Thursday, March 31, 2011

Split Second

1. My children are very healthy boys.
2. My husband and I are generally very healthy too.
3. We have a beautiful home.
4. We are able to buy and make nutritious home cooked meals each night.
5. My parents, my in-laws and many other family members are living close by and we see them often.
6. The daffodils are budding through the icky dirty ground.
7. Spring IS coming even if we are expecting 10-14" of snow tonight.
8. I have a lifestyle that allows me to train many hours /week for a sport I love.
9. I have loyal lifelong friends.
10. My youngest boy still asks Me to snuggle with him at night.


That list of things I feel grateful for could go on and on and on. I am a lucky lady and I am keenly aware of that.

However, this week has been a little much. I hate to complain. But I am going to just a bit here.

It started off fine. I was tired from our weekend of fun again. I slept until almost 7 on Monday and Tuesday and that is a Treat!! When I woke up on Sunday morning, I had a nasty sore throat. It was clear by Monday that I had a true cold. No big deal. I was due. I haven't been sick in a long long time. Monday was actually a true Day off from training too. It was good timing. I slept late, took a shower, took the kids to school for a full day, and then I got a ton of work done that day.
Monday started.
"the cough"
Once in a blue moon I get this cough that starts when I lay down and then Attacks me in middle of the night. It's deep and loud and my whole chest and throat spasms. It's uncontrollable. I get hot and sweaty and it's totally impossible for anyone within earshot of me to sleep. I'm sorry Mark. I got up in the night and wandered aimlessly through the house. I drank teaspoons of honey melted in warm water. I took a shot of Robitussin. Eventually, I went to sleep. I woke up Tuesday, Exhausted. And my throat was worse.
I had a busy day that day. It was all fine. I did an easy swim, a solid workout with my trainer and then, I had to go to the doctor.
I had something done there that Hurt and left me feeling woozy and uncomfortable. I'll leave it at that.
Time to go home.
Tuesday night... same deal with the cough. Violent spasms all night long. I tried to prop myself up. I tried a different bottle of cough stuff I found in the back of the cabinet. Probably from 2004. Some generic nyquil stuff. It didn't work. was Wednesday.
I was excited for this day because no matter what the thermometer said, I was riding outside!!! I had a 4 hour ride + 40 min transition run and I was fired up. The two days previous days were easy on the legs and I felt completely ready for this workout. The bike was packed up. I had changed my back tire myself. Put the bottle cages on. Dug out warm bike stuff... it was time. I would no longer pedal away in Lalaland with the TV in front of me. Time to get serious.
9:15 a.m., 35 degrees, and off I went. Yes! I was totally excited for some reason.
I felt Great! The first 30 miles or so were really fun. I felt strong. I wasn't freezing. The air on my face felt refreshing. It was going well.
Then, I turned around. I became deflated because I realized why I might have felt SO good on the first half. When I turned, the wind nearly pushed me backwards. I had a very strong headwind the whole way home. And, it got colder. The sun was hiding and the wind picked up.
At 2:40, my stomach tightened and I had horrendous pain. This keeps happening at just about that time so I think that's a red flag for some nutritional changes that need to be made.
I made a turn through a neighborhood and began a tough series of climbs. The whole ride felt like a climb but that part was super tough. The kind of hills that go on forever AND you have to stand on your pedals to get up and over. I was hot and unzipped.
I finally crested the hill to a beautiful open stretch. To your left you view Mount Washington and to your right it's pretty farmland. The wind is strong. I got cold. I was tired. I was sick of riding. I became worried about how much time I would have been the workout and picking up the kids. I sat up to zip up my coat and
Wind blew hard, I wobbled fast and the next thing I knew I was smashing to the ground.

Stars. Fog. Silence.

