Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Detroit (Half) Marathon Recap

Another catch up post that is written way to long after the fact..... 

I was super excited to run the Detroit Half this year.  I had signed up insanely early for a super low price, and it was getting me another trip back to MI.  I love MI in fall.  However, I was getting a bit worn out of racing and traveling.  If you remember last fall, I cranked out 3 half marathons in 4 weekends.  Whew, it was rough, and I was about ready to combust and barely wanted to start the third race.  This year, I had planned to race a half marathon in Sept, Oct, and Nov, each about a month apart.  Well, this year was the year of the change of plans.  As it happened, I won a drawing and did 2 halves in Sept, and one in October.  This made Detroit my third half of the year.  I was feeling really strong going into it.  I ran really well at Brooksie, and felt like that course was challenging.  I was ready to rock it.  I was going to make a conscious effort to start out a little slower this time around to avoid my inevitable burn out around miles 8-10 that I have experienced these more recent halves.  I also wasn't going to eat as many donuts or as much cider before this race either.  I still was going to have a little, just not a ton.

I went to the expo on Saturday, and didn't spend too much time at their. Soren fell asleep in the car on the way down, and then when I got to COBO, I realized that the wheels to my stroller were in KY. Um, yeah, not so happy about that. I was a bit concerned about how I was going to keep track of the kids and get my stuff. Thankfully, it wasn't nearly as terrifying as I thought to be with the two kiddos in Detroit by myself. They have been to plenty of expos and the Detroit Auto Show at COBO a bunch, so it wasn't like they didn't know what to do or how to behave. I had a bunch of samples to drop off to Running Fit for their Running 501 class.  I wasn't sure if I would have a secure place to keep them during the race if I met up with them, so I wanted to give them to him inadvance.  They were first going to meet up just inside Cobo's lobby, and then switched to Cobo Joes.  I finally met up with Becky after getting my number and corral changed.We have really become good friends over the past two years.  It was great to see her.  We planned to meet up in the morning before the race, and head over together.  This was a training run for her for IMFL, and I wanted to go all out, so we didn't plan to run together.  I thought about taking the kids for a ride on the people mover before leaving, but was worried that it would break down and we would be stuck on it.  

Sunday morning was race morning, and I got up super early to eat.  As I was putting on my tights for the race, I noticed they were really loose.  One of the reasons I love those tights were because they were really tight, and they made me feel thin and fast.  I didn't feel that way.  The last time I had washed them was at my in laws house, in their washer and dryer, and then put them back in my pile.  I had been so soaked and dirty at the Ride for Amy when I finished, that everything went straight into the washer, and then remained clean and packed to come back for this weekend.  I was really perplexed, and threw my shorts into my bag to come downtown with me.  I was really on the fence about which to wear.  I got downtown, to the parking garage I had planned to use, and it wasn't open yet! Yikes!  I stressed.  I know this is Detroit and those kind of things can be casual sometimes, I didn't want to lose out on a spot.  Becky was staying in the Ren Cen which was farther east than I usually parked.  One guy was waiting there for it to open, and I just called Becky and told her I couldn't wait until the garage MAYBE opened.  I looped around and headed back towards COBO, and then found a parking lot right by Cobo Joe's!  Imagine that!  I spoke to the lady at the door, informing her that I was a friend of Randy's, and not on "the list" of people in the running class.  She was super accomodating, and even gave me a wristband.  I wouldn't even need to use gear check, because I could leave my stuff in here, AND have a real bathroom.  I opted to change in my shorts here, too, which was a good call.  While I couldn't find Becky, it was still great to have a close warm place with a great vibe before the race.  I ran into Chad there too.  He was just spectating.  Then it was time to head to the start.

