Monday, November 30, 2009

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Giblet Challenge 2009 - A Weekend of Throuple Love!

Okay, so I'm over a week late getting this posted, but better late than never. ;) A couple months ago, Running Dork, Running Lawyer, and I made the Giblet Jog announcement - we were all going to run the 10 Mile Turkey Trot in Wichita on the 21st and the Gobbler Grind Half Marathon in Kansas City on the 22nd. Well, please give some bloggie love to the Running Lawyer - the only one of us that actually accomplished this feat!!! Due to injuries, I down graded to the 2 mile Turkey Trot and the Gobbler Grind 5k, and Running Dork was one of the best Athletic Supporters that a group of runners could ask for!! ;)

Okay, so let me start at the beginning of the weekend. I got off work early on Friday the 20th and headed out for the 3 mile drive to the Dub. I got there around 5pm and met up with Beka at her abode. Kristen showed up a little bit later and we enjoyed an AMAZING dinner with plenty of wine and laughs. And apparently wine is my new pre-race-requisite because I ran my fastest race EVER the following morning. (PS - fastest ever for the running worm is basically faster-than-a-snail-but-still-slower-than-a-turtle.) ;)

Here's a pic of the Throuple on Friday night:

I stayed the night at Kristen's house and we met Beka at the race. The start time was 9:30, which was actually kind of nice since it was pretty chilly out that morning. After a long line for the bathroom, we barely made it to the start in time for the gun.

This race was my first run in almost 3 weeks after being sick and having a lot of craziness in my life. AND, I had only ran 3 times since my last stress fracture, so I was hardly prepared for this race. I was really just there to have fun. I told Beka I anticipated finishing my 2 miles in around 22 - 24 minutes. So you can imagine my surprise when I finished my first mile in 9:30! Now I will say this - being that the race was in Kansas, it was EXTREMELY flat - no hills, barely even an incline here or there. The course was really nice - right along the river, some of it on streets, most of it on a trail, and even part that went through a grassy field - srsly. I was covered in stickers afterwards...which did not feel good when I accidentally sat back on my heels later and got some stickers in the tooshie!

Anyway, if this race had been a 5k, I definitely would have gone out way too fast in the first mile and then ran out of gas at the end. But since it was only 2 miles, I really pushed myself to maintain my speed. Those of that have been following my blog for awhile are aware that I've only been running for less than a year. So when I finished the race in 19 min & some change, I was SHOCKED...and excited! New PR for the Running Worm!!! And after a 2 month running hiatus (other than 3 small runs), I was pretty pumped!

There are no pics of me running this race cuz I told Beka - who was waiting at the finish line - that I wouldn't be done until 22 - 24 min, and I finished several minutes faster than expected, so she didn't have her camera ready for me. ;)

But here is a pic of Beka & me (& Milo!) after the race...and after I changed out of my sweaty running clothes - thank goodness for Beka's ridiculously dark tinted windows so I could change in the car. ;)
We got to see Kristen run by in this trail during her 10 mile race and then we jetted over to the finish line to see her finish. She did AWESOME!!! I only aspire to run that fast one day!
After the race, Kristen and I went back to her place to shower and get cleaned up. We then met up with Beka and Kristen's mom for some yummy brunch before we headed out for the 3 hour drive up to KC. We arrived just in time to pick up our race packets. Then our friend Indi and her husband met up with us and we headed out for a tasty viewing of New Moon, followed by dinner (and drinks of course!) at California Pizza Kitchen, and some amazing gelato at a cute little gelato shop.
Here's a pic of us ladies (from left to right: Indi, Beka, Kristen, Me) at CPK:
That about wrapped up our night. Then we had to get some shut eye before the race the following morning - 8am start time!
Here's a pic of us girls before the race Sunday morning (from left to right: Katy, Valerie -who has a new bloggie of her own that you all should check out at The Coach's Wife-, Me, Kristen, Indi, Beka)

The GG started promptly at 8am and I started of just as fast as I had the day before - big mistake. I wasn't far from the end of the first mile when I felt some crazy pain in my shins and my left knee. I didn't stretch as well as I should have the day before and I was seriously just shuffling along.
Here's a pic of me during the first mile - I was still running faster at this point - notice the blur! ;)

