Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Olympics are coming!

After this whirlwind of birthday action, Katie informed me that we forgot Molly's birthday which we had assigned to the 23rd.  Oh well.  She seems ok with it.  She's 2.  Things like that happen as you get older.

I fell down the stairs last Saturday and rolled my ankle.  It hurt more than anything I recently remember - thought for sure I cracked or broke something, but after I was able to put weight on it about a hour later we decided that x-rays could wait.  We had tickets to go to Batman, and a babysitter was on her way.  I did have an x-ray on Sunday and they didn't see any cracks or breaks - just a sprain so they gave me a splint and told me to stay off it for 2 days.  Yeah, like that's gonna happen.  But thanks to John I was able to spend most of Sunday off it, and took the splint off yesterday.  It feels pretty good - I can walk without a limp.  There are moments when it hurts - going down stairs, some ankle circles, etc.  But overall it's pretty good.  When I was rolling the trash cans out last night I even tried jogging back up to the house and it felt ok.  Did some jumps on it, and it held up fine.  So if it's going to be a little cooler this weekend maybe I can work in a 2 mile run or so to see how things are.  My tri is 2 weeks from this Sunday!

I have my 2nd swimming lesson tonight.  My instructor is Amy and she is very encouraging and has really helped me with my flipping over in the water.  I still need to tweak my breathing though.  I swam last Friday - before the fall.  All the lanes in the 25 meter pool were taken and I didn't feel like lane sharing.  So I went to the lane in the other pool, but it's only 20 meters.  I was able to do 10 laps (400 meters) and did NOT feel like throwing up!  I didn't feel like I was overly exhausted - although I still did some resting at each wall (30-120 seconds).  I would have done more but I was getting frustrated because I kept getting mouthfuls of water and not enough air.  I think I just need to turn over more when I breathe.  However, my turns onto my backfloat and then returning into a front float were great.
The race director of the tri even e-mailed me back (because I had sent her a question) and verified that their goal is to have a noodle swimmer every 25 meters.  Other than 20 noodle swimmers they will also have 15 lifeguards and 3 boats in the water.  She pretty much guaranteed me that they would save my butt if I needed it.

I also fully expect to be inspired by watching the Olympics which start tomorrow!  Opening ceremonies start at 6:30....swimming and men's gymnastics start Saturday night.  To get you through til then, here's some shots of Katie from gymnastics camp a few weeks ago.

2 very short videos....sorry for the blurry footage.  My camera was losing power!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Birthday pictures!

A re-cap from Will's birthday.

Angel food cake topped with strawberries and whip cream! 
I even found the "5" candle we used when Katie turned 5!

Katie found Will a Star Wars game at a garage sale.  It's an easy game of luck - which Will has yet to win.

And of course, a talking, web-shooting Spider Man.

And yes, Will did get his "Joker house" which topped the list of his bithday wish list.  It even topped my list because I found a used one for $10!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today's plan

Even though we didn't get any rain yesterday - it's relatively cooler and less sticky today.  A nice treat before the weekend warms it up again.  Speaking of the weekend.....The Dark Knight Rises opens this weekend!  Have you got your tickets?  Of course - we already have ours. :)

Katie is at "Safety Camp" all day today.  Our city sponsors it and they discuss fire safety, water safety, bike safety and a few other related topics as well.  Katie got to take her bike and helmet and will get to ride through an obstacle course of sorts that simulates the rules of the road.  It goes all day and they provide lunch, snacks, water, juice, a t-shirt, etc.  Pretty darn good for $22.

Will also has a play date/ birthday party today at a friend's house from school.  So that means I have about 2 hours to myself!  My plan is to ride my bike for about 10 miles near the nature center and then run a few miles after that.  Since it's pretty comfortable out, it should be doable.  I also start my swimming lessons tonight so I'll work in all 3 activities today!

And some pictures......

