Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ta Town Trip

Friday afternoon, Pete, BDR and I loaded up the Jeep and started the 2.5-hr trek to Wichita for a weekend visit to Nanny and Poppy's house. Luckily Pete is really good in the car (for the most part) and we all endured the outrageous Friday evening heat. The AC struggled to keep up, so we just struggled, but we made it.

BDR kept me entertained on the drive, and he didn't wreck so that's a bonus. He did succumb to the blue-tongued boredom disease, or maybe it was the Jolly Rancher, or he ate a smurf. Who knows. Either way, he was pretty cute.

Pete was gracious enough to model for me, but he had to pay attention to BDR's driving while he did.

He is a pretty good co-pilot, keeping an eye out for what's ahead and a nose to the vents. Making sure wayward moo cows didn't hamper our travel plans. That, and he had to make sure we didn't miss any of the more than 10 state license plates we bet on. (Yes, I won. Dan lost. Of course. I mean really, we're pretty much guaranteed to see KS, MO and likely OK and TX - but he still wanted to bet we'd only see 5 states.)

Friday evening brought brats and beers with Nanny and Poppy, and a fairly early bedtime. After all, Pete and I had to get up at the crack to run 9 miles. We intended to do a couple laps at Sedgwick County Park, but driving past downtown I noticed the awesome amped up bike paths along the river. So we parked near the Keeper of the Plains and took off along the Little Arkansas. Pete and I ran loop near the Wichita Art Musuem, Botanica, Sim Park and the All-Indian Center, then headed south along the Arkansas toward the Hyatt and Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Coming back we passed Exploration Place and then I caught this awesome early morning shot.

Pete was obviously having a great time, but he desperately wanted to go for a swim. Its hot when you're covered in fur and running 9 miles!

We stopped at the car for a drink and headed thru downtown Wichita to Old Town. I even stopped for a quick photo op with this man reading the paper waiting for the bus on Douglas.

It was quite the tour of the town. I swear running is the best way to see a place you're visiting, and I got to see so much of my hometown in a completely new way.

After a delicious blueberry pancake breakfast and shower, we headed back downtown to enjoy some beautiful gardens at Botanica. Poppy got some great shots, including this awesome candid of me and my beautiful mother!

Saturday evening brought juicy and flavorful T-Bone steaks, baked potatoes and great conversation. BDR got to experience Old Town and the "best topless bar in town" - the Brickyard. Clever catchphrase for a place that doesn't have a roof!

We headed back to KC Sunday mid-day, enjoying the beautiful Kansas country with windows down, music up and ears flapping in the wind.

Weds Track Workout

The best part of the track workout on Weds came after the actual workout, during our victory at trivia night:

This is me beforehand, wondering if the storm is going to hold out.

Luckily, it did. Towards the end, I really wish it had been sprinkling - the heat and humidity had been brutal!
So here's part of the group getting an introduction to the workout from Flash.

We did a double warmup... a mile easy and then 2 800s... then headed over to "the hill" for some repeats. Here's the route and info. (The extra mile warmup isn't included in the stats.)

We had a great cheerleader with us - and she even did some of the laps and the hills! Good work Paige! We gotta get her signed up for Girls on the Run!

Matthew "Flash" Mellor led the group, as he does every week. He did his first marathon at 15, ran at KU in college and estimates he's run between 45 and 50,000 miles in his lifetime. That's around the world - TWICE!!!

All in all, a great workout. But TOUGH.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Why oh why did I not get up and run this morning?!

Its now 92 degrees, with a heat index of 101. How in hades am I supposed to run in this!??

Its a good thing sleeping felt so good this morning. I guess it might be a late night run for me and Pete!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Awesome 30 minute ride on the Indian Creek trail, followed by a 750 swim to "cool off". Felt so good! That is, until some d-bags at the pool started smoking.

I don't know what it is ... but whenever I smell it, I get so mad. I mean, I'm over here huffing and puffing and there you are blowing some toxic contaminants in my direction. I hate the smell of it more than anything.

And I know, I'm judgmental about it all. But I just don't get it. I mean, I've never been addicted to it so that's why I don't get it. But why would you ever do something that is so obviously horrible for you!? And why would you make me endure your awful decision too?


At least I had an awesome workout!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

You gotta get out of shape to be able to get in shape

It has begun.

I celebrated the start of weight loss summer for Pete and I by delighting in a Groupon-enduced food coma Blanc Burgers + Bottles with BDR on Friday night. Delicious bison burger with aged white cheddar, sweet potato fries, onion rings and peppadew poppers with a refreshing cider beer on the side. Mmmm....

We came home to document starting weights. Me: 167.8

Next step: Me and Pete, together on the scale. He's not so happy about me holding him.

Us together: 229 even.

