Last February I decided to take on the challenge of competing in the Wildflower Triathlon, one of the nations most difficult Triathlons,which took place in May of 2006. The distance I would cover included a 1.5K (1 mile) Open Water Swim, followed by an intense 40K (25 Mile) bike ride and finishing off with a 10K (6 Mile) Run. I finished this race in 5 hours, since then I have continued to document my journey.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Week 4 - Team In Training Update + Update on Ethan Marley

Hi Everyone

Training is still going well. I could feel myself getting in better shape each time I get out there. Last Thursday we did 2 one mile runs with a rest lap in between (after our warm-up laps of course). Seeing as I have only two speeds sprint and jog (well 3 if you consider stop as a speed) I just continued to run the same pace for 2 miles plus one lap. It was difficult but felt pretty good. I was proud that I kept going without stopping.

On Saturday we had a great shoe and apparel clinic in the morning followed by a swim and a 15 mile bike ride to Mount Eden in Los Altos Hills (or is it Cupertino at that point). It was FREEZING out there. Here is a picture of all of us bundled up listening to our guest speaker before our workout (don't let the sunglasses fool you!!!):

After the speaker we went for a swim. Swimming has always been my strongest event but it still surprised me when I realized that I need to go into a faster lane. Who knows...before the end of the season I may end up in the Pro Group (the fastest of the three groups they categorize us in). After the swim we jumped on our bikes and rode up to Mount Eden. There is nothing like getting onto a bike on one of the coldest days of the year with your hair still wet from a swim. Wow...was it cold!!! It took me a while to get my legs warm enough to cooperate with me. I started the ride at the front of the pack but by the time we got to the steep part of the ride I was already near the back. In fact...I got so far separated from the front that I ended up doing most of the ride alone. At one point I thought I had gotten I pulled over to check my map only to find that I had two coaches on my tail. Who knew!!! I guess I need to look behind me more often. For those of you who know Los Altos we went from Mountain View High School on Bryant, made a right on grand and a left at foothill expressway, then we rode all the way up into the hills to Mount Eden then turned around and came back.

After the bike ride I went home and took a luke warm bath. I couldn't make the water too hot because my toes were frozen solid. Its weird when you feel like the water is burning hot from the ankles down but only mildly warm for the rest of the body. This must be what stage one of frost bite must feel like.

On Sunday's I typically bring my mom to the captains run. On the way over we decided to go for a drive to Half Moon Bay instead. When we got to Half Moon Bay we decided to drive down the coast to Santa Cruz. After getting to Santa Cruz we decided we were going to do a little re-con at Lake San Antonio (talk about coming up with excuses to delay a run!!!). So I busted out my map of California and we proceeded down highway 1 where we knew it was going to be a longer drive but figured it would be beautiful nonetheless. Well...if you look at the AAA map of California it shows this small windy road that you could take right before the town of Gorda that should drop you right near Lake San Antonio. What the map does not indicate is that this is a hiking trail. So we drove past San Simeon back to 101 then to a town called Paso Robles and got a hotel (we are free spirits so I always keep extra clothes and a toothbrush in my car for just this situation). The next morning we woke up bright and early and made it to Lake San Antonio. The area is beautiful and it was pretty neat seeing the park empty before our practice weekend. I finally did get my run in by walk/running the Olympic 10K route. It was not as hard as I though it would be and eased my nerves a lot. What scared the Bejesus out of me was the thought of biking up Lynch Hill. is that hill steep. I think I am going to need a lot of hill work before May!!!

This week I have been very faithful to my workout regime and even worked out twice on Tuesday so that I could make up for the Swim/Strength training I did not do on Monday. Tonight is track practice...I can't wait to see how much I have improved since last week!!!

Here is my workout schedule:
Mondays - Swim/Strength Training
Tuesdays - Bike
Wednesdays - Swim/Run
Thursdays - Track Practice
Fridays - Day Of Rest
Saturdays - Group long bike ride and swim practice
Sundays - Group trail run
If you have already donated to Team in Training I thank you very much. If you have not had a chance to do so please schedule a time to go to my team in training link:


Monday February 20, 2006
Conversation with Ethan

I thought it might be fun to have a conversation with Ethan in the journal, so you all can get an idea of how fun it is to talk with him! He's sitting on my lap right now, so here goes!