I was hurt and out of it. I wimpered and sort of gasped for my breath. The wind knocked me over and then it was knocked Out of me. It's a lousy feeling. I was sprawled on the road. Bottles around me. I felt several parts of my body screaming. I was scared for what was ahead. I was scared to find out how badly I was hurt. I have crashed before. I was hurt badly before. Was it going to be that way again? My elbow was screaming at me. Could I move it?
I sat there and felt dizzy. I felt unable to focus. I wondered who to call for help. Mark was out of town. Who do I call? Was there anyone?
I just stayed put. I would just sit there for a while. I couldn't get home.
that's me. just sitting there.
Finally I could breath. I could see. I had my head back on. Time to start moving. Can I move my arm. Yes. It hurt but it moved. There were no sharp pains. My hand hurt. No blood. My leg. I stood up and cried. My leg hurt really really bad.
I picked up the bike.
CLimbed on.
Rolled down the hill.
I cried.
I pedaled. It hurt more.
What have I done.
In a single split second. I lost focus. Down I went. That's all it took. One single second.

I really had no choice. I had to keep going so I could get to my house. It was further than I wanted it to be. I got to the bottom of my road. Only 2miles to go. UP. Two miles up. Horribly reminiscent of 2006 when I fell hard on the RR tracks in town and had to ride those same 2 miles UP to get home. That time with a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder.
I cried harder.
Then, right out loud, I hollered to myself.

I dont' think anyone heard me. But if they did, I don't care.
I got home. I took all my clothes off and checked out the damage. I hobbled around and realized I'd live.

I had to get dressed, pick up the kids, and drive 40 minutes to swimming lessons. Then drive home. Finally, I was home and could get that hug from my husband I needed.

I went to bed after icing my leg all day. It hurt a lot. Hurt a lot to walk. TO go up and down stairs. I had no idea what to expect today.

First, I had to get through the night. You guessed it! Mr. Cough came back! I thrashed around for much of the night. Just gagging and sputtering and praying it would just end. 4:27 my friendly beep went off and I could get up and move on. Away from the useless night sleep.

I drove Back to that pool to see if this aching body could move. My neck is now stiff, my back is sore, my hand badly bruised so it's hard to use it, but my leg is A Lot better than I thought it would be. I am feeling lot less pain and much more mobility. It's bruised and a bit swollen, but, I will be fine.

I swam and felt just fine. My road rash didn't sting and after 1000 yards, my leg wasn't too bad. It's just a solid deep bruise in my quad. Ugh.

I am lucky. It could have been much much worse. Biking is not the safest thing for me. I try so hard to be careful. It wasn't the sand, or small patches of ice or even the frost heaves that got me. It was my own lack of focus and dumb move. It only takes a second. And on another good note, I got a yummy prescription for cough medicine with codeine!! I think tonight will be muuuuch much better.

Safe riding everyone!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lost in Space

I have no idea what I mean by that but it came to me as I decided to punch out a quick blog post in the next 4 1/2 minutes. I'm not really lost. A little stressed. Actually, gut wrenching knots are building. More on that. Later. Not now. But there is a cobra lost from the Bronx zoo. I did just hear that as I cooked up my oatmeal. Lovely. Can you imagine? "Hey sweetie, come here to see this cute giraffe." Then a giant deadly cobra raises it's head and spits at little Johnny. Nice.

Total random tangent there.

Life is cruising along at warp speed. I feel good but not 100%. I'm a bit sick. To quote one of the cutest 5 year olds ever (not mine actually!!), "It feels like fiya..." That's Fire for those of you outside of Maine. Yup, my throat feels like Fiya. I'm a bit weak and icky. Other than that, life continues on. Moms don't get sick days.

I've been training hard. Knocked out almost 17 hours last week. It was fine actually. This week includes a 4 hour ride. The longest to date in 2011. It's tomorrow and I am GOING OUTSIDE!!!!! I am ignoring the fact that it was 18 when I got up today. I am ignoring the fact that there is 2inch deep sand piles all over every road. I am ignoring the fact that there are potholes the size of my youngest son. I am Completely ignoring the morning forecast that said we have a Nor'Easter coming Friday. Yes, this winter-embracing Mainah is ready to move on. Time for spring. We are STILL SKIING and yet we haven't even been able to enjoy the light jacket days of spring skiing. Sunday we were at the mountain and all but 3 lifts were on hold from wind. Crazy. I want a beach.

