Sunday, December 30, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
It's hard to recognize faces when we are all bundled up - in the baseball cap is Tom, then Doug, Scott (I think) and then I'm almost certain that's Ken. I'm officially old. I'm not sure who is in pictures anymore. :)
Here's Tom F. and Tom R. I'm not sure if this was the time Tom F. got lost and Tom R. played rescue ranger by driving his SUV down the running path. One of the many benefits to joining a tri club. Can you tell, we had a very cold winter last year.
The kidlins sledding by the house. For some reason they never get cold -unless their gloves fall off :)
Here's me and Deb's in Boston. We had brunch at a french bistro before heading off to mass. I made her walk back to the hotel in the rain. It was only about a mile and a half. We weren't in the nicest part of town and there wasn't a cab to be found. We managed just fine. :) :)
Here I am back in our nice warm hotel room after the marathon. That's Keri's red shirt I have on. Deb's and I stayed in and ordered room service for dinner and watched Everybody Loves Raymond reruns. I'm not sure if she was laughing at the show or me resting my legs up the back of the bedboard.
Here's Gracie and Zak actually getting along at the park. For as cold as winter was, we had a very warm spring.
I found this picture from the FOS ridewhile putting the end of the year video together for the club.
Here's the group at the Joliet Sudden Century ride.
Wind - what wind?
Does life get any better than this?! :)
My incredibley shrinking husband back in June. I was so happy he decided to come to the Horribly Hilly Hundreds with me. Scott and the kids actually had energy and were happy after the long day and even longer car ride home.
The American Flag coming back from our ride to Monee on July 4th.
More pictures to come .....
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
We finally got on the train and found seats. Poor Debs lost all feeling in her legs because Zak had to sit on her lap. To be honest tho, I don't think she minded. :) Oh, her red nose is from the cold she's fighting. As soon as everyone was settled, one of the girls with a santa hat, that checked us in, read the Polar Express. Zak loves this book. He kept telling Debs that the boy gets a bell for Christmas. Once the book was finished we all started to sing. I know, it's kind of corny but hearing a bunch of children sing Christmas carols is enough to put even the Grinch in the holiday spirit. Gracie sure can carry a note. :) :) Cookies and milk were passed out. Then shortly after that Santa found his way to our car. Clapping, screaming, laughing and ho ho ho's were all you could hear. Heck, even I was excited. It was the quickest hour and a half I've ever spent. We were back at the train station by 10:30 filled with happy memories. Here's a pic of me and mom. I'm taking the pic, that why I look the way I do.
I met some tri buddies Sunday morning for a run at Swallow Cliff. Our usual parking area was locked so we parked at off the path at about the 4 mile mark. Thought Rick was coming out so I called him to tell him we were parked in a different spot. I think I woke him. Didn't sound like he was going to be joining us today. We kept a nice steady pace. Nothing fast. Snow covered everything. Thankfully it wasn't as icy as I thought it might be. Was glad I had the Yax Trax on. Noticed that a woman approaching us was a woman from spin class that I used to take. It was a nice surprise passing her, haven't seen her since last spring. Then saw a former tri club member, smiling, looking good off of his Florida Ironman finish. Chose to run thru one of the streams in stead of using one of the new bridges that has been put into place. It wasn't deep and figured it wouldn't hurt. If anything it would be a mind booster for later on when training starts to grind the mind. I enjoyed today. It was a little different from what we were used to. I got a couple of extra miles in after the group left and even climbed the stairs. May is fast approaching. 50 miles. Time to start looking at the training plan and putting things in place.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Here we are at "LePeep" after the run. Nice shirts :)
Fortunately, this year the weather was ideal. 24 hours earlier we experienced a terrible ice storms and I don't think any of us would have guessed just how nice it was going to be for the start of the race. Cool and cloudy. I think it was just about 50 degrees with little wind. The worst part of the run was the puddles from the melted ice.
Scott I., Rick and I drove in together. Rick signed up early and had his packet picked up for him earlier in the week. All he needed was his chip. I signed up that morning which meant I didn't get a chip. Scott thought he signed up but when he went to pick up his packet, they didn't have him registered, so he signed up again. We met up with Laura and her hubby. Then found Doug and Sheila. We had checked our bags and still had a good 20 minutes so Scott and I did about a mile warm up. We talked about bikes, restaurants and how this was the race that made Scott famous. Last year he made the cover of Chicago Athlete magazine from doing this run. We joked about being prepared to smile in the spot that the photog took his picture last year. I took one of the kids santa hats to wear but couldn't keep it on my head. It kept slipping off or to the side. So I just held it while I ran. The warm up was over.
