Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You Say It's Your Birthday

I have days when being in my late 30s feels really old... like when I hear teenagers asking store clerks where the legwarmers are and I'm all "um, hello, it's NOT 1986." 

But mostly, I feel like this is a great age to be and I try to enjoy being young. ish.

Regardless of what kind of day I'm having, I never stop feeling this way about my holiday birthday.

Not Exactly Funny 'Ha Ha' But We Laughed Anyway

Sitting around the table after a belated Christmas dinner with what's left of my mom's family, we were randomly chatting and the subject of birthdays came up (and not by me).

A minute or so into the topic you could see a light go in on my mom's face. She reached across the table to get my attention and says (Ooooh how I wish I was making this up):

"Hey, in case I forget, happy birthday"

This actually happened a couple of years ago.   This year she remembered... and texted me. *head desk*

Monday, December 27, 2010

I Bet Santa Rides a Trek Too

A while back I asked Bear what kind of bike he wanted for Christmas.  Bear said "A red one!!"

Did you know that every decent bike model out this year is green or blue or orange or neon yellow or any color of the rainbow that's not red?

I knew the Trek Jet 16 (after exhaustive research, the model I favored anyway) came in red.  I just couldn't find one anywhere - all the bike shops had blue.  Turns out the red was from a previous model year.  Cue the fruitless searching.

One last ditch Google the week before Christmas turned up what might possibly be the last red one in existence, at a bike shop about an hour from here (and on clearance to boot!). 

I know this looks like Bear is more excited about the Percy train, but me asking him to stand by his bike was the first time he EVER he voluntarily posed for a picture... and he smiled!

Here's a better shot of the bike bling...

I was worried that it would take a few weeks or months for him to figure it out, but by the end of the day he was zooming up and down the hall, doing intricate loops around furniture and asking when he can "take bike outside go fast!!"

I think I know where my run workouts are going to come from this spring!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New and Old

I haven't been tri blogging much lately, but not for lack of interest or desire.  I've just had to be rutheless about priorities.

So many things are happening - some are new and exciting and some are new and scary and some are old and necessary.  All are for the better, and with diligence some of them will help bring me back to my beloved tri community sooner or later. 

In a nutshell...

Work was great this year.  So great that I barely had time to keep up, now that Bear is napping less (and his therapy schedule wouldn't accomodate any more than 1 morning of daycare).  My confidence in myself as a consultant has skyrocketed, years of networking and skill development have paid off, and I landed a couple of high end international scope clients this year.  There are days I'm in tears from the pressure of getting it all done, and it's frustrating to have turned down a couple of jobs due to time limitations when I needed the money.  But I'm proud of myself and looking forward to what next year brings.

I just got a long overdue PCOS diagnosis.  It explains everything that the thyroid problem alone does not, and I'm grateful to finally have these additional problems recognized. I started on the new scrip about a week ago and am having a moderately challenging transition. (If you've ever taken Metformin, you know what I mean.)  But if it means A) way better chances of having another baby, and B) way better chances of not following everyone in my family down the path of Type II diabetes, then I'll suck it up and hopefully I'll be one of the patients for whom the side effects dissipate in a couple of weeks.

I've started seeing a trainer once a week.  It's not enough, but it's all I can manage right now.  I can already see the improvements, and in general it's incredibly motivational.  Just knowing I'm already taking this (big, time consuming, difficult at this time) step has made it easier for me to go back to making the positive choices of my heavy training days.  I'm also easing yoga back into my schedule. Because, well, yoga rocks.

My beloved Baby Bear turns 3 tomorrow.  The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster, with all the transition meetings as he ages out of Early Intervention and moves under the jurisdiction of the school district.  I just got out of his IEP meeting this morning and am now working out what our weekly schedule (group therapy, daycare, home therapy stuff) will look like between now and next August (when he can start preschool).

He's doing AM. A. ZING.  So much so that many people who meet him now have no clue that his bowl of alphabet soup is full of neurological acronyms.  I'm so proud of him I can hardly stand it.

Over the summer I launched a blog at ShesAlwaysWrite.com to have an outlet for the deeply challenging and emotional ride that is life with a special needs child.  I now participate in a community of special needs mommy bloggers (our segment is SPD with a signficant overlap in Autistic community).  I've become a member of the SPD Blogger Network and was recently honored with an invitation to become a bimonthly guest contributor on the award winning author's blog Hartley's Life With Three Boys

I thought about it long and hard, and I decided to keep this blog alive too.  I know in my heart triathlon will continue to be a part of my life, and the girls over at the SPD network don't really care how much I improve my swim or that I negative split the Turkey Trot 5K  : )

I miss you all, and I do try to keep up with you in the rare moments I steal to peek at my Reader feed.  If you see comments from shesalwayswrite, please know it's just me too busy to log into my triathlon account.

Hugs & love to all my tri peeps!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Funny Cycling Jerseys

Found out about these from a cyclist friend on Facebook and couldn't resist sharing them here.  The only question for me is which one to get!

You can find these and more at ShareTheDamnRoad.com.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Big Boy Bike

Bear outgrew the little garage sale bike a friend got us as a joke for our baby shower. In fact, he was too tall for it before he could really even ride it. Guess it shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given that he's taller than one of the 4 year olds at our park he sometimes plays with.

We moved the seat on his trike all the way back, but he's all scrunched up and has lost interest because it's not fun to ride that way.

