Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tac's new Boot-aaaay

Tac Boy's got a new aphrodisiac and there's going to be all kinds of lovin' going on in the Trimama household. I mean nothing says night time romance like one of these bad boys

Now it's offseason, and Tac's not quite up to shaving year round, so das boot won't look quite so sexy on him just yet, but spring is coming.

Speaking of shaving, and falling under totally too much information, I found a run away hair yesterday. On my leg. Don't know how it got there, but holy mother of sasquatch. Just goes to show you

1) I should probably use a mirror when I shave behind my knees

2) aging hormones can be a beyotch

3) Arctic cold really can speed up the evolutionary process

Thanks for all of your kind words this past week. I'm feeling better-but needed a good cry. So I rented "Away from her" last night and no longer need a good cry. My eyes look like I went a few rounds with poison ivy- I hope the cucumbers work.

It's a swimming day, with work tonight- the premier of "Lost" which I will Tivo if I can actually figure out how to work the darn thing.

Bike/run tomorrow continuing to build base and maybe just maybe it won't hurt to go outside.

Tac's new

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ash or Iron

"There are two types of people in this world, the wooden ones and the metal ones. We all pass through fire;the wooden ones, they turn to ash. But the ones who embrace the fire, allow it to transform them, they come through as steele!" and so concluded my introduction to Paul who knew Dietrich who had survived the concentration camps of Poland. Paul was expounding on his life's creed by quoting his friend Dietrich, who viewed life as a series of challenges meant to refine and polish, strengthen and mold, in essence, it's the fire that defines your core. Paul's eyes danced and his splash of white whiskers flew wildly around his face as he went on to explain his own precarious foothold on life, having been a 16 year survivor of prostate cancer. "God looked down and saw this goofy guy and said 'look at this one, he's kind of fun to watch, I think we'll keep him around for a while', so here I am. The ones who turn to ash have to scoop themselves into a suit of armor and walk around wary and self protected, or worse yet bitter, they don't embrace life. After almost dying by the time I could vote, I opened my eyes and began to see every tree and hear every bird, life's too short to not be iron. And off Paul walked to complete his workout.

As Paul talked I was reminded of another saying "count it all joy my brothers when you meet various trials and difficulties, for you know the testing of your faith produces patience, and let your patience fully grow and develop so that you may be perfect and complete, not lacking anything." By not "lacking anything" I don't suspect they mean a new De Soto 2 piece wet suit, although I'd be willing to work on patience in exchange for that. No, I think they mean embrace the difficulties and trials because they fan the fire that makes you who you are. At least that's what the doc said when I suggested yesterday that it would be nice to have a selective amnesia pill that blots out things you don't want to keep. "You could erase your past, or at least your memory you don't want, but then you wouldn't be the person you are today".

Twice in one day? I think someone is trying to tell me something. Something like, hang in there, you'll get through this week just like every other one. It's hard, but hard is what makes you who you are. Hard gives you patience and compassion, and a deep love for your kids, your husband, your friends and your life.

But hard, at times, gives me a brain overstocked with chemicals it doesn't know what to do with. Memory and experience all seemed to be stored in these barrels of chemicals generally interconnected by an electrical current. When you remember something, your present moment- cognitive mind flows on a current through that barrel of memory and is re experienced by the cognitive thought. That is why we can remember a day at the ocean and smell the salt, taste the brine, hear the seagulls etc. It's all stored in the barrels for our thoughtful mind to access. When the experience is trying, or traumatizing, there are additional chemicals that come into to play, like adrenaline. Which explains why you will feel anxious when recalling an accident, or emergency etc. It's a wonderfully complex system, that's a a beyotch when it begins to short circuit.

I knew I was in short circuit Arizona weekend. I couldn't complete sentences or even words for that matter. Very frustrating for the listener I'm sure, irritating to me as I watch words trail along in sentences and then simply disappear in my mind. I hold the thought, so I know what I mean to say, I just can't hold the words long enough to get them to my voicebox. That's why, for so many reasons, it was great to have Commodore around, because between the two of us you always got a complete sentence :-) Commodore had his memory erased in an accident when he was 16 and essentially had to teach himself to read, write etc again. He's an ironman, and a very articulate one at that- a classic affront to all of those who think they can't do something. So for all of you I hung out with in Arizona, thank you for your pati....

I'm going to be a senile grandma long before age gives me an excuse, my grandkids are going to love me.

