Babies etc.

September 9, 2008

Yesterday I had a swim on the schedule.  Nothing special, just getting back into the swing of training and accepting that I am slower that I was six weeks ago.  I suppose the upside is that I’m slower than I will be six weeks from now, if you want to look at that cup like it’s half full.  It has been an interesting week.  I’m still battling the last of this month-long virus which has made consistent training difficult.  I daresay I’m almost done with it now (last time I said that I was wrong).

I had a great weekend and got in a nice long run which felt great.  Then of course there was football, football, football and the requisite Sunday NFL nap on the couch for which I have a great affinity.

My best friends had a baby on Thursday but he does not have healthy lungs yet so cannot go home from the hospital.  I am very much hoping he will be released in time for the weekend so they can start all the important things like cuddling him and nursing him – currently he is being fed through a tube.  It’s weird to be in a place of breath-holding with that situation rather than one of excitement.  It’s a little bittersweet for them since it is not a long-term health condition but is still pretty scary.  Anyway, my thoughts are with them this week and I may drive down to see them tomorrow.

Much less bitter, however, and so much more sweet, was the man standing outside the YMCA last night when I left the pool.  Please understand, this is outside the main doors of the Y which are nowhere near to the indoor pool.  As I was walking out, there was a man standing at the front doors in only his swimsuit (lovely in itself) with a swim cap on his head.  One side of his cap was pulled up over his ear so he could hear as he talked on his CELL PHONE!  It does beg the question: was this man swimming along when he suddenly remembered an urgent call he had to make?  How urgent was the call if he couldn’t take his swim cap off or grab a towel for decency’s sake??  I couldn’t help it, I just busted up laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the scene.  Meanwhile the man was gabbing away and laughing into his cell phone.  Priceless.

Congratulations to fellow-blogger Alicia on the birth of baby Remy.  My hat is off to anyone who can labor for thirty hours and be good-humored about it.

Trauma in the Woods

July 19, 2008

After a VERY busy, stressful, and dramatic week at work, I was very excited for a relaxing weekend without any drama.  The last few days of this week was so crazy that I was thrilled to climb onto the MRI bed yesterday for a little time to lay still and relax(!)  I won’t get the results of that until my next appointment but I was happy to check that off the list for this week.

This morning began with a relaxing walk down to the pond with my coffee and my dogs.  The sun had just come up and the morning was so darn fresh it was amazing.  Not surprisingly, D, our neighbor-friend was already down at the pond having just finished a morning kayak session.  We hung out for a while and then walked up to the house together.  While we were chatting on the front steps, Pumkin (D’s dog) and Jack and Finn were wrestling up a storm.  Suddenly there was growling and the most high-pitched blood-curdling dog screaming I have ever heard.  Jack had somehow gotten his teeth caught on Finn’s collar.  Finn in a panic had apparently done a 360, thus tightening the collar in such a way that he was being completely strangled and was making this crazy screaming noise.  Both dogs were in a complete panic and Finn was really struggling for air.  I was freaking out and D and I were trying to untangle them but there really wasn’t much we could do.  The collar was too tight to get anything in there to cut it off and the dogs were writhing all over the place making the most god-awful noises I have ever heard.  After a while Finn’s tongue started to loll out of his mouth and started turning  blue.  I was yelling that he was going to die and I couldn’t think of any way to solve the problem.  I’m not sure how it happened but during this enormous struggle, Jack eventually freed himself and oxygen was promptly restored to poor Finn’s body.  As you can imagine I collapsed in an emotional heap and I don’t think D knew who to comfort first – me, poor horrified Jack, or terrified Finn.  It was a pretty shocking event and made me realize how much these gosh-darn dogs mean to me.  I literally thought Finn was going to die right there in front of me while I was completely helpless.

