Tuesday, November 17, 2015

NickyOD is Hiding in the Bathroom

I really, really wish I could explain the title of this post. I can't, it would just take too long. Just trust that it's relevant and it's funny. And know that I am not hiding in the bathroom today.

I went to my dermatologist this morning for my biopsy results and found out that I do have basal cell skin cancer on my lip.

Not that Basil. 

"It's the best skin cancer to have, if you're going to have skin cancer," says my dermatologist. Okee doke. I asked "is this a freaking out sort of thing? Would you tell me if it was?" I was assured - no reason to freak out. And then I did the unthinkable.

I didn't freak out.

I didn't hide in the bathroom.

It was a little over ten years ago that my doctor told me I had the beginning stages of cervical cancer. And... I did freak out. I cried. I was devastated. I was ill. I cried before and after each and every appointment before the procedure, each follow-up, and it took years before I didn't freak out before every gyne-oncologist appointment. It was exhausting.

Today? I said, ok. I called Derek on my way home and he said, "Oh my GOD, I am so sorry, honey, oh my God." Even after I explained it wasn't invasive in the way melanoma is, he was very sad for me. It was in that moment I realized how much I have changed. 

I knew A.) I didn't have a choice about skin cancer. B.) I can't do a single thing about any diagnosis. C.) I COULD choose how I react. And I had the choice to be sad and devastated, to needlessly worry, or just keep on going and be positive.

And I owe that 100% to Andrea, Jon Blais and to triathlon - all of the stories of perseverance. People who show that TRULY devastating diagnoses - much more serious than basal cell skin cancer - don't have to control how you feel. They might control your body, they might limit your physical options - but your soul is yours. 

And no one can touch that.

My soul wants to be happy. It wants to be positive. It wants to appreciate each delicate moment of life. It's not fantasy land - it's a choice to keep my chin up.

   Thank you, Andrea. <3

No bathroom hiding. I'll save that for when the kids are having a meltdown. ;-)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Because Reasons

I've been a life-long excuse maker. Just ask my Dad - I can remember being a child and hearing him say, "YOU have an excuse for EVERYthing!" It's true. For a left-leaning liberal who likes to focus on "the feelings" in most situations, I equally relish the closure of finding concrete answers. Especially when I am feeling insecure, and there has certainly been a lot of that over the years.

If you were to ask my coach right now about my Training Peaks (an on-line schedule/calendar program that athletes use to manage workouts and data - it's how I see my detailed training plans for the week, and it's also how I "show" my coach what I did by uploading the data from my Garmin watch), he would have two words: "red boxes." Missed workouts. Workouts cut short. It's been the only constant since September, red box after red box. Not good.

Am I lazy? Without hesitation, yes. Some people don't like to sit still, I would love to sit still for a day and drink coffee, watch football, have a few beers, lazily on-line shop, play with the kids, talk to my husband for a few hours about politics, play poker... I could easily sit on my butt. All day. Of course, I also enjoy workouts. I like seeing GREEN training peaks boxes. I like hearing my coach say he's proud of the work I've put in that week. I like seeing improvement in the way I feel when I workout, faster swim times. I would ride my bike all day long, up steep hills, across flat land, fly down mountains, my bike is my favorite.

So, what has happened since September? Reasons.

