It’s about darn time!

31 01 2012

The last year and a half has been a roller coaster.  (Both emotionally and physically, but here I am just talking about the physical part.)  I went from a PR for a HIM in May of 2010 to beginning Jan. 2012 struggling to run at all regularly, off my bike since FOREVER and a little slow in the pool.  Oh yeah, then there’s this extra 15 lbs. (ok, really 20) of FAT I’m lugging around.

I am such a champ at feeling sorry for myself.   Being the middle of 3 children I’ve had lots of practice.   I know you older children think you had too much responsibility and pressure and you poor, poor youngest children think you were neglected and forced to do all your older sibling’s stuff wearing only hand-me-downs – blah, blah, blah.  What us middle children know is that while the oldest was being carted around to six million activities and pushed too hard and the youngest was being drug along to all those activities what really sucked was being the middle that your parents’ FORGOT AT HOME.

Don’t worry, I’m saving up for a therapist.

Back to my training, or lack of training.  I finally ran out of self-pity and did something I don’t do well at all – I asked for help.  Having been a tri coach and before that a personal trainer and before that a swim coach for many many moons it’s hard to believe I have never had a coach.  I never felt like I was ready to train at the level that in my mind deserved a coach.  I also assumed that I always know what’s best for me.


Turns out I am fantastic at what’s best for other people but don’t really seem to do the whole ‘what I need to be doing well’ thing very good at all.  I’m sure I can blame it on my parents or my older and younger siblings somehow but I’ll again leave that to the therapist I will one day hire.

For now, let me tell you about my coach.  I am pretty vulnerable and fragile about this whole out of shape thing.  That’s what happens when a most of your life is spent coaching or working with athletes.  Or when you’re the middle child, but I digress.  I knew I needed a coach that I could really, really trust.  Trust for two reasons:  first, I needed someone that I know is building me up and not judging the fitness I don’t have, second, I needed to trust that  my coach would tell it to me straight and kick me in the pants when I’m being whinny and making excuses.

So, I called Carole.  She is the one person I trust to put me back together.  I also know she’s an only child so I figure she’s got just as many issues as me : )  I’m really excited about this new adventure in training which will include a yoga class each week with my sweet daughter.   Great things are on the horizon, I can feel it!!

Hi, My Name is Kati and I am a Medical Freak

27 01 2012

You know those friends that call you with the most random, who the hell does that really happen to medical issues.   You are watching the freaky TLC medical examiner or even my favorite true to life medical drama House and realize that your medical freak friend has actually called you within the last month with at least one of those issues.  Hi, my name is Kati and I am that friend.

Probably even worse, I watch those shows and self-diagnose.  I am sure I am a doctor’s dream. 🙂

So here is my latest for your amusement.   Thanks to my aging body parts I now go through bouts of insomnia once a month.  Yes, I had most of those parts removed that would trigger those hormones.   Here I must remind you that I am indeed a medical freak so my body can still produce copious amounts of estrogen that keeps me awake for 2-3 hours a night, 2-3 nights a month.  It’s real fun.  I’m sure it makes me a delight to live with.

Back to my sleepless night.  I got fed up with tossing and turning and decided to read.  Trying to be a good wife (I work at that every once and a while) I pulled the covers over my head and read on my phone (my Nook phone app) for about an hour.  After finishing my book I turned off my phone and closed my eyes.

Imagine my surprise when I opened my eyes again and one wasn’t working.   Not seeing spots, not fuzzy but seeing all black – not working.  I blinked a couple of times, still all black.

Now, having watched my medical dramas I knew that one of three things was going on:

1.  I ate too many avocados on a full moon that fell on a Thursday, causing an imbalance in my electrolytes, which in turn caused my Vit. b12 to drop.  This was then causing me to have a stroke.  It could happen, ask House.

2.  The mixture of laundry detergent and cat litter caused a chemical reaction that caused all the free radicals in my body to attack my optic nerve.  Seriously, I think I saw that on Dr. G.

3.  The light of the phone was making me temporarily blind in one eye.

Now, knowing that I am, indeed a medical freak I think we can rule out number 3 right off the bat.   Moving on.  Knowing that when my husband read number 2 he laughed out loud because I neither do laundry OR change the cat litter I think we can rule out number 2.

So, there I was, 3:30 am and surely having a stroke.  Although I am a medical freak and as I stated above a delight to live with I try not to wake my husband if it’s not an absolute emergency.  I decided to manage the stroke on my own and he would certainly wake up when I began convulsing.