Found my way to the rest of my tri mates at the start line. It's funny the conversation that takes place. We all have the habit of looking down at our shoes. Doug was commenting on Rick's. I was noticing who had yanks and who still ties and who double ties like me. Then the gun sounded and we were off. Scott and I ran together. I was glad. I was still feeling like I was holding back after Grand Rapids. He kept me steady and paced me. Just before coming into the finish we slowed so I could put my Santa hat on for the photo op. We smiled again when we passed the news camera. Geeze, how corny. I don't think either one of us would be considered opportunists or publicity seekers but there we were saying "cheese". :) We stayed right around a 7:30 pace for the entire run. 23:26 and change was our final time.
While waiting to hear the results I was excited to see a woman I watched compete at the Florida Ironman. She did amazingly well. I wasn't sure if she knew me but I had to go and congratulate her. She was extremely humble describing her experience and it was great hearing her talk about it. She's headed to IM Canada next summer. I'm looking forward to following her journey.
The tri mates fared well. (We learned this morning that many of them had a podium finish!) We headed for brunch after the run. It was raining, so we did indeed dodge the weather demons this year. The conversation was as good as the food. I can't believe the year is coming to and end. It seems like we were just sitting in Wishbone laughing and talking about our plans for IMOO and the Chicago marathon and here we were talking about what a great time we had training and completing the races. And time moves on. :)
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
- Finishing the Wisconsin Ironman safely and not feeling like I was going to die when Sammy joined me to cross the finish line.
- Running the Ridge Run in May and feeling like I wanted to keep running.
- Keri helping me after the Boston marathon
- Running on the lake front with Bubba while it is storming and windy and then getting the water and swimming, finally in the big waves!
- Watching my nephews Matt and Nick play football, side by side on the offensive line
- Standing in church, exhausted by the kids behaving badly that day and Scott grabbing my hand, knowing that he didn't have to say a word to make me feel better, just grabbing my hand was enough.
- Shopping in Jewel with Caroline. She was pushing Zak and he was grabbing the plastic produce bags and about to unroll them thru the fruits and vegi aisles. She laughed. Then told him no.
- Having Rick to ride the Horribly Hilly Hundreds with.
- Hearing my brother's voice on the phone, telling me he just won his golf tournament. We were both over come.
- Finding Gracie at the waterpark. We were separated for just a couple of minutes but it felt like an eternity. When I finally saw her from a distance she looked so scared but she did exactly what I told her to do. I ran up to her and she held on to me tighter than I ever felt her hold on before.
There's more. These are the ones I can think of now. I am truly blessed.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Sunday 11/11 a.m. - Was going to ride "Roll the Toll" but backed out because I was to chicken to bandit the ride. As usual I procrastinated to long and registration closed. So instead I ran with my tri buddies at one of my favorite places - Swallow Cliff. Was my first time running any decent distance since Grand Rapids. Perfect day. Cool - some sun. The scenery was amazing. The leaves were turning and still on the trees. Huge orange bouquets to run under. It was beautiful. Ken found some keys and about a 1/4 mile up the path we ran into the woman they belonged to. Ken got a hug from her and a huge thank you. Bubba and Tom couldn't let Ken be the only one receiving so they each got a hug - then they group hugged. Caroline and I couldn't stop laughing.
Monday 11/12 p.m. - The kids swam. Zak loves to look up and see me watching from the grand stand balcony. He always gives me a big thumbs up. Scott called to say he's not feeling well, he think he's got "it" - he's skipping the swimming and going to bed. Grace and Zak are the last out of the pool and the locker room. I make them dry their hair to avoid getting sick again. We "sneak" out the side door and all hold hands because we are now behind the school where it's dark. We sing on our way to the car.
Tuesday 11/13 afternoon - Finished folding the laundry and head to gram ma's. The kids play there while I attempt to start Christmas shopping. Scott Nextels me from work. "When is this weight going to be lifted off my chest?" he asks. "I'm going to the doc after work, don't call me, eat without me." Yup, he's got "it". Get a message on my answering machine from my friend in Minnesota - "Just read your blog, someone needs to yell at you for not going to the hospital in Grand Rapids. Hey, let's get together when we're in town for Thanksgiving! Call me!"
