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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Week 8 - Bring it on Wildflower!!!

Hello Everyone

At the top of this post is a picture of me from the Mermaid Run. If I may say so myself....I look goooood ;-)

Another amazing week in training. I can't believe that we have already hit the half way point and the Wildflower Triathlon is a little over a month away. Time Sure flies when you're having fun!!!

This week I had a major breakthrough in my workouts. I have been taking some medicine for the past couple of years. What I did not realize was that this medicine was increasing my heart rate dramatically. After switching to something new my heart rate slowed down and I am able to run faster and longer than I ever have in my life. Its amazing how fast I feel and when a mile is over, I'm ready for another one. Yesterday I ran 5 miles in the morning and I could keep going. It felt great!!!

Track practice on Thursday started with some drills across the football field. We would jog then stride then sprint. They felt really good and I was able to maintain my speed with the rest of the team. After the drills we ran 3 miles and cooled down. Once the cool down was over it started to rain so we had a quick chat and went home.
It sounds pretty uneventful but it wasn't... I felt like I could keep running forever. Lesson learned: If a doctor prescribes you something...check the side effects and pay attention to what its doing to your body.

Friday was St Patrick's day and I went out with my friends but I was a good girl and kept my drinking to a minimum. Good thing too...Saturday's practice was INTENSE.

On Saturday half the team received their wetsuits. Unfortunately, I was part of the half that UPS had not delivered yet. We had an interesting clinic on how to maintain our wetsuits which included some of the coaches demonstrating how to properly put one on. It looks like putting on a wetsuit may be the fourth sport of triathlons...wouldn't that make it a quadrathlon? After that we jumped in the water (some with their wetsuits and some without) and we warmed up. Then the fun really began!!! We started off by breaking into groups of 4. The object was to swim in really tight formation and to bump into, elbow, scratch, and claw at each other. Then we rotated and did this for several lengths of the pool. After that drill was over they got rid of the lane lines and put some buoys in the water. There was at least 70 of us in the pool and we were supposed to swim in figure eights around the buoys. It was out of control. People were jumping on top of each other and there were bodies EVERYWHERE!!! I have a few bruises as a result of these drills that I could show anyone who's interested.

For those of you who don't know Triathlons or think its a non-contact sport you may be wondering why these drills are important. When a triathlon begins we go out in what they call "waves" these waves are groups of hundreds of people who run towards the water and begin swimming at the same time. The first 100 yards or so people are trying to find their position to swim in. With all those bodies trying to go in the same direction using the shortest path (a straight line) people get aggressive. After a 100 yards or so the fast people break out to the front and the slower ones fall back. At some point people naturally spread out.

After the swim we grabbed our bike and running gear and practiced our first transitions. A transition is when you go from one sport to another. We all laid our bikes against the fence and set up our gear in a way which we could quickly transition from one sport to the next. Then we were told to wear only what we will be wearing once we get our wetsuits off. We then ran to our bikes, put on all our gear, and started to ride. I have never ridden a bike so fast in my life (this slower heart rate thing is really cool) I averaged 20 MPH and I even got comfortable enough to grab water and use my aero bars. Because of time constraints we only rode about 10 miles and didn't get any hill work in but the ride was good nonetheless. We then went back to our transition area and put our run gear on and proceeded to the track for a mile run. Wow...I felt like I was running through mud. Going from one muscle group on my legs to the next is a weird feeling. It took 3 laps before my legs felt normal again. But I still felt great!!!

All in all its been a wonderful week for working out. This weekend we are camping at Lake San Antonio to do a run through our swim, bike, run routes. I am really excited and know that after bringing my heart rate down I will be able to manage this course better than I ever imagined.

Update on Fundraising:

I am still $50 away from my goal. It seems so close but I'm not quite there yet. If any of you have not donated yet and would like to, I would love to see that total get to 100% of my goal. Please go to the following link:
For those of you who have already donated...I thank you with all my slower beating heart!!!

Update on Ethan

Ethan Marley

Friday March 17, 2006

One Year Ago
"When I look back on this road I've traveled, I see so many times He's carried me through. If there's one thing that I know in my life, my Redeemer is faithful and true!" from "My Redeemer" by Steven Curtis Chapman

One year ago today, our lives were turned upside down when Ethan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. As I was reflecting this morning over this past year, the above song just kept playing over and over in my head, and the words are SO true! The Lord has been with us from the very beginning, and continues to carry us through each and every day! From the first prayer we prayed immediately after receiving the phone call that Ethan probably had leukemia, when Greg and I were just reeling with the news, where He comforted us
with the assurance that Ethan was in His hands; to the times we felt so helpless when we had to leave Ethan so he could have procedure after procedure, where He reassured us that He would be right there holding Ethan even when we couldn't; to the times we felt so overwhelmed, and like we couldn't handle any more, and He would send one of you to encourage us with a phone call or visit, or to clean our house, or take care of our kids, or help out financially, or bring a meal. . . I could go on and on! It is because of His faithfulness, and because of your love and support, that we have made it this far, and that we know we can make it the rest of the way!

"God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. . . " Psalms 46:1-2a

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

May the Lord bless you all as He has blessed us so much through you!

With love,
Andrea (for the Marleys)

Wednesday March 15, 2006

Morning Corndogs

Good Morning, Everyone!

I had to cut yesterday's journal entry short as part of it disappeared and then I couldn't get back in to edit it, and didn't have time to figure it out! Let's see how it works today!

I find I have to save as I go along!

Ethan had a good day yesterday and is still sleeping this morning. Greg made the comment the other night that we should open our own pharmacy, as we were giving Erin her antibiotics (for her ear infections), measuring out Motrin for Colin (he's had the flu since Sunday with a persistent fever!), and crushing pills and mixing with cherry syrup for Ethan! Ethan's med schedule could get confusing (1/2 pill for four days, 1 pill for three days, this other pill twice a day for only 5 days, another only once a week, etc.) so we've decided to switch to the write it all down and check it off as we go system! I'm being forced to be more organized, which, for those of you who know me, is a very good thing!!

We would appreciate prayer that Colin would kick this flu bug soon, especially since his cousins from Washington are visiting at Papa's house (they arrived yesterday), and he's very disappointed he can't go see them today! (Still with fever.) There's six of them, and I'd just hate to pass this on to them! Please also pray that Ethan would steer clear! He's done a good job so far, as this is the second time for Colin, and Erin recently got over hers! (I think it's a testament to your prayers, along with a lot of Purell!)

Ethan just woke up, so I'm off!

Andrea (for the Marleys)

P.S. Ethan's having his morning corndog now (did you get yours, Shelli? : ) I wanted to add some great news that we saw Ethan's old hospital roommate, Maanvi, on Monday, and she looked great! It was our first time seeing her with her dark, curly hair, and I didn't recognize her at first! She was having her monthly clinic visit, and her mom said she's been doing very well! It sure made my day, and it was great to see that Ethan still remembered her, even though it's been over 8 months since he'd seen her! (She's an adorable 5 year old with another type of leukemia called AML.) She wanted to go to the store right then and buy Ethan something (like she always did when they were roomies), but the doctors arrived to see her and we had to go! We're hoping to see her again next month as our clinic days should be on the same day now!


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