  • My son started kindergarten and has daily homework. And... "adjustment" issues.
  • Carline - I spend over an hour driving to/sitting in/driving from each day.
  • My son joined a year-round swim team that practices three times a week.
  • My daughter takes swim lessons once a week.
  • We took a six-day trip to San Diego for our friends' wedding.
  • Then I went to Beach 2 Battleship with friends, volunteered a bit, sherpa'd a bit.
  • Immediately subbed for two days after returning.
  • My daughter was in preschool, forty minutes away from my son's school. I didn't have enough time to workout before or during. She has naptime, then carline.
  • Has it stopped raining?
  • My daughter is no longer in preschool, but hasn't slept well the last month and I don't like putting her in the gym's kid center when she's exceptionally cranky.
  • My son has been sick off and on for a month.
  • I have been sick off and on for a month.
  • I have probable squamous cell skin cancer on my lip (biopsy results/treatment plan pending). I assure you that I am trying not to freak out about it, but it's draining a bit of my energy trying not to.
  • Weekend social plans (kids' parties, dinners with friends, etc.).
  • Trying to put the house back in order after neglecting it since April: cleaning, organizing, purging.
  • Both children have had problems sleeping since the time change, and hadn't been sleeping well since... before birth?
  • Our cats are assholes at night and wake me up at 3AM playing with *insert loud sounding thing*.
  • Intermittent growth spurts with the kids = no one sleeps.
  • Dentist appointments.
  • OT evaluation.
  • Doctors appointments.
  • Actually socializing with friends, but feeling like I ultimately neglect friendships.
  • Feeling the same way about my parents, siblings, etc.
  • Hosted a virtual party for my Rodan + Fields business.
  • Trying to make sure your husband knows you love and appreciate him as a husband and human being, but failing miserably because you feel like you barely see each other and when you finally have a date together you feel sick and exhausted.
And when one adult gets sick in our house, it takes a solid two days to recover from the piled up dishes, mail, etc.

Just the usual stuff. And of course, when you are balancing all the usual things, a kid's scraped knee can wreck your entire schedule (which seems insane, but I assure you, it's true). Life. Or my own scraped knee.

Or scraped calf muscle ;-) Which is finally getting better.

And please know - as you read this and as I typed it - I am well aware it's a very lucky life with nothing particularly awful. I do realize that, believe me. But it's a lot of little, mostly-happy stuff and it quickly takes up my entire day leaving me to wonder... when am I going to exercise?

Yesterday I was supposed to run an hour. Because "reasons," I have been running twice in the last two weeks, I think. But, yesterday I didn't go in the morning because Alex had an early swim practice. I didn't go in the afternoon because we had to return clothing at the mall and we had lunch. I didn't go after that because I wanted to watch the Ironman World Championship. And you can certainly be assured that watching that kicked my butt out the door.

Shoes laced up, water bottle in hand, I started running on the Neuse trail.

Hmm, this is most definitely not a Zone 2 pace.
The sun is really going down fast.
It's cold.
I wonder what the kids are doing now. I kind of wish we had all come.
*Beep* Mile one complete

Ok, let's focus on form. My hands are getting too high. Elbows too far away from the body. Fix that, Heather.
I will not look at my watch. I will not look at my watch. I will not look at my watch.
I looked.


*Beep* Mile two complete

Ok - that's probably close enough and it's getting really dark, I should just turn around now.
Just gonna walk for a minute here.
That was more than a minute.
What was that crunching? WHAT WAS THAT CRUNCHING IN THE WOODS.
Things are starting to feel tired. Lactic acid - there you are. I forgot about you. *scowl*

And then the tears started. The guilt kicked in, the guilt for everything. For not exercising consistently. For signing up for a full, knowing how difficult the next year is going to be for my family. For not feeling thankful and grateful for my ability to run, to train and the physical ability I DO have that CAN carry me on an Ironman journey.

The realization that when you start thinking ANYthing negative on a run, a bike ride - or especially during a long course triathlon - you are done. You might as well quit right then and there, because you just wrote your own destiny. However, if you think, "I can do this. I will do this," well - the possibilities are endless.

I thought about Andrea's journey. Jon Blais. People who tell you, over and over again, when you are handed a death sentence - it's your choice. Their choice is do as much as possible to fund research to CURE ALS. No wallowing.

No listing out the little things that make life hard (the things that make life... life).

You find a way. Somehow, some way - each day, you find a way.