Anyway, the rest of the race was pretty painful. All I really wanted to do was stop and walk, but I knew that if I stopped, I wouldn't be able to run again. I never EVER run 2 days in a row - my body just can't handle it. So racing 2 days in a row had me in a great deal of pain. But I just powered through so I could be done. Didn't stop for water....knew if I did, my legs would refuse to run anymore after that. So I did manage to run the entire race without walking....and somehow, even though I felt like I was at snail-pace, I still managed to PR! I will say this though - this was only my 4th 5k. 2 of those I ran with a yet-to-be-diagnosed stress fracture....and a 6-year-old in tow. The other I ran in August in nearly 90 degree heat with some massive hills. My previous times weren't hard to beat - they were all slow as all get out. So yeah, there ya have it - 2 PRs in one weekend! Not to shabby for the Worm!
After I finished the race, I could barely walk. I grabbed some chocolate milk and hobbled over to a tree where I did some much-needed stretching, which totally helped! Then Beka, Indi, Trevor (Indi's husband) and I went and drove around to try to spot our friends running the half. We were successful - first we spotted Kristen and obnoxiously yelled out the window at her....for a couple blocks. ;)
Here is a stellar pic that Indi took from the front seat featuring me and Beka hanging out the back window yelling at Kristen who is running on the left:

And just a few blocks ahead we spotted Valerie too. Cheering out the window of the car was so much fun, in fact, that we just started cheering for random names. The best was Lindsay...because some girl perked right up at the sound of her name and started waving wildly back at us and giving us the thumbs up. Ah, good times.

We then headed back to the finish line where we anticipated Runnur Mark finishing in roughly an hour and a half....and he did not disappoint.
Here's a group pic after the race (Mark, Me, Beka, Kristen, Indi):

And what would a race be without some Jazz Hands photos?? Too bad Mark scurried away before this was taken. ;)

After the race, we got cleaned up and headed out for some traditional post-race Chipotle love. Nothing quite screams "celebration of accomplishment" to me quite like a loving bowl of Chipotle - yummmmmmm!!!!
And here's a pic of us ladies after our delicious Chipotle love:
Shortly after this last pic was taken, we all parted ways...sigh. It was definitely one of the best weekends I've had in a LONG time!!! I do believe we plan to make this a tradition....with hopefully some more fun weekends together in between. These ladies are a blast - nothing beats the Throuple. Nothing. Except maybe the Throuple + Chipotle.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Holidays, My Friends!

Hello, friends! I know I've been away for nearly 2 weeks - wow, has it been that long??!! Yeah, my life has been a bit crazy. Our entire family has been sick (back-to-back, with multiple illnesses), we've had a lot of unfortunate circumstances come up among several friends and co-workers, and of course we had the tragedy of losing our dog. I do want to take a moment right now to thank you all for the kind and thoughtful comments you all left on my last post. The unexpected loss of Callie has been very tough on all of us. Our Golden Retriever, Cooper, is especially having a difficult time right now. And our house definitely feels quieter and emptier. But having the love and support of so many wonderful friends has made this difficult situation a little more manageable - so a huge THANK YOU to you all!

I really just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm working to get a post up soon (hopefully today) about last weekend - AKA the Giblet Challenge with The Throuple. But in case I'm unable to get it all finished up before the end of the day, I didn't want to miss out on an opportunity to wish you all a very happy holiday weekend! And while you're enjoying your turkey and pumpkin pie, don't forget to take a moment to reflect on the many blessings in your lives to be thankful for. I feel so truly blessed for so many gifts I have been given in my life...and that includes all the wonderful people who have brightened my life so much.

All of you out there in bloggie land really have touched my heart in so many ways this year and I truly do consider you all my friends. I am so honored to have "met" all of you this year, whether exclusively through the interwebs, or actually in person. Your comments always brighten my day - many of you have given me great advice, words of encouragement, flattering compliments, and smiles all around. Several of you have become my Facebook friends, many have become email buddies, and of course there's The Throuple (consisting of myself, Running Dork, and Running Lawyer) that has come only to exist through the magic of blogginess. Without the blogosphere to bring us all together, I would not be a part of a friendship I have found to be so special (and I mean special in sooooo many ways, lol).

Each and every one of you readers out there have had a hand in making my life just that much more meaningful this past year, so for all of you I am thankful! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with safe travels, surrounded by the ones you love! And thank you all for being my friends! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Heart Is Heavy Today...

It wasn't that long ago that I sat in front of this very computer posting this note on Facebook about the loss of our boxer, Nikki. What a truly sad day that was for our family. Many tears were shed, memories shared, and hugs given.

Just a few weeks later, I found myself writing this note on Facebook to share the arrival of our new lab, Callie. It was a bitter sweet day. Though we shared great joy in the arrival of Callie, it was still in the back of our minds that we had lost our sweet Nikki and had it not been for that loss, we wouldn't have even been getting another dog.

Today I struggle as I sit here again, with tears streaming down my face. Less than 10 full months after her arrival to our family, our home is once again left with a very important piece of the family missing. It is with a very heavy heart that I regret to inform my friends that we have lost our dear, sweet Callie.

