Thursday, December 19, 2013

Three Things Thursday ...

Team Rev3 - For the past few days, Rev3 has been announcing their 2014 Age Group Team. Earlier this week, this sweet picture popped up revealing that I would once again be a member of this amazing group of athletes.

I feel so honored to be able to continue to represent and company that I truly believe in. The Rev3 family is amazing and I could never do them justice with a simple write-up. What I can do is recommend that you experience Rev3 Triathlon for yourself. There are events all over the U.S. (and soon in Mexico) for all levels of athlete and their families. These races are more than just a competition. They are a chance for the athlete and their entire support systems to experience endurance racing in a warm and family friendly environment. It's something I am proud to be a part of.

My Little Fish - As you may know, I was never a swimmer. When I was younger, I took enough swim lessons to not drown. During my first two years of racing triathlons, I only survived the swim covering the distance with a very pathetic breaststroke. Finally, when I decided to challenge myself with a 70.3, I knew I had to learn to swim. So, at the age of 29, I taught myself how to swim freestyle and how to cover more than 25 meters continuously. Over the past two years, I have improved immensely. I'd even consider myself a solid swimmer now and on most days, it's my favorite discipline.

This summer, J and I decided that we really needed to get all of our girls swimming independently. They took lessons all summer and by the time school was back in session we were floatie-free. While Doodle and Dilly were cool with their basic abilities, Dizzle really took to the water. She decided to continue lessons during the school year in hopes of passing into a high enough level to qualify for swim team. As of Saturday, she accomplished her goal.

pre-swim with my little fish ...
Dizzle will begin swim team in January and although I am psyched that she seems to have found her athletic outlet, I can't help but hope it will morph into triathlon at some point (although my wallet does not).

Four Eyes - J and I wear glasses. With insanely strong prescriptions. Both my sisters wear glasses. My dad wore glasses. J's parents and brother wear glasses. We have always known that it was a matter of time before all our kids also needed them. Dizzle got hers last December at the age of 7. Yesterday, Doodle (6) joined our little glasses wearing clan.

I'm not sure she could be anymore excited. Or cuter for that matter.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Brilliant, yet Scattered ...

I was under the impression that when your children are in school all day you suddenly have all this time to accomplish everything. Your productivity goes way up. Your house is always clean, your errands are always accomplished and you know what it means to have "leisure time".

I'm here to tell you that it's not true.

In fact, quite the opposite occurs. Or at least that's what has happened to me.

For the past three months, Dizzle and Doodle have been out of this house from 7:20 a.m. until 2:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. Dilly, who is still in preschool, leaves me to my lonesome every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

At a minimum, I have 15 kid-free hours a week to do whatever I want and yet, I never seem to get around to doing much. Yes, the house is clean, the family is fed and our bills are paid, but I have a laundry list of things that I want to tackle that hasn't been touched. No matter how much time I have, something else always seems to come up.

My most recent and pressing demand has been Dizzle - my brilliant, yet completely scattered child.

Dizzle has always been a bit of an anomaly. For as long as I can remember she has been innovative and hyper-focused (as in she gets so focused that she loses the world around her). It's absolutely amazing to watch, but it is also extremely frustrating. She is often so focused on one thing that you can't break her from what she is doing. It's like she lives in a bubble and that bubble can't be broken until she decides it is.

Then, other times, she jumps so quickly from one thing to another that it is impossible to keep her on task. She flits around until she finds something that interests her. When she's in this mode, it's hard to get her to follow directions, to listen intently, to follow through and to pay attention. Then, when you add any sort of stimulus, she gets overwhelmed. As you can imagine, getting stuck in this mode would make school simply torturous. Dizzle is often asking herself, "How can I do what I am supposed to do with all of these distractions around?"

While we have noticed these behaviors in Dizzle from birth, we often wrote them off as her being flighty. Up until this point, she hasn't really been affected by her behavioral tendencies, with the exception of a note here and there from her teachers about her constant interruptions and failure to follow directions. Other than that, she was fine. Her grades have always been excellent. Her standardized test scores among the top in the nation. And she wasn't disruptive.

However, this school year has brought on a whole new set of challenges. The increased workload and structure has made her "quirks" hard to ignore. She started to make more and more mistakes in her work (not for a lack of knowledge) and her teacher was constantly noting how Dizzle was failing to follow directions and stay on task.

We tried anything we could think of to help her stay focused. Dizzle would move herself to the back of the classroom when she felt distracted. She would wear earplugs to minimize the classroom noise while she worked and she would put up her "office" so she couldn't see what was going on around her. Yet, nothing she did seemed to help. She couldn't get past all the distractions.

As a parent (and probably as a teacher), this was incredibly frustrating to watch. I cried over the fact that I had no way to help her. Everyday was a battle with Dizzle. We struggled to get her homework done. I told her that all she needed to do was to find an environment that helped her to focus. She told me she was trying her best and despite my emotional outbursts, I knew she was telling the truth.

I felt like we weren't left with many options. I considered transferring her to an online school so that I could minimize her distractions and control the learning environment. J and I decided that we'd give it until mid-year before we made any firm decisions, but I thought the outcome was inevitable.

Honestly, I've spent so much time advocating for Dizzle in the past three months that I am convinced that her teacher's Christmas wish is for me to lose her email address. I have been so consumed with helping her find her way that I've been anxious and temperamental. I research and question then implement and question some more. It's been a rough three months for all of us.

