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Monday, November 1, 2010

Failing to Plan

I had big workout plans this weekend. Well, big plans for me these days. Saturday I made an appt. with a trainer to help me construct a functional strength plan to rebuild my body from what it's been put through this past year. That I actually accomplished, and it went really well. I had also planned on riding my trainer on Saturday as well, followed by what would be my longest run to date on Sunday. But... an SI issue that I've had in the past has reappeared causing me to rethink my plans. No trainer rides for about the next month or so, and the running I'm playing by ear. However, the strength training went so well on Saturday that I could barely walk on Sunday, so that run was cancelled as well.

So I woke up this morning ready to get back on track! Cohen ended up sleeping late, something that I will NEVER complain about I swear for as long as I live :), and after we finished our morning routine, we headed to the gym. After 15 min on an upright bike, just when I was starting to feel really good, my pager started beeping. I went in to check on him, and he was having a melt down. He shouldn't have been tired or hungry. He just didn't want to be there. He's a definite momma's boy, and I did what I knew was best, which was take him home. So once again... the plan had changed.

You see, for some reason, going to the gym just isn't working into Cohen's routine. Well maybe it's that in addition to the other errands we run in the afternoon. Regardless, whenever I plan things out these days, something happens and things fall through, and it's getting frustrated.

My life is full right now. Actually, maybe even a little bit TOO full, and for me to even acknowledge that is something. :) For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed taking on challenges and even thrived on it a bit. And I've always equated a good bit of my success to the ability to manage my time very well and plan ahead. However, I feel as if all of that planning is actually getting in the way these days.

People do all sorts of things in an effort to plan ahead and be prepared. Grocery shop and cook meals on Sunday for the week ahead. Set out clothes for the next morning. Plan out their workouts for the week or their schedule. And there certainly is some validity to methods like these. But sometimes, the best thing you can do is just go with the flow. And that is actually really funny to me because though I sometimes like to think of myself as a go with the flow type of person, Adam will tell you that I'm anything but! :) I'm more of a Plan A, B,C, D and E type of person.

But all of this planning is mentally wearing me down. As I set there rocking my sweet baby to sleep tonight thinking about the day and how I once again didn't get a workout in today, I was trying to come up with a new plan. And, I thought ok, "I'll workout on these nights. Adam can workout on these nights. I'll run here, bike there, and squeeze in swims when I can." And then it occurred to me. That's what I'm tired of. "Squeezing" things in. So I made a mental decision that immediately provided me with a ton of relief. I let a bunch of stuff go. No more planning for awhile. I'm seriously going to take it day-by-day, hour-by-hour if I have to. I'm convinced that I'll accomplish what is really important to me...naturally. Because it's what I WANT to do. And you know, if it's something that just doesn't happen for awhile, well then maybe that's my answer about it's place in my life right now.

I'm sick of worrying about when I'm going to get in the workouts, trying to plan nutritous meals, when I will find time to walk the dogs, etc. I'm going to try to just trust myself for once that I can manage it just by doing it, and if I nail it 80-90% of the time, well that should be good enough for now. Just by letting go of all the worrying and spinning and planning and re-planning, I figure that should free up plenty enough time. :)

I'm not where I want to be physically right now. Not even close. But forcing it isn't working, so it's time to give Patience a try for a change. It's something I'm definitely not good at, but we'll see how it goes.

So tomorrow I can tell you that my kids do not have school due to it being election day. It's supposed to rain and suddenly turn 50 degrees, which is really cold for us! :) I know I'll spend time with my children and get done whatever I can around the house. I'll hopefully get in at least a 30 min run, and make the best decision I can about dinner. If I can accomplish that, I'll consider tomorrow a success and anything in addition to that will just be icing on the cake! Wishing you all a happy one and a day full of everything that is most important to you. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Juggling Chaos

That is my life these days. Juggling what is inevitable chaos. I thought of using the word controlling the chaos, but I'm not even sure that I'm that lucky these days. :) Basically, I'm trying to manage the many, many balls I have flying up in the air at the moment.

