Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Life is a beautiful ride...... NEW BIKE

Remember how little kids are so excited when they get a new bike for Christmas?  They beg and beg to ride no mater the weather outside.  Or they may ride inside especially if they are little.  Doesn't matter if they have those training wheels on them or not.  All they can think about is that they want to ride.  Then the first time they sail off without those training wheels it's magical.  

I don't remember riding a bike much as a kid.  I'm sure I had one or shared one with my sister (we shared many things back in the day). 

 One of my running friends talked me into doing a sprint TRI back in 2011.  I was so nervous.  I borrowed a bike from a friend who had one he was trying to sell.  Boy it was fast.  However, he was asking $5,000 for it.  It was a really nice bike.  But I was not ready to put that kind of money into a bike.  I've seen many times over the years where people buy all this exercise equipment and then it collects dust at their house.  Like my dad's treadmill.  LOL  I don't think it's been used in over 10 years or so.  So my first bike I ever owned as an adult was a used Schwinn my husband got for my birthday in July, 2011 right after Sunfish.  I didn't want to continue using my friends because I was scared I'd mess something up and then have to buy it from him.  We only paid like $400 for my used bike.  Here's a few pictures: 

It rode smooth.  However, it's an aluminum bike and it's not light.  Very heavy.  I probably rode it for a year or two and then another friend told me about a girl selling her used Trek bike.  Luckily she was in my spin class so we worked out a deal and I bought her Trek.  Sonya has also bought her used so that kind of tells you how old she was when I got her.  I think she's a 2007 or 2008 model.  Once again I wasn't ready to put a ton of money into a new bike just yet.  She was getting a new all carbon bike.  Those things are LIGHT!  Anyway, I loved her bike.  I've put many, many miles on Dixie (that's what I named the Trek bike).  I've rode several bike rides on her including my first ever 100 miler, metric century 62.5, 50 miler, and 2 half ironman distances 56 miles on her not to count all the training miles.  She's been a good bike.  Here are a few pictures:

Frank showing me how to put air in the tires properly not long after I got her.  I believe this was taken at Sunfish TRI in 2015.  I added aero bars to her & clip in pedals when I started riding longer distances.  I loved the clip in pedals so much.  I don't know what took me so long to switch over from the baskets to them!  
My sweatshirt is kind of covering the bars.  This is one of my fav pictures from a ride on the coast with my friends Krista & Meloyde.  

So it's 2018 and I took Dixie in to the new bike shop in town to get her serviced up for a new year.  In the back of my mind I wanted to also price new bikes, but I wasn't going to get overly excited because I was thinking It was going to be $5,000 and I sure wasn't going to pay that.  LOL   Let me say that you can buy speed... you can buy all sorts of things and types of bikes to make you fast and the faster you want to go the more the bike will cost usually....  For me I wanted to look at new road bikes that were all carbon and compare to my Dixie.  

Let me first say that Perfect Endurance Bikes owned by Jed and Deb are amazing!  

Not only is he extremely knowledgeable ... he is a coach!  He coaches a girl that holds a record for time trial.  She's FAST! and he also holds a record himself.  

 He was riding the morning I went and I first talked to Deb.  She showed me new road bikes and told me all about them and how much a difference I would notice compared to my Trek.  I told her I also wanted to get my Trek serviced.  I knew the gears were slipping some and it hadn't had a tune up in over a year.  As I was getting it and she was putting it up on the trainer to take a look, Jed came back from his ride.  He has all kinds of racers that come from all over and they ride and he coaches them.  Anyway, they noticed my ironman sticker and asked If I had done an ironman.  I told them I had done a half ironman.  He asked if I did it on the Trek.  I told him yes and that I had done my 100 mile bike ride on the Trek.  He just smiled and said that I would be faster on a TT bike.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  I told him that I had also considered looking at TRI bikes along with road bikes and that's when he told me TRI bikes are really TT bikes.  The TT stands for time trial.  The reason they are called that is because of their aero design that makes you go much faster and people do time trials on them.  

Ok...so by now they are getting me all pumped up on looking at new bikes... hee hee   He did say that my Dixie needed a new chain and the gears were slipping and he would fix all that for me, but he wanted to show me a Cervelo TT bike.  Let's just say I feel in love.  She's so sleek.  The price wasn't near as bad as I thought either with just made it sweeter.  Gary says I've been acting like I got a royal royce. ha!  Of course they didn't have my exact size so she had to be ordered.  I was now like that kid waiting on Christmas!  

Once she came in they called and I had to go let him fit me to the bike.  He took his time and adjusted and adjusted until everything felt great.  He also talked a lot about biking riding and gave me several tips.  I just hope I can remember them once I get on the bike.  The weather has been so nasty here that I haven't ridden yet.  Plus I'm still recovering from my bladder surgery and the doc had told me not to ride hard till 6 weeks post surgery.  I'm only 4 weeks post.  

