Thursday, September 27, 2007

So Tuesday, October 2nd, it is.

I just found out today.



Not much else to say.

I'm ready, and I'm scared, and I don't feel like I'm ready, and that's about all.

It's go time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Strange Silence

It's been a little while, because I really don't have much to say.

What do you say on the eve of your life changing forever?

Yeah, I don't know either.

All is well, and I've been beaming with pride for all my IronFriends in Wisconsin. Seeing you cross the line and reading your stories reminds me of where I've been and where I'll go again someday.

That being said, I definitely pushed myself too far the second week of school and ended up a little overwhelmed, dehydrated, and exhausted. A day off school helped, and so did the weather finally breaking to my favorite temperature EVER....high of 60 something, low of 40 something. Now, if I could just fit into my favorite jeans and sweatshirts, I'd be set...but these maternity ones and Matt's sweatshirts will have to do.

School is challenging me and keeping my mind off things, which is good.

I've gotten to do lots of fun things with Matt and my friends the past few weekends, and will continue to do so as long as I can.

I have less than 3 weeks now.

Saturday night at the Tribe game some drunk guy touched my belly in the elevator and told me I'm having a girl.

In the elevator, people. No escape.


I can't wait to be done and meet this little monkey that's been climbing around and kicking around like crazy, but then I remember how it has to get out. And then I get pretty scared.

And as excited as I am, for 30 years now it's just been me, myself and I making my decisions. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little scared to give that up. I know it's worth it, or we'd all be only children....but I'm pretty independent and it's a little scary, and that's all. Somewhere I read that becoming a mother is like having your heart forever walking outside of your body. It's a little intimidating.

Tomorrow, I will find out how big this critter is. And Thursday, some decisions might be made. And when it comes down to it, as of today I'm full term. Which means it could happen in 5 minutes, or in 4 weeks.

And that, my friends, is scary.

Please don't let it happen in front of a room full of 16 year olds.

So I don't know if I'll get to post again before...I feel a little like I'm at the edge of the high-dive at the pool when I was about 7 years old, looking down, thinking, "It will be so fun...just do's can't stand here forever..."

And in that situation, there's really nothing left to do, but close your eyes, turn off the voices in your head, and jump.

So, for lack of a better I go.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Year Later I sit.

At home. In front of my computer. Nowhere near Madison, Wisconsin.

It's hard to believe it's been an entire year since I felt the whirlwind, since I was checking the weather report every hour, since I layed out all my gear and food and socks and tubes and stuff on a hotel bed and stared at a series of 4 bags and went, "What am I doing here? Do I really deserve to be here?"

But I did somehow. I earned the right to enter the water that morning, and as I blew a kiss to Wil and said a nervous "good luck!" to TriThomps and then, about 17 seconds later when I heard Mike Reilly say, "ONE MINUTE! WHO WANTS TO BE AN IRONMAN TODAY?" I spontaneously thought, "Oh sh*t" and peed in my wetsuit.

And then the cannon went off.

And I didn't have time to think about the doubt anymore. I just had to go.

Now, 36 weeks pregnant, I feel an entire new kind of scared. Every Saturday I wake up, I think, "Is this the last Saturday I have to sleep in a bit?" I wonder if all this baby gear will get easier to figure out, as I still can't figure out how to fold up the damn travel system stroller. And why is it called a "travel system?" I mean, seriously. It's a baby. Does it really need a "system?"

I feel this little being tossing and turning around in my stomach and watch it roll. I still wonder if I'm cut out for this or if I really deserve this. If I'm really ready for this. If I can still do this and be me.

Pretty soon my proverbial cannon's gonna go off, I guess. And as much as I can't wait for it to get much as I've thought and researched and mulled it over for nine months now...I still have some doubt. But once that moment's here, I'm not going to have time to worry or doubt anymore.

I just need to go.

I pray for my friends tomorrow that they trust themselves and go. They're ready. It's time. So to everyone who's toeing the line in Madison tomorrow at 0700, and especially to my friends that made my IronDay the amazing day it was last year: Bubba, Greyhound, Wil, TriShannon, Tac Boy, Walchka, Pharmie, Stu, and Steve...I'll leave you with the quote that I read before I left my hotel room at 4am:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." --T. Roosevelt, 1910
Go get 'em, guys.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Squeaky Wheels

Okay, this is a little funny. I just had to share the email I just sent off to our town's Recreation Director about an incident that occurred twice in the last two weeks.



