Sunday, August 22, 2010

RUSH Triathlon

Last year when I raced in the RUSH triathlon, I got kicked in my face as I was turning to breathe. I gasped and inhaled a bunch of water. As the water rushed into my lungs I thought for sure I was going to drown. Panic and anxiety pulled me up short. I treaded water as I tried to assess how critical the situation was. Several times as I eyed the nearby kayak rescuers I nearly raised my hand to be pulled out. I put my head back in the water to swim, but couldn't breathe rhythmically enough to swim that way. My breaths came in short, fast gasps - I had to keep my head out of the water. I again eyed the rescuers and almost raised my hand again. Several times I repeated this routine, trying to calm myself down to breathe normally. I finally realized the water in my lungs would simply not allow me to breathe deeply enough to allow me to swim the front crawl. So, being kind of stubborn, I flipped over on my back instead of calling for help, and swam the entire half-mile on my back - not even the back stroke, but the Elementary Back Stroke! The back stroke was splashing water on my face, and the last thing I needed was more water in my lungs. I took twice as long as I should have, but I finally finished the swim and struggled out to my bike. Friends who were waiting for me wondered if I had actually pulled out, I was that late. The rest of the race was terrible. I still couldn't breathe. Oxygen is a very good thing, especially if you're racing. The bike took FOREVER, the run was very discouraging. I never walk on a run, but last year I walked almost the whole thing. By the time I finished, I was near the end of the pack, one of the last stragglers coming in. Since I had come in 3rd in my age the year before, it was very discouraging. My husband was asking around to see if anyone had reported an injured racer. He couldn't figure out what had happened to me. The finish was a relief and a disappointment at the same time. It took three days for the water to be absorbed out of my lungs. Three days of shallow panting breaths and a raspy injured airway. I contemplated visiting the hospital to have my O2 level checked. I worried about dry drowning. Finally the water disappeared and my breaths returned to normal. I was traumatized, though. I swore I would never, ever race in a triathlon ever again.

Enter Michael Hays, the RUSH triathlon race director. When I talked about my experience, he was very instructive and insightful, gave me some good pointers, then (darn it!) offered me a complimentary entrance into this year's RUSH. I didn't tell him at the time that I had no intention of using it - I didn't want to be rude. But I accepted the gift with the thought that I'd just not even show. It took months for the memories to fade and a summer of practicing open water swimming with a group of friends before I reluctantly decided to give it another go. I told Michael I'd do it, hoping he'd re-neg on the offer. He didn't. I was stuck.

Yesterday I raced the RUSH triathlon for my third time. It was a dream. The weather was great, my nerves were calm, and I was there not to win anything but to just have a good time. My swim was so smooth and gentle, even with the inevitable kicks from those around me. I almost felt like I was alone, flying in the water on a warm summer morning (thank you for your help, Michael H., Mike W., and Superwoman Lana G!). The men started 5 minutes before us. About half-way through the 1/2 mile I began passing them. The finish came too quickly. I wanted to stay and keep swimming, but I had a bike race to get to. I ran out of the water grinning. It was just plain fun. Transition from swim to bike (T1) went well. I pulled on my new bike shoes (I'm finally in clips) and prayed I wouldn't crash. I didn't. That also made me grin.

My new bike is lovely. It's pretty and sleek, and it's also very comfortable. We took my bike to our friends at and for a custom fitting this week. (I just got my bike on Monday). It feels like an extension of me instead of like a chair I'm sitting on. I was looking forward to a great bike race, but sometimes not everything goes smoothly. I dropped my water bottle right at the start of my ride, and there was no way I was going to stop and go back for it - it would've cost me maybe a minute. So I rode the 15 miles or so without hydrating, and I was t-h-i-r-s-t-y! The long long steep hills at the first didn't help, nor did the climbing temperature and hot sun. I probably lost several minutes simply because I needed hydration. Live and learn! Still, I felt good and was having fun passing people, then being passed. A few of us kept playing leap-frog. One great friend (Natalie) passed me about 3 miles from the finish and challenged me to get her. I finally caught her at the transition, but I didn't keep her!

