Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I See You Baby, Showing That Ass

When I was a little kid, my dad referred to any foolish or embarrasing act in public as "showing your ass." Tantrums, spilled beverages, shouting matches, sloppy drunkeness or generally acting like an idiot are all "showing your ass." I don't know if this is a southernism or not, but in my world someone "acting a fool" is "showing their ass."

So, I showed my ass at the pool today.

Not in the way my dad meant, though.

No hissy fits, no tantrums, no diva-ish behavior.

Instead, my trusty purple Speedo finally gave up the ghost. It was pretty ratty and getting transparent in the back but since the background of the pattern was a light color you really didn't know whether it was my skin or the suit. But the suits we've bought on e-bay were not the right size. I'm not small, I tell you. And, it's almost time for the REI dividend so I was waiting.

My suit was of a similar style to this one

Anyway, I was swimming along on my planned endurance swim. My 500 warm-up went fine. Midway through my long set (3,000 yds), I felt like my suit was doing something weird. Maybe it's getting a runner, I thought. Or, maybe I dropped some toilet paper in my suit. However, this was my endurance day where I do the non-stop swimming in preparation for the 5K race so I kept going. You wouldn't think you could feel a breeze in the water being all wet anyway, but I thought there might be a breeze.

The guy in the lane next to me was hanging out on the wall for a really long time, which was weird because he was sharing a lane. I ignored him. This was an endurance swim and that means no stopping. I even tread water to adjust my googles. No stopping.

Then, some feet appeared at the end of my lane. I burst out of the water in surprise and there was Doug.

"Your suit is ripped," he said.

"Oh, did it run?"

"Um . . . "

"Can you tell?"

"I can see your tattoo."

"Oooh. I have another 1,000 to do." Thinking that it can't be so bad. No one is looking at my bottom.

"Want me to bring you my towel after I shower?"

"No, that's OK. I'll be all right."

"I'll bring you my towel."

"OK," I said while I thought that perhaps the run was really bad. No matter, I had a swim to do and I was going to do it. I finished the 3,000 and would have kept going to 3,500 because I felt good, but Doug was waiting for me.

I got out of the pool and sat on the edge and assessed (HA!) the problem. So you see the seam that runs vertically from the bottom of the back area down and around the bottom? My suit ripped along that seam from the beginning all the way around to the midpoint. If you know what I mean. All of the pool had a good view of my bottom and stretch marks and all of that stuff every time I did a flip turn. For 3,000 yards in a row.


So, now I'm in the market for a new suit. I'll be wearing a bikini for my swim tomorrow. Not very cool for the swim crowd but better than having my bottom hanging out.

PS I was going to post a link to a site to explain a "run" or "ladder" to the non-nylon familiar folks, but all I found were folks who are REALLY into laddered stockings, with videos. Ew.

Leita, Leita, Leita

You know how my knee has been bothering me? And I have been running in the flats (back and forth in front of our house)? While Doug has been kicking ass with the long trail runs?

On Saturday, I got to get back to the trail! It was a very cold 30 degrees but the trail was delightful. I love to run through the trees. There were five dog-walkers on the trail and I saw three other runners at a pretty early hour. Sure, my knee complained a little, but it actually felt better to run on the nice squishy (relatively speaking) trail than on the asphalt I had to follow to get there. I ran for a total of 6 miles - about 3 on the trail and 3 of travel because running to the place to run is faster than getting in the car and driving there to start the running. However, if time were no object, it would be more fun to walk to the trail and then do all of the running there. But that time, it is an object.

Since I had to work on Monday, I had yesterday "off" which means that I dial in and work on my computer from home and talk on the phone a lot but don't have to shower/blowdry/dress nicely and go into the office. Doug suggested that I have the day of fitness to celebrate being done with my presentation and although I felt guilty about taking the whole day since he had stayed home with sick Annika on Monday, I complied. I was late leaving the house (surprise) and swam for only 20 minutes but still, a swim! On the same day as a bike! Whoo!

Then Nat and I drove to the Silver Comet for a really really long ride. 40 miles. That's a record. And then we ran. Whew. Very tiring. I made Nat buy Powerade and we got back on the road. Since I was drinking the Powerade, I did not buy myself a Cliff bar because I knew that I was heading home just to eat dinner. However, in my car I found . . . MY LUNCH! I'd totally forgotten about it. I've never been so happy to see a sandwich. PB&J joy! And apple slices! In retrospect, I think that we should have been eating my lunch during the ride since we were riding through the lunch hour and all. Next time I'll pack some up and we can practice eating on the go. Surely the fuel would have helped us feel better on those interminable last 10 miles. And while we are on the subject of fueling, please allow me to geek out for a moment.

