Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Journey

It has been a journey like no other. It is a journey that three years ago I never thought I would of gone through and could of never imagined getting to...but I did and I can officially say, I did it!

The journey began 2 years, 1 month, and 22 days ago. At that point I would never tell you I would be where I am today. I packed up all I had and moved to this state with the love of my life, the EX. In a short period of time, it started to go terribly wrong, his alcohol addiction one out and I saw life flash before me. No matter how hard a person tries, there are some addictions you can win and other's you can't. Accepting that you can't change someone, letting go of them and freeing yourself from the abuse is harder than I hope you ever have to know, especially in a state where your support group is limited. But, I did. That was 1 year, 2 months and 13 days that I faced the last fist.

Yesterday I celebrated a new me and the person I really am. I finished my first Triathlon in 2 hours and 17 minutes. I did it despite a chronic sinus infection since December and two doctor's recommending surgery. I did it despite working two jobs to help dig out of what was left behind by the EX. I did it because I wanted it!

It has been a journey. Some days were good, some days were bad and some days were unthinkable but I am exactly where I want to be in life. I know that I have some things left on my to do list, marriage, kids, and a few smaller ones. But, those will come when they are right. I won this victory because I believed in myself and the other's will come when the time is right. But for now - I relish in the victory!

Of course, now it is on to losing that weight I gained in the last 1 year, 2 months, and 13 days....DAMN comfort food. But - I will and I will do it as I train for my next Triathlon - going to give the Austin Triathlon a whirl as a slimmer me. Look out world - here I come!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

T Minus 1

Gosh...I can't believe RACE day is here already. Tomorrow at this time, I will be celebrating the fact that I finished. It is weird because I have never done anything like this before. In softball, you practice, you play games, you practice, you play some more. Here, it is ALL practice until RACE day. You have no way to gage if you are ready, you just have to go out there and do it. I think that is what scares me the most, AM I READY?

DC arrived on Friday afternoon and has been soaking up the city. I took her out to The Oasis Friday night. Nothing like a margarita, a beautiful sunset and good food to relax a person! Yesterday was a rest day for me so the plan was to head to SA (San Antonio) for the day. But first, I opted to head back to the fat people's club first, more on that in a later post.

DC is a history buff, so definitely seeing the Alamo was on the to do list. Of course, it WAS suppose to be a warm day and sunshine with a 20% chance of rain. But weather forcasting is the only job you can be wrong. So, with our luck, the sky's opened and it start pouring rain. Needless to say - we did what tourists do, they buy the $1.95 rain poncho from the Alamo gift shop and keep on moving. We walked the river walk, toured the tourist shops, had embarrassing moments buying shirts for my brother and did all that we could do. We opted for an appetizer and margaritas along the river walk. (I know - great race day preparation!!)

About 7, we decided we had enough and headed to the Salt Lick for dinner. I really wish I could hear the stories DC tells people of this place. Let's just say, it is Texas in it's finest. For non-locals, you have off duty, plain clothes officers directing the parking flow with their pistols. Once we park and head to the front, I point out to DC we are not having the complete experience. See, no liquor license at the restaurant means you bring your own! So - she saw all the coolers, those on wheels, those still in the case, you have everything. Then there was the menu, you have your choice of BBQ meat, meat or meat. No choice on sides. But it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. Like I said, I think she liked the food, just wish I could hear the stories she tells about the visit.

Well, I better go. Time to head downtown to pick up my race day packet and check in my bike....more later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I probably should put in a disclaimer her that if you are a guy - you might skip this one.

I hate him. I really, really hate him some days. He is like a cruel joke that god plays on women. Some people refer to him as TOM - Time of Month. I don't know why I started calling him George. He always comes every month and some month he drops way too much luggage.

Now I am getting ready to do a triathlon in 6 days. I am not ready. I do not feel like I am in shape to be ready. I am already psycholigically psyching myself out of this race. I do not need George to visit NOW. Why can't he wait? Why can't this be a month where I skip it? Why NOW? Yes - he is starting to rear his ugly head. I am TIRED. I am cranky. I have cramps. I don't wannnna deal with it.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Until there are NONE, Let's all Rescue One.

As you might know, my dogs are my addiction. They are so full of personality and amaze me each day how intelligent of an animal they are. I don't even say I need to go to work anymore, Guinness knows that the water bottle being filled and a lunch packed is a sign mom needs to go. She goes and sits in her crate waiting for a treat.