I can't promise you that I am going to have green training peaks boxes every day on my way to Ironman Chattanooga. But I need to find a way. For me, for my kids, for my husband, for Andrea and for Jon - and to show anyone who glances this way that you find a way. No matter what.

Because life.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

When Can I Tell Them?

My 5-year-old son selected his outfit on November 10. Camouflage pants and shirt - they didn't match, but he was proud of his choice and insisted on wearing it. Who am I to argue on the Marines birthday and the day before Veteran's Day? I told him he could tell his teachers that's why he chose his outfit.

"When can I tell them that, Mommy?"

I said, "Well, just mention it really quick when you come into the classroom."

His eyes left mine and he stared out the window and said in a trailing-off voice, "they don't really like you to talk to them when we are coming in."

I knew he wasn't kidding. As a trying-to-not-be narcissist, I allow myself a little bit of self-indulgence by making sweeping generalizations about people in a single second. Kind of like that show "Psych." I notice a small detail about a person or a situation and then I pretend that has given me enough information to have it all figured out. (Hey, I'm honest about my neuroses.)

When I volunteered in my son's classroom a few weeks ago, I observed him trying to tell his teacher something. She was rushed because there was a lot to do, and I could tell she wasn't in the mood for my son. Sometimes I am not in the mood for my son - like bedtime, when he stalls and wants to tell me a billion things that have nothing to do with anything whatsoever. I could understand why she wasn't in the mood to hear his babble about the Letterland Costumes. She wasn't subtle though, and she asked him, "what? what are you talking about? what?" and then did that quick shake-of-the-head thing we do when someone asks us an annoying question.

It happened so quickly - way faster than it took me to write it and for you to read it. But I filed it away, and that memory came back up almost immediately when my son asked, "when can I tell them?"

My son has had multiple assessments in Kindergarten. For at least two weeks before the end of the first quarter, the teacher did nothing but assessments with the children. It took her about ten minutes to explain ONE of the assessments to me, and she administered this to 24 children. She wasn't going on the playground with them at recess, she was doing assessments and entering the data. Constantly.

Sorry, but that's not why people become Early Childhood teachers. That's not why anyone becomes a teacher, and it sure as hell is not teaching children how to read, learn about science, math or any other topic.

But, your "earn your own paycheck/unions are bad" politicians felt that teachers were at fault for the downfall of the American education system (which - funnily enough - started the same time we took away physical education and recess). Teachers need to PROVE they are doing their job. Schools are a business, say politicians. Students are the product. The product is defective if it isn't passing tests. Pay the teachers more when the products start passing tests.

They take away recess and physical education to have more time for testing.

They take away tenure and incentive pay for highly qualified teachers.

And then they wonder why test scores aren't improving and why no one wants to be a teacher. But one thing keeps going up - the number of kids who can't sit still all day long. Or wait - maybe that's always been the case with children, we just weren't asking them to sit still all day long.

Before my son started Kindergarten, I swore up and down he would never go to a private school. I believe in public education. I believe in the teachers. I so believe it can work, because it has worked. But it's not working now. Not a drop. And it's not because of the new Common Core approach. It's not because of text books v. virtual learning environments.

It's because politicians and school boards pretend they "know" education.

Nearly every day, my son comes home with a "2" on his behavior chart. This is the public shaming tactic used by many educators to encourage positive behavior with children throughout the day. If they earn "3's" all week, they can choose a "Treasure Box" item on Friday.

Reasons my son has a "2": patting his belly with his shirt lifted up. Being playful with glue stick. Being silly in the hallway with another student. Not being on task. Shushing the classroom.

Nearly every day he comes home, at the age of 5, being told he is "not worthy" of a Dollar Tree toy because he was "silly". And each child in his class knows this about him as well. He knows which kids also receive "2's" or "1's". (Not that I ask him about it, this is just to point out the nature of the public shaming).

And in turn, I question my own parenting each and every day. Am I not being hard enough on him? What am I doing wrong? What have I been doing wrong? Does he need therapy of some sort? What are we doing WRONG?