Today is a fun day. I get to teach a swim lesson. Swim for an hour myself. Work my tail off with my personal trainer and hopefully gain a bit more hootzpah when it comes to controlling myself around food.

Because if there's one thing I've grown to learn about myself, I can be ridiculously motivated and disciplined about almost everything. Except food. I will alwasy find a reason for it to be OK and actually, in my best interest, to eat more of whatever I made for lunch. Or the peanut butter. Or, the chocolate whatever every night. sigh....
It's depressing.
My Guy buddies in this sport are locked in to their daily caloric intake and need and nothing seems to tempt them. WHat is it about men and food?
Maybe it's just me.

Time to drive boys to school.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Winter Fun & of course, Training!!!

Life just seems to get busier and busier. Last fall, as we closed up our little camp on the lake, I remember thinking, "Ok, things will be quieter for a while now." Summer is just so busy in our home. We are gone most weekends to camp or races which results in a never ending cycle of packing and unpacking.
It's a blast. But secretly, I would crave an occasional quiet weekend.

Well, Fall and then Winter arrived but quiet isn't exactly how I'd describe the way things were. So I had to resing to the fact that hey, who wants quiet? After all, that might end up being boring!

We got through the giant Christmas Holiday, celebrated New Years in the best way we can remember in years, got through the weeks of turning 41 and then, we realized how good the snow was in Maine.

That's right, this ski family hit the slopes in January and we never looked back. Phew!! We've skied so much and so hard this winter!! It's been great.
It's Amazing how far we've come in just a few years. My three little boys were all put on downhill skis at age two. I was incredulous when my husband and his cousin declared it was time to get our first two guys out there 9 years ago. Mark and Paul literally hauled Cam and Jack up and down and up and down a small trail, wearing only turtlenecks because they were working so hard, until they could stand alone.
Two years later, I would stand outside with the baby and video tape the now 4 y.o. Cam skiing independently with Daddy. Two years after that, well, you get the drift. Eventually, all 3 were out there. It was Hard! They were little and we had to be Careful!! (Mom talking here... it was kind of nerve wracking with my babies out there at first.) Nick was on a harness (imagine straps around his body with longer straps that went back to Mark. Mark skied behind him to keep him in control. Nick Hated the harness and when he felt it yanking on him, he'd turn around and growl for Mark to let go. He was out of that thing very quickly. But we'd ski slowly and constantly holler out, "slow down! Turn! Let's see good turns!" to keep them safe and in check out there.
It was fun. But it was not easy and it took a lot of patience.
Flash Forward to 2011--
My kids have turned into bona fide ski bums and we're having a blast!!
I think we've skied nearly every weekend. Two weeks ago, we stayed on the mountain (we live only 30 min away so we usually go back forth each day) with my family (including my brother and parents) and another family that we ski with each weekend. Between us, there were 8 kids and 8 adults. It was a total blast. We skied, swam in the warm outdoor pool, lounged in the outdoor hot tub w/ our drinks, and stayed up late having fun with great people.
This past weekend, my baby boy turned 7. I won't get started on how that makes me feel. He's the best little kid around and I'm incredibly blessed that he's 100% healthy. He was born way too early and under scary conditions so each year when his birthday rolls around, I feel particularly lucky.
We were at the mountain for his birthday and met up with our friends. The boys have been anxious to ski a super hard trail that runs under one of the lifts this season. It's called Agony. For some reason, I agreed to it the other day. Below is a picture of Nick post-Agony. He made it look easy. We've come a long way in 7 years. It was fun to see.

