Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rough Times and Good Times

I'm a firm believer that the rough times pass.  I also fully believe without the rough times the good times aren't nearly as sweet.  The last week-and-half have felt like a year.  The ups and downs of losing a beloved friend are bad enough, but to watch her loved ones survive her with such pain is just as hurtful. 

For the last couple days I've been consciously making the effort to stop trying reconcile Elysha's death -- because frankly there is no good reason.  Period. 

Instead, I've been focusing on letting go of the pain.  I think that's the hard part for everyone.  It's almost like letting go of the pain is letting go of her, or our love for her. I wear the pain of her loss of her on my sleeve, and that's not what she would have wanted. I've been giving myself permission, quite literally, over and over again to let go of the pain and be okay with it.  I'm choosing to remember how much I loved my beloved friend and how she loved others. 

As for the service it was perfect.  The pastor spoke well, as did members of her family and one of her childhood friends.  I've never seen so many people at a service before.  Just another testament to how many lives she touched.  Incidentally, E's birthday is this Friday.  Love you, girl!

*deep breath*  Life, however, goes on... and we have to keep moving forward, a hard reality.

In other non-related news, I've been back to the doc and he upped my hyperprolactinemia (Dostinex) meds.  I'm still not on the full dose, but hopefully soon I'll get there.  I haven't really felt much different.  Weight is holding steady, as usual.

Tri training just hasn't been happening.  I swam once last week -- that was it!  A whole week of red boxes on my training calendar; yuck!  I bricked yesterday but lack of regular sleep and full nutrition doesn't help -- especially in the heat.  I was light-headed and dizzy; just did what I could.  At least this week I'm doing the best I can getting some in. 

Cass' graduation was on Tuesday night at U of H  Clear Lake (it's true!).  Also the same day the transmission died and I had to buy a new car! 

The transmission on my "Libby" (my Jeep) died.  Finally.  Libby decided to crap out while my husband was on a well-deserved fishing trip.  I had to ruin his morning with a message from the auto repair place.  We knew it was coming, we just didn't know when.  I had been shopping around and sort of knew what I wanted and what was out there.

As luck would have it, I scored a pretty slick deal on a previously loved vehicle.  I got an '08 Infiniti FX35 with a boat-load of options I would have never been able to afford brand new with all the options!  Well, I suppose we could of, but then I would have been car-poor.  I feel good that I made a responsible choice and went used -- let someone else eat that depreciation!  So the deal I found was on a car with just 16000 miles.  Sixteen thousand!  It was driven to work with a whopping 6 mile commute and garage kept.  It still smells new!  I test drove it and fell in love with it!

With Hubs away though, making that purchase was a little unnerving.  I had his best friend, who is as frugal as they come, a gear-head like my Hubs, and not easily enamoured by sparkle and new-car-scent, to check it over for me and drive it.  He came back smiling and said it was "an awesome deal".  I was soooo excited.  Yesterday it was official; paperwork done!  Hubs is glad I was able to do something -- just hope he's as pleased with it as I am!

Here she is!

That's about it -- have a great holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So fitting

So fitting for how we all feel about the loss of Elysha.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Like Losing a Sister

Yes, I did a race.

And , yes, typically my race report runs pretty quickly after I cross the Finish.

I'll write about Silverlake later, when I feel like it, but right now I have much weighing on my heart. And while I can't seem to talk about it without crying, it seems that writing it/typing it I'm okay... and it's even cathartic in a strange way.

Long story short, one of my best friends Elysha (I also call her *E* in my blog) passed away tragically and completely unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon in an accident with an ATV while doing some work on her Dad's property in Austin. After our camping trip a couple weekend's ago, she headed to Austin to take care of him because after being admitted to the hospital for illness.

Elysha's Dad lives on Lake Travis and his property backs up to Cunningham Cove. Anyway, Elysha got too close to the edge of cove's cliff with the ATV and dropped 22ft to her death. Her dear husband tried to save her along with two boaters who were nearby. It must have been beyond horrible, nightmarish. for Doug who so adored his wife.

I'm sorry, but what the FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!?!

Why her? Why now? Why that Way? I mean really, why?!?

I know that everyone who faces loss asks the same questions. It's never the right time to lose someone you love.  When we lose ones we love we always question our faith and I know that's wrong on so many levels, but I can't seem to reconcile that it was okay for her to go in that way or to go now.