My son rushes through assignments, such as "18." Circle the number 18 in box 2. Color in 18 boxes. Write 18 ten times. He has known the number 18 since he was two. He can read, he can write. He's bored. And I don't know how to help him not be a problem when he is bored at school, nor do I know how to encourage him to do something better with his time when they're going over a topic he has known for several years - because I am not there. I am at a loss. What am I supposed to tell my 5-year-old? I really want to know, because all he is learning right now is how to be a distraction to others, how to get into trouble and what it feels like when your teachers don't like you.

Because I KNOW they do not enjoy my child. I wouldn't enjoy my child! I don't enjoy him when he is bored. I am sure it's a real pain in the butt to try to teach 24 children the number 18 and have this one kid bouncing up and down in his seat distracting other children because he already knows the number. Because he needs to move around and it's 11:45AM, he's been at school for three hours and has not had lunch or recess yet. And he's five.

The truth is we cannot afford the private schools I would like him to attend unless I start working again. I do not want my daughter to attend group daycare, and we certainly cannot afford a nanny AND private school. So, in the meantime -

I guess I try to tell my kid he's really not that bad. But don't "be silly" at school. (And he does need to learn this, I KNOW that.)

I tell him I love him and I am interested in his camouflage shirt story.

I tell him it's pretty awesome he already understands 18, and then we move on to how cool 145 is. But please don't act silly when you learn it again in school.

Or maybe I just let him explore and run around in the front yard, just because. Not to train for a triathlon, not to fulfill the daily dose of "gross motor sensory integration" - but just to be five years old. Or is that going to make him even less prepared to sit still all day long?

I don't know anymore.

Also - I don't mean to be ungrateful for all the wonderful things our children DO have in their lives. The wonderful things our public teachers do every day. I say again and again - it's the system, not the teachers. And it's a system that is telling my child he isn't a good child. Every day. And that - well, that hurts. It eventually hurts us all.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Just One of Those Days

One of my first jazz albums was Branford Marsalis' "Renaissance" album. It features a cover of "Just One of Those Things". A high school friend and I really enjoyed the recording and would quote back bits of Branford's solo to each other. (Yeah. That's a music nerd thing.)

You can listen to that song here:

It's a Cole Porter tune - a jazz cover of a classic tune, like so many others, and part of the lyrics goes something like this:

It was just one of those things
Just one of those crazy flings
One of those bells that now and then rings
It was one of those things

Anyway today - was just one of those days. After joining Team Drea, I've really tried to focus on the positives in my life. Doesn't mean that you blatantly ignore the negative stuff, but you place your ENERGY into being POSITIVE. Please know I do appreciate the positive, but today... just one of those days.

About a year ago, I noticed a tiny dot right above my lip that would randomly bleed. I regularly see a dermatologist and mentioned the spot to her at my appointment a few months later. She opted to freeze it, but... unfortunately it came back. Tried freezing again, with the agreement that a third visit would warrant a biopsy. Today was that biopsy.

While I didn't have a "traditional" birth with either of my children, I have been through most of the birthing process. I've experienced racing for nearly eight hours. Crown placement on a tooth root that was no longer numb. You get it - I can hang with pain.

Nothing compares to the agony I experienced today when the dermatologist injected numbing solution into my upper lip. It was like trying to pull out a single nose hair, but on your upper lip, and then you say, "nah - slow, methodical and deliberate removal with a razor blade would be a much better choice to rid the lip of said hair." Good times.

I feel like this picture says it all. The kids' toothpaste spit on the mirror, my expression, crazy hair - that's kind of what the day was all about.

I mean, yesterday I bent under the car to retrieve a dropped toy and initially suspected that I tore my calf muscle after I bang-scraped my leg into the edge of the van door while I tried to stand up. (Forgive the line marks from the couch.)
It's a weird camera angle, but this bruise is basically half of my calf.
Still - that pain, and the genuine curiosity if I had ripped my calf, doesn't compare to the lip stab ouch.