The kids (and John) found a big frog in the backyard last week.  Usually we just get a lot of little toads.
Of course Will wanted to bring it in the house while we ate supper.  So we found a plastic box with a lid and he sat and watched us eat. 

Molly was VERY interested...

...and wouldn't leave her new "friend's" side.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A bit of this and that

It's almost 8 am and a pack of (non-wild) girls....13-15 year olds, just ran by the house.  Gosh, at least 12 of them our exercising in a group run.  Oooop, there goes another smaller pack a little bit behind....  That's a lot of organization for before 8 am.

A woman walking her big dog was having a hard time getting him out of the neighbor's yard sprinkler.  He was having a good time getting cooled off and getting a drink.

This past weekend my husband's brother, Jim, came to stay with us and we all went to a Twins game.  They lost, but it was a fun game.  It's really hard to find 5 tickets together that aren't all in the sun for most of the game.  So John and his brother found a pair in the shade on Club level, and the kids and I found some out in the outfield overlook.  Even finding 3 was hard - I guess you aren't supposed to go to the game in odd numbers. 

The kids were very well behaved.  When we were leaving after the 3rd inning to meet John and Jim TC Bear was shooting out t-shirts in our area.  We stood in the aisle about 10 seats down from where we were sitting.  Wouldn't you KNOW it?  That damn bear shot a t-shirt right into Katie's seat.  The lady sitting next to us reached over and handed the shirt to the boy sitting in front of us.  When we returned to our seats with cotton candy and cracker jacks we were filled in by our other neighbor on how we missed the t-shirt shooting.  "Yes," I replied, "we saw it.....why do you think we came back with cotton candy?"

I swam again last night too - after I put Will to bed.  I got 8 laps in - 3 with the kickboard, 5 swimming freestyle/backfloating.  Other than feeling like I was going to throw up and crying in the hot tub afterwards, it went well.  (Eye roll.)  I spose my endurance level is improving if nothing else.  And like everyone tells me, I'm getting comfortable in the water.  (I am?)

Swimming is hard.  It's more physically taxing than I anticipated and the mental issues are sometimes overwhelming.  Do you want to hear about my experiences as a child?  Of course you do....
It was nothing traumatic, but I remember it very clearly.  I started out taking 2 summers of private lessons.  I worked with a sweet girl - Casey.  She was the daughter of a high school teacher and very patient with me when I refused to do things she wanted me to try.  She is the sole reason I can backfloat today - I still hear her voice in my ear telling me to push out my belly button.  After 2 summers, my parents didn't want to pay for private lessons anymore - public lessons were cheaper and I thought I was ready.  I must have been about 7-8 and was taking swimming lessons at the local pool, (indoor at the time).  My aunt Carol was taking me because I was staying with her for the week, and the lessons were every day.  I started at station 1.  In order to move on to the next level, you had to do 10 bobs.  I finished that the first day and moved on to Station 2.  Station 2 was doing a front float for 10 seconds, and backfloating for 10 seconds.  It took me a couple days, but I finally did it, and moved on to "3".  Station 3 was where we had to front float across over half the width of the pool and backfloat back.  On my first day at Station 3, I could front float across fine.  But then on the backfloat, I would always stop in the middle thinking I couldn't do it.  On my (maybe) 3rd attempt the jackass running station 3 yelled at me in front of everyone when I stopped.  "What do you think you're doing!?!  You stop, you lose!  Don't be such a baby!  You're never going to get anything right!  You're never going to swim!" and on and on....

I went back to the wall, crying.  I got to the steps, walked out of the pool told my aunt I wanted to go home and I never went back.  I never even went back to that swimming pool with friends.  A few years later they renovated the pool and made it an outdoor one, I think I went there twice before I graduated high school.  I still remember the asshole.  He graduated with my brother, and my husband.  Years later, in high school - he was a sub for my German class and I remember telling him (out of the blue) that I didn't like him at all, and he wasn't a very good teacher.  He was a sub - he said nothing. 

