Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Future Husband, The 64.3 Ironman- Part Two

It was brutally hot on Sunday and even though we were mostly hanging out in the shade anytime I was in direct sunlight I was sweating profusely. TMI? Sorry, but my point is that I wasn't even racing and was feeling the effects of the heat. While we were relaxing and eating some lunch, a family friend, the one who actually got Rob involved in cycling and triathlons, came over after volunteering on the swim course. His plan was to ride out reverse on the bike course and meet up with Rob. After Scott rode off Molly and I trekked over to the finish line to watch the leaders/pros come in.

Gotta get a picture of the bling!
The winner from Australia.  
Came in a little over 4 hours.
When they were interviewing the winner, who came in 9 minutes over his winning time from the previous year, they asked him why he was so far off last years pace. He mentioned the brutal heat, challenging bike course and even more challenging run course. It was then that I realized Rob would probably not meet his time goal, but I had no doubt that he would finish! The top three men to come in were all Australian, what is it with them and winning tri's? The top female came in 7th overall and just so happened to be the reigning Olympic silver medalist from Sweden.

I headed back to the transition area near Rob's spot a bit before he was scheduled to come in and my Dad headed over to the "Bike In" entrance to take pictures and alert us when he saw Rob. It was around the time I expected to see Rob that my Mom called to tell me that Scott couldn't find Rob out on the course and that he had gone a lot farther then he thought he needed to, he was wondering if he had just missed him and was asking if he was back yet. Crap, let the panic and worry set in. A very short time later we heard from Scott again. He had found Rob and his legs were cramping badly. He was going to get him to an aid station to get food and liquids into him. They were at the aid station near mile 38 out of 56. Instantly my mind raced of everything from needing a fluid IV, heat stroke, reminding him to wear his calf sleeves (turned out his calves weren't what was cramping this time) and just not being able to get back. I thought for sure he was done and that he was going to pull out of the race when he returned to transition. After waiting for what seemed like forever, we got a message from Scott saying they were on the last hill leading into the park. We jetted over to transition and watched him come in and walk his bike to his spot. He actually seemed okay. I had seen quite a few other athletes barely able to walk to their spots. We cheered and encouraged him and from what I could se he appeared to be getting ready for the run. Was he seriously going to go on to run a half marathon? Once he started moving he motioned for me to meet him at the "Run Out" part of transition. I don't think he realized that he had to run right by where I was standing, but I picked up my pace to meet him. He said the bike sucked and there had been a bad headwind, but that his legs felt better and that he had drank about 10 bottles of water and electrolytes.  I asked him if he was going to continue and he said yes and high-fived me. 

While he was out on the run we repositioned ourselves to a different shady spot on the run course so we could see him begin his second loop. Scott also arrived back and the rest of his family joined us as well. I was doing the online live tracking on Rob and he hadn't checked into the first checkpoint at 3.3 miles. I know the tracking can be delayed and knowing his usual pace, I was hoping he was still trucking along out there. Eventually it showed him passing the checkpoint but he was moving really slowly. While we were awaiting his arrival, a park employee came over to the crowd and told all of us that there was a severe thunderstorm heading our way and that it would arrive in about ten minutes. No sooner did she finish her sentence, that a flash of lightning light up the sky behind us. Oh great, here we go again. 

You see, at almost every single major race Rob has done it has poured rain and/or stormed. I'm beginning to think the guy is cursed and that is the main reason why I haven't started a du/tri career of my own. Okay not really. Mom moved to get away from the tree we were under, Dad and I packed up all of our stuff. Molly was still down hanging at the finishing chute and I was texting her letting her know what was going on. As the spectators start to flee and seek shelter, the athletes were still out on the run course and I diligently continued to look for Rob to come around the group of trees. All of a sudden the rain picked up and the thunder and lightening were right on top of us. Across from where we had been sitting was a building/shed that held the park maintenance tractor, we all jumped in there, along with some finished athletes and other spectators. The rain was heavy, cold and the wind picked up. Where was this cooler weather all day? The athletes near us were actually starting to shiver. Scott and Dad hopped up on the tractor and I stood in the doorway so I could keep an eye on the sidewalk to continue to look for Rob. The lightening flashed and thunder cracked and it was a scary situation, but it was clear that the storm was moving quickly. While still in the shed my phone rang. It was Molly and she said she had just seen Rob go through the finish line. I wondered if they called the race since he hadn't done his second loop and encouraged her to try to meet up with him.    

