Monday, January 19, 2009

What in the world is going on?

Well folks. I'm back. It looks like we are getting close to a referral. And I'm not kidding. Our agency is thinking things are heading towards a slight speed up, so while we will DEFINITELY have our referral by Junish, we might even have a referral in the next 2-3 months. Wow. Suddenly I feel so unprepared. I mean, evidently, 3 years was not enough. I have books on attachment to read. I need to dust off the baby care books. I mean, what do babies even eat at 8 months- 15 months old? I need to find a jogging stroller! I need to register. I need to finish the nursery (at least that is almost done). I need to find a daycare. I need to find a pediatrician. WE NEED TO AGREE ON A NAME! (this probably won't happen until we are being handed our child!)

Whew. Suddenly my to-do lists have to-do lists. I can't believe that it's almost time. Am I going to be ready? Am I going to be a good mom? I think this is all natural nervousness, but suddenly I am realizing that this person we are going to be entrusted with to raise is just a few months from becoming a reality in our world. Oh my gosh!!!

In other news, Derek's mom just finished chemotherapy for non-hodgkins lymphoma. We are praying that the nasty drugs did their job and that she is on the mend for good. We adopted a rescued Springer Spaniel and named her Maggie Mae! She has been lots of good company for Derek's mom and is such a sweet, loving little girl. She is great with kids. She recently met Derek's cousin's granddaughter who is 2 and she literally crawled to the little girl and was so gentle with her. God has sent us a fur-angel!!! We are so in love with her. She is a very good girl and has just made herself at home with us. It's like she's been with us all her life instead of just a few months. We think she is about 2 years old. She was pulled from a high kill shelter and was literally skin and bones and pregnant when we met her. She was spayed (didn't find out she was pregnant until she was spayed!) and has quickly put on weight. She is now at a normal weight and we are soon going to have to put her on weight management food. A good problem to have!

I trained for 2 ironmans last year. Let me explain. I originally signed up to do Ironman Coeur D'Alene in June. BUT (and that's a big BUTT) 10 days before the race in one of my final training rides, I crashed and broke my collarbone. Race was done. Luckily I had registered for the race through a charity, and they were gracious enough to let me change my race registration to Ironman Wisconsin in September. I literally only took about 10-12 days off and began training again, hoping to maintain fitness and rehab my shoulder. I swam with one arm for 6 weeks. Literally. My coach gave me workouts full of kicking drills and one armed swimming drills. We're talking 1 hour of this. 2200 yds of this. Ughhhh. By the time the doctor released me to swim with both arms I was about to go crazy!!! I maintained my run fitness through pool swimming and the elliptical. I rode my bike on the trainer for crazy 3 hour rides.

I wasn't sure I would be able to come back and be ready for the race as there was only 12 weeks between my crash and the race, but not only did I do it, I was only about :30 off my predicted time. I finished in 15:31:58. I should have finished in about 14:30, but my stomach was not agreeing with me on the first part of the run. I got my issues worked out and by the last 7-8 miles, I felt the best I had during the entire run. (for those of you who don't know, an Ironman is 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking, and 26.2 miles running and you have to finish in less than 17:00:00 to be considered a finisher.) I swam about what I expected. I could have been faster, but with a bum shoulder, I was happy. My bike kicked butt. I got a new carbon tri bike with my stimulus check, and let me tell you, it made a huge difference. I know they say it's not the bike but the engine running it, but having a nice bike does make a big difference.

I will say that I loved every minute of it. I will do another Ironman. But I realize that because of the time it takes to train for it (at least 20 weeks of 12- 18 hour training weeks) I will need to wait until our daughter is old enough to not want mom around 24-7. So for now, I will focus on shorter races: sprints, olympics, and maybe half iron. I might even throw in some more run only races. I would love to do another stand alone marathon. Maybe in 2010.

I am still about 10-15 lbs from my goal weight. I plateaued and then with all the training for the ironman, it was impossible to lose weight. Yes, I know this sounds silly, but when you are eating 3000+ calories a day to fuel workouts and maintain enough energy to do it all, it's literally impossible to try and lose weight. I think I gained about 3 lbs during the process.

I guess that is enough ramblings for now. I will leave you with a few pictures....

Me with the big inflatable M-Dot. The unofficial mascot of the Ironman.

Brad, Katie (my coach) and me. All 3 of us raced. Katie finished first in under 12 hours, Brad was next in the 13 hour ish range, and I was pulling up the rear at 15:31. Yes, Brad is very tall and we are very short.

The sea of bikes that is transition 1. This is on the top level of the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin. About 2200 bikes were lined up and ready for the race.

My bibs. I wore Schlotterback during the bike portion and Suzanne during the run. It was nice to hear people cheering for you by name. Since no one can pronounce Schlotterback, I figured I better wear the one that said Suzanne during the run.

The mass start of the swim in Lake Monona. 2200 people all trying to occupy the same space. It was like swimming in a washing machine.

Sunrise on Lake Monona waiting for the gun to go off..

More waiting....

This wasn't during the race but during a practice swim. Since Derek was unable to travel with me for the race (due to his mom's health) I have the pictures that the pros made during the race and the ones that my coach made before and after. This was 2 days before the race during a practice swim. The lake was around 70 degrees, and with the wetsuit it felt great.

I blinged out my new bike, a Felt B12. I wanted everyone in that race to know I was a TIGER! Isn't it sexy?

Just at the beginning of the bike. Yes, I was taking it easy. Hey, I probably had 110 miles to go at this point. Gotta pace yourself...

At about mid point of the bike, somewhere around mile 50ish. I played cat and mouse with the chick in the pink all day on the bike. I'd get her on the hills and she'd get me on the flats...

During the run- this was during the first of two laps and we ran through Camp Randall Stadium. BTW, this stadium was TINY compared to Death Valley, though it is very historic. The grass was fake, but it was all very neat...

Hamming it up for the camera man. This was at the very beginning of the run, probably in mile 2. I will say that shortly after this picture was taken, the wheels fell off the bus and my stomach started protesting. But hey, I looked good for the picture!

Me crossing the finish. With about a block to go a race official called in my number so as I ran down the finisher's chute, Mike Reilly (the voice of IM)called out "Suzanne Schlotterback from Simpsonville, SC, YOU are an ironman!"

I ran down the chute with my Tiger Rag up in the air. Yes, you know it, I'm all orange!

Here is a close up of the finisher's medal. It's in the shape of a cow. Ironman Wisconsin is frequently referred to as Ironman Moo or IM MOO for short because we ride through dairy country during the race. So it was neat how they combined that idea to make the medal we all received after crossing the finish line.

Last but not least, here is a picture of our sweet Maggie Mae the week before she came home to her forever home. She is such a good girl! We love her with all our hearts!