Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tri Report

Friday night we were getting ready to go to Cape Cod for the Tri, and the excitement in the house was palpable. Mackenzies overnight bag was packed, the house was cleaned, and I was starting to pack Jack's bag. Kevin and I were trying to decide what he should do about Tri shorts. The outfit he had ordered online, had not yet arrived, so he was contemplating running out to a sporting goods store to pick up bike shorts.

That's when I checked my emails and found that the race had been cancelled due to "dangerous weather conditions" The race and safety officials decided that with the pending hurricane coming up the coast, both the swim and bike legs would place athletes in significant danger of injury or death. Sort of defeats the purpose of getting healthy, right?

But, oh boy was I dissappointed! I really just wanted to cry. I think Kenz was almost as sad as me. Kevin quickly came to the conclusion that he has no interest in swimming during a hurricane, so he was okay with the cancellation. I spent the night moping, and checking the weather channel(like that would change any thing).

Saturday morning I got up, and at some point Kenz and I went for a walk. I don't know if it's because we're both middle children, or because we're pisces, but we tend to share a desire to fix things, and seek harmony. On the walk, she told me again how sad she was that we weren't going to get to race, and that she had really wanted to cheer us on and make signs for us. That was the turning point for me. I went home, and told Kevin we should do our own Tri here, on Sunday morning. (He had suggested it the night before, but I wasn't ready to hear it then). So that's what we did. Shayna is here, and was willing to watch the kids for us, so it was a go!

Buzzards Bay was scheduled to be a 575 yard swim, 14.7 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. We mapped out a course with these totals: 600 yard swim, 15.4 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run.

We got up this morning, loaded the bikes on the car and headed to the Y. We racked the bikes there and went in for the swim. I finished the swim in 16:45, and Kev was about a minute ahead of me. I am really happy with the swim time, because I've never swum competitively, and don't really know what I'm doing! It took me a long time to get from the pool, get shoes/socks on and change my shirt, then get to my bike. I was on the bike at 22 minutes, and could see Kevin leaving the Y parking lot as I got to my bike.

The bike: Ouch! Buzzards Bay described it's course as having 1 hill. The course Kevin chose for us had 4 significant hills! Plus, I got stuck at 2 redlights, which added 4 minutes to my time! Overall, I finished the bike at 1hour, 27 minutes. That was an average speed of 14.22 MPH. If I could deduct the 4 minutes at redlights, I would have been at over 15 MPH! It's not blazing fast, but it's respectable. Kevin was ahead of me, but I'm not sure how far.

The bike course looped once past our house, and ended there, so we got to see the kids! I dropped my bike, and headed out for the run. I am embarrassed by how slow the run was for me. It was a total of 38 minutes. I had to stop and stretch my calves out twice, and I walked a little bit in 2 other spots. The run was brutal for me. Toward the end, my old foot injury was really painful, but I kept going.

My goal for a final time was 2 hours and 10 minutes. I finished at 2:08:22!! So, if We did the 14.7 ride that was scheduled, and I didn't have to stop for the red lights, I believe I would have been at just about 2 hours! So, for a first time, I'm pretty satisfied with that.

Thanks to every one who has been so encouraging over the past few months! I'm looking forward to doing an official Tri next year!

More Pics to follow!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bobbing like a Holloween Apple

Last night I went to the Y to try out the wetsuit! It was quite the experience, and I'm glad I didn't wait until Sunday morning to try it on. I got to the Y fairly late, so that there wouldn't be a lot of people in the pool. That plan seemed to be working well, while I was in the locker room. The wetsuit is made of heavy material, I think it's called "neoprene" or something like that. I had read a lot of warnings about not poking holes in the suit with my finger nails, so I was very anxious about getting it on. Plus, by design the suit is supposed to be quite snug (which I Think it is).

I inched and wormed and wiggled and squiggled my way into the suit. OKay..suit is on. Now I just need to zip it up the back. Shouldn't be too hard, since there is a long industrial strengh chord attached to the zipper.Hmmm Did I mention the suit is supposed to be snug? Let me say that I have had an easier time getting in and out of every formal gown I have ever worn! So I stood infront of the full length mirror, doing the "Scarlett O'hara tummy suck" for several minutes. Wishing for the first time in my life that the locker room wasn't deserted! Finally, I asked some kind woman to help me out. She might say I accosted her at the door, as she came in!