Here's some pictures of her.

On the trainer at the shop getting all fixed up for me. 

 Deb took picture of me before leaving shop with her.  Right now until I get use to her the seat isn't very high.. but he said most people once they get use to a TT bike they put their seat up higher so that you are in more of a aero position to go even faster.  Now that I'll have to wait on until I get use to this first... :<>)

 Loaded on car and ready to go home. 

She's inside! Too scared to leave her hanging on carport.. ha  I've never had a NEW bike.  Sooooooooo EXCITED.  I'm glad I waited to prove to myself that I do LOVE to ride before spending money on a new bike.  I think I'll appreciate her that much more.  Not sure if I'll sale my Trek or keep her for rainy days or put her on a trainer inside to ride on cold/rainy days.  Since I just had her all tuned up, I'm not ready to get rid of her just yet.  Not till I test this new bike out good.  And many people say to keep your road bike for when you want to give your TT bike a break.  

 This is so TRUE!

  Can't wait to do a couple bike rides I have coming up with friends on my new bike.  I've got to give her name.  Think I'll ride her first and see how she does and that will determine her name. :>) 

If you haven't rode a bike lately...... you should try it.  It's amazing! well, except when you going up a steep hill...those clip on pedals really help then.  Can't wait to see my friend Krista ride with her new clip on pedals. 

Happy Riding! D

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Goals........

Wow... can you believe it is already 2018!!! Seems the older I get the faster time goes by!  

I was just sitting here thinking about my goals for 2018.  I've yet to write any down.  This is unusual for me!  I like to write them down and at least tell them to someone so they become real.  It kind of holds me accountable.  

I'll still just not sure what I want to accomplish this year in the exercise realm of things.  Last year I knew I wanted to complete the Dopey Challenge, several half marathons, a couple duathlons, and a couple triathlons.  Matter of fact looking back....  I completed the following in 2017:

 9 half marathons (1 half was in dopey challenge)
1 marathon (in the dopey challenge)
1 20K
2 10k
2 duathlons
3 sprint TRIs
Metric Century bike ride (62.5 miles)
1 almost Half Ironman (swim canceled).. so 69.1 instead of 70.3

I did a lot! LOL  Maybe that's why my bursitis kicked up so much. hee hee  But I had so much FUN!  It really was a FUN year at the races.  I didn't run any of them hard.  I ran with so many friends and we just talked and laughed as we completed each race. There was no stress on time.  I really enjoyed that part. 

 One thing I do want to focus more on this year is my YOGA practice.  I started last year during my bursitis and noticed that it really made me feel better and I enjoyed getting in touch with my body.  The breathing helps you relax and it also helps stretch and strengthen your muscles.  I went to a 70 minute hip opener class once a week for a couple of months.  I LOVED the class.  Then we had 2 deaths in our family and everything has kind of fallen apart.  My goal is to get back on track with YOGA and a workout plan.  I can start back running in 2 weeks and boy I'm looking forward to that.  

I have to tell myself this every day! We are so busy in our every day lives, but it's so important for your health to make that time.  If we wait till we find time, it won't happen.... and I'm saying this to myself. :>) 

As of right now, I've signed up for 1 half marathon, 1 full marathon (Hawaii.... YIPPIE), and a 100 mile bike ride.  I'm debating some other races.  I've gotten to where I want to do new races that I haven't done but to do that you almost have to go out of town.  Not many marathons within 30 miles of where I live. ha!  With Hawaii this year, I've got to limit those out of town races where it adds up in expenses.  Both my kids have moved out (complete empty nest!) and there are some renovations I want to do at my house...... there goes some race money.. hee hee  

What I really hope to accomplish in 2018 is to be a better person.  I want to be a better wife, mother, friend, sister-in-law, daughter, etc.  I want to spread LOVE and I want God's light to shine through me in all that I do.  I fall short in this often.  I tend to get discouraged or aggravated at times and do or say things I shouldn't and then regret them big time.  I want to be more like my stepson who recently passed.  He was always kind.  All the people that knew him tell me they never heard him say a cross word.  He was so easy going.  I hope this also rubs off on his dad.  Gary is so short tempered.  I know we don't know God's reasons for things, but there is always a positive.  May we all share LOVE in 2018. 



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Au revoir Au revoir 2017

Yep.... bye bye 2017 

It’s that time of the year where people reflect back on the past year. They try to figure out what went wrong on things that didn’t go their way and they celebrate the things that did go their way.  I too have done this most years.  But this year I don’t really want to think about some things that happen.  For there is one thing I know for certain, you can’t change the past. You can only move forward.  That’s my plan for 2018.   But first a glance at 2017 just to help me get my thoughts together.  