After maybe about 10 minutes the storm had moved and the rain let up enough to move around. Molly called again to let me know that she had met up with Rob and they were going to make their way towards transition. When we spotted them, Rob carrying a medal, we came out of the shed and I asked what had happened. He said that he was about to start his second loop when they closed the course and redirected him to go down the finish chute. He had been suffering through the run, but was determined to finish and was mad that they made him stop. So he took a medal, haha. Turns out they still gave them to people who couldn't go the entire distance because of the storm. Rob gathered his stuff from transition and complained about the heat and the challenging course and the lack of support. After we gathered all of the wet stuff we had left behind we made our way to the parking lot, only to see that people were still racing and finishing. What the heck? Apparently, Rob was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The race hadn't been cancelled or called due to weather, anyone who was already out on the second loop of the run got to continue and finish. If he had been just a bit farther along, which he would have been without the crappy bike and run time, he would have been able to keep going. 

We continued on to the parking lot and noticed that the run course went right by the one and only exit out of the parking lot. No cars were moving. The rain continued off and on and cars were already getting impatient about not being able to go anywhere. Rob and I worked on packing up the car and we talked with my parents who were parked next to us. Rob also managed to suck down the two beers that he brought with him. Note to self: an easy way to make some extra money, sell beer in the parking lot post- Ironman race. Captive, thirsty audience who could have used some frosty beverages. Lots of people asked where he got it from. We sat in that parking lot for about an hour and then finally got moving into the traffic on the road. The car next to us had some choice words for the race and parking lot situation, ones that can't be repeated on this wholesome blog! Needless to say I don't think we'll be returning the Syracuse Ironman any time soon. Rob had a time listed in the race results but it also originally had a DNF, that has since been removed. 

One we got back to Cicero we had a lovely cook out and Rob had about 4 more beers. So we decided to stay the night and head back to Rochester Monday morning. It has taken a few days for him not feel as sore but he was back out swimming Wednesday and Friday this week. Rob also got a nice email from Ironman offering him $100 off any 2013 70.3 race because of his race being cut short due to bad weather. Unfortunately, none of them are really feasibly to race, but the gesture was nice. This whole experience has made me super excited to volunteer for Ironman Lake Placid at the end of July, I'm sure I'll have tons to say about that one! Maybe Molly can work her way in as a wetsuit stripper. I also suggested if she became a body marker she could just write her number on any cute guys. We'll see! 

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Future Husband, The 64.3 Ironman.

Rob started training for the Syracuse Ironman when I started training for my full marathon back in January. It would be his second time racing the 70.3 distance. Last summer he raced in Geneva completing the Musselman race held there annually. I have no idea how he keeps up his stamina with training for three disciplines and for quite some time he was doing CrossFit as well. I'm exhausted just typing all of that.

This past weekend we packed up his car and headed to Syracuse. Since my parents are in Cicero we had a place to stay and yummy food to eat. Ironman required him to rack his bike and do packet pickup prior to race day so we jumped on the thruway and headed right to Jamesville Beach Park. My parents decided to meet us and check out the happenings. After walking, a pretty decent distance from the car we finally reached the athletes village and finish line area. But the transition area and beach were still quite a walk away. I guess flip flops for the weekend were a bad idea.

Walking into the athletes village. 

Getting the proper documents.

Signing his life away.

Even his waivers were personalized.


The finish chute. 