Anyway. Dermatologist strongly suspects a "not melanoma" cause for the lip area - a sun-exposure related form of skin cancer, like basal cell. I will find out soon enough what it is, and how we will proceed.

May I point out now, that for the first time in my life I did not read every internet detail about melanoma? I didn't google a single thing. Why? I just don't want the drama until it's time to face it. Folks - if that isn't life-progress, I don't know what is.

Then later today, I found out Alex has a cavity - a very small one, but unfortunately in between his molars. So, they will most likely compromise the integrity of the tooth while drilling out the cavity and have to cover it with a cap. A silver cap, because they don't make tooth-colored ones. Sigh. I don't like this for him - we floss his teeth each night. Brush them twice a day. The sweetest thing he ever drinks is a juice now and then when we dine out. Bleh! I just hate for him to have to go through something painful, and potentially embarrassing. I feel like I have done something wrong as a parent, not to mention I handed down crappy genes.

Ok. I could go on and on about the meh, but I will say that I did take a lot of time today to enjoy things. Like an awesome birthday party for a super sweet girl. The fact that even though my husband and I aren't in a perfect place right now, I cannot begin to imagine life with anyone other than him, because no one else could make my soul as happy. That I have wonderful friends, an awesome triathlon coach, and an amazing triathlon/running community. Being a music teacher. My beautiful kids, wonderful parents and family - my family, the center of my soul.

I'll take my bum lip. Cavity-infested children. Less-than-perfect marriage. Less-than-perfect everything else, and I will happily make do. It's just one of those things. Ya don't shut down shop for just one of those things.

Adjust, Adapt ... Overcome?

My five-year-old started kindergarten this year. When we made the decision for me to stop working full-time when he was six-months-old, my biggest concern was his social development in a school-like setting. As a teacher, I knew it was "a good thing" if kids could knock out as much social anxiety as possible before starting kindergarten. So when he turned two we enrolled him at our church's AM preschool program. He did pretty well in his 2-, 3- and 4-year-old classes.

If you don't already know, we live in North Carolina. It's not a great state to be a teacher. They've removed tenure, they have taken away extra pay for having extra credentials (masters degree, national board certification, etc.). You know - the things teachers spent thousands of dollars of their own money to not only improve their measly salary, but to have additional tools to offer students a higher quality education. And so the trickle down goes...

Our county is terribly overcrowded. There are not enough schools for students. The permanent solution to this, rather than build more schools is to offer "track" schedules. Children attend these year-round schools on one of four schedules. This makes teaching subjects like band and chorus a nightmare - concerts often happen when a track is "tracked out." There are a handful of traditional calendar schools, and I opted for Alex to enroll in one of those because he takes a while to get into a routine. I thought the least amount of disruption would be better for him.

He has mild/moderate Sensory Processing Disorder. This is a fairly new thing - SPD. Well, it was first identified and labeled in the early 1970's, but many folks think the symptoms fall into the "suck it up" or "spank it out" categories. But to thousands and thousands of people - learning more about SPD has changed their life, especially as they learn coping strategies.

Truth? I once thought it was BS. I just labeled some kids as naughty and disrespectful that was that. (some kids are, plain and simple. But I now realize many of them probably also had SPD). I am completely ashamed and embarrassed that I once felt that way. I hope I still taught those students fairly over the years - that was always extremely important to me, to be fair.

Having a child with SPD was a game changer. Maybe some day I will write about the process of my child's diagnosis. But know it was a lot of research, a LOT of research, a lot of recollection ("THIS is what those EC teachers were talking about") and frustration until I finally found an amazing OT who taught us so much and helped our child immensely. I am eternally grateful for that woman.

