew I had to swim Saturday morning. I hadn't been in the water since my big workout on Wed and Sat. is my day to get a full hour without rushing back for my hubby to get to work. He grimaced when I said I was going because he admitted that he likes it better when I sleep in with him on Sat. I felt guilty. He also knows that I never sleep in on Saturday. If it's not swimming, it's biking or running. I do that so I won't take away more hours of the day from our family. I figure it's more efficient to knock of 2 hrs while they're all sleeping. I guess it's that tricky balancing act. Which is better? Missing that time in the wee hours with hubby or time with all 5 of us? I don't know. It's a work in progress.

I went to bed early on Fri and slept fairly well. But, at 4:00 I woke myself up coughing and gagging some more. Before I knew it, the alarm was going off and it was time for my 45 min drive to the pool. Ugh. I did it though. I poured my giant mug of coffee and headed off. I was proud to keep my routine despite my total exhaustion. I had this sinking gut feeling though.

And I was right. The pool was dark. It was closed. "Try me week" at the Y and for some reason, the early bird swim on Sat was off. OMG!!!!! I did a U-turn and headed back home at 6:15 a.m. I almost cried.

What would I do? Go back to bed. Nope, too late. The kids would be up. We were planning to ski. I did what all addicted-to-training triathletes do. I hopped on the treadmill and started running my ass off. I ran hard and I ran long. I ran hills. I ran and ran and ran and tried to get my "anger" out. You see, whenever it becomes a serious pain for me to "find water" I start resenting where we live. I live in my husband's home town. It's beautiful here and it's home to me now, but it's missing a lot in my mind. We live here because his business is 2 miles from our house. Can't beat that. And since he works and I stay home with the boys, well, I can't complain either. But I do. Sometimes. I can't stand that I have to bust my butt to find a pool. Swimming has always been my passion and this is tough on me at times.

So, anyway, I ran hard. He came down the stairs after 15 minutes and "arguing" with my son whether or not I was home. He was horrified for me too. He knew. They left me alone to run and run and run.

I rallied after and decided to move on. Of course. It would be silly to dwell on all the reasons I was upset by my morning. That's the rational part of me talking. The emotional part of me continued to dwell.

We headed to Sunday River to ski and had a blast. I was so tired but you know, it was ok. It was warm and sunny and the kids skied so well. My 3 year old is headed for the Olympics one day I think. He is already so skilled it's amazing. I guess that's what happens to the youngest of three. They're just ready to go from watchign the others. His quote of the day, "Daddy, when I'm a grown up, I want to groom." :) He said this as we skated by the big snow cats. Pretty ambitious I'd say!

We got home at 4:00 and again, I did what all addicted-to-training triathletes do. I hopped on the bike. I was still feeling sorry for myself for missing a swim so I rode hard. My legs were pretty well shot after that 20 mile jaunt. Time to stop for the day.

Today was the glorious day that I started describing at the onset of this post. We have been busy with all sorts of activites. My kids had class at church, I fed the boys lunch, made a birthday card for a party with my 6 year old, Mark ran, I took Tommy to the party, I ran a fantastic 8 miles in the sun, we folded laundry (yes, WE! I had HELP!), we wrote party invites for Nick and now we're goign to make dinner while my oldest is at soccer! Never a dull moment. But I have energy! I can see straight! I am realizing how very much I missed last week while in the sick sleep deprived fog. If I had been with it, I would have known that swim was cancelled. Unlike last week, this was my fault.

I won't let it happen again!

Here's to a good night's sleep everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

7000 yards!

I did it. I tackled the big long swim workout yesteray.

Yesterday morning I was SO nervous!! It was a bit strange that I was so nervous. I mean, I was a swimmer. A great pool workout is what is natural to me. But it's been a long long long time since I've jumped in the water with 30 fast swimmers and done a workout over 4000 yards!! I really didn't know what to expect. Which lane should I swim in? Could I make the intervals? Would people be grabbing me feet the whole workout? Would my shoulder hold out or would I have to be "smart" and hobble off to the locker room at 5200? I really was nervous.

I got there early (an old family "trait" and joke I must add) and the first person I saw on deck was Rob. He is co-owner of the Tri-shop I frequent. My brother appeared next. See, told you it was a family trait. More and more people arrived including a few women who will be serious contenders out on the race course this summer. Before I new it, we were off. I was in a lane with my brother Jeff and the man who takes lead of this group. He is FAST. He recently went a 54.100 yard fly. He's in his 50s! He was even in the Olympic trials way back. I was in his lane? How did That happen??