After completing packet pick-up and getting his shirt and bag we headed over to transition to find his spot. Even though all of the volunteers were friendly and everything seemed organized they had already run out of race shirts in some sizes and the swag that Rob got was nothing compared the the Musselman race. Plus if you take into consideration that he paid $200, which was early bird pricing, I was expecting more. While going through the process of packet pick-up the race meeting was going on in the field next to us. They mentioned a thunderstorm that would hit in the afternoon and they said that they hoped to have everyone off the bike course at that point. A little foreshadowing there if you will.

After Rob racked his bike and we scouted out some locations for parking our lazy butts the next day, we headed over to the beach to scope out the swim course, looked like your average reservoir to me. After that we left Mom and Dad and headed to the official merchandise tent. As we walked over we ran into Rob's training partners, Scott and Shelly who had just arrived. Rob got a really cool shirt with all of the participants names on the back and an Ironman 70.3 sticker. His big purchase of the day was an Ironman Syracuse finisher's jacket. More bad foreshadowing? Maybe, but it was a really cool zip up jacket. Once we got to Cicero we had a fabulous dinner of grilled chicken & veggies and rice and turned in early for our 4:15am wake up call.

Rob knew it was going to be hot on race day so he had been hydrating and taking salt tabs leading up to race day. When we left for the race it was incredibly hot and humid and it was only 4:50am. After a quick trip through the Dunkin' drive-thru we headed to Jamesville. Traffic was pretty minimal and parking was easy. Mom claimed a great picnic table under some huge trees right across from transition and I watched Rob get his spot organized.

Free water for all athletes to use

Only half of transition.

The pro's swam at 7:00am but Rob's heat wouldn't go until 8:05am. As we walked over to the beach they were playing the national anthem and we positioned ourselves at the swim finish as the cannon went off.

As we were watching the pro's swim Molly called me saying she was heading down the beach. I know she was working on something for Rob and she did not disappoint...

The pro's started coming out of the water after about 25 minutes which I was impressed with, but heard was not that great for pro's. Mmeh what do I know. After the sign went up for the silver caps, Rob headed over to the swim start to get his wetsuit on, and Molly and I headed over to my parents who were with the wetsuit strippers. Haha. What a great form of entertainment and Molly was as convinced as ever that she needed to become a wetsuit stripper in the near future.

Hold on to your swimsuit!
Prior to Rob starting we looked up his Musselman times so we would have a rough idea of when to look for him. His swim took 40 minutes plus, so we were excited to see him at 39 and change. Sub 40, nicely done babe!

Molly, Dad and I tried to run along with him to transition, which was far away in my opinion. I had to take some walk breaks. Lame. After a couple minutes Rob ran by and was off on the bike course.

Go Babe Go! 

In case you didn't know, every year Jamesville Beach is home to BalloonFest, so a nice addition to the race was the two hot air balloons on display. Never seen a sight like this before...

Part two coming soon!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

School's Out For Summer...almost!

I must admit this was supposed to be posted last week and I am not quite sure where the time has gone! Figured since I spent the time typing it up I would post it, enjoy...

So this week has been all about switching gears. It is the last week of school and I have been somewhat busy cleaning, organizing and celebrating. Monday was the last day for students and I went with the seventh graders to Seabreeze. I really just made sure the lounge chair I was assigned to get into any trouble. It was hard work. The weather was perfect, maybe a little chilly for the water park but I did giggle myself through one ride on the Music Express. Tuesday I worked in both of my classrooms. Traveling equals two places to have to clean and organize, joy. During the day Meredith sent me a text and asked if I could watch Ainsley so they could take Colin to pick strawberries. Since I already had a running date I did some rearranging so I could spend time with this monkey...

Token cute kid photo to brighten up the blog! 

My running partner was Evan and since he lives in the development connected to my sisters I figured I would just go in my running clothes and meet up with him when I was done. Loving the long summer nights for running by the way. I was excited to run 3 miles with Evan because he is just gearing up with training for his first half marathon in Rochester in September. In fact he sent me this...

Which made me think (for a minute) if running the half with would be possible. But I don't think it will.  I am so excited for him and loved that I could join him for the first run on his journey. Hopefully I'll get to cheer him on or even run part of it with him in September.

