Friday, June 29, 2007

Tonight my husband is at a planning meeting for an upcoming trip to Colorado in October. B. and R. are at a friends house, and Z. is downstairs playing on a video game he just picked out. I was able to pick out a movie that I wanted to watch. It was strange. No looking for a rating. No wondering what anyone else would think of it, just what I wanted.
It is a nice relaxing evening. I am going to be doing another Triathlon tomorrow morning, then we are going up to our little part of the Northwoods. Probably going to do some fishing, fireworks and a Movie for the boys and I. Duner probably the races up there. I am looking forward to having all week off. Not to do anything that we may have planned, because really we don't have much planned. We come home Sunday from the cabin, golfing on Monday with a doctor I work with and her husband.
I have a feeling the boys will be busy with their friends. Today the phone rang repeatedly from a few friends of the boys. Now that summer school is done, and summer sports are coming to an end, I think the kids will be having many more visits by and to friends. I am taking this small opportunity to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Oh What a Relief It Is

After a filling meal at UNO Chicago we headed out to meet Auntie Sara and her man J.
J. had given Zebbie a HUGE box of legos, to which Zeb said to Reece,
You can share with me, Reece!
Reece was as excited at Zeb, we quickly dropped them off at home and grabbed the fixin's for s'mores, and headed out to the campsite she was staying at. After some biking and s'mores we headed home so I could get some sleep. Before going off to sleep I gathered all my gear so I wouldn't forget anything. I headed to bed when I figured that was complete. As I laid in bed I ran over the transitions from swim to bike, and bike to run, trying to think of anything I may have forgotten. Worrying about my rib injury. I changed my mind for the shirt I wanted to where. After doing a trial run on Saturday morning, I realized I needed some more fitted clothes, to help with the pain.

Bright and early on Sunday morning, the Algae was calling me.
I drove out just before 6am and called my sister to wake her up. I was surprised to see people already parking outside of the park. I kept going. I was able to park in the park, but not as close as I did last year.
After body marking and getting my timing chip, I headed to the transition area to set up. I saw Dez, who did her first tri last year, and Jackie, who did her first tri 3 weeks ago at the Trinity Triathlon that I did. There was so many people there already. I had a very open rack for my bike, I think at least 3 people didn't show up for the tri. A woman nearby was throwing a fit because she didn't get the right timing chip.
This is when your lack of self-confidence is non-exsistant. Imagine the most crowded beach in the world and your all going in to the water at the same time. Fat and all. Right next to these buff bodies with body fat of 2%, and then imagine having to stand next to them for 40 minutes while you go over your insecurities with the swim over and over in your head. Can you say intimidating?
The nice part of going in a few waves back is the water current is well established. If you want you can just lay there and let the other swimmers/water runners, in this case, just float you in.
I did the swim in little over 9 minutes. I was boomin' with adrenaline at that point. I was so happy. I didn't get kicked. I managed to stay away from other swimmers in the lake and I wasn't exhausted! Wooooo Hooooo!
Ok, so now for the hill. I can do this. After the hill it is just a short run to the finish line. So far no pain!
I came out of the water and ran up the hill to the bike. J. was waving and taking pictures. I asked him where Sara was, he said she was out of the water a long time ago. I figured, I didn't expect to see much of her on the course. She was even swimming with a water proof camera and was planning to take pictures.
I grabbed my gear and went out on the bike. I just love getting up on my bike. I feels so much better than the bikes I used to have. I made my way up the hill, even passing a few people. The last 4 weeks of Tuesday night rides helped! I wondered how many of those I would see later on in the ride.
As I continued, I encounter a biker that asked if I was doing the sprint or the half. When I answered sprint, he quickly braked and turned around. I am not sure how he missed that one. I had a lady yelling directions, it was painted on the ground and LARGE signs where posted.

Every time I passed a biker I tried to say things like "Looking Good", "Lot's of people behind you!" I know how that helped me last year, plus it really helps the time fly by.

Before I knew it I came up to my sister. What the heck? I thought is that my sister? As I passed her, she said "I'll see you at the finish line!" I said "No way, you are going to pass me on the run!" Well, she wasn't waiting for the run, by the time I got close to High Cliff she was passing me! She said she forgot something, and took a picture of me with the water proof camera! Wow! She must have been flying!

I came in the dismount just behind her. I was frustrated by the amount of people standing around in the transition area. I finished off a Hammer gel, took a drink, off went the helmet and I headed out on the run.
Whew. Almost done.