That means Pete: 61.2. Yikes, even worse than at the vet.

So what now? Marathon training!

We got up and at 'em Saturday morning for some LSD (that's long slow distance) at Shawnee Mission Park. I planned to meet a training buddy at the dam to head out on the Mill Creek Streamway trails for 6-8 miles. He said 6, I said 8.

Well, said running buddy had a little too much fun Friday night at the Sugarland concert and came to the trails hungover. This is how he felt about sweating out the booze:

But me, I was excited, ready to go! It was a gorgeous morning, cool compared to what its been. (Or so I thought!) I think it was 79 and 72% humidity. Well, here we go...

About .2 miles and a walking warmup later, someone bailed on me and I was left with this running buddy:

He doesn't like to talk on the run. Makes things a little boring. Luckily though, he loves to run, doesn't mind the heat and knows how to cool off when he gets warm. I strip off my UnderArmour shirt, Pete hops in the nearest creek for a drink.

We ran a 2-mile loop, hit the water bottle back at the car on the dam, and started the run around the lake. When we got near the entrance, I needed some water and I wasn't about to hop in the lake for a drink! So we turned back and headed to the car. Once we got there, it was all cool-down. I wanted to get 2 more in, but the hills at the park were more than I had anticipated.

I'm out of shape, slow, and don't like the climbs. Pete and I walked. A. Lot. But I have to remember, this is why you train! You have to get out of shape to get in shape. And I'm definitely at the beginning of that equation. Here's our route this morning:

Up next, a Sunday morning something... not sure if it will be road bike, mountain bike, run with Pete or a swim, or maybe a combination. But whatever it is, it will be fun, sweat-enducing and another step towards the KC finish line and our goals.

Friday, June 18, 2010

On my marks. Goal Set..... GO!

OK Kids. I pulled the plunge. I'm officially in. Bib #542.

October 16, 2010 - Me and 26.2 miles of KC roads.

Due to Pete's unforeseen incident with the Lone Star Tick, he spent yesterday with Dr. Marty and got a clean bill of health. However, he has to lose some weight again. Pete's done it before, so he'll do it again. But he's got to lose 1.5 of these:

So he and I made a pact. We'll do it together. Thru marathon training, eating less and eating better, together we will get back in tip top shape. It's just a good thing I don't have to lose the same percentage of weight as he does, I don't think I could lose 21.3 pounds and still train and enjoy life a little bit. I'm really not too concerned about the numbers for me, I just want to feel good again. Have my clothes fit a little bit looser. Maybe get back in the size 8s I like so much.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Icky Ticky.


Found a lone star tick on Peter this morning.

Pulled and pulled and it wouldn't come out.

It just wriggled its nasty little legs and sucked blood from his hip.

I dang near puked.

Thank God for Dr. Marty and all the folks at Mill Creek Animal Hospital.

P.S. The joke about giving him away was not funny.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flood shmood. We had fun.

Last night, BDR and I loaded up Pete into the jeep and headed out for a hike. Minor Park is one of our favorite places, and we knew it wouldn't be busy so Pete could be off leash.

With all the rain lately, the Blue River had flooded. We knew this and decided to make our trek anyway. We weren't the only ones, some brave Mud Babes were out there trail running too. They are way more woman than I...trudging thru that mud was hard enough. I can't imagine running thru it!

We had some interesting run-ins with the local wildlife. First, a pack of wild Labrador Retrievers with their hippie owners. Then a swarm of gnats and mosquitos. Then we saw this.

Yep, in the flooded mud something white stuck up. Pete was surprisingly uninterested.

Full on catfish, whiskers and all. Nothing had eaten it yet so you knew it was fresh.

Because of the flood, the high river was seriously floating. Now, Pete is a good, well great swimmer, and he loves swimming more than pretty much anything. He's used to getting wet out there so he dove right in - I think I even heard him bark "Cannonball!"

About .6 seconds later he was 25 feet downstream, doggie paddling for his life. BDR and I glanced at each other and flipped out! BDR took off to the lowest point he could find, but Pete made it out to muddy land before BDR had to save him. Phew, crisis averted. At least for about 20 minutes until Pete decided he wanted to swim again. That time, he swam upstream like in an Endless Pool and finally surpassed the strength of the current to run thru the mud with us again.

We climbed over downed trees and thru quicksand-like sludges, feeling like we were in the bayou and Deliverance country with all the bugs and threat of snakes. At one point we thought we'd gone thru a poison ivy patch, but luckily we were wrong. The itching subsided. Phew, crisis averted again.

We kept hiking and came along this little buddy. BDR warned me it was a snapping turtle and to stay back so he didn't bite me. That stinker. It was just a box turtle, the Kansas state reptile on a vacation in Missouri.

