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.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Week 10: Fine tuning before the big day!!!

Hi All

I know that I just sent one of these out but that was because I was behind on week 9 due to my business trip in Half Moon Bay. When last I checked in I had been talking about practice weekend (which was awesome!!!). After practice weekend I realized that although I had fun on the bike ride, I still had a lot of room for improvement. From that moment until race day I am going to focus more on that portion of the race. Being that the bike is the longest portion and if I could manage to go a couple miles per hour faster I think I could cut significant time off my finish. That is when I made the decision to take my bike and my trainer to my trip to Half Moon Bay. For those of you who think I hired a personal trainer to stay with me for the must really think that I am either rich or totally off my rocker. No...a trainer is an attachment that you fit on your bike which allows you to use your own bike as an excersise machine. Here is a picture of what a trainer looks like attached to a bike:

I arrived in Half Moon Bay on Sunday afternoon and immediately proceeded to set up my bike in the Suite. I have to admit It looked pretty cool sitting there in front of the fire place and I wanted to jump right on but I had some meetings to attend. On Sunday night the company threw us a bash so I drank beer and partied until midnight. You would think that I would be too pooped to wake up early for a workout but...shucks no. I woke up at 6:30 and went outside and rode my bike up highway one. The ride was AMAZING!!! It wasn't too hilly but hilly enough to get in a great workout. I biked up towards Pacifica for 11 miles before I had to turn back. I felt triumphant all day with the knowlege that I biked over 20 miles before anyone else even woke up.

After partying again Monday night, I still woke up early enough to go for a run. The resort we were staying in had a beutiful 4 mile trail that ran along the ocean. This run was truely invigorating and I loved every moment of it. To be honest...I didn't even notice that I was running. At the end of Teusday I really think my body told me to SLOOOWWW DOWWWN. After coming to Lake San Antonio late Friday night to sleep in a tent, waking up early to swim in the frigid lake followed by a difficult 25 mile bike ride, our bonfire festivities and tent sleeping, followed closely by a long drive home and straight to Half Moon Bay where we partied all night, waking up to a 20 mile bike ride, partying again, and waking up to a run my body told me to STOP!!! I really felt like I was going to pass out so I excused myself from the room and took a 4 hour nap. I woke up to a party going on across the hall. Of course I had to go ;-) I ended up drinking several bottles of water that night.

In the morning I was still not feeling well so I chose to forgo the morning workout and go straight to my meetings. During the meeting I still felt ill which was when I thought about taking some Electrolyte Replacement to see if that would make me feel better. Wow!!! That sure did the trick. Words like Electrolyte, Amino Acids, and protein had no place in my I have to make sure that it is. I guess I was low on electrolytes. That afternoon I got really stir crazy so I went for a nice, easy, flat bike ride along the coast. It was beautiful and despite the fact that I had planned on making Wednesday a rest day I'm glad I didn't.

Wednesday night the party was at my room so things didn't shut down until after 3:30 AM at which point I had a fair amount of beer in me. Needless to say I did not workout Thursday morning before the 9AM meeting. The obvious reason was my lack of sleep but I also had track practice with the team that afternoon. On my way home I was exhausted. Once I got to track practice I realized that I would be better off skipping. I talked to a couple of team members and decided to go home before I hurt myself by falling asleep during a run.

On Friday I went for a nice swim then on Saturday we had our TNT workout. Let me back up before we get into the workout. On Friday Rich, one of my team mates, decided it would be fun to play an April fools day joke on our mentor Berend. One at a time we took turns dropping out of TNT. I was first by telling him that I fell off my bike when trying to use my aero bars going down highway one. I knew that he was leery about me having them so it was the perfect story. I explained that I had hurt my knee and I was out for 10 weeks. It was even more perfect since I didn't go to practice on Thursday so it was completely feasible. 5 of the 9 of us came up with convincing stories of why we were quitting. We thought for sure he would figure it out but the poor guy thought he was loosing all of us. He kept calling me and I had to avoid all his calls because I knew I would crack. One of my team mates had a fund raiser that night and I guess he was depressed throughout the whole thing. Poor guy ;-(

On Saturday we met in the back parking lot and all went together to call out April Fools. It had to be one of the best pranks in history!!!

