So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Monday, November 18, 2013

"So When Are You Going to Do One?"

It was that day of the year again - perhaps my favorite day of the year - the day of the local Ironman.

This is a day that I immensely enjoy....a day that the entire city is immersed and obsessed with my favorite thing.  The triathlon.  All day people are swimming and cycling and running....and my neighborhood is packed with people who love swimming and cycling and running as much as I do.

My day is very active as I cheer on my friends.  I even drag my kids and husband with me.

But.......I get spared from the lake waters, eat real food for lunch in lieu of gels and relax on my couch instead of tackling headwinds on my bicycle.  I feel very satisfied with my choice to not subject myself to such self-inflicted misery, although every year, I am routinely asked:  So, when are YOU going to do one?

Even my husband asked me this, to whom my answer was:  When I am 50.

OK, so 50 is pretty far away.  Maybe I will be grandma.
However, I still consider myself still fairly new at this sport.
I have never used a coach or even a training schedule.  I have never tried a tri-bike or long sleeved wetsuit. I have never raced in a different state or swam in the ocean.  I have never found my footing during an Olympic triathlon nonetheless felt ready for anything longer....

I obviously have a lot to learn.

When I returned to running post high-school cross country, our city was having its inaugural rock and roll marathon.  Despite having very little experience with distance running, I actually did quite well and was quickly enamored with the marathon.  It was challenging.  It was prestigious.  It was undisputedly hardcore.

Anyone can run a 5K...but 26 miles?  You have really love running to run 26 miles.

But the marathon came at a price.  I suffered through an endless array of injuries.
Shin splits.  Tendonitis.  ITBS.  Sciatica.  Pulled hamstring.  Stress fracture.

My scoliosis, an annoying and unsightly 25-degrees curve in my spine, makes me prime candidate for pretty much any injury.  Each injury was unique in its own terrible way but they all shared one common thread:  They made me depressed.  And how does a runner deal with depression if they cannot run?

The marathon just wasn't worth it.

Over the past 7 years, which includes running for 30-weeks during my pregnancy, I have learned a lot about myself as an athlete.  There is so much more to running than just distance and there is so much more to recovery than just taking a day off.   My body will perform in amazing ways, but it requires a little more work and a little more patience than perhaps other bodies.

So while the marathon, a lost love, is still waiting for me to return, I am in no rush this time.  I am enjoying the path...filled with 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and trail races.  I have won races I never thought I could win and have set PRs that I never thought possible.

I am going to do a marathon again one day, but I am not going to limp and hobble away from the finish line in defeat and depression.
So until I can get my body to that point, there is no reason to even contemplate an Ironman.  Until then, I am going to enjoy the journey and seek successes that may be shorter but that are also followed by breakfast and sunshine.

And, of course, I will continue to celebrate the day of the Ironman while cheering on my friends, who are amazing and admirable athletes, while at the same secretly happy that it's not me out there.  At least, not yet and not any time soon.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Before and After Pictures

I think I mentioned a few posts below that over the summer I drove my car into my bedroom window.

I was working from home and playing hooky - to be more specific, I took a break to go to the neighborhood pool.  I did a quick swim and rushed home to return to work.   I carefully coasted into the driveway, just like I have a hundred times before, and gently tapped the break.  Except, somehow, it was the gas pedal instead.

I jumped out at the car, wearing only a Zoot bikini and flip flops, jaw agape.  I didn't know what to do, so I paced back and forth in the front yard for 20 minutes.  Every once in awhile, I glanced up to see if the damage somehow magically disappeared.

Eventually, I gathered my gall and called my husband.  He handled the words, "Dude, I just drove my car into our bedroom" surprisingly well.  It took me a little longer to come acquire the same ease, however, today I am ready to talk about it.

The previous owner converted the garage into a master bedroom.  David and I never loved the fact that the windows faced the street.   Lets call this the "Before Picture."

And I guess we can call this one the "After I Drove My Car Into the Window Picture" or shorten it to simply the "After Picture.

The wall was boarded for a few weeks and then reconstructed.  We decided to forgo the window.  After our new wall was complete, I realized that it was now the perfect wall for supporting handstands.  And if I am going to be handstands, I figured, why not stop there?  And so, it has now become a family yoga corner.





So....even though I am very pleased with the end-result, I do not recommend trying this at home.  I can't believe my husband still allows me to park the driveway. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

End of October

I don't have many memories of Halloween growing up.   I slightly remember collecting my candy in a pillow case.  I do remember the year my mother made my costume, though.  I was a bat.

I suspect this was a safe choice for my mother, who has never resembled a Betty homemaker of any sort. Bats are perhaps one of the ugliest creatures to spawn on the planet, so this gave her a lot of leeway.  Even a horribly hideous costume would be successful, as long as it was brown.

What I didn't realize back then, as I was standing in brown tights, deformed wings, and tears streaming down my cheeks, is how much work goes into everything when you are the parent.   This last week in October has been filled with fall festivities - all of which has left me somewhat deflated.

I want to give my kids warm family experiences to remember, however I had many of those experiences and yet all I remember is that butchered bat costume.

One thing I may consider giving up next year is the pumpkin patch.  The problem with pumpkin patch is its opened during October.  Even though this year we waited until the last weekend to go, it was still 91 degrees.  After a long car ride and smothering the kids in sunscreen, we waited in the sun to ride the ponies.

And then we took a hayride to the pumpkin field so that the kids could pick out overpriced pumpkins. 
They each selected a small pumpkin that they  I had to lug around for the remainder of the day.  
Shortly after our trip, all the pumpkins at Sprouts (even the large ones) went on sale for $1.  So, not only did we pay $20 to get into the farm, we overpaid 400%  for our pumpkins.  

Hayden's pumpkin got carved and sent to school,
Brenna's pumpkin still sits outside our decorated house, which now needs to be un-decorated.

Albeit work, I admit, I did have fun decorating.
In addition to the deformed panda bear and Mr. Wonderful  from last year, I created three new characters using butter knives and fake blood.
On Halloween, my creativity continued as I made Hayden's favorite food:  Hot dogs.
I made them look like bloody fingers!!
At first, I was quite proud.

But then he refused to eat them since they did, indeed, look like bloody fingers.  

Hayden did like his costume though (Thomas the Train).  Brenna was a mermaid and a little more demanding and dramatic.

After celebrating at each of their respective preschools, it was time for them to pay me back by collecting as much candy as possible.  Previous years proved their trick-or-treating skills to be sub par.  I mean, last year, we practically had to drag them around the block.   This year, they walked on their own, with very little whining, and we even made it off the street.  And, Hayden only tripped and spilled his candy twice!

They really enjoyed knocking on the doors, perhaps too much, and did a good job holding out their buckets for the droplets of candy.  Unfortunately, we came home without any Twizzlers or Butterfingers and too many tootsie rolls.

One thing I have learned raising twins is to take as many shortcuts as possible.  Next year, we will just buy a pumpkin in the comfort of a clean and air conditioned Trader Joes.  And the hot dogs will remain plain, boring hot dogs.

In hindsight, I do appreciate the effort my mother put forth when attempting to create my bat ensemble.  It's a lot of work to get a kid into a costume, nonetheless make the costume.

And for this reason I will spare myself the stress and stick to the consignment stores.