Since it didn't seem like we would be able to make it to our usual Wednesday night spin class, Sarah and I decided to wake up early, like crazy early, and get our spin on at the 5:30am class. This seemed like a good idea at the time but when the alarm went off at 4:50am on Wednesday I wasn't loving it. Thankfully, Rob was also getting up for his open water swim work out and since he was such a chatterbox there was no chance I was going back to bed. The class was good and I showered at the gym and headed to Brueggers for a bagel. Great start to the morning!

Thursday, my building took a lunch cruise on the Erie Canal and in the evening we celebrated my principals retirement at Artisan Works. On Friday we had our annual family breakfast at school and it was here that Rob and I received our first wedding gift.

That evening we had a celebration at my colleagues cottage in honor of myself and another colleague who is expecting  her first child. It was the most fun I've had in a while and after doing some artsy things, having some food and opening gifts, her husband took us out of the lake in their boat. What a great night and wonderful kick-off to summer.

Joint baby and bridal shower... for two different ladies!

A little adult, lady humor as a fun game! 
Heading out on the boat.

Enjoying a great night, with great people!

The lovely hostess. 

Heading out...

Happy Summer!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Race Report- ALS 5k

In 2011 when I started running, we started a new family tradition on Father's Day. Every year my Dad and I run the Medved ALS 5k. We have run quite a few races together and because I ran Cleveland this year and missed the Lilac 5k, Sunday was our first three-peat race ever!

Ready to start my 41st race.

The ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease) 5k is put on by the local running store Medved. It is always held on Father's Day and finishes at Frontier Field on home plate. The course is really flat and has lots of zig zags so there are lots of opportunities for spectating. Another new perk this year was offering tech shirts for the first 600 registrants, Unfortunately, the tech shirts were running (haha) really small. Sometimes I would just be happier with a cotton shirt. 

At the last minute Molly decided to sign up too, and since she is our new neighbor I swung by and picked her up at 7:30am. We each grabbed a bagel from the Dunkin' drive-thru and complained about how we were sore from moving her into her new place the day before. Once we parked we met up with my parents and took some photos before the race. We wound up bumping into fellow runner Cheryl who was running alone and we chatted for a while about lots of running related topics. 

We all headed over to the starting line together and Mom got herself positioned for picture taking, cheering and cowbell ringing! The race isn't too large but isn't small enough where us slow pokes have to worry about them tearing down the finish line before we get to it. It also has kind of a family feel because of it being Father's Day and because lots families/groups/friends fundraise together for ALS and run in memory of someone.  

On our way!
It took about 20 seconds to get to the start line since that was the difference between the race clock and my Garmin. Dad shot ahead and stayed a steady distance in front of us. Cheryl, Molly and I started out together for the first half and talked and gasped for breath simultaneously. Molly and I shared our marathon war stories with Cheryl and it was nice to have great company and conversation to keep our minds off of what we were actually doing. At the first mile they have a volunteer yelling out the splits, we were just above 12 minutes and I felt like we were going faster then that. I told the girls that I was going to walk through the upcoming water stop, but before the stop would be by mom at her second cheering station. When we got to the water stop they had run out of water by the time we got there. I vaguely remember that happening the year before too. Kinda disappointing, even though I wasn't too dehydrated it was a little humid and some water would have been nice. Since I didn't really need to walk and there was no water I just continued to plug ahead with Cheryl, and Molly followed closely behind. 

We continued running and chatting and I told Cheryl that at the 2 mile marker I was going to take a short walking break and that she could continue to go on. Molly was having some hip pain and general soreness, but she was still closely behind. When we got to the sign I wished Cheryl well and thanked her for the company. I watched her press on and catch up to my Dad. I decided to walk from the sign to the second water stop and saw my Dad up ahead passing his hat to my Mom at her third cheering spot. I grabbed some water from a little guy and thanked all the volunteers for being there. During my walking break Molly caught up with me and I told her that my plan was to continue running all the way to the end. 