I walked up most of the hill... why waste energy on the hill, is my thought. As I power walked, I passed a guy who must have bee 300+ lbs, I was looking for the right words to encourage him. That guy was working hard! Another girl came up behind me having an ASTHMA ATTACK! Now that is insane! She kept going!!! She was cursing as she stopped bent over. I told her just walk up the hill, and run the rest but she just kept going. I never did see her again.

As I started the swim I had started my watch. I peeked at it about 2 or 3 times as I made my way thru the triathlon. Just before the 2 mile in the run I tripped on a rock or a tree root and fell forward. Of all the situation's that I worried about I never thought I would have had to worry about falling on the ground.

I lucked out and landed just right, I was worried about my rib but the fact that it was in a rut from some motorized vehicles, that probably saved my rib, I must have hit on my left instead of right side first. I checked mentally. Hey I can still breathe! Yeah!

That short stop must have triggered something in my bladder to say, I have to pee. With every step it felt like my bladder was saying 'Ok, Are we there yet?'. I took turns, running and power walking.

Just before the top of the hill there she was again, MY SISTER! I thought she was ahead of me! She asked if we should run in together, but I couldn't push to hard because I was afraid my bladder wouldn't wait. Why don't they put port-a-potty's at the top of the hill?

As I came down the hill, Dr Al was yelling at me cheering me on down the hill! It was so easy to run down the hill. Just as it gets flat again, the crowds are cheering you on and you just keep going some how. I saw J. first. Then I saw Duner, and the boys cheering me on! Wooo Hooo! Its almost done already! And my rib is ok

After getting my print-out I realized just how well I did! At first I thought It was only 10 minutes better than last year, but then I read the print out...
Last year 2 hrs, 28 minutes.
This year 2 hrs, 4 minutes! (Obviously the bike helped)
5 minutes better in the swim, over 15 minutes better in the bike, and 3 minutes better in the run!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Down, but not yet out...

For years my husband has enjoyed the sound of my back cracking as he picks me up, when he gives me a hug. After last night, that will not be happening anymore.

I have a costochondal separation. Basically, my cartilage that attaches a rib to my breast bone has separated. It is kind of this nagging pain at the bottom of my rib cage. I felt great this morning when I woke up but as the day went on I got a backache. I was probably trying to compensate out of fear for what pain I will feel if I slouch. (which I so LOVE to do)

What worried me the most is I have a triathlon coming up on Sunday. It was Wednesday last night. My first thought was,
OH NO, breathing is very important for Sunday. It's not easy to breathe!
After a few minutes that went away. Then I started getting pains... I began to panic. I thought
"I won't be able to do the tri on Sunday!"
All of the training I did and I might not be able to do it? NO!!! I panicked. I started to cry when I thought of all the days running, swimming and biking.

Duner was feeling very guilty. He kept saying sorry and tried to hug me but was afraid to get to close. He was just about to leave the house to go to work for the night. I couldn't cheer up at that point. I kept feeling the pain and panicking. I rubbed on my rib cage and felt something shift. Like a floater piece of something. I found out later it was cartilage. I slept ok, but I could feel discomfort on my right side. I was consistently worried, waiting for the pain to get worse.

I talked to the Dr that got me into the triathlon thing in the first place, and he said to rest up until Sunday. Do NO swimming, biking or running. Just 'Try not to piss it off, You don't want to make it worse'. He wants it to have a start at healing instead of re-injuring it be for the Tri. We I have 3 good things.
1. Fat Floats. Maybe I will just be able to lay in the water and let the current of all the other swimmers pull me thru.
2. Lifeguards. They will have lifeguards, if I happen to get kicked or hit in my ribs. I will need assistance on exiting the water.
3. Once out of the water, I will be better. I won't be breaking any records this year I don't think. I can walk, I don't know about running. I can't imagine the bike will be that difficult with this injury, unless breathing deep is a problem by then.

I just can't see not even trying. I have people waiting for me at the finish line. I never thought I would have been able to ride up the hill without stopping, but I have done it now 4 times! It is a journey. It has to have a better ending than this... to be continued.

Just before this injury I was asking him about me being able to squeak out a biking jersey from the Fox Cities Triathlon club that I am in. They are a bit pricey, but I thought, If he doesn't think we can swing it, ok. He didn't say anything about it, good or bad. Ok. I figured we will talk about it later.

So guess who's getting a bike jersey soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oh what a day

After a disappointing week for the boys, I decided to treat them for a fun day Saturday.