I took a little longer than I wanted at the bike-run transition (T2) because I was so crazily thirsty. I gulped water as I pulled on my running shoes. Gulped more as I pulled on my hat. Turned to run, then turned back again for more water. I know it didn't help that I've been sick this week. The fever, body aches, and fatigue have been a lot to deal with. Dehydration was one more thing working against me. Natalie took off on the run as I gulped more water, then I took off after her. This time I never caught her. There's a nasty, steep steep steep trail on the run that I have been on countless times during my training. I NEVER walk that trail. The last time I walked it was last year during the RUSH when I couldn't breathe. But I walked on it yesterday - true, for only about 5 seconds, but that just shows how tired I was. I kept my eye on my friend - walking when she did, running when she did. The last steep climb I finally had a good moment. I bolted up like it was a flight of stairs, nearly reaching my friend. But I stopped at the aid station to gulp more water and she was off. It was so fun to run behind her, trying to match my pace to hers. She's a fabulous runner - even ran in Boston - and she set a good pace. I had a nice run the rest of the way back to the finish. About 1/2 mile from the finish, it hit me that I was almost done with the triathlon, and that meant I could now concentrate on my upcoming marathons. That made me happy. I loved the triathlon, but running has always been my favorite. (Although after yesterday's race, swimming might be right up there, too!) The hill down on the last half of the run was great. I kept my friend in sight, using her to keep me going. She unknowingly helped me, pulling me along behind her and distracting me from how thirsty I was. I followed her to the finish. I didn't sprint at the end, I'm not sure if I even could! But at least I did run in steadily. Natalie helped me finish a happy race. I finished ten seconds behind Natalie, got a big hug from her, then went straight to the water table, gulping down 6 cups of water and sports drink. I had run a fun race, had a great time, and was happy to be done. Since my husband was doing a Century ride (yes, he rode 100 miles yesterday in the blistering heat and high winds! And he did it in only 5 1/2 hours!), he wasn't able to be at the finish, but his sweet sisters were there to welcome me in. Jill helped pace me near the end. I should've asked her to run the wretched trail with me! Annmarie and her baby MJ were clapping and cheering. My neighbors were there for their kids, but they cheered just as wildly for me, too. And there was Mike & Jeni Whitesides & family (who had two of their children, ages 15 and 11, also doing the Sprint distance!), welcoming me in, too. My friend Dawn commented that every time she saw me on the race I was smiling - I was! That's because I was having fun and because she was cheering. Who couldn't smile with that combo?

I had no idea how I fared this year until at the awards ceremony Michael announced I'd come in 2nd in my age group. My friend had come in first. It was a great surprise. I apparently came in 13th overall for women, and 39th overall for men & women (out of 204). My friend Jennica won overall for women, and our friend Mike W. won overall for men. One of my running friends Janeese was first in her age group (and 20th overall for men and women), and she only got in the water twice during the past year! She's amazing. It's always fun to know the people winning, and to know they're the kind of people you want to be the winners! So, if everything had gone perfectly, I could have gone faster. But I have never had a race where everything goes perfectly. That's just the way it is. You do what you can with the hand you've been dealt, and hopefully play a good game, have fun, and finish with a smile. And a big drink of water - but not in the lungs. :)

Mike W., by the way, led a triathlon clinic this summer that especially helped me with the open water swim. My goal is to keep what I've learned and now learn more. My weak spot is no longer the swim. It is the bike. I've gone out a couple of times with Tonya Z. (who is an amazing triathlete and did awesome in yesterday's Intermediate distance). Guess I need to work on that now. Watch out, Lance Armstrong. Here comes Stephanie Hancock.

T1 - my beautiful bike waiting patiently for me to take her out on a ride. This is obviously before I dropped my water bottle.

Natalie (my friend who pulled me along and beat me by 10 seconds!), Sarah (another great friend - this was her first tri and she did AWESOME!), and me, waiting for the race to begin.

The Intermediate swimmers (I did the Sprint distance). It was an incredibly beautiful morning. See the kayaks & boats out there? They are there to rescue people who inhale too much water...

So I know the following copy/paste deal doesn't fit well in the blog's space, but you can check out for the full thing.