Out to the pool I go...Oh no! 2 lanes of swim teams (think 12 year olds who swim 5x's faster than me), 4 lanes of overweight old ladies attempting to do water aerobics, and 2 lap lanes being used guessed it..3 very athletic guys in tri wear!! This was my worst night mare!

Okay, pull it together and walk to the lane, you wimp! Be a Triathlete!

And guess what! The guys were nice, and helpful, and knowledgable about wetsuits! So after we got passed the ridiculous:
Guy #1: "will your boyfriend be at the race to help you out?"
Me: "No. Actually my husband and 3 kids will be there with me."
Guy #1: "Oh...that's good." (nice save buddy)

obvious fish for info, they really helped me.

This is what I learned:
Pull the wetsuit all the way up, so that all the extra room is in my shoulders.
I can bob like an apple when I have a wet suit on!
Using a wetsuit in 83 degree water is insane, and I was swetting by the end of the 3rd lap!
I swim fast, with a little help from my new best friend, Neoprene!
slimming affects of black+being sucked in by neoprene= a fairly slim profile! (I know it's vain, but a girl has to rejoice in thinness when she can get it!)
Even though I thought the suit was snug, the experienced tri guys said I should get a size smaller if I'm going to buy one.

In other Tri related news:
The weather forecast for Sunday is 40% chance of showers, highs in the low seventies.
Taking a cue from my cousin Felicia, I am using a house sitter for the weekend. We'll see how it goes, because I like the theory better than sending the dog to a kennel for the weekend.
And, Belinda called it right; Kenzie wants a wetsuit of her own now!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The wetsuit

Kevin and I decided to rent wetsuits for the tri, and they were delivered to my office today!! I opened the box, and it took all of my will power to not run to the ladies room and try it on! It's super cool and sci-fi'ish looking!

I'm going to the pool tonight to see how it feels. I've been warned that the first 50-100 yards will feel very weird.

Only 4 days left!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

6 Days to go!

Last week did not go quite as planned! It was a definite test of my patience, as Jack and Kenz both seemed to be determined that I would not get in any morning workouts!
Let me explain that to get in a morning workout, I have to be up by 5AM, and out the door by 5:10. Which is not bad, when Jack sleeps through the night, and doesn't wake up at 5:05. It was a frustrating week, with minimal workouts, because of sleep issues.

So on Tuesday I got a short run in after work, but no 5k in the AM. "That's alright, I'll go tomorrow." I told myself. Wrong! Jack was up from 3AM until 4:55AM, so I just didn't have it in me to go for a run. But, my 750 yard swim that evening actually turned into a 1/2 mile!!
No bike time all week until yesterday morning, when I did atleast 15 miles, and a short run after that. Kenzie did the first 1/2 mile of the run with me, which was awesome! She totally kept me motivated.

I did get a 5k in on Friday, but nothing on Saturday, due to Kevin's work schedule. At this point, I'm hoping to get a few short workouts in this week, but the focus is really on tapering a little so that I'm strong and ready on Sunday.

Mentally, I'm in a good place. I'm ready. I have developed some solid "scripts" for myself to fight fatigue and keep myself going. Kenzie's enthusiasm for me is palpable, which is a huge motivator.

I also finally admitted that my neck and shoulder have not been right since the fall I took off my bike a few weeks ago. So I called my chiropractor and saw him for an adjustment on Friday. Now I feel much better!I'll see him again this Friday before we head to the Cape, for one more adjustment.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Last full week of training

I'm writing down my training goals for this week, to keep myself on task. It is the last full week of training before the Tri, and ofcourse, Kevin is very busy. So, I don't have a lot of gray area to fit workouts in.

So Here it is:
Today-Rest day.
Tuesday: AM-3 mile run
PM-Bike Ride 10-15 miles
Weds: PM Swim 750 yards.
Thurs: AM 3mile run
Fri: PM-12 mile bike/3mile run/walk.
Indian food!!! (okay, it's not part of a training plan, but I lovve it!)
Sat: AM 5 mile bike to gym, then 750 yard swim, 5 mile bike home!
Sun: Possibly 5k run in Saratoga for a good cause!