With his 3rd birthday fast approaching, we decided it makes sense to get him a Big Boy Bike. I immediately geeked out about it and took him last week to get sized. Sure enough, at 33 months old he already needed to move up to the 16" option.

I was so excited about the whole thing, thinking we'd have our pick of great bikes for him (I saved all summer to set aside $150, which to me, seems like a HUGE sum to spend on a bike for a 2-3 year old.) I thought I'd be able to walk into anyplace that sold bikes and look at options from reputable brands like Schwinn, Giant and Trek.

Turns out, unless you look really, REALLY hard... your options are Transformers, Spider-man and Cars.

And contrary to the box office take for the movies that spawned these overpriced preschooler marketing ploys, the reviews for these licensed character bikes are pretty wretched. I don't want to drop $90 on a bike that multiple parents reported have pedals that fall off on the first ride.

We started looking off the beaten path and did find a few options that fit my original fantasy. Problem being, the prices on those START at $180 and approach $300.

So my choice for Bear's special 3rd birthday Big Boy Bike appears to be a crappy bike I can afford, or a good bike I kind of can't. And I think that totally sucks.

That said, I'd rather scrape together a little more money to get a higher quality bike that will probably last him all the way through the 7" inches of seat post play that I know at least one of the good bikes has.

These are the the main choices we're considering.  Wide open to suggestions from anyone with experience in this area.

Diamondback RM 16

Giant Animator

Schwinn Gremlin

Trek Jet 16

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Doing the Right Thing

Made the difficult decision to take a pass on the women's tri in Indianapolis I wanted to do this weekend.

Even though business has picked up on the front end, clients are painfully slow to pay their invoices on the back end.  Things are predictably tight because of this.  So between the tri this weekend and the trip to Minnesota next weekend so Grandma Clara - who's rapidly going blind - can see her only great grand Bear... where to spend what little travel money we could scrape together was a no brainer.

I feel good knowing that the workouts I've been able to sneak in recently told me I would have been able to finish the race strong and happy, with little or no shoulder discomfort.

And because I can haz mad copy skilz... and a personal trainer peep whose growing business was in dire need of a website rebuild... I can haz personal training that started yesterday!  Because friends don't let friends get fat and lazy / have suboptimal internet marketing.

I'd casually "worked out" with my trainer friend in a side by side treadmill chat kind of way.  But oh. em. gee.  Are you ever in for a fantabulous feel the burn sweaty hour if you're her client!

This has given me a whole 'nother reason to look forward to Fridays.

(If you're in the northwest Chicago burbs and in need of a trainer, check her out. Plz note: as of link time, this was the outdated site I had nothing to do with. Upgraded awesomeness to launch in a few weeks.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Three Times the Awesome

July 26, 2010 Chrissie Wellington Event

I went to the Chrissie Wellington event sponsored by Runners High n Tri in Arlington Heights.

It was awesome.

Meeps and me happened to be next in line, so we snuck a quick photo in front of the official backdrop when Chrissie took a restroom break.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Oh Happy Day

Not much to report in tri doings for me, other than a lovely open water swim two weekends ago, a very nice brick last weekend and a kick ass Q&A event last Monday night I went to with Meeps where we got to meet Chrissie Wellington.

Yeah, THAT Chrissie Wellington : D

(yeah, I know, no photos, it didn't happen. Hard copy in hand, still working on getting e-copy from the event folks)


Like I said. In lieu of anything real to report in my tri world, thought I'd do a virtual happy dance on another topic near and dear to my family's heart...

Prop 8 Ruling

Farewell, Proposition 8. You won't be missed.

Fancy embed courtesy of award winning blogger Joe. My. God.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Formula for Success

(Wonderful Husband + Bear + Park)

+ (((Me + Kona + 2 mile run) / 85 degrees ) X (Running 1.25 mile w/out stopping))

+(Nice kick left in me at mile 1.25 to show off for folks at park)!*

- (Kona chasing geese)

- (Kona barking at kids)

- (Kona forcing my pace)

+ (Kona on best public behavior of his life)

+ (brief visit at Bear's park)


*Why yes, that IS a factorial! Little shout out to my geeky peeps : )

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Sporty Yet Orthopedic

Realized we're leaving on yet another vacation that I don't have adequate footwear for, and ended up spending almost 5 hours yesterday dragging poor Bear around trying to find a decent pair of sport sandals.

I heart my Birks, but leather plus hot sweaty walking all day = bad stinky shoes. And my Chacos rock, but I feel their walking limits on the 2 mile jaunt to Bear's park and back.

Read great things about Merrill and Eco sandals, but of course could not find anywhere with them in stock. Not even the uber awesome REI, which is pretty much always worth the 3 hour round trip. Went there just to try on the Keen Whispers, but it turns out they run more narrow than most Keen sandals and didn't work out. Tried on the Keen Venice H2 sandals to compare, but they were so chunky and ugly I couldn't do it. Plus, their generous width was still not enough for my hobbit feet.

Tried on the Teva Tirra sandals on a whim (i.e. last resort). Pleasantly surprised that they were wide enough and seem to have enough arch support. They seem to have a dual personality - the ankle strap says "I'm a rugged sport sandal" and the bottom half says "I'm an orthopedic nightmare trying to be cute."

Wore them on errands today and am happy so far. Now I'm not dreading the all day walk around at St. Louis Zoo this weekend.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Her Sun Set Too Soon

I just found out about what happened to Wendy Buckner.