Funny thing about trying to stay awake – you automatically fall asleep.  So, either I fell asleep or went into a coma.  You will all be happy to know when I woke up I had my vision in both eyes and there were no signs that my stroke even happened!  A normal person would take the moral of this story as, Don’t assume the worst – it clearly wasn’t a stroke.  Me, I’m choosing instead to have my moral of the story be, I need better sleeping pills. 

Stretching the Leash

7 01 2012

With all of my son’s struggles with school this year we decided he really needed some success right now.  For the last two years he has begged to join the ski team at our local ski resort.  Because it is a big commimtment, both finanial and time, we resisted.  This year we bit the bullet and let him join.

The fees and cost of skis hurt, but what has come out of ski team has been beautiful.  E is up at the crack of dawn so excited to get to practice.  His coaches say he is working hard and making great improvements. His big goal is to move up to the race team, my big goal for him is that he continues to find joy and success all season.   Today at ski practice I realized we have found more success than just skiing down the hill.

I was reading a wonderful blog post 25 Rules s for Mothers of Sons  and the last one really spoke to me.  Be his home.  I haven’t had a lot of chances to let E roam free.  We have never lived in a neighborhood where he can just go out and roam free.  Hard to be his home when he never leaves!  When we arrived for E`s first ski team practice he asked if he could go for a run on his own before practice.   ON HIS OWN!!  ACK!

Watching my 9 year old go up on the lift by himself and waiting while he skied down on his own almost killed me.  We both survived.  Now I let him take a few runs each time before practice and sit in the lodge and smile.   I am his homebase and he can go out on the mountain and explore.  I love the new freedom for him and a even love the new freedom for me!

I know as he gets older he will venture further from home , but for now a few miles on the ski slopes of far enough!

REV3 Run Across America

6 01 2012

As if I needed another reason to brag about the company I work for . . . .

Our charity partner, The Ulman Cancer Fund found themselves in need of $100,000 to fund their patient navigation program.  Please, please take a look at the Ulman website.  They do amazing things for young adults with cancer.  I have worked with the staff of the Ulman fund for the last two years timing their race (Half Full Tri) and all I can say is WOW.

The staff at REV3 decided they wanted to raise money and awareness for Ulman.  Why go small when you can run for 15 miles a day for 21 days?   10 members of the REV3 staff will be running ACROSS the whole COUNTRY!!

I can’t join them for 21 days, but Paul and I will be ATLEAST finishing the run from the ‘Burg to MD with them.  I also plan to run each and every day that they are running.  21 days.  Want to run too?  Check out the map above (if you click on the map it will take you to the site!) and find some days to come run along or be a relief runner.  Can’t travel?   Run virtually!  We will be challenging tri and running groups to log their miles to compete for prizes.  Can’t run (or even if you can!!!) – DONATE!

Looking Forward . . .

1 01 2012

It’s a new year so of course it’s time for one of those nostalgic looking back or inspiring gung ho full speed ahead posts.

Looking back 2011 has been a hard year.  Struggles (but victories too) with schooling for E, surgery for me, illness after illness after illness for me, tons of travel – you name it, it got in the way of me training.  And yet.  I am blessed that I have an amazing family that supported me and dealt with all the bumps in the road with me.  I think we begin 2012 as a stronger, closer family.

Now we move onto the looking forward part.  As always I am seeking balance this year.  I want to find the time to be a great mom, maintain a wonderful relationship with my husband, support and enjoy my many wonderful friends and family and train for a few races all while I double (or even triple) my work load.   EEK!

The beauty is that I love my work, my family supports me in doing said work and I work with a fabulous group of people that I also count as my second family.  I’m so excited to help grow the timing side of the REV3 family.   If all goes well 2012 will have us running around like crazy timing races almost every weekend!

Off for a run – I have a little half marathon coming up!

Dyslexia – finally!

16 12 2011

For the last three or four years I have told anyone that would listen (and plenty that didn’t listen) that my son was struggling with learning.  You can read my previous posts here:  Some People are Idiots and Step one:  Parent Meeting.  We have finally entered a new chapter, an actual professional has done real tests and *gasp* they support what I have been saying all along, my son is dyslexic.

After our fiasco with school testing and lack of interest (on the school’s part, not the teachers) in helping our son we decided it was time to look elsewhere.  Our pediatrician’s office has an educational counseling center so that was our first stop.  Turns out it was one of the best calls I have made in this process.  The psychologist there looked at E’s previous testing, his school work and observed him in the classroom and found tests that she felt needed to be done.