So here we are.  I'm trying to convince myself that I can swim, but there's a giant voice in my head saying that I'll never do it.  Hence - the crying when I got out of the pool after 8 laps.  I had wanted to do 10, but I just didn't have anything else in me for the night.  I have my first lesson Thursday night.  I doubt anyone at FOSS will make me cry, but I'll let you know if they do.   

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My first real swim

So I went swimming by myself for the first time last Thursday.  I did activate my free 3-month Lifetime membership and I was right - it's a full 3 months.  The great news is that the kids can come with me for free.  There's no extra charge for them to go to the kid's place while I work out and they can also go swimming with me later.  

Katie was spending the afternoon with friends so I dropped Will off at the play place and went off to swim.  There were lap lanes open so I didn't have to share.  I'm not quite smart enough to do that just yet, let alone good enough.  I decided to use a kick board first - no arms, just work on my kicks and see how effective they are.  Boy, it was a LONG way down the length of the pool.  I think my kicks could be a lot better and hopefully they'll be able to give me some pointers at my lessons.  I did 4 lengths of the pool with the kickboard, then 2 lengths swimming freestyle, then another 2 with the kickboard and finally 2 more freestyle.  That's 5 laps total, half of what would be done in the tri.  Each time I got to a wall, I waiting 30-60 seconds at least.  I'm not at a point where I can just keep going.  Also, the last lap I did freestyle I had to switch to a backfloat about 3/4 of the way down each time.  BUT, I feel comfortable on my back and can at least keep moving.  I just can't see where the hell I'm going. 

I keep reminding myself it was this way when I started running.  Remember?  Remember when I could only run 1-2 minutes at a time and running a whole mile seemed downright laughable?  Like anything else, it WILL get easier.  Any progress towards improvement will give me the positive boost I so need right now.  It was a bit disheartening to struggle so much.  It's hard for me to not be able to do something, and even harder to admit it to other people.  I may be able to get in the water today - depending on the kids.  If I can talk them into letting me swim first this afternoon....then I'll be able to get a few minutes in.  Otherwise, I think I should focus on lifting some weights at home and working on upper body strength - of which I have none it seems. 

Next week I start my lessons.  Every Thursday night at 8 for 3 weeks. If nothing else, it's more time in the water. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Funny

I have a distinct feeling that this applies to everyone in my house.....not just the kids. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Didn't happen.....yet

Ok, ok.  I know I said I was going to swim last night, but it didn't happen.  With Will's birthday yesterday the whole night kind of got away from me.  I still have 4 Wednesday swim workouts I can do and a friend, who is a super-star swimmer, is going to go with me next week (probably to make sure I go!) :)

BUT, I am planning on going swimming today.  I got to thinking about my Lifetime membership that I won.  Did I tell you about that???  Our county hosted a "Get Up and Go" program earlier this spring and you kept track of your workouts online.  If you logged 150 minutes per week you got entered into a weekly drawing.  At the end they had some extra drawings and I won a 3 month single membership to Lifetime Fitness.  We used to be Lifetime members before Will was born, so I'm familiar with what they offer.  At the location in our town they have a really great outdoor pool and indoor pool that have swim lanes always open for adults. 

The downside is that it is a single membership, but I can add on extras to it so that the kids and John can go too.  I'll have to see how much that is.  In any case, I'll have to add the kids because it will be nice to be able to swim while they are having some time in the child center.  That way I can do it whenever - not just after 6 pm. 

When I first got the certificate it had an expiration date of 7/31/12.  That meant it was only going to be good for about a month, not 3 months.  But as I got to reading it today it sounds like I have to activate it by 7/31/12....but then it's still good for 3 months once it's activated.  So that would be VERY nice. I left a message for the membership coordinator lady and she's supposed to call me back.  Once she does, I'm taking Will at 2:00 to head there and check it out.  I don't have "Pebbles" today and Katie is playing at a friend's house this afternoon.  No excuses, right???  It would sure be nice if the TWO places I called to get some lessons would call me back to schedule those!  However, I did get a swimsuit to use for training.  Not sure if I will wear it in the race though.  I'm not too sure how I feel about running in it yet.  I will have to try it out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Will....