Anyway, we all sat around and recovered for a while and at some point my arm started hurting.  I guess I sustained a puncture wound during the drama which I had not previously noticed.  Once the adrenaline wore off it was brutally painful and kind of nasty looking.  I went to urgent care just to get it checked out and they put me on preventative antibiotics given that it was from a dog’s teeth, albeit my own dog.  Unfortunately, the bruising is so significant and my movement is compromised enough that I do think I will be able to swim tomorrow and I’m sure I won’t be able to ride a bike, so that pretty much rules out tomorrow’s race.  I think the Universe might be trying to tell me to sit this one out and I think it might be time to listen.

The dogs and I are committed to a low-key day at this point and are hanging out comforting each other about this morning’s horrible experience.  The significant upside is that we are lounging on brand new, laminate flooring.  GB comes home tomorrow and we are all feeling happy about that.

Killer Deer

April 28, 2008

GB and I had a bonfire last night.  We made smores and had a good laugh about life.  I was so tired from the weekend that I practically fell asleep staring at the fire.  Eventually we went down to the pond for our little camp-out.  We left the dogs in the house which proved to be a good choice given the abundance of wildlife in the night.  Definitely the highlight of the night was some time in the four o’clock hour. 

Just so you get the full picture, GB had pitched the tent in a clearing next to the pond.  There was woods on three sides and water on one side of us, and what is obviously an animal path running very close to the tent itself.  So there I was deep in four o’clock sleep when I heard a tremendous crashing and cracking and LOUD, HEAVY animal feet on the ground, some screetching, and then some VERY heavy breathing that was not mine or GB’s…  Instantly we were both sitting bolt upright in the tent and you could feel our heart beats in the walls of the tent.  GB is much more wild-animal savvy than I am and I would expect for me to have a more fearful reaction due to my belief that herbivores want to eat me.  However, the fact that GB was also sitting up alert and freaking out was extremely terrifying to me.  In my mind, a bear had just chased a deer, was eating it, and was planning to eat us next.  (GB later pointed out that a black bear would much prefer to eat berries).  Anyway, once the loud crashing stopped, there was an angry snorting sound for a while before it went quiet again.  We thought it could be a moose, but moose steps would probably have been even heavier than those.  The best part was that as I was sitting there waiting to be attacked, I noticed that my hands were on my legs and my legs were shaking.  I think that after this weekend, my legs were saying “oh PLEASE don’t tell us we have to run some MORE!!  We do not have the energy to run for your life right now!!  YOU WILL DIE if it’s up to us!!!”.  Luckily there was no running involved and we eventually fell back to sleep.

The most likely theory about the event is that a deer was on it’s way to the water, saw the tent, and completely freaked out.  Then it lingered for a while, breathing heavily before giving up the idea of getting a drink and leaving.  Whatever the actual truth of the matter, it made for an exciting night! 

Today I am feeling very tired.  Just plain dragging.  I have some aches and pains that seem like they are fighting to become full-fledged injuries, and I just feel tired all over.  I emailed my coach whose response was “take the day off”.  I nearly cried at the thought.  Which is a sign that a day off is really what I need most.  It’s such a battle between doing the smart thing and feeling like a wimp but when I weigh the pros and cons of taking a day off versus provoking my body into injury, I think it’s obvious that some down time is the best choice.

St. Anthony’s

April 27, 2008

Well, it has been a busy and productive weekend.  So busy, in fact, that I’m too tired this evening to blog much about it.  GB and I are camping out tonight and we’re just about to have a bonfire but before I go outside for the night, I wanted to congratulate a few bloggers.

CONGRATULATIONS are due to:

Beth, Jen H, Bri, and Bree for awesome performances at St. Anthony’s today.  I was thinking about you all this morning and sending you fast vibes.  Apparently other people were too, because you were ALL VERY fast.  I was also sending positive vibes to Marit this morning whom I know was sad to not be racing.  Just wait ’till next year Marit – you’ll be schooling them all!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thinking

March 19, 2008

I’ve been thinking. (Scary, I know). I’ve been thinking about the challenges of life and the challenges of triathlon. I think Marit taking a dive on her bike and coming up broken has made a lot of us in blogland consider the fragility of our bodies and the strength of our spirits. I was commenting to GB today about how surprised I am that Marit’s accident has affected me this much and how weird that is since I’ve never met her. And as I was checking in on Jen’s site for a status report I realized that I’ve actually lost focus in my own training over this. I thought about how stupid and futile that was and then I got on my bike and I forced myself to concentrate. Because I’m not having surgery tonight. And I’m not in a hospital bed yearning for a turkey sandwich. So gosh darnit, I should be continuing on and moving forward.