Because we lived in different countries, I only got to hang out with her once in person. But I was immediately drawn to her, and I enjoyed every moment in her wise and witty presence. We've stayed in touch the last few years, and the news of her passing hit me hard enough to stop everything and have a good cry.

Godspeed, Wendy. I hope that red Prada purse is waiting for you in Heaven.

Wendy at the 2007 IMWI Tri Blogger meet up.

Bulletish Points

Life is hectic, still buried under those two big website projects with no end in sight. But the clients are happy with the work I'm sending in, so it's all good.

Squeezed in an afternoon at the lake on Saturday with Bear. And my BFF and her toddler (Bear's favorite human being on the planet, whom he asks for daily.) And another awesome friend and her 1 yo and 3 yo. And my sistah Dag and our godson the unbelievably Adorable Quiet Child.

I think the kids had almost as much fun as I did.

Had a GREAT time. Discovered that A) SPF 70 rocks and B) there are bits on my back I can't reach with SPF 70.

Which brings me to C) Lidocaine aloe gel rocks. Someday I'll be able to put on a bra and lean back against a chair again.

Oh, and a quick jaunt out to the middle of the (tiny) lake proved I've been doing the right thing by my shoulder by *not* swimming. Not that my pool is open - now they're hoping for repairs to be done by July.

Not sure if I already mentioned... Bear's EEG was clear. So, officially no seizures. Which means the explanation for his little "spells" are probably self-imposed time outs by a sensory overloaded brain.

Shoulder still a problem, already hurting again just a few weeks after cortisone shot. Didn't race in Naperville on the 13th, but did go volunteer and had a BLAST.
Apparently when you know what's going on, organize your station and answer all the athlete's questions they give you a walkie talkie and put you in charge. Made it worth getting up at 4.

And the total bonus was I got to see MommyMeepa obliterate her PR by 30 minutes! She so totally rocked that race, I can't wait to hear how she does at her first Oly next month!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We Oughta Be a Case Study or Somethin

First off, in case I haven't said it loud enough for y'all to hear through the window, BIRKENSTOCKS SO TOTALLY CURED MY PLANTAR FASCIITIS!

Kay. On to new business.

Saw the good neurologist Friday. The one we waited for 6 months to get in with. Worth every minute of that wait. LOVE this man. First time we've had an appointment where I felt like the doctor was truly intent on evaluating and diagnosing the problems with my precious Bear.

And boy, oh boy was there some diagnosing going on.

In a nutshell:
1) Sensory Processing Disorder - the one we already knew about, and what brought us to him in the first place

2) Speech and Language Processing Disorder - not exactly a surprise, but still disappointing to hear (but on the bright side, probably improves his chances of getting continued therapy through school district once he ages out of EI)

3) Possibly: Autism... wait and see. There are enough red flags to prevent him from ruling it out altogether (unlike the previous neurologist, who laughed it off). But, he's far from a clear cut case. His social development is delayed and we are under orders to watch it closely. In time, if he catches up socially we're in the clear. If not, doctor will revisit possibility of autism.

4) Possibly: ADHD... wait and see. Too young to rule in or out, and could just be the sensory seeking behaviors that are often dead ringers for ADHD. Doctor and I agree medication is not appropriate for him. Doc said when he's school age, if he really, truly can't function, we can consider meds as a last resort. So, back burner on this one.

5) Possibly: Non Epileptic Seizure Disorder - Bear has little spacey, unresponsive spells. I thought they were infrequent, but now it sounds like I just don't see them as often because he's more independent (i.e. playing in next room) or with another adult. After talking with all his therapists, every single one told me it's something they've noticed and been wanting to discuss with me. But, might not be seizures - because of his sensory disorder, it could be his brain putting him in a self-imposed time out due to sensory overload. EEG scheduled for early June to learn more.

Oh, and he's getting the surgery to put tubes in his ears next Monday.

Aaaaand... oh yeah! Today, my endo declared recent blood test results "Excellent!" My inner overachiever is hoping he puts a gold star on my chart.

With all this, I somehow managed to squeeze in an appointment for my chronically owie shoulder. Doc gave me 3 choices:

1) Ice & ibuprofen & time (because that's worked so well thus far!)
2) PT
3) Cortisone shot

I'd kill for the time (& room in my budget) for more sessions with my awesome PT. But that's just not gonna happen right now. So, I opted for the cortisone shot.

Bear was with me, making things interesting.

I can now say I've taken a 4 inch needle in my right shoulder while wrangling a Bear with my left arm. I is a Mommy ROCK STAR.

My doc (marathon guy) half jokingly suggested I could still do the tri in 3 weeks if I floated on my back and didn't use my right arm to swim. I don't think he'd bat an eye if I actually DID try that. But it doesn't feel like the right thing to do, seeing as how my shoulder's been painful enough to wake me up at night and I'm resorting to giant needles because that's somehow the easy way out. There's still the race in August - that's feels like plenty of time for my shoulder to recover.

And now... I'm off to do Bear's pre-surgical hospital check in call. Good times.

(Oh, and that whole Mean Mr. Meaniehead Husband suggesting my bike speeds weren't legit thing? I. WIN.)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Road ID Coupon Codes

Hi guys!