For oral intelligence my son is in the 93rd percentile.  For his visual or written testing he was down in the 50th percentile.  He can read on a 4th grade level, but missed almost every small connecting word (if the an. . . )  When those same words he read in a paragraph were by themselves he was only at 30%. Here’s where it gets good, for letter blends (keeping in mind my son is in 4th grade) he was in the 14th percentile.  He completely bombed the visual perception tests.  ALL.  CLASSIC. DYSLEXIA!!!

I don’t mean to sound happy that my son is dyslexic.  I know that school will always be harder for him.  Because he is “too smart” to qualify for an IEP through the school I will have to work with the school and his teachers every year.  And yet, I am so relieved.  I’m not just a crazy over reacting mom.  I do know my son.

Best of all I got some concrete ideas of what to do next.  Don’t make him suffer through spelling, it won’t help.  Don’t make him continue to try to write when it is such a hindrance to his expressing himself.  Use the technology that is available.  Our number one goal right now is to make it so E is not frustrated in school and is able to express himself fully.  (Not in that wishy washy way, I mean he can’t express himself on the level that he is able to think right now because his writing is limiting him.)

So now we begin a new chapter of working with the school.  Thankfully E’s teacher this year is super supportive and quite possible more importantly  she recognizes how smart E is.  I think for so many years teachers have just thought he was lazy or just average that they were able to dismiss his inability to spell and write because he was passing end of year tests.

On to the next chapter!


Christmas on Crack . . .

13 12 2011

Our house does’t look like this on the outside, (mainly because we are way too lazy to do all that) but take one step inside and I swear Santa threw up all his Christmas cheer right here.

Tree (crooked and quickly loosing needles) that is way too big for our house – check!

Colored lights and all the fabulous ornaments that don’t match at all but each have sentimental meaning – check!

Singing, dancing plush toys on every surface – check!

Not one but 5 advent calendars – check!

My collection of nativity scenes on the mantle and stocking hanging off the mantle – check!

Dept. 56 (wayyyy overpriced little light up porcelain buildings) village – check!

Christmas dishes – check!

Christmas placemats – check!  There is more but you get the point.

I don’t go small for Christmas.  We are a “Go big or Go home” Christmas family.  Every year I SWEAR I am going to cut back on the presents.  Then every year I buy gifts early.  Then I forget about them and buy more.  Then I realize I have more for one kid than the other.  Then I buy more.  What begins as a small Christmas ends as 2 hours of opening stuff that we don’t really need.

Not. This. Year.  This year we conned talked our kids into doing a big trip over spring break instead of getting Christmas presents.  As I started looking at trips I was immediately overwhelmed by the cost of flying the four of us anywhere.  Eeek.  That’s when it dawned on us, we could buy a nice used camper for what one week in the tropics would cost us.

DING!  Within a few weeks we had our wonderful camper sitting in our yard.  (insert white trash joke here)  We have loved our camper so far!  Even more than that I am loving not buying a million things this year!  We have planned a spring break trip (it’s a secret where we are going so I’m not telling) and the kids will find out on Christmas morning where we are going.  I got them a few gifts that go along with the camper / trip but that’s it!

It has been wonderful!  The kids haven’t seemed bothered by it, they aren’t asking for anything and are dying to know where our fun little camper will take us in April.  I’m planning on making their small gifts into a scavenger hunt that will end with a map in the camper showing our destination.

This is all made a little easier by the fact that Eli now knows the real deal about Santa.  A few months ago he randomly said to me:

“Mom, now that I’m in 4th grade I know the truth about Santa.  Once you are in 4th grade you just kinda know it’s your parents.  Plus daddy always tells me which cookies Santa will like and those are the only ones that get eaten.  So, I know he’s the one eating the cookies.”  (that’s right, blame it on Daddy : )

So, this year is a whole new grown up, no Santa, less presents year for our family.  And in the words of McDonald’s  I’m lov’n it!


Best. Googles. EVER.

9 12 2011

Funny little story.  I placed an order with TYR for all kinds of goodies for Christmas for the family.  They are very generous to our team so I am happy to support them.   Two days after my order arrived another TYR box showed up on my doorstep.  I was giddy, TWO free pairs of goggles!  Best of all, they are new goggles that aren’t even on the market yet.

I have to admit here that I was feeling pretty special that our team was given their new goggles to try out before they are out on the market.  Oh yeah, then I looked on the website and saw that everyone that orders over $100 gets a free pair of the goggles.   Yes, I did spend a bit to get 2 free pairs.   So I guess I’m not as special as I thought but no joke, these goggles are.

