Monday, April 28, 2008

My crazy, busy life

Life has certainly returned to normal and my calendar for May has exploded. Between a bridal shower, a wedding, Relay for Life, volleyball, water aerobics, and don't forget work I barely have a free moment. As one friend commented when I told him my crazy schedule, "Sounds like you are getting back into your pre Priscilla mode." It made me think. I don't want to be as crazed as I was before Priscilla knocked me upside the head (or maybe it was the heart & lungs since that where she was hiding!) I am taking a hard look at my schedule and will pare back on activities. Unfortunately, I don't have a free weekend until June. I mean it. Every weekend I'm doing something. I've got to tone down the weeknights because I want to spend some time with my family - Mike, Riley, and Shelby. My boys are important to me. It's nice to have a normal life these days, but I want to sit back and enjoy it sometimes.

May is busy for me, and it's also Mike's big long-awaited event: the Capital of Texas Triathlon. In a few short weeks he'll be swimming, biking, and running his way through downtown Austin as his way of spotlighting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He's been in Texas this past weekend working on building a gazebo at his mom's house. I don't know if he went downtown to check out the race area, but I do know he has kept up his training activities. He bought tri shorts this weekend. His swim coach urged him to buy a speedo, but he refused! Instead, he'll wear tri shorts, which are like spandex shorts. I think triathletes wear them under their wetsuits and that's what he'll ride and run in after he changes out of the wetsuit. We're both learning a lot about the triathlon world. We've also learned that triathletes are the friendliest athletes (among "just" runners, bikers, or swimmers). We've been told triathletes are the most laid back and accepting athletes, and it seems true so far (now I'm going to get a bunch of comments from ticked off runners and bikers!).

Mike's been in Austin all weekend helping his mom build a gazebo out by her pool. It's been quiet around the house, but the boys and I have been spending quality time together. With all this rain, I've only been able to take Riley out for two walks. I had hoped to take him today, but the rain scared me away. I don't melt in the rain, but I don't want to be out walking in a downpour. Sorry, Riley! I hope it dries out soon - for Riley's sake.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dig It

Last Thursday I played my first game of volleyball since February 2007, when a funny thing called "cancer" pushed aside my volleyball career. I have numb feet and toes (yes, still) and running is interesting because of the pins and needles sensation, but I decided to sign up anyway. I've been working out at least twice a week with my trainer and exercises there include weight lifting (I can dead lift about 90 lbs!) and ladder drills. The ladder drills include lots of fancy footwork in and out of boxes on a flat ladder on the ground while holding 3 or 4 lb. weights. I'm used to moving my feet, even though I can't feel everything.

Volleyball was awesome. I'm definitely slower and my setting was not very good, but I wasn't as bad as I thought I would be. I definitely need to work on not swinging my arms when I set and planting my feet when I get to where I'm going. Those were things I needed to work on before and I'm really out of practice now. My team did well, despite being short 2 players (we have 8 on the team) and we won 2 out of 3 games and the last one was a close game. I do feel bad for my hitters who have to try and make something out of my sets, but I wasn't terrible. It felt really good to be back. I also received warm hugs and welcomes from lots of people who missed me. Peter commented on my "haircut" so I told him it wasn't cut, but finally growing back in after a long ordeal. I didn't tell my other teammates, but I've known Peter for at least 10 years through the league and thought he should know. I'll probably tell the others in time, but we'll see. I'm so glad to be back and am looking forward to this Thursday! GO TEAM!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Happy Cancer Anniversary

“You have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” That’s what a doctor said to me one year ago today. Instead of wallowing in sadness, I walked/ran 5K and Mike ran 10 miles in downtown DC along the beautiful (and soggy) tidal basin with the Credit Union Cherry Blossom event. Today I shake a fist high in the air and celebrate victory over Priscilla. I’m grateful to be alive and kicking after a dark and scary year learning more than I ever wanted to know about cancer. I never imagined I would ever have first-hand knowledge about cancer, but life throws a few curve balls out at you and you just have to arm yourself with information (and great medicine) and fight back. I am also thankful to be alive now in 2008 when doctors are making great strides towards combating cancer with medicine that helps people live longer and fulfilling lives.

Today's race would have been nicer if we had gotten yesterday's near 70 and sunny weather, but instead we got the shaft with cold, wet, miserable weather. We ran into Sandy, one of our volleyball friends, at the metro and rode downtown with her. She and Mike were in the same color starting group so they ran together. I tried to watch them start, but there were nearly 20,000 runners so I lost them quickly in the crowd. I'm so proud of my 5K today. I planned to walk and maybe run if I felt like it. I was near the front of my 5k group and realized I should've been in the back if I was going to walk. However, once we began I started jogging and decided it wasn't so bad because the ground was relatively flat. I ended up jogging most of the first mile, most of the second, and about half of the third to make up the total 5K. My goal was to finish in one hour and I crossed this finish line at approximately 40-43 minutes (we didn't have the clock - that was reserved for the 10 milers). Mike and Sandy finished about 1:42 and I actually saw them cross the finish line - it was so cool!

It was crazy downtown with racers and specatators everywhere. Even in that large crowd I ran into Evan before and after the race. I also spotted one of Mike's Team in Training buddies. We went to the Expo yesterday to pick up our bibs and t-shirts and ran into even more Team in Training people there. I'm considering doing a 10K run/walk in June in Annapolis if I can figure out how to work it with my schedule. I had fun today and I like the option on not having to run the whole thing! I am just so proud that I was at the Tidal Basin today and able to run when a year ago my whole world changed and I didn't know what I could expect from my future or if I had one. Go me!

Happy Birthday today, Mom - sorry I ruined it for you last year. I'm glad we can celebrate it this year. :)