Saturday, October 19, 2013

Roxanne's first Triathlon!!

Celebrating our finish with champagne and brunch!!

Roxanne is actually reading the rules of the sport of triathlon!

I have been very bad about blogging so will try to play catch up! Most of you know that Roxanne has been my running partner for the last couple of years and this summer I talked her into try a triathlon! 

With only two weeks before the event, we signed up for a sprint Tri. 500 yd swim, 12 mile bike and a 5k run! Roxanne is a swimmer and has become a good runner even though she still claims to hate it but was scared to death on the bike!

She over came her fears in this race! I took her out to the site a couple of times to practice on the dam which would help her learn to shift on hills but she was too nervous to actually ride on the race course, so we did a few training rides at lake Hefner which is flat but going around twice for 18 miles at least gave her the confidence that she could complete the distance!

She had lots of questions for my Tri friends about transition set up and she is so anal it was funny to see her place everything perfectly in their spot for the race. Her biggest problems is she can't stand to have dirty, sandy feet coming up the beach from the swim so she takes extra time to wipe down before putting on her bike shoes! She came out of the water a few minutes ahead of me as expected but I was surprised to still see her in transition when I got there (because she's so picky) but she headed out on the bike as I was coming in off the swim. I really thought I would catch her quickly but she had no fear that day and I did not catch her until after the turnaround! We had not planned to stay together as it's kind of hard to do that on the bike anyway, so at that point we each raced on our own!

I was so proud as she crossed that finish line and I honestly think she finds these events more fun than just long runs, so hopefully next summer I can talk her into doing more!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Master yogi Jim.

Jim went to yoga without me again this evening. We usually go together but I taught a class there earlier today and just didn't feel like getting out again besides I've been doing laundry all day. Sam moves back for 2nd year of college so I'm giving him a treat and doing his laundry and cooking his favorite meal. I'm also not complaining,just reflecting, laughing and hopeful for the future.

When we were first married I worked full time and squeezed in workouts on my lunch hour or took the kids to a gym nursery. Jim worked hard and also lifted weights or played basketball and soccer. I started doing yoga but Jim wasn't into it. Fine. I was busy raising kids and racing, running, and teaching yoga. This went on for 15 years. 

Now our kids are grown and we started cycling together some since Jim doesn't run. We tried golf too but that did not work! I had been bugging Jim for years to get off that boring bike trainer in the winter and join me in yoga. One day he said okay!

So this year Jim finally came to a yoga class with me and was hooked. It's been 6 months now and as everyone knows he is now a "master yogi". 

So why am I hopeful? Almost 31 years of marriage and change is possible! Who knows, maybe he will even start doing the laundry someday:)
Master yogi Jim striking Tree pose in Canada!
Home practice!!!!
Piles of laundry:)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Oh Canada!! Day 1 - Banff

We rented a car in Calgary and made the easy drive to BAnff. As you enter the national Forrest there is a bit of a traffic jam to purchase your ticket. Cost was about 15 per day and they put a sticker on your car which they do check. Banff is a cute town full of shops and tourists! We shopped the first day and had planned to hike but the Mosquitos were terrible so we visited the historic Banff hotel and springs nearby. 
Day two we hiked sulfur springs trail to the summit. We skipped the hot springs as it was just a basically just a big hot tub 

These little bridges are designed for the animals to cross the highway. 
Lake Louise next day. Our hotel was a zoo so we grabbed a delicious meal next to the fairmont called Deer lodge. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The breaking news regarding DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) this morning caused me to pause from  cleaning house and think of Mom. Why? Because Mom was way ahead of her time when it came to equality for all.

First off, when I was 9 years old and living on base housing, a black family moved across the street from us and they had a daughter, Angela, who was my age. I was so excited to have a new friend! We played for hours, mostly with barbies but we also loved to help her dad clean fish and I had my first taste of turtle soup. I remember watching that man cut up that turtle and almost cried but I ate it, just like I ate those frog legs when my grandpa and dad would go out "gigging" for frogs and then tell me I was eating chicken, only later did I learn what it really was!