Here is where I made my critical error.  I lined up with the 1:40 pace group, and decided to stick with them.  We started off a lot slow.  I just couldn't get any faster.  I was bummed, but trying my hardest.  Detroit is a hard course, between the bridge and the tunnel.  I had a great time running, though, I just wasn't very fast today.  I started slow, and just got slower, STILL, instead of starting a tad slow and maintaining.  I guess I am so used to starting too fast, and then slowing down some, or maybe A LOT for one mile, and then getting it back under control.  Not today.  Oh well.  It was still fun, and I still had a decent time, just over 1:43, I think.  I was 15th out of 1001 ladies in the 35-39AG, so I have to be pleased with that.  I also got to see a lot of friends.

Anna gave me my medal as I crossed.  It was great to see her again.  She was volunteering with her mom, and volunteered last year too.

I hung out with Anna as long as I could before I was asked to move, and then I saw Erika from This Spartan Will come across.  I had never personally met her before today, although I feel like she is one of my best racing friends since we have been at so many of the same races, and did our first half Ironman races at the same race last year, AND both earned our Ironman status this year.  We've had lots of emails and messages back and forth since she started blogging.

Next, I found Stephanie from the Wolverine Sports Club (WSC)!  I wasn't sure when she would come across.  She is Ryan's friend (and mine too now) who got me through my first century ride. 

I found Becky next.  She had encountered one of our Aquaphor teammates, Stacy, on the course, and paced her to a 2:00 finish.  Awesome job to both of them!  Stacy got her goal time, and Becky got her there. 

I was hoping we could find Maria from WSC too, but didn't see her.  She didn't have her phone, and warned me that she would be dashing back to the car as soon as possible after finishing.  I also missed Rick and his sister.  She ran her first half marathon today and came in sometime between Stephanie and Becky.  I was bummed that I missed Austin from WSC also.  I didn't even realize he was running until I got home that afternoon and saw it on fb.  Apparently I had been living under a rock or something.  He finished in that time that I was hanging out at the finish, probably talking to Erika or Stephanie.

Even though I didn't get my goal time, I really wasn't too much slower than my time last year.  It was a blast to see so many familiar faces before and after the race.  I also didn't overdo it on cider and donuts beforehand, so I felt great afterwards.  I love this race, and I don' think I will ever get tired of doing it.  It was especially fun with Detroit doing so well in the World Series (at the time)  I LOVE Detroit!!!

Ride for Amy Recap

I am still WAY behind, and getting more and more behind.  I wish I would have written this post a while back, while it was still fresh in my mind.  Anyway, here goes:

Ride for Amy

I know most of you saw my post on Amy, who was hit by a semi while doing her final long training ride prior to Kona.  Well, this ride was a fundraiser for her therapy, and it took place at Island Lake State Park, on October 13, 2012, the day of Kona.  At the time of the ride, she was still in the hospital, but has since been moved to a rehabilition facility.  The agenda for the day was meet up with Valerie early, help set up, and then ride, and head out before the silent auction.  I had donated food for the riders, paid the entry donation, as well as donated an item for it, and bought two wristbands up until the start of the event, so while I was bummed that I wouldn't be partaking of the auction, I felt like I was contributing the best I could.  I had also planned to buy a shirt, but those were unavailable.  I ended up purchasing a visor instead, which has now become my new favorite visor.

It was a rainy morning, but it was still very well attended.  It was really incredible to see the triathlon and running community come together this way.  I got to see a lot of people from Triathletes in Action, which isn't very active anymore with their group workouts.  We had a couple really great seasons as a group, but then everyone seemed to do a lot more of their own thing.  It was fantastic to have everyone back together supporting Amy.  Also, Randy Step of Running Fit donated his time and his equipment to take credit card registration and funds for the auction.  It was truly a beautiful thing to look around and know that everyone there was there to help Amy, and that 100% of the money went to her and her recovery.  No one was getting paid, and if you used a credit card, you paid your own processing fee. 

Since it was raining, most people just did one lap of the park.  No one was going terribly fast, and it was a social ride.  No times or anything.  Not even an official roster.  Valerie had just gotten a brand new bike!  Yea! This was her first ride on it, and I was honored that I could ride with her.