If you ever know anything about SPD, I want you to know this:

Kids with SPD know they're different. And so do other kids.

Can I say that again?


Adults might not think he seems different, and kids older/younger might not either. But their peers know it, and more importantly THE KIDS WITH SPD KNOW IT. I do have to say - some adults know. There is a particular type of person that is downright nasty to my child. I've seen it. The owner of Lumpy's ice cream comes to mind. Alex wasn't wrecking the guy's store. He just wanted to talk about how ice cream was made, the building, etc. Alex was only two, and I could see it - but Alex couldn't. I guided him away and said "I think he's busy, buddy" and led him away. Situations like that have occurred a handful of times over the last two years. Alex doesn't see he is bothering people though, and it's hard - as his mother - to know that someday he is going to get punched in the face (or worse) for being annoying. Because I know that's not what he is trying to do, and he doesn't realize it, either. He's just talking, or - usually - just trying to feel like a normal person.

And more than anything, SPD-ers don't want to be different. Not at that age. It's basic biology. What happens to the animal who sticks out in a herd? Ka-pow. We instinctively know this when we are young, but we learn to think otherwise as our ability to reason and general knowledge improves with age.

His first parent teacher conference was last night. The teacher told me repeatedly how bright he is, one of the best readers, understands complicated math, etc., doesn't like writing (his fine motor stinks, very common SPD trait, so of course he hates holding a pencil. Legos - he love, though. Go figure.). But he has problems sitting still and getting into other children's space while working at tables. His "work ethic" is sloppy. Thus, he isn't a "good citizen."

His "work ethic" was fantastic when he was being pulled out of class to do AG activities, but they don't do those around assessment times. So, the last few weeks haven't been great behavior-wise. He's been bored. He has had several incidents with the assistant in his classroom, one where she said, "it's a good thing your mom is taking you out of school" when he was being silly with some other boys before lunch. He didn't eat his lunch that day. I would probably lose my appetite, too, if an adult said that to me.

I asked his teacher for work before we left for our trip out of town two weeks ago (which is a lot of work for teachers to do, I know this and mentioned it along with my thanks in the letter). I was surprised when he didn't have any work, and when they also didn't collect the homework assignment we did on the trip. But I was plain old upset when I arrived to his conference last night and saw this outside his classroom.

He attended this field trip and could have easily completed this project. Instead, his space outside his classroom has just been empty.

And that pretty much summarizes all of it. Why all the memes about "helicopter parenting" irritate me. My child has a REAL disorder. He also happens to be extremely bright. EXCUSE ME FOR INVESTING TIME INTO MAKING SURE HE GETS THE BEST SHOT POSSIBLE AT THIS THING CALLED LIFE. That he learn coping skills. That he is challenged. Flipping excuse me, you meme-sharers who try to shame folks who give a rat's behind about social programs and public education. Shame on you.

All any parent SHOULD want is for their child to have the best opportunity possible. Whether that is access to education, or even those with cancer wanting to survive another day, hoping for a better white blood cell count. We want the best OPPORTUNITY for our children.

I am not ashamed for wanting this for my children, and for all the children in this country and world. Opportunity.

Please note that I have all of the respect for his classroom teacher. She does recognize my child's needs - AG and otherwise. She has experience and always takes the time to communicate with me. I appreciate her very much. The constant assessments are the culprit. And maybe I am also displeased with an adult who says things like "good thing your mom is taking you out of school."

Monday, November 2, 2015

City of Oaks, Part One

Part One
"The Old Reliable 10K: Race Report"

I am going to write two blogs about the City of Oaks weekend and Team Drea - this first one will be solely about running in the race, and the next blog will discuss the experience of the weekend, Andrea and Team Drea.