I took them Strawberry picking first thing in the afternoon. It's such a good feeling for them to accomplish something like seeing there buckets fill up. They are contributing to the family, and it makes them feel important. It was a great day to get out and enjoy the weather. It was warm but overcast. One year the mosquito's were awful, but yesterday there was none to be found. I wish I had my camera to take a picture of the kids.

Afterwards, I took the kids to Tom's drive in. We used to live near one, but it had been a long time since we went to one. This one was unique, since it had carnival themes everywhere. Pictures, games, and parts of rides used for seating. We had to get some groceries and I know how much worse it would have been if we hadn't eaten.

When we got home we dug out a canning kit. The place we picked the strawberries had some recipes that Brock wanted to try. It was a Strawberry Jam recipe. We had 8 jars that we filled with the jam. Brock was so happy when we finished he exclaimed "Finally we're JAMMERS!".
I didn't realize that kids strived to be 'jammers'.

After cleaning up we went for a drive to get some Father's Day things. Then we went to the drive in theater. They were playing Are we Done Yet. It was ok. I would have liked to see Shrek 3 or Pirates of the Carribean, but the kids couldn't agree.

The kids were so tired when we got home that Zeb walked in the bathroom and tried to pee, but he forgot to lift the cover and seat so I had a mess to clean up before I went to bed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I have been trying to get a picture of Reece's new look. He has glasses now. He is near-sighted. He doesnt have to wear them all the time but he has noticed a difference. He now can see the clock on the microwave from the couch. He was excited about that. Reece was so worried about what Brock would say, he was trying to find a good comeback when he saw him. He really didn't say anything. Brock eventually said "I wish I had glasses".

I think the kids get more excited over a clogged toilet than Christmas. Something is wrong here.

Time to go.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

More and More and EVEN MORE!

We went to a co worker of Duners on Thursday to pick up some river rock that we are putting around the house.

First we had to wait and see if the pending storm was going to turn out to be what they said it would. Of course it wasn't (by us anyway), so we headed out to his house. He had accidentally gotten an over abundance of river rock. It was in his back yard so he used a 4-wheeler to help us load up buckets and throw them in to the trailer. We took 6 buckets at a time and drove them to our trailer. We did about 4-5 runs, then his wife came out and talked to us about all the plants she has. We walked out of there with 2 aloe plants and 1 other plant.

Friday night was spent moving the river rock from our trailer to the front of the house. Duner took Zeb to the races and Brock and Reece helped my move the rock. Reece was our shoveler, Brock the transporter and I was the dumper.
It took about 4 hours but we were able to empty it out before it got dark.

The next morning we washed out the trailer to bring it down to Madison to pick up a bed my sister no longer needed. We had lunch at a local truck stop and the boys discovered how cool her new man is. J is what she calls him in her blog. J had some computer games that Brock and Reece really liked. One was called Heros III. Brock actually wanted it for Christmas (yes already) he also wanted it for his birthday but it was out of the birthday budget.

We made it back home but Duner was about 15 minutes late for his part time job. They were slow so it was ok.
The boys helped me bring in the bed and set it up. We then too Brocks old bed and put it in Zeb and Reece's room. Now Zebbie has a big boy bed. He wanted the top bunk. I am not fond of that idea, but I have a feeling all of them will be spending a lot of time in Brock's room.
Reece invited a friend over before we were finished so he was in high gear to get his room cleaned up. He did so well I had him clean up the basement too.

The rest of the night I hardly noticed the kids. They were so excited about the new games. They were taking turns playing and cleaning/ helping me. We even had a little campfire in the backyard last night but the boys didn't join us. They said they didn't know we had one. ???

Today we spent the morning at a Breakfast on the farm. We saw baby cows that were born on the 31st of march. The boys tried to milk a fake cow. (Reece really liked that) They got to pet some horses, tour a working barn, got to meet Steve Kagen M.D (congressman) - he put our eggs on our plates for the breakfast, saw a turkey, Llama, peacocks and chickens. They really liked to climb on all the tractor's they had on display. We also got a hay ride in. (we lucked out our hay wagon had a canopy!)

It was a beautiful day to be out side, but now it is a nice time to regain my strength, I am going to take a nap!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

And so it begins...

The summer vacation is officially underway for my kids.

They arrived home before noon today from the last day of school. Zeb patiently waited in the hallway waiting for Reece to open the garage door. I could hear Reece yelling with excitement that it was SUMMMMERR!

The past week had been a crazy week for them filled with field trips left and right. Brock went Bay Beach, Funset Blvd and to Shrek 3 (YES With school!). Reece went to a cave recently and the local library on a walking field trip. It was hard to figure out how much they would need for lunch money at the end of the year since they were on so many field trips that required a bag lunch. Unlike the prior school district they don't give you an option to buy a bag lunch from school.

