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 15, 2006

Week 7 - Where is Noah with his Ark when we need him?

Hi All

This week training was...well...WET!!! On Thursday practice started just as a storm came in. I had on a pair of pants with some "waterproof" pants over them, a dry fit long sleeve shirt, a Patagonia sweater and my North Face Jacket. The only thing that remained waterproof was the Patagonia sweater which I stupidly took off because I was too hot. Our warm up entailed two laps around the track. The problem was that the North side of the track was so windy it felt like I wasn't going anywhere. Then we stopped to stretch. Above is a picture of Yvonne, Myself and Nicole soaking wet and stretching...notice how dark my Jacket looks!!!

We then did something called a Pyramid run which entailed running and resting at different intervals. Of course, resting does not mean we get to sit down. Resting is when we run a lap at a slower pace then the others. I have mentioned in several of these newsletters that I have two I have a third speed which brings us to slow, stop, and a little bit faster. Hey!!! This is good news. It means I am progressing. After running a total of 3 miles we packed it in and went to another Baja Fundraiser. Don't get me wrong...I like Baja but I have a Baja downstairs at work so I get it all the time. I'm hoping the next post-track fundraiser will be somewhere else.

Wow!!! What a strange weekend. I live in Northern California where it rains and gets cold but rarely hails and NEVER snows. I woke up Saturday morning to snow?!?!

I was not sure if we were still going to bike so I grabbed my bike and put it on my car (more for show so I thought) I then grabbed my running and swimming gear and head out the door. As soon as I got to our meeting place I noticed people slowly removing their bikes off their racks. I guess we were going to bike in the cold after all. We proceeded up steep hill after steep hill. WOW!!! I actually had to shed all my layers because I was working so hard. I really had a tough time dealing with the steep hills and all the elements. Ajay (one of the team captains) practically held my hand the whole way. Those of you who know Los Altos we rode from Mountain View High School to Foothill college (off El-Monte) Up Elena Road, Way up Taafe and down Altamont back to Mountain View High School. It was hard but I felt better after one of the coaches told me that if we could do that ride then Wildflower should be ok. After our Mount Everest Climbs we went for a swim.

It was sooo nice getting into the warm pool water after that COLD bike ride. My warm up laps were more of a test to ensure all my parts were working. After I confirmed that my fingers hadn't fallen and my ears were still there, I proceeded with my workout. There were only three of us sharing a lane which made it so we couldn't slack off. The workout was good but I didn't feel overly challenged. I probably should have moved up to the pros like I said I would do last week but I was just so tired from the bike ride that I didn't want to over-exert myself with a hard swim. About 20 minutes into the workout one of the guys got out of the pool and left. Then there was 2 of us. We continued at a good pace and eventually someone from one of the other lanes joined us. We were spaced well enough that I rarely had to slow down because of catching up to the person ahead of me so the workout turned out to be as hard as I wanted to make it. Overall, it was much easier to workout having 3 to a lane then the 5-7 we normally have.

After that we had a pot luck and enjoyed some major grub. All the honorees including Ethan was present. I enjoyed myself immensely and am happy to see that its completely normal to eat as much as I have been. One of the ladies had to tell her son not to be polite about waiting for everyone but to just jump in and start digging. Everyone was so hungry after the hard workout that we just attacked the food table. In main courses alone we had beans, chicken, hot dogs, lasagna, burgers, meat loaf, sandwich get the hint. There was a lot of food and a ton of BIG eaters. Here is a nice group photo that we took at the end of the party:

On Sunday I ran in the All Women's Mermaid 5K. After finally finding the venue that we were going to run at a huge storm passed by. Everything was drenched. About a half hour before the race was too begin I made the decision to run the 5K instead of the 10K I signed up for. It was just too rainy and cold. I really don't need to get myself sick. As soon as the first wave of runners started to walk towards the starting line the rain stopped and never started again until the race was over. I call this one of those small miracles that people like to call coincidences. About 2 miles into the race a lady caught up to me who had been chasing me since the start of the race. Me?!? Someone was actually chasing me?!? Cool. We ran together for the rest of the race. Would you believe I ran almost the whole time!!! Mainly because of the encouragement from this lady who never did tell me her name. I never thought I could do that especially in the cold, rain, and WIND. By the way...never wear rain pants in the wind. I felt like I was being blown backwards every time I lifted one foot. Overall I got in 17th out of 17 in my age group but I don't care. I ran like I never could before.

Fundraising Update:

So far I have raised $2854.90. My goal is $2900 so I'm almost there!!! If you have already donated...thank you very much!!! If you have not yet had a chance to, please go to my link:

Update on Ethan:

Ethan Marley

Tuesday March 14, 2006

It's Official!

It's official! Ethan is on Maintenance!! His ANC was 1200 yesterday, and they proceeded with his lumbar puncture and chemo, and he did great! He started steroids last night, and so far so good! : ) He woke up in really good mood this morning, and sang songs with Daddy while waiting for me to get out of the shower! (Usually when he wakes up while I'm in the shower, he cries for me, so this was great!) Then he just wanted to play and play! Right now he is sitting at the table dancing in his chair, and asking for a second corn dog for breakfast! (Have the steroids kicked in already?!)

Sunday March 12, 2006

Back from PotLuck

Ethan and I just got back from a "Team in Training" potluck, and we had a wonderful time getting to meet some of the people who are on the team working hard to train and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! There were also other honorees there who have been through treatment, and are also very inspiring! What a wonderful group of people! Ethan enjoyed all the attention, and especially enjoyed playing with the other kids who were there! It was great to see him being so active and having so much fun!

We're continuing to be blessed with meals that some of the team members and staff are sending to us! And they're all so delicious! I think we're getting spoiled now!

Ethan is scheduled to have a lumbar puncture on Monday at 8:50am if his labs (that he'll have drawn around 7:30) are good enough. That will start his maintenance phase. We would appreciate prayer that he would be able to start on that day, and that everything would go smoothly. Also, that Ethan would continue to stay virus/cold free.

Thanks to all of you for your love for Ethan and for our family!

Andrea (for the Marleys)


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