1. The year started off great.  I completed the Dopey challenge at Disney and had a wonderful time with my mom.   (Note...can’t imagine doing 48.6 miles in 4 days right now).

Recap of races:
9 1/2 marathons
1 Full marathon
1 20 K
2 10 Ks
Couple of 5 Ks
3 sprint TRIs
1 almost half Ironman (swim canceled) so .. 69.1 miler.. ha

2.  I improved my swim time at the first Sprint TRI in April. I was super excited about this. 

3.  Once again I pushed an Arc child at the Rise and Shine half marathon.  What a honor.  I love seeing those kids smile.  

4.  I ended up taking most of the summer off due to bursitis in my hip.  It was not fun and I was grumpy. Ha.  I did take my mom, my sis and her girls and my daughter to the beach for a few days and we celebrated my niece graduating high school.   I love family trips!!! I had hoped to have my bladder surgery that I had been putting off during this time when I was not running due to bursitis, but the cards didn’t fall right for me to do that.  Crazy insurance makes you have a bladder test to show you need the surgery and the lady that does the test comes from Jackson to Hattiesburg once a month!! By the time I got in for the test it was time for me to train for the Vegas and St Jude half so I elected to put surgery off till December 18. (Note.... in hindsight I will never ever schedule what is supposed to be a simple surgery around the holidays. Thanks to complications it’s been a miserable holiday).     Vegas was so much fun!! It’s a race I’d do again! And seeing the Hoover dam, Route 66 and the Grand Canyon was just icing on the cake!!  And so course St Jude is always my one race every year that is very special to me. Honored to do it for the 5th year in a row. 

5. I thought watching my husband grieve losing his father in August was the worst grief I had seen up close until he lost his son on October 31.   Our lives have changed drastically.  It’s a Day by day thing with Gary.   My heart breaks for him.  It was a very emotional holiday.  Gary says he’ll never be the same.  I’m at a loss as how to help him.   It’s hard with me having my own kids and him having his own kids.  There are things I want to celebrate like my son getting his first house, but I feel bad and don’t say much around
Gary with him missing his own baby boy.  I can’t explain it. It’s just hard.  I dont recommend divorce or remarriage at all.  It’s always been a struggle. .... but ..... I can’t change the past.  Move forward. 

6.  It’s 3 days till 2018 and honestly I haven’t set any goals.  I have a half marathon in 4 weeks and a full marathon in 10 weeks and currently I’m not allowed to run due to my bladder complications.   (Note... guess I’ll walk those if I can make the time limit). 

So what am I going to do in 2018?..  first and foremost I hope to spread love.  I want to be more like Drew, my stepson we lost.   He always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone.   I figure if I can spread Love the way God intended us to that other things will fall in place.  No need to worry.  Heck most the things we worry about never happen so it’s wasted energy.  Ha. 

The only big race I have registered for and booked my travel for is a marathon in Hawaii in June.  I’m going to make a vacation out of it.... taking my daughter.  I asked both my husband and son also, but Gary said he didn’t want to go and Brett said he didn’t think he could ride a plane that long. Ha.  So it  will be a girls week. I’m excited. 

Now I’ve got to get busy as soon as the doctor releases me! I’ve gained 10 pounds with all this  downtime the last few months.  I feel bloated and miserable.  It’s time to get serious and stick to a  plan in 2018!  We are getting a gym at our office in a few months and I plan to use it at lunch to try to get this old body back in shape. I’ve fell off the wagon big time and need to get back on.  I know  
neither Gary’s dad or Drew would want us to continue to mope around.   Yes, I’m goimg to be sad every time I think of them, but I’ve got to get out of this depressed funk and also help Gary out of his.     

Maybe more to come later as I rest the next few days ....... 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Gulf Coast Soak up the Run Half Marathon #32


A flat race down highway 90 along the beach.  What more could you ask for to end the year? Not to mention the cool looking medal.  They also had a very cool print that I picked up at the expo and will have framed.  I don't have a picture of it and already dropped it off at the print shop so I'll have to add that later.  It's going to look awesome either in my office or at home in my medal room. :<>) 

I went to the coast with two of my very good friends for the race.  They were also doing the half.  They have both been so dear and sweet in helping me through this difficult time that our family has been having.  I can't say THANK YOU enough to them!  We shared rooms that joined.  We went to see the Christmas decorations at the Beau Rivage and ate supper at McElroy's Seafood the night before the race.  

Us at the Beau

Race morning came early!  We had to catch a shuttle right outside our hotel no later than 5:45am to take us to the start line since we would run back to the finish line that was directly across from our hotel.  I was hoping we would run into my friend Robbie who was also doing the half... and we did... :<>)

Me, Krista, Frank, & Robbie waiting to start.. boy it was COLD... 32 degrees!

