Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Rundown

I type this as we are all getting "our wits about us" (a favorite phrase of my Mom's), and thinking about heading home to Maryland tonight. Our trip to Florida has been awesome, but I will post more later when I have good pics. I will share a pic of our house in Maryland and one of the orange tree at my Grandparents' house (fresh juice every morning) decide where you would rather be! We are very thankful to have missed the 12-hour commutes and power outages that the storm brought!

Rest in Peace, Woody:While on vacation (my sister was with us while her husband stayed back for work), we found out that her beloved horse Woody died. He was 30 (old in horse years), and getting thin, but my Mom rode him Tuesday evening and he was fine. When she went out Wednesday morning to feed him, he was laying down "asleep". I told my sister that after years of working with sick humans, creatures seem to have some semblance of control over when they go. I'm sure he waited until she was out of town so that she wouldn't find him. He also wanted to get the heck out of dodge before the snow came...because animals know such things. He was a great horse and will be missed.

Mere and Woody

Girls Rule
After the downer portion of my post, I have to share a little humor. We have gotten into a battle of the sexes in our family, often beginning with the statement "Girls rule, boys drool." This is sometimes reversed, or sometimes becomes "Kids rule, parents drool." It always makes us laugh. The retirement park where my grandparents live in Florida has a bath house of sorts (they have showers but not big hot water tanks at their house). The other day, the girls were in one bathroom and the boys in the other, with conversation trickling through the ducts. So my daughter and I counted to three and yelled "Girls Rule, Boys Drool!". The next thing you hear is my 4 1/2 year old son yelling "I don't hear anything. Daddy, do you hear anything?". We decided to take it to the next level. The bathrooms have a lock on the inside and one on the outside. I told my daughter to get dressed quickly, and then we locked the boys in their bathroom. Of course I was waiting there to open the door before Tommy busted it down, and then the girls ran like crazy, laughing all the way. Anyone over the age of 8 would think this was a stupid prank, but I've decided it is awesome mother-daughter and father-son bonding. As long as it isn't spiteful, a little teasing and a lot of laughter makes our family that much better.

Editorial note: my husband walked by as I was typing this and made some mumbled comment about girls vs boys....he is just mad that we got him! ;)

Since this is my triathlon blog and I haven't mentioned anything triathlon related yet, a quick update. I ran 6 miles the other day and am slowly working myself back up. It feels incredible. (Not to mention running in shorts and a T-shirt). I can't wait to get back in the pool now that my sinus infection is clearing and seriously gear up for 2011. I actually feel like I can start planning for the season now. Look for a Team Trakkers post soon!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Rundown

Disclaimer: I am taking all kinds of meds for this month-long cough and now ear issues. These include steroids, which make me ramble even more than usual. (I know, is this really possible?). The good news is my house is tidy, laundry is done....I'm like a Mom on speed! (Kids- this is not condoning "juicing". Steroids are bad...but if I'm going be sick and on meds at least the house is clean!)

The Good News
: I ran/walked 4.5 miles on the treadmill yesterday. It felt awesome! It was mostly running, with some walking in there (trying to build myself up and not push it). Of course my heart rate was definitely higher than normal but I figure my body has been through a lot. It felt good to sweat that hard-earned, I'm pushing myself kind of sweat.

Team Trakkers 2011: Lots of cool happenings for our team. The Team Trakkers Elite have a video out introducing themselves. It is fun to get to know our pro teammates. You can check it out here.

One of the most exciting new additions to the Trakkers Elite team is Kathleen Calkins. Kathleen was one of our age group teammates last year when she earned her Professional Triathlete status. She raced as a pro at Rev3 Cedar Point. Her husband Shane was super supportive, cheering on Kathleen and the rest of us during the race. I also met her son, who is the same age as mine and also has a total obsession with firefighters. The boys have become cross-country pen pals. I can't wait to follow Kathleen's journey and the rest of the Team Trakkers Elite.

Rev 3 on Blog Talk Radio: Rev3 is resuming the Blog Talk Radio shows this year. These were a blast last year. You can listen along to the show, and participate in the online chat. It is great to hear from the pros and hear specifics about the Rev3 races. Click here to listen. The show is on this Wednesday at 8pm Eastern. I will be visiting with family but hoping I can make it online!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm Not a Prude, but.....

I joined the fire department when I was 16. I was able to hang with the boys pretty well and not be offended by the moments of locker room humor. I consider myself laid back, but as a Mom I think my tolerance for certain things has changed a LOT. For some reason, some of the television programming for pre-teens and teenagers out there seriously befuddles me.

Before I sound "high and mighty", I have to disclose that my guilty pleasures include the "Real Housewives" (New Jersey, Atlanta, BH...). When I was sick, I watched a Jersey Shore marathon during a sleepless night. That being said, I'm 34 (not to mention a married, "boring" Mom). I think I am beyond the impressionable phase.