Because of my Guinness and my Finnegan, I found the S'Wheaten Rescues which rescues Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, based in Kansas City, MO. I have been blessed with so much knowledge from this group and really at the end of the day could of saved a lot of money on medical expenses because of the knowledge they share. With a core foundation, volunteers across the United States not only help foster dogs that have been turned in for one reason or another, they help rescue Wheaten's being abandoned in kill shelters or are released from breeders/hoarders because they are done with them, and also work on cross country transports to take a Wheaten to its forever home. I have not had a chance to participate in a transport but from what I hear, it is an amazing experience, I hope I get the chance one day.

A little over a month ago, four dogs, two males and two females were picked up from a hoarder. They were so matted they could hardly walk. Once they were cleaned up, it was determined one female was actually a Male and the other was pregnant. Shortly thereafter, the pups were here. A camera was set up and on a daily basis, we have watched them grow and mourned the loss of them. See the puppies here. Because Kate (the momma) never received proper care, she had worms and unknowingly, we all watched her transfer them to her pups while they nursed. It was heartbreaking to know the ones we loved to watch were gone, I can only imagine what Wendy (the fearless leader) went through caring for them and hearing their cries. Today there are only two left and still entertain us on the web.

Next time you see that puppy in the window at the Petstore, please keep walking. Buying from the petstore continues to justify the need for the breeders and inhumane conditions these dogs are forced to live in. Be sure to take a look at the dogs that are available for adoption and you can see the shape the puppymill survivors came into the rescue in. Also read the post below to hear Lola's sad tell, another puppymill dog released.

If adoption isn't an option, consider donating today!


L- Lovely
O- Our Friend
L- Loving
A- Amazing

I am sorry to tell everyone that Lola has had to be put to sleep today. While doing research and calling numerous vets in the area for opinions, second opinions etc, this morning, Things were not looking good. I took her back to the Vet that she saw last week, for him to reexamine her and either confirm or deny the prognosis. Things were not good for Lola. The tumor that had presented itself to us on Saturday, was not only large, but was blocking or contained her opening to the ureter. (This was why she was not having any urination since Saturday.) The vet offered to try and cut open the tumor and try to see if he could remove most of it and find the ureter opening, but there were no guarantees. The removal may not work. She could have very hard issues using the bathroom. The tumor could regrow. She may have more inside of her... Which is common with this type of tumor. At best she would need to see a specialist and undergo extensive surgery and prolonged Chemotherapy. While all this would carry no guarantee of "fixing" the problem. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but while talking with Wendy and Topaz about all the information given, I knew in my heart that Lola would be in the least amount of pain and suffering if i just let her go now. She was a blessing, a wonderfully sweet dog, That while we didn't have her long we loved her. She had the best four weeks of her life here with our family. She had run of a house, kids to pet her and cater to every whim, she had a "brother" Hurley to look up to. She made great strides in trusting us and I am so grateful to Lola for loving me. My only wish is that everyone who reads Lola's story know that her life in the Mill Caused all of this! EVERY TIME SOMEONE BUYS A DOG FROM A PET STORE.... YOU DO THIS TO ANOTHER LOLA. A wonderful mother that was bred and bred... caused to have extreme health issues that would cause her to lose her life. I wish all of you could have the chance to love a Lola, and experience the unconditional love that she gave to us as a family, even though her abusers for her entire life were humans. I was there when i picked her up and carried her to freedom, i was there every minute for the four weeks we had to love her, and I was there when i carried her away from the suffering of disease. I loved her with all my heart and in her last moments promised that wonderful little soul that I would do something in her honor. So with that I ask for your help. Just like we did with all the puppies.. We need to spread the word about what Puppy mills are doing to poor dogs like Lola. Do not let her die in vain. Join peaceful protests against the mills, tell your friends and neighbors about Lola's story, and most of all continue to support our rescue by giving funds, so that we may go and get more Lola's that are in need of our help. It is very costly to save a Mill dog. And we can only do this with wonderful people like you on our side.

I will close by saying this. I would do it all again in a heart beat. Not one second of our families time or efforts were wasted, We loved Lola and will greatly miss her, but know that she is in a better place. Join us by doing all that we can to prevent this from happening to another dog....