I felt so so ssmooth and fast! It was like there was something in the water. I did have to do some self-talk and remind myself that I was on the first 500 warm up and we had 7000yards ahead of us!
Here's the workout:
500 warm up
400 4x100 8x50 The 400 was on 6 (1:30/100 base) 100s decend on 1:30 and 50s on 40. The 50s were basically touch and go and then we went right into the next part of this set:
300 3x100 6x50
200 2x100 4x50
100 1x100 2x50
That was a long set but it got a lot of yardage out of the way.
Meanwhile, the guard was Blasting the hardest screechiest head banging hard core rock stuff you can even fathom. Everyone was rolling their eyes. I was so glad we were under water 90% of the time.
Next set:
100 easy
200 drill
10x100 first 6 decend to fastest 100 on 1:30 two min break last 4 all out fast
100 easy
2 sets of ( 200, 2x150, 3x100 IM on 1:40, 4:50 on 40)
100 warm down
that's 7000!!!
The workout was good. We were moving quickly almost the whole swim. We all took a GU mid swim and lots of water. That is something we Never ever did during my entire 15 yr competitive swimming career. My brother and I marveled at that. Could we have gone a lot faster had we had some nutritional knowledge back then? I do hope someone is out there educating collegiate athletes about that these days. Sounds like a fun job to me.
During the last 1000 yards or so, my left calf cramped up a lot! I would push hard off a wall and whammo! It was in knots. It hurt so much! I saw a lot of people grabbing their legs with similar pain throughout the workout.

The swim was long and somewhat hard but most of all it was exhilirating! I felt this renewed love of swimming. I found speed that had been locked up inside me. My 100s were a solid 10 sec faster than when I swim alone. I felt confident and strong.
What's next? 100x100 on March 10th. I have no idea why....but I'm joining the group again that day for the big kahuna. 10,000 yards. STay tuned.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Great Start

I had a great workout to start the day today. I was already in a much better mood because I actually Slept last night! What a relief. I coughed viciously when I first went to bed but somehow I did in fact sleep.
The workout:
60" run with 10 x 1 " Hills in the middle. It went like this: 25" run to warm up. The first 5 hills were at 6.5% incline at 7:47/mi pace. 1" EZ between The last 5 were at 7.5% incline with a 7:41 pace. 15" run after to stretch out the legs.
My legs were burning. I've done this workout or some variation of it many times and I really feel it helps. When I ran the Midwinter Classic earlier in the month, the hills felt effortless. I do a hill workout like this almost every week.
Today is already a better day. My body is alive. I love starting the day with a workout. It makes me feel energetic and ready to go. The sun is shining and it's beautiful.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Right on the verge....

Gray seems like an appropriate color for the day today. I am so gray today. I am on the verge of a meltdown at any minute. It's such a vulnerable out of control feeling. I hate it. It started last night. I did not sleep. I was awake from 1:00-4:00. I was coughing and coughing and coughing. I got up and wandered the house a few times. I took 2 tsp of honey. I sat on the couch listening to the winter rain. I checked email. At 2 a.m.??? Who did I expect to hear from! I finally slept from about 4:00-6:30. Better than nothing. Today was my day to sleep in. I have a rest day today. Ironic.
The weather is so so ugly here today. There are mountains of snow but it is 40degrees and raining. There's thick fog. It makes me feel so down. LIttle things are getting to me. I won't bother to write them all down. I just feel as if I am a goign to burst into tears for no apparent reason at any moment. I know it's the lack of sleep.
Tomorrow will be better. The sun will be out. I will workout, twice. I will find Something fun to do with the kids. I look forward to tomorrow. This feeling I have is so helpless and distressing.
Tomorrow I hope to be writing in pink. It has to be a pink day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

7 Random Facts...

I was tagged by my good friend IronMatron ( the other day. I was told to write 7 Random/weird facts about myself.
Here goes:

