My Shelfari Bookshelf (These are seriously just a FEW of the hundreds of books I've read lately)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2 Weeks To Go

A year ago I signed up to do the craziest thing I've ever even considered doing in my whole life. I signed up to do an Ironman. Me! An Ironman. The craziest thing about that is when I was younger I was always a sprinter, whether that was in swimming or running, I could only sprint for a short distance, and then I was done. I had no endurance in me. In fact, my senior year of high school I decided to do cross country at the same time as swimming because I wanted it to help me train for track.  I was a joke as far as cross country went. I would always come in near the end of the pack. I think the longest training run I did was 5 miles, and I really thought I would die. (It did take 2 seconds off my 50 free time in swimming, though!)  I was NOT a distance athlete. I had no endurance in me. I had no mental toughness to keep going when the going got tough.

Fast forward 20 years, 3 kids and LOTS of pounds later, I'm not in any shape (but round), and I'm even LESS of an endurance athlete than ever.  After my 3rd baby I decide I'm sick of being fat and I start going to the gym. I work out (a lot) for a year, and I lose maybe 20 pounds.  Then I am diagnosed with T1 Diabetes. Wha??  I put some weight back on when I start on insulin. :( Grrrr.  My sister proposes a triathlon, and I am in.  Training for that triathlon does something to me. I get hooked. I get completely crazy about training and racing and feeling good about myself and meeting new and amazing people and losing weight and being "an athlete." (I realize, I'm not really an athlete...I'm pretty much a wolf in sheep's clothing, but it feels exciting to be part of "that crowd").

One year after beginning real training I've lost about 40 pounds, and I've completed my first marathon. Oh yes I did! Still...I'm NOT an endurance athlete. I still don't really consider myself an athlete.  But I'm continuing on this journey.  I find this group of other diabetic athletes, and I feel like I'm really "one of them!" Except secretly in my head I still think I'm fooling everyone. They all sound like "real athletes" that know what they're doing and have done lots of racing. Me? Not so much. But I like talking with them about how to deal with the 'betes and training, and I continue to train.  And craziest of all...Peter Nerothin (founder of Insulindependence) calls me up and asks me if I want to be a Triabetes team captain.  Me. A team captain. As in, compete in a FULL IRONMAN in a year. WHA??? But I've only ever done a couple of sprint tris (and not that spectacularly either), and again...I'm NOT an endurance athlete. I'm not really an athlete, remember?

For whatever reason (insanity?) I said: "Yes."  Holy shnikes, what a difference in my life that ONE word made. It changed everything.  In one year I have:
1) Met 8 other inspirational diabetic team captains who are now friends for life
2) Met DOZENS of other diabetic athletes that have helped me and supported me along the way
3) Worked with diabetic kids who have taught me a lot about dealing with the 'betes
4) Worked my butt (quite literally) OFF
5) Gone from being able to ride 12 miles on my bike to 100
6) Gone from being able to run 10 - 11 minute miles to running 8 - 9 minute miles
7) Trained from 2 - 4 hours a day when all I wanted to do was stay at home
8) Conquered hills in both riding and running that I NEVER thought I would
9) Been contacted by random diabetics who have looked to me for help and guidance and have told me I inspired them. (Me? Wow).
10) Lost now a total of 52 pounds and (and have not much to wear because of it! :)
11) And I have realized that even though I will NEVER be a podium finisher, and I will NEVER be super fast...I am an athlete. I am an ENDURANCE athlete. And I WILL finish this Ironman in St. George in 2 weeks. Me. An Ironman finisher.

I completed a 96 mile ride that had 7000 feet of climbing. I rode 92 miles by myself. I ran 18 miles by myself. I spent hour after hour after hour (by myself) at the gym riding, running, and swimming. I have trained with an amazing friend (who is training for IMAZ), and been so grateful for her support (Hey Sharon!), I have met a great tri group in Mesa that has helped me immenselfy (Hey IronGear!), and I have fought my brain and WON on multiple occasions where it yelled at me to quit, to give up, to stop trying to do something I'm not capable of, and I yelled back to my brain NO! And I finished every single thing I set out to do.

Except one thing. My 20 mile run. I went to run and just couldn't do it. I was in so much pain. The same pain I felt in October when I DNFed the St. George marathon. It was freaking me out because it hurt so bad, and I thought for sure I would never be able to do the Ironman when I couldn't even run my training run. Then 2 weeks later I competed in the Marquee triathlon (which was turned into a duathlon), and my first 2 legs I did great (ran 3.1 miles in 25:19, rode 25 miles in 1:25 (about 17.6 mph), and then the third leg was a 6.2 mile run. I basically run/walked it because of that BLASTED pain! My time? 1:10, which was like an almost 12 min/mile pace.) I was DYING. I couldn't breathe. I felt all this pressure under my ribs, and it HURT.  I was almost in tears the whole time, and it just got worse and worse the longer I ran.  I finally went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with allergy induced asthma. ASTHMA!! Weird! But since being on Singulair and having a puff on an inhaler before each big workout, NO PROBLEMS! I feel better about the run portion of the race, but it is still my biggest fear. year later I am ready for this race to be here. I am ready to face my demons and just do it. I'm ready to have my life back. And I'm ready to truly be able to say: Jenny Crandell...You ARE an Ironman! Which is the penultimate of endurance athletes. And then there's no way my brain can tell me I'm a faker. I will have earned the title...and it's one I will keep FOREVER.

