Monday, July 18, 2011

I Tried the Tri

And I survived!

Oh where should I start? Rewind about a year and a half ago when Megan K invited me to a sample sale at Run Like a Mother auther SBS' home. She pointed out some cute silver shoes and told me they were tri shoes. Hmmm, I thought....I'll never do a tri, but those are cool looking shoes! Sold! I guess you could say that it all started with a pair of shoes.
Last summer a friend of mine did a tri and the variety of events sounded more fun to me than just running. But I don't swim. What to do? Well, I have a year to figure that out. Fast forward this February and it's time to sign up. March, April, OK, I said I was going to do this and the first step is paying money for it. I signed up in April and with my confirmation email came a bonus side of throw up nerves. What have I done??? I'm not a swimmer, never have been, never in my life have I even swam laps for fun or punishment. I think I probably passed level 3 swim lessons at Lake Shore 30 years ago and that was it.
My youngest daughter has been reluctant to swim, so I thought we'd learn together and signed us up for private lessons. After a couple weeks of trying to learn the front crawl and a crash course of side breathing technique, I decided I'd stick with the side stroke. Once I settled into lap swimming with my stroke of choice, I felt much more comfortable. I took spin classes once a week and ran every once in a while. So I guess, I felt comfortable with my training.

Sorry this is getting forward to my scary open water swims....
Kline line three weeks ago, slow as molasses, but I did it with one stop at the dock for an arm hang to catch my breath.
Frenchman's Bar river swim two weeks ago, probably my lowest point....freaked out, hyperventilated and got caught up in someone's fishing line. I spent the 12.5 mile bike ride afterward figuring out how I was going to get out of the swim portion. My dear husband quietly let me freak out and told me if I could just calm down, I could do it. I really didn't believe him at that point.

Frenchman's Bar river swim one week ago with good friends Michael and Lisa. Maybe having a friend there helped, I don't know, but it was NIGHT and DAY different for me. I guess I just calmed down or knew what to expect, or acclimated to the water better. Not sure. I did start my crazy breathing again, but my dear husband ever so sweetly yelled at me, "Knock it off, you can do this" It was what I needed to hear, it worked, I started breathing normal. Down the river we swam, slowly but surely. For the first time in this whole process I finally felt like I could actually do this.
Race week: I decide I should probably have a road bike for race day. Nothing like waiting til the last minute. My friend friend offered me hers. I picked it up Thursday had it adjusted Saturday, rode it around Saturday and thought ok, I'm set!

Race day we woke up to what I thought was sprinkling, but lo and behold it was POURING. Great! Well, maybe it'll let up before we start. We grabbed some garbage bags, got loaded up, choked down some oatmeal and got going.
We arrived at Frenchman's bar and the rain was tapering off as we set up our transition stations. We heard instructions and walked down to the start of the swim. Major butterflies were settling in. Lisa and I were in the first wave, so with ALL onlookers' eyes on us, we enter the water and try to acclimate with two minutes to go. Boom, we are off
and it's like the tortoise and the hare story. How can these people swim so fast?? Going as fast as I could, I slowly made my way and my awesome parents and friends walked the beach the whole half mile with me encouraging me and cheering me on.

It was slow going AND COLD but I finished. Ran quick as I could up the hill to strip off my wetsuit, grabbed my bike slipped on my awesome tri shoes and I was off. (I have to add here that my sweet humble friend Kristen approached the bikes just as I was getting on my shoes. Yes, she started the swim 10 minutes behind me and caught up at the first transition, wow, she's fast)

It took about 30 seconds for the first person to pass me, then another, then another, then another (yes, Kristen was one of them, she's fast on the bike too), you get the picture. I didn't think I was going slow, but I guess I wasn't going fast either. It would have probably helped to have the road bike longer than three days before the race to get in a little more practice :( I also knew the run was coming and it was going to be hard after biking. The bike ride was a little boring to be honest with you. I had no equipment on my bike to tell me how fast I was going, proabably not a good idea. I made both turn arounds without crashing...double bonus!!

When I was about 3/4 of the way done with the bike ride, I saw my husband pass the other way, I have to say that was really fun. We did a lot of training together and I was missing him during the race. We yelled encouraging words to each other and I finished up my ride just as the sprinkles were turning to rain. I did a quick transition from bike to run and I could feel the end was near. The rain turned to pouring rain. Yuck. Not to bad to run in, but I felt so bad for the onlookers and volunteers. The first mile my legs felt like jelly,but I guess it got a little better. I didn't walk and only got passed by a few, that's an improvement! Up the hill to the finish line in the sheets of rain. My parents, my daughters, friends, it was a great finish, especially crossing the finish line with my girls!

Would I do it again?? Probably if I was a better swimmer. Maybe a relay or a duathlon??

Thank you Nicci W for the wetsuit and tri shorts and lots of encouragement, Thank you Megan K for the bike jerseys, awesome race day pictures, encouraging posters and amazing support, Thank you Poppy M for the road bike, thank you Ryan for cheering us on in the pouring rain with no jacket or umbrella! Thank you Nana and Poppy for taking care of our kids and your heartfelt words of support and love. I have to say I was overwhelmed by all the texts, fb messages and phone calls. Thank you all for not letting me quit until I reached my goal.