That's it. Wish me luck!!

One positive and very exciting side note...I now have muscle definition in my biceps from all the swimming work outs I've done!! I love toned arms!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Woo Hoo!!

I ran a full 5K this morning!!

(just don't ask about my time.)

But I did it!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kenzie Update

I brought Kenz to the Dr. for a follow-up on her pneumonia. The Dr. said her lungs are still not clear. Therefore, she added an albuterol inhaler for Kenz to start taking. Her last day of antibiotic is today, but it is one that will continue to work for another 5 days. We return to the Dr on Monday afternoon. Hoefully at that time she'll be cleared to go back to school.

Her energy level and silliness are returning, but are not at 100% yet. She also continues to cry fairly easily, and have some body aches.

Huge Thanks to my Mom, who has willingly watched her for the past 3 days. And thanks to everyone who has been sending positive thoughts and energy in her direction.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

19 days and counting! My first ever Tri is getting closer, and it's been a busy week. Kevin and I both officially registered for the Tri, so there's no looking back now!

Of course, life keeps rolling and it isn't always smooth. Kenz has been sick for over a week with a fever that comes and goes, and low energy levels. I'd been attributing it to the stress of starting school, but by Sunday it was obvious to me that there was more going on.

So at 1 in the afternoon, I packed her up and we went to the local on-call facility. The nurse measured her oxygen level, and said,"there were 4 people in front of her to see the Dr. but he''ll be in in 2 minutes." Her oxygen was registering at 88, which is not good. The DR. came right in and informed me that we would be going to Albany Med by ambulance, as he suspected pneumonia. I knew she was really sick, when she didn't care that 3 firefighters came into the exam room to see her.

Kevin met us at AMC, where they placed her in the pediatric Emergency Department and started O2 immediately. She was a total trooper, and didn't move when they put the IV in her hand. The only thing that prompted a response from her was when the xray tech gave her a "My Pretty Pony" sticker; To which she responded, "oh yuck!!" 7 hours and one IV antibiotic treatment later, she was released to home. She was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

She still is not back to her usual energy level, but is getting a little better every day. Today she is home with Moma. We go to her pediatrician tomorrow to see how she is doing. She is still at risk of needing hospitalization, if her O2 levels are not strong. So, please send positive thoughts her way.

So with all of the Kenzie concerns, training has taken a back seat. I did get in a 15 mile bike ride on Saturday. The first 10 miles were with Jack and Kenz riding in the bike trailer, so I'm feeling like that was a good solid workout. Tonight I'll hit the pool and possibly do a run. The weather is horrible here, so the run is questionable.


Friday, September 5, 2008

In the category of "WTH"

Kenz started kindergarten on Weds. on Thursday Kev got a call from the guidance counselor. (You'll LOVE this).

The k-garteners are asked to bring in a complete change of clothing to keep in the classroom, so we packed some up for Kenz. The outfit was her normal clothing-boy jeans, basketball shirt, and Spiderman undies.

Apparently, the classroom aide had an issue with the underwear, and brought it to the attention of the school PSYCHOLOGIST!! They didn't talk to the teacher, but went right to the school social worker, Mrs. G. (who we know well). So Mrs G. called Kev, to ask if perhaps there was a mistake, and they were actually Jacks (although every thing was clearly labeled with her name.)

I was SO mad! Kev was completely shocked. All he could really think to say was that yes they are hers, it is what she chooses to wear, and he doesn't feel that it should be any one's business or concern. We support her right to be who she is. (good job Kev!!)

So I called today to find out: Who exactly had the concern, and what the specific concerns are. I guess that Mrs. G, the teacher and Kev had already chatted this AM before I called. The teacher was really angry that the aide made an issue out of it, and didn't discuss it with her first. She felt that it should be a non-issue. I never got an answer as to what the Psych's concerns were.

Mrs. G commented to me that she understands the need to "pick and choose your battles" and that this doesn't need to be one. (even that ticked me off) I told her that it isn't about choosing battles, but about embrassing who are daughter is, and what she is comfortable with at this point in her life.