Racer Number:338
Chip Time Information
Actual Start Time:00:00:00.000
Stop Time:09:46:19.301
Chip Time:01:41:16.3
Gun Time Information
Assigned Start Time:08:05:03.000
Stop Time:09:46:19.301
Gun Time:01:41:16.3

FINAL TIME: 01:41:16.3

Race Distance: Sprint
Overall Placing
Time Back:00:22:10.300
Gender Placing
Time Back:00:09:42.900
Division Placing
Short F 35-39 Place:2
Time Back:00:00:09.500
NoNameInterval TimeTotal TimePaceOverall PlaceOverall BackGender PlaceGender BackDivsion PlaceDivision Back

The kids all got new bikes this week. End-0f-season prices are worth waiting for, by the way! The boys had definitely outgrown their old bikes, and I know they'll grow into these bikes. But for now, the bikes look big to me and the boys look small. Apparently they're sized correctly, though. The boys have LOVED their bikes and have spent so much time riding. Yesterday they rode all the way to the fairgrounds while the girls and I rode in the car next to them (I had my hazard lights flashing and kept by them. I'm not quite ready to let them be too grown up and go by themselves...).

Charlotte with a bike that fits her and a helmet that doesn't. She loves this bike. The hand-me-down she was riding wasn't quite right, and it was too heavy for her legs to push. She's got some good, strong legs from jumping on the trampoline, but (as I can attest), doing one sport doesn't automatically make you fit for another. She's been having fun practicing.

Eleanor also needed a lighter bike Sam's old one was huge and heavy for her. For the first time in her life she was torn when it came to riding her bike or playing with friends. She's such a social person that friends always trump anything else! She actually hesitated a good long time, rode a little more, then gave in to her personality and dashed off to play with her friends. Still, it wasn't long before she returned for another ride.

My dear dear friend Sarah d'E. MADE these shirts and Eleanor's skirt (and matching bow) for the girls as a back-to-school present. I couldn't believe it! She is so super talented. Like my mom always says, the sewing machine growls at me when I walk past it. Oh, and the girls are NOT supposed to have the skootboard on the tramp.

One of the highlights at the fair yesterday was target practice. I wish I'd gotten a picture of Charlotte shooting (she did great), but she was on my lap since she couldn't reach and I didn't get the picture. Here are Sam, Oliver and Eleanor shooting with the help of our friend and neighbor (and Wildlife Officer) Andrew S.

Oh, I didn't get pictures, but we went to West Yellowstone on Thursday for a play (Beauty and the Beast) at the Playmill Theater. It was so much fun. Eleanor giggled and giggled when the castle occupants were fighting off the townspeople. After the play she told the actress who played Belle that we have her movie. Speaking of Eleanor, she told me this week when she was running that her lovehandles hurt. What! Who's teaching her that stuff? Not me. Well, the only thing I could think of saying back (while holding in my laughter) was that mine hurt, too, sometimes when I'm running.

RECIPES: Jeff made this roast last week. Oh my goodness, it was DELICIOUS! I don't usually consider myself a roast person, but this converted me. New potatoes, onions, and carrots dug right from the garden, along with fresh herbs out of the grow box, some whole garlic cloves and seasonings. I don't know what he did, but it was magic.

I do know he rubbed the whole thing (an eye of round roast) with fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt (heavily seasoned), then seared it in the hot dutch oven on the stove (in oil), then piled on the veggies and herbs, filled it about half way with water and added beef bouillon, covered it with foil, placed the dutch oven lid on top, then set it in our oven for 4 hours to roast. Our oven has a slow-cooker feature so it was similar to cooking in a crockpot for 4 hours on high (or you could do 6-8 hours on low). The meat was so tender it melted away. The vegetables were so delicious my kids asked not only for seconds, but thirds, and then kept asking for more during the following days as leftovers. Wow. Good job, Jeff!

I made this Baked Chicken this week - super easy. I haven't been cooking much this summer (hard to do when I'm running our little summer camp 24/7 -honestly, we've been so busy this summer I feel like that!).

Coat chicken breasts (I cut them up into thirds) in a bag of flour seasoned with salt, pepper, ginger, and garlic powder. No measurements, sorry. Just eye-ball it.


1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup honey

1 Tbs. soy sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

(add more or less of the above according to your tastes).

