Friday, February 24, 2012

Yes, I has been a while!

Every few weeks or so, I come to my blog page and think "I really should update this."  Then I get overwhelmed by the task and put it on the back burner.  You know the back burner WAAAAAAAYYY back there.  The I-really-don't-want-to-think-about-it burner shoved into some obscure corner sharing space with the clothes you'll never fit into again but hate to get rid of, the gifts from the mother in law that you can't really get rid of either (hello, Lladro statue), and sewing projects that will never be finished, all obscured by the haze of "what do I need to accomplish today" demands.

I've had a tough year.  If you've read any of the previous blog posts, you know I was training for IMCdA.  Maybe you even gleaned that my heart wasn't really in it.  You may have realized (or if you are a friend on Facebook know full well) that I am in the midst of a single-parenting stint--hopefully NOT permanent--while the hubby is off gallivanting (and earning a paycheck to keep us fed, clothed, housed, and vacationed) in Europe.  The kids and I did spend 5 weeks over there this summer visiting, doing enviable stuff like going to Greece and the Dalmatian Coast, but since we got back and jumped whole-hog into high school and middle school, I've been floundering.  I am not one to pop a pill to make everything better.  Maybe what I need to do is just blog about it....

IMCdA Race report:

This was my first time training, and then racing, without the support of my husband.  Damn, that sucks.  Lots of juggling kid time, making them fend for themselves while I rode my bike for umpteen gazillion hours.  I think I did a fair job of getting in the majority of the workouts, and doing ok on them, but by race day I was over it.  I think it was the day we arrived in Coeur d'Alene that, while lounging on our great deck over looking the lake and drinking a beer, I told my fellow racers that I was seriously contemplating just parking my ass exactly there, doing exactly that, on race day.  A dear friend overheard and got quite upset with me--basically told me off for having a bad attitude.  And you know what?  He was right.  Ironman is a long day, and heading into it with your mind not in the game is just plain stupid.  Well, fast forward a few days and race day dawned with me looking forward to just having it over with.  The swim went surprisingly ok--I swam a 1:25:46 (IMLP was 1:24:44, IMFL was 1:25:31)--and right within range of my other IMs.  It took about 10 miles for my hands and feet to warm up on the bike, but then I started to enjoy the first loop.  I didn't like those rollers, especially since I still have some real issues decending.  The second loop of the bike plain ol' sucked.  I did find my friend DG out there struggling, so we rode together for a good part of that second loop.  I got through the bike in a not so great 7:39:30 ( but still close to my other times IMLP 7:38, IMFL 7:13) and headed out for the run.  Bleh.  Let's not talk about that.  By this point my mind was saying I wasn't having any fun, and isn't it so nice to be able to enjoy these beautiful views by walking.  I finished with my slowest IM time of 16:14:10.  The finish chute was fun, as DG and I rocked out to AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long."  It was time for the summer to begin.

NW Wine Tour:

My daughter was off at camp and my son had flown out to California with my mother in law the week before IMCdA so I was childless.  I was able to join my good friends the Mathaletes and Lynn for a little wine tour from Walla Walla to Portland.  The traveling was very relaxed--Missy was in charge of the schedule, Greg the driving, so all Lynn and I had to to was sit back and enjoy (and drink!)  It was my first time out that way and I was blown away by those endless expanses of sky and wheat.  We stayed in some really nice places, and had some great wines.  I was bummed to have to return to the real world, but I was anxious to see my kiddos.  I flew from Portland to Santa Rosa,  and reunited with Joey at my in-law's.  Such a tough life having to wine taste all over Sonoma county for another few days after all that...

 Family Vacation:

I didn't see my husband for almost 6 weeks between June and late July.  I spent my anniversary with my in-laws, bemoaning the 9 hour time difference between California and Kosovo.  I was so looking forward to our European adventure--5 weeks over there with 10 day trips to Greece and the Dalmatian Coast planned.  Lynn (otherwise known as the fourth Oliver child) joined us for the first two weeks of Kosovo/Greece.  I had tried planning a good itinerary, but messed up some timing/ferry aspects so we ended up spending ALOT of time in the car.  I must say though, Greece really is all it's cracked up to be.  I don't think we had a bad meal anywhere.  Getting around in a car wasn't bad, save driving through Athens.  And the weather was awesome.  It would've been perfect had I been getting along better with my husband.  Let's just say that long absences are not good, and leave it at that.

By the time we headed to the Dalmatian coast, Joe and I were getting along better but I was getting sick.  Stuck in a car for 9+ hours is no fun.  I truly felt like I was going to die.  I wished I could've seen more of Dubrovnik, but we all really enjoyed Kotor.  By the 5th day I was finally feeling better and we headed to the island of Brac.  Our hotel there was a funny place, but by the Adriatic was gorgeous.  I think the kids got awfully tired of eachother and us, and were ready to head home after 3 weeks away.  Such is the case with teenagers.  We did all travel home together for a last beach week hurrah.


Maddy started high school and Joey started middle school.  Unfortunately Joe had to go back to Europe on Labor Day, so he missed seeing them off on their first day.  How is it my kids grew up so fast?!  Here's a picture of them showing Maddy's first day of kindergarden next to her first day of high school:
I can't remember what I did all fall, other than schelp kids hither and yon (music lessons, scouts, etc), run some road races, and sign up for *gasp* my first 50k trail run and another Ironman in 2012. Yeah, I can be talked into just about anything.  Joe and I spent a nice weekend in St. Michaels MD for his birthday while Lynn hung with the kids at home.  Also in October we adopted another Vizsla, Jake, who came to us from St Paul, MN.  He is a big galoot of a dog--he outweighs Sophie by almost 20lbs--but is such a lovebug.

Joe's parents came for a week at Christmas, and soon I was staring down the barrel of turning 44.  January 3rd marked the one year anniversary of Joe having taken the travel job, and I felt like I had spent most of 2011 as a single parent.  Bleh.

I was glad to be able to spend some fun time with my trail running buddies.  I can't believe I am now an ultramarathoner!  The race was just a few weeks ago, and then I was able to jet off to Europe (a new concession--I get to go gallivant with the husband every now and then) for a weekend in Switzerland with Joe.  I know, I should write a race report for the 50k, and I will try!  Otherwise, that leaves you all caught up on all things Kate.  Looking forward:  Next weekend is the Napa Marathon (more wine tasting!), then TriCamp, then Easter break in Europe, then race season!  Summer travel plans have yet to be nailed down, but Joe and I are looking at some fun options.  xoxo everyone!