We all quickly warmed up when the race started.  But never got really hot because the temperature only warmed up to 47 degrees by the time I finished.

Finish line..  

I was glad the race was over..... my big toe joint was killing me and for some crazy reason I developed two blisters on my foot.  Seems no matter the socks or shoes I try... I still get blisters.  And the course change this year taking us on the overpass bridge that was a complete slant really aggravated those blisters. grrrrrrrrr

They always have a ton of food items after the race.  It's one of the biggest after parties that I've seen at a race.  Check out the booths:

We all 3 quickly showered and headed back to Mississippi.  It had snowed on Friday and I was hoping there was still some snow on the ground..... and guess what??  there was a little...

Got a picture in my backyard with my medal on the snow/ice that hadn't melted completely.  Who would have thought the Soak of the Run race in Mississippi would be the same weekend we'd get snow?  It's RARE to get 5-6 inches of snow in MISSISSIPPI! And boy it was beautiful.  I'll have to make a post with some of my pictures.  It could be several years before we see that much snow again. 

Well, that's a wrap for my 2017 races.  I'm having bladder surgery next week and will not be allowed to run for 4 weeks.  My plan is just to try to enjoy the holidays as much as possible and recover after surgery.  The holidays are going to be tough for us.  But I know with God's help we can get through it.





Monday, December 11, 2017

Half Marathon #31 - St. Jude Memphis 12-2-17

I'm a tad late in writing this post.  I just can't seem to find the proper words to describe this race to me.  And maybe it's also a combination of having two deaths in our family recently.  I just seem to be at a loss and my emotions are all over the place.  Let me first say this is the 5th year in a row that I've ran for St. Jude.  From the very first time I was just blown away.  This race is so much more than running.  It's for a great cause.  

After watching my stepson recently pass away from an accident, this race even touches me more and I didn't think that was possible.  I truly can't imagine a parent dealing with a child that has cancer for months on end.  Going week after week for treatments that cause their children to be so sick.  It's heart wrenching.  It changes you forever to lose a child.  So as long as God is willing, I will be a ST. JUDE HERO and raise money so that maybe one day St. Jude can put an end to childhood cancer so that ALL kids may live out their life as a normal child.  

As we are coming to the close of 2017 and many of you are setting new goals for 2018, I encourage you to think about becoming a hero for St. Jude Children's Hospital.  There are many races you can pick from to run as a hero.  I've done Nashville and Memphis.  I LOVE Memphis because it is the home of St. Jude Children's Hospital.  This year there were over 26,000 runners that ran on 12-2-17.   It was amazing.  And we'd love to have you join Team Run4TheKids when you sign up as a hero.  

For the first time in 5 years, I did the half marathon instead of the full marathon.  With so many personal issues over the last 6 months I just didn't have the time to train for a full.  I was bummed about it at first, but then I remembered that this race is NOT about ME.  It's about the kids.  So no matter if you ran the 5K, 10K, half marathon or the full marathon as a hero... you were a HERO

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend.  Every year I take my mom and daughter and we have a girls weekend at the Peabody.  They do the 5K together.  I'm so BLESSED with a wonderful family and great running friends. 

Going into the hospital...check out the crowd!

My daughter.. love her!

My mom and daughter after they finished the 5K.

Her name is Erin so of course she got a picture with the big E 

Elizabeth finishing her first half marathon with Sunshine's help.

Erin, Me and Mom took a carriage ride back to the Peabody... so cool. 

In front of the giant Christmas tree at the Peabody. 

My crazy mom. 

This is what it's all about!!!! Every time I run through the campus of St. Jude Hospital I have tears flowing. 

Sunshine.. :<>)
Our team raised over $30,000 this year!  So let me just recap the last 5 years for you on Team R4TK:

2013 - (just me)  $5,000
2014  - (team formed)  $23,000
2015 -  $43,000
2016 - $50,000
2017 - $30,000

Do you realize that is $151,000! WOW! I'm so amazed by my team members!  They are incredible people who give up so much of their personal time and money to be St. Jude HEROES.  GOD BLESS THEM ALL! 



My time.... not too bad considering my training has been mostly walking for several months... ha  and I took videos along the way.  Here's the link to the video I made:
St. Jude Memphis weekend 2017 Team R4TK

Looking forward to 2018 with Team R4TK.  Stay tuned for fundraisers we'll be having during the year to help us reach our hero goals. :<>)

Much love,
PS... post coming soon on Gulf Coast half marathon... Last one for 2017. 

Life is a beautiful ride...... NEW BIKE

Remember how little kids are so excited when they get a new bike for Christmas?  They beg and beg to ride no mater the weather outsid...