Saturday, May 31, 2008

My time to shine

Today was the running day...can I get a hallelujah? Finally, something I not only CAN do - I LOVE to do it! The team met bright an early (7 AM) for a run. We were told to do what we felt we could (2, 4, run/walk, etc). Janine and I figured we would conquer the first lap and go from there (one lap = 2 miles). The first lap was great - hilly, but great. Thanks to my running buddy Courtney and a hilly neighborhood, I handled the hills pretty well. I told Janine we could consider ourselves hard core too, because part of the way we rain in rain: yuck! The second lap went great too. We tried a pyramid run/walk technique our mentor shared with us. She suggested we know how to do it and feel comfortable with it because in a triathlon we may need it even if we are accustomed to running 4 miles (due to tired muscles). We completed 4 miles - woo hoo. I think most of our other team mates did 2 miles and some needed to walk - hey, you gotta start somewhere right? I might add some of these said team mates are kicking my rear end in the pool. Although I don't want anyone to struggle in any of the three disciplines, I am happy to report that I might be a little ahead in this one particular discipline which is only fair since I am still super far behind in swimming.
Last night we had a cook out at our mentors house. It turns out our mentor is a super mentor - she hosts the event, helps print labels for our fundraising letters and can even help you draft your letter and fundraising homepage - A+ for Ruth! Despite having us all over last night, she showed up at 7 AM this morning too.

I am going to post some pics of our little get together last night. It was a fun time had by all.

This is Ruth's dog Kenna - she was the greeting committee for all who entered the back yard.

This is our mentor Ruth with one of our team mates James. They are busy working on James' web page and letters.

Tim was the designated "Grill Master" for the evening.

Kennedy got some good Aunt Janine time and was loving Ruth's wind chime.

Overall, I think people got great ideas for letter writing and I think the team had a great time getting more familiar with one another. Thanks Ann Maria and Ruth!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sniff....Sniff ego is no better today than it was on Tuesday evening after my first swim lesson of the week. Last night was challenging to say the least. It started out all rosy with me feeling fish-like again doing my simple little drills (not without corrections, I might add) and then, it happened. Susan asked me to do the drills sans flippers. I floated...staring at her as if I didn't hear her clearly. "Without flippers?" I asked and she said "yes". I have graduated, I thought. Whoopee! I suppose for you swimmers you are thinking "boy is she delusional" and to that I respond with a resounding YES! Oh my gosh! Who knew swimming flipper-less would be so flippin' hard. I felt like I was sinking all over again. I was having flashbacks from my very first swimming lesson. Yikes! I choked and sputtered and considered quitting (its true!). What am I thinking doing this? With every little centimeter I moved through the water without flippers I saw a UK Masters (i.e.super swimmer) swimmer flying by me in my neighboring lane making it look ridiculously effortless. Ugh! Why couldn't I have picked up swimming as a kid? I will say, however, that the society I am fundraising for spurs me on in those moments of self defeat. I thought last night I would do this every night of the week rather than suffer from a blood cancer. Seriously I thought to myself - suck it up! By the time my limbs started doing things I felt sure my brain hadn't asked of them I felt certain it was quitting time for me. I stopped and talk to Susan (aka pool drill Sargent) and she told me I was improving. Everyone keeps saying you will have it before you know it and look back on this and laugh. That's what people said about pregnancy and I am still not laughing about that 9 months later. ha! Well, we have a cook out tonight at our mentors house and that should be fun. We are going to stuff and address people's fundraising letters. Tim and I are going to attempt to bring Kennedy and her PJ's along - wish us luck! Before I close I would like to give my remedial shallow pool lane buddy (Scott, I believe) a shot out. He was such a trooper during his drills last night and every time Susan gave him a suggestion or correction he gave her a smile and a polite "yes ma'am". What a gentleman. I was impressed. Have a great Friday everyone.

oh - one last thing: I took pictures of the UK pool and I will post those tomorrow so you can see how crazy big it is. =) Ciao!