But anyway, I digress...after a few months of playing with Angela, I noticed a few of my other friends were not coming around so I finally asked one of them why and she told me. Their moms would not let them play with me anymore because I played with Angela. I told my mom about it and years later she told me about the phone call she made to all those other moms! I never knew my mom had such fire!

Then,  years later, the same thing happened to my mom! She became a runner and met a woman and they started running together. This woman was gay! Mom had friends drop her because she was hanging out with a lesbian and "wasn't she worried people would think she was one too"? My mother laughed and said "Don't be ridiculous, being homosexual is not a choice". I had never heard anyone else put it that way and now we all know better. Thanks again Mom...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day! I read a rant this morning from someone on FB blasting others for posting pictures and comments on this day. This person lost their father a couple of years ago. As you  know, I lost my best friend and mother a year ago. I would never begrudge anyone honoring their mother on this special day.

Who I do resent this day is my own father. I have a father that I was never close to and now feel extreme guilt over the fact that I don't spend enough time with. I don't know why. He doesn't pick up the phone to call me, only when he needs something. I call him almost daily now, take him food, take him to doctors appointments. Don't get my wrong, I don't mean to bitch about this situation, he is my father and I honor that. He is not a mean man. Part of me thinks he is bi-polar or crazy but I just think he was raised in a time where you didn't show emotion.  Jim and I watched "This is 40" the other night and I laughed watching the young Apatow actress start cussing at her parents as I remember the first time I did this to my dad. He showed no emotion ever, so as I entered the difficult years, I tried anything to get a rise out of him, like calling him a "fucking asshole" more than once! He did not react, only ended up not speaking to me at one time for almost two years.

My father did not attend my wedding. This is a pain I have gotten over but will never forget. How I long for a picture to post today of my dad walking me down the aisle but that did not happen. But please, friends, continue to post your photos as they bring a smile to my face. And even though at times, my daughter fights and yells and screams at her dad, I know that one day she will have her own picture to share and I will smile through my tears.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bottlerock music/wine/food festival.

Wow and job well done Napa is what I've got to say about the first Bottlerock Music festival. Jim and I were looking for a weekend getaway and Napa is always on our list and when we heard about this festival and saw the music line up we immediately started looking for a place to stay!

We've used VRBO (vacation rental by owner) before and this time Jim scored big on our accommodations! Maybe another blog later on that.

Anyway we are staying in Sonoma and the festival is in Napa about 12 miles away so we purchased shuttle bus parking tickets for 20 bucks a day but we couldn't find the shuttle. Traffic was a bit congested coming into town and I was starting to panic a bit as Joan Jett was playing at 4 followed by Black Crowes at 5. Well we could hear Joan playing as we got closer and could see buses dropping off so by then realized we were way past the shuttle which was apparently two miles away so scratch that idea and bye bye $ and now we had to park and spaces were going for 50 bucks! Luckily we kept on a bit more and I spotted a little mall w FREE public parking, we scored a spot an had a short half mile walk to venue. Lines were short at this time of day and we got right in. The Crowes had started so we beelined to the stage and what a show! One of the best I've seen! Avett Brothers were next and we watched a bit of that and Jim wanted to check out Primus on another stage so we headed over there. Different crowd for sure!

There are wine and food vendors set up all over the place. We grabbed a grilled cheese w grilled onions and Dijon mustard and of course wine!

Day two Alabama Shakes was playing at 4 so we knew we needed to arrive early. We left our house around 12:30, stopped for a quick wine tasting at Adobe Road and were on our way w plans to park on same spot which we scored again! (We noticed a sign stating security issues and car break ins at this lot so maybe that was why) but we had no issues, secured extra bags in the trunk and carried a backpack in w us as extra jackets are needed as temps go from warm and sunny 78 to cool 53 at night. We got there by 2 with plenty of time so we grabbed a steak sandwich w blue cheese (delish) a couple of glasses of wine and people watched before heading close to the stage. Alabama Shakes did not disappoint and I can't wait to see them when they come to Oklahoma for the Gentlemen of the Road tour this fall!

This whole event was fantastic! Great music, wine and food! The only lines were for food and even those went quickly. No bathroom lines, we could always find a place to sit to eat or rest and the crowds/people were the best!