They have 3 weeks of summer classes, more so to make sure they don't sit on their butts ALL SUMMER. Brock will be in woodworking, Reece will be in a class called Legos and Robotics. He REALLY wanted to be in it last year but he was too young, so he was very excited to be in it this year. Zeb will be having some speech classes to keep him in track with learning as he begins his school experience next year.

Yesterday he was screened for preschool, he did so well. I wasn't worried. He had been doing so well. One of the teachers that screened him said she will be his teacher next year! It was such a relief meeting one of the future teachers for our kids even before summer got going. It's completely opposite of last year when he was the last one that he had in school or even to know what was going on with him. He will be in school from around noon to 3pm every day. He will also be bused to school next year. He may even ride home with Reece. They will be going to 2 different schools, but on the exact same block.

I just finished cooking Lunch with Brock. I want him to get the hang of making healthy cooking choices, not just smearing butter freely or eating too much fat. He is actually into reading labels. It is good to see that!

Well, now I have to get ready to take Reece to the eye doctor. He had a well child exam not too long ago and they recommend him maybe getting his eyes checked. He is terrified of having to possibly get glasses. I want to get them early in the year, so if he has to where them they won't be so new, by the time school starts.

Hopefully, he won't need them yet, or it will be DRAMA CENTRAL!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Super Nanny in Kaukauna...

No it wasn't for our kids. See!
: )

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Lil Angler 2007

Today was our annual Lil Angler fishing day.
I had forgotten all about it till Saturday.

It was a beautiful day to fish. We got there early and watched a carp meander through the weeds on the shore as we loaded the worms on our hooks.

Reece scored the first fish (after complaining that he didn't want to go this am, since he doesn't get any fish). He also went on to get 7 more. Mostly bullhead, but some pan fish as well.

Brock caught 2 bull head. Zeb caught 1 fish, it was a bull head too. Once I had to walk back to the registration to get a new hook and bobber because a carp broke the line on Zeb's little Batman fishing pole. Just about 20 minutes after I came back with that new bobber it broke AGAIN!! That was when we stopped using that pole. Zeb was done anyway. It wasn't long til weather started getting to look like rain, so they stopped it early.

We all went to High Cliff Supper Club to eat and get our prizes. It's nice because they don't really keep record of who catches what. Its just a fun day for kids. No competition. We crammed into the supper club with 325 kids and their parents and/or extended families and friends. I was glad we got their early because some people ended up having to sit way back in a side room. Each table took their turns getting their hotdog, chips and soda/water. We made the kids only take one hot dog and they were hurting. They begged Zeb for his chips and over half of his hot dog.

Zeb's name was called first from out family. He didn't get a BIG prize, but he had a lot to choose from. Each child was able to get 2 prizes. They had over $8000 worth of prizes. 3 were complete camping kits, one was a charter fishing trip on Winnebago or Lake Michigan.
Zeb picked a water sword. (Really cool actually) and he got a $20 worth of Gander bucks.
Reece was second he picked a water gun that in 1 or 2 directions.
Brock was last. He didn't have much to choose from, but he also picked at water gun and a fishing pole.

Wow, where did the weekend go?

What a very busy weekend for us.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

And the Finish...

I began jogging out of the transition area. I follow someone that was walking so that felt pretty good passing her. about 1/4 mi we were offered a 'sports drink'. They would have been better just siting out the cups and let the rain water fill them. There was little to no 'sports drink' left.

I wanted to walk, puddles of water were making it hard to jog. Splish, splish, splash. I began to wonder if since my feet are soaked , does this qualify as walking/running on water? Hey, I need something to ponder. The rain kept pouring down on us. I began to wonder if my plants and trees were getting this same special treatment. Although they would have much prefered it over me.

I could hear some thunder off in the distance, hmm. I wonder if they would knock some time off for being struck by lighting? Ok. 1 mile down. Grr! That's all? I went back and forth fast walking/jogging. I was tired. My lack of practice was much apparent. I passed a few people that I shared my wave with, a few people passed me, but they didn't go as fast as they have in the past. Hey, at least I did pass that one girl and she didn't pass me yet! I know I am not last!

As I came in a woman named Linda was behind me, a guy was cheering her on BIG and started to run in with her I moved over and let her pass me, she was giving it her all on the way in. I was already in my ALL MODE.