I wish I could just scream from the highest mountain top and have the whole world hear me and have the pain leave my heart. I don't even have the words to express how I feel.  It's like the last 36 hours have been a big nightmare.

I'm so angry and sad -- and I know it is completely selfish.

So I am trying instead to celebrate her life and not mourn too long because she would be utterly disappointed in me if I carried this sadness with me too long before snapping out of it.  I know you have to go through the pain, but I'm hopeful that once the sorrow lifts, I will be at peace with her loss... well, in as much peace as one can have. 

That's Elysha on the Left.  We were at Danskin 2009, celebrating our finish!  Elysha was always more happy and proud of me for my achievements than I was for myself!

It's just such a tragic way for her to go and she didn't deserve it, but that said, it is completely fitting she went while caring for Dad's needs -- she was always caring for others. She was an amazing person. Elysha worked at TX Childrens' Hospital as a nurse in their Pediatric ICU. One of her co-workers who contacted me told me she was the "glue of the unit" and that they wound up canceling surgeries on Monday and had to bring in grief counselors for the staff. As I sit and read her Facebook page, I'm in awe of how many others connected with her warmth, caring and strength.  There are just pages upon pagers of heart-warming messages. 

At the moonlight ride for HPD.

Elysha and I had much in common. We faced many adversities growing up and many of the same challenges with previous marriages. We made similar decisions in our lives and moved forward through life almost parallel in approach. Our similarities were uncanny, from our first failed marriages, to our WLS, to how long we each dated our Husbands. We also shared the love of having fun doing triathlons.

It was actually her Husband Doug who had found my blog and told Elysha to write me. Elysha fought him at first, for fear she would think she was a stalker of sorts. But really... she was close in age, lived in the same city as me (less than 5 miles from me) also had WLS and wanted to get into doing triathlons. From the moment we met we were connected. It wasn't long before we learned just how deep our bonds went... including a love for purses. :) Which incidentally, I also share with my other BFF -- perhaps it's a pre-requisite.  Hmmmm. 

Heather, Elysha, Me and Katie
(this was Elysha's first triathlon, Lonestar 2009!)

The funny thing is, and I said it over and over in my blog, how I longed to find someone local who enjoyed doing triathlons and training. I mean, I had people in my club, but they were all faster than me -- that makes it difficult to train with others. Elysha and I were about the same. In short, I felt like I wished long enough, put it out there to the universe, and my call was answered in Elysha.

Elysha's cousin, me, Elysha, Austin (her Son) and Linda
(Gettin' Gangstah at the MS150 in 2009 (or the MS75)

Last Summer was amazing. Elysha and I both pushed our limits and did 12 sprint triathlons between Austin and Houston and did the MS150. We had a great time doing each event. I can't believe I'm not going to race with her ever again. Crud!  I just realized I lost the chance to "persuade" her to do the full marathon with me in 2011. Dang it!!  I think I could have got her to do it. Eventually.  After much wearing down, anyway.   :)

Over the last couple months we kept crossing paths.  We volunteered at couple races, but didn't get to spend much time together and at Lonestar, the day of the race, we were never able to connect.  So many people there, I found her stuff, but never found her!  I'm so grateful we had the chance to go camping a couple weekends ago!

Elysha's last event (with me) was Lonestar's sprint and a volunteer for the 70.3 this year. For the sprint she donned a tutu for the event! It's so her!! When I asked her why, she told me "...to remind every one to have fun and not take all of this stuff so seriously!" She may have crossed the line toward the end of race, but I can guarantee she had the most fun and never took one moment for granted.

So it is in that spirit I share this with you all, and ask you to remember that life is short and you only have the present; nothing more is ever guaranteed.

Have fun, live well, laugh often and love much.

Nickleback was one of Elysha's favorite bands.  I remember the morning of the Sweet and Twisted triathlon she was looking for a song of theirs on the radio. She wouldn't leave the van until she heard it.  Damn it if she didn't finally find it.  These are the lyrics to "If Today Was Your Last Day", by Nickleback and I think they are a good expression how Elysha lived life fully, with her "Why wait?  Do it now!" attitude.

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Could you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?
And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?
If today was your last day

Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
To do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way
'Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?
And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Love it! Moving Comfort Juno Sports Bra...

...finally a racer-back sports bra for D and DD's that really works.