Thank you all so much for all that you do

Stacy, Chad, Tyler, Brendon, Blake and Hurley Jackson

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thought for the Day

DC sent me this over the weekend from an email she had. I thought it was pretty fitting and would share.


Look in the mirror
and notice
that the person
who greets you
is beautiful,
inside and out.


Say to yourself that
you know nothing is
Remind yourself that
every one of your dreams
is within reach.


Think about all of
the people who love you,
who see the beauty in you,
and begin to look at yourself
in the same way.

Lise Schlosser

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Rookie

So - I gave you the official information but what fun would it be without my take of it all.

The alarm went of at 3:45 am. Guinness & Finnegan must of thought it to be a joke. I made it out the door at 4:15 am and met the carpool group at 4:45. Brian (my We made it there a little before the gates opened so we got great parking! Why is that important? Ultimately you could end up lugging your things over a 1/2 a mile just to get to where you need to be!

Step one was to go to the transition area. To get in, you first had to be body marked. In other words, they took permanent marker and put your race number on both arms and both thighs. In addition, they put your age as of 12/31/09 on the back of your calf. Still not sure what that one was about. From there, you enter and the bikes and your gear are staged according to your age group. Once you were "set up" you needed to get your chip - since it was a timed event. After that, it was just milling around and hydrating.

At 7:30, the transition area closed and the race activities began. There was about 1000 people registered for the race and around 750 actually competed. I have also learned that you need to be comfortable in your own skin. There was so definite "PRO's" there and then there were the not so in shape people. I have yet to ever meet a person that looks sexy in a swim cap - Lycra to your head. Hats off to the women races that did the whole race in their swim suit. I had a tri shirt & shorts which the shorts have a little padding in them for the bike portion of the race and both are to dry quickly.

The first wave of races started at 8 am. The did the Open division first and then went through the men's divisions before my turn was up. I started precisely at 8:24 am with the 35-39 Group. I was starting with what I envisioned my hardiest piece - the swimming. Basically we were making a giant horseshoe, out & back. Of course, it was no shock that the wave behind me, which started 3 minutes later, caught up to me. But, the positive was I wasn't the last one out.

Now it was off to the transition. I thought I would run there but couldn't find my legs once I got out of the water. I really appreciated the people on land telling me I had mud on my face. Hmmm - thanks, appreciate it. The transition went smoothly - which really consisted of me taking off the swim cap & goggles and then getting my bike helmet, glasses, gloves, socks & shoes on. I managed it all in under 3 minutes and was out the gate on the bike.

It was in that first two minutes of the bike that I really questioned what the F*#k I was doing trying to do a first Triathlon at 35 - I must have lost my mind. Now, my legs were tired, however, what made things worse is that they gave us a hill from hell right away. At that point, I can only assume that it is the first of more to come. It was tough, I quit and got off the bike and ran the bike up the hill. I can't tell you how many thoughts of this is going to suck, I should quit and turn back, what was I thinking, etc went through my head.

But - I pressed on and really the first hill was the only really BAD hill, the rest were more of a rolling hill. However, I must say that I have come to despise the ages on your calf. Especially when the fit, queen tri lady of 65 went flying past me on the bike. It appears my 6 minute head start from her was not enough! About mile mark 8, tragedy struck and the darn chain fell off. It had been grinding when I changed the upper gears so it was a shock that it fell off. Fortunately, in a matter of minutes, it was back on and I was off.

I finished the 11 mile ride and actually it was quite peaceful. The first part was pretty shaded with all the trees. It reminded me a lot of home and being back in the country. Of course, I did follow coaches advise and it was my "rolling buffet". I took in my gel packs and liquids to give me the fuel needed for the run.

I made it back to the tranistion area and outside of ditching the helmet and gloves, it was a quick transition. By next race I should be using my bike shoes & clips, so it will take a minute or two longer for the switch. Off on the run it was. Well, was suppose to be?

About 30 seconds into the run, my right calf cramped. It is the first time in my life that I can ever remember having a cramp like that in the middle of the event. Usually it is a charlie horse in the middle of the night. So no running, but I kept moving foward. I did a wog - walk jog for the 2 miles and towards the end - just decided to go for it and run. Of course, it helped that it was downhill to the finish line.