After a couple more turns I saw my Dad start to slow and walk, so I cheered for him trying to encourage him, but it turned out he was just waiting for me so we could finish together. After a couple more turns we got ready for what is, in my opinion, the best race finish in Rochester. As we entered the back of Frontier Field there was one more timing clock that read 37 minutes and change. Running through the outfield is such a cool experience. You never get to have that vantage point while at the ballpark so it is really cool! Dad and I ran into the finish together with Mom cheering from the stands and Cheryl waiting and cheering in the finishing chute. After congratulating each other we turned to cheer Molly in. 

Great start to the day. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Spirited Review

On Wednesday I went to see the premiere of Spirt of The Marathon 2. My yoga buddy Andy (hey Steph's Stalker) had introduced me to the first one which I watched online sometime last year. The first documentary debuted in 2007 and followed 6 people on their journey to train and run the Chicago Marathon. Even though when I originally watched the movie I hadn't run the 26.2 distance yet, the back story of the athletes and watching them was so inspiring. So when I heard there was going to be a second documentary I was looking forward to it!

SOTM2 followed seven athletes as they trained, prepared and ran the Rome Marathon. It also gave you a glimpse into their personal lives and in some instances why they decided to start running or conquer the marathon. For a couple it is because it is their means of income to support themselves and their families, one with Olympic goals. For a different pair it was therapy and their way to give back from family tragedies or illnesses. For one it was to escape the stress of home and work and to do something for herself. And for a pair of (senior) cousins from Italy it was about family, tradition and staying young.

Having the post-marathon blues myself, I was hoping the movie would be the inspiration I needed to get my butt back out there and set some new goals. Not too mention that I loved visiting Rome and was curious to see the terrain and course for the marathon. The movie did not disappoint. I laughed, cried, sympathized (especially with the first timers) and felt proud to be in the same club with these seven strangers. Even though both movies have the same concept there, was something about covering an international marathon that really opened my eyes to the fact that people all over the world do what I do in my little neck of the woods in Rochester, NY. If you get the chance to see the movie it is totally worth it. I watched the first one on YouTube. The reviews on their FB page have been mixed, but give me a theatre full of runners, running friends and a movie all about my favorite hobby and I am easy to please!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Girls on The Run is So Much Fun!

For the second year in a row I was a head coach for Girls on The Run (GOTR) of Greater Rochester. I had heard of this fabulous program and when I found out my yoga instructor was a director, I asked her how to get involved. She said I would be great at coaching and asked me about setting up a new site in my school district. I loved every second of it and there was no question about me returning as a coach this year. To make it even more enjoyable I convinced Molly to be an assistant coach this year.

Our site filled this year which was really exciting, so on the first day we had 15 amazing third, fourth and fifth grade girls who were excited, nervous, smiley, uncomfortable and very cold! All of our girls were new to the program and a lot of the girls did not know each other. The first few lesson are all about getting to know each other and I feel like our girls bonded very quickly. 

Learning each others names.
Coach Keiser made us go outside and it
was windy & Freezing! But we are tough.

We had such a cool mix of girls. I think one thing I love about GOTR is that it brings together girls whom would maybe otherwise not be friends and by the end they all love each other like sisters. Maybe better then sisters. GOTR is a ten week program that teaches girls about self-esteem, healthy behaviors, values and teamwork all while training to run a 5k. We met twice a week for an hour and a half each day. It's really funny how adult-like the girls can be. Sometimes they come in crazy and off the walls and sometimes they come in bearing the weight of the world on their shoulders. Sometimes both all at once! They are so honest with us and with each other and they like to ask questions, a lot of questions.

Playing a version of red light, green light with Coach Molly.

GOTR is big on giving them different items as lap counters to help them keep track while they are running. Early on we adapted a tradition of giving them a bead to represent each mile they ran. They treasured these beads, you would think they were made out of gold, or Justin Beiber. One of the girls started putting them on her shoe laces and most of the girls followed suit. They were so proud of the beads and would need to pick them out immediately after finishing. I likened this to running for medals, young or old, it is always fun to have some bling to work towards. 

