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Monday, May 18, 2009

The Poster Child for NOT Recovering! :)

Ok, now imagine that same commercial, except "This is not enough rest, too much stress, and trying to do too much at one time. This is YOU not rested, stressed, and beat down. Any questions?" :)

Because that would be me! ha ha

Ok, not really funny, but true nonetheless. You know how you read about, your training partners talk about, and your coach harps on you about that big word... RECOVERY. You know, the most important part of endurance sport. The phase in which you actually get stronger. The one in which ignored, you'll end up "Fried?" Well listen up my friends, because what they say is TRUE!

If you read my blog even as regularly as I've been keeping it up lately, well then you know that I've been a mess this year. I actually went through and added it all up....

In February, I was sick 5 days in which I didn't do ANY training. I bring up the training part because there were days I was sick, like getting there and worked out anyways, "to get it in." So I was really sick even more than that 5 days. Then, with the passing of my Dad, I missed 6 more days in Feb. of training.

March... 5 days no training due to illness. And I was sick the entire time I was out in Tucson, so that didn't help things. :)

April... 5 days no training due to being sick. In the bed as soon as I could get there sick!

May... Thought I had kicked it. Thought there was no way I could be sick ANY more. Thought, ok, allergy season is behind me, right?? Well, when you take a body that works too much, doesn't eat well ALL of the time, trys to keep up with everything and has been beaten down just a bit too much already... the smallest things send you right back to base 1. So, what started as an allergy attack, turned into full-blown asthma. I tried to be aggressive. Went to the Dr. and "showed them" by demanding my steroid shot to make this thing once and for all go away.

But then something really weird happened. I've had asthma for years, and even at it's worse, that steroid shot seems to make things all better. But this time, it didn't... this time it got WORSE! So, I kept working, finally took a day off to rest because I found I couldn't really breathe. An important necessity in life! :) Had to go back to work, because well... sometimes you just have to. And finally after not getting a return phone call back from the Dr.'s office on Friday, (probably bad karma for being "difficult" earlier in the week! :) I was at dinner with the family when I knew something just wasn't right. I could NOT stop coughing and was having a hard time breathing and decided to stop off over to the Urgent care center for a quick chest x-ray.

Which confirmed Pneumonia... Yep.... that dang infection that I knew I could tell was there by Friday. So... I automatically knew... no race on Saturday, which of course had already been blown off at this point. No 1/2 Ironman in Macon on May 30th. As a matter of fact, I've YET to race this year. No 10k, no 5k, NOTHING!! :)

Good thing I signed up for IM Wisconsin and then even IM Florida and not CDA! :)

I know it will get better. I know I've definitely learned a lot in the past 5 months. I have 4, yes FOUR more days of teaching to go before... I'M FREE!! To coach, and workout as needed. To enjoy my summer vacation yes, with my children, but also the liberties of camp if need be ;). My dear Coach Jen... oh, she's been so patient with me. I know that all my drama has been a HUGE pain in the rear. She has eased my paranoia and said that IF my puzzle will finally come together June 1st, the rest of my season should be fine.

My first few races may suck. I think it takes awhile for your lungs to fully recover back to full capacity from pneumonia. You know, all that VO2 max stuff us anal triathletes worry about! :) ha ha!! But, deep down I know it will all work out just as it is supposed to...

I just might could use a few extra prayers tossed my way if you have any extra left. :)

Thanks guys for all of your support and putting up with all of my doom and gloom this year. I PROMISE that my next post will be FULL of positive info. So let's hope it comes really soon! :)

Monday, May 11, 2009


Have you ever seen that Episode of Seinfeld where Elaine gets quoted as "Difficult" in her Dr's file?

Elaine at the doctor's
Attendant : The doctor will be with you in a moment .
Elaine looking at her chart
Elaine : Difficult ?
Doctor : Elaine . You shouldn't be reading that . So tell me about this rash
of yours .
Elaine : Well it's , it's ..... You know I noticed that somebody wrote in my
chart that I was difficult in January of 92 and I have to tell you that I
remember that appointment exactly . You see this nurse asked me to put a gown
on but it was a mole on my shoulder and I specifically wore a tank top so I
wouldn't have to put a gown on . You know there made of paper .
Doctor : Well that was a long time ago . How about if I just erase it. Now
about that rash ......
Elaine : But it was in pen . You fake erase .
Doctor : All right Miss Benes . This doesn't look to serious . You'll be fine
Elaine : What are you writing ? Doctor .

That would probably be me! ha ha!

No kidding! Believe it or not, I actually had a "file" at Blockbuster Video one time. It's a long story, but the just of it is that the lady manager and I about 8 years ago got into a dispute over a late fee. I actually PROVED my case that I had gotten the video in on time by reminding her that I greeted her on the way into work that morning. How else would I have known that she had worked that particular morning unless I had actually dropped the movie off and seen her go into work?? So "yadda, yadda, yadda" her and I got into an argument. And apparently she wrote something in their system about me because from that point forward, anytime we checked out movies, all the employees would read something on the screen! :) I was not pleased to say the least. I KNEW I was right! ha ha. And I will note that she was ultimately fired not due to me but because at the time Blockbuster was going through a huge lawsuit over late fees and apparently maybe she had something to do with that. In my eyes, I won. :)

Well, today I thought I just may end up with another one of those files! This time, in the Dr's office like Elaine on Seinfeld.