Fortunately, after much back and forth about what we need to do, Dizzle's teacher finally said to me that if her child was dealing with the same issues that she would speak to her pediatrician. It was such a relief to hear that she could see the struggle Dizzle was facing and that it wasn't just parental overreaction. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Just before we left for Hawaii, we started the process of having Dizzle tested for ADHD: Inattentive Type (she shows almost none of the hyperactivity tendencies of ADHD). And once we were aware of what we were looking for, it became so evident that this is what we had been dealing with for the past eight years. And of course, I was instantly hit with mommy guilt for not recognizing it sooner.

Two weeks ago, Dizzle started medication to help with her symptoms. She is listening better both at home and at school, she feels that she is gaining the ability to work quickly and carefully (it's always been one or the other with her) and while she still has zany and out of this world ideas, she's realizing that she has to prioritize and that those ideas will still be there whenever she gets to them.

While we're not there yet (tweaking the dosage and medication will be an ongoing process), things are improving. And that's really all I can ask for.

Monday, December 2, 2013

November Rewind ...

Miles Run: 46.33 miles. Still super pathetic considering I used to do that in a week, but that's what off-season is all about, right?

Bike Miles Rode: 156.4 miles

Swim Meters Completed: 16200 meters or 10.07 miles.
Rest Days Taken: 5.
Highest Run Mileage Week: 11/4-11/10: 16.64 miles
Highest Bike Mileage Week: 11/25-11/30: 42.8 miles
Highest Swim Volume Week: 11/25-11/30: 4500m or 2.79 miles
Long Runs Completed (1 hr+ miles): 0
Current Book: Right now, I am reading The Bone Season by Shannon. But, I finished a few other books in November. (Note: For those of you who have asked, if it's on this or any of my lists, I would recommend the book. If I don't like the story or the book doesn't grasp my attention, I don't bother finishing it, thus it wouldn't be listed here.) 
  • Cinder by Meyer
  • Scarlet by Meyer
  • Allegiant by Roth
  • Just One Day by Forman
  • Just One Year by Forman
  • Bang by McMann
  • Evermore by Noel
  • Blue Moon by Noel
  • Shadowland by Noel
  • Dark Flame by Noel
  • Night Star by Noel
  • Everlasting by Noel
  • So Yesterday by Westerfeld
  • Across the Universe by Revis
  • Airhead by Cabot
  • The Naturals by Barnes
  • Infinity by Ward
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: York Peppermint Patty Creamer. So yummy!

Current Colors: Orange and Navy
Current Drink: Tea. Lots and lots of tea.
Current Song: Counting Stars - OneRepublic
Current Triumph: I'm still crushing off-season training. And Thanksgiving was kind of epic. We celebrated with friends, ate an enormous amount of food and laughed until we cried. It was perfect. Much like the amazing gluten-free pies I made ...
Current Goal: Be a better me. Each and every day. And tackle my 2013 To Do List head on.
Current Blessing: Health, happiness and love. I've got all three.
Current Excitement: Everything Christmas. Except the music. That I could live without.
2013 To Do List:
  • 140.6. That is all. - Yeah, not going to happen this year.
  • Make time for strength training. Don't let training loads eliminate strength workouts completely. And stick to strength training in a group, it keeps you accountable. - Crushing this!
  • Switch to time-based/HR training. Despite my knowledge of training paces, I have a hard time sticking to them. I'm hoping this will help me train more effectively. - I'm kind of over the HR aspect of this. Summer temps alone make this suck. 
  • Log 4,500 cumulative run, bike and swim miles. Up 485 from 2012. - As of December 1st, 2774.5 miles logged. Not looking good at this point.
  • Race a 10K with a finish time much faster than your very dated current PR of 53:17. I never managed to register for a 10K in 2012 and I'm not sure where it will fit in this year, but it's on my radar. - No progress on this one. But, it does look like I will run one in 2014.
  • Set a new PR in the Half Marathon, currently 1:57:06. I totally blew this one in 2012 and will likely only have one good shot at it in 2013.- Fail. Epic fail.
  • Run a 5K with Dizzle and Doodle, even if that means tricking them into it. - We really need to get on this.
  • Eat like a gluten-free athlete. After struggling with health issues much of 2012, removing the gluten has been key in alleviating the symptoms. Don't be swayed by the lure of wheat. Or cake.- On point, like usual.
  • Find the race day (and training) nutrition plan that works for me.- Ding, ding, ding!
  • Consume no more than 18 desserts from Shyndigz. This number worked well in 2012 and helped me cut back on my serious cake addiction. Plus, their gluten-free menu is limited, so I shouldn't be tempted as often. - As of December 2nd, 19 desserts consumed. Oops! 
  • Drink at least 100oz of water per day.- Oh, heck yeah!
  • Only say yes to the projects you REALLY want to work on. An honest no is much better than a halfhearted yes. - Check.
  • Stick to our budget. We've lived credit card (and credit card debt) free for 13 months. No reason to go back now. - Double Check.
  • Ignore your impulses. Take time to process the true value of the things you are filling your space/life with. - Yes and no. Lots of pondering this one recently ...
  • Figure out what to do with my hair. Keep the mohawk or grow it out. I'm taking opinions on this one.- Nothing but trims to help my hair grow in a normal pattern since May! And it looks horrible.
  • Continue to balance family life, training and now, work.- Check.
  • Prioritize and be a good example for the people in your life. - Like quadruple check!
  • Help and support J and the kids in reaching their goals. We are a team and that must always be the primary focus of our lives. No one should have to sacrifice so that someone else can reach their goal. If a balance can't be found, it's not worth pursuing.- I would never waiver on this one!