More miles, more beads. 

Over the course of ten weeks we observed 15 young girls become better listeners, more confident, athletic, understanding, patient and smiley. Their running fashions were pretty trendy too, I didn't even know they made running skirts for young girls! Plus it made me proud to see them rock their official bubblegum pink GOTR shirt. 

The group after running their practice 5k. 

Coach Molly and I decided to make the girls little gift bags with items that were running related or things they could wear during the 5k race. They also got a blue GOTR water bottle and bandana. We got together an hour or two before the race and worked on their certificates and stuffing and decorating the gift bags. Pink of course!

Gift bags ready to go.
The 5k was at MCC and the coaches arrived early to check in an do any last minute preparations. The girls could arrive at 5pm and would have an hour to celebrate with their team before the race started. The weather was pretty comfortable all day but there was a threat of a pop up thunderstorm.

Coaches ready to go!

As the girls started to arrive and gather in our little area we had fabric markers so they could sign each others shirts. The girls had also written thank you notes to someone who had made it possible for them to participate in GOTR and they passed them out while we were together. Most wrote them to their parents or families and a couple even gave some to Coach Molly and me! 

I think I'm the one with the glasses.

Coach Molly trying to flag our girls down.

Playing while waiting for the rest of our group to arrive.
Once all of our girls were there we gathered in our typical circle and celebrated each girl by announcing her name and giving her the gift bag. I loved how they immediately put on the bracelets, necklace, hair tie and stickers we gave them. It was also fun to witness and get to help them put on their race bib, many for the first time. After everyone was settled we took some group photos and then the girls went to the various tables and decorated their hair and painted their pinky nail blue. After some announcements we all headed over to the start line. With some final hugs, high fives and smiles they were off! I have never cheered as loud or as proud as I did that night.

On the starting line. Thanks to one of our parents
for the great photo. 

After they ran by we all walked back to the finish chute where Molly and I found a good spot and stood there ready to give the girls their medals when they came in. While we were waiting it began to get darker and darker and the wind started to pick up. Off in the distance it was very dark and we could see lightening. Molly and I just kept hoping they would all get back in before the bad weather hit. We had a pretty good idea which of our girls would come in towards the beginning, middle and end. Boy did they prove us wrong!!! I am not sure if it was the excitement and adrenaline or the added bonus some of them had by running with their parents, but they really kicked butt. 

The wind really picked up and started blowing all the buds off the trees near the finish line, it was sort of a weird, eery feeling. The dark clouds were now over head and the thunder and lightening were getting close. As girls came in Molly and I screamed and cheered and Molly put their medals around their necks and they stayed and cheered for each other. 

Uh Oh. Photo taken from the GOTR FB page. 
I think when the rain started we had all but two of our girls in and a lot of them had decided to meet up with their families and try to get to their cars before the rain got too bad. The storm was crazy and it down poured so fast it was hard to react. One of our girls wasn't able to find her Dad, so I grabbed her and Coach Molly and we went inside one of the buildings to wait it out. It was a little scary and disappointing that we didn't get to have a group photo taken with their medals. I feel like I didn't even get the chance to say goodbye to some of the girls.  

Photo taken from the GOTR FB page. 

In the end everyone wound up making it back safe and sound, but it was a crazy ending to a wonderful coaching season. Someone (who doesn't get it) asked me once why I did this program since it was a volunteer position and I didn't get paid. How ignorant. I get paid something way better then money and that is the experience and unconditional love and support from these girls, because over the ten weeks I learned way more from them, then they did from me. I also got paid in the thanks and praises I received from the girls and their families. And the best payment of all? When the girls want to come back for another season! 

Our mascot "sholphin" is missing. 