You may want to microwave it a little to help the sugar dissolve.

Brown the chicken in a frying pan in melted butter. Place in oven-safe pan, pour mixed sauce over chicken. Slice onion all over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done. Baste during cooking if you want. Serve with rice and veggies.

The veggies in this picture are summer squash, zucchini, and onion (straight from the garden!) sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. I added garlic toward the end, then mixed in some diced tomatoes (from the garden also!) at the very end, along with some herbs from our garden (chives and oregano I think is what I used this time).

Friday, August 20, 2010

My world

Running: I've been fighting off some cold or something this week, which has made for tough training. Oh, well. I always seem to get sick at race time. My triathlon is tomorrow, and after that I can focus on my upcoming marathons (in two weeks and in 4 weeks). Monday I did a brick - a 22 mile ride followed immediately by a 5K run. Tuesday I went to my triathlon clinic and spent an hour doing 3 or 4 mini-bricks. I've been unbelievably tired and achey, so I skipped my workout altogether on Wednesday, sleeping in until 7:30. I slept in until after 9 on Thursday and took a nap. Since I usually get up between 4 and 5 am, this is a really big deal for me to sleep so long! Mentally I couldn't handle another day without exercise, so I ran 7 miles on Thursday mid-morning. Today is Friday. I'll do a short ride this evening (just to get better acquainted with my new bike), and tomorrow is the race. Hopefully next Monday or Tuesday I can get one last long run in (20 miles, I hope), then taper down before the September 4th marathon.
I love running. I love swimming. I like cycling. I hate/love racing (race jitters make me wonder what in the world I'm doing, race excitement answers that question). I am looking forward to the end of racing season, though. I could use a break.

Reading: We went to West Yellowstone yesterday to see a play at the Playmill Theater. The drive gave me time to actually read! I was thrilled! I read Gregor the Overlander on the way there and back (I'd actually started it the day before). It was really well-written, a great story. It's by the same author that wrote The Hunger Games, but is written for a younger audience, so it wasn't disturbing. I don't dare tell the premise of the story because it sounds so dumb, but the author pulls it off. It's not every day that I find myself crying at the death of a cockroach, and having conflicting feelings about a rat! See - sounds dumb. But it isn't.

Ruminations: Just a quick note here, since my kids are hovering around me (they ALWAYS do this, right when I sit down to type. It's really difficult to concentrate with a face in front of me while being bombarded with questions and comments). Yesterday the girls and I were running to an appointment since I was late and it is just around the corner. Eleanor, who is tall and slender and 5 years old, was running the fastest. Suddenly she stopped and looked at me with her big blue eyes and, panting, said, "Oh, my love handles hurt!" I had to laugh. And what do you say to that? "Yeah, mine do, too."

Ruminations, cont. (My kids are now outside): Over the past few months (like, since April) I've been trying to get different contractors to come back and finish or fix things at the house. One of them keeps promising to come but never does, and the other one won't even answer his phone. I've resorted to calling his father, who assures me every time I call that his son will get the job done. I don't know what else to do. Building this house nearly killed me as I tried to coordinate all the contractors and work with suppliers and meet with inspectors and finalize plans with the architect & designer. Thankfully Jeff took care of figuring out the financing, and Jeff's dad found all the contractors and helped me get them going. It was hard on me, though. I didn't know what I was doing. The house needed me, but so did my kids. It was a very stressful time for Jeff & me. So glad that's over. These last two contractors are opening up those old stress-wounds, though, and I don't like it.

Sometimes I wish I could just take care of the whole world. I wish I could make everyone happy, take care of their needs, help everyone get along. But if it was so stressful working with the few contractors on our house, I very much doubt I'll be able to manage the world.
Since I know my limits, I guess I'll do what I can: try to manage my own little family. Try to make my children & husband happy, take care of their needs, and help them get along. Sheesh! That's a big enough chore for anyone! Thankfully, my little crew is a good one and they try hard. They are patient with my requests, and we love, we laugh, we play. Yup, there is beauty all around when there's love at home. Is it enough love to help the world along? Maybe. Maybe just a little, but it's something.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A lovely run and Zucchini Brownies