We will definitely be back. Great job Napa and Bottlerock organizers!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Oklahoma City Marathon - Race Report

After 16 years away from it, I am a marathoner again! Yesterday, my daughter and I completed the OKC Memorial Marathon. If you've been following my blog you know that my daughter hates to run but as our training progressed her attitude changed a bit. Our original goal of just finishing turned into an attempt to break 5 hours. 

We got to the race very early thanks to my friend Cara Nance who works the finish line every year and gets VIP parking and she kindly offers a ride. Jim planned to take our car and park it somewhere along the course and then ride his bike along for support. The weather for this race was finally clear and sunny after two years of rain and even hail! I remembered sunscreen for my face thank goodness which helped but my arms and legs took a beating.

My good friend, 3rd son, and former boss/coach buddy, Eric London decided to have fun and join us for part of the race as he was doing the half and not in his prime racing shape. I'm so glad he sacrificed a fast half to have fun with us! He was always inspiring and pushing us for those first 7 miles before he turned off. Chanel Henry, Roxy's cousin had never run 6 miles without stopping so he was very encouraging to her when she told him!

After some pre-race pics at the Landrunner tent we decided it was time to head to our corral. We were going to line up with fellow Landrunner Marlon's 4:45 pace group but could not find him so just got in front of the 5 hour group at 6am. A little later we did see him bringing his group into the corral but decided we'd just stay in between groups. That was the last time we saw them!

The Memorial marathon has a poignant moment before the start where we observe 168 minutes of silence for those lost in the bombing. 168 seconds is a long time for thousands of runners to remain quiet which makes it so powerful. At the end, we added another 3 seconds for the 3 lives lost at the Boston marathon. OKC was also wearing" Red Socks" to honor Boston and it was cool to see so many on the course. Local tv meteorologist and runner/triathlete Emily Sutton of News Channel 4 then did a great job singing the National Anthem!

The gun went off and it took us 13 minutes to get to the start, it was crazy! I had never started so far back before but didn't mind one bit! We had to keep reminding ourselves to SLOW down and go out easy. By about mile 3 I was already feeling some weird twinges in my calves that I did not like but just figured it was due to standing in the corral for 30 minutes and eventually it would all work out. Looking back, I realize that Roxanne and I were not properly hydrated and probably even undernourished. We ate a light breakfast as usual about 5am and brought Shot Blocks to eat a few minutes before gun but I forgot them in my bag so did not have them at the start.  We were also just standing there and maybe should have taken some more sips or walk around but just did not. I did take one (and more during race) Endurolyte but Rox did not. Anyway, I did not mention my calves to anyone, this race was all about Rox and I was not going to spoil anything for her.

Everything was going fine, Rox had some friends at mile 5 and we were all smiles then, even going up the famous Gorilla Hill between miles 6-7 was a piece of cake and we did not walk at all. At our friend Adi and Matt's house at mile 6, we took a quick bathroom break, but Chanel kept going. We enjoyed seeing the signs Matt always places in his yard every Memorial and this year there was even one of Rox! She had dressed as Mikala Maroney, the gymnast with the sour face for Halloween and Matt used it for a poster, it was GREAT! Rox posed next to it for another photo op! I enjoyed a small beer with London and he took a JELLO SHOT and then we said goodbye to him when the half marathoners peel off at 6.5. We were on our own. We caught Chanel a short time later and around mile 9, Rox started having some weird feelings very low in her ankles. I was concerned these were the start of some cramps so I really started trying to push the Powerade and Endurolytes. Unfortunately, Rox was getting very bloated and literally is not a "burper" so she was having trouble getting down the liquids, Gus, bananas and certainly not pretzels which I was grabbing at every stop at this point as my twinges were there but not too bad. I was running enough below my ability I think, that I was able to keep them at bay. What's so ironic about this is that we were both concerned our knees would give us trouble. Roxanne's had really been bothering her and I spent a lot of money on compression sleeves, I was wearing a patella strap and I had my friend Rocky Chen tape my left knee with Kinesio tape at the Expo. I love that stuff! My knees felt better than ever during this race! Roxanne's knees were a slight issue but not really.