I was on the list to bike first. I have to admit I was a little nervous about the bike ride because my mom told me that lying about falling off gave me bad karma. She made me promise to call when I was done with the bike. Fortunately I didn't fall this time. We did a timed marker set. What that means is that the coaches had a determined route that we were doing 1,2, or 3 loops of. We would do that same route a couple of times throughout the season to check on our progress. The first time I did it I was completely and totally exhausted after the 1st loop. There was no way I could do more. This time I had a really hard time up one of the hills but other than that I performed well. So well in fact that I did 3 loops. On the first loop I got off the bike and walked a small portion of it. Apparently, my potential was evident to one of the mentors because she told me that she did not want to see me off my bike again. I reluctantly obeyed her...all I could hear is "I don't want to see you off that bike Sandy!!!" ringing in my brain. I did it and I thank her for that!!!

After making great time in the marker set we went to the Pool. After a quick warm up we did a 500 marker set swim. I was sharing the lane with 1 other person who made it so I had nothing challenging me but I still pushed on. The result was this marker set being 4 seconds slower than the last (which was not much faster than the first) this meant that my progress has remained static on the swim throughout all my training. I really have not been putting in a lot of time in the pool because I am so afraid of the run and bike. This was still very disappointing because I feel myself getting stronger. The coaches then videotaped us swimming and analyzed the tapes. They had a lot of suggestions for me to improve my stroke and I definitely have an uphill battle ahead of me. Fortunately, Sabine is a great swim instructor and she has agreed to help. Who would have known that swimming would end up being what I had to work most on!!!

Overall this week has been a big eye opener and I now have an honest idea of what I need to work on. I need to continue my time in the trainer, I need to concentrate on improving my swim stroke and...Oh yea...I still need to be able to run a full 10K. One month left and I have a long way to go but if it were to be tomorrow I know I would finish it before hitting any cutoff times so I am in good shape!!!

Update of fundraising:

I hit my goal but you could never raise too much money for this great cause. If you have already donated...I thank you very much. If not...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!

Here is a link to my fundraising site:

Update on Ethan:

TUESDAY, APRIL 04, 2006 09:03 AM, CDT

Good Morning!

It's about 9:00am, and Ethan and Colin are sitting on the couch reading a book together, and it's just too precious! (Ethan adores his big brother and sister, and they are so great with him!) I'm thinking we need to start school soon, but thought I'd take this opportunity while Ethan is entertained to write an update first!

I took Ethan in for labs yesterday, and called ahead because he was running a low grade fever (99.3-99.8) all night and into the morning. They checked his vitals when we went in, and determined he's probably fighting a virus of some kind. I had put numbing cream on his port site as I thought they were going to do a blood culture, but it turned out they didn't need to. So, they put numbing cream on one finger on each hand, and we went to eat lunch to wait for it to take effect. I talked to Ethan about what they would do, just like last week when he did so well. 'They'll do a POP and then SQUEEZE, SQUEEZE, AND THEN A BAND-AID AND THEN YOU'RE ALL DONE!' And then I had him repeat it to me, and squeeze my finger. When it was time to go in for the finger stick, he was as calm as can be! The lab tech was very nice and put a hot pack on his finger to make sure the blood would come out easily, and Ethan told him what he was going to do. . . 'Pop, then squeeze, then band-aid, then all done!' When he did the 'pop', which was pricking the finger, Ethan said 'All done pop' and when I asked if it hurt him he said 'No owie!' Then he sat patiently while the lab tech squeezed to get the blood he needed, repeating over and over again 'all done' and 'no owie' and 'band-aid'! What a little trooper!

I'm so relieved that this blood draw that he has to get every week doesn't have to be stressful for him! He can get the fingerstick each time except the once a month when he gets chemo into his port, and he does okay with that as well.

He had a fever last night still (99.5), and then this morning it's normal! We would appreciate prayer that this wouldn't develop into anything. We're hopeful that he can fight any bug off as his neutrophil count was 2600 yesterday! His hemoglobin is still hovering low, and we're hoping that goes up soon. (It's 8.9, and they do blood transfusions when it's below 8.)

Thanks for checking in on Ethan! We appreciate you all!

Andrea (for the Marleys)


Post a Comment

<< Home