I have more ski stories right now than I do training stories. I guess that makes for a boring Triathlon -themed blog. That's why I've been absent for a while.

Sure, I'm training. But my weeks in between skiing have been so busy with life that I haven't found time to sit and write about it.

I have several things on my mind right now. Things that are juicy and interesting. I just can't write about them. Sorry. I must put the filter on. I'm not totallly boring... I just can't write about that stuff!

A few weeks ago I was having a hard time keeping up with things. Mostly, my quads. They were trashed. Day after day. I was super tired and my legs never recovered between workouts. We tweaked a few things but after talking it out with a few experts, we determined that it was in fact, mostly the skiing.
OH well. I can't change that!! It's who we are in the winter so I have to figure out how to make it all work together. My quads were just never getting a break. It's better now. I think because my workouts have changed just enough. And, ski season is winding down. I'm sad to say.

I also found out that my Ferritin levels are pretty low. Low for 'normal' people but apparently fairly average for women who are endurance athletes. The average range is 10-232. MIne is 21. What is UP with that range?? It's Huge!? I don't understand that. But again, after checking in with people who know these things, I'm only on the low ave for someone like me. That is, a woman over 40 who runs a ton.

That said, I am no longer trying to cut meat out of my diet. I am making sure my multi-vitamin has iron in it. I take my VitC and Iron tabs separately at night too. We'll see how it is when I get retested next month.

Ironman Lake Placid is only 4+ months away. Time flies. That's all I can say. It's cliche but it's true. Four months. Instead of the total Fear I felt at this point two years ago, now I feel serious drive. I am fired up for that race. THat's right, now it's a race. I've only done two of them, but I feel ready to attack that bad boy.

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the last couple weeks. I'll dig up a more interesting post asap.

Oh and I forgot! That ABC thing is at the bottom of this too. This post is full of boring randomness!!!

Our ski gang

Heading up to Jordan Grand Hotel

Cameron and Mom before his debut on the trumpet at his concert

Tommy and Nick watching Cameron's Band Concert
overlooking Barker Mtn at Sunday River

Nick's 7th birthday

Nick after skiing effortlessly down a double black diamond trail - called Agony
ABC Quiz

Age: 41 How did that happen ?
Bed size: King.
Chore you dislike: emptying the dishwasher and putting away laundry. Two things that never end.
Dogs: No dogs here. We aren't home enough on weekends to take care of them.
Essential start to your day: coffee, hugs from boys, refill the coffee
Favorite color: cranberry red, slate blue

Gold or silver: I like both.

Height: 5'5"

Instruments you play: I played the trumpet in 5-6th grade. I have always wanted to play the drums.
Job title: Mother. Coach. Speech-Language Pathologist

Kids: three boys. Ages 11, 9 and 7.

Live: in the mountains of Western Maine. Someday, I hope to be back to the ocean.

Mom's name: Sherron

Nickname: Ange ( I really don't like being called Angie. Sounds like a barbie doll to me and I am not a barbie doll and I never even played with barbie dolls.)

Overnight hospital stay: The Birth of 3 babies, to sit by my husband's side when he was sick and to sit by Cam and Nick's sides in the NICU when they were born.
Pet peeves: when people don't RSVP, making small talk with people to be friendly and having them ignore you.
Quote from a movie: I remember a lot of random details. Movie quotes aaren't one of them. I've got nothin'...
Righty or lefty: Righty
Siblings: I have 1 younger brother. Jeff.
Time you wake up: I wish it was the same every day! 4:30 a.m. three days/week, 6:30 on the other week days and Hopefully a bit later on the weekends.
Underwear: I'm very picky about what kind I wear.
Vegetables you don't like: Carrots
What makes you run late: Getting three kids ready before myself!
Xrays you had: my feet, shoulder, head, teeth
Yummy food you make: shrimp over pasta, I love my salads.. such talent
Zoo animal favorites: I can't think of any I don't like.