Ball 1: Baby

Yes, this is a big one! He is one of three of the sweetest, most precious babies ever, but he is definitely an incredible amount of work. I would not describe him as an easy baby. Sweet, adorable, precious... yes, but not easy. He doesn't nap for much longer than 30 minutes at a time, and does not like to be set down for much more than 15 minutes at a time. That makes for a lot of hip time with mommy. He isn't one to entertain himself either. Toy bars, play mats, and mobiles, are just not near as interesting as someone speaking directly to him. And as much as I love being his most favorite person in the world, it does come with a cost that means he prefers me to anyone else and therefore daddy and other's can only accommodate him for short periods of time. He still likes to eat every 2 hours typically despite the fact that he gets cereal now twice a day, and he absolutely refuses to take a bottle of any kind, so my time away from him is very limited. He does however sleep very well at night, getting up to eat generally only once, so that is worth a lot of trouble on the flip-side. :)

Ball 2: Cooper and Gracie

Though they are in school for most of the day, what comes afterwards is a lot of work. We spend every afternoon each week at either ballet, gymnastics, soccer, or some other activity except for Wed. and Friday afternoon. That means that from the moment they walk in the door until bedtime, it is go, go, go. We're talking snacks, loading everyone and all necessary supplies in the car (this is WAY more difficult than it sounds), fitting in activities, homework, dinner, playtime, baths, stories, and packing everything up for school the next day. And keeping up with everything that is going on at school is work in and of itself. I'm not sure if it's just our school or if this is just the way that school is these days, but it is difficult keeping up with items I'm supposed to send in, events I've volunteered for, and even special colors they're supposed to wear to school. I know that a lot of that I could just not worry about, but they worry about it. And my being there for special events and remembering to dress them in red for Red Ribbon Day is important to them, so I make it important for me.

Ball 3: The Dogs

Lately, I've been feeling like a really bad doggy-mom. I don't walk them nearly as often as I should. I have been late a few times recently on their heart worm pills. Lucy has become our middle-child. We say she has middle-child syndrome. She likes Cohen, but she's definitely jealous of him. When we have visitors, they must pay attention to her first before visiting with the baby. Trust me, she makes sure of it. :) Rocky, well, he just wants to be fed. I love them both dearly, but they've been driving me crazy. We live on a street full of children and they bark at every little thing that moves by. This is I'm sure a contributing factor as to why Cohen probably only naps 30 min at a time.

Ball 4: The house

Honestly, I don't know how other mother's work outside of the home. I spend so much time cleaning, it is ridiculous. Yet, I swear my house is always a mess. The laundry, the cleaning, the grocery shopping, paying bills, running the errands, it may be cliche to say, but it is seriously a full-time job. Doing all of it with a 3 1/2 month old clinging to you non-stop makes it all the more difficult.

Ball 5: Workouts

I'm enjoying being back to working out, but it's hard working up the energy sometimes with everything else I have going on. Running isn't a problem with my handy-dandy jogger and the possibility of going to the gym, which makes swimming plausible a couple times a week as well, but biking is more difficult. Cohen's no where near hanging out long enough for me to ride my trainer for any decent amount of time, and until he can go a whole lot longer than 2 hours or so between feedings, an outdoor ride is no where in the near future. But, I have to keep reminding myself that I'm NOT training right now. Honestly, all I want to do right now is lose weight. If you told me that clogging would take off this baby weight, I'd devote all of my time to that, because despite the working out that I have been doing, my weight is barely moving. I seriously don't get it. How can I go from bed rest and McDonald's twice a day to working out 5-6 days/week with a day or two doing 2 workouts during the day and eating pretty healthy, and lose only like 1/2 lb every 10 days or so?? And breastfeeding isn't helping either. All I know is I'm so stinking frustrated about this I'm close to losing my mind. I'm fat and have no clothes that fit me. I'm working my butt off and even taking the time to try to prepare healthy meals, and am seeing no real results from it yet. The weight is going to have to give soon or I'll be participating in the grapefruit diet or something! That can not be pretty. :)