We carried on toward the halfway point and to Lake Hefner. We had gotten about 5 minutes ahead of Chanel at this point, maybe more. Her friend Lori, was meeting her at the lake to run the rest of the race with her so we felt okay about leaving her behind if that happened. Halfway down the lake Roxanne's cramps started moving up her calves and quads and she was really freaking out. She thought maybe the sleeves were making them tight so she pulled them down around her ankles; that was a good look! She decided if her knees started hurting she would pull them up again! I stopped to pee again (well hydrated?)Rox tried too but said there wasn't much. We continued to walk/jog at this point and Chanel and Lori caught us, Chanel was looking strong at this point even though her ankles were starting to hurt. At this point I told Rox we needed to conserve as much energy as possible and push the Powerade, etc. We would walk the Grand Bridge and any other challenging parts of the course. Jim's parents live at mile 18 and by now I was feeling fantastic so I picked up to a 9:20 or so pace and went ahead to warn them that Rox probably would not stop as she was upset and HURTING! I posed for pics with them, my son Jared and his girlfriend Angela were there and Jim on his bike, we chatted a bit,  but Rox went on, Chanel did not stop either and was again closing on Rox and it was cat and mouse for them on Grand. At this point Rox was getting upset that Chanel would beat her. Not that it mattered, but Rox was better trained and nobody likes to lose even if it to a cousin you love! I told Rox she would have to dig deep and we needed to open up a gap which we did but not much. We got to 20 miles and the Red Coyote Bagels and Beer stop, where I was so looking forward to a beer but they had run out! I guess I will just have to run faster next year if I want a beer! Rox kept plugging on, walk/jogging any time I stopped, I had another Pee stop but Rox kept going and I would just catch her. As I said I was feeling really good and this has me so encouraged about future marathons which I thought I had to give up! On Classen, the cramps really got a lot worse in her legs, literally stopping her and she began to cry. I told her we must get to a medical tent so at mile 22 we stopped. They gave us both a quick rub down with Cramp Relief. Rox is a skeptic and said "does this crap really work?" I gave a quick look and a wink to the trainer and we both said "of course it does"! Chanel passed us at this point but we had her in our sights. She was running a slower pace than us and I told Rox that but we had to catch her and not cramp. We finally caught her at mile 24 and by now Chanel was also crying. It was very moving to see them both so emotional at this point and they both agreed to stay together to the end no matter what!

By now I was feeling it too and was afraid I would cramp so I was glad for the easy pace and relaxed mood, we were all just so happy to be so close. At mile 25 we passed a great group of young men with a beer stop and Chanel and I had a full beer - it was awesome!! A little while later, we saw Gus, Roxanne's boyfriend who gave her a quick kiss for luck and walked with us for a bit before we turned onto Broadway for the finish. I was ready to run again but the girls were not so we waited until a couple hundreds yards out to start running toward that line!

I had really worked to keep my emotions in check the entire race knowing that if I gave in to them, I may not finish the race but my mother had been on my mind the entire time. She would have given anything to see Roxanne do this and been so proud. I began to cry just yards from the finish, my friend Cara was there with a camera and snapped a shot. That picture says it all. 

We are marathoners and we finished the fight.

Before the race, crack of dawn!

Awesome spectator complete with martini and cigar!

A beer and a jello shot - yes, we are crazy!!

Chucks "official water stop" at Matt and Adi's

Goodbye London! Thanks for running with us!

Drums at Stars & Stripes!

Oh no, it's starting to hurt!!

Lori, Chanel & Rox- how far????

Thankfully, our security could relax as the race went off without  incident!

BEER at Mile 25! This young man said "want me to stick my butt out all sexy?" "Heck yea" we said! 

Tastes so good!

American flag skirts and Boston tops!

Power walking but we will finish this!

Rox saying "Talk to the hand", when Gus joked how he finished so LONG ago! He ran the half but waited around to cheer her on!

Roxanne's sharpie made Boston Red Socks, bled just a bit!

Showing off finisher medals with fellow Landrunner and 4 hour Pace leader Mary Mikleson.

Marlon, who led this group and we had hoped to run with!

Signs and balloons in our yard put out by Roxanne's friend Megan.

Prettiest finisher medal yet!

This picture epitomizes the finish of a marathon.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tomorrow's the big day!!!!