Earlier this summer, I was considering signing up for the Richmond Marathon. I had already completed Ironman 70.3 Raleigh, but I knew I had Ironman 70.3 Steelhead waiting for me in August, and I really wanted to have a solid race. My coach didn't seem to mind one way or the other, but ultimately I decided training for a full marathon might interfere with my ability to really buckle down at Steelhead (for me, for my ability level, especially considering I have never run more than 13.1 miles at all) and a few other training/recovery concerns as well.

When Andrea mentioned City of Oaks, I wanted to be a part of it in some way, and ultimately it worked out that my husband and I both registered for the 10K. It's the only distance you are allowed to have jogging strollers. This is a really nice aspect of the City of Oaks - the option to relay the half marathon and the full marathon, run the half or full as individuals, and the "Old Reliable 10K" - which is a great distance after you feel comfortable with 5K's, doesn't require hours of training nor will you really hurt the next day (unless you pushed 90 pounds of kid up hills. :-) Thanks, honey!).

Thanks to daylight savings, we had an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning. This is the awesome aspect to running races. Transition area doesn't close. You don't have bags of equipment, you don't have to pump your tires - you just show up and run! Of course, this strange routine for me meant I didn't have the chance to, uh, take care of "other" morning routines before we started running.

We literally arrived at the start/finish line less than five minutes before the race began! We made our way to the back of the line where we met with the rest of Team Drea. Wished everyone luck and we were off! It took several minutes to get to the actual start line, and we tried to keep up with Andrea for a bit, but she is pretty speedy, so we eventually found our pace and stayed there. I was pushing the kids to start, and glanced down at my watch after the first mile to see a 10:30 pace, which is a little fast for me on a long distance. My pace was easily adjusted by handing off the stroller, right before the first hill. ;-) There is so much adrenaline on race day, and it's important to not get carried away too early on. You will find yourself running out of gas - I did NOT want that to happen today. I am slowly learning these things!

The neat thing about starting in the back meant you could see this OCEAN of runners going up the first hill. I get choked up about things like this, because I know each and every single person has invested hours and hours of hard work. Many of them are doing something they never dreamed possible. I don't think even the greatest writer can accurately articulate how awesome it is to be a part of that.

The first aid station was at the end of mile 2, and I briefly considered using the portajon because, well, I needed it. I took a sip of water, glanced at the line for the potties and decided, nah - I'll just use the next one if I need it. Well, as soon as we finished the next mile, I knew there was no way I could make it to the end of the race without stopping!

I have to say - Derek and I were both doing really well the first three miles. We had a nice and easy 11:15 pace or so, the kids were completely pacified by their Leap Pads, I took a few Quick Discs and some Base Salt, weather was perfect. But, uh... PORTA-POTTY WHERE ARE YOU?!??!

We finally came to mile four, and the line for the portapotty (there were two) was about seven people deep. This wasn't optional at this moment, though. I sent Derek walking and I waited, waited and waited. Looking at my chip time v. my watch time - it was a five-minute break! Took care of things and ran to catch up with Derek, who was about a half mile ahead of me at that point.

We ran the rest of the way to the finish line. My legs were starting to feel pretty heavy at this point. I was using BRAND new shoes, which I would normally never do for a race - but they seem to be a great choice so far. I am a Brooks Running person, have been wearing their Adrenalines for quite some time, but tried out the Glycerines and really like the way they feel. So, going to give them a shot during the off season and see how they hold up, along with my running form. Before we knew it, we turned onto the last street. Clark is a pretty big hill, but we ran up together, and I grabbed Derek's hand as we ran down the chute. I was ecstatically proud of my husband and happy for his accomplishment, as he had never ran more than five miles in his life - and certainly not while pushing a double stroller!

While the 10K
was not a PR for me (neither the race chip time nor my "moving" time) - it was a wonderful experience. Starting with Team Drea, running as a family, to be able to run *at all*, and to run with only two short walk breaks - I felt very strong, and very thankful.

Official Race Time: 1:16:00, 694/921 OA, 367/540 F, / AG (age group results forthcoming)

My watch race time: 1:11:07