The first thing I thought when I pulled them out is how soft the gasket was.  Not hard plastic (that leaves lovely dents in my face) but a soft rubber.  (the package does say that they are free of latex)  They are also anti-fogging.  I haven’t worn them enough to substantiate that claim but for my one whopping swim they didn’t fog!

Why I love these goggles:

-Did I mention they are soft?  Not leaks all the time soft,  not covers half your face soft – they are just comfortable.     Really, really, really comfortable!!

-Wide lens:   They didn’t seem huge when I was wearing them but they have a nice wide lens so you get really great peripheral vision which is great in the open water.

-Clear vision:  Everything was nice and crisp in these.  I like being able to see when I swim.

-Great fit:  These fit my face perfectly.  I like a lower profile goggle, prior to these I wore the Nest Pro goggle.   If you don’t like a low profile I suspect these won’t be the goggles for you.

The cons:

-The only thing I didn’t like about these were the color.  The metallic is just so dark when worn inside.  I hope when they come out for sale they will offer them in clear or a light lens.  That’s really it.  I loved everything else!  I’ll post when these come up for sale, in the mean time go buy all the swimmers in your life some gear at TYR and get some free goggles!!

Leave it to Sesame Street . . .

28 11 2011

Well, I’ve been around officially now for 39 years.  There has been a lot of great in those years, I’ve seen my fair share of sorrow and pain and I’m sure I’ve created enough drama already to last a lifetime.

Because of the last year (surgery, recovery, slow recovery, hormone upheaval, slower recovery . . . you get the gist) this year seems like the big one to me.  I guess next year (the big 4-0) is supposed to be the BIG birthday, but instead of dreading turning 40 (I think since a lot of my friends and Paul have already turned 40 it just doesn’t seem all that bad), I’m going to embrace my journey to 40.

I have some big things I want to accomplish.  Since I’ve already done the Ironman thing I’m not going that route.  Here are a few of my to-do’s, and I’m keeping a few to myself.  Through it all I’ll keep singing the great song my friend Debbie posted by – What I am.

1.  I want to conquer the trails!  I got a pair of pedals and shoes for my mountain bike for my birthday so I’d like to feel confident on my mountain bike.  When I tackle the big Xterra race I want to not suck at it ; )

2.  I want my body back.  I’ve gotten squishy and floppy.  I don’t like it.  This might be a vain one but I don’t care.   I’m going to get my hormones under control, I’m back in my workout routine and damnit, I’m getting my Ironman body back.

3.  I want to find more to do with my daughter.  As my sweet girl enters the teen years it seems we do less and less together.  As my son hits pre-teen I am finding more and more to do with him.    This year I want to find more in common with my daughter and work really hard on keeping the communication open.

4.  I want to race a half ironman again.  Not just survive or finish, I want to feel fast.

5.  I want to be sitting on a beach or somewhere tropical sipping a drink next to the love of my life on my 40th birthday celebrating 15 years of wedded bliss and 40 years of a life well lived.  I tucked away my birthday money from this year and it started the official 40th celebration fund!  Let the cyber deal stalking begin!!

2012 Schedule

23 11 2011

Alright, I have an idea of my 3 big goals for 2012 – FINALLY.  It took a nice two weeks of finally training regularly again, a talk with the big man about my work schedule and some planning with the hubby and I think it’s finally coming together.

I’ll work back from the end of the season just to make it interesting:

1.  PR at the brand spanking new REV3 Wisconson Dells HalfRev.  I would really, really love to be around 5:45.  I have a lot of biking and running to do to make that happen, but I am pretty strong willed so I think I can make it happen.


2.  I’m going off road.  I have developed a new love for mountain biking that I can only say surprises me.   Since I am a gal who loves control and fears, um falling this one is a mystery to me!   My birthday ‘suprise’ is a pair of cool mtn. bike shoes and pedals.  I’m going big time moving up from my plastic flat pedals and strapping myself to my bike.  My fight or flight sense tells me this might be a horribly bad idea but the mountain junkie in me is so excited to grow as a cyclist.  I’m still waiting for the XTerra schedule to be finalized before I choose a race but I’m thinking it will be in mid to late June or July.

2.  Since running has been my struggle on my road to recovery this one is my hardest goal.  First it will be a challenge to keep training and complete with the lack of a running base I have right now.  Probably even more it will be difficult to have my goal be to finish and not set a time goal for myself.  I don’t think I have the time or the base to be looking for a pr on this course so I’ll have to settle for FINISH as my big goal.  Ouch, that one hurts.

So, who will be joining me out there at my races?  (and all my wonderful friends that will be racing the REV3 races – don’t fear, only one REV3 race on my schedule is only because I plan on working almost all the races!)