Last night before bed, we noticed that she was struggling to get up the stairs. Normally energetic and full of life, this was extremely out of character for her. We called her over to us and closely examined her body and noticed a very red bulge in her belly. She wasn't whining, crying, or we regretfully waited until this morning to take her to the vet. I did give her 2 benedryls to help her sleep. If only I had known what pain she was in....

Randy took her to the vet first thing this morning where they performed xrays on her and determined that she had been hit by a car. She's a frequent fence-jumper and has little regard for sadly, this was not shocking news. The vet advised that he would need to perform surgery as she had a hole in her abdomen and her bladder had fallen through the hole. He advised that there could be more damage, but he wouldn't know until he got into the surgery...but he knew he needed to move quickly.

Randy called me at work to let me know that Callie would need to stay at the vet until at least Monday to recover as the surgery was going to be very invasive. Clearly, I was concerned...but for whatever reason, I had no doubt that she would come out fine. She's a young, healthy pup and not even one fiber of my being thought for a moment that she wouldn't be okay. Afterall, she had been walking around since she was hit yesterday - she even walked herself home after it happened. And though we could see that she was struggling to get around, she never "told" us that she wasn't okay. I was 100% confident that she would return to us on Monday and our lives would go on as normal, minus another hefty vet bill.

Around 11:30 am, my work phone rang with an unfamiliar number on the caller ID. I answered and was greeted by a voice that sounded shaken and apologetic. It was our vet. He said there was a hole in Callie's abdominal wall and her bladder and intestines had fallen through. He said generally, he would take tissue from elsewhere to repair the hole, but her muscles were so torn up that there was no other tissue for him to use. He also said that her leg was so damaged that even if he was able to repair her abdomen, she would have lost her leg. I couldn't even wrap my head around this. If her leg was that badly damaged, how was she even able to walk??

I sat there, stunned, with tears pouring uncontrollably down my cheeks. I asked him what our options were, as I choked back tears. He quietly stated that there were no other options...other than to euthanize. I choked out the words "Can I come be with her before you let her go?" He said that I would need to hurry because even under anesthesia, he was unsure how much longer he could keep her alive. He said he had her clamped up and if he removed the clamp, she would bleed out.

Frazzled, I quickly shut down my computer and tried to gather my things, while sobbing hysterically. I gal a row away from me heard me crying and came over to ask if I was okay and if I needed anything. In a daze, I raced to my car. I cried the entire way down the elevator and to my car and I'm sure I made several people that passed me quite uncomfortable. Once in my car, I lost it completely. I called Randy and told him they couldn't save Callie. I could barely keep it together and knew I needed to stay calm while I drove, so I called Charren too. Somehow, by the grace of God, Charren just happened to be almost to the Broadway Bridge just as I was about to get on the Broadway Bridge and she kindly asked if I would like for her to go with me. Thank you, God, for looking over me and making sure that Charren was just where I needed her at that exact moment!

I drove as quickly as I could to the vet's office and ended up stuck behind the most ridiculously long line of backed-up traffic ever! I sobbed uncontrollably, thinking I would never make it in time to say goodbye to Callie. I feared I would walk in just moments too late. Nearly 40 minutes had passed by the time I got there and the vet had told me he wasn't sure if he could even keep her alive for 20. I bolted through the doors with red eyes and a swollen face and didn't have to say a word - they immediately took me back to Callie and handed me a box of tissues.

I spent the next 10 minutes hugging, kissing, and petting my baby girl, with tears and sobs escaping me the entire time. My heart just aches because we didn't realize the extent of her injuries. We knew something was wrong last night...she must have been hit and then walked home. She limped around, but didn't whine or bark or tell us she was in pain. We noticed some swelling and just gave her some benedryl to help her sleep so we could take her in today. :( The vet said that even if we had taken her in yesterday, it wouldn't have saved her...but I just hate that she had to suffer that long. If we would have taken her sooner, we could have ended her suffering...

The vet offered his condolences over and over and it was clear that he was having a hard time with the loss as well. The lady from the front desk told us he was taking it very hard, and it was clear to see the pain in his eyes.

The hardest part is yet to come. Rylie will be home from school in just a few minutes and I dread breaking the news to her. Then we will all head over to Randy's grandparents' house to bury Callie next to Nikki and Max.

Nothing can ever really prepare one for any type of loss. Being through it already doesn't make the next time any easier. Today's loss was completely unexpected. Nothing could have prepared me for this. I left for work this morning knowing she was hurt, but truly thinking that everything would be fine. Each time I finally get myself under control, I start to cry again. Our family feels incomplete and I just keep hugging Cooper, knowing that once he realizes Callie isn't coming back, he's going to have a really tough time.