Wanted to pass along a couple of coupon codes for RoadID.com, in case you're thinking about ordering one soon. I just ordered one for Bear, and am thinking about getting another one to keep on my transition bag.

This code was posted on RoadID's facebook page as a mother's day special - it's good for 15% off through Wednesday 5/5: pcMOM589

This code was sent to me personally after my latest order. They said it's good for $1 off, for up to 20 uses in the next 30 days (expires circa 5/29). I think 2 people have used it so far: ThanksMichelle744186

They've also posted about an outreach effort they're doing to spread awareness of RoadID to first responders (EMTs, police, etc). Because it doesn't do any good to wear them if the emergency personnel responding doesn't know to look for it!

So, please pass the word about RoadID to any first responders in your social circle - it could save somebody's life!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Aero what now?

Actually made it on my scheduled 10 mile bike ride yesterday. All the necessary factors were in place...

- Glorious spring day? CHECK!
- Stiff head wind? CHECK!
- Packed recreation trail? CHECK!

There are these funky bar thingies that stick out on the front of my bike. Aerowhatsis or something?

Wait, it's coming back to me.... aerobars! I can has them.

And I can kinda sorta even use them without falling over! And look just a leetle bit cool passing the family walking behind their toddler's trike!

I did forgot that I still needed to reset my cadence computer. Remembered to start it when I started, but I got cocky and tried to start and stop it manually at the busy intersections and accidentally wiped out my workout halfway in.

About halfway in I also started having trouble clipping on the left. About the time I realized I'd wiped the workout off the computer I glanced down and noticed I could see my cleat.

Hanging off the side of my foot.

Which would certainly splain the clipping issues.

I felt all fancy digging my bike tool out of my bottle rocket carrier; managed to tighten it up enough to limp home.

Bonus - lots of unplanned one leg drills!

Both my cleat thingies are bent and I'm missing most of the screws. Could get new screws, but the bent thing has me concerned. Not thrilled I need to spend money on replacements. But feeling kind of cool that I need to replace my cleats even though I can safely say I haven't but 5000 miles on them.

In general my biking is surprising the heck out of me. I'm averaging several MPH faster than I used to and feel like I've got more miles in me than before. Think I might set a personal goal of making it up to a 35 mile bike ride this summer - ashamed to admit I've never ridden more than 26 miles.

In other news... Bear's getting tubes in his ears in 2 weeks. Hopefully this is the start of a fever & antibiotic free life for him!


Mean Mr. Meaniehead (FKA Wonderful Husband) just pointed out my awesomely fast bike times might have something to do with the recently improperly reset bike computer.

To quote Mythbuster Adam: I reject your reality, and substitute my own.

Meanwhile... *heads upstairs to find bike computer manual*

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Feel the Rain on Your Skin

Today was one of those days where we tried to do a normal family thing with Bear, and it was harder than it should have been and we muddled through and everything was fine. But then we got home and I have an emotional meltdown because of the hardness, and how I hate having to choose between isolating my Bear from all the things he should be doing at his age and the immense struggle it is to actually do those things.

So we got home and it was raining and I was so physically and emotionally tired from the simple act of trying to sit through a movie with my Bear that I wanted to throw my bike out the window and cry. Because if I'm exhausted by lunch and a movie with a 2 year old, where on earth will I find the stamina to race again?

My bike handling skills are pathetic, so even if I'd been thrilled about a bike ride in the midst of my pity party, it just isn't safe for me to ride in the rain.

And I didn't want to wake the Bear up from his nap with the treadmill. So I did something I still can't believe I did.

I got my ass off the couch. And I got out my Otterbox. And I went for a run in the 49 degree rain.

I stepped off the front porch and I started running. I didn't stop until I made it an entire mile. The last 50 yards were rough. But by then I was so close nothing could stop me. Not even the neurotic voices in my head. Especially not them.

I clocked my best mile ever by two whole seconds - 12:26.

I played my girl power playlist at a deafening volume and it was what I needed when I needed it. I choked back tears and I pretended I wasn't getting a stitch in my side and I just kept running.

I ran until I couldn't feel the rain or the cold. I ran until I didn't need to cry any more. And after a little walk break, I ran some more just to prove I could. Because you never know what you're going to get on race day. And a triathlete trains in any weather. And damnit, I have going to start behaving like a triathlete again.

Today it was harder than it had to be. But for me, today, I think that's what it had to be.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Any Dream Will Do

Been having those dreams.

You know, the ones where you have a race, BUT...

- you forgot your bike
- you forgot your transition bag
- you can't find your bike
- it started without you
- you can't find transition
- you can't swim
- you can't find the finish
- you forgot your shoes
- *insert current race fear here*

In the latest one, my swimsuit was on backwards and I was trying to take it off and fix it underwater before the start. Literally naked and defenseless in the face of the swim.

Don't think I need a fancy coated Canaanite to tell me that one means I'm worried about my swim, given current state of my shoulder and lack of gym pool.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Planned a 7 mile bike ride for yesterday, but there were 30 mph winds. There are two schools of thought on this.

1) I need to train in every weather so I am prepared to race in every weather.
2) I haven't been on Donna in almost a year, how about I cut myself some slack the first time out.

I postponed to ride in today's milder forecasted winds.

Got Donna out of storage off the trainer.

Her tires were comically flat. I dealt with that, pinching my finger in the process.

Her chain looked sad, so I lubed her - and my hands - up.