So, where was I, losing thoughts. That's where it begins. The breaking of the electric current that carries thoughts to words. It acts somewhat like ocean waves crashing through those rooms filled with barrels and stuff begins to spill out. Random thoughts, memory flashes, feelings. The worst of it all is the anxiety. Fear really. The worst kind of fear is the kind that has nothing to anchor upon. My life is stable, but the fear chemicals are flooding my system. So, I create objects of fear. An IRS audit was my target of choice this time. I can tell myself our taxes are tight. There might be a minor error here or there, but income wise, it's all recorded, expense wise, it's all accounted for. Yet I lay awake at night anxious over a very unlikely audit. This time I felt like I was burning a hole in my stomach. I thought I could shake this off, a lot of times I can. But other stresses in life continued to fuel the fire. My greatest concern is that I sustain so large an upset of my brain chemistry as to turn suicidal. That is without a doubt the most difficult battle to wage. We have two friends and know many others who have fought suicide and lost. It is ugly. And most of the time it is brain chemistry. Thankfully, I've never come close, and my Doc assures me that past behavior is a good predictor of future outcomes. I feel for folks who fall into those chemically induced, deep dark slumps of depression and anxiety. I count myself enormously blessed to have remained at the outer edge of that abyss. Last spring I stopped taking my SSI drug. and I felt great. I was on such a low dosage that it seemed a good idea to let my body coast on it's own for a while. But some significant changes have occurred in my life, such as an ongoing conversation with my sister via email, and so it's time for the old Trimama brain to get a little help again and right the barrels.

Y yes, my cartoon bubble has little guys in HAZMAT suits mopping up inside my brain- only to discover the little worker who wasn't properly dressed when the chemical spill occured-nice skeleton though. I think my work comp just skyrocketed.

I've slept soundly now for the first time in a long time, and that does wonders. Now time to just let the meds work, keep up the exercise and eating well, hug The Tribe often and thank God everyday for another sunrise and another fire to make me who I'm meant to be.

Go hug a friend today and train safe

Monday, January 21, 2008

I suppose I could tell you it's cold here

But that would be redundant and boring. So, how cold is it? Well, my basement registered roughly 47 degrees when I went for a 1:45 spin yesterday. That would be the same temp that registered in sunny south Florida, where my buddy and aspiring Ironman, Bigun, sat on his ahem, refusing to go out into the cold. In the infamous words of our former governor "I ain't got time to bleed" and I also don't have time to complain about the weather. But I do it anyway. Because it's what we do here in the great white north when we aren't sucking down near beer and exchanging hot dish recipes. It's a balmy 8 today, but spring hits this weekend when we see the mid 20's again. I'll be stalking Steve in a Speedo just to let him know there are other crazies out there. For the record, my coldest outdoor run involved snow shoes, 12 below for the daytime high and a good deal of vaseline.

Knee update. It's still attached to my thigh-although there are days I swear someone replaced it with a wooden joint. I don't quite understand the mechanics of that one, but so long as I can swim, bike and run we're good. And, I can swim (5000 yards last week) bike (3:30) and run (I forgot to count- but one run involved oranges and lemons so who cares)

I love Ironman training. Even if the race is 11 months away. It's just the right focus to make workouts fun again. I have a goal. I like goals. I like having a strategy and a focus. It's a relief to move in a straight line in a world where everything spins.

I set my branch's record for averaging the most training sessions each month last year. A podium finish, oh yea! I'm hoping to blow that pace away this year-more people achieving their health goals-yea! Speaking of which, my contingent of newbies continues to grow for the Chain of Lakes Triathlon. I've recruited 7 people to try this race.

The Tribe has the day off from school, so it's back to mom-ing. and yes, they practice their "Stewie" impersonation constantly-oh joy

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If you watched Tac's video of The Tribe's Christmas you saw the near hysteria of The Tribe as they opened their presents. Might make one think the poor kids only receive gifts at Christmas time. To the contrary, we intentionally give to them throughout the year and somewhat minimize Christmas so we can focus on faith and family. So, I was thinking about this over the weekend, and somewhere during my 65 degree citrus tree infused run it occurred to me that I really could get used to being a snow bird, which has absolutely nothing to do with The Tribe, except that I thought about how nice it would be to live close to bloggie friends like Commodore and Momo and that's when it hit me; my kids weren't yelling and screaming because of what they received, but rather who they received it from. Chopper was ecstatic to receive a gift from the Soapinator. I don't think he even took in what it was before he set off screaming with joy. It's all about the relationship.