Yesterday morning I talked myself into getting up for my run. After Tuesday's awful run, I was afraid I'd never run again. I bribed myself, saying it'd be only a short 6-mile run, then I'd come home and could even go back to bed if I wanted. It was dark and chilly, and I was tired and unmotivated, but I did it. By the time I'd turned my first corner I was back in Running Heaven. It was such a lovely run and I felt so good, and the sky was beautiful as it turned from night to day. The sunrise wrapped the clouds and the wheat & potato fields in new warmth and soft hues, while the Tetons turned from dark to light blue on the horizon. It couldn't have been prettier. My feet trod softly but swiftly. Since it was a short run, I went faster than usual. But I didn't really feel like I was pushing myself. After I got into the motion, I just let my body go on autopilot, and let my mind do its own thing, and my soul just soaked it all in. All too soon, my six miles were over. Since I'd gotten up early enough, I decided to go a little further.

Next thing I knew I was back up on the fields, repeating the six mile loop. On the second loop, a guy whizzed past me. I'd started slowing down until that happened. He gave me a new burst of energy as I decided to stay right behind him. But he was FAST! I had fun seeing how long I could keep close. It wasn't long. No matter. I kept my pace up because it felt good. Then I saw the guy stop and walk. He'd gone too fast. Just before I caught him, he took off again. I tried reeling him in, but he was too speedy. Oh well. But then again, he stopped to walk and I nearly got him before he started running again. It became a game for me. I still had time to enjoy the morning light, but I also had a runner almost teasing me with his bursts of speed, and it was fun to see how my steady pace compared to his speed-play. I did eventually pass him on one of his walking moments. It wasn't long though before I heard him breathing as he closed in on me. No way, I thought with a grin, This is my game, this is my win. So I bolted. I was almost home anyway and had plenty of energy. My last mile was fast. This time, he didn't pass me. I was disappointed when I heard him finally turn off into a subdivision (I assume he lives there), but thrilled with my speed. I kept it up and ran hard all the way home. I'd told Jeff I'd be home around 7am. That was when I'd planned on doing only 6.25 miles. It was 7:08 a.m., and I'd run 12 1/2 miles, with an average of 7:55 minute miles - and that includes the long steep up-hills and headwinds I had to deal with. For some of my running buddies, this is their average, normal run. A fast run for them is sub-7 minute miles. But for me, I felt like I was flying. It was just the run I needed to get over my disappointing run on Tuesday.
This morning I rode 20 miles. It wasn't all that great. My de-railer got out of whack and wouldn't let me shift into my lowest three gears. I was riding with a group and kept up just fine, but the hills were not fun and it was frustrating to feel so tired. I guess I now need a lovely ride to get over today's mediocre ride. :)

Reading: I read "Hunger Games" on Saturday. It was gruesome, violent, and disturbing. I admit though that it was also a good story, well-written, and believable. I had a hard time putting it down. I took it with me as we drove to Lava Hot Springs to swim. I read all but the last two chapters on the drive, then finished it when we got home after we'd put the kids to bed. So there's my review: it was icky but I couldn't put it down.

Recipes: I made zucchini brownies the other day. Oh, they were yummy. I added a decadent topping, which completely cancelled out any kind of nutritional benefit the zucchini added, but hey - it's still healthy, right?

Zucchini Brownies:
2 Cups Zucchini, peeled and shredded
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. soda
1/2- 1/3 cup cocoa (depending on how chocolatey you like it - more cocoa for a darker chocolate)
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

Mix together and put into a greased cake pan (9x13). Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes without topping, and 25-30 with topping (the topping seems to make the brownies need longer baking time).

Optional Topping (I just messed around when I threw it together, so the quantities are all approximate):
1/2 cup brown sugar (generously rounded)
3 Tbs. White sugar
3+ Tbs. butter, softened
1/3 + cup flour
1/2 + cup chocolate chips
1/4 + cup coconut (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Make a crumb mixture by combining the sugars, butter, and flour. If it seems too dry to stick together, add more butter. If it is too moist to make crumbs, add more flour & sugar. Sprinkle clumps on top of the brownie batter before baking. Spread chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut on top. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or 20-25 if you like them really gooey.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blogs are great for venting :)

I really wouldn't have minded skipping out on today (wish I could've stayed in bed), but attendance was pretty much compulsory. Hopefully I've learned any lessons on my life's IEP and won't have to repeat them! (okay, it wasn't that bad, but still!)