  1. I have a tatoo (and it's not an M-dot....yet)
  2. I camped my way across the U.S. after college with a girlfriend and then lived alone in San Diego for a year. One of my odd-jobs was selling bagels--to triathletes that came in Every day on their way to La Jolla to swim and train. If only I knew.....what a missed chance!
  3. I got lost in the Bandlands, South Dakato on the aforementioned trip. I mean really really could have died out there lost. If you're not familar with the Badlands, picture drip castles on the beach. It's a park with miles and miles and miles and miles of giant drip castles. My friend and I were out for short day hike with 2 random guys we met along the way. We got off the trail unknowingly because it's just all dirt and rocks and very hard to see the actual trail. We wandered for hours and hours with absolutely No clue how to get back. I was scared. Very scared.We ended climbing way way up one of the drip castles ( you should google it and check out a picture) and then had to shimmy our way across a path that was about 2-3ft wide with probably a 200ft at least drop on either side. (I'm Completely afraid of heights.) Somehow we thought that by getting over this formation we could head back in the right direction. It was a scary day.
  4. I was a Vietnam war baby. My Dad recieved his draft notice the day my parents returned from their honeymoon. Can you imagine? I was born in January but my Dad didn't meet me until June. Every year I hear the story of him driving acoss Da Nang in a jeep with a gun on his lap to get to the phone to recieve news of my birth. My parents have Lots of 8x10 pictures of me as a tiny baby. My brother used to wonder about that. But they were photos mailed to my Dad to see me.
  5. Two of my babies spent time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit.) My oldest son, born on his due date, was rushed there with multiple medical issues that in the end, have an unknown cause. My third son, was born prematurely via emergency c-section (scariest thing in the world, I'm with you there Mary!) and spent 10 days in the NICU. He was intubated the first night, had pneumonia, and heart issues among other things. Even my middle child was high risk for 12 weeks mid-pregnancy. I had two ultrasounds/week at that time. Miraculously, all 3 of these little people are 100% healthy. It was a vivid reminder of how fragile life is. It's also one of the reasons I say "no" when people ask if I am goign to "go for a girl." I often look at baby's face (he's almost 4 now :) ) and recall how incredibly awful it was to see tubes going down his throat, into his nose and all over his body. Once again, I feel so so lucky.
  6. Unlike many women, I can't Stand shopping.
  7. My husband's a pilot and I'm afraid of flying. Interestingly, my fear didn't come first. It's a result of being married to a pilot.

here are the rules:

1. Link to person who tagged you.

2. post rules on your blog

3. share 7 random or weird facts about yourself.

4. Tag 7 people and include links to their blogs

5. Leave a comment on their blog.

Here are the bloggers I will tag now:

Saturday, February 16, 2008


You know that moment when the alarm goes off, your bed is so warm and cozy, it's dark & subzero outside, and the best feeling in the world would be to drift back off to sleep. We athletes know that sometimes you have to really push through the urge to just sleep. You get up and do whatever workout you have planned. Sometimes it's tougher than others but making yourself do it day after day after day is what makes us strong and fit and ready for the race.

Last night I went out for a date with my hubby. It has been a Long time. We were calling it our birthday/Valentine date. (both our bdays are in January....we wer overdue for this date.) I only had one glass of wine because I knew I had to wake up to swim at 5:15. Bedtime was a good hour+ later than normal since we drove an hour to eat at a nice restaurant. (I live out in the woods..) It was so so ssooooooo hard to get out of bed. It took All that I had. This was my 3rd swim morning in a row. I have battled horrible road conditions all week. I have to drive 40+ min to get to the pool in the winter. But I made it. I was there at 6:15 for the 6:30-7:30 swim. It's the only day of the week I get a full hour to swim. THe guard wasn't there but they let us in to the locker rooms. We all waited and waited and waited. I finally checked and the girl was making calls but it looked like it would be 45" min for someone to show up and therefore, a.m. swim would be cancelled!!! NOOOOOO!!!!! I just about died.

It turned out better than that. The girl did show up. We got in 35". We heard she was coming about 3min before I was back out the door. I changed up twice. But, I did get almost 3000 yards in. It was a good workout even though it was a bit short.

Isn't it hard when you have to rely on someone else to get the work done. I toughed it out and got up for the workout but someone else over slept and almost threw it out the window.

Part of life is dealing with these frustions though. I dont' always do very well with it. It is something I should work on.

Friday, February 15, 2008

One year ago today.....

I was still in a sling 24 hrs/day. My shoulder was 100% immobile. I was unable to write, to put on my own clothes, to wash my face effetively, and I couldn't begin to put my hair up in a pony tail. My poor husband had to do it!! When we weren't irritated by it, it was pretty funny really. And picture a 5 year old Boy trying to snap his mother's bra after everyone else was off at work and school. Yes, it's true. My little son used to dress me. I would lay on the floor or couch, suck in my stomach and he would button my pants. I could not open the peanut butter jar unless I used my knees, I couldn't fold laundry (darn!) and sadly, I couldn't pick up my little 2 year old. It was winter. Imagine getting 3 kids dressed to play in the snow with 1 arm! Not pretty. Oh, and I couldn't drive. That was a royal pain.
What I am remembering today isn't just the fact that daily life was so hard but the fact that I could not swim! I couldn't run! For 6 weeks I couldn't run. That wasn't too too bad. I did sit on the bike but it was a joke. I couldn't hold the bars and I didn't want the sling to get sweaty. This wasn't just an lightweight sleeve sling. It was a heavy thing that had a big firm pillow attached under to keep my arm out away from my body. So, biking was not much of an option either. I was pretty much a slug for 6 weeks.
While I started running on March 1st, the day I was freed from my black sling, I wouldn't be allowed to even think about swimming until May. MAY??? Real hard core physical therapy started March 1st or a bit later really. You see, even though I was now allowed to move my shoulder a little, I couldn't. It was as if it belonged to someone else. I felt like the signals from my brain to my shoulder were short circuiting. For ex, I could barely lift my hand to my mouth with a fork. If I stood and tried to lift my arm up, it went to the level of my stomach. I had a long road ahead. There was lots of pain and discouraging times. I wondered if I would Ever Really be able to fly down the pool again. I was a bit scared.