Her computer battery was dead. I (miraculously!) found a spare, and promptly realized I couldn't remember how to reset from scratch. I randomly pushed buttons until stuff I recognized came on the screen (I still need to find manual and figure out how to set my tire size so it tracks properly.)

I walked her out to the street, took a deep breath, hoped I would manage to clip in before I fell over, started to mount and... realized I was still in my sandals.

About a mile into the ride I caught a brief respite from the unrelenting, always-a-headwind-no matter-which-direction, 11-mph-my-ass-wind and decided to try out my legs in the big ring.

At which point I thought I'd either broken something or forgotten how to shift. But a quick peek told me that I was already in the big ring.

1st thought) I am such a moron.
2nd thought) Go me and all those carrying Bear up the stairs leg muscles!

Bright side... my raging case of Post Pregnancy Shoes Don't Fit turned out to be a good thing for my stupidly expensive special order wide width bike shoes that took me two years to find. Before now they were a size too big because that was as small as they came in wide. Now they fit perfectly, and I feel like my pedaling is much more efficient now that my feet aren't slipping around in the shoes.

I still don't know if my shoulder - and current lack of definitive swimming pool option - will allow me to race in 7 weeks. I may have to go with volunteering in June and racing in August. I'm taking it one workout at a time.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Finding Things to Laugh About

Decided to use an hour of my precious 3 hour Thursday morning daycare to sneak in a swim before scooting back to work.

Arrived at gym to learn it's closed indefinitely for major repairs. Best case, will reopen mid May. Which probably means mid June.

Which certainly throws a kink in my June 13th triathlon. That's in less than 8 weeks. That I'm completely unprepared for, in terms of the swim.

Only consolation is I won't get billed by the gym for the time the pool's closed, since I'm a swim-only member.

Found out the rec center for that town is offering some sort of deal to folks who need to swim. Not ideal, but I'll take it. Cause I don't have a choice.

Not that my shoulder is remotely on board with the swim thing. But I'm trying to proceed like I'm actually racing in 7 weeks.

So. At least there are still things like this I can laugh about.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Birds are singing, flowers are blooming... and I've got sore bike butt. It MUST be spring!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Square 2

Went for a quick wog around the block with Bear, then pulled bike off the ceiling and did a quick loop around the neighborhood just to remind myself how.

Wog - .7 mile
Bike - 1 mile

Um. Yeah. My legs feel as shaky as if I'd just pulled a 5k/20k brick.

Not completely back to square 1, but about as close as I can be without erasing the last 5 years of my life.

Certainly have my work cut out for me, 'cause that June sprint is looking awfully scary right about now.

Next step... 5 mile bike with one of my girls this weekend.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Musical Ouch

It recently dawned on me that all those long term ouches I've been struggling with are slowly but surely fading away.

When I first started out it was the terribly painful calf problem. Took lots of crazy painful sports massage therapy to sort it out, and I still have to be hypervigilant about them.

2 years ago it was tendinitis in the left wrist... PT resolved that, but babying the left wrist caused it to flare up in the right wrist.

Couldn't get treatment for that - insurance was maxed out. So I spent a whole year without full use of my right hand because of the intense pain in my wrist.

Then, of course, was everybody's favorite game show, Fun With Plantar Fasciitis. That started 2 years ago, shortly after Bear was born and I tried to get back into running too soon, and with the wrong kind of shoes.

It's kind of like I spent the last 3 years with someone secretly playing music chairs with my aches and pains... the music stops and they move to another body part. But until now, it appeared somebody had forgotten the bit about taking chairs away.

So imagine my utter surprise and delight yesterday when I realized that - after my run workout 2 weeks ago... and my rollerblading last week.... and my trampoline jumping this week... NO. PAIN.

Just been so darn busy I didn't have time to notice the pain wasn't slowing me down any more.

I'm not limping to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I can put bra on without cringing. I can wear cute shoes again. Even the funky thing trampoline jumping does to your calves hasn't been a problem.

Of course, it wouldn't be Musical Ouch without new pains.

Well, a new old pain. The shoulder I messed up 3 years ago - the one I was in PT for when I found out I was pregnant with Bear - it's giving me a helluva time lately.

Doc told me then it was impingement syndrome. It had been fussy on and off lately, then I picked up Bear a couple of weeks ago and felt it kinda... go. Now it's mad all the time. Makes it hard to sleep, get dressed...

But at least it's currently the last musical chair standing. Not gonna lie - had so much chronic pain the last 3 years I was starting to think my tri days were over. But now I've got renewed hope and 2 races in my sights for 2010.

I'm hoping to get in with my doc soon. I want see if he can shut off the music on this shoulder problem so I can enjoy my first pain free season in years.

Bear's jump therapy is a blast for both of us!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Getting to Know You

That is so totally the song that was stuck in my head just now.

My brain was singing it to my hip flexors almost immediately after embarking on what I'm pretty sure was my first solo inline skating mile EV. AH.

Back in school, I only ever went with my roomie. And now I've only gone the one time, sticking close to home, supervised by WH. Going by myself was, frankly, totally scary.

And I totally set up a safe call with my BFF. And then sent up a shout out to the FSM requesting that if I DID happen to totally wipe out, could it please not crush the phone I brought with to call for help in case I totally wiped out?

It was tough. It was mostly into a stiff breeze. And most of it hurt my legs in fascinating new places. Some of it hurt enough to make me want to quit.