The funny thing about this, and I didn't realize it until the following week, was that Valerie and I swapped tights accidently for this ride!  Since we arrived early to set up, we both had on bike shorts under yoga pants, and then brought this massive pile of all black clothes into the bathroom to start layering up.  Apparently we mixed up our tights in the process.  Too funny that we both had black under armour tights, although the sizes were different.  I think I recall her mentioning that she could barely put her feet through, but I didn't think anything of it because I have that problem too.  Duh!!!!

I am hoping to get to see Amy over Christmas break when we return to MI.  Her sister Kendi has set up a facebook page for her recover fund, and you can get the most up to date information regarding Amy HERE

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Catching Up. Brooksie Way Half Marathon Recap

I have been very behind on blogging.  I think that is the way all these posts are starting lately.  I have been trying to figure out why.  I think life is just in the way.  I don't have any kids that nap anymore, and Ryan works so late into the evenings, that I really don't want to take the time out of "our" time to be sitting at the computer and I have been enjoying some of the TV shows with him, as well as working on the disaster that happens in our house on a daily basis with the two kids' activities.  With Soren in preschool, I have been able to go to Keira's school more often without the painful process of asking people for favors with Soren, and I can go to Soren's school whenever I want, because his school is entirely contained within Keira's school.  As a result, I feel like I am being a better mom, and trying to be a better housewife/homemaker (although our house is still a wreck most of the time and a lot of the time I still feel distracted after the kids are in bed by things that I have put off because I can't handle them with the kids running around.  I have 3 events that I need to catch up on.  I will try to give them each a decent amount of review, but will try to be concise.  I am already starting to forget details, so that should help shorten things up.

Brooksie Way Half Marathon:
I won an entry to this race from Kelly at Secrets of a Running Mom.  It was from Renewal by Andersen.  She was supposed to race too, but due to her pregnancy, was unable.  I had been looking forward to meeting her.  The race was held the day after Soren's birthday, and we had a party for him on Saturday.  Basically, I ate at ton of junk food, but we had a great time.  My friend Chad was able to pick up my packet for me to save me from the 2 hour plus round trip drive it would take to go to the expo, and that was huge so that I could enjoy Soren's birthday.

Race morning, I got up and went to the Renewal by Andersen Booth to pick up my green shirt.  I should have taken a picture of the back, but it is a fun shirt.  I wished they would have had my size right, but oh well, it was a free race, so I can't really complain.  It said, "Like my Shirt, after the race, I'll let you see the front" on the back.  Then I found Chad with my bib.  It was nice to have the booth to leave things in and it made it easy for us to find each other. 

We had a group picture next.  These are from my brand new iphone, and unfortunately, it isn't the best at taking photos in the low light of sunrise.  I should have busted out my regular small "race cam" camera, but now I know.  That is Jeff from Detroit Runner that is pictured with me, as well as Kelly's replacement.
 I ran into teammate Brandy in the port o pottie line.  I couldn't count this race for Aquaphor, since I ran it for Renewal, but I am glad we had the photo op.  The lady in in the right of the photo has on the race shirt.  Both years I have done it, they have been very bright for better visability during those fall runs when the daylight hours are waning.

The Brooksie Way has a unique profile, in that it is downhill for about the first 5 miles, and then uphill with some rollers for the remainer of the race.  The last 3 miles aren't as bad as those middle 5, though.  I started out with the 1:40 pace group, and got a little ahead of them at times, but eventually they caught me on the second half of the race.  It was no PR, and I didn't think it would be, but I did run it faster than I did in 2010, so that was a plus.  I was 1:41:53, watching the clock click over to 1:42 as I crossed.  I was just super happy to be under 1:42, especially on this course, which is hard, I think.  I also had someone ask me about my shirt during the race.  It is always nice to have people notice your sponsors and ask you about them.

