Monday, May 23, 2011

Noah's Ark Pool

Today we headed out with buds Jen-nay and Zach for a little fun in the sun! Every May we head out to this cute little pool for little tykes. Everyone had a blast. Landon wouldn't go in the tunnels or on the slides, but he still says he had fun! Our time got cute 30 minutes short when some poop was found in the slide. Oh well, we'll just have to go back!

Ironman Texas May 21, 2011

Ironman Texas May 21, 2011 Race Report I started my day at 4:15 am. I didn't sleep well the night before. At best I had 3.5 hours of sleep. I anticipated my sleep would not be great, so I had a two hour nap the day before the race. I slept at my friend Jen's house which was about 10 minutes from the race site. She made me a fabulous sandwich for breakfast, and I made a bagel with peanut butter and some coffee. I headed to the bike transition and pumped up my tires. On the way back to the car I realized I forgot to put my water bottle and salt tablets on my bike. I walked back to the car, back to my bike, and then back to the car. People were out running to warm up. Um, no thank you! Why add any extra effort to an already long day! Next, I drove my car to the swim start. I went and got my body marked and then back to the car to finish my bagel. David called and was on his way. I waited for him to show up and we walked back to the swim start together. I was surprised to see him beforehand. We took some pics together, then he went off to the bridge to watch and I went to the port-o-potty line. I was in the port-o-potty line when the pros started at 6:50. I moved to the swim start minutes before the gun went off. I found a spot in the water, but the guy in front of me needed a six foot circumference to tread water and kept kicking me. He mumbled something and then gave me a dirty look. At this point people started panicking, or something, and arms and legs were everywhere. People were shouting to calm down and relax. I decided it was best to find a new spot and moved to the left. Shortly after, the gun went off. I was happy to have gotten in the water just in time. People were still entering the water at this point. David said some people had been treading water for 40 minutes before the start. I can't imagine. The Swim: The swim start was total chaos. It was very scary for me. My arms and legs were getting pulled down, I was getting kicked, and people were everywhere. At one point, I thought I would drown. I had to keep telling myself to relax and find some open space. I tried to site a canoe in case I needed to regroup. I couldn't spot one. One of my fears was someone would kick my goggles and I would lose a contact. Of course it happened. I got kicked in the face early on. My left goggle filled with water and it seemed like my contact came out. I knew I couldn't stop because I would get run over so I tried to get the water out and swim at the same time. I managed to get the water out. Finally, the water opened up a little. Enough. It must have been about a mile out. Every once in awhile someone would be aggressive. I did purposefully kick one person to get them off of me. They didn't touch me after that. When I would blink, it felt like my eyelashes were touching something, so I felt reassured I didn't lose my contact. I kept thinking as soon as I exited the water, I would check my goggles to see if it was in there! After about two miles, we entered the canal and it became congested again. There were a lot of spectators on the sides. I could hear lots of cheering and cowbells. It was pretty cool! My goal time was 1:15 to 1:20. Finish time 1:15:19 I checked my goggle after getting out and didn't see the contact. Maybe it was in my eye? Off to transition. T1 On the way to T1, the volunteers call out your number so other volunteers can grab your bag for you. It was very smooth. I grabbed the bag and ran into the girl's tent. Another volunteer dumped my back out for me and I quickly changed (with her help of course) into my tri outfit. She helped me get all my stuff on, and I was off. She handled my stuff from there! It was very nice! Goal time was 12 minutes and I was out in 8 and some change! The Bike: We were warned on the bike there would be a tailwind the first half and not to burn all our energy. Good to know. Being a good swimmer has it's disadvantages. Everyone passes me on the bike. It's not my strength to begin with so I try not to let the negative thoughts enter when I pass no one. Plus, everyone has aerobars, and I don't. OK, I really need a triathlon bike. Next race for sure! I liked the bike portion. Most of it. The first 25 miles were flat country and then some rolling hills started. Around mile 30 there was some misty rain. It was nice though and there was lots of cloud cover which was perfect. Every ten miles were the aid stations. You just shouted out what you wanted (water or Ironman Perform) and someone would run along side you and hand it off to you. You could also grab a banana, gel, or Powerbar. There were port-o-potties too if you had to do your business. Somewhere mid course we went through Sam Houston State Park. That was pretty cool. For the front half I knew I was ahead of my goal pace and I felt ok, like I wasn't working too hard. Around mile 53 or so we turned into a head wind. My first thought was the back half of this thing was going to be pure hell. Soon after, we came upon the special needs bags. I grabbed my Pringles, pretzels with peanut butter and banana. The head wind lasted about ten miles and then it was a crosswind again. Overall, I didn't think it was too strong. My hundred mile ride prepared me for this. That particular ride was head wind from hell. By mile 80, my feet started to hurt and I really