Girls on The Run of Greater Rochester is going to be offering a Fall program for the first time. If you are interested in learning more, starting a site, coaching (men, it isn't just for the ladies) or even being a running buddy check out their site

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What I Did During My Running Vacation

As you already know, I took the last two weeks off from running. So you may be asking, "what did you do during your running vacation?" Or maybe you aren't asking, but Im going to tell ya anyway!

Coaching Girls On The Run

In the last two weeks our girls have run a practice 5k, tapered and completed their program with a wild and stormy 5k at MCC Saturday night. I'll have an entire post dedicated to Girls on The Run sometime later this week. 

The ladies and Coach Molly

Annual Memorial Day Weekend Family Camping Trip

My parents met each other while both camping with their families at Cedar Point State Park in the 1000 Islands. Something like a million year ago. So in true cheesy Griswold family fashion, we have gone back to the scene of the crime every year for Memorial Day weekend. It has evolved into a not so roughing it vacation complete with tv, air conditioning, more food then we know what to do with and some friendly competitive mini golf. We have also gained more campers with the addition of my brother-in-law, niece and nephew and future husband. Plus lots of extended friends and family members we have convinced to join us along the way. This year the weather was pretty chilly and very windy. I am all for jeans and a sweatshirt but when you are nursing marathon feet, socks and full covered shoes aren't ideal. 

Me and Ainsley in her new sock monkey hat.

Even the paper towel dispenser was
my kind of people.

Meredith with Colin at the hole.

Colin wanted a photo of him taken at
each hole. This didn't last very long.

Dad "cooking" the foil dinners.

Can you guess what mine is shaped like?

Mom made one of my favorite kinds of cake
to celebrate my marathon endeavor.
Spice cake with cream cheese frosting.

Rob and the RV as we were packing up to head home.

Camp site #13.
Had to take a photo of my lucky #.

Celebrating Someone Special

While we were camping I found out that my Godmother Lynn had passed away. Lynn was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to a year to live. She only lived another two weeks. Lynn was an important figure throughout my entire life. And even though we didn't keep in touch as much as we used to, realizing she wouldn't be able to attend my wedding was pretty upsetting. An experience like this reminds you that it is important to let people know how you feel about them and to not take any day for granted. I wish I had known the severity of Lynn's illness and got to visit her one more time. The photo below was taken last year when Lynn and her husband Ron surprised me and drove to Rochester to watch me run my first half marathon. I was totally surprised and started crying in Blue Cross Arena. I loved having them there cheering me on and enjoyed our lunch at Dino BBQ. It is a fantastic last memory to have. 

Popping The Question- So To Speak

In case you have recently joined me, Rob and I got engaged in January at our local Fleet Feet. We are having a very small wedding party but I really wanted my niece and nephew to be involved. Colin is excited about the wedding and I know he is at a great age for it. Ainsley, maybe not so much. As Colin has gotten older I have enjoyed being able to do more activities with him, so I knew I wanted to do something special to ask him. Rob and I took him to Color Me Mine, to pick out and glaze a piece of pottery, and then we treated him to lunch at Corner Bakery Cafe. On the drive over he said he wanted a dinosaur, but when we got there his position was swayed by all the neat and big objects. Of course he wanted the giant $60 dino. But when I said it would take to long to paint and he wouldn't have anywhere to store it, he agreed to a smaller version. He started out by drawing spots on "Rex" and then glazed his entire body. His color choice was interesting but overall he did really well.

Painting the blue spots.

Working on the body.
While he was working on Rex I told him that we had a special date because Rob and I wanted him to be in the wedding. He wasn't quite sure about it at first. I think he actually said no because of the whole walking down the aisle thing. But I did my best to convince him that it will be fun and that he'll get to wear a cool outfit. So he finally agreed.

Rex & Colin

Towards the end he got a bit antsy and Rob was awesome at distracting him by drawing funny faces on the paper on the table while I paid. When we got to the restaurant he ordered a PB&J sandwich, chips and an apple. Ever try to cut up an apple with a butter knife? It was interesting. Overall everyone had a great time and hopefully he'll walk down the aisle in September. Someone has to keep Ainsley in line.