Wednesday 11/14 a.m. - Gracie doesn't want to walk to school. "It's to cold mom." Go to pick up the kids. Gracie's upset we aren't walking home. Go figure. We'll be sure to walk Friday. Realized I came in last again with my football picks. Ugh. My niece turned 20 today! 20! Time flies. Put up the Christmas tree. Am happy with my packing skills from last year. Nothing broke, everything comes right out of the boxes. Only have the lights working in the middle of the tree which is ok since that's the only part of the tree the kids put the ornaments on.
Thursday 11/15 afternoon - More Christmas shopping. Almost have the kids done. Review my lists. Remind myself that we don't want to make Christmas about "stuff" after seeing all the "Transformer action figures" that I think Zak would love. Scott's feeling better and wants meatloaf for dinner. Stop at Jewel, thank God I picked the hot dog piece that was stuck in my upper middle teeth cause I ran into my mom's girlfriend from high school. Later that night I try tracking down an old friend only to find out that she died of Lymphoma earlier this year. Cry while taking out the garbage later that night.
Friday 11/16 p.m. - My legs are burning. Screaming. Realize I haven't done any exercise since Monday morning when I did a half hour of yoga. Curse my time management skills. Set the alarm for Saturday 6:00 a.m.
Saturday 11/17 a.m. & p.m. - 6:15 a.m. - Crawl out of bed, get 35 minutes of yoga in. Time well spent. Run only 3 miles. It's cold and quiet outside. The run feels good. 10 a.m. - Finally find the photogs house who is taking our family picture (Patty please don't tell mom). 10:30 a.m. - I'm told I'm smiling to much. I need to just smile and not show my teeth. Huh? Hope the pics turn out. Go to 5 o'clock mass. We are still dressed in red shirts and khaki pants from taking the pictures earlier in the day. Start thinking we look pretty corny. See uncle Jeff on our way to the bathroom. Kids run to uncle after mass, they get so excited when they see him.
Sunday 11/18 a.m. - Meet up with my tri buddies at Swallow Cliff again. We have a bigger group this week! Even some new faces. The leaves are still on the trees but are now brown. What a difference a week makes.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
We all train so hard. We look forward to the day that we can challenge ourselves mentally and physically. And then the unexpected happens leaving all of us with the question - how could something like this happen?
I always try to make sense of something like this. I'm having trouble this time. I guess I'm thinking if I write it down and put it out there I will find some comfort. The man who was updating this woman's condition on a slowtwitch.com forum wrote the following - We honor best not with flowers and cards and well-used expressions of sympathy but by imitating and emulating the worthy life of another. You could do far worse than to follow the admonishment to go and try to be like Dorothy. Be "Dorothy-Strong!"
Live life to it's fullest. Respect and love one another. There is no guarantee that tomorrow will come so live with no regrets. I've been hugging and kissing my children and Scott a little tighter lately.
Monday, October 29, 2007
When I woke up Saturday morning I felt like I had a cold. You know when your nose feels about 2 or 3 pounds heavier than normal. Scott had to work in the a.m. so we ended up getting on the road late Saturday afternoon. Made it up there by 4:45 p.m. Just in time to pick up our packets and get to the pasta dinner. Loaded up on the carbs. Didn't have a problem choking down the bread stick that was coated with an unidentifiable glisten. It was bread, that was all I needed to know. Caroline and Mary on the other hand didn't seem to care for it. Maybe my full head kept me from tasting what ever was covering it. On the way back to the hotel my throat was burning. Thought I may be having an allergic reaction to something I ate, so took my allergy medicine early. I also took an Advil before getting into bed. I was feeling spent and was in bed early. Everyone else was mulling around but I was asleep by 8:30 (which makes me laugh because that's 7:30 our time) I started to drool and it woke me up. I hadn't been sleeping for long, I don't think. Our room was empty, everyone left. The TV was on tho, "Rev DMC" I think that's his name. That's a pretty good show. Makes you laugh, makes you think. My throat was on fire now and I was having some trouble breathing. Puffed off my inhaler and took my Flovent (a preventative steroid) and got back into bed. Everyone was back before long and lights were out by 11.
