Sunday, May 27, 2007

Not a Lot, But a Little

So it has been pointed out to me that I have been somewhat sporadic in my postings as of late, and when I do, I seem to focus on my "life" rather than triathlon.

Ummm... well, I guess the focus on family and life is because that's really all I have been doing lately, and in my injury-induced time-off, I learned, believe it or not, that triathlon is not, in fact, life. Quite the opposite - it very much enhances my life, but I now know I can live without it. I cannot, however, live without my family or my life.

And on that note, part of my absence is because, frankly, I haven't really been in the best place lately. The lack of working out and weight gain, and watching the weather turn and the runners and bikers workout - it was all just too much for me. So I wallowed.

But then it began to happen. Slowly at first, a few days here and there, and eventually bloomed into a handful of days and then a week. Yes, my back appears to be getting better. Sure, the 1600mg of Ibuprofen daily help, but the tell-tale sign, my horrid leg pain, appears to be dissipating, which means the little disks are sliding back into place.

So this makes for a happy Megan.

As a result, I have been able to get back to the gym for 30-minute sweat sessions on the Elliptical (greaaattttt) and some weights and resistance training. My coach even reappeared and gave me some 45-minute pool workouts. So I slowly move forward.

Since I have gotten hurt, I have questioned the reason - like, there has to be this big purpose for the pain, the disappointment, the cottage cheese ass - But alas, what was it?

These last few weeks I have noticed myself doing something that I always preach but oddly never do myself. I started noticing my life. I started noticing the smell of the air as the trees almost overnight grew canopies of green, the smell of lilacs (I never even knew their name!) permeates through the open windows, the wild screams of the kids in the park next door, the touch of sun on my cheek and the patch of pink it left. I am 30 years old, and I have spent the majority of my life moving, going, running, searching, focusing, chasing, and achieving all these THINGS.

Ironman was one of these things, and in the process, I forgot how to appreciate my body, the simple ability to move, the intricate relationship between the each muscle fiber and pin-thin nerve. But interestingly, my body's breakdown coincided with the birth and growth of a new healthy one in my nephew, and the attention to recovery has coincided with my family's ongoing recovery of broken relationships.

When I stopped - just stopped - it was amazing how content I have become. I know a lot of other things have contributed to this place as well, but I like to believe that the purpose of my injury is to make me just stop and be grateful. And with every ounce of honestly in my being, not a day has gone by that I have not stopped to say, often out loud, that I am grateful for my life. And I know that I will not always be this content, so I work to take snapshots in my mind of this place, of my surroundings, so that well life takes a turn, I can remember that things do, eventually, get better.

So as my back slowly begins to returns to its regular self, so shall I.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Friday, May 25, 2007

And now a word from our sponsors...

Good Evening, and Welcome to Nolanline.

I am your host tonight, and every night, Baby Nolan.
Tonight, we are honored to be joined by Mouth Binky and Mr. Foot. Their imput in past shows, such as "Pampers or Loves: When the ELastic Stretchs Too Thin" and "Onesies: A Trend Gone Too Far?" has been invaluable, and we have asked them back tonight.
Folks, our focus this evening is on two serious matters, matters near to that hearts of babies world wide - Bubble Baths and Milkies.

Milkies! Milkies! Milkies! I love Milkies!! Where's my bottle, Where is it? I see it over there! Milkies come here! I LOVE MILKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait - where was I?

Mr. Foot... mouth binky...bubble-

Oh that's right. So tonight we'll address bubble baths - what brands are best for baby soft skin, and the ever growing debate: Mr. Bubbles or Johnson and Johnson? We address these hard-hitting issues direct from our own bubble bath, where we--

Wait....hold on...I'm getting a feed from my producer...Mom, what are you saying? No bubbles? This isn't that type of bath right now?...."just a cool-off in the kitchen sink?"

Well now what kind of hootinanny kind of show is this? Do they know who I am? I'm Baby Nolan, for crying out loud!!! This is my show! MY SHOW! And if I want bubbles, then I get BUBBLES!!