Ball 6: The hubby
Unfortunately, when life gets complicated and crazy, Adam tends to be the last priority on the list. But it's of course important to be sure our relationship doesn't get too neglected. Fortunately, Grandma Peggy is around whenever we need her. Even if it is for a quick dinner out. :) And that means certain things that some other's may find easy to eliminate stay on this to-do-list in our lives. As strange, and maybe even bad as it may be, prime time t.v. time is "our" time. So even if that means staying up later than I should sometimes, cuddle time on the couch is a must!

So this is my day to day. It's stressful and sometimes a little overwhelming, but I wouldn't change a thing. Everything on this list is my world, and I just want to spend each day perfecting it. And one day when all of these things are finally under control it will be time again to do Ironman!! :) HA!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A New Beginning

If you have followed me in life over the past several years, you know that blogging definitely was not high on my priority list for awhile. :) I created a blog after competing in Ironman Florida in 2007 because it seemed like a great way to "meet" and communicate with others who shared my passion of triathlon, and the response I received was amazing! I've loved communicating with and sharing experiences with others from all over the country, and I feel that I've made some real friends through my blog.

From late 2007-2008 I enjoyed blogging about my experiences as a mother, wife, triathlete and ultimately a coach! It was fun and a community in which I felt I was a part of a group. However, beginning the 2009 season I found myself burnt-out and tired, which was not a good position to be in as I had planned on making that my biggest triathlon season yet competing in Ironman Wisconsin and Ironman Florida. In addition to my already somewhat depleted spirit and body, I experienced one of my most difficult moments in life ever in February of 2009. My father passed away suddenly from a heart attack.

Initially I was of course stricken with grief. Losing a parent is an incredibly difficult and complicated process. I believe that it affected me in ways that I wasn't even fully aware of at the time and may still not be. Life continues to move forward, even without our loved ones, and I attempted to continue with my life at that time as planned. However, Ironman training is exceptionally taxing on one's life. It places a great amount of stress on your mind, body, family, etc. and that is when you have no real additional stress to add to the equation. It requires a great amount of support from your family, job, friends. You pretty much need to have all your ducks in a row before embarking on an Ironman training plan. :) And heading into a 2 Ironman season while dealing with a widowed mother, changing family dynamics, and a heavy heart is definitely not an ideal equation. Therefore I spent the season ill, injured, and mentally not in the game. I pushed myself to the starting line of Ironman Wisconsin, but at too much of a cost and found myself unable to finish the race. My first DNF, and it saddens me to this day. I was prepared to have a decent day physically, but mentally was not there. I realize that now. From there I pretty much checked out completely and when I found myself ill yet again in October, I made the decision to end my season early and withdraw from the Ironman Florida race. This proved to be one of my best decisions to date.

Upon making the decision to take a real break from training for a bit, I began to reevaluate other aspects of my life. Adam and I had always pondered the question of a third child. At times I very much wanted another, and at other times (typically when the two I already had were driving me crazy :) I thought there was no way. However, I began really questioning the issue at that time because with an already 5 and 6 year old, I felt like time was approaching to make a final decision on this issue. In that month of October 2009, Adam and I had decided to really think things over. Well, life has a way at times of figuring things out for itself, and it was in that month that I became pregnant with our third child! Something that would not have happened had I decided to proceed with the IM Florida plans, and so I am beyond grateful for being led in the right direction.

I was excited to be expecting again of course! My first two pregnancies had their own share of difficulties. Cooper was brought about to some degree through fertility measures and therefore I was exceptionally cautious as far as exercise was concerned with his pregnancy. I became pregnant with Gracie only 8 weeks after delivering Cooper and decided to be cautious with her as well with the suddenness between the two. So I wasn't one of those "fit, cute" pregnant mamas with them if you know what I mean. :) I had visions of being just that this time around, and once again I realized that sometimes life has plans of its own.