See, right after my Dad passed and about a week before I went to Tuscon right around the first of March, I got sick with my usual allergy/asthma/ sinus related illness. I get it roughly twice a year, and then have asthma problems periodically through spring, summer, and fall. Typically, I have an inhaler I use to get me through these rough time periods. I'll go into the Dr.'s office, he'll write me an Rx for some sort of sinus infection medication, I'll feel like I have the flu for about 5 days and then life will resume. More often than not, my shoulders will get screwed up in the process. I cough so hard that I'll totally blow out my shoulders to where they're all cricked up! It's really rather unpleasant.

But generally things suck for 1 week, maybe 2 and then life eventually gets settled again.

Due to a combination of things... my 1-2 weeks worth of suffering has turned into a 2 month battle with a week or two here and there where things are getting back on track only to get hit again right afterwards.
For one, my recovery has really sucked over the past several months. It is what it is. I'm no longer in that "boo-hoo I am feeling sorry for myself" modes. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and doing the best I can. That's all any of us can do. :)

#2- It's been a really rough allergy season around here. Lot's of rain, which you would think would be good, but actually more stuff growing.

#3- The Dr. I went to this time was all about long-term, preventative medicine. Ok, good if you actually are capable of following through. The Rx he wrote me would have cost me $200 to get filled at the grocery store pharmacy. $20 if I do it through the mail order system. So, of course I decided to go through the mail. By the time I actually got it IN the mail and the 2 week turn-around, the flare-up would have gotten a little better through rest, and some breathing treatments, but then flared up again.

After yet ANOTHER flare up again this weekend, to the point last night where I considered going to the ER because I couldn't breathe, I went into the Dr.'s office today with one thing in mind... Steroid shot!

After a 2 hour visit last time, I knew this guy wasn't going to just hand over the good stuff. I explained to him that I definitely agreed with him that I needed to focus on the long-term, preventative stuff. BUT, I've been sick now way too many times for way too long and I wanted something NOW! :) I could tell he was going to give me a little bit of a fight. Look, I appreciate all of you "bigger-picture/ we give too much meds" folks out there. BUT... one thing I actually do pretty well is know my body. And I know what works for ME. And I was done... over it... My shoulder just got to feeling better and if it goes into another spasm, I'm checking myself into the loony-bin for a few weeks. :)

So here's my new system.... Full of quick-fix stuff and the long-term preventative stuff. Oh, and I got my shot as well! :)

Let's hope This keeps me away from That! :) Oh, and the green thing, is this special self massager thing for your shoulders so I can hopefully take care of the knots before they get TOO bad! :)

Hopefully by this time tomorrow, I'll be well on my way back to my usual self!! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Field Day!

Today was a successful day!

First of all, I'm proud to say that I actually got up EARLY and went to swim! I know... I couldn't believe it myself! :) Swimming has been a little off lately due to some shoulder issues that I've been having for the past month or so AND a lack of energy to make it to the pool. But today... I vowed to go. I packed up everything last night that I would need for today. Not easy considering I packed to leave the house at 5am and not return until 8pm, but I made myself do it. AND even got to bed at a decent hour, so I was off to a good start.

After a good swim this morning and a soy latte to make it all worthwhile, I was off to school!

I spent my morning constructing a hallway display on the barn owl. We're studying endangered species at the moment and each first grade class has a different animal so we can all learn about many different ones. Our class is the barn owl. It's been awhile since I've done this, so things started off a little rusty, but before I knew it I had gotten back into the swing of things and found myself adding more and more stuff out there to make it look "good!" Ok, so it might not be great compared to some of the others, but I was proud of it.

The idea started with a big drawing of an owl and an informational poster. Then I had the students color their own individual owls and after talking about it with one of my parent volunteers, we decided a tree would be a nice touch and then we could hang their owls on the tree. THEN... while lying in bed the other night, it hit me to make it more like a nightime scene since the owl is nocturnal. Why is it that work ideas come to you while trying to fall asleep or while you are in the shower?? :) So I ended up adding a black backdrop with a moon and stars, a big owl that one of the parapros drew that is awesome! I put the information about the owl on clouds and had a big tree with all of their cute owls all over it. That is how I spent my morning!

Then it was off to Field Day.... Survivor style! That was the theme for this year. So my afternoon was spent guiding 17 1st graders through 17 different challenges. It was very cute, very creative, and very exhausting! :) I'd post photos, but I don't have permission, so I won't, but I'll see if I can get a picture of my display!