We will all miss our little Cal Bell very dearly. If you have pets, please make sure to give them some extra love today...and every day. You never know if that day will be their last...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back In The Groove

Yesterday was a pretty good workout day, esp considering yesterday was MONDAY! I got in a quick 3 mile run right after work. Well, technically, I ran the first 2.5 and walked the last .5 with Rylie when she got of the bus from school (I got off to a late start). I stretched really well and then I went ahead and did P90X Core Synergistics. Let's just say I'm pretty sore today...but it's a good sore. Ah, I miss this feeling. ;)

Tonight I'm getting a third MRI on my neck since '05. My doctor has been treating me for neck issues since my last car wreck back in February and things just aren't getting better. I've been through a third round of physical therapy, I've taken steriods, and I refuse to get another round of cortisone injections. I had 3 back in '05. I was pain free for about 6 weeks...but the side effects (horrible acne and a 30 pound weight gain) lasted for nearly a year! NEVER. again. I hate getting MRIs. I hate having to hold completely still for 45 min - an hour while they take all the pictures. I usually end up having muscle spasms and it takes way longer than it is supposed to. And I have a feeling this MRI isn't going to be a whole lot different than the others. Sigh....

Well, I hope everyone is having a great week. Oh, and if you want to read a really BAD ASS race report, check out my buddy John's race report from the Beach 2 Battleship 2009 Half Ironman here - nothing short of amazing! Way to go, John!!

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3 mile run, P90X Core Synergistics

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Give Away I Can Get On Board With!!!

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Back In The Saddle...

Literally. Yesterday I took my bike out for a ride for the first time in a month! I hit the trails at Smithville Lake with my riding buddies, Mike & Kathy and put just over 31 miles on the bike - wow! Not bad for my first ride back in a month! It was such a gorgeous day out yesterday, despite a bit of wind. It was just so great to be outside, enjoying the beautiful fall weather. I'm feeling pretty good today, other than some tightness in my shoulders/neck from being on the bike for 3 hours. Oh yeah, and the tooshie is a little tender as well. ;)

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I haven't had many workouts to blog about in awhile. Well, after my triathlon and 10k in September, I started to train for the Giblet Challenge and it wasn't long before I started to feel a very familiar pain in my left leg. That's right...stress fracture #2 of the year. :\ It was a disappointing blow, but I knew I needed to take some time off so I could heal properly. And my "time off," I don't just mean time off from running....but I ended up taking time off of everything. That wasn't really my intention...but laziness (and self pity) got in the way. Basically, I haven't swam since Nations Tri and I've only been on my bike 3 times (including yesterday). I really didn't workout in October other than a short bike ride and a few times that I lifted weights at home. Nothing really worth I'm not even posting my "October totals," since there's really nothing to post.

Anyway, I'm determined to get myself back in gear. I managed to gain about 7 pounds during my trip to Mexico last month...sigh. And with the holidays coming up, I really need to focus on keeping myself from gaining any more weight. Last week I started running again and this week I plan to start back up with P90X. So...if you notice a bloggie hiatus and think I'm not working out again, you're probably feel free to leave me a comment reminding me to get off my lazy @$$ and get into shape! ;)

Here are my workouts from the past week:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009: 3.2 mile run

Wednesday, November 4, 2009: weights - bicepts, triceps, hamstrings, shoulders

Friday, November 6, 2009: 2.5 mile run

Sunday, November 8, 2009: 31.1 mile bike ride

Hopefully I can stay on track! Oh, and I would like to give a shout out to my darling daughter Rylie, who placed 3rd in the All Around at her gymnastics meet on Saturday! She took home 4th on beam and bars, 2nd on floor, and 1st on vault!!! I could not be more proud! :)

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hello for Now! ...More on the way!

Hello, friends! First of all, I've noticed several new followers over the past month - welcome!!! I hope you're not disappointed in what you've seen so so-called "fitness" blog has been lacking in the fitness department lately. And there is a perfectly good explanation for that, which I will post about later. Kind of a long story, but I'll try to give you the condensed version.

Life has been pretty busy lately. Between work, vacation, gymnastics meets, and weddings, I haven't had much time for posting in the bloggie blog...and I apologize. I have lots to catch up on. I'll get there...eventually. ;)

Until then, I want to wish everyone a very happy Friday! I also want to wish a very special Someone a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Please stop by Erin's blog at Dancing Sweet Pea and give her some birthday love!!

Also, with winter quickly approaching - snow/sleet/darker evening hours - many of us may find ourselves running outside less and less and spending more and more time on the treadmill. Running inside is not always my first choice, but often times a necessary evil. Well, my new friend Ana introduced me to a site that many of you may find interesting: Treadmill Reviews. Here you will find reviews on ALL TYPES of treadmills (srsly, there's a buttload of reviews!), as well as some other fun links and info - check it out!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Hopefully next week I'll be back to my old bloggin' self! ;)