The course was beautiful. Lots of trees, changing colored leaves. Not a lot of runners. The occasional pack and then a string of strays. This was a nice race. We passed mile 10 and I started to think I wasn't going to make it. Stay calm, stay positive I told myself. Caroline was saying she had to stop and use the pap, she was worried about time. I was told her how important it was to stay in the moment we were in right now. Don't think about anything but the step you are taking. We stopped at the next pap. I took out the inhaler and used it and stretched. I was breathing heavy and fast. We only lost 3 minutes with the stop. I knew we could make it up. Caroline then got away from me. I tried running to catch her but couldn't. Things started to look fuzzy, like I was in a tunnel. Crap. CRAP. I called to her. I was gasping. I had my hands on my bent knees. I was hunched over and someone asked me if they could help. I was saying no, shaking my head. I was trying to cough, to get the air moving but nothing was happening. Caroline was right by me. Mary ran by but I told her to keep going. There was no need to ruin her race too. Ugh. Every time I tried to straighten up my head would get fuzzy. My chest was burning. We were close to a medical point. This totally, totally SUCKS! What the hell is going on I thought. I had my inhaler in my hand but really it was useless. I would walk and stop and try to catch my breath. We got to the medical area. They told me take another hit off the inhaler. That would be like my 4th in an hour and a half. It's not working I told them but used it anyway. I sat and tried to catch my breath. It was hard to talk. SHIT! Is this really happening? My throat and chest were tight. After about 10 minutes I started to feel better and stood up but felt dizzy and short of breath. Again the throat felt tight. It was so weird because with asthma, it's my chest that's tight, I couldn't figure out the burning and tightness in my throat. It had to be the cold I thought and the running was making it worse. Well, if it wasn't the asthma I told myself then we could go on but go slow. We wouldn't reach our goal but we could finish. I didn't want a DNF. And honestly, that was all I was thinking about. Ok, let's walk, I told Caroline. "Oh, we can't let you go" the volunteers said to me. SHIT, SHIT, SHIT!!! It was over. Damn it. I sat again. I really couldn't breath. Why wasn't the inhaler working. Why was my throat so sore and tight. I looked up and saw the mat for the 13.1 marker. I wanted to tell Caroline to go run across it. I told her to just go. Keep going but she wouldn't leave me. A short time later a car came by and 2 young men in orange jackets told me they would take me back to the finish line. The car was warm. We drove about 20 feet and it started to get really hard to breath. I heard a little wheeze coming out now. Now I started to panic. I need a steroid - I said it out loud. "What?" the man in the front passenger seat asked? I need a steroid I gasped. I know he said - we're gonna get it for you. Then I lost it. I started to cry. I know that was the worst thing I could have done but I couldn't keep it together. My chest and throat felt like the were being squeezed shut because I was crying. I grabbed Caroline's hand. I know I scared her. I told her I was panicking. She told me to yoga breath. I was trying but my nose was so stuffed up nothing was moving. I was afraid the crying was going to cause me to hyperventilate. Got to the finish line and to the medical tent. The cold air felt good. It was actually a little easier to breath. Paramedics were there and put a pulse ox meter on but could get it to work. They started a nebulizer treatment. They used albuterol and a steroid mixed together. After about 2 minutes of the treatment I was feeling better. I didn't feel like I was in a tunnel anymore. I wanted to ask them why the mixed the 2 meds - now the breathing treatment was going to take forever. Everyone was very nice, accept for this know it all in a white shirt and badge. He was bossing everyone around. I wanted to ask him to leave, his bad karma bringing everyone down. I obviously didn't. I had to sign a release that I refused to go to the hospital and assured them that I would call my doc on the way back home to get a steriod.