My phone is dying. I miss it. I guess dropping it isn't good. (There really ought to be an i-phone app that makes a cracked phone repair itself.)

My alarm worked (got me up at 3:50am). I wish my alarm was dead. My 20 mile run was slow -20 minutes slower than last week's 20 miler. Dang it.

My 3-year-old Charlotte and my 2-year-old niece dumped brown rice and various cereals on the cold storage room floor. While cleaning it I discovered mold growing on the bottom shelf. Ugh. The dry storage room has water all over the floor - it's not dry any longer! I made a triple batch of zucchini bread, but used 4 1/2 cups of brown sugar instead of white sugar, and 1 1/2 cups of white sugar instead of brown sugar. The brown sugar was dry, but I thought the lumps would dissolve. Nope. I spent way too much time with my hands (clean!) in the mixture trying to smash hardened lumps of brown sugar. My niece hit Charlotte, then burst into a huge crying fit when I told her "We don't hit". Well, we don't! Finally I put on a TV show to calm her down.

I really need to pick raspberries and peas - yesterday. I need to make a salad and dessert for a church meeting, but that's tomorrow. Still, it's weighing on me. I'm in charge of the meeting and that's taking up a lot of time, energy, and sanity.

Sadly, I'm getting a little (okay, a LOT) tired of cleaning up the remains of my kids' creativity. Next time I find a hammer on the floor I think I'll just cry. Or scowl really hard.

Well, life is certainly interesting, isn't it? My mom made me dinner. Mom's are good at stepping in when they're needed, aren't they? I hope I'm that kind of mom.

Good thing I get another chance at this life-thing tomorrow. Maybe things will straighten themselves up while I sleep.

Sleep. The great cure-all. I think I'll drop my alarm. Hah! Knowing my luck, it'll take more than a drop. Hmm, I've know where the hammers are...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Off Kilter (aka Out of Kilter) :)

