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.