Me: Do you want to say hi to everybody?
Ethan: Yes.
Me: Okay, go ahead, say Hi.
Ethan: Hi, Everybody!
Me: Would you like to tell everybody how you're feeling?
Ethan: Yes.
Me: Okay. Go ahead.
Ethan: Mom, pictures! Mommy, pictures!
Me: Okay, just a second. Tell everyone how you're feeling, okay?
Ethan: Okay. I'm feeling.
Me: How are you feeling?
Ethan: Um, two.
Me: Are you two years old?
Ethan: I don't a touch the buttons! (he keeps reaching for the buttons, and I keep pushing his hands away.)
Me: Okay, what else would you like to say to everybody?
Ethan: P, Q, S!

Okay, I had to put him down, because he's getting too squirmy! Isn't he just the cutest? And he's been doing pretty well. He hasn't been eating much at all (most likely due to the chemo), and has thrown up a few times, but we're hoping that improves, as the most nausea- causing chemo ended on Saturday. Yay!! Tomorrow is day 4 of radiation, then Wed, Thurs, Fri, Mon, Tues, and Wed, then we're done with that! We're so thankful that he seems to be tolerating it well so far, and we would appreciate prayer that he would continue to be protected and not fearful. Thank you!

Love to you all,

Andrea and Ethan (for the Marleys)

Saturday February 18, 2006
No Crying!

Hi, Everyone! Hope you're all enjoying a long weekend! Ethan finished his third radiation treatment yesterday, and, for the first time, didn't cry in the "Big Room"! I was so proud of him! Three down, seven to go! My nephew, Ben, came home from the hospital on Thursday, little David went home on Friday, and little Christian got out of the hospital today (to go live with the family in the Ronald McDonald House for now)! While this is all great news, they all could still use our prayers as Ben is not yet over his pneumonia, Christian's heart transplant requires very intensive care, especially for the first year, and David will most likely be facing a bone marrow transplant in the future. We had to administer the last of Ethan's ARA-C (a chemo drug) into his port today, and then Greg took the needle out. Ethan had a hard time with us taking the tape off, as it looked like his skin was pretty irritated, poor little guy. He did enjoy a long bubble bath later, though, and it was great to see him have fun in the tub again! (During steroids he wanted nothing to do with baths!) We would appreciate your prayers for Ethan to continue to do well with the radiation, and also for him to avoid any infection or fever, especially during the next couple weeks when we expect his neutrophil count to be down due to the ARA-C. In looking over Ethan's past treatment, the two times he ended up in the hospital with fever and neutropenia was in the weeks following his ARA-C treatments. We're hoping to avoid that this time!! Thanks for checking in!!

Love, Andrea (for the Marleys)

Wednesday February 15, 2006
First Radiation Treatment

Well, Ethan had his first radiation treatment today, and it went pretty well. He was actually singing along with Barney on the way to the hospital at 5:45 in the morning: "If you're happy and you know it shout Hurray! . . ." and I was joining in! Poor Greg wasn't feeling great today, with a cough and sore throat, but he was a trooper too! The only time Ethan had a hard time was when we entered the room where they do the radiation, but they gave him medicine pretty quickly and he was asleep almost as soon as they gave it to him. The staff there were great, and understood how hard it was for us to leave him there, and they kept us updated every few minutes. Ethan woke up fine and was in a good mood for most of the rest of the day, which was good, because he ended up needing a blood transfusion also, which meant a few more hours in the day hospital! (His hemoglobin was down, probably due to the chemo he is on now.)My nephew, Ben, is still in the hospital, but is doing much better, and should go home tomorrow! Christian may also get out of the hospital tomorrow, but would be living nearby and having to go to the hospital almost daily for a while. The other little guy, David, may be going home on Friday, but may be facing some pretty extensive treatment in the future. Please keep these families in your prayers as well.One more thing, Colin had a fever tonight, with a sore throat and headache. Please pray that we can find out what he has, treat it quickly, and prevent Ethan from catching it. Some good news today is that Ethan's neutrophil count (ANC) is at 1000, so he isn't neutropenic yet, but we know from experience that his current chemo will be bringing it down in the next week. Please pray for protection for Ethan, and speedy recovery for Greg and Colin. Also that Erin and I can avoid any sickness. Ethan will be going in for radiation for nine more weekdays, and we would also appreciate continued prayer for his protection, that the radiation will do what it's supposed to, and that Ethan won't be afraid of the room anymore. We talked about it today, and are calling it the "Big Room". Ethan's so cute, and he puts his arms out and says "Bi-i-ig Room!". We talk about how he goes to sleep, and wakes up with Mommy and Elmo there. (thank you, Lilli, for the Elmo you made for him! He loves it!) Greg was also there today, but tomorrow it'll just be Mommy and Elmo! Thanks so much for your continued prayers!

Blessings,Andrea (for the Marleys)


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