But I sucked it up and I went twice as far as my original goal! (OK, going around my supersized block isn't the biggest goal there ever was, but still! I doubled it!)

Way too warm today for my cool weather tights, but I wore them because road rash isn't my color. It's gonna be a long time before I feel confident enough on wheels to wear shorts.

But holy cow does this use different muscles than running - if I manage to cross train with skates and the dreadmill, my legs are gonna look HOT!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bruised for Bear

My little gymnast's new trick is to flip over the back of furniture.

He thinks it's hilarious. Me thinks he's going to break his cute little neck.

Few days ago he was bouncing on the couch (because the two trampolines he has for this purpose are apparently not good enough) and from across the room I could actually see the thought bubble forming over his head...

He was SO. GOING. to flip over the back of the couch.

Until now it's been chairs on carpet, when he gets out of our sight and we can't stop him - thankfully the soft landings haven't hurt him. But the couch backs up to the kitchen's hardwood floor.

I dove across the couch and grabbed his foot just as he started to go for it. Managed to catch him, but my leg slammed against the frame of the couch and I got this for my efforts...

The bruise is about 8 inches wide and 4 inches high. Whole left thigh is still a bit stiff and sore, but after a few days of healing I managed to get in a 20 minute run and a tentative 10 minutes on my shiny new rollerblades.

He's really starting to get good at pedaling his bike. Next post like this I'll probably be in a body cast from diving in front of a bus...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

27 Months

My little Bear is 27 months old. And he finally, FINALLY, started calling me Mama.

It's not that he didn't pronounce the syllables before, but they were always nonsense sounds, buried in a string of other nonsense sounds. Usually when he was angry, or hurt or tired.

That it took so for this simple thing that so many take for granted drives home for me that I really do have a special needs child. But I cling to the fact that his needs are manageable, and if I do my job his challenges can be mitigated.

Finally hearing my baby call me Mama makes everything else - the special concessions for his neurological triggers, the 4 times a week therapy appointments, the fears about the problems he could encounter at school, the daily struggle to fill the bottomless pit of his therapeutic needs - EVERYTHING. Just a little bit easier.

Now, when I come home, the first thing I hear when I open the door is his precious little voice yelling "MAMA!!! YAAAAY!!"

That's worth everything.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Best High Ever

Saw endocrinologist this week. He listened carefully to my progress and decided to bump my T3 supplement again. Just a little. Cause I was doing ok on the newest dose, but still not great.


Is this really what people feel like every day? With all the awake and happy and generally not wanting to lie down and die? SERIOUSLY?! THIS is what I've been missing for almost 20 years?!?!?!

Holy fuck.

Maybe it's just the placebo effect. But I'm thinkin' I finally found a doctor who knows what the hell he's doing.

And now... I'm gonna brave a possible windy day SPD Bear meltdown and take my little man outside to build a snowman.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Break's Over

After a weekend of choosing salad over fast food, a great hour in the pool and generally feeling good about the direction I've been going... I got on the scale this morning and found my weight up 4 pounds since Friday.

That's up 13 pounds in 12 weeks.

I swear to gawd I'm not sitting around eating all day. But with results like that, I might as well be. Stupid thyroid. Stupid metabolic shifts in late 30s. Stupid pants that don't fit.

I see the endocrinologist next week. But just like with the whole 150 I gained in the first place, I know this 13 isn't going to fall off even if we do get my meds back on track.


It was a nice break from the drudgery of The Calorie Nazi. One I needed, to sort out my new life with the therapy schedule of a special needs child and a parent suddenly living in Stroke Any Minute Land. But he's back now.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shiny New Cardio Option

We had a little bit of breathing room with the tax money, so last night Wonderful Husband treated me to a shiny new piece of cardio equipment...

2009 K2 Athena

I wanted something to to let me "run" with Bear once he starts going on bike rides this spring without the risk of more running injuries. I'm so prone to getting hurt these days I'm trying to come up with every possible way to have fun and still sneak in a low impact workout. I'm especially excited about blading with the jogging stroller. I know it's not a replacement for real run workouts, but I think it's a good way to sneak in some extra cardio when I'm supposed to be doing stuff for my Bear.

I haven't been on rollerblades in at least 15 years, but I was pleased to discover I hadn't lost all my (limited!) skills. I still need loads of practice before I can safely take Kona out with them, but I surprised myself with how well I did testing them at the store.

And they're called Athena! It's like it was meant to be.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


During this morning's shower Bear brought a stepstool into the bathroom, climbed onto the sink, got into the cabinet, opened a childproof cap and took some of my thyroid meds. So, today was our first (and hopefully ONLY) call to Poison Control. Thankfully my thyroid meds were almost empty, aren't very dangerous and he only took 2. No ill effects.

Apparently nothing short of Fort Knox is "out of reach" enough for Bear. We've got the really scary prescriptions stored somewhere else up high but we're rethinking that. He's started using bigger chairs and climbing shelves to reach really high places - yesterday he presented me with the finger paints I keep stored in a bin above MY head.

Just now Bear saw me drop a bottle of ice cold water all over my feet and the kitchen floor. Then he repeated what I said. Which means Bear has officially dropped his first F-bomb.

Not the most prestigious day, but milestones nonetheless. : D

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

At Least It's on the Trainer

Apparently my little mechanic noticed I've been neglecting maintenance on my racing bike - just caught him applying chapstick as chain lube.

