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 6 Newsletter - I think I can..I think I can...I know I can!!!

Hi Everyone

I hope your week has been going well. I had another amazing week with Team In Training.

On Thursday we had a relatively short track practice due to the fact that we had a Nutritionist come to talk to us about nutrition and training. Which was something that I really needed since it seems like I was ravenous every 10 minutes. I warmed up with a couple of laps then we stretched and ran another set of 2 timed miles. I was wearing a T-Shirt that said "Are We Having Fun Yet?" As all the runners passed me (multiple times) they kept asking if I was having fun....I was. Could you believe that I now run 2 miles a full 3 minutes faster than I did 2 weeks ago?!? I think I could have done it more quickly except I was fasting on Wednesday which depleted my energy for a couple of days. No worries...I still see a lot of progress.

The nutritionist was awesome!!! His name is Dr. Clyde Wilson and he is a professor of nutrition at Stanford University. Typically when you listen to anyone who knows a lot about a subject they tend to drone on and on about details that mean nothing to you. This guy was different. He described our diet as a bucket full of water with a hole in it. Vegetables make the hole smaller so that the water doesn't flow as quickly and sugar shakes the bucket and makes the water slosh outside the bucket. Whatever stays in the bucket fuels the muscles and whatever goes out of the bucket turns into fat. If you eat too many calories at once the bucket gets full too quickly and goes all over the place but if you limit your intake at one time to no more than what the bucket can hold (in my case 600 calories per meal) then you are fueling your muscles. He talked about a lot of other stuff but his main point was to take your calories evenly throughout the day and not freak out if you overeat just know you are doing it. He also talked about hydration and a lot of other stuff. If you want to hear more of what he has to say you could go to one of his seminars: I'm thinking of going to his Nutrition Workshop on the 21st if anyone wants to join me.

The only problem with the seminar was that it was FREEZING. It was cold outside, my body was sweaty, we were sitting on metal bleachers and it was 7:30 PM. This is one time that I could have used the extra padding I had before I lost weight. I probably would have retained a lot more if I hadn't been so concerned about the fact that the 100 lb girl in front of me was turning blue.

After the clinic we went to Baja Fresh for a fundraiser that one of my teammates was hosting. It was fun...of course anytime I'm with my teammates I have a great time.

On Saturday we biked first. Last week I said that I would drop down to a lower level group than I had been with that week. After thinking about it and talking to the coaches and my Mentor I chose to stick with the Elite/Pro group. From Mountain View High School we biked up to Foothill College and the coach told us all to deflate our rear tires so that we could practice changing them. I easily deflated the tire and removed the tube. Then I proceeded to replace the tube and affix the tire back on the rim. Once I got this accomplished I grabbed my CO2 cartridge and my handy dandy micro pump and proceeded to try to inflate my tire. Well...this was more difficult than I expected. The darn thing would not work. I then took the pump off the pin and tried to unscrew the CO2 which caused white foam to shoot out the front and almost hit one of my dear teammates. After fumbling with this for several seconds...a coach came to assist. He quickly came to the conclusion that my pump was a piece of !@#* and proceeded to ask someone to borrow theirs. I then got another CO2 cartridge and inflated my tire...ooops...too much. I then had to deflate it again. So...I borrowed another CO2 cartridge and tried again and this time I was successful. Those of you keeping took 3 CO2 cartridges to fill one lousy tire. After looking around I realized most of the team was having as many issues as I was so I proceeded to try to help them.

Once there was only a few people left and they were all being assisted by coaches I got bored and decided to ride around in circles until they were done (typical ADD). Unfortunately, I did not realize that the group was already leaving. Oh well...this time I studied the route. I proceeded up this giant hill and found it difficult but not impossible (I even passed 2 or 3 people on the way up) When I got to the top of the hill I FLEW down (this is where being overweight comes in handy...gravity works!!!). Right at the bottom of this hill before another giant hill my chain fell off. Of course I am used to this so I swore a bit and got off my bike to fix it. I am not used to being part of a pack (normally I'm at the back). So many wonderful teammates offered to help me but I am a veteran of dropped chains and I knew exactly what to do. I then put it back on and proceeded up the next steep hill. Would you believe I actually passed more people!? What a difference between this week and last!!! After going up and down several hills I was alone again on Foothill expressway but this time was different....I knew I was on the correct route and people were behind me. I was not going to give up my lead...if anything I would catch up with the people ahead. So I hauled up Foothill as fast as I could. Then coach Barney (the bike stud) caught up to me and said "look at you...I actually had to pedal hard to catch up" I was so happy I yelled out a Hoorah and then my chain fell off again. Once again I got off and fixed it but by then my lead was getting smaller but I could still see Barney in the far distance. I was determined to catch up. I got back on and pumped as fast as my legs could handle. Every time I could read the writing on his shirt...the light would turn red and I would lose ground again. It continued like that for the rest of the ride. I was a little deflated at that but my disappointment couldn't last long because I had just had the best ride of my life!!!