It was a long drive home. The last hour I got tired. I felt like a truck had hit me. I insisted on driving home. I talked with my doc and we both agreed the steriods weren't necessary but that if I felt like I needed them in the morning to call her and she would see me. Just before dropping Caroline off I told her I was going to stop at a doc in the box. My breathing felt fine but the throat was burning. I had to do something. She had her mom's b-day party to go to or I think she would have come with me. There was no one at the doc's office. I got right in. The nurse took a strep culture right away. Took my temp and it was normal which made me realize I was dehydrated because I felt like I was burning up. The doc came in and I told him about my day. He looked at me like I was making the whole thing up. I guess it does sound kind of crazy. I started to laugh, and shook my head. I told him I know this sounds crazy but my throat is killing me and I was worried about having something that needed attention. He checked the ears, nose, throat, glands. Yup, things were red, puffy, full of fluid but he said it looked viral and not bacterial. Then he started asking about the asthma and me running and how things felt. Then he said something that made so much sense I wanted to kiss. He said that he didn't think I had an asthma attack. He thought I had (still have) adult croupe. Gracie would get this when she was a baby and we would go back and forth, was it her asthma or croupe. He said by mile 6 my throat was so irritated by my breathing that it probably started to swell shut, the inhaler relieved it slightly, or I would slow down, then he started saying something about VO2 max blah blah blah, stopping blah, blah blah, the heat from the car, blah, blah, blah. And with each word I was feeling better. Cause while I was out there running, I kept thinking this doesn't feel like asthma but I can't breath so what else could it be. He gave me a sheet on adult croupe, told me to go home and rehydrate and eat then take some Advil for the pain and an antihistamine for the congestion. I smiled cause that's exactly what I had been doing. Then he told me that this could linger for a while to be patient and get a lot of rest. So, I left him feeling better not because the throat felt good but because I had an explanation of what happened that day. Something that made sense to me.
So, I now have a DNF. It stings a little saying it. Pain is temporary, quiting is forever. I had to. I really don't think it was smart to keep going. I'm reassuring my self here. I think I'm feeling this way because I let Caroline down. If I wasn't there she would have kept going. She's a good friend for staying behind. Especially when I panicked. So, today is already tomorrow and the race is now just another day in my past that I will have to learn from. Soon this "hit by a truck" feeling will leave my chest as will my "adult croupe". I have to ask myself if I will every run again when I have a cold. I know I will. I'll just have to tell myself to slow it down. Is that possible? :)
Monday, October 22, 2007
Last Friday we had plans to go out. Not just a movie but actually go out and talk to other people. It was card night to raise money for the football program my husband coaches for. I usually don't go to these things but I haven't seen much of Scott lately so I told him we should go. I warned him I didn't really know how to play cards but he assured me that wasn't a problem and we would have fun. So, I dropped the kids off at my moms. On my way home I practiced my poker face and thought about everything I had seen on ESPN's World Poker Tour. We got to the party and my heart was beating as if I had just finished some speed work. After we signed in Scott got a deck of cards and reviewed the rules. His boss was there so he helped with a couple of practice games. It was 8 o'clock and time to start. Fortunately there were only 10 of us playing and it didn't seem like anyone was going to take it to seriously. I got a bag of chips and cheat sheet indicating how much each chip was worth. We drew cards to see where we sat and then the games began. Well, I felt like I just finished my second set of speed drills. Practicing my poker face was a waste of time because nervous was the only face I was able to show. I messed up with betting, when to check, call or fold. My shuffling needs work as does my poker face. Like I said, I was glad no one was taking this seriously.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Me - What would you say if I said I wanted to run a 50 mile race?
Scott - What, like one of those Ultramarathons?
Me - Yeah.
Scott - Well, I was worried about you passing out during the Ironman or messing all over yourself and then crawling across the finish line, like that woman we watched 20 years ago, but since that didn't happen I guess you can do what ever you put your mind to.
Me - So you wouldn't mind if I did one, say next spring?
Scott - Nope, knock your socks off.
Scott - How long do think it would take you? Probably 10 hours huh!? Figure your worst marathon time and then double it ....
Monday, October 8, 2007
We got into the city by 5:45 a.m. Caroline was running so we dropped her off at the Hilton. She was nervous/excited the usual gambit of emotions just before starting a race. She kept teetering on her finish time. She was well prepared and had her nutrition and hydration plan in place (she wasn't running with water just Accelerade, she planned to get water on the course) but the heat was causing her to question her plans for a final time. That would be decided when she crossed the finish line. We agreed on a meeting place after the run, hugged each other good bye and Keri and I headed towards mile 10.5.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
"Hey Pam, nice rack" - Thanks Gil, be quiet Doug
That's Brian in the blue shirt holding his coffee and his lovely wife. Yes, any one familar with "Run Bubba Run" - that's Bubba - we're lucky to have him on the HumanRacer team :)
The 07 Moo Crew
Holy crap - why didn't anyone tell me how short my shorts were?!
My family after the finish -
Matt, my mom, my sister Patty, me, Keri, Nick and the incredible Sam - The hubby took Zak and Grace upstairs - they were literally falling asleep on the sidewalk :)