And in a rare convergence of winter germ-freeness, we're both healthy today. So as a reward for sitting through my tax appointment at the accountant's this morning I'm taking him to the gym for a swim. I dare anyone to say mixing Bear with water doesn't count as a workout!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Moving Right Along

Managed to work out twice last week. TWICE! In ONE WEEK!

That's, like, CRAZY.

The second time I actually did the thing people always say they'll do but mostly never actually do - I had 27 minutes to spare and my options were squeeze in some work or some blog reading or some housework or a workout. I chose the 27 minute workout! Go me!

I've got the 'registration is open' notice for that June tri in my in-box.

At least gonna wait until payday to pull the trigger. But after finding time to work out twice in a pretty darn hectic week I'm feeling good about my decision to be a little selfish and give myself some tri time this year.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another One for Saint Bombeck

I should have known Bear was going to make the day interesting. When I wouldn't pop cheerfully out of bed at ridiculous o'clock, he passed the time between notifying me he was awake and me actually getting up by crawling into my bed and emptying an entire container of dental floss.

I found myself hoping it was a full container, because that would buy me a few extra seconds in bed.

I wanted to sneak in a quick shower before his OT arrived. As I was getting into the shower I saw him trot by carring a $40 tube of skin cream. With the cap off. I yelled to him that it wasn't food and moved on.

He popped his head in once to register his displeasure, but other than a random scream (that I've come to learn means "how dare the dog eat my cracker after I spent the last 5 minutes waving it in his face") the shower was uneventful. Quiet, even.

So. I open the shower curtain. To find Bear clinging to the edge of my bathroom sink with his feet on a stepstool. A stepstool that's hanging off the edge of another stepstool at a ridiculous angle. The whole mess is on a rug, which is slowly sliding away from the sink. He's got his daddy's toothbrush in his mouth.

I grabbed a towel and calmly asked if he needed help. He nodded solemnly, daddy's toothbrush bobbing up and down. I rescued him, noting the open bottle of Aveeno lotion he'd apparently been using as toothpaste. He grinned and moved onto the next item on his agenda.

Which, as far as I could tell, involved drinking the contents of the dog bowl one toothbrushful at a time.

While I was getting dressed he took a break from his 'toothbrush as beverage delivery device' experiment to see if he could get the dog to drink from the toothbrush. I suppose it makes sense - the water was from her bowl. She didn't see it that way.

As I headed downstairs to do my thrice-weekly panicked pre-therapist arrival cleanup he was sitting inside my bathroom cabinet, methodically removing the contents and lining them up on the floor.

After he ran out of lotions to arrange, he came downstairs, brought his stepstool over to the bananas strategically stored out of his reach and stole one. He was so proud of himself he forgot he wasn't supposed to be stealing bananas, brought it over triumphantly and dropped the peel onto my keyboard.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Where Things Are At

Seems the universe is determined to derail any semblance of motivation, resolve or progress I'm trying to make.

Bear's been on abx again for his 4th ear infection since November.

Mom's in the hospital again with 4th mini stroke in a month. They found a blockage in her basal artery and a 75% blockage in her vertebral artery. In hospital since Wednesday. On coumadin IV, might get to go home by today (or tomorrow or next day).

Scheduled time to hit gym last Thursday, but getting only 3 hours of sleep from the situation with Mom made me spend entire day with migraine instead.

Scheduled time to hit gym Friday, but MIL was sick and would only take Bear long enough for me to get groceries.

Planned to hit gym today, but Wonderful Husband came down sick and won't be taking Bear to that Superbowl Party and I won't get the time to myself after all.

My shoulder is acting up, probably from all the big active heavy Bear lifting wrestley spinny stuff that's part of daily Bear therapy. Learned enough from last experience I'm pretty sure I've got bursitis from impingement again. Almost hoping they can just give me another cortisone shot to deal with it, don't have time or money for anything else, and the idea they'll just tell me to rest it is comical.

Not pregnant after 6 months of trying. My midwife is impressed I've managed to maintain a 50 lb weight loss even with gaining 10 back with the recent meds disaster. She suggested if I can lose maybe 15-20 more it will probably kick my body back into gear so I can have another baby.

Increased dose of the new thyroid meds has helped, but I'm still living with levels of exhaustion that I refuse to believe are typical for a normal person. Follow-up bloodwork soon will probably say my levels are within normal limits because that's how it always seems to go. Trying to figure out how to function when I'm so tired all I want to do is sleep and cry.

Mom's telling me not to come visit, but when I was down 3 weeks ago she asked me to help put her will together. Need to get it done asap - if she has a bigger stroke and loses any cognitive function we'd be up a creek. We want to make sure my (half) brother and SIL - who are shouldering 99.9% of the burden of The Insanity of Mom - get fair treatment in the will because on paper they're not technically related (especially now that Mom's divorced from my half-brother's dad) and if things went into probate they would get nothing. NOT cool. Plus, I'm her financial POA and have no idea where anything is and need to get stuff figured out just in case. I don't think I'm overreacting - Mom's even been telling me her burial wishes just to be safe. So I'm packing up later this week for another trip downstate to crazy town.

In spite of all this... I'm still determined to race this summer. Between Bear therapy and the new developments with my Mom it's not reasonable for me to continue with plans for my Oly. I simply can't devote the time. But I firmly believe I can get back enough fitness to do my favorite sprint in June. Some of my girls have also said they'd like to come along for the ride.