My third pregnancy ended up being the most difficult of them all. I began the pregnancy up 10 lbs from my IM Wisconsin weight. Coming off of the race with a DNF I was hungry and somewhat depressed and so chocolate and french fries were part of my daily staples. :) As soon as I became pregnant I experienced some horrible morning sickness. And it unfortunately lasted for 22 LONG weeks! I tried to exercise when I could. I ran a few times and walked some. I remember swimming once, but wasn't really a fan. I guess because it was my 3rd child my stomach popped from the moment the plus sign showed up and made exercising even that more difficult. Once the morning sickness finally wore off, I was enormous and started having some difficulties. For whatever reason every time I would walk, even easily, I would experience bleeding. So the Dr's said no more exercising. By 28-29 weeks I started having blood pressure issues and was on some form of bed rest from 30 weeks on. I swelled like a beached whale and packed on pounds at a rate I didn't think possible. By 37 weeks I had developed a mild form of pre-eclampsia, I was on full bed rest, and had gained a whopping 80lbs since towing that starting line at IM WI just 10 months earlier!! Good thing I deliver all of my children early and my new sweet baby was born at 37 weeks.

Cohen James Mills was born on July 4th weighing 7lbs, 4oz. He is the final puzzle piece that completes our Mills family. :)

So that in a longer version that I intended of course sums up my life during my blogging absence. I consider myself for the most part to be a very happy person, and when I was struggling with really difficult times in life and there weren't happy things to write about I just didn't feel like writing at all.

But now I feel like all of that is behind me! I'm still of course saddened by my father's absence daily, but time has proven to help me move beyond those initial stages of grief and to make him a presence in my life in other ways. Cohen has brought new energy to my life as well, which brings me to an entirely new phase. One that I'm beyond excited about!

It's been 3 months since Cohen's birth, and I have an incredible journey ahead of me. :) I ran 3 miles today at an avg pace of 11:30 min/mile and was thrilled! This believe it or not is a huge improvement from even 5 days ago, so I accepted it as the success that it was. It sure is a far cry from where I left off, but I know that I will get back to where I was + meet new PRs. And more importantly I have so many wonderful experiences to look forward to with Cohen and Cooper and Gracie as we begin the journey of raising another baby and doing so with older children as well.

And so 2 years ago it was my goal to be the best mother, wife, coach, and triathlete that I could possibly be. Now, that is the same goal + 1. More difficult...probably. Different...yes. But worth every minute of it I'm sure! :)

I found myself wanting to begin this blog again. We'll see how it goes. Life is busy and I am honestly not sure how often I will be able to post, but we tend to find time for things that we enjoy and find meaningful, and so we shall see. If it's a success, great, and if not, well... there's always facebook! :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chuck Norris Contest!

Adam recently submitted a Chuck Norris joke to a triathlon website: everymantri.com

One of his was chosen in the top 10 and you can go online and vote for your favorite!

If he wins... we'll get a cool box of Clif Bar stuff, so we'd love your support in voting!

Go to the website: http://www.everymantri.com/

Scroll down the blog until you see the Chuck Norris competition.

Click on the link to the Top 10. Adam's is:

"Chuck Norris is allowed to buy "Finishers" merchandise before the race."

I think it's hilarious because if you've done an Ironman or 70.3 race where you can buy Finisher's merchandise, the athletes go CRAZY over that stuff! So anyways.

We'd love your support, and hopefully, you'll think it's the funniest too!

Thanks guys!

Monday, February 1, 2010


The Little Peanut that's contributing to knocking me completely off of my feet! :)

In my trying to not be such a blogger-slacker... I realized I needed to give an update!