Until you experience it, there is no bigger rush that hearing people cheering you on and having the cow bells ringing as you race towards that finish line. My TNT folks were there on the side cheering on those of us that were still coming in. Maybe it would be cool to be on the sidelines cheering, but at the end - they cheered for me crossing the finish line. I wasn't the last one to cross and didn't promptly collapse either. I was promptly greeted with an ice towell and cold water. LOVED it and I DID it!

Tri Hard, Live Easy

That was what I saw Sunday on the back of one of the team shirts and thought it was fitting for the title today!

It is official, I completed my first triathlon. Now it wasn't a speed breaking race but I finished it! I didn't finish first, but I didn't finish last and I wasn't the last in my age group either. I finished the race in 1:39.17.25. The official break down of that is 300 m swim - 12:27.70, transition 2:48.10, 11 mile bike ride 55:45.20, transition 1:15.80, 2 mile run 27:00.45. It amazes me how they track all that.

Overall, I am okay with that finish considering I am no where in the shape I need to be and have struggled with the training due to the constant sinus infections since December.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


but not the hangover you are thinking. It is called the dehydration, lack of fuel, hangover.

So, after accomplishing the beautiful swim on Friday night, I headed out with part of the group to NXNW. Now for non-locals, a brewery. We had a couple of drinks and then I ordered a salad for super. However, I just wasn't feeling that hungry and only finished about half of it. Of course, I managed to forget the water.

Now, fast forward to Saturday morning. Again, no water, no breakfast. I headed over to Runner's house for my training. Being the trooper that she is, she was heading out with me on a 45 minute bike ride and a 15 minute jog. The humidity was HORRIBLE! It was in the upper 70's with an 85% humidity - LOVE IT! NOT! So - again not in my favor. (Just maybe, I can get Runner convinced she can do the swimming part and do a Tri with me!)

Well not even 20 minutes in, I feel sick to my stomach. Never mind I didn't realize how exhausted my legs were from the swimming the night before. It sucked. I even felt a little dizzy at a point. Not a good thing. I took in what water & Gatorade I had - but obviously not enough. Needless to say - the run didn't pan out. It was more like a wog - mostly walk with a hint of run every 4 minutes. LOL

Of course, I spent the rest of the day trying to rehydrate, refuel and get rid of the pounding headache and crappy feeling I had.

Hmmm - is it wrong to feel bad that I might of enjoyed an alcohol hangover more? I would of at least had a little fun the night before? :) Oh well - lesson learned. Drink your water boys & girls and don't forget to eat breakfast before a workout

I DID it!!!

Yep, I have officially swam the official distance that I will need to swim on race day! 750 meters (aka 1/2 mile) in open water. Now by open water, I mean at no point could I touch the bottom, let alone see the bottom. Thankfully for me, I didn't see the turtle pop it's head out of the water until after I was done with the swim and out of the water.

Now for some this might not seem exciting or news worthy - I mean I have to do it for the race - why celebrate? Well, part of my challenge with training for this race has been the constant sinus infection since December, the periods of blah, and trying to push surgery off until after the race. Now, if it has been forever since you talked to me, well, I sound like I am constantly stuffed up and congested. Seriously - it was a joke every time I coughed because of the congestion - "Swine Flu". So, given that it is hard to breathe OUT of water, swimming has been my biggest fear of being able to accomplish it!

Was it easy? Not in the beginning. First off, the water was a cool 76 degrees. Of course, lucky for me, my wet suit didn't fit in the chest (Shocking I know) and so I was left to go with just the swim suit. Now, once I got past the cold part, there was the factor of not being able to see anything under water. I don't want to say I panicked - but for some reason not being able to see anything resulted in me forgetting how to breathe under water. No idea. But, about half way through, I settled in and was able to find a rhythm.

Sinus infection or not, if I have to finish it doing the back stroke or the doggy paddle - I will finish it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blogging or Not

So - I got a lashing so to speak. I roped Runner into another bike workout. Of course, doing so, got in trouble so to speak. See, Runner is one of the faithful, maybe only, person that faithfully reads these blogs. Seems she has noticed a lack, okay absence, of my training blogs. Needless to say - she told me to kick it in gear - I needed to blog.

So - after today - you'll see me blogging about who knows what - training - nothing - life - anything. All for the sake of Runner - my personal kick in the pants who I can drag along on training days!