2 weeks people. 2 weeks...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

IronGirl Jenny's Fundraising Page

IronGirl Jenny's Fundraising Page

My Video! (Again)


Hey everyone! Here is ME...on Insulindependence TV :) This is part of the documentary that Blair Ryan has been working on all summer.  She has completed all the videos, so if you have time you can navigate through the site and watch the other 8 captains videos as well. What a great experience! :) Watch through the whole boys at the end are kind of funny. Hopefully this will help everyone to understand what exactly it is I'm doing...and why. What an amazing organization Insulindependence is. It has changed my life for the better. And I truly have been changed for good. :)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

B is for Brooklyn's Baking Birthday Bash!

 See this cute little girl?  That's my Brooklyn. She turned 5 on March 12, and to celebrate we had a big birthday bash! (She got the new pink outfit, and I did her hair in a cool little updo, too!)  We decided to have a baking party, so we called it: "Brooklyn's Baking Birthday Bash."  My mom is wonder woman with a sewing machine, and since I have no spare time in my insane life (and I don't sew even if I DID have spare time), she just whipped up 13 super cute aprons for all the little chefs who came over.
 Here's Brooklyn and Cousin Jayce modeling the boy/girl apron styles for us!

 And here are the 5 cousins together: Dane, Morgan, Maggie, Brooklyn, and Jayce. Aren't they cute??

Brooklyn is modeling the chef hat along with the apron here. 

When the kids arrived they each got to decorate their own chef hat and put on their apron. Our first major activity after that was to dip little Rhodes rolls in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, then place them in tiny little bread loaf pans.  Each child got to take home a perfect little cinnamon bread when we were done. It made our house smell delicious! :)

While the bread was cooking we had a little dance party! Each child got a baby food jar filled with heavy whipping cream and we shook those babies to the sound of Justin Bieber and made BUTTER! This was so cute. The kids really got into it, and couldn't believe it when their milk turned into butter.  They got to take that home to eat with their delicious cinnamon bread!

Next we went back to the table to make our lunch.  We did "pigs in a blanket" by wrapping hot dogs with crescent rolls and putting them on little wooden skewers. We baked these in the oven and then enjoyed them with carrots/celery, chips, gogurts, and caprisuns. They were certainly not starving at this party!! (While those cooked we played a little game with utensils...but no pics). 

We also played "Pin the Moustache on the Chef."  I have a friend at work who is an artist, so she just whipped up a little chef guy for me and voila! Party game!  This was cute because they each had a different colored moustache and I would call out a different color each time and they couldn't wait until their color was called.  It was nice to be able to see whose moustache landed where also. :)  My favorite was Morgan's...totally on the wall NEXT to the poster, not even near the face!

 Here are the 5 cousins again...Maggie is 3, but the others were born March, June, July, and August of the same year. They have so much fun together!

 Morgan (love the moustache on the wall!)
Isobelle (Brooklyn's bestie) :)

After the game they ate their lunch (and were stuffed!) and then they decorated "Cookie Monsters."  There was just so much darn food at this chef party (which makes sense, right??) but they were so full from all of that, that NO ONE had room for cupcakes!  I got Brooklyn this cute little "cupcake cake" and we sang and she blew out her candle...and then no one ate any! (My girls at church were happy the next day when they got to eat them instead!)

 Santa brought Brooklyn the wrong pillow pet for Christmas (the lady bug) and she was a very good sport about it...but she REALLY wanted the unicorn.  So, I helped her out for her birthday!
She also really wanted a DS.  Seriously? You're 5. A DS? I think not. So instead, she got the age appropriate Leapster! Much more 5 year old friendly, and a heck of a lot cheaper to boot!

Overall I would call the day a smashing success, and I had a 5 year old little princess who was happy as could be.  (I could have NEVER done this without my mom and my sisters, and my friend Julie, so a MILLION thank yous to them)!  

When she woke up that morning she came in to me and said: "Mom! Look at how tall I grew! I am 5 and now I am so much taller!"  (She's amazon height already, so she really is tall...but not any taller than when she went to sleep the night before).  All day she would tell anyone who would listen that she was 5. "I don't have to sleep with the light on anymore because I am 5." "I LOVE being 5 it is the best!!!"  She was adorable the whole day.  She was happy, excited, and very much the most perfect little 5 year old I could've ever asked for. 

This girl is infected with Bieber Fever for sure! She will tell anyone who will listen that she LOVES Justin Bieber! And she can sing all the words to his songs (on key and quite well, I might add), she sat through the movie just enthralled with every bit of it (and sang along in the theatre as well), and she will sing and dance to his music any chance she gets.  She cannot wait to go to Zaharis and be in kindergarten next year, and is also quite thrilled to be starting piano and dance in the fall. She will also be starting swim team this year, and I have a feeling this is the one who will actually be a champion.  (My boys just never really got into it like I had hoped...I make them swim on the city league every summer, but they're just not that fast, and they just don't seem to care. :( Boo).  But this girl?  She's got some very natural talents in all areas, and I can see the athleticism in her already.  I sure love my Brookie Doodle! Happy Birthday babe!