Single-serving Gu packages, while convenient and leak-free, are hard to eat while riding a bike. Maybe not so hard for people with grace and coordination, but very hard for me. I can veer off the road and crash just fine without any distractions. I need to reattach the Gu flask to my bike and fill-r-up before my rides. Swigging out of the mini-bottle is a LOT easier than trying to rip the tiny envelope open with one hand and my teeth and then trying to roll it up like a toothpaste tube without crashing.

In other news, Annika is feeling much better since being sidelined by the tummy bug this weekend. We've re-laundered everything and will hopefully remain vomit-free for a while. And, now that basketball is in full swing, Annika wants to talk about soccer. I've already signed her up for a spring league and hopefully her interest will continue when she's actually doing the soccer.

And Dagny told me the other day that Daddy has a tail. HA! I asked her if she had a tail and and if I had a tail and she said no. I asked where Daddy's tail was and she told me "it's in him underpants." Anatomy, we can do. The potty training, not so much. I just don't know how to help her understand the feeling of "time to go" - we just skip to "I went." One day . . .

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Snowflakes That Melt on Your Nose & Eyelashes

At long last, here are the snow photos:

First, Dagny and me after her very first ride. She wasn't sure about the sled (really a plastic saucer), but we convinced her after Annika took a couple of rides. This isn't snow, but cute anyway. Grammie, Annika and Dagny reading books in the RV when we went to Cordele last summer.

Here are Annika and me, post ride.

Then, Dagny tells us how the snow makes her feel. HAPPY! She just kept screaming with glee.

Annika comes down the hill solo.

Annika and I on our way down. Dagny waiting at the top for her turn.

Doug took all of the photos. I tried to capture him with the girls but my photo skills are pretty rotten. I got his arm, but not much else.

No time for more reporting today. The pot roast is in the oven and I'm off to fire up the work computer to practice my presentation for Monday. It's powerpoint, with a remote. And a pointer. OK, not really on the pointer but I do have a pen flashlight in my computer bag to shine on the screen instead of standing in front of it and pointing with my hand. Think good public speaking thoughts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Doug Rules

Last week after I missed some days of exercise due to the tummy bug, I walked with my dad on Wednesday. Thursday I got up too late to go to the pool, so I decided to swim during my lunch hour. However, the meeting with the boss got postponed several times and I didn't get the time to go swim. I thought I might yoga at home but was quickly de-motivating on my drive there. Thursday is stay-up-late-and-pay-the-bills night. SIGH. Another goose egg.

Then, I walked in the door and Doug was cooking dinner. He poo-poohed my de-motivation and proceeded to tell me all about the bike trainer he bought us. I point out that it's Thursday. He said, "well, if you'd quit putzing and go pay the bills, you can ride for an hour after we give the girls their baths." So, I went down and paid the bills while he made a lovely dinner. And then, he set my bike on the trainer for me and set up a movie on the DVR for me to watch. "Edward Scissorhands." This trainer - it opens so many windows for biking. January is just not conducive to riding outside. I'm willing to ride in the 50s but 40s are questionable and 30s are just too cold. I can't keep my hands or feet warm enough. So, the trainer rocks and so does Doug.

So, you all know about my knee issues. My bike saddle was too high and it was making my knee sore. I lowered it and thought I was OK. After Thursday's ride, though, it was angry again. So angry that I had to run really slow on Friday and Saturday - with the knee brace on. I hate the knee brace!

On Sunday, I set myself up for a two hour ride while watching "Ratatoille" with Annika. Good movie, if you haven't seen it. Annika had a good time telling me what was going to happen. Then Doug came down to check out my position and said "Holy Cow! Do you always ride like that?"

"Like what"

"With your toes facing out? It looks like it really hurts"

Turns out, I ride with my right toes facing out. Just like I walk. Like a duck. On Sunday's ride, I tried to concentrate on not turning my toes out but it really hurt. My knee got very sore even though I didn't do the concentrating for the whole ride. Monday's run was short and slow and involved more neoprene. SIGH. However, my friend the internet told me that medial (that means the inside of the joint) knee pain is sometimes caused by too wide of a position on the pedals. The sites (because I looked at a million) suggested narrowing the pedal position by moving the cleat on the bottom of the cycling shoe. I did this and tested it out today. So far, so good. Cross your fingers.