As I came out of the trees I saw Duner and the boys moving to greet me at the finish line. Just I finished, I saw Duner I lost it. I gave him and the boys a big hug. The boys being so obvious kept saying "You look like your crying." Really??
It was so nice. I am defintely going to do this one again. Maybe next year, I can talk Duner into it, he says that one is too long... we'll see.

Update: The Results
I finished #39 out of 47 (for the females). But my Bike was better than Oshkosh Tri last year, and my run was better (and I even power walked for some of it). My swim this year was 1/4 of my last year swims, but I don't know how accurate they measure this.
2:28am it began.

No I didn't want to be up that early. But my brain kept worrying about missing or forgetting something for the triathlon. Helmet? check. water bottle? Check. Swim cap? Check. I kept going over a list in my mind. My swimsuit has seen better days but I had gotten a new one over winter. It is a two piece, the top is longer so it covers more. I am just not crazy about it. I had decided on a blue one piece, jogging shorts and a the new tank top that I had gotten from the people at the triathlon, but I just wasn't thrilled about that. I began to think about that other swimsuit that I didn't wear often and throwing my bike shorts on over that.

After looking at my watch at 3:30 am, 4:30 am, finally I just got up at 5am. Grrr. I wanted to sleep longer but I was too worried about everything. I grabbed the two piece and the bike shorts.
Ok we have a winner, but just to be sure I tried on the other option. Nope I decided it was just not going to give any upper body support (if you know what I mean) for the run. It was too worn out.

I forced my knotted up stomach to swallow some oatmeal and peanut butter on toast. I could only do half of the oatmeal. Something about oatmeal on a nervous stomach just doesn't do it for me. Maybe the thought of the flavor coming back to get me later was the reason. I don't know.

Anyway after loading my bike, helmet and bag in the truck I set off for my journey. I got there in no time. I even passed the same male turkey on the side of the highway as last night (no he wasn't fake.) He moved and pecked the ground. He was dangerously close to the highway, but he was gone later.

We had to lay our bikes on the ground (all 140 of us) yes a small triathlon today. I set up my gear and visited the bathroom. I met some friends from the tri club and checked out the swim. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining. There were clouds in the sky but nothing that looked bad, even though I knew we were supposed to get rain at some point today.

At 7:50 am they had all of over victims, er, triathletes wander to the beach for the start. It was waves of 15. I was #84. I was in wave 6. I was rocking from side to side to contain my nervous stomach. Some guy kept yelling to cheer on someone ahead of him, most of us were nervous. That is the worst part of the triathlon. Waiting.

I heard this was spring fed lake, which is why it was so blue and clear. Which for me meant cold water, normally, but we had a week of 70's and 80's so it actually was nice. Don't get me wrong, it was nice to get out of the water but at least I wasn't blue!

My swim was a nice zig zag pattern, not what the had marked out for us. I cut someone off and while correcting that mistake I cut someone else off. I don't know if I will ever get that down. Open water swimming in a straight line is hard. We saw some doing that in San Francisco bay. I wonder if they were in a straight line and just how did they do that?

Anyway, before I knew it the swim was done. Yay, aside from the Zig Zag, easy swim!

I walked out of the water and over to some steps and ran up the steps to my bike. While drying off I watch another triathlete run out of the transition area with his bike on his head, yes he had the bike on it's side and his head was through the triangle part of the frame. Wow, that's a first, I thought as he was running to the mounting area. My bike is lighter but I will just run next to it thank you!

Bike went great. It was a rectangular pattern, south into the wind, then west (and hill), north (curvy winding roads,beautiful tree lined roads, hill x 3), east (some hills) then South again into the wind. As I rounded that corner I SAW IT. Panic began to set in. Dark looming clouds were up ahead. YIKES! Skinny tires + water = TROUBLE! I was only a 3 mi stretch but I couldn't make it before the skies opened up and down came the rain. Hmm. I wondered if it would begin to hail what would I do?

I came in to the transition area with the rain still pounding down. I had put my back, towel and gear under a tree just in case but it didn't matter it was soaking up the rain. I took off my sun glasses and left then behind, fixed my hair (added a headband to keep the rain from getting my hair stuck to my face) and ran out of the transition area.

to be continued...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Part 1

We spent Friday night driving to Waupaca to pick up my registration packet. I could have done it on Saturday AM but I wanted to get a nice look at where parking and transitions were going to take place. I got a tank top instead of a t shirt, that was ok I was looking for a tank top to wear for that day anyway. They were just setting up the swim. It was easily done. My swim last year for a 1/4 tri was 11 minutes. This was half that. Ok. I thought it should take about 6 minutes, providing I don't swim out in to the middle of the lake.

I came home got all my gear ready.