The UK pool in all it's splendor. I know I called it my sanctuary in an earlier post but forgive me if I am not feeling the same affection towards it currently. See that group of people towards the left - those are the blasted 12 year old "super" swimmers I keep talking about.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I had a swim lesson on Tuesday night. I have mixed feelings about how it went. I felt really good when I was in the water but at every completed lap there was a correction directed my way or a "don't do this, do that", etc. I was super frustrated at first because here I thought I was improving, and I am not getting a lick of positive feed back. I am thinking "at least I am not choking anymore!" I tried to remind myself that they are trying to help and make me the best swimmer I can be. It is a humbling thing for me as an athlete to need so much help in this area. Swimming is different than any other sport I have ever participated in. Swimming is fluid and soft and all the other things I do or have done are aggressive and hard. I will really need to work on the soft part because Susan said I was "attacking the water rather than loving the water". Who knew?! I am truly a beginner. I still feel encouraged because despite the corrections - I can tell a difference. I feel better in the water and I feel less anxious/scared. That in itself means a lot to me about how far I have already come. I go back tonight and I have tried to mentally prepare all day. I want to work hard and utilize my time the best I can. I want to learn the right way (not just a way) to swim and they are going to help me accomplish that goal.

I went to the bike shop today and had my bike tuned up. I had a gear that was grinding and I was quick to assume it was because of my last two falls on the bike. "Wrong" said the bike tech - it just needed some adjustments. I am ready to roll! I went ahead and bought a bike rack because I figured it would be unnerving to continue taking my wheel off and cramming it in my car every time I need to go somewhere - that's a pain! I am ready to ride. Next up, we plan to purchase a bike trailer for Kennedy so she can join me on my training rides that I do near the house.

Look for an interesting post tomorrow - I will be another swim lesson in! =)

Monday, May 26, 2008

What a long way to go

Happy Memorial Day!
Janine and I went and watched a triathlon today. Some of the TNT tri members who complete their event this summer were participating. It was intimidating I must admit. The swim just looked like it was taking FOREVER. I was sitting there thinking: "can I really do this?" Our plan was just to watch and my goal was really to pay attention to the "transition areas" where you switch gear to prepare for your next segment (for example: switching from your swim gear to your biking gear). It was exciting watching, knowing that I will be doing this in several months. At the same time though, it was just a little overwhelming to think about how much further I need to go before I can consider myself truly ready to complete a triathlon.

We stayed after the swimmers were done and after we had purchased our pool passes to do a little swimming ourselves. The water was friggin' freazing - seriously! So cold it was taking my breath away on fairly regular intervals. It was a totally different ballgame than the UK pool - what I may now consider my swimming sanctuary. Geesh was it different - I felt like I was back at square one...spitting, choking, coughing...blah blah blah - BOO! I hope Janine at least got a handle on the drills Susan has been having us do so she can practice where she is right now. I wouldn't want to be in her shoes and feel behind due to missing our group swims and I hope now that she won't feel that way.

Kennedy got in the big pool with us too and I took some pictures. She was quite the little trooper about the water temperature - oh what separation anxiety will make a little girl do! Please don't laugh at how ridiculous Janine and I look - we are not in denial. We know we look like dorks. Anyhow...the training journey continues, next up is swim practice at UK on Tuesday. =)

Bathing Beauties

Sweet Girl

On the road again

Janine and I went for a bike ride yesterday. Janine just purchased her road bike recently and was itching to get on it and try it out. My road bike has been hanging in my garage for over a year now. I didn't ride while I was pregnant and haven't ridden since I had Kennedy so I needed to re-familiarize myself with my bike.

Lets just say my bike had a serious layer of dust and dog hair on it. I cleaned it up first and then Tim helped me pump up the tires. I was a little nervous getting the bike ready just because it has been such a long time. Tim asked me if I wanted to take a spin around the neighborhood before putting the bike in the car. I thought about that for a minute and opted out of that because I didn't want to have to change shoes to my clip-ins, etc. I had to take my wheel off to get it in my Jeep now that I cant lay the seats down due to a baby seat. I need a bike rack! The bike shop wasn't open yesterday or today so it looks like I will have to do that next week on one of my days off.

Once I got to Janine's, I checked her tires and we got ready and were about to have Josh take a picture before we left and then the dreaded event occurred for all to see. I bit it! I fell too fast to even think, or blink for that matter. I had clipped my right shoe in but the clip is so loose I didn't hear the snap so I didn't think I was clipped and just as I went to pull my foot away - it wouldn't move and by then it was too late, I was falling sideways - FAST. Wham! There I was with Janine (who was nervous might I add) and Josh ready to take a picture and I busted my rear. I am sure it did nothing for Janine's anxiety level and for me, though it was embarrassing, it was more frustrating than anything. Oh well. What's a girl to do except get up and shake it off, right? Luckily all I have is a little scrape and a scuffed up bike seat to match. Its only fair that I have marks on both sides of my bike, right? I fell to the other side the last time I rode and those are the only two times I have fallen since the purchase of my bike - pretty impressive but boy is one of those falls humbling. I should have taken Tim's suggestion and warmed up around the neighborhood.