And lastly, this fall Doug told me to go online and apply to be on Team Zoot/Gu. This is a promotional program by Zoot Sports (triathlon clothiers) and Gu Sports (sports nutrition sellers) where members of the team get the opportunity to represent the companies at events and buy stuff at a ridiculously good price. With Gu retailing for $1.00 per package and the average person consuming one per hour of biking, this is an awesome deal. To get on the team, you don't have to be an elite triathlete or duathlete - just an enthusiastic supporter of triathlon or duathlon and these companies. Enthusiasm, I can do. So, I got the email last night and I'm in!! Whooo! Hooray for Zoot and Gu!

But wait, there is more. Not only did Doug turn me on to the team thing and will get to share in my soon-to-be stash of cheap Gu, Gu2O and assorted gear, he also bought me a wetsuit for Christmas and we've scheduled ourselves for a race in April. Watch out for me in the cool ZOOT wetsuit. : )

In other news, we have some cute snow photos but I haven't had time to upload them. Sorry to be tardy.

And, I was so proud of myself for doing Nat's 10x100 drill at the pool today. She said you are supposed to do your 100s on 2:00 intervals and aim for 1:30 on each 100. I managed to do 1:35 for the first and last 100s and 1:38-1:40 on the others and was dying. This is a huge improvement, though, so I was congratulating myself with some water when I started talking to the guy next to me. Who can do his easy 100s in 1:10. Wow. Competition is quite the humbler.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Whatca Waitin' For?

OK, people. Dorothy posted about this last year (can't believe it was that long ago), but January is Volunteer Blood Donor Month.

Get your bottoms out there and give a pint. The Red Cross has a new advocacy campaign about excuses. The pamplet (which I cannot find on the internet) lists all of the different excuses people use for not giving and when you see them all in writing (which is, obviously, the point), they all look really lame.

Here are some good reasons to roll up your sleeve:
  1. You might need blood someday.
  2. Your kid or your mom might need blood someday.
  3. 2 words -Nutter Butter. Seriously, I've never been to a blood drive or collection location without Nutter Butter cookies. And, Nutter Butters have the same nutritional value as the "healthier" cracker alternatives on the table - I checked them all, except for the Lorna Doones because Lorna Doones were not a viable Nutter Butter alternative.
  4. The calorie spend on the blood replacement has to be greater than the Nutter Butters. That is what I tell myself anyway. The internet says 650 calories are burned donating, but I could not find validation/substantiation for this claim.
  5. Mondays are free Dominos Pizza day at the Alpharetta donation location. All donors get a coupon for a free pizza. Way to go Dominos. When I expressed my appreciation for such a program (I was there on Friday), the nice volunteer lady gave me coupons for free waffles at Waffle House. Whoo! Further research indicates that Waffle House has a donation campaign too - T.G.I.W.F. Guess who's going to Waffle House?
  6. There are a bunch of plush new donation centers in metro Atlanta. Recliners, TV, potties, selection of canteen foods. Make an appointment or just walk in. I got to watch the Tyra Banks show as I reclined in cushy comfort - Hillary Clinton was the guest.
  7. Blood donation (or the slight dehydration caused by giving blood) makes you a cheap date. Not necessarily a good thing, though, so keep in mind regardless.
  8. Long run ability (within reason) for the next day is not affected. I ran 6 miles yesterday morning after donating on Friday without feeling bad - just a little thirsty. Motivation, however, was a different story.
  9. They give you a sticker for donating. My kids love stickers.
  10. You meet neat people. Volunteers, blood services workers, other donators. Very fun and all folks you might never meet otherwise.

So, go. Quit making excuses and get out there. And while I'm on the subject of excuses . . .

Challenge update: I had 2 days without working out for at least 30 minutes last week (stupid tummy bug), but have subsequently made 4 days in a row without a missed workout. Back in the Saddle, baby!

Update to the previous post - no one stole my lunch. They stole someone else's fruit cup and ate their tuna salad (apparently licking the bowl clean). Ew. The theft prompted a retaliatory poem that was posted on the fridge. This is an ongoing problem at work. No one wants to eat my lunches, though, which is good for me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

So Disappointed

It's odd how life comes full circle on you.

This morning, Doug and I were up at regular time to get on the internet to see if school and work (mine) were cancelled. Oh, how I was hoping for a snow day. A run around in the cold, get wet and drink hot chocolate day.