It was an off-day from the beginning - from BEFORE the beginning! I didn't sleep last night (or for the past week, for that matter), with my own tossing & turning coupled with Charlotte's own tossings, turnings, and crying-for-mom fits. So I'm tired. Plus I had a (great!) 20 mile run yesterday, so my body is fatigued anyway. All night long I kept checking the time. I was worried I'd sleep through my alarms (I set 2 of them on my watch at 5 minutes apart, just in case. But I still worried). I was excited for this morning's bike ride. Of course, I fell asleep deeply around 4am. My first alarm went off at 5 am. Suddenly I wasn't excited anymore. I was just plain weary. But since I was meeting people I knew I had to get up. Off-kilter with my one-hour sleep, things just got worse. I saw that my back tire was low, so I did my best to pump it up. I couldn't get it to 120 psi. I could only get around 80 (yes, I'm a wimp). My ignorance saved Jeff's sleep - if I'd known better I would've woken him up to help me.
My day kept getting more out of whack. I met one friend, waited for another, she didn't show, so at 5:36 we left. I had my phone on silent or I would've got the friend's call at 5:38 that she was there and wondering which route we took...she ended up going the opposite way we'd gone. I didn't see her message until 10am. Darn it! I really wanted her in the ride!
Only a mile or so into the ride a car pulled out of a side street right in front of us. We stopped just in time. Thankfully my kilter wasn't THAT off.
Just for the record, I've never claimed to be a cycling pro. I've never even hinted at knowing anything about biking. So nobody can blame me for not knowing you don't ride on a low tire. Why? Jeff told me it leads to something he calls "pinch flats." The low tire gets pinched in the rim and suddenly the low air turns to no air. It took me only two miles. Actually 2.3. I stopped, thoroughly frustrated, and sent my friend off to meet up with another friend. I rode homeward about a block before my tire was too low to ride anymore. The next 2 miles I walked my bike home. I was glad that I didn't have clips, that I was riding in my running shoes. It made walking easier. But I was annoyed. And tired. And feeling disoriented by the whole no-sleep/no-ride combination. I missed my ride! Walking home I couldn't help thinking that a 2 mile bike ride/2 mile walk was definitely not worth the night of insomnia.
I tried to make the best of things though. Since I was tired anyway I decided to go back to bed. That was dumb. Right when I fell asleep the kids woke up. And Charlotte had wet her bed. So I crawled out of bed again (for the 2nd time that morning and the umpteenth time since bedtime the night before), washed her, changed her and her bed, and agreed to let her come into my bed. I hoped she wouldn't wake Jeff. I hoped she'd settle down and let me sleep. I hoped for a lot of things.
Nothing worked out the way I hoped today.
I won't go through a blow-by-blow recount of today. I'll just give some examples, and also say I was disoriented all day, I couldn't ever seem to get control of things or on top of all the things to do, that everything was just "off." So, for example, as soon as I thought I was finished with the three or four tasks left to do, I'd realize there were another three or four after. It was crazy. I finished cooking dinner, took some to my parents feeling like I was done, and when I walked outside I saw the backyard - it needed cleaning up. And the flowers needed watering. Then when I went inside I realized I still had to clean up the kitchen. I finished those chores, thinking that was it, then heard the dryer go off and remembered the laundry, then turned to see I hadn't taken the cookie dough out of the mixer yet (to refrigerate), and then realized the dishwasher was done so I had to empty that...Meanwhile, I had my children to attend to. They played so well and so creatively today. "Creatively" is synonymous with "messy" in my house. I just couldn't get everything done. By 5pm though it all settled down. I hadn't sat down once all day, except for the first two miles on my bike. I got the kids changed into their soccer clothes, set out their dinner, then - surprising to us all - I pulled up a stool and sat down with them! All day long I had just wanted to sit and read to my kids, and I never got to. So at dinner I didn't eat, instead I read to them. That was the best part of the day. That was when I felt balanced.
It didn't last long. I had an old (ie, "wrong") soccer schedule, which said all three kids had games at 6pm at three different places. I begged my dad to take Oliver, Jeff got home in time to take Sam, and Charlotte came with me to take Eleanor to her game. Well, come to find out Oliver had no game tonight and Eleanor's was changed to 8pm. Charlotte, Oliver, Eleanor and I showed up late to Sam's game to cheer him on, then came home to wash up Charlotte (dirt everywhere!) before we were supposed to go to Eleanor's game. I think Somebody must've known I'd had as much as I could handle because right before her game the clouds rolled in, the lightning storm started, the rain poured down, and we knew there would be no soccer for Eleanor. That meant I could get the kids to bed early. Jeff had a meeting at 8:30 so he helped get them ready before he left, then all I had to do was read scriptures with them all, send the boys to their rooms to read on their own, and read to the girls. Lights out at 9:15.
I made it through this day by gritting my teeth. My jaw hurts.
Oh, the kids and I did do one memorable thing: I took the girls running in the stroller (I HAD to make up for my missed workout this morning) while the boys rode their bikes next to/ahead of me. It was really fun. They turned back early and the girls and I kept going. I pushed them down a Super Fast Steep Hill. Generally, we continue around the corner, make a big loop and go home a gentler way. But today, since I wasn't thinking straight, I turned around at the bottom, of the Super Fast Steep Hill and decided to run straight back up, pushing the girls of course. I've done it once before - 2 years ago - and remember thinking I'd never do it again. The girls are now 2 years bigger and heavier. WHAT was I thinking!? It was terrible. It was so hard. It was a crazy, wicked workout. I loved that my girls were cheering me on ("Go, Mommy, go!") and when it was over I loved that I had finished. I don't think I'll ever do it again, though.
Hmm, looking on the bright side, perhaps that run was a better workout than my missed bike-ride?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sliding Wetsuits

Started today w/a laugh: 8 grown men & women, wearing wetsuits, caps, goggles - looking all serious - and taking turns on the floating slide in the lake to each other's cheers, like little kids. Nobody around except sleeping campers and a lone fisherman. Pretty sure we scared off the fish. And woke up the campers. I haven't had so much unexpected fun in a very long time. Workouts are way too serious on my own. This was just plain delightful.