The medals were SUPER COOL for this race.  I remembered when I did it in 2010, that it was a nice medal.  It had some thickness to it, and was by far my coolest half marathon medal because I love fall, and it had fall leaves on the ribbon.  It was one of my first medals with a really fancy ribbon, and I thought it was so cool.  Well, this year, for the 5th anniversary of the race, they had the leaves in a stained glass style on the medal itself.  The ribbon was less fancy, but had the race name on it printed large.  Since it is a half marathon and 5K, it said "half marathon" on it, unlike some of the other races I have done where the all the ribbons are the same.  I think it is a little lame to have a medal that says half and a ribbon that just says "marathon", but that is just me.  It was like that for Air Force and Derby.  Detroit last year didn't have any words on it, just the distance.  Jeff took a bunch of pictures of his medal too.  Even though there is glare, this is my favorite since our tree is yellow in the background.

Anyway, I was really pleased with this race.  I was 9th in my age group, and as it turned out, Leah from Chasing Atlanta won (and she in my AG too since we are the same age, so I guess I was technically 10th, but she was taken out of the AG awards).  I am glad I did it, and we had a great time for Soren's birthday.  I felt really awful, though, when I finished because it is not a good idea to carbo load on apple cider and donuts the night before the race.  My stomach was fine during the race.  It didn't bother me at all, but as soon as I was done, it revolted, and it took me a little while to feel OK enough to make the hour drive back. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Air Force Marathon (Half) Race Recap

This report is really late (as usual).  It will be brief (for me) since I already have another race recap due as well.

For background, I had received a flyer for this race from the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon race packet last Nov and was intrigued.  Even though my first marathon was in Ohio, and most of my races are either in MI, OH, IN, or KY, I still had yet to do a half marathon in Ohio.  The half dates that I usually were interested in doing were too close or the same day as other events.  I brought Soren with me to the Derby Expo this past April, and he fell in LOVE with the medals from the the Air Force Marathon because they had an airplane on them.  An officer was there at the booth providing information.  I talked with him, and noticed that the half was already at 80% or so capacity.  I checked the dates, and it seemed to be a good fit.  It was super flat, and could be an awesome opportunity for a PR.  I could use it as a training run for a fall marathon or something like that.  This was before the IM plans had been laid out.  My mind hadn't switched to tri season yet, since I was still less than 2 weeks out from Boston.  It was also very close to Soren's birthday, and I thought it might be nice to do the free Air Force Museum for his birthday, and avoid a stressful birthday party with a bunch of other 4 year olds.  I talked to Ryan about it, and then learned that Kim from (Just) Trying is Little Girls would be running too.  Awesome.  I signed up, and then put this race out of my mind.  I knew I would be training for a half ironman at a minimum, which involves running 13.1, so training for this would be just part of what I would normally be doing. 

Then Ironman happened, and I wasn't even sure if I would be able to race this race at all.  It was 3 weeks post IM, so I thought that would be enough time to recover, but honestly, I had no idea.  It would be one of those have no expectations have fun events.  The closer it got, the more excited I got about doing a new race in a new state, and seeing some new people.  There were several team Aquaphor people running it, and since it is only about an hour or so from where I went to school, I started hearing about more and more people I knew that were either going or spectating.  In fact, when I went to check my bib number, I learned a lady from my tiny city here in KY would be going, too!  I looked her up on fb (I am such a creepy stalker, aren't I???), and we had some common friends.  Turns out she goes to church at my building, but just at a different time since she lives on the other side of town (it amazes me that my city here is so small, and we have 3 different congregations, whereas in Detroit, my congregation comprised of 3 cities). 

I was all set to have a great time at this race.  I had arranged for my parents to come out too, and they agreed to give me a ride to the race start, since the race day logistics were a bit tricky.  I needed to be there far in advance, due to there only being 3 entrances to the base.  My parents had wanted to be there early because there neighbor was doing the wheeler marathon, and the marathon started an hour ahead of the half.   It took a long time to get to the start from the parking area.  They were not kidding that you needed to be there an hour to 1.5 hours before  your race start!  We had just passed through security for the B2 fly-over that marked the start of the race. 

Then, I had an hour to wait.  I was able to meet up with Jess and Kim.  I love Jess's awesome patriotic outfit for today.  Kim's was patriotic too, but it was covered up waiting for the start.

