Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy 5th Birthday

I'm gonna finish the 2007 pictures but wanted to put this out there. Today my kids turn 5 years old. Man how time flies. Scott and I are taking the kids to the store and are letting them pick out 1 toy then taking them to dinner. Gracie loves to eat in restaurants. Here the conversation Zak and I had this morning.

me: Happy birthday big boy.
Zak: Thanks mom. big grin on his face.
me: So what toy are you gonna pick when we get to the store.
Zak: We have to go to Grandma's Target - only grandma's Target has dark vadors guest star.
me: What? What is it you want?
Zak: You know mom, it's on TV, dark vadors guest star.

Here's what he wants ....
Darth Vader / Death Star

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


January 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 me, Scott and the kids up at the Dells for Raiders week-end. You can't see my hands but I wacked the crap out of them running on the treadmill at the lodge health club. 2008 I'm bringing my Garmin and running in the cold.

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 :)

April 2007
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.

May 2008
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?

Not sure what Doug is showing me at Bike the Drive, maybe it had something to do with changing Laura's tire.

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

Dolphins - Chicklets n Candy Canes - Snow

I stink at making football picks. Week after week I come in last. So, I recruited Grace to help me make my picks. Heck, we couldn't possibly do any worse than what I had been picking. Gracie is 4 so she picked all the animal teams except for the Raiders - her "dad's team". We picked the Dolphins, again, this week. And they won!!! I felt like I was watching the Super Bowl. Everytime a score would flash I would tell Scott, "we lost that game", I said this over and over until, the telecast of the overtime game with the Ravens and the Dolphins! Gracie and I were high fiving each other. YES! So far we have 6 right this week. :) All I can say is "GO BEARS". They play Monday night.

Ok, I know this stuff has nothing to do with training, running, swimming or biking but indirectly this kind of does. You see, I had my teeth worked on for several years after I flipped the handle bars on my bike. The first Christmas after the accident I had what is best described as chicklets for front teeth. I finally got my caps put on the following August, only to have shave off 2 pieces of them while eating spinich dip at a holiday party. It was back to the chicklet look for that Christmas too. The teeth held up for a good 10 years. Then the summer after the kids were born I was brushing my teeth before going to bed and I heard a crack. Well, I was brushing to hard I guess because I cracked the cap off. It was broken so bad that the little bit of tooth that the cap was attached to was even broken away. I had a choice of a denture plate (I'm not that old yet) or an implant. I picked the later. I had 3 teeth done. My front 2 and one in the back of my mouth that constantly gave me trouble. Fast forward to Friday, I'm eating a candy cane, biting pieces off, waiting, chewing and I realize that this piece is a little harder and crunchier than the others. You guessed it - I broke the back tooth in half. So instead of running Saturday morning I met with my dentist. Bright and earlier, trying to not lose my composure because I was told that dental implants last a "life time" and they aren't cheap. So now I wait, the tooth is being repaired. I was told "not to eat to much with the tooth missing back there". Which I guess is a good thing during the holiday season. :) At least it was the back tooth - so I don't have walk around with 2 pieces of gum for my front teeth.

Sunday woke up at 5:55 a.m. I could hear the wind hollowing. It was dark so I flipped the porch light and I could see the snow being blown around. Scott was downstairs already. He found a movie on TV. Grabbed my socks and hand warmers and went down to tell him I wasn't running this morning. I didn't hesitate with my descision. I was tired from all the holiday hoo hah and both kids have been fighting colds, so I've been up during the night giving them breathing treatments. As I curled up on the couch I put my hand warmers in my socks to keep my feet warm. I told Scott I would call Bubba at 6:30 and let him know I wasn't going. I knew he was probably the only one headed out there so he's the only one I would call. Started to watch the movie and the next thing I know my phone is ringing, it's 6:55, Bubba is calling me. I couldn't believe I got caught up in this really goofy movie. He wasn't going, then called back, he was going and so were 2 other trimates. Was asked if I was sure I didn't want to come. I just giggled and said, nope. Of course by 11 I was kicking myself for not getting out there. It was a beautiful morning. Got updates from the gang that it was a tough run but worth getting out there for. It was all fresh snow which meant they were clearing the path. Challenging. Next time.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Great Week-End

Saturday we met friends for a train ride with Santa. On the advice of the park district, who was hosting the event, we arrived by 8:15 a.m. It was cold! We were met by 4 young ladies bundled up in coats, scarfs and santa hats. We checked in and headed straight for the communter pavilion. I was surprised that there were already about 30 people waiting. Our friends arrived a little after 8:30.

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

Jingle Bell Fun

Sunday was the Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell 5k Run in Chicago. A group of trimates did it last year in the bitter, bitter cold. We had such a great time some of us decided to do it again.

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


We had lunch with Santa today. Went to download the pics and here are some shots that I didn't expect to find .....

Gracie taking a picture of Zak holding the class mascot.

Zak's self portrait.

Here's the one I took.
There's more that the kids took. Like 4 pics in a row of a whale on the kitchen floor or 3 pics of Gracies doodle bear sitting in the office chair. The things I don't see when I'm not looking. :)