And now he's 5!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's time...

I awoke last night and had somewhat of a panic attack.  My triathlon is in 34 days and I haven't really done much swimming.  At all.

So here we go - I'm off to get myself a good one-piece swimsuit and making plans to start my workout swims tomorrow night.  The Rec Center offers lap workouts from 8:30-9:15 every Wednesday night for $4. 
The description says "This drop in class is available for intermediate and advanced swimmers who need extra help with technique and endurance.  A Water Safety Instructor will coach from the pool deck and provide a work-out and help swimmers with their strokes and turns.  Swimmers must be 18 years old or older and be able to swim 50 yards (1 lap) of the pool."  Well, I can swim 1 lap.....and that's about it.  Then I'd have to rest a few minutes.  Do I qualify?  Will I embarrass the hell out of myself if I go?  I spose I won't know til I try, but....

I have contacted the director about setting up 1-2 private lessons for myself to just get some pointers on breathing/arm control, etc.  I haven't heard back from her yet, so I'm going to explore another option today as well.  Maybe I can get in the water twice a week for the next 4 weeks. 

I think I'm really scared of swimming.  I'm scared of not being good enough, not being able to get better, not enjoying it.  I can swim short distances - 50 yards I spose, and that's about it.  I get going and I feel like I have to swim like a bat out of hell because I start to panic.  I tell myself that's just because I don't feel confident in the water, and with practice I will get there.  The problem is, I actually have to practice.  I can't just rationalize it in my head.  It was that way with running too - I could run about 2-3 blocks and then have to stop because my head was freaking out and telling me I couldn't do it.  With time, I was able to increase the distance and now enjoy my short 3-5 mile runs.  (Enjoy is a relative term....)

So now it's time.  It's time to get wet and see what happens. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fun Pictures

Everyone likes pictures...and here's some no one has seen yet - even better. 

AND FYI - the kids DID get up for fireworks last week.  We returned home about 10:45 and were getting jammies on and brushing our teeth.  I always have moments of "It's not worth it to stay up so late for fireworks."  But, you can bet we'll do it again next year. 
It occurred to me that Katie has attended fireworks on the 4th of July every year she's been born.  We even took her with she was 17 days old!  Will missed them his first year - he was almost 1, and we were watching them in the backyard at our home we live in now.  We could somewhat see them at that the trees have grown too tall.  I believe I let him sleep because we were just in the backyard, and he was still waking up 3-4 times a night!  Odds were good he'd wake up for them anyway, but he didn't. 

Katie in her jazz get-up from dance this year. 
Warning to family: We have her dance recital ready to watch a bit the next time we see you....

Katie in her ballet outfit.  Her short hair REALLY looked pretty with this one.

The non-profit group that I work with had a photography fundraiser a few months ago and these were some shots that I liked.  It was exactly 2 days before we got Katie's hair cut off.

Always a superhero...there was no sense in trying to get him to wear something else.

Katie has a moment to shine by herself.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Hope you all are having or had a nice 4th of July.  We are hoping to make it to fireworks tonight....but it's 7:20 and both kids have been sleeping for the last hour.  So they may or may not feel like going at 9:30....we'll see.

WHY are they so tired, you ask?  Here's why......

Instead of hanging around for the parade, we went and visited some friends that have a pool. 
Katie and Will spent a LOT of time swimming and having a great time in the 100+ degree weather!
The water was almost hot.

Not only do these friends let us play in their pool - they also feed us!!
Their dog, Missy is waiting for any leftovers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Odds and ends

Just a jumble of pictures that I haven't shared yet.....

Katie's birthday party.  She requested a fruit pizza instead of cake, and that was just fine by me!

Will and Katie are taking swimming lessons - they are both doing great!

My favorite new beach.  The sand could be a little softer, but it's a great place to swim!