Sure, Marit’s broken bones remind us of the big picture and of what’s really important. But that doesn’t mean I should ignore the details. It is the details of life that make it so delicious. After all, (speaking of delicious) it was Marit herself who waxed lyrical for several minutes on the phone today about a turkey sandwich! Now THAT’S a girl who appreciates the details of life!!

Bust Your Butt

March 18, 2008

Given that Marit and Elizabeth were in a bike accident on the final ride of their San Diego training trip yesterday, it seems a little pointless to blog about the details of my day or my training.  My heart goes out to Marit who broke her sacrum and fractured her hip (literally busted her butt) and to Elizabeth who has been taking such good care of Marit while she’s in the hospital.  There is an update here if you want to know more.  I’m relieved they are both okay, although this will be an inevitable interruption in Marit’s big IM debut this year.  The good news is that she’s young and perky and will no doubt find ways to turn this all into a positive experience.

These things always make us stop and think about how lucky we are to be healthy.  So here’s to Marit and Elizabeth, poster girls for great attitude and sportsmanship in the face of adversity.

Camp (H)TFU Update

March 1, 2008

***We interrupt today’s regular programming for a special report from Camp HTFU****

I had the pleasure of speaking with Elizabeth at Camp HTFU last night and she asked me to write a report, which was probably a big mistake on her part because I have a tendency towards taking creative license. The estrogen, by the way, was oozing out of the phone receiver from their end…
The news, in brief, is:

They went for a swim yesterday morning.
The H’s fell off their swimsuits so now they are all wearing swimsuits labelling them as The Fuck Ups, which is not as cool.
Elizabeth cried.
They went for a bike ride.
They got a total of 4 flat tires.
Elizabeth cried.
Jen used up all her glycogen stores and got ornery on account of hunger (which to be fair, Jen did predict in her blog last week).
They went for a run (something about Marit and Leslie running well into the night).
Elizabeth cried.
Mary tried to sew the H’s back on the swimsuits. In spite of her expert efforts, it did not work.
Elizabeth cried.
Elizabeth had the gumption to tell me “it’s not that warm in SC”.
I cried.

Oddly, there was no mention whatsoever of Ashley. Which is a concern because this whole thing is taking place at Ashley’s house. Makes me wonder if they kicked her out of her own home….

Tha’t all for now. It seems like they have discovered a sliver of internet connection so go over to Elizabeth’s blog for “her version” of the truth.

Jackpot

February 25, 2008

Training was not particularly exciting today I had a two hour ride that dragged on for ages but I did get to watch 3 (count ’em THREE) episodes of Friday Night Lights.  I cried through two of them which is pretty funny considering I was riding at the time.  I’m feeling pretty tired from training this week and even braved an ice bath in hopes of some relief for my legs.  Fortunately tomorrow is the beginning of a rest week.

For those who may be concerned, the dogs seem to have survived their exploits with a loaf of bread.  Finn was sick in the night (I was somehow blissfully oblivious to this since GB took care of the mess), and Jack had some unusually pungent gas today, but the worst of it seems to be over.  They were feeling very sorry for themselves this morning and weren’t even excited for their walk.  Too bad they can’t make the connections between illegal snacking and upset tummies!

Well, Beth hit the jackpot with her exciting mail deliveries last week, but I guess tonight was my night.  I went to my cycling/tri club party.  I arrived late and just as I was squeezing my way through the crowd I heard them announce my name.  So I went over to the announcer who congratulated me and handed me a check.  Since this is pretty normal for me when I arrive at a party, I didn’t think much of it.  Until I looked at the check.  My goodness, what a nice surprise!  I knew I had won the points award for the most points earned in races last season, but I didn’t realize quite how much that was worth!  I figure this check will cover most of my race entries this year and am VERY excited about this development in my financial life.  Oh, the possibilities….