It's here!!!!!!! The night I've been dreading! Going to bed when it's still light outside and waking up at  before the crack, even the tiniest crack of dawn tomorrow! My friend Cara is picking me up at 5AM! so I haven't quite decided when to set that alarm, 3:45 or 4???? I think we all know the delicate "details" of race morning so one has to give oneself plenty of time if ya know what I mean....

So, here's what I've been doing all day - drinking my sports drinks and water like a good little girl.

I didn't even have any wine with dinner, okay, one sip of Jim's!                                                              

Here I am getting taped up by my friend Rocky at the marathon Expo!  Kinesio tape is amazing!
Restorative yoga!!

Nuun and Gatorade!!

I also went back to the marathon expo because I had to, I had to give a talk! I was terrible! In my defense, my friend Kari Watkins thought I would be great and she told my other friend Bill to sign me up! Unfortunately, the topic was "Course Details". Well, shoot, I have run the course, but I don't know every single street but thankfully Bill Snipes and Bill Goodier do so I guess I was just there for comic relief! Anyway, the expo was a lot of fun but I was ready to get out of there and get to my favorite yoga class taught by Emily at Soul Yoga, Relax & Renew. It's a great restorative class and thank you to owner/teacher Allison for recently purchasing blankets to enhance this yummy practice.
we begin with some easy forward bends

A nice stretch! 
My Race outfit is ready to go, complete with red socks for Boston!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's here! The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon! This is the 13th year of this race which was started as a way to honor victims lost in the Oklahoma City bombing and help raise funds for the Memorial. It is a moving experience every year and we "run to remember".

 Roxanne and I have been training since January 6th beginning with a 6 mile run and in less than 48 hours we will be running a marathon, 26.2 miles! Her first, and my first one in sixteen years! I've only run two, my first one being the 1989 New York City marathon which I ran the year after Rox was born to help get off the last bit of baby weight. My goal was 4 hours and I ran 4:03. My second marathon was a couple of years later, trying to qualify for Boston (I did not) but broke 4 hours although I struggled to that finish line!

I don't know why I quit doing marathons. I was racing all the time, every weekend, every distance but my favorite was always the 5k and my goal was to break 20 minutes to make the OK record book for women, which I did a few times. Anyway, I had my 3rd and final baby in 1993, took up yoga after Sam was born and my body felt so good after yoga that I just didn't want to race like I was. I never gave up running completely, but I went from 35-40 miles per week to my current (before training for this marathon) 20 miles per week. I guess I just got so busy as the kids got older that it was really hard to get all those miles in and then when I was coaching for 5 years my weekends were always tied up at track meets so I wasn't able to meet the training group. I have never been able to do long runs alone, I think I've done 12 miles by myself  but any more than that and I don't know, I would just quit, I think! I can talk myself out of anything, especially if it's painful and boring so I need my running buddies!

So, the weekend is here. It began today with the marathon Expo. My running club, the OKC Landrunners always has a booth. This year, my friend, Kari and Bill invited me to be a part of the Expo program in a Q & A session on the marathon course.  I feel so out of my league and am honored they considered me,  I really don't know what I will say, hopefully noone will ask me a question I can't answer and if they do, I've got Bill S and Bill G there to answer!

Anyway, it's Friday night, we are enjoying yet another Oklahoma spring hailstorm! We barely made it home in time from the Arts festival where we did some carbo loading :) and the lovely weather hit! We've had our share of hail storms this year and crazy weather, but Sunday looks gorgeous!

I hope to give you a complete race report next week! Rox and I have had some knee pain in our last couple of long runs that we're nervous about but I think race day we will just put it out of our minds as much as we can and deal with it! Her's is a bit worse than mine but I am hoping the new compression sleeves, foam rolling and Aleve will get her through! We will walk the marathon if we have to but we are crossing that finish line together!!!
Hail storm - our backporch fire pit!
My framed bib and pic from first marathon NYC!

OKC Expo program guide - see my name!

This years t-shirt is my favorite so far and there's my race BIB!

Carbs at the arts festival!

Rox icing her knees!

After one of our 20 milers with our friend Rick!

The Oklahoma Sky Bridge w Amy & Adi striking so yoga poses!