Not too much has been going on lately. I'm in the "boring" phase of pregnancy as I've heard some put it. The second trimester where not too much is going on. "Fortunately" for me, my hormones are keeping me plenty busy! :) My latest developments.... Now that I'm no longer nausea non-stop but only occasionally, I find myself barely able to brush my teeth though. For some reason, that triggers something in me, and I find myself throwing up or dry-heaving twice a day. The other day, it was so bad... I broke blood vessels in my face! I've done that once before while pregnant with Cooper. Maybe it's because you have more blood volume while pregnant? I don't know, but I walked around for 2 days with little red dots all over my face and an almost black eye! Lovely! :)

I've also developed an UTI which sent me to the Dr. this morning for more meds. Fun, Fun!!

That brings me to another topic I was thinking about the other day... Disgust Tolerance! Between having children, raising children, and being a triathlete, I think mine has gotten pretty high. :) I mean we all know pregnancy and child birth, though "beautiful" can be rather disgusting. And if you are a mom out there, you don't need me to tell you all the wonderfully disgusting and disturbing things children allow us to experience. But what's funny is I was thinking about how truly gross being a triathlete can be too!

In the training and racing experiences, I actually remember the day I blew my first snot-rocket while on the bike! It was a proud moment. Ha ha!! And gosh, Ironman racing lets you experience everything from pucking your guts out to only start running again, to learning to pee on yourself so you don't have to get off the bike, to all sorts of lovely, "I will never wear these pants or shoes again!" moments! :)

On a more pleasant note... :)

This weekend Adam and I took a "stay-cation." We got one of my favorite sitters, Cara, and then booked a hotel room in Alpharetta, which is around 30 min. from here. It was to just get away for the night without the temptation to do stuff at home. We spent the afternoon just relaxing in our room enjoying some quiet time. Then dinner, a movie, and an early bedtime later, and by lunch time the next day, we were feeling a little more refreshed and ready to take on the shortest, yet dullest months of the year.

Tomorrow is Groundhog's Day! Adam's favorite celebration, so lets hope he calls for an early Spring for us all, and happy celebrations all around!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pregnancy Pros and Woes :)

Gracie on her birthday!
Cooper on his birthday!

When I first found out that I was pregnant again, I had these visions of me being this super fit, cute little pregnant person. You know, one of those women that you hear about that runs up until the day they deliver, and you'd never know they were pregnant except for this little belly, and they feel great the entire time, and glow.... blah, blah, blah... :) Let's just say that was not me in my last two pregnancies, and I've realized nor will that ever be me as a pregnant person. :)

Gracie's wasn't too bad. I only gained 19lbs with her, but that was 19lbs on top of what I'd gained to just get pregnant with Cooper, and because the running/ nutrition issues had been what had ultimately sent me to fertility treatments with Cooper, I was too scared to attempt it at all during their pregnancies. Half way through with Cooper, I finally started walking. It was good for me. I walked all the way through his and right into Gracie's! And I will say fortunately, I lost all of my baby weight + the extra get pregnant weight really quick after Gracie. So let's just hope that happens this time around!

They say every pregnancy is different though and so far, this has been my experience over the past 14 weeks!

Woe: I am STILL battling some morning sickness. It's gotten much better. Meaning I'm no longer experiencing it every second of every day for week's on end, but it still rears it's ugly head periodically, and I'm sooo ready for this phase to end.

Woe: Weight! Like Cooper's pregnancy, I've gained a lot of weight fast! I'm scared people. :) Well, the crazy part of me is. ha ha. Seriously though, I've already gained 15lbs!! I will say the good news is that that first 15 happened within the first like 11-12 weeks, and since then, I haven't really gained any since. But this is obviously not going to be a 19lb pregnancy. I gained 45lbs with Cooper and he was 4 weeks early! I've been in maternity clothes for weeks now, and my rear is growing as we speak. Cute little pregnant lady... I think not. :)

Pro: Ok, on a positive note though, I'm really enjoying working out lately. I walked and did as much as I could during those really sick weeks, and though I've run a few times here and there, most of the time, it is not a comfortable thing. But, after being stuck in a swim, bike, run routine for so long, I'm really enjoying venturing out and doing other things for a change. Yesterday, I did the elliptical machine and loved it! It's been years. I actually even tried it about a year and a half ago, but my back was so jacked up from all the biking, I couldn't do it because it hurt too much. I felt like I got a really good workout in yesterday though and it was nice mixing it up a bit and doing some new things!