You know, forget this! I don't need this hassle! We'll see what the people over in corporate at the Disney Channel have to say about this when I tell them to shove it up their diaper. Get my agent over here! DADDDDDDDD!!!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Vintage Family

Instead of lamenting the loss of my season and the extra Dorito weight today, I'm going old school, kicking it back to the very first race, a race I did as part of a relay with my sisters. And it was a sprint, no less.

Don't be intimidated by my muscles (click on for full effect - but be careful).

Ahhh, the memories.....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Nine Weeks and an MRI Later...

I got the news today. I had my MRI last Thursday and the results are in. First off, I am not crazy or a hypochondriac. I do, in fact, have an injury. And it's not one, but TWO bulging disks in my back.

Yo, I told you I don't do things halfway - it's two disks or none at all - go hard or go home, right?

Per my doctor, "Well, the one that is causing the most problem seems to be flattening (reducing), but it's still fairly sizable, so I can't even imagine what it must have looked like nine weeks ago."

In addition, I have some degenerative cartilage between vertebrate that is causing my vertebrae to snack together and give me bone spurs.

Also per my doctor, "Your long running days are over."

Good-bye stand-alone marathon. It was nice knowing ya.

And you would think that this news would make me sad or angry, but you cannot even believe how relieved and ecstatic I am. I feel like a new person. I left his office and went to the gym, love handles and little belly all sticking out, and got my jelly ass on the Elliptical and ellipticalled myself into a sweaty stupor. And tomorrow its back in the pool. Gotta start somewhere.

There is something about knowing this finally, and about having the last six days almost pain-free that seems to be giving me new life. I feel almost manic right now.

So while I may not be able to race this season, or join in the stories of long rides and group runs, I feel somewhat "back" in the game. Hey, the Elliptical might not be all that fun, and it is inside, but I'll tell ya what, it sure gives me a lot of time to think about posts, and the people watching is beyond stellar. So I guess I'll have lots to say as I work my way back to Iron-form.

So thanks for dealing with me for the last nine weeks. As my doctor said, "It's nice that your not so crabby and disgruntled today." Hey, a good ten pounds around the waist and on the ass will do that to anyone. Cut me some slack.

Train on, y'all.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Mother and a Master(s)

This year in my family, we have two mothers - one new, one old. We have my mom, the woman who birthed and raised us, and my sister Ellen, who is a mom of four months. And I think we are all familiar with her Baby Nolan:

What a ham.

Anyway, I would like to say Happy Mother's Day to both of the moms - I believe with all my heart you have hardest job in the world. And that's why I will leave it up to you!

Also today, we have the graduation (yes, another one!) of my sister Devin, who earned her Masters in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. While I will leave my graduation post to her for tomorrow (I want to include pictures which we don't have yet), I would like to say that there truly is no one better in the world that can do her job - she is hands-down the most creative, loving, motivated teachers in the field and it would have been an honor to be one of her students. I believe when you love something, the right job finds you, and after all her hard book-work, she is doing what she is meant to do - teach. Dev, to say you amaze me is a ridiculous understatement.

So hats of to the moms and the Master!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Just Another Day In the Life

Baby Nolan: Ahhh, ain't this the life? I got myself some comfy chair, some milkies and the remotes to my side, a little basketball on the movie screen, and no one talking baby talk in my face...yeah...being a baby is great.....

Huh. Now I wonder what's taking the pizza guy so long?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Two Nolan's Walk Into A Bar....

"Yo Mom!
THIS is the guy you named me after?!?!?!?!?
Geesh, I think I just made a doo-doo."

On Graduation

Dear Nolan,

I would first like to thank you for allowing all of us to join you on your graduation day. Though I joke often about the bets we took on the final length of your college stay (by the way, Devin, you owe me $20), I could not be more proud. You often accuse me of being a nag or a tattle tale (well, at least when I was younger) when it came to you and keeping you on track, but I hope you will eventually get that it was done out of love and concern and with the best intentions. I always believed you would be an incredible man, and somehow convinced myself that I would be the one to help you achieve that. Turns out, you did it all on your own.