Thank you, Moving Comfort (again!) for not forgetting about the "fluffy" well-endowed athlete!  LOL

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Moving Comfort's apparel.  In truth is, it was Misty, over at the Athena Diaries that turned me on to Moving Comfort with their Compression Running Shorts!*  Their technical apparel works AND is comfortable.  I can't say that about many of the leading athletic apparel brands.  Moving Comfort also offers a Women's Plus line, called MCW, although they've scaled back what they offer for the Spring/Summer.  I highly recommend MC to Athena triathletes seeking quality performance apparel.

First, know that Moving Comfort did not solicit this review.  I purchased the bra and just want to share my experience.

This sports bra is a Racer Back.  Until I purchased this one, the only racer backs I could find were strictly compression, which do nothing for keeping the girls up, and leaves you with the less-than-attractive "uniboob".  The Juno is a combination of encapsulation and compression -- just like the Maia, style which I love (not a racer back).  The Juno, like the Maia is also for high impact.

I also appreciate the wide and completely adjustable straps; they are soft and cushy and easily adjusts with velcro that stays completely in place to give you extra lift -- not to mention comfortable. 

I did a 1:45 run and an hour swim wearing it and it was perfect!  In fact, I didn't even think about how it felt while I was wearing it until I wanted to take notice of how it felt. One less thing to think about is great for me.

Most racer backs just go on over your head and sometimes take a little wriggling (is that a word?) to get into with larger cup sizes.  This racer back, has eye/hooks in the back which make easier to get on and off.  The fabric is cool, wicks well and absolutely no chafe.  Not even a touch of redness around the rib cage!  If I had to find one thing wrong, because nothing is perfect, the stupid size tag is annoying against the ski, but easily cut out.  :)

I tried the CW-X racer back as well. CW-X claims it was for D & DD cups, but I can't see how really -- unless you are not Athena or Plus-sized. The two bras are like night and day! I tried swimming in the CW-X and it killed my neck after 40 minutes in open water and a 1 hour bike. Plus it was strictly compression, of which I'm really not a fan, but thought I would try it because on the whole I like CW-X products as well. The truth is, I couldn't wait to get out of the CW-X! Seriously, I was ready to take it off in the car and drive home braless! The Moving Comfort Juno was a completely different experience.

I know it's crazy to sound so excited about a sports bra, but I haven't been this excited since I tried the Maia! If you are looking for a good racer back for high impact, you have to try this one.  And just because I'm a sucker for free shipping http://www.herroom.com/ has it for $52. 

*Moving Comfort folks, if you ever come across this review I hope you consider doing a triathlon short based on your compressions short design -- it would rock!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Some time...

Some time has passed since I clicked the "Pay Now" button on my Redman registration. Some sanity has returned and everything is as "normal" as my world gets.  Thankfully, still, I do not regret having decided to move forward with Redman.  :)

Really, though, this was my original plan.  I just got rid of the cold feet, and I'm glad for that happening!

22 weeks to go until Race Day.  It's a long time and a lot of heat and humidity to keep up the work.  Once again my family is supporting my crazy effort and in return I'm really going to balance things better.  I already made some stipulations to my schedule which included 4 family weekends with very minimal training -- like a short run or bike would be fine, but nothing long.  I'm certain that 4 wwekends will not make or break my finishing Redman, so I need to prioritize what is important and that's family first.

One of my main focuses for Redman is to improve my running.  I've been so consumed with distance and speed (not like I'm fast).  That MUST change.  I need to be more worried about stamina and endurance. I need to deepen my running and really make my LSD runs, LSD RUNS!  I need to be extra consious of my heart rate and where I am training, because that's how I will be able to stay the course and finish. 

I run intervals.  When I first started running I started at 2:1 -- run 2 minutes, walk 1.  Then went to 3:1, 4:1 and back down to 3:1.  While training for the half last year I got up to 5:1 and in the last several months have done 6:1, 7:1 and 8:1. The other day I decided no walking.  I was going to focus on heart rate, keeping it under 150.  I managed to run 55 minutes straight.  It wasn't pretty and it wasn't fast, but if I can keep it up, in time it will get better. 

I am going to start working with a nutritionist and she'll  help me with my nutrition for Redman along with some daily stuff to help me get through training.  I'm also going to retake my RMR and V02 max tests to ensure I'm training in the right ranges. 

This weekend is the first "family" weekend planned.  We're headed out camping and have some friends coming along too.  I'm hoping the lake will be warm enough to tolerate some water skiing.  I almost got up last year!  ALMOST!!

Tonight I take my second dose of Cabergoline to treat the Hyperprolactinemia.  Here's hoping things start truning around.  :)