Woe/ Pro??: I'm losing my filter. You know, the part of you that reminds you what is appropriate to say or feel! My emotions are more exaggerated than usual. I cry during almost every American Idol these days! I got really ticked off at a neighbor the other day because I waved to her and she never waves back, and normally, it wouldn't bother me, but it really got to me then. :) Just little things. So here's the official Blog Warning: I may say things I should not. The bad news is, I shouldn't say them. The good news is, you'll forgive me if I do because I'm an emotional train-wreck of a pregnant lady, right??? :)

Pro: At least for me, when I’m pregnant, it helps me gain perspective. Because it is no longer about ME. The focus shifts to the baby, and what is best for the baby, and I can chill out about some of my crazy little quirks and obsessions that seem to follow us crazy Ironman athletes!

So as for right now, deep down, I'm not worried about the weight gain or the emotions or anything else, because I know it will all bounce back. And no, I won't be the same person I was before the baby, I know I'll be a little different. But, that's ok, because it's all worth it! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 Triathlon Stimulus Package!!

It seems like everyone is offering some sort of special stimulus package these days, and so I thought I'd come up with one of my own! :) Especially since triathlon is known for being one of the most expensive sports out there, we definitely deserve a break, right??

So... I'm offering a couple specials:

* If you sign at least a 6 month contract with me before the end of January, I'll add an extra month for FREE!!

* If you refer a client to me and they sign at least a 6 month agreement, you'll receive a $50 referral bonus!!

Please email me if you have any questions. I would love to help you out! :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Once Upon a Time, In a Winter Southern Land...

It began to snow for the first time in a LONG time...

The children would gather to see this amazing sight!

In hopes that it would cover the ground all in white.

School was cancelled for night

And then for the day

And the sledding began

downhill all the way!
Some were reluctant

And scared of the cold ground

While others were smiling and forward bound!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"So Are you 4, 5 months pregnant?"

From almost the day I found out I was pregnant, I swear, I started looking that way! My clothes do not fit, I couldn't really keep it a secret for very long because people immediately suspected something. A combination of it being my third, so my stomach muscles relax more quickly and pregnancy bloating issues, I "popped" rather largely, immediately!

This has also been the worst first trimester of all 3! I've wanted to throw my brains up almost non-stop since like week 5. I'm exhausted all of the time. And despite the nausea, I'm starving all the time. Go figure! :)

The good news is that I'll be 12 weeks within days and I'm FINALLY starting to overcome some of those things. The most I've been able to exercise is 2 days in a row before it taking too much out of me and me needing 3 or more days off. :) And by "exercise" I mean, walk like an hour. :) I have however walked yesterday and today and am PLANNING on actually going to the pool tomorrow. Yes, that's right... swim. Like laps, in a pool. I haven't done that since October. Early October. And I've never swam pregnant, but I've heard it's supposed to be really good. So, we'll see how it goes. Maybe it won't be too bad since I'm semi-cheating and going to a slightly heated pool. I figured I might need the extra warmth since I doubt I'll be breaking any records in there tomorrow. Ha Ha!! :) Who knows, maybe I'll actually lose my mind and post a picture of me pregnant in my swim suit! Ok... if that ever does happen, have me committed immediately because I would never in my right mind do that! :)

Wish me luck tomorrow and that the pool is empty so no one has to endure seeing my pregnant body in a swimsuit!! :)