I also told her that unless the school psychologist is contacting parents of every 5th grade girl who is wearing a thong and push-up bra about the inappropriateness of their underclothes; or every boy who wears a pink polo shirt, I expect this to be an end to the discussion.

I mean honestly... Kenz doesn't see these as "boy" underwear. She likes superheros, sports and racecars. As soon as some one starts putting those designs on "girl" undies, I'll buy them! Whatever happened too the idea of gender neutral for little kids, any way? We're talking about 5 year olds!!

So, let's hear it: Has any one else had issues with school officials over-stepping their boundaries? And, how did you handle it?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A month of changes

Kenz started Kindergarten today. This is the last big change in a month that has held a lot of changes for her. Kev and I know that she is ready for school, but I'm not sure she knows it.

In the past month she has stopped going to the daycare she's been to since she was a baby. "Roro" has been so wonderful to Kenz. Roro has a gift for developing routines and providing an incredible sense of security for the children she cares for. For the past 4 years, she has seen her best friend Joey there 5 days a week. And, she has been with Jack since he started going to Roro's as a baby. So in one move, she lost 3 very important things in her life.

As you know, Shayna left for NewPaltz on 8/21. This has been a great thing for Shayna, but very difficult for Kenz. She misses Shayna greatly, especially in the evenings when she wants some quiet time and snuggles. As adults we know that Shayna will be back for holidays and some weekends. This is little comfort to Kenz. She wants her Shayna here, and doesn't want to talk to her on the phone.

And now...Kindergarten has started. I don't even know what to say about this. She woke up this morning and didn't want to go. As a Mom, I began asking myself, "what did I do wrong? Why isn't she prepared and excited? How can I help her feel good about going?" As a 5 year old, she informed me," I have a loose tooth. And so I don't think I'll go to school today." Oh boy!

We talked about the one boy she met at Open house last night. We talked about how he chose to sit next to her for this morning in class. We talked about Shayna's first day at college, and how she was scared. But now Shayna loves college, so she might love school too!

Reluctantly, she got up and got dressed. We went downstairs, and the answer to all of my self doubting questions was sitting on the kitchen island: The super cool Spiderman water bottle that I picked up on a whim in Target last night! That's right. A $2 Spiderman water bottle was the answer. She smiled! She was happy! We walked to the car together and Kevin took her to her first day of school!

And guess what else: She lost her tooth during lunch! The principal and nurse made a huge deal out of it. Some of the kids were very excited for her. She told me "I didn't C-R-Y once all day!"

So my "tough guy" little girl, who doesn't like change much, came back home happy and with a little bounce in her step at the end of the first day of Kindergarten! Let's hope tomorrow goes as well! And, here's hoping we can continue to help her adjust to all of the changes she'll face in the future; whatever they may be.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

26 days and counting!

My first Tri is in 26 days. Yikes! 26 DAYS!! That is only 21 days of training really. So here is where I’m at:

Swim:Kev and I hit the pool this last Sunday. Thanks Shay for watching the kids! The race is 1/3 mile swim. Kev did a half mile in the pool. I did 15 laps, which is just under a ½ mile. I’m feeling pretty good about the swim. I like the ocean, and I can do the distance. My elbow is still sore from my bike fall last week, so I’m taking it a little easy in the water. My goals: work up to a half mile in the pool (which is an additional 3 laps), and get in the pool a minimum of 3 times a week.

Bike: We biked on Saturday. I went with Kev out Krumkill road, and looped around a little. For those of you who don't know Krumkill, it has probably the biggest hills in Albany. I was feeling pretty good about this ride, because it was the first time I was able to take the hills without stopping! Post ride mileage check showed it to be a 12 mile loop. So that isn't as long as the race will be, but the race isn't going to have those hills! My goals: Complete a 20-25 mile ride, ride atleast 4 days per week.

Run: This is my weak spot. I ran yesterday morning. So far I have not gone more than 2 miles without a walk break. This is the area I need some serious work in. Especially since it is the last leg of the race. So my goals: Running a minimum of 4 times per week. Hit 3 miles without a walk break by next Tuesday 9/9. I don't need to go fast, just GO.

Wish me luck. School starts tomorrow, so the time crunch is on, and training will get harder.