As well as Lisa from Team Aquaphor.

Even though it was a big race, the start area seemed really low key.  There wasn't anything dividing people into corrals aside from the signs on the sides marking paces, but those were very well marked.  They didn't seem to care who was in the start area either, and people were milling about in the area as soon as the marathoners were off.  I had filled out the application for a seeded bib, and I received one, because I could run faster than a 1:50.  That is not super fast, so I expected there to be a lot of us.  I had a green bib marked "Elite".  I felt so special when I picked it up.

Apparently, not very many people applied, because I then felt like a DORK when I was asked to move up to the FRONT and stand on the actual starting line!  What?  I kept looking for more green bib people to step up, and there were only a handful of us.  Seriously?  This was sort of embarassing, because I knew that I could not go out super fast else I would crash and burn.  I hated that I would be passed immediately, and was going to be one of "those people" who lines up way to far ahead of where they should be.  Oh well, at least I got some cool pictures of me at the front.  I could still feel cool for a little bit, right? See, there are only like 4 people with green bibs! And this was a HUGE race!!!!

The race started and it was a perfect day.  I was getting passed left and right until I settled into my pace.  I was going great and hit mile 4 in PR pace.  I hit mile 5 (on my watch, no mile marker) Then something odd happened.  I was running along and out of nowhere comes a group of half marathoners that merged in with my group.  Hmm, looks like they were lost, I thought.  Good thing it wasn't me.  Ha ha, that would come back to bite me because at mile 5.75, I was told that I would need to turn around.  Wait, what?  Don't I have another .75 to go before I need to turn around at the halfway point?  What?  Its a loop, not an out and back?  Huh?  I was in denial that I was going the wrong way, and asked an officer on the course what the heck was going on.  He told me I needed to turn around.  Seriously?  I slowed down a bit because now here I was with the 9:30 pace group of people that did not get lost and were going the right way the whole time. What?  I had no idea how much farther I had to go, and since I haven't been anywhere near PR pace for an entire half marathon, I knew I had to slow down to be able to do more, and a PR was out of the question.  I asked around a bit trying to figure out how far we had already gone, and no one knew or had gone the same as me.  When we hit the course mile marker 5, 48 minutes had passed, and my garmin already said 6.5 miles.  An extra 1.5 was what I would need to do.  Fine, whatever, it would be a tempo run.  This was just a fun race anyway, right?  The really upsetting thing was that the guy behind me started to freak out about being able to run 14.6.  I felt really bad for those people going in under trained or as their first race.  I joked with some people that I was getting my miles back from Muncie that had been cut short.  No one except me was in a joking mood, though.  I just thought it was very funny, that yet another one of my races that had been planned for a long time had gone sour.  First Boston was a billion degrees and we were advised to start slow just to be able to finish (before the heat kicked in and slowed everything down), and Muncie was cut short by a lot.  Now this was made long.  Oh well, at least it was a beautiful day to be out running.  It was just so strange because there were people at all the intersection.  I started doing calculations, and decided that as long as I came in under 2 hours, that would be good.  My pace bounced around a bit.  I got passed by a friend from KY and then got all competitive at the end and paced her back in a mile or so.  I also made a bunch of people mad around me when my Garmin clicked over to 13.1 (at 11.6 on the race course), and I threw up my arms and cheered for myself, 13.1,"Woo hoo!  I'm done, wait, I still have 1.5 miles to go".  I really thought I was going to get punched in the throat at this point.  No one else thought it was funny.  See, the way my year has gone, this is just more of the same, and I learned to roll with it.  I finished in 1:55:56 something, and had an average of 7:56.  Not too shabby, considering I slowed down a bit when I realized I was lost and then switched to a tempo run to conserve myself since this is the first of three fall half marathons for me.  I felt great at the finish line.

I met my parents' neighbor Bruce, who won the handcycle division of the marathon, setting a course record. 

I also met Jascia from Team Aquaphor after.