I am smiling as I remember these times because I am cured. I had an amazing physical therapist and my surgeon did his job well. I worked hard and lifted my small 1lb weights and stretch bands Every Single Day of the summer. EVERY Day. I'm not kidding. I am smiling because I swam 3000 yards yesterday, 2000 today, and plan on 4000 tomorrow. With no pain. And most notably, I am joining my brother's Master's team next Wednesday for a crazy 7000 yard workout. I had to stop and recall the agony of last winter and spring as I found myself getting more and more nervous about next week's big swim. It will be far. It will be hard. And it will be fast. One of the women on the team was in the Olympic trials! There are a bunch of fast guys there and their intervals are tough. I have my work cut out for me.
But, this is a workout to improve my fitness and to have fun by swimming With some other people. I get a little tired of trying to push myself though fast 200s while some ladies are bobbing up and down in the next lane on green and orange noodles.
I just have to stop and remember, one year ago today, I was sitting around the house feeling frustrated by all that I could not do.
I am feeling lucky today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Should I stay or should I go?

I went to a meeting tonight at my Tri shop. They're planning a big Ironman training camp weekend in Lake Placid this summer. Part of the group is racing Ironman Lake Placid this summer and the rest of us would be preparing/checking it out for '09. It sounds very cool. We'll ride 112 miles, run the course, and swim the course twice. I've never come close to riding 100 miles so this would really give me a huge amount of confidence. It would be a great experience and opportunity to learn from team members who have raced many Ironmans before. A whole 4 days to talk Tri without feeling like I was driving anyone nuts. So what's the big deal? Leaving the kids. I do Not do well with that. I know I would have a blast but I do not do well saying goodbye to my little guys for so long. I rarely leave them. I need to get over it. I have some days that I dream about "Mommy vacation" but when the opportunity presents itself I lose my courage. I need to do this for me. I really do. Right? Am I being selfish? I am able to justify my daily workouts without much ado. I work them into our day so they don't interfere much at all. However, this type of thing gives me pangs of worry.

One more look back.....

It's hard for me to move into present day without talking a little more about my start in the sport of Triathlon.

My first race was called Shipbuilder's in Bath, ME. I was so so nervous the night before and really felt like I had no clue. I didn't know where to put my race # while swimming (no race belt yet), I didn't know how to set up my transition, I didn't know to put my bike in an easy gear, along with a lot more important details. I started the race and the swim was fast and fun. (downstream in a River!!) The transition was slow but I did what I had to do. And then, the bike. Ug. I was breathing So hard from the swim, my gear was not at all right and I had to start uphill!!! Long story short, my chain fell off about two miles into the course after being passed by what felt like every single other racer on the course. I now know that a derailed chain is commonplace, but to me that day, it was nearly catastrophic. I rallied. I had a little talk with myself once I realized No one was stopping. I said, "Ange...there are 9 people at the finish line waiting for you, figure this out!!" And I did. I was covered in grease and horrified. And then a nice man (he was chatty and friendly) rode up beside me with blood all over his shoulder. He had wiped out on the corner. I felt wimpy about worrying so much about a chain and just fine to proceed after my relatively minor issue. The rest of the race was a Blast!!! I Loved it. The run was so awesome and my 10k time shocked the heck out of me. I could do this! I was 14th woman or something that and damn proud. What was next???

A fun sprint race in Bethel, ME was next. It went very well except for the fact that I couldn't find my sneakers off the bike. T1 and T2 are in different locations and again, I wasn't fully prepared. It was still fun. It was a rush. Tons of my husband's family members were there (near his home town) and I felt so great. I was 4th woman that day, 2nd in my age. I was hooked.