wanted to ditch the bike. There was a lot of backed up traffic on the roads. Around mile 90 I was passing a pasture with five horses near the fence. Just as I was passing, they all started running off. That was pretty cool. Miles 90 to 100 had a tailwind again. I thought I'd be done soon. PHEW! Around mile 100 came a headwind again. The last 12 miles seemed to last forever and I just wanted to be done! Goal time 7:30:00. Actual time: 7:09:13. Cool beans. T2: Yet another wonderful volunteer who was willing to do anything to make my life easier. She grabbed me several waters, helped me with my shoes, got some wipes for my face, and was there by my side until I left. I brushed my hair, took in some children's antacid tablets (it's all that was in the house), and Advil. The girl across from me asked the volunteer if there were any salt tablets so I gave her mine. I had taken plenty to this point and had more in my fuel belt. Goal time was 12 minutes and I was out in 12 minutes and some change. The Run: Some volunteers put some sunscreen on me as I left for the run. This is where I knew I would feel the heat. The temperature projections were in the upper 80's. I could feel every bit of that at this point. My best bet was to walk until it cooled down. So, I walked. The aide stations were every mile and they had lots of ice cold sponges and ice. I happily took the sponges and put them in the back of my jersey along with ice. This seemed to help keep me cool! The run course was three loops of about nine miles each. The last three or so miles of each loop was along the waterway and the crowds were amazing. So many people were there to tell you what an awesome job you were doing, how strong you looked (when you obviously couldn't have) and you were going to be an ironman. The crowds were so energetic and I really enjoyed interacting with them when I had the energy. When it was time to come to loop two and three, you had to loop around the finish line area and the energy from the people was so overwhelming. You could hear the announcer calling, " are an ironman," and the music was blasting. It was by far the most amazing finish line I have ever seen. My friend Jen and her husband Allen were at miles nine and 16. It was fun to have someone to walk with even for a minute. My right leg was cramping on the second loop so Jen (just so happens to be a physical therapist) helped me stretch it. As luck would have it (or Jen's mad skills) the leg was just fine after that! Kingwood Triathlon Club was set up right after Jen, and Tina (former president of the club) had a lot of energy and smiles to share! So nice to see familiar people. She even made me laugh until my cheeks hurt! I got a little choked up at the end of lap two when I saw a friend of mine sitting on a brick wall and shivering. Medical help was there to assist her so I knew she would be ok. I said a prayer for her and knew loop three had to be for her. I saw several athletes being treated on the course, but it hits a different spot when you see someone you know. At or around mile 19, I started to feel a little out of sorts. It was time to walk and sort it out. I took in some cola and maybe that helped. I walked most of 19, 20, and 21. Another friend (another Jen at that) and her husband were around mile 20 so I stopped briefly to say hello and be cheered on! She was amazed at how happy I seemed. I told her I was just delusional at that point! It really meant a lot to me that my friends would come out all that way just to see me for a minute. How awesome is that! Mile 22 offered something different: licorice! I was so happy to get something I actually wanted to eat, so I took two pieces. After finishing the licorice, I was good to go. It was time to bring this home. I walked/jogged my way in. Once I hit the finish line area, I knew I couldn't walk (too many people there) so I jogged in. As I approached the finish line, I ran, screamed, high fived people and went in like a crazy person! All day I waited to here those words, "Susan Marchand, you are an ironman." I never even heard them. I heard my name after I crossed the finish line, and I'm sure he said it, but I didn't hear it. It didn't matter. I knew what I had accomplished and I was just so happy to be finished. Someone escorted me as I got my medal and took my finisher's photo. She asked if I was ok, and after I said yes, I went on my way! Goal time: 6:20. Finish time 6:08:18. My goal was to finish under 16 hours. Total time: 14:52:15 I was cool with that! Will there be another ironman in my future. Of course! But not until the kids are in school and I can train properly. And not until I have a triathlon bike! Maybe in 2015!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Twin Luv

Dylan's Candy Bar

Today we met up with our Mom's of Multiples group for some fun with candy! The Galleria can be a tricky area if you don't know where you're going, but we lucked out! When we came out of the elevator from where we parked, Dylan's Candy Bar was right there! Phew!

Hard to miss this colorful sign!

Check out those cheeks!

Bowlfuls full of candy and Landry's hard at work. What self control!
I think Landon ate the most candy of all the kids!

Addison carefully placing each piece of candy!

All the kiddos!

After making our frames, we headed to the indoor playground nearby that is super cool. The kids loved it!

New Beds

The time has come! Landry moved into Addison's room and Addison took over the guest room. Landon got his bed from Addison, and the girls got new beds! I thought I would have the girls get a bunk bed, but not after watching Landry jump like a monkey on the top bunk. So, everyone has a big bed now and their own room!

Now on to decorating the rooms!