I did some sampling, and then we spent the rest of the morning/afternoon visiting the museum.  Ryan and Soren were super excited about it.  It was cute to see them so stoked.  I enjoyed it as well, and so did Keira and my parents, but we weren't nearly as thrilled as the boys.  We took a zillion pictures of the planes.  One of the funniest parts was that we came to a display case of models, and Soren thought it was the gift shop.  He was destroyed when we told him he couldn't have one of those!  He did get a mini SR-71 Blackbird to take home, though.

It was fun.  Will I do it again?  Probably not, because it was a bit of a drive and required a hotel, but I would recommend the race to others.  A lot of people were upset about the problem with the course, and from the feedback they received, I am sure they will make sure this doesn't happen again.  Perhaps they will draw a line on the ground like they do at Akron and some of the other races for people to follow so there is not so much reliance on volunteers and such.  It was a cool race.  Bummer that I got lost, but it made it memorable for sure.  I'm just glad I had 2 more half marathons to do this year and that is wasn't a big deal for me.  For some people, I am sure it was.  I feel bad for people that didn't have other races or that had planned this for their first half ever.  That would be un-nerving for sure.  I never got upset over it, because I have really learned to roll with it this year.

Monday, September 24, 2012

We Love Amy Sweatbands

Please keep your prayers coming for Amy!  They have been working!  In the meantime, SOAS is making a WE LOVE AMY sweatband.  For those of you going to Kona, they will be there waiting for you.  Otherwise they will ship out on Oct 9th.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Please Pray for Amy!

I am not going to post details (per her family's request), but for those of you that have followed this blog for a while or know me, have heard me talk about Rockstar Amy.  She was hit by a truck on her final long ride prior to Kona, and is in bad shape.  She needs all the postive vibes that she can right now.

I had just recently thanked her so much for her help with IM, and told her that I would put an ad for her on my blog.  I hadn't put the ad up yet because I really have been struggling to post stuff, and it didn't seem appropriate to put it with my underpants update which was also long overdue.  Here is the link to her site so you can read about her accomplishments (and hire her once she is well).
It is funny how you can feel so affected by certain people.  Amy is one of those people that is just so fun and happy all the time.  She is super friendly, and very humble.  While I am not strong enough to train with her side by side, I have trained "behind" her :)  Having dinner with her this past May was probably the defining moment turning my ironman dreams into a possibility.   I feel like I may not have had my incredible Ironman story if it wasn't for her.  Sure, I had other friends trying to convince me to do it as well, but having someone as strong and talented as her who has been through it tell me that it is possible given I do x, y, and z, that made it real.  It was after dinner with her that I wanted to do the 160K route of the Michigan Mountain Mayhem, and while it took some convincing from other friends that I was OK to do that, if I hadn't even though to do it, I wouldn't be where I am.  It pains me so much that the friend who contributed so much to the best race of my life is in pain right now, and struggling.  Please include her in her prayers. 

Dinner before IMKY 2011, she was there as a supporter
I stole this picture from Ironman's website from the Kona Underpants Run last year.

 The day I met Amy.  Me, Cristina, Amy, and Kristel, late summer 2008
I was about 7m pregnant with Soren at the time.  I had only met Cristina breifly before, and this was the first time I had met Amy.  Kristel and I went to grad school together, and the two of us had set up a meeting at Maybury of members of Team Stayput Detroit for a photo contest.  There were a couple other ladies that came out.  I thought it was really interesting how of the 20 or so pictures we had, this one is of just the 4 of us plus Keira.  All of these ladies have become very important to me since this day.  I hadn't ever done a triathlon at all, which is why I was not in tri attire (that and the fact that running clothes is a bit more forgiving to the growing belly).  Fast forward to now, and Cristina and I are doing our first Ironman together, with Amy on the sidelines cheering us on!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ironman Louisville Underpants Run 2012 Race Recap