Once upon a time, I loved "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "The Real World" (like seasons 1, 2, 3...). When the new version of "Beverly Hills, 90210" came out, I watched the first few episodes. Those who admit to watching the original series remember that it was a BIG deal when someone drank or did drugs, and Donna Martin deciding whether or not to sleep with David Silver consumed episodes. It wasn't "The Brady Bunch", but by today's standards the subject matter was lame. I watched the first few episodes of the new version. Holy cow...drunk texting, sleeping around, the 1990s version on crack. I know times have changed, but if my daughter was 13 she would not be watching the show.

Apparently, it gets worse. During the aforementioned "Jersey Shore" marathon, I saw commercials for the new MTV show "Skins". Talk about blatant promiscuity, drugs, drinking, sex. None of these things seemed to be taboo or risky, either. Just normal teenage behavior. So The Washington Post published an article yesterday about the show. (You can read it here). Normally I would probably scoff at critiques by the Parents Television Council, but this one seems to be spot on.
In the 42 minute premier, there were 41 visual and spoken references to drugs and alcohol. This doesn't include the sex.

"On January 17, the Viacom-owned cable network MTV aired a teenager-based drama, 'Skins.' The episode included all manner of foul language, illegal drug use, illegal activity as well as thoroughly pervasive sexual content. Moreover, future episodes promise much more of the same," PTC said.

So maybe I am turning into my mother, who I had to beg to let me see "Dirty Dancing" in 6th grade because there was...ummmm....dirty dancing in the movie. I wasn't a perfect teenager, and I definitely tested the boundaries, but do we need our pop culture making it so ok for kids to engage in these risky behaviors?! My 8 year old has already come home singing Ke$ha songs she learned on the playground (in the days when I refrained from letting her hear such songs on the radio). How do you explain that it isn't ok to brush your teeth "with a bottle of Jack"?

Ok, so perhaps this is a rant. Perhaps a Mom trying to figure out how to empower my children to make good choices, and wishing that society made it a little easier!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Rundown

This will be a quick one...I'm wiped!

Tubes- D got the tubes in his ears last week. He was a total trooper. Not a tear was shed. Since he had the procedure done at my hospital, the recovery room nurses all commented that they now know what I am like after two glasses of wine. He did great, and was back to school the next day. Here is hoping there are no more ear infections!

Family Movie Night- Thanks to my Dad giving us a larger-than-life television when he moved out of his apartment, we have started a "family movie night" tradition. Once a week, we all pile on the couch and watch a movie (or an episode of Wonder Woman). We have really had a blast with it. We do lots of reading, playing games, etc., but something about showing the kids some of the movies that we liked as kids is a blast. We watched "Ghostbusters" this week. We were reminded how far special effects have come in the years since the movie was made, but we had a great time laughing at the movie. Of course our little one was obsessed with the fact that the Ghostbusters lived in an old firehouse.

Party on- This weekend was the party for my sister and her husband to celebrate their wedding in Philadelphia. It was a great chance to see his hometown and meet friends and family who couldn't make it to the wedding. Of course what are the odds that at a party with 90 guests, someone would be wearing MY dress?!?! I say that jokingly- I could care less and we looked nothing alike, but it was funny. The best part was that it was a Ralph Lauren dress that we both got for super cheap at TJ Maxx.

Training- This cold has been kicking my butt! I feel like crud still, and cough like crazy in the mornings. I haven't been in the pool because I am so congested. I am trying to run (woohoo!) and get time in on the bike, but I'm not feeling the swim just yet. I'm hoping for this week! The one thing I have been focusing on is a lot of strengthening, and core work...trying to get stronger for 2011.

Supper club- I have been inspired by my teammate Jessi to start a supper club with some of my working Mom friends. We are still figuring out the details, but I spent most of today cooking. I made stuffed shells, my enchilada bake, and mac and cheese. (Not all super healthy meals, but mac and cheese was chosen for being kid-friendly).

Team Trakkers- It is great to get to know the new round of teammates. There is a lot of enthusiasm, and I am really looking forward to the races this year. I am hoping to volunteer at the Rev3 race in Knoxville and be ready to race by Quassy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010: Lessons Learned

I feel like I've done so much reflecting in the past couple of months. As I said in an email to a dear friend today, I feel like I've just been rolling with the punches and thankfully none of them has been a knockout blow. During a follow-up visit with my GYN after my ectopic pregnancy, we were discussing how surreal the whole experience was.
Me: "I just keep telling myself there must be a lesson in all this."
Dr. A: (I'm paraphrasing) "You know, I think sometimes crappy things just happen for no good reason"

Of course that made me think a lot. What I came to realize is that maybe there isn't a lesson, but I can learn from how I respond to situations, and how I come away from them. While I don't care to repeat the last few months of 2010, I have learned some powerful lessons. Among them...