What's funny about it is that it honestly isn't that great! ha ha!! I once got stuck creating an entire hallway jungle for a 1st grade team while I was student teaching. It was a monumental project and one that I wasn't quite pleased about. So maybe that is why when I learned I had another hallway project to create it kind of scared me and since it turned out OK, I'm like happy about it! :) Hey, we should celebrate all the little successes, right??!! :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Grass is Always Greener! :)

As much as I hate to admit it, I have a tendency to be this kind of person sometimes. :)

Well, I'm not sure if it's that or maybe it's the whole, "You're eye's are bigger than your stomach kind of thing!" ha ha!! Meaning, I have a tendency to think I can do things that in reality may not actually be possible. :)

See, I stopped teaching about 6 years ago to stay at home with my babies. Ever since, we've lived as a one-income family. We've always found ways to make ends meet, and I've always tried to contribute in some form or fashion. I've tutored, worked in a coffee shop, taught spin classes, done personal training, special event coordinating, and now coaching. Triathlon is not really the best sport to take-up as a hobby if you aren't full of extra money! :)

Well now that my babies aren't exactly babies anymore, and with all the worries of the economy right now, I decided at the beginning of the year to start doing some teaching again. For the most part I was subbing a couple of days a week. It worked out very well! I'm in the process of building my coaching business and as that develops, I thought I could sub as well. More money is good right now! Especially when there are Ironmans to do, trips to plan, oh yeah... and bills to pay too! :)

I would think to myself, "Working until 3?? NOT a problem!" I'd think about the big chunk of cash the teachers are bringing home and start running through my head all of the shoes... running, cycling, and stuart weitzman's that I could buy with the extra money! :)

So I have since gotten the opportunity to start teaching full-time. Well, kind-of. I got offered a Long-term sub position for a maternity leave. I've worked now 4 weeks straight, and well let's just say... it's a little harder than I thought. :)

Teaching.... I like the kids. The class is a good class. :) The job itself isn't too demanding. However, it is exhausting to take care of 18 1st graders each day.

Coaching.....It's coming together. I'm still spending quite a bit of time doing things like clinics, and such trying to market myself as a coach. Works out to a lot of unpaid time. But overall, it's going really well, and I am just hoping and praying that all of my hard work will continue to pay-off with more clients, as I absolutely LOVE it and the clients I do have are doing AWESOME and it is just so much fun! Hard work, but fun!!

Mom.... Ok, I don't care what anyone says or all of the debates about is it a "job" or not. Doesn't pay, but it is the hardest, most time consuming job out there! And goodness, I have to say I have NO idea how women that do work outside of the home 9-5 pull it off??? Do they have hidden hours in their briefcases or something??? Do they sleep 2 hours a night??? It's mind-baffling honestly. Right now, we're right at the end of ballet and baseball. April was a super rainy month for us, so all the baseball we missed for a couple of weeks at the beginning of April is being crammed into our time now. :)

Housewife... Let's just say this part has really taken a backseat. :) My house hasn't been really "cleaned" since I started working full-time. I've now resorted to digging clothes to wear out of the "clean" pile that has been sitting on my floor for the past 3 weeks! :) Bills, errands, groceries... somehow we're eating. I'm just not entirely sure how. Oh... and I'm trying to lose weight too and watch what I'm eating, so no "fast-food" either. I'm supposed to actually PREPARE healthy meals. Do you know how time consuming that is??? Very hard to do when you don't get home until like 8:30pm. :)

Triathlete...So this has been definitely a struggle for me lately. Can't really get up and workout early because I have to be at school so early. So I'm supposed to get in these intense workouts AFTER teaching all day and somewhere between the baseball and ballet, homework, housework, etc. I actually met Adam at the baseball park the other day so that I could run while he was with the kids during the warm-up and then I would be back by game time. Well, traffic sucked, he was late, I was standing around all the other parents in my full running gear and they were all looking at me like, "why do you have that giant watch on and your ipod with you??" :) I was 10 min late for the game and stood there all sweaty. Not really a big deal, but when life is rush, rush, rush all of the time... it gets OLD.

I workout with people who go home from 5+ hour bricks and NAP! Nope, I hurry into the shower to change in time for whatever we've got going on for the rest of the afternoon! :) After 3 weeks of non-stop... my brain and body finally said... DONE! COOKED!! :)

I email my favorite Coach Jen, and of course I get my usual... your over-committed. I know... Each thing individually isn't that bad, but when you add them all together, I think it = more than 24! :)

So, I'm committed to work, ballet, and baseball for 3 more weeks. I enjoy all of it, so it's not like it'll be miserable. But it definitely will be if I don't trim back just a tad and unfortunately, the only thing on the list that even can be trimmed is training. So... I had to do it. I called "Uncle" and May will now be a little bit more lax for me training wise. Ultimately, I know it will be fine. It will keep me from "peaking too early" for Wisconsin. Break the year up a bit. It will be fine... These are the things my reasonable side keeps telling my freak-out, type-a, triathlete side! :)

In the meantime... All I can think about is one thing... The last day of school is May 29th. By then school, activities, teaching will all come to an end as we move into SUMMER VACATION. Adam and I have already made plans for the two of us to head to the beach for as much R & R that we can soak in for 4 days before heading home and hitting Ironman training HARD! :) So this is what has been on my mind all day.... Ahhhhh!!!!! :)