One final note...after looking at all the race results, I couldn't believe what I saw....out of all the women racing that day, I came in 12th for quickest transition from bike to run (I was VERY excited to see my name on a top list)...I could be wrong, but I think it was those tri shoes :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some Good Advise

We did our annual Corrigan family gathering in Sunriver over Labor Day weekend last month. One of the evenings, we gathered around the dining room table and toasted Nana and Poppy for celebrating 40 years of marriage on August 22nd. We each went around the table and shared a little bit and something my mom said that night has stuck with me and I hope it always does.
My mom and dad are humble people and have always been gracious and generous with what they have, whether it's a lot or a little.
In this day and age, it seems to be all about getting the next house, car, or whatever it might be. I'm as guilty as the next with seeing the world through materialistic eyes. My mom and dad on the other hand have ALWAYS been about people. Always. They invest in people and relationships.
As we gathered around the table in Sunriver that evening, my mom encouraged us to do the same. "Love people, invest in relationships. It's really the only thing we can take with us when we go."
Wise words, Nana....I took them to heart.
Here's Nana on her favorite Sunriver activity....the river raft float!
The pirate scavenger hunt that has turned into an annual tradition!
The kids' talent show...Nana manned the music for the girls to dance, she's always in the front row!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Letter

This has been a very different summer for our household. We've had a LOT of fun, but it's been very challenging. I hope to post some photos to remind me of all the fun we crammed into a few months.

Megan turned 8 on July 12th and it almost was like turning on a light switch to an attitude that I hadn't seen before. I didn't know if it was due to it being summer, her age, or the fact that I was primarily single parenting and on my own for discipline, etc. I don't consider myself a pushover, but since the girls hear my voice all day, it gets easy to tune it out and without a different voice to get their attention (i.e. daddy's voice) I seemed to get tuned out a bit and ended up using a voice none of us like! So began a vicious cycle that seemed to drag on all summer. It was very emotionally hard for me and I was deeply saddened that my little sweet girl might be making a turn to pre tween angst and attitude. I was not ready for this and just wanted my sweet girl back.

That leads me Wednesday when she came home early from school because she wasnt' feeling well. I don't remember what brought it up but sometimes our kids choose random times to share things. She shared with me that her friend (a boy we'll call J) gave her a letter and a little snickers candy bar. This little boy had a habit of giving her things over the years. They were in the same kindergarten class and 1st grade. His gifts were mostly toys and candy and one time he even gave her a $20 bill, but that was returned :) This year they are in different 2nd grade classrooms.

While volunteering in her classroom over the years, I've had the privilege to get to know most of the kids in her class. J is nice and sweet but I could tell he was a bit different socially. OK, back to the letter. As I was reading it, Megan shared with me that the previous day, J had approached her and asked her to be his friend. She promptly said yes, and then he told her that he had asked lots of kids in his class and everyone had said no except her. As he was sharing this, he started to cry. Megan said she reached over and wiped his tear away.

The whole thing brought me to tears. It saddened me that this little boy was lonely for friends and the fact that my daughter would befriend him just went straight to my heart. My sweet girl was still there, that was the best news of all for me.

Here's what the letter said:

Dear Magen I am vary Happy that I ask you if I can be your friend I always try to ask you.

I don't know what's down the parenting road for us, but for now I will hold this near and dear.

Thank you Lord for creating her with a compassionate heart to love those around her, may she continue to show Your love to others in this way.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tea Party

If you've never been to Myrtle's Tea house in Ridgefield, you are missing out on lots of girlie fun. We went recently to celebrate my mom and sister's birthdays. It was my and my girls' first time there and I can't wait to go back.

Pink hot chocolate...what could be cuter?

Katelyn was a little skeptical, but she couldn't resist!

All the food was fab!

Good-bye Myrtle...we'll be back soon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good Bye Pre K, Hello Kindergarten!

As I mentioned in my previous post, it seems that Katelyn changed before my very eyes this year. She started the school year as a shy little 4 year old and by the time the school year ended, she had grown physically, academically and socially. She and her friend Kate really helped each other come out of their shy shells this year. There were days when she woke up in the morning and I could swear she was an inch taller than when I had put her to bed the night before.

(take a peak at the front door pics from the first day of school and the last day of school relative to the lock on the door...even though she is wearing sandals with heels on the last day of school, she definitely grew a lot this year!)

She is reading some starter books and shows a real interest in continuing to learn to read. It's exciting to see her excitement! I'm proud of you Katelyn for trying to new things and getting out of your comfort zone!!! I can't wait to see what Kindergarten brings!

First day of pre-k

First day photo with Mrs. Lo

Last day of Pre-k

last day of school pose by the front door

good bye Mrs Lo, we will never forget you!! Thanks for a great year!

Schoooools out for Summer!

It's interesting and understandable how friends and family will notice your kids growing and looking older, but it's really weird to actually see it happen before my very eyes. This was one of those years where I feel like I woke up and they just looked different to me!
Megan had an awesome 1st grade year. She had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Miller, and made some great friends. I had the privilege to make frequent appearances in her classroom and am VERY thankful that Mrs. Miller was so welcoming to having Katelyn be a pseudo 1st grader when we visited. I have to say Katelyn blended right in and the other students genuinely enjoyed having her there as much as she enjoyed being there. Megan became a real reader this year. Super proud of you Megan!

First day of 1st grade!

I think this was the second day of school

Mrs. Miller and Megan during the first week of school

and a whole school year later on the last day of school....

Thank you Mrs. Miller for a wonderful year...we will miss you terribly!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yankee Doodle Dance Machine

Trying to post this video is further proof that I'm not a techie! First of all, I video taped this from my dinasaur camcorder with a TAPE and all. Then I converted the tape to a dvd and tried to link it to the blog unsuccessfully. My last attempt was to upload to youtube and then link it, soooo I hope it works!

We had a really fun time at the recital although it was a LONG day and has taken us a few days afterward to recoup. Disclaimer on the video...Megan watched it and was quite embarrassed even though I think it's adorable, so please don't reference the finale with her, she will kill me if she knew I posted it like this, but it's too cute not to share!!!

Great job dancers!!! See ya next spring!!!