I really looked forward to my 3rd and final race that season in Freeport, ME. It was in September. I had another month to prepare. Freeport is practically home to me even though I didn't grow up there. My parent's live there now but more importantly, our family cottage on the ocean is there. It is my favorite spot on earth. But that race wasn't meant to be.....

August 14th, 2006 I woke up at 5 a.m. and went for a pathetic bike ride that I wasn't in the mood for. It was drizzling just a bit. I really didn't get much out of it. I had about 2 miles to go before I got home and I had to cross a double train track. These tracks are a mess. There are deep wide grooves and the road is all beat up. However, at that point I was very inexperienced and was feeling invincible. See where this is going?

My tire slipped into the groove and I SLAMMED down on the road. My right arm and head hit. It was the most intense most stunning pain I have Ever felt. I have had 3 babies and yes, that is pretty painful. But that's "natural" pain. You're Supposed to be having pain while giving birth. This pain was just wrong. I knew I was in trouble. It was hard to breath. It was hard to cry. I just didn't really know what to do. I didn't have a phone or anyway to contact home plus the 3 boys were probably still sleeping. I picked up my stuff...with my left hand, and pedalled home. I just kept convincing myself that my legs were fine so what's the problem?. YOu can get up this hill! You can fall apart when you get home. Go go go go. My arm was literally shooting me with pain and I could Not move it. I got home, fell apart in my husbands arms, assessed alll the damage, and hopped in the shower. He had to go to work right? A short time later, I passed out. Thankfully he was still there. I was nauseus, I was sweating profusely, and it was hard to breath. I had a concussion. I had to spend the day on the couch with a rockin' headache.

I had a few days of serious pain but an xray showed no breaks. Maybe it would just get better with time. I had hopes that it would. I was wrong.

I can't go possible relive that whole Fall and the series of events that happened next but here's the jist. I had Months of PT. They told me it was bursitis. I finally had an MRI and the news was bad. It was a torn Rotator Cuff. Not good. Not good at all. I had not been able to lift my arm up above my head all Fall. I coudln't swim a single stroke. What was going to become of me? Would I ever really swim again? I had missed the Lobsterman Tri but I had managed to continue running all Fall. I raced in the Maine Marathon in Oct and got a PR of 3:27. Revenge. Take that Bike Crash. I'll show you.

On January 18, 2007 I had surgery. I faced many challenges for a while after that. But here I am today, ready to train for my 2nd Half Ironman. So, this story has a happy ending.
Moral for the day: never give up.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


This is my first post. I just created this blog this afternoon. I can't wait to get it all set up and make it fun to view and read.
I'll tell you a little about myself. I'm a Mom. I'm a wife. I'm an Athlete. I have always been into sports. I joined our town's swim team at the age of 8 and never looked back. Swimming was the world to me. I swam in H.S. and College. I will never forget the feeling at the end of my very last event at the University of Delaware. It was the North Atlantic Conference Championships. The event was the 800 Free relay. I was first. My 200 split was the fastest I had ever done. 1:59. Our team was comprised of my very best girlfriends at UVM. We set the Varsity Record. And then it was done. That was it. Fourteen years of swimming. Done. While swimming didn't define who I was, it sure did make up a big part of my life. It was my drive. I loved practicing. I really loved racing and I loved the teams I had been part of and the friendships. Oh the friendships. There is a certain kind of person that gets up at 5:00 a.m. day after day after day, year after year after year and loves it. The bonds we had and still have for that matter, are indescribable. So, there I was. In Delaware, age 22, and my swimming life was over. I did feel a little lost.
For years after that I didn't really swim. I started running. I had also been a runner in H.S. but it wasn't at the same level as swimming. All through my 20s I ran. I completed my first marathon in 1994 and then Boston in 1995. I ran by myself. I ran and loved it but I didn't have the same feeling that I had when I was swimming on those teams. I missed hard-core racing.
I was married in 1998 and in 1999 my first son was born. Life changed again and it was wonderful. I stopped working as a Speech-Language Pathologist when my baby was 2 and my 2nd was on the way. By 1994 I had 3 little boys. Phew!!! Life was so busy and so so wonderful. I love every single part of being a Mom and that will be saved for another post. But....something was missing and I didn't even know it yet. I was missing that piece of life for me.
Mothers need to find something for themselves and not feel selfish. I have had to learn this and it has taken almost the whole 8 1/2 years that I've been a Mom to figure it out.
That leads me into my new love for Triathlon. I had actually done 2 before on a whim right out of college and grad school. But in 2006 I bought my first Road bike and dove in head first.
I LOVE this sport and now I'm hooked.
I will talk more about that next time.
For now, that is it.
That is a little look into who I am.