And yes, I know I am not your mom, but sometimes it's just as hard for me to let things as it would be for a mom. And lucky you, you not only have a mom, but three additional ones to boot:
The evening that we celebrated, you said a number of things that have stuck with me, as I was amazingly struck by how insightful you have become. All the things I thought it was my job to impart to you, to make you understand, you seemed to have picked them up and internalized them without any assistance. Your perspective on the things that make you a man (aided in part by Joe), you hope for the future, and your plans for yourself and future wife - It was surreal to watch these things come out of your mouth, because in so many ways you are still the little kid that runs out of the house, letting the door slam and getting yelled at by mom because of it.

I know I am babbling, as I tend to do, but I mostly wanted to say that no matter what you do, you are a success. You made a comment that you felt like you disappointed people (dad) but you could not be farther from the reality. Three year ago, you looked around at your life and said, "Wow, I need to do something different because this is not working for me." And you did. You left, you played ball, you went to the World Series, you made a life with a great woman, and now you have graduated college. In no world would that be thought of as disappointing.

I am very proud at all you have done, overwhelmed with the changes you have made in your life, and grateful that I get to be your sister.

And thank you for catching, preparing and cooking my fish.

And Jenny is amazing. Did anyone ever tell you y'all bear a striking resemblance to Britney and K-Fed? Just wondering.

So you showed everyone not just that you can study hard, play ball and get a piece of paper - You spent the last three years demonstrating what it means to grow up, become a man, take responsibility and lay some foundation for the future. Your success is not determined by whether or not you play pro-ball or be a fireman or be a teacher. Success is having the courage to change your life, recognize and accept your consequences, and then celebrate the good stuff when it comes around. I am so proud beyond the words I write here.
Love ya,

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I know I totally promised some tales of debauchery and pictures as evidence, but I am so swamped over here with the new practice and report-editing. I just got the pictures today, so will be posting late, late tonight after my Al-Anon meeting (I'm giving the lead!) I figured by that time, y'all might be on Wildflower post-overload (yes, I'm jealous) and you 'll be looking for my smarmy comments about the after-effects of Bud Light (two words - Na-sty!), rainbow trout (caught fresh by my brother!) and hanging with a bunch of jock college boys watching the big fight. Fantastic!

Thanks for hanging in there!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Party's Over

Hey Y'all!

Like that? "Y'all?" I'm all country now that I am back from my two-day stay in Tennessee. Hee-Haw! I've had my fill of country music, fried foods and Bud Light, and am back to the work of setting up my new office and getting the new APT in order (you'd be shocked at how hard it is to organize a one-room space!) I have lots of stories and hopefully pictures to share of my last few days, but hang tight - I need to go pick up my new bookcase before I get to the REAL posting.

I hope everyone's weekend was great and I totally forgot about the Prom of Triathlon known as Wildflower, so I look forward to reading the stories of those who participated. See ya in a few hours!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

On a Jet Plane

So this is a bit short, but I am in the middle of washing clothes and packing for my brief trip to Tennessee for the big graduation. I would have written earlier but I was tied up buying furniture for the new office, which opened today!

So I finally have an appointment with a back doctor (of the MD type,) though I am not so sure about surgery just yet. I hear that recovery is six months, which would put me into December, and definitely too close to AZ '08 for any type of real training. But I need some additional consultation at the very least, as my back is not wanting to get better. I had a really bad week (hence, the sparce postings), though my regular back doctor (of the chiropractic type) keeps telling me that this is what happens - good days are followed by bad, ups followed by downs.

For anyone else who has this, is this true? Or is he just crappin' me?