Alas, no.

We had such fun making hot cocoa last night (thank you, Trader Joes!) and catching snowflakes in our mouths. OK, everyone but Dagny had fun because she was cold and had to be carried inside my jacket. Even with that, she was still an ice cube by the time we finished our short walk. But the snow - she could have watched it for hours.

Annika was hoping for a snow day today too and got up at 6:13am to check out the snow.

Alas, a tantrum ensued because (1) no snow, and (2) she was too tired to be up yet. Our little buttercup is not a morning person.

I'll have you know, though, that I'm not the only person in the office who was out sick with the tummy bug on Mon/Tues. Maybe Dagny was not the giver after all! It could be that the sickness-giver and the lunch-stealer are the same person - who is obviously rotten to the core. Here's hoping that the bad karma from stealing lunches at least gave the stealer the yucky tummy bug.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'll Keep Comin' Back Again

Dagny is a giver.

She shared her tummy bug with me.

So, after I wasted the very delicious Pasta Amatriciana that Doug made for dinner on Sunday and went back to bed (3am?) after many hours contemplating the tile and paint in our bathroom, I thought to myself, "I can walk in the morning while the girls are at school and then I won't goose egg on the challenge." This challenge, it's a lot of pressure.

But the walking, not so much.

My mom always told us that if you were not sick enough to want to stay in bed, then you weren't sick enough to stay home (barring any vomit or fever, obviously). I was sick enough to stay at home, in my room, in bed. All day.

Doug got the girls up, dressed them, made lunches and took them to school. He even brought me some ginger ale, the paper and the remote for the TV. I felt too crappy to use anything but the ginger ale. After some napping, I checked email and was so exhausted that I had to nap more. All day Monday progressed in that fashion. I did finish Annika's school application but who knows if it was right because I was so loopy.

Tuesday I was supposed to have jury duty. I knew a full day was out of the question so I rescheduled the jury service and thought I could still make it to work at least for a little while. So, I got up, showered, dressed and made it to the kitchen. Then, I had to rest. To be perfectly honest, I had to rest several times while getting showered and dressed. Still, I thought I could make it. Doug and the nanny expressed doubt. Finally, after the rest did not give me any more energy, I saw their wisdom and went back to bed. By mid-afternoon and after a half-sleeve of saltines, improvement! For dinner, oatmeal!

And, lemon ice! Did I mention that my husband is amazing? No? Well, he is.

So today, I wasn't up for a swim or run but I did get to walk at Leita with my dad. We had a nice walk and I got back in time to pick up the girls. I'm back! Whooo!

Take that, silly tummy bug.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Am the Barf God(des)

Usually I am the poop goddess. You have to know my family to understand this, but just take my word for it. I know everything there is to know about bottoms and poop and regularity.

But now, I can add barf to my repertoire.

Tuesday night, Annie got sick. She must have escaped from the nanny outside during the day because she spent the evening barfing sand all over our house. Sand? Why sand? No idea, but it is really gross and messy to clean up barf that contains sand. And, it smells.

So, on Wednesday after a lovely bike/run with Nat, I finally finished up cleaning the carpets, washing the area rugs and towels and dog bed. We had dinner, I packed up my swim bag for the morning, started Annika's lunchbox and was in bed by 8:45. YES!

At 9:15, a weird sound erupted out of Dagny's room and then she started screeching for me: "MOOOM!" Yep, I heard the gross burp noise and the liquid hitting the sheets of her crib before I even got the door open. Upchuck city. Calmly, I stripped her and put her in the tub and removed the offending linens to the laundry area. No big deal. She calmed down in the bath and seemed to be doing better. As I put clean sheets on her crib, I sat her in the rocking chair. Bad move. Soon the seat cushion, blankie and teddy that she sat with were all in the laundry room and I had Dagny back in the tub. "No problem," I told Doug "just a little barf."

When we went down to the kitchen to get a cup to swish water in Dagny's mouth, things went haywire. Not five minutes after we got down there, the kitchen was covered with barf germs too. I gave Dagny a sponge bath in the sink and stripped her down. She continued sickness as I rinsed her in the tub, put on new jammies, and tried to calm her down. This continued for what seemed like not a very long time, especially since I knew that the kitchen was wearing a moisturizing mask of Dagny's dinner. Luckily, my dear husband helped me by administering bath number 3 and holding Dagny and her barf bowl while I scrubbed the kitchen. The time, when I finally got downstairs to attack the goo - 12:15. I called the nanny (who was still up!) and told her to sleep in and got to bed sometime around 1:30.