Pants

February 20, 2008

fly.jpg 

I could blog about my 90 minute run in last night’s blizzard.  I could blog about having my eyebrows and eyelashes caked in snow.  But it is evident from the resounding cries of tribloggers everywhere that we probably don’t need another blog about the miseries of winter training. 

So I will write about a different problem: my pants.  I forget to do them up.  Like ALL the time.  I go to the bathroom, I pull my pants up, I do up the button, I wash my hands, and I WALK OUT OF THE BATHROOM WITH MY FLY AND BELT UNDONE!!!  Regularly.  Maybe half the time.  THAT IS A LOT OF WALKING AROUND WITH MY PANTS UNDONE!  I think in the beginning of our relationship GB took this to mean I was always ready for any romantic action that might be lurking around the corner.  But recently we had a sit-down about this problem.  It is serious.  GB is worried.  I routinely come out of the bathroom in this semi-dressed state to see GB staring at me and trying not to laugh.  “YOUR PANTS!!!!  AGAIN!!!”. 

Sometimes it’s not that serious.  Sometimes I remember to do up my belt.  But then there’s still the fly – this combination seems to happen most often at work.  And here’s the kicker: NO ONE ever tells me about it (except GB).  I usually notice well after the fact because of a certain winter draft blowing through my pants.  Come on people!!  Help me out here!!  It happens in front of important people, during meetings, at the grocery store, at home, in airports, pretty much everywhere.  Most of the world has seen my underwear at this point.  Which makes me wonder why I bother with the pants at all.  Except that it’s winter and it’s cold.  Maybe I need velcro pants. 

Or a big sign that hangs in front of my face and says: “do up your damn pants”.

Party in My Pants

February 11, 2008

Well, Mom Camp 2008 is over (almost).  My mother left last night and GB’s is here until tomorrow.  We all survived.  I am utterly exhausted but in good ways.  As we thought, GB’s mom and my mom are practically each other’s BFF now.  They had their share of heart-to-heart talks and everyone still seems happy about the whole marriage thing (ours…they are not getting married, we are – they are already married – to our fathers), so that is good.

The first night was a bit stressy since GB was at work and I was acquainting the mothers with each other.  I was grateful for my training which gave me something like 5 hours of me-time this weekend to digest and recover. 

By the time I had returned from my run on Saturday morning the two moms were yukking it up in the kitchen while GB made breakfast so things were pretty much downhill from there.  We did some wedding planning, a few short hikes, a little coffee shop time, and played some card games.  On Saturday when I arrived at the coffee shop after my swim, I was certain that both moms had been crying and they both had that guilty “sorry, we are moms and we cry and we can’t help it” look.  They have denied the shedding of tears.  I do not believe it.  They are trying to conceal their new BFF status.  Either that or they had it out with each other in the coffee shop.  Hard to tell from the look I got from the guy at the next table which said “are you responsible for these women?  you have no idea what I have just had to endure for the last 90 minutes while I was trying to study and these two were yammering on!”

A definite highlight of the weekend was when my mother told a story about a bee crawling up her pants leg and stinging her while she was golfing.  Turns out she was wearing pants covered in little cartoon bees and in her words [spoken in her strong British accent]: “I guess the bee wanted to join the party in my pants!!!”.  We were in a restaurant when she told this story and I laughed wildly and loudly for an inappropriately long time which was evident when I wiped my teary eyes and saw Looks of Mom from both sides.  If only GB had been there for that moment I  think we would have been thrown out of the restaurant for laughing so hard.  I am still laughing about it.

Anyway, the weekend is over.  It’s back to work time.  GB has taken the day off for the final stretch of Mom Camp.  I am tired and thrilled and a whole lot of grateful that we have these two amazing women in our lives.