Frankly, I am pretty sick of being sore. I have officially gained 7 (!) pounds since the eight week lay-off, had a meltdown the other day, and said, "Well, my back's not getting better by NOT working out, so f-it, I'll work out." And I went to the gym and did the elliptical for 30 minutes. Damn, even that felt like an accomplishment. But I have to start somewhere, and I will probably get a few minutes on it tomorrow before I take off. I was so looking forward to being all hot and toned when I went to Tennessee, but I am instead trying to figure out what skirt will best hide the jelly thighs. Sigh. How quickly things change....

So on that note, I hope everyone has an awesome training weekend, be safe, and stay cool (for those in the hot AZ sun!) I will post pictures of the family when I get back - and I am sure to have some tales!

Later skaters!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

So Baby Nolan Calls Me...

Baby Nolan: Hiiii, Auntie Megan...What-chaaa doin?

Auntie Megan: Well hello Baby Nolan - I almost didn't recognize your voice without the "Wail of Terror" tone usually attached to it!

Baby Nolan: Yeah...Mommy gave me something something called...umm...nyquil? It's niiice...finally got myself some good sleep last night.

Auntie Megan: Well you sounds much more relaxed then the last time I saw, when even tubby time couldn't calm you down!

Baby Nolan: Yeah, Auntie Megan, you see, sometimes ya'all just gotta chill, know...I mean, look at me, so happy...

Auntie Megan: I know what you mean, little dude. I had a bad back day yesterday and little sleep this weekend, but I tried to stay calm all day, not let things get to me too much.

Baby Nolan: Right on man! See that's what I talking, diapies, milkies, burpies, a good swaddle - it's all good....

Auntie Megan: Uh, yeah, just like that. But I think what you're trying to say is to appreciate the life you have, not the one you don't.

Baby Nolan: Daddy let me watch basketball last night. And then he convinced mommy that a day of tournament play the day before was good for the development of my visual motor skills.

Auntie Megan: Uh, I think the sleep is wearing off...


Baby Nolan: Uhh! That chicken burrito is just going through me today! So what were we saying?
Auntie Megan: Basketball?
Baby Nolan: Right on. So here we are, hanging like dudes yesterday, and then Mommy comes in and she's all "Nolan has to go to bed" and the Daddy's like, "But he's really into the game right now!" And the Mommy's all, "Honey, he just threw up on himself - you gonna take care of that?" and Daddy's back, "In a minute, it's almost half time." So then Mommy comes over, takes me away from the television and changes me. Then we got to go shopping! Mommy kept mumbling something about about "Daddy owes me..." but she got me and her lots of new stuff so I think she's better!!!
Auntie Megan: Well, good for you guys! I can't wait to see you new stuff!
Baby Nolan: Hey, check out my new cycling skills!

Baby Nolan: I've been practicing all night long when they put me in that crib - i just can't seem to get my heart rate where I want for this cadence, but I guess it will come. Then I try working on my running form - see, like this, arms flailing about, legs going every which way - just like you auntie Megan! Sure does make me exhausted in the morning though....I think that's why I cry so much.
Auntie Megan: Well, you might be over-training. I understand how the love of multisport can really get your heart racing, though.
Baby Nolan: (Sigh) Amen, Auntie Megan. So when can you come over and we can go for a run in my saucer chair?
Auntie Megan: Well, this weekend we are going to Tennessee to see you uncle, Big Nolan, graduate from college, so maybe next weekend.
Baby Nolan: Graduate?!?! He's like 40!
Auntie Megan: No, silly Nolan. He's only 23. And he prefers "mature student."

Baby Nolan: Well, it would be good to meet him at least - I hear he's quite a ladies man and a good baseball player. Think he could take me to some games or teach me how to be an All-American catcher like him?
Auntie Megan: I think that can be arranged.

Baby Nolan: Yeah, you think? Really? Awesome! Well, I guess I 'll see you at that airport! Hang in there with your back!
Auntie Megan: And keep up that training!
Baby Nolan: Love ya!
Auntie Megan: Love ya right back!