Thursday is one of my work-at-the-office days and I pay our bills at night so this is a very long-winded and detailed way of saying that I fell off of the wagon. I'm sorry Team Super-Women, I didn't get to swim or walk or anything yesterday.

And today, I got a lesson in hydration from the on-call nurse at the pediatrician's office because the adventure continues. Buy some stock in Clorox now.

Monday, January 07, 2008

So U Wanna Be a Baller, Shot Caller

On Saturday I took the girls to the gym to practice basketball. I thought I could help Annika learn to dribble better. Doug mentioned a good passing drill that the coach used at the last practice so we could do that too. Have I mentioned that I'm sports-retarded? Or that I have Annika in sports already so that she does not become as uncoordinated as I was as a kid?


Maybe the lack of coordination is because of her age, or maybe it's just genetic.

We arrived at the gym and proceeded to discover that Annika can't dribble or concentrate when there are other people in the gym. You know that movie scene where the coach yells at the kid to focus and points right between his eyes? I did that. Not pretty.

We got to four bounces in a row, though, which is not bad.

The wall drill and bounce pass were more successful. I had imagined that we would be able to dribble around the lines on the court, but no. Not yet. Maybe we will spend some time bouncing the ball here today instead.

Dagny didn't feel great but she spent most of the time running up and down the bleachers and chasing her soccer ball around. Who knew a big open room was so much fun?

So, after all of this joy, a grocery trip, lunch, and my flats (read: back and forth in front of our house) run, I searched online for some basketball drills. Surely there is a resource or two for coaching newbies? There are zillions of drills online, but they all want you to pay for them. What? I just want some dribble drills for kids. Mad handles are not in our future.

What are mad handles? No, nothing related to love handles (that is what came to my mind). Mad handles are apparently excellent ball-handling moves. Yep, we don't have any of those yet.

But just wait.

In other news, while I was doing that flats run on Saturday, I turned around at our neighbor's house to be surprised by a gang of triathletes on bikes speeding down our hill towards me. COOL! I waved and said hi to all of them. : ) They even came back the other way later. I'm such a groupie.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Year

Natalie and Wes have posted about joining challenges to get moving 30 minutes every day. This is a wonderful idea and I encourage you all to join up and do it. However, I'm going to copy wholesale from this idea without obligating myself to check in on another site for a 2008 goal. I'll make it my goal to move every day - minutes are irrelevant and yoga counts. So far I'm doing great. Here is the link to my training log. Check out the graph. : ) Today's run will be in the afternoon and that always makes me nervous so cross your fingers. Of course, now that I've added the challenge guy to my blog roll (at right), I'll probably be checking him regularly anyway. Also, the girls and I are heading to the gym this morning to practice our basketball skills.

OK, we are going to practice Annika's skills and I'll bring a ball for Dagny too. We got an email from the basketball coach to remind us that practice is starting back up and that we are supposed to be practicing. ooops. Got to get back on that wagon!

In other news, after much conferring with my coach (Doug) and the race director, I've signed up for the Ridges Resort 5K swim in June. It's a 3.1 open water swim across Lake Chatuge. Nat? You in?

I was worried about embarking on this adventure while trying to train for the SC half iron distance triathlon in September, especially given my extreme suckiness on the bike. Training for a century or other bike race would contribute a lot more to my training because I'm already at the half iron distance on my swim. However, as Doug pointed out, I'm not going to win the half iron distance race (ever) and I'll be thrilled to finish without pain (whatever the time is) so why not train for this swim? I'll enjoy the training and it looks like a fun race. And, the tri club that sponsors this race looks amazing. Maybe I can even train for the Beast of the East half iron distance race in 2009. I won't be able to ramp up my train volume to a full iron distance (if at all) until at least 2010 and probably later anyway so it's not as if my training will be delayed. Wow, there are so many cool races that we could do . . . it's fun just to think about them all.

In entertainment news, I spent the New Year's holiday investigating YouTube while watching football and eating junky food. Here are some really cool things that I found:

I just gotta say - I love the band. Lotzie, you must admit that you love the Trojans too. So much fun! And a shout out to the Lassiter Band - they were our arch rivals when I was in high school, but still going strong. A couple of our friends have kids in this band now and I love to watch them.