My kids love people and they love having people love them. Which explains why the Soap came home crying from school yesterday. The Tribe's school has a concentrated study focus each year and this year the focus was India. They learned of the caste system yesterday by role playing and as fate would have it, both Urp and Soap were assigned to the dahlit caste-the untouchables. They were allowed to be teased, they had to clean up for everyone, they could not have milk with lunch, they were only allowed to leave for the restroom once in the day and they couldn't speak to anyone not in their caste. Pretty much devastation for Soap who lives for her friends at school.

This past weekend in Arizona was Trimama's Christmas morning. It's not the gift, it's the giver. I had an awesome time with Commodore who took the day off work to chauffeur me and my crew around Tempe/Scottsdale scoping out the Ironman course. He even took us to his favorite Tribe store and his Fitness Empire. The gift of time and laughter.

Then it was on to the expo Saturday with a meet up with Momo, Dummy, Eric, Jumper, Tri Shannon, IronJenny and of course Lana- the gift of friendship and authenticity

And dinner with Iron Jenny, Iron Girl Nyhus, Greg and Mistress and the Mighty Mo- the gift of family

The gift of food and spirits with friends

and race morning, the gift of inspiration and achievement.

Thanks friends, I had a great time with all of you

but now, duty calls

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Poptart dilemma

Britney be damned, a far more urgent scandal has broken in the Taconite household. For time immemorial, Tac has dined on his pastry of choice each morning-two slabs of lard laced cardboard compressed around a slather of sucrose infused goop. He swears by, even worships at the morning altar of the Pop Tart to the extent that the dawning sun dims greatly when he ventures to the cupboard only to find an empty box. As a side note, I have long since given up on visual inventory control and adhere to a straight static purchase model; which explains why there are 14 bags of Honeynut Cheerios in the pantry. The Tribe apparently doesn't like HNC's. But they are on the shopping list, so I buy them. I love them, but I rarely eat cereal. HNC's were the late night-post date- teen angst food of choice for my older sister and I in the days of our youth. We'd collude at the center island just past curfew to chew and chat and move past whatever the night had held. Obviously there is not enough stress in the life of The Tribe, alas no HNC moments yet. I'll take it for now, content with their post school day devouring of tutti fruttis-mere child's play. But I digress. Poptarts. I despise them. I find no nutritional value in them whatsoever. This in spite of the fact that they fueled Tac's ironman training. He swears by them, I swear at them.

Until yesterday. The moons of Venus hit an improper alignment, my hormones leaked precariously, a bag of cheerios fell from the cupboard and knocked me senseless, for whatever reason I threw a Cinnamon Roll Pop Tart into the toaster. I was headed to the Y for a much needed cardio/strength session and toast with PB just wasn't singing my tune, no I was all Pop Tart yesterday. Arriving 40 minutes later to the Y then I'd anticipated, I went straight to the treadmill with no cross trainer warmup, and I ran 45 minutes, without stopping, utilizing the final 15 minutes to incrementally increase my pace to sub 8 min miles. Damn Poptarts. Perhaps I can blame Britney, so ridiculous her trials they've torn a crease in the social fabric of the universe.

Pop tarts morning 2. After all, I need a good 2 hour spin on the trainer today. I've descended into the depths of taste less hell. What's next cheeze whiz on saltines? Cocktail wienies smothered in Kraft bar b que sauce? I need to re-retro back to the future.

And I was on my way, until I went to the Big Box office store with the Tribe. We needed calenders, glue sticks and glue. (I've yet to understand how the Soapinator depleted the gallon jug of glue she purchased at the start of the school year. She doesn't seem to be the nefarious, corner locker, glue junkie type, but perhaps Elmer's has qualities unbeknownst to most adults) There, in the back of the store, along the clearance wall I found a lone symbol of my school days past. The Pee Chee All Sport Portfolio. No semester commenced without a fresh restock of the Pee Chee. I loved those heady first days of school; no grades yet recorded, no sense of urgency in mountains of unfinished work. A clean Pee Chee was a mental restart. Like the dawning of a year where you've signed up for a Great Race after passing through a forgettable season.

I bought a Pee Chee to store my training plans and calender. Well, why not borrow on the optimism of youth to train and an older and broken body to go long. 2008 dawns and there are Pop Tarts in the cupboard, life is good.