After the bike ride we had swim practice. The coaches had split the team up into the group that would be doing the Wildflower Triathlon and the group who would be doing the Kings Trail Triathlon. Well...there were a lot more people doing Wildflower and we had to squeeze in 7 people in each lane. Wow...was it crowded!!! We were so crammed that I decided to swim with the Pro's. You know...I liked that group. They were better swimmers than I which challenged me really hard but I kept up. I think I will now be a Pro swimmer. COOL!!!

We then did some relay races. My calves and feet were cramping up because I didn't take any Gatorade during my ride (mainly because I am still afraid to take my hands away from the handle bars). Those of you who know me well know that I would not allow a little cramping to pull me from a race (no matter how painful) and this was no different. Fortunately the relay lengths were only 25 yards so I didn't have to push too hard. We won one and got in 2nd place for the other 2 races. No worries...the people who won had to help cover the pool while the rest of us got to get out. Very funny coaches ;-) Here is a picture of some of my relay team:

On Sunday I had a very successful Home and Garden Party with Sabine. Together we made $519.81 from Sports Basement and about $200 from the Home and Garden Party. I am not going to tally my totals until I get a confirmed $ amount from the Home and Garden Party. So...with the $259.90 that I made from my half of the Sports Basement proceeds and the $2540 that I already have in my active account. The total comes to $2799.99!!! I am soooo close. Will the Home and Garden Party put me over the top? Stay tuned for next week and I'll let you know.

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:

Update on Ethan

Ethan's father wrote a great e-mail to us this morning. I can't believe he is encouraging us to keep would think he had too much on his plate to be concerned about how we are doing:

Hey, Team!!

Are you tired? Sore? Wondering if you can do it? We're here to say "YOU CAN!!!" We hope you all know what an inspiration you all are to us, and how much we appreciate all you are doing or the cause! If it wasn't for people like you who care so much, we wouldn't have such a good prognosis for Ethan!

Ethan (along with the rest of the family) has been watching "Finding Nemo" over and over lately, and I found some inspiration for you from the movie. For those of you who have seen it, you'll remember Dory: "When life gets you down you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, just keep swimming. . ."

So, when you're tired and aching and feeling like you can't go
anymore, just picture Dory, along with all the Marleys rooting
you on: "Just keep swimming, just keep running, just keep
pedaling. . . !!!!"


Thanks for all you do!!!

The Marley Family (Greg, Andrea, Colin, Erin, and Ethan)

Thursday March 2, 2006

Yesterday's journal entry was shorter than usual because Ethan was being a bit demanding, and big sister Erin was running a high temp and feeling miserable! Poor thing still has a fever and is feeling yucky! She's supposed to see her cousin (who's also her best friend) in a play tonight, and then go away this weekend for a retreat with our church. We know she won't make it to the play tonight, and the retreat's looking doubtful, as her temp is still 102! She's being quite a trooper about it, though!

Ethan's labs yesterday showed his ANC is now in the 600's, so he's officially no longer neutropenic! YAY! We would like to see that number continue to climb, as I believe they'll want it above 750 in order to start maintenance next week. Please pray that Ethan (and the rest of us, but expecially Ethan) is able to avoid catching what Erin has, and that we would be able to start maintenance as scheduled.

Ethan's little friend, Christian, is supposed to come home from the Ronald McDonald house today! The family is looking forward to being all together again! They would appreciate your continued prayers, as they still have a long road ahead! Thanks checking in on us! We sure appreciate it!! Love, Andrea (for the Marleys)

Tuesday February 28, 2006

Done with Radiation!We're done with radiation!!! Yay!! Ethan did very well, and got a giant Elmo from the Radiation staff for his last day! Everyone was so wonderful and really helped the experience actually be a positive one for Ethan.


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