Surprisingly enough, Pete was scared of the turtle. I guess its that whole "I look like a rock but I'm really alive" thing that freaked him out. BDR on the other hand, picked him up and moved him about 10 feet or 3 hours back from his destination.

All in all, a great workout, tons of fun and a delightful adventure - even the part where we took a wrong turn on the trail and ended up in a completely different part of the park but luckily found our way back to where the car was park, Crisis averted again!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


6 weeks in and going strong.

I haven't written much about work so I thought I'd fill everyone in.

Days have been filled with cold calls, networking, quoting and learning, learning, learning! There are so many laws and rules that we mortgage brokers have to abide by. Apparently it makes things a lot more complicated than it used to be, but luckily it's harder to get people in bad situations - at least, that's the goal.

My biggest successes so far: winning my first deal and passing the National Mortgage Licensing Exam on the FIRST try!!

So here's a look into the Kansas City Mortgage Group...

Marketing guru Mike. He handles all the stuff that brings in the business. And, he stuffs envelopes.

Theresa sits at the front desk, welcomes everyone with a smile or a laugh and does a bunch of the admin stuff that we crazy salespeople aren't good at doing. Like scheduling and organizing. And making the coffee and tea in the morning.

Aaron is the COO / Jack of all Trades. He's been the one that has been teaching me pretty much everything about mortgages. He does it all, including taking apart my computer and adding more memory/making me push F1 every time I restart the computer. Still not sure why...

This is Jason. Hard at work on the phones trying to get some deals. Calls regularly come in and if you haven't grabbed it by the middle of the first ring, Jason already has it.

Lastly is the view I had. Yes, that's had... I've since moved across the hall. Away from the tree-top view, but I now have more than double the desk space, so I can't really complain too much.

I'm loving the work, my co-workers and the autonomy of this new career. If any of you out there in bloggy land are interested in purchasing or refinancing - I'm your girl!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beautiful night

What a beautiful evening.

Sunset, cool though humid air, no rain.

No complaints.

I even got in a delightful bike ride on the wet and puddly Indian Creek bike trail.


Life is good.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm Taking a Moment to Brag.

One of the activities that takes up much of my time outside of work, triathlon and Girls on the Run is my involvement in the Overland Park Rotary Club.

For those who don't know Rotary, it's a service organization, known around the world for its good works. There are more than 1.2 million Rotarians and 33,000 clubs around the world. My club, in Overland Park, is the 2nd biggest club in the KC Metro area and know. There are about 150 of OP's most influential business people that I meet with every Monday over lunch.

Rotary volunteers work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self. From global networking groups to international friendship exchanges, Rotarians have a wide reach. With a matching grant from Bill and Melinda Gates, the Rotary Polio Plus program is "thisclose" to ridding our world of such a debilitating disease.

Locally, my club organizes a week-long leadership program (Youth Leadership Institute, of which I'm the incoming chair) and hosts one of the biggest 4th of July fireworks shows at Corporate Woods (home of my new office!) to raise money for community grants, scholarships and programming. There are too many programs to mention them all, but suffice it to say I'm very proud to be a Rotarian.

Besides our inspirational work, I get to hob-nob with some amazing and influetials Kansas Citians, including, just to name a few: the former attorney general of Kansas, city councilmen, county commissioners, judges, senators, big-time bankers, attorney, doctors, financial planners, pastors, and CEO's. It's diverse group in terms of age (me thru the 88 year old former law professor), religion (everything under the sun), passion, background, and more.

On Friday night, the club held the annual Officer Installation and Awards Banquet at the Ritz Charles. BDR and I enjoyed delicious tenderloin medallions, good wine and great conversation. As the program continued, I was shocked and honored to be named one of the club's newest Paul Harris Fellows. This is done by the club contributing a gift to the Rotary Foundation in my name to recognize me for the work I've done for my club and for Rotary. When you look at the list of influential club members to receive this honor in the past, you realize that wow, this is a pretty big deal.

And on top of that, I'm the youngest Paul Harris Fellow my club has ever had!

I was honored with a fancy certificate, pin and medal that I must find a place to proudly display!


My mom is a bit of an email forwarder. Sometimes they are good, sometimes not. But this one, I really enjoyed: (PS Does anyone know why fwd's have those really annoying carots in them!?)

> >> Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in

> >> traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and

> >> is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and

> >> spend a few precious moments with her children.

> >>

> >> Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man

> >> who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student,

> >> balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not

> >> getting his student loans for next semester.

> >>

> >> Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the

> >> same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to

> >> addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

> >>

> >> Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through

> >> the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this

> >> moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week,

> >> this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

> >>

> >> Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us,

> >> the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those

> >> we hold dear. We must open our hearts, not just to those who are close to

> >> us but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive;

> >> show patience, empathy and love.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kites Fly at the K

It was Bret Saberhagen Bobblehead night at Kaufman Stadium on Saturday! What better time for a sorority pledge class reunion!? It had been a while since I'd seen many of these lovely Theta girls, but a tailgate is a great excuse to gather!