- Even after 18 years, my dear husband will drop everything to be there for me when I need him.

- Homemade soup from your Mom makes a sick day much better, even when you are 34.

- I can never take for granted time with my children, even if they are fighting.

- I am fiercely determined.

- It is ok to sometimes let others take care of you without feeling guilty.

- Never take for granted that the person who seems happiest is really happy. Sometimes that is the person who needs your help the most. I wish we had learned this lesson sooner.

- My little sister can be almost as bossy as me when it comes to planning her wedding.

- I am truly fortunate to have such wonderful friends and family, and to be a part of a team that encompasses so much more than a bunch of triathletes.

- I am also fortunate to love my job. I was reminded today that I am so fortunate to do what I do.

- I don't have a race schedule for 2011, and that is ok...I'm going with it...letting my body tell me what I can handle. I am a planner. This is new for me.

One post can't sum up what a year 2010 has been, but I'm thankful to have regained my "pep" and looking forward to getting stronger (and maybe a little faster) in 2011.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Yesterday was Day 18 post-knee arthroscopy. I went to physical therapy yesterday. I worked my way up to 111 minutes on the bike this weekend, so I felt pretty good going into therapy. Thanks to my husband and teammates, I resisted the urge to go for a jog over the weekend.

At therapy, I did my required exercises (including a whopping 8 minutes on the bike). The therapist working with me put me through the paces, and then said "Do you really think you need to see us anymore?" Of course I didn't think so, but I didn't think it was my place. I'm paying them to tell me what I need to do and how I'm doing, right? One of the lessons that I learned the past few months is that I can't always be in control.

So the therapist put me through the paces, and told me she didn't think I need them anymore. I can always call with questions, and I shouldn't run for 1-3 more weeks, but I am discharged. YES! My new office at work is literally steps away from our cardiac rehab area (which doubles as the employee gym). I can do a lot more rehabbing there than I can driving back and forth to PT.

After what feels like months of setbacks and unexpected illness/injury, this feels like a giant leap forward! I am sore today from PT yesterday, but I'm thinking it is a good sore. Bring it on!

Monday Rundown

Inspired by some of my teammates with great blogs, I have decided to start a new weekly post for some of my random training updates, thoughts, and happenings for the week.

- Throwback: For Christmas, I asked my kids (aka husband) for the first season of Wonder Woman on DVD. I love Wonder Woman. I had Wonder Woman Underoos as a kid. My sister and I used to pile the couch cushions on the floor and then jump onto them from the couch, pretending we could jump as far and as fast as Wonder Woman. My husband and I now realize that she got knocked out a lot with Chloroform, but that is a small detail. We have been watching the episodes with the kids, having a blast. I am reliving my childhood, and still think Wonder Woman rocks! The cool part is that Lynda Carter lives in our area, and frequents the firehouse near her house to thank the firefighters. Tommy hasn't see her yet, but maybe one of these days (and hopefully he can get me, I mean the kids, an autograph).

- My poor munchkin gets tubes in his ears tomorrow. He has been a trooper. He doesn't even complain when he gets an ear infection, and we often only find out because his ears start draining. It is a brief procedure, but you hate to see your pumpkin go through anything. After a busy day at the doctor (and then home on a sick day with Daddy)last week, he fell down on the job a bit....

- Our pups: Our firstborns often get neglected in blog posts because our human kids are so darn entertaining. These guys Spanner (short for Star Spangled Banner, born on July 4th), and Spridel (ever seen "Speed Racer?") are both 90+ years old in people years. Spridel has cancer so we have enacted doggie advance directives, but he is stubborn and remains comfortable, so we are happy to have him hanging with us. Both dogs are stone cold deaf. Spridel got out tonight and got several blocks away. This is the first time this has happened. They have a tendency to go outside our split rail fence and come back in. It was totally my fault as I had put the dogs out, let Spanner in, and got distracted. I am so thankful that someone called us, and thankful that I was able to find him after she let him get away. I'm thinking he will be on a leash from now on. I now know I can run on my knee because I ran around looking for him (don't tell my ortho- desperate measures). Below are pics of Spanner keeping me company on the trainer and Spridel wiped out after his adventure.

- Family Fitness: We got the kids the Xbox Kinect for Christmas. This is really a great workout. Can I just say that my kids and husband beat me in all of the games (and I can't blame my knee---I just don't have the hand-eye coordination). We were playing this game that reminds me of "Pong", but with your body instead of a paddle. My husband said I look like and Orangutan playing it. He was right! Here are the kids giving it a go.

-Training: Ah, yes, training.... I actually have picked up a somewhat regular regimen. There isn't a training "plan" yet, just what my knee feels up to on any given day.
Cycling (Indoor Trainer): 3hrs 8 min
Core: 30 min
Strength: 95 min
Walking: 30 min
Running after the dog: 15 min

Have a great week!