Not sure why this has taken me so long to do.  It should be pretty short, but I just haven't been able to get to it.  I have a half marathon coming up this weekend, and I just really didn't want to have to worry about 2 race recaps next week.  I am getting into "half marathon season", where I will have three half marathons over 5 weeks.  It wasn't supposed to be that way.  It was supposed to be a half marathon in Sept, Oct, and then Nov, each in a different state.  Fun, right?  And much easier than 3 in 4 weeks in 3 states like I did last Oct/Nov.  Well, I won a free entry into the Brooksie Way Half Marathon on Sept 30th, which is right smack between Air Force half on Saturday, and Detroit on Oct 21st.  I was thinking about going back to Indy again this year on Nov 3, but I have been since grounded.  Thankfully, there also happens to be a race on Nov 3 HERE.  However, I am totally out of money for racing since I did the Ironman.  Detroit was paid for back in January, Air Force in April, and Brooksie is free, and coordinates with Soren's 4th b-day, which we will celebrate at Nana's house with his cousins, so it works out perfectly.  Now if only I can smooze my way into the Nov 3 race here.  There were no pacers last year.  The only one was a bandit runner anyway.....Maybe that will be me this year.....

Ok, back to the subject at  hand, the Louisville Underpants Run.  It is a 1.5mi run through waterfront park in downtown Louisville for charity.  This year's charity was the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapy.  It is great fun, a great cause, and a great way to get the nerves out before the IM.  I did it last year, and had a blast.  I felt like all the training had bulked me up a bit, and I needed to really worry about staying super hydrated/fueled, so I didn't feel quite as starved as I did last year.  I think last year, I didn't eat or drink anything until after the race, just to keep my stomach from appearing "full", but this time around, I just didn't worry about it and tried to suck in for all pictures.  Prior to the race, my friend Kevin, the promoter, was looking for people to go on TV with him in their undies to do a TV spot on it.  Jen volunteered herself and husband, so I thought I would go to.  It was fun, but we sort of felt like the interviewer crossed the line a bit with Jen.  Here is a photo of us at Great Day Live" before the spot.

Here is the crew that appear on TV:

If you would like to see the coverage, you can click HERE for the story, and you will know what I mean.  While I had wished I was closer to Jen at the start of the story, I was glad I was plenty far away after it happened.  This was LIVE, so there were no redos.

Here are a few pictures from the race itself.  It mostly consisted of everyone gathering around with a DJ (I did not dance in my undies since Ryan wasn't there) and news people, and then the leisurely 1.5 mile run towards transistion and back.  Enjoy!
 Me and Jen, front and back ;)
 I think you will recognize his "package" from an SNL skit with Justin Timberlake
 Dan photo-bombed this picture of Rhonda, Jen, and I.  Love Dan.  He is Erin's boyfriend, and was in the bathrobe on TV.
 Dan, Erin, and I
 Shot of me from the rear.  I am wearing nude undies under my undies, which is what is bunching at the top.  Not some weird post pregnancy skin flap/wrinkle.
 Me, Jen, and Erin
 Me, Kevin, Erin, and Jen
 Action shot.  No clue what Dan is eating.  I am looking at the camera in this one
 A few seconds later, I think.
 Group of the Landsharks.  We won largest group.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Proud Mommy Moments!

I'm going to get right to it- Keira learned to ride her bike with no training wheels last night!  Whoo Hoo!