We had a beautiful ride. I was rusty at first and Janine was trying to grasp the shifting which is really hard to put into words for someone (especially when they are on a different bike). She picked up quickly though and we both got a great workout and a wonderful ride. We saw lots of horses, a chipmunk, a baby groundhog (too cute), and gorgeous landscape. Both of us were enjoying ourselves so much we didn't really pay much attention to how long we had been riding. We put the ride on map my run last night and it turns out we did 17 miles! Wow! Now, we weren't pushing ourselves but still - that's pretty flippin' sweet.

The after effects of a good ride (after a long cyclying break) are apparently a sore hiney, sore arms, and some random looking sunburn: ha! We had an awesome time and I think we are both looking forward to our next ride. I will post the picture Josh took below.

Today we will go watch the current TNT tri team do their practice triathlon and then head to the pool for a little swimming lesson.

Friday, May 23, 2008

In the pool again..

Last night was my second time and our teams first time in the pool. I have to say I am amazed that I actually retained something from my horrific first pool experience. I only choked/sputtered/coughed about 3 times last night in the hour I was there: yay! Luckily, fellow flipper wearers joined me in my learning process last night which made it much easier. Now...there are a few folks on our team that know what they are doing and lets just say I wasn't sharing a lane with them. The rest of us have some work to do. I still haven't quite gotten used to the whole goggle/cap thing but I am guessing it will slowly grow on me. Anyhow...I am happy with my progress slow as it may be. Thank heavens Susan (our coach) is uber patient despite probably knowing she seriously has her work cut out for her for the next several months. Our mentors were there last night as well and were super encouraging and supportive throughout our lesson. Love Ruth's heart - she even brought me a tissue to blow my nose in. That is what I call support! I am feeling a little sore this morning but I am feeling much better than I did after my first lesson. That has to mean something, right? So, we will swim again next Tuesday and projects for this weekend include getting a pool pass, having my bike tuned up and buying a rack that will work on my non-tow package Cherokee. It should be a fun weekend. Janine and I may do an impromptu swim session this weekend too if we can get in a pool somewhere that isn't full of children. For those of you that don't know: Janine is my best bud and she is in the middle of a PT rotation for school in Ashland, KY. She is registered to be on our team but was unable to attend the first swim session because of the rotation. She is really looking forward to joining our team for all our events when she returns to Lexington. I miss you Janine!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My First Blog

Now that Kennedy is almost 9 months old I feel as though I can dedicate the time and energy it will require to adequately raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Although I don't have any close friends or family directly affected by blood cancers, I am extremely motivated to help those who are currently suffering. Over 75% of all funds raised by participants in Team in Training sporting events will go directly to research, patient services, and education. Team in Training is also the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's largest fundraising program, so it is making a huge difference in the lives of people affected by these conditions. Who wouldn't want to be a part of such an amazing group?

As far as the triathlon part, most of you know I have always enjoyed physical activity and sports in general. I also enjoy challenging myself and I think this will challenge me in more ways than I can even imagine right now. I should share with you that I run on a pretty consistent basis and I have done some fairly lengthy bike rides (although I haven't been on the bike since pre-pregnancy - yikes). Swimming, however, is a total different ball game. To say that I am clueless is a gigantic understatement.

My very first swim lesson was last week at the University of Kentucky pool and lets just say I was the only "swimmer" (if I can even call myself that) who was wearing flippers and utilizing a kick board. Twelve year old little girls were swimming laps around me and I am fairly certain that the others utilizing my lane (the special shallow one for remedial students like myself) were there for fun and might have been laughing at me despite my efforts. The coach was extremely nice and supportive but I just know she was thinking "Oh my God have we got a long road with this girl". The swimming cap was squishing my brain and in turn making it extremely difficult for me to comprehend and complete her commands (that is what I am telling myself so go with me on this). I swallowed SOOOOO much water and coughed it back out that I had sore throat that lingered for 3 days. I almost emailed the coach to see if that was normal for a first timer but I decided it not in my best judgement to do so less she think I am a wimp. I swam (again....if you can call it that) for an hour and promised to be at every training session that I could - Lord knows I am going to need it.

Last night was our "kick-off" where we met our TNT mentors who will encourage us and help us in any ways they can. We also met our team mates. I was happy to learn that several of my team mates are also clueless about swimming - hallelujah! Now....they may not need flippers and a kick board but that is beside the point. I am attaching a photo of my team mates, mentors and coach below. I hope you will come back to my blog and see how I am progressing along this journey. A special thank you to those of you who have already donated and sent well wishes and prayers. I am going to need all the praying you have time for. Until next time.......