So. New paradigm. More stress. Less sanity. Still devoted to following a path of health and fitness. The road's just a little rockier now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Calling it Progress

Seeing my mom not taking care of herself is motivating me to get back to taking care of myself.

Seeing my weight shoot up almost 10 pounds since November is motivating me to keep close contact with endocrinologist so we can iron out the new meds and stop this insanity.

Seeing that it's been 2 solid years of unrelenting plantar fasciitis pain is motivating me to take a hard look at my eating habits again. Because after 6 months of being essentially sedentary and the pain still not resolving, I'm convinced it's not gonna get better unless I can take off another serious chunk of weight.

I'm finding lots of motivation, which I had lost.

Now I've got to dig even deeper and find my resolve again. I don't know when or where I lost it. I just know I looked up one day and it was gone.

Maybe I should check under the couch. That's where we always find the matchbox cars.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Might Be a Redneck

Mom got us great little LED flashlights for Christmas.

So far, my brother has used his to gut a couple of deer and last night I used mine to check for damage and residual guts. 'Cause a ginormous raccoon committed suicide under my van.

Scary as hell. Ran right into us, no chance to spare him without us getting hurt, he hit my van three times.

But on the bright side, my alignment improved and the missing backlight on my car clock came back on.

In other news...

Whole reason I'm down here in redneck land is that my mom went and had herself a little stroke over the weekend. We'd come down to finally have our family's Christmas and it happened sitting around the table chatting after dinner. Thankfully we actually saw it happen and called 911 instantly.

Had she been home alone watching TV like a normal Saturday night, she'd have most likely just laid down and possibly died. Know how I know? Turns out she's had an "episode" before AND NOT FUCKING TOLD ANYONE. Just went to bed. This time was much worse than the other one, though. She was confused and arguing about stuff like what her doctor's name was, so - in addition to her general attitude of "I'll just go lay down until I feel better" - she probably would not have been thinking clearly enough to call for help.

She recovered miraculously well. The technical term for what happened is a TIA, but it really happened
for the fantastically brilliantly fucking reasonable cause of Not Taking Her Medication.

Subclassification: Because I Don't Want To.

So I'm down here in redneck land to drive her to some of the follow up tests. Because there's every chance she wouldn't do them.

Know how I know?

Cause she had another "episode" Monday night. But I'm not supposed to know, because she's keeping it from me. She told Dad (her ex husband) the next morning, and she thought I was sleeping and she's a little hard of hearing and I heard every word she said. He called me to let me know because he suspected she wasn't going to tell me and wanted me to make sure someone told her doctor.


So I'm doing what I can - I drove her to her carotid doppler yesterday and took her over to my lawyer friend's place to sign powers of attorney. Now it's time to throw on some clothes and take her to the MRI/MRA.

Then I have to figure out how to gracefully navigate 250 miles of Illinois interstate through an ice storm to get home. Because I miss my Bear so much it hurts and it was hard enough to make arrangements for his care for just 3 days. I need to get back to him.

We don't have anyone scheduled to stay with Mom tonight, but at this point my attitude is that if she's not going to tell the person staying with her in case she has another attack that she's having an attack then WTF are we staying for?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today, I:

1) Made a fruit & yogurt protein powder smoothie.

2) Had a semi-emergency appointment with my endocrinologist.

3) Went to the gym for a swim.

Today, I learned that:

1) My ancient cheapie blender has a workload limit, and burning motor smell is not pleasant with lunch.

2) When your doctor takes one look at you and gives you a big hug, it means you're not crazy and the meds really aren't working.

3) I vastly overestimated my residual fitness and can no longer knock out half a mile in the pool. I squeezed out a quarter mile. In 3 intervals. (But at least my pull felt strong and my laps were much faster than I expected them to be.)

Today, I'm excited that:

1) I get to shop for a new blender!

2) My doc gave me new meds!

3) I went to the GYM! And now I'm going to a dinner networking meeting! With grown ups who wear real clothes and talk in sentences and everything!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Taking Stock

I've been sick going on 3 weeks.
I've also been so exhausted I've been sleeping when Bear naps, going to bed by 9 pm and sleeping up to 12 hours whenever Wonderful Husband is able to let me.
I've started gaining weight for no apparent reason.

It's pretty clear I need to call my endocrinologist and discuss the undesirable but unavoidable switch to a different thyroid med 3 weeks ago. I was dreading it, I knew it could be rocky and I was terrified I would gain weight while it happened. But my regular med is indefinitely unavailable, so I had no choice.

Aside from all that, I've been going through the mental garbage of accepting that it's actually been almost 3 YEARS since I found out I was pregnant with Bear. Which means it's been 3 YEARS stuck at the same weight. 3 YEARS since I lost my momentum.

Given the current state of my health, I may not be physically ready to remedy the situation, say, in the next week. But I'm as mentally ready as I'm ever going to be.

So I put in a call to my friend who happens to be a personal trainer. We're going to sit down together (as soon as I'm not contagious!) in a professional capacity and discuss how to get me back on track. She knows we're struggling to pay for Bear's therapy, so she's willing to work out a deal with me so I can afford her help.

The good thing is I'm not like her other clients who need her to stand over them 3 times a week to make the workouts happen. I just need the time saver of having an appropriate workout pre-planned for me, and the accountability of someone checking in to see how they went.