And the best part - we got to see Billy Butler. Man, we in KC sure miss his birthday twin who is busy pooping in a hole in Tanzania for 9 weeks. Read her blog here:

The ballpark is a great place to people watch. Had we gone to the game the night before, we would've seen these characters. But on Saturday, we saw these jems:

Yep, he thought it was flat bill Friday, but it was really you-look-like-a-tool Sunday. Luckily, I did find the tattoo that I really want to get someday.

No - those last two pictures aren't meant to be the crazy folk at the K,  but if the shoe fits....

Ironman Kansas 70.3

Check it off the bucket list. No, not another 70.3 - but my first MOTORCYCLE RIDE!! I was a volunteer race marshall for the Kansas 70.3 at Clinton Lake on Sunday. Due to my "triathlon experience", the head official wanted me to marshall the back half of the male pro's. 

Uh, pressure!! Those are the folks that are in it for the money. The ones where penalties actually matter!

So me and Doug, super "biker dude" Doug with the ponytail, tattoos and cigarette hanging from his lip, took off from T1 with the 4th-6th place male pro's. (Unfortunately the beautiful Andy Potts was a little bit too fast for me to keep an eye on him!) But back to the race - Talk about impressive. These guys were easily averaging 30 mph and Doug's hog had to chug a lug just to keep up! It was so loud you couldn't even hear the disc wheels anymore! One of the pro's (not sure who) was riding in a speedo and seriously had the most amazing legs I've ever seen. Its one thing to see them working on the run, but flexed hammies, glutes and quads on the bike were Ah-May-Zing.

My half of the pro's were pretty spread out, so luckily I didn't have to give out any penalties. Phew. I tried. I really did. But, they were all law-abiding athletes.

After a full lap on the motorcycle, I hopped on my (well, Allison's) bike and rode around the run course watching for pacing. Again - no cheaters! Way to go everyone! Having a bike when you are spectating is awesome, by the way. I was able to see my Bro on the run course, then pedal over to the finishing chute to watch him finish. So helpful!

After more age-groupers got on the course, I quit my marshaling duties and started my groupie duties. And for the next few days, I woke up singing Ironband songs before I even realized I was awake. Check out the photos that were taken near and by the band. The guy in the green at the beginning of the album is my brother. Good race, T!

And seriously, even Chrissie Wellington is becoming an Ironband groupie! As she should be since they sing about her! ...Chrissie came to Kansas with her bike strapped to her back.... Yep, that was stuck in my head all week! Chrissie (chrissie) Chrissie (chrissie) Chrissie WELLINGTON!

Hospital Hill 10K race recap

10K in downtown KC, over some of the most brutal hills the midwest has seen!

Total time: 1:09
Pace: 11:03

Overall feeling: This was fun! I'm definitely not in great shape, and this was by no means a PR, but it felt great to be a part of KC's biggest road race and hit the pavement with 7500 other runners!

Here's a map of the course...

Race highlight: My first costumed race! I joined in with Girls on the Run's "Last Rodeo" theme for the last aid station on the course - and got my giddy-up on! (Yes, that is a cowboy hat, bandana and pink hula skirt, and Yes, it was about 90 degress during the race!)

Race lowlight: Forgetting my awesome stick unicorn to run with - it woulda been way cooler than the stick pony I almost got. But of course, it slept in the closet and I walked out without my lil buddy!

Sure makes me miss the "real" training and goal setting that comes with racing!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Time to "smeyes"!!

Last night, BDR and I were guinea pigs for my friend Wurf who is trying to improve her photography skills. We had a ton of fun modeling for her, remembering to "smeyes" and then eating Wheat State Pizza!

She got a bunch of great shots, even though I've just seen the previews - and I'm so excited to see the rest. Here's her blog, and a couple of my favorites so far!

What Pete Can Teach About Running

1. Keep your nose open to possibilities. If you get an intriguing whiff - or view - stop and take it in, because it may not be there tomorrow.

2. There is never a bad time to run.

3. Running is best done in packs, or at least, pairs.

4. The mere sight of running shoes should make you tag your wail, or wag your tail. Either way. :-)

5. When you get too hot, let your tongue hang out a bit.

6. Squatting by the path is acceptable.

7. A leash - whether its real or an I-can't-do-this virtual one - will only hold you back.

8. The best recovery from a run is a nap in the sun.

Many thanks to Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell and the folks at Runners World for letting me steal this! Check out their blog and their great book!

Keeping this in mind, I'm getting closer and closer to pulling the plug on this.