I have never been so proud.  She has been struggling with her bike for a while.  She had a hotwalk when she was 3, and pretty much unstoppable on it.  She outgrew it, and we got her a red Hotrock last spring, with pedals.  She HATED it.  I know she didn't like that it was different, but she also didn't like that it was not PINK!  She was so bummed to give up her pink fairy bike for a RED boy bike that matched Soren's red new hotwalk.  Soren learned how to use the hotwalk quickly, and soon was faster than she was.  Bike riding had become such a bummer last year!  At the beginning of this summer, we realized that Keira had outgrown the red bike already.  Ugh!  She had barely used it!  Soren wasn't quite ready for pedal yet, and here we had this expensive child's bike that was going unused.  At least it was red, and Soren could use it eventually.  I made the executive decision to buy Keira a pink bike, the next size up, for her birthday.  Since it was a quality gear purchase,  Ryan actually hardly batted an eye when we dropped $180 on her bike, which was purchased through Town and Country in MI, at a discount.  It is amazing where I am allowed and not allowed to spend money on the kids sometimes :)  She wasn't as thrilled with it as I hoped, but she was happy.  Our neighborhood is a bit hilly, and hard to ride in, but she plugged along.  My last post went through how rough our summer was in terms of my training, and there were many times where I felt like I had robbed the kids of a normal summer.  We only went to the pool 2 times outside of swimming lessons, the beach once, and work on biking?  What??  I was too tired most of the time to work with the kids on biking.  My helping them bike pretty much consisted of me sitting on the porch watching them in the court.  Ryan wasn't around much, and I had been frustrated not being able to motivate Keira.  Soren just started to use the bike with pedals after one of his grips tore (making it non USAT legal for end caps, but otherwise fine, but Soren was unhappy with it).  He was just starting to get the hang of it.  He was great at the balance bike, though.  Well, this past weekend, everything changed.  I went on a run in the afternoon on Saturday, and when I got back, both kids were inside, and the training wheels were off of both bikes.  Turns out they lasted all of about 12 seconds each before getting frustrated.  So what else is new?   Here they are "fat and happy" on their training wheels.

Sunday, after church, Ryan paired up with Soren, and I paired up with Keira.  I worked with her quite a bit, just running and holding her up.  I could let go for a few seconds, but she would realize it and then veer into the grass.  I was trying my best to keep her spirits up.  We went back and forth on a flatter section several times before she wanted to go in.  Ryan caved and put the training wheels back on Soren's bike.

Mondays are crazy at our house.  Keira had ballet, and then we went to a fundraiser at a local restaurant.  No time for biking.  Yesterday, I urged Keira to try again.  She seemed afraid.  She had gotten the feeling of riding on her own, but wasn't sure she liked it.  Enter the incentive.  As we left the house to go to cub scouts, I annouced that she could have a prize if she learned to ride her bike herself, meaning starting and stopping all by herself.  Giving her that carrot was all she needed.  After scouts, she wanted that prize (which I honestly had no clue what it would be; a trip to Graeters?  a toy?  I didn't know).  After a few attempts, she had it DOWN!  Boo Yah!  She was so excited!  That was the best part!  She told me that it was so fun, and kept asking to do it again and again.  She said, "it is just like riding with training wheels".  I was so excited and proud of her.  I was so happy that she wanted to do it herself and that we didn't argue or anything.  It made me feel so happy, and less bad about the kids being "robbed of their summer".  It made those times I rode the trainer on the patio worth it.  The kids would see me riding my bike, and know how much I liked it.  I almost cried I was so happy for her, and I couldn't sleep last night because I was excited, just like after I did the IM.  I thought about it, and I think I was just about as excited for her as I was for me when I finished it.  I didn't cry as much, but I am so happy that she was able to do it and have fun. 

Today, it was Soren's turn.  I went to pick up Keira's prize, and Soren was devastated that he didn't get to pick a prize too.  It is hard to reason with a 3 almost 4 year old, but I did my best to explain if he rode his bike with pedals, without training wheels, he could get a prize too.  There was all sorts of whining and complaining going on, but we finally made it out of the store and home.  Soren stopped whining, and said he wanted to do it.  I took the training wheels off, and promised I wouldn't let him fall.   It was almost eaiser to help Soren than Keira, because he had just come off the balance bike about a week ago so the balance was the easier part.  Pedaling and generating enough speed was more the issue.  We played games to make me run after him, and he was able to get the hang of it.  He is still a bit wobbly, and needs a bit more help to get going, but I'd say he has it!  We just need to keep practicing.  I'll work with him more tomorrow while Keira is at school.  It will be tricky to work with them both at the same time.  Keira still needs a little help getting started, but hopefully that will come quickly too.  In no time we will be able to go on bike rides around the neighborhood.