I am a city resident, and let me first say how lucky we are to have such a wonderful pool to swim at all summer! I only wish it was here when I was growing up in this city. I am 9 months pregnant and can't wait to take the baby there next year.

I have a question about the lap lanes. I LOVE that there are permanent lap lanes to swim in all day--thank you so much! As an endurance athlete, it's great to know I can hop in anytime and get a workout in. Even this summer, as I've gotten bigger and bigger, swimming has been my solace. I have been swimming up there 2-3 times a week and love it. However, last week and this week there was a little minor confrontation that I had never heard of nor experienced before all summer, so I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight, as well as make a suggestion to avoid any confrontations next year.

The 4th lap lane (closest to the actual pool where everyone is swimming--not the slides) has been open pretty much all summer. I have swam there several times. Last week there was a group of ladies there who would not let me swim in it. They said it was for "Senior Citizens only." I was puzzled, as I thought they were all for lap swimmers. These ladies were not swimming, but merely standing/bobbing around. Every once in a great while they'd move, but for the most part they just stood at the shallow end of the lane and chatted. Luckily, a nice lady in the lane next to her let me share. I didn't think too much of it. I asked the girl at the front desk on my way out if it was a senior only lane, and she said "no--unless they are doing laps they can't just stand there." She told me if it happened again to ask a guard to have them move.

The following day, I went to get in my (very slow!) mile swim, and there was one lady in the lane. The other lanes were all taken again with lap swimmers. This lady was just standing there, so I asked if I could share the lane. She said, sure! I hopped in and began my swim. I saw a few other ladies get in as I swam the first 6 laps. Then, a lady STOPPED me to tell me I couldn't swim there! I was puzzled again. They said it was for "seniors and the handicapped only." I told them that the pool staff had told me it was for lap swimming. We asked the guard above us, and he said, "No, that lane is for LAP SWIMMING." The ladies erupted in anger and said that they had talked to you, and you promised them that they would have this lane, and the guards would also allow this lane for them.

I said I'd be happy to move as soon as another lane opened up, but I really just needed to do my swim so I would be happy to share the lane with them. They wanted NOTHING to do with that. One suggested that I swim on the other side of the lane lines, in the actual swimming pool where all the kids were. I told her that I'm sorry, but I'm 9 months pregnant, and I'm not going to risk getting kicked in the belly.

Here's where it gets a little funny.

They immediately said, "Oh, you're pregnant? Then you can use this lane too!" The one ringleader of the ladies said, "We INVITED pregnant women and the handicapped and disabled to use our lane." But, they eyed my swim cap and goggles and said, "Well, can we ask how long will you be swimming here?"

I replied, "Probably another half an hour."

To which they all responded in unison, "Oh, no. That's way too long."

I resisted the urge to laugh really seems that if I were to act like a 9 month pregnant woman and bob like them, I'd be "allowed" to stay in their lane, but according to their arbitrary rules, I was just NOT acting like the pregnant women they "allowed" in their lane. It was almost too funny.

Luckily, at that very moment, a girl got out of the the lane next to me and, since the guard was not taking any action and I was clearly outnumbered by some angry women who were bigger than me and not going anywhere, I said, "Okay, here...I'll solve ALL the problems and get in this lane." They were happy, and continued to bob for another 45 minutes...not moving!

So, I guess I just wondered if all this was true. Is that lane reserved for Seniors/The handicapped/Pregnant women? (for the record, this pregnant woman would like to separate herself from being considered handicapped and/or a senior) If so, can it be clearly marked next year so that I don't have angry bobbers harrassing me? I won't be pregnant next year so I definitely won't "qualify." :)

If it's NOT and it really is for lap swimming ONLY, can you please have the guards enforce this and also put up some kind of sign? The guard there said it was a lap lane, but did not do anything, and, again, I was outnumbered...and they weren't about to go anywhere. I think it would make it all clear to everyone if there was some kind of sign and consistency. I never had a problem until last week, and had never heard of it until they were so up in arms and swore that they "petitioned the director" to get "their lane."

Again, I really enjoy the pool--this is the only little problem I've ever had there, and I must admit, it's almost a little funny. I caught myself laughing several times as we went back and forth as to whether or not I was qualified to swim in "their" lane. But I think a little clarification and consistency will nip this in the bud for next year.

Thanks so much! Please let me know what you think so that I am clear on the lap lane rules.