It's been an interesting couple weeks along My Path. Between marathon training, work and family life - stress levels have been high. Here's the high and low lights...
The most monumental thing to mention is the passing of my grandmother. She would have turned 88 in a couple weeks. It had been a rough several months for her, with deteriorating health battling congestive heart failure, lots of pain meds and confusion surrounding what all was happening. We all know she is in a better place now.
BDR and I made the 7 hour trek to Stillwater Minnesota where 98% of my mom's family lives. It was great to see all my aunts, uncles, cousins and family extended even further. My grandfather's health is rough as well, so it was tough to see him. He's battling skin cancer and Alzheimer's and is generally in poor health. I guess that what 63 years of marriage will do to you! All kidding aside, it was wonderful to be around family for a couple short days, and to know that our extended family that runs the funeral home was able to take care of Gramma's body to prepare her for her final resting. Read Gramma's obituary here. Looking back, I know she would be pleased that all of her grandchildren were able to make it to the services. Gramma loved family more than anything else, so she would be happy to see us all together celebrating her life.
Coming home, I felt more loved than I've felt in a long while. Maybe its the corn-spread plains or the wind farms that give you some perspective, but a long drive in a big truck with an amazing man does wonders for the heart. Seeing how my family interacted and was more there for each other than I imagined, I know that feeling of love extended way beyond the cab of the "Brownerado".
Missing two days of work when mortgage rates are at all-time lows was a little tough though. I had 3 closings last week, and 9 over the month. I've never had a job where I've been consistently this busy. I mean, I haven't been able to keep up on my news. Its hard to watch the Facebook news feed when you're busy quoting refinances! I haven't been able to keep on my favorite blogs, or had time to write on mine. But I have been selling - so hooray for that! There is still time to refi and take advantage of the rates - let me know if you want a quote. :-)
Ugh. Marathon training. This has not been going so well, and isn't really on my list of favorite things to do. Two Saturday's ago, JW and I ran 17 miles. My motivation was LOW and her knee was hurting, so we walked quite a bit. It was hot. But we finished. And I came home to EAT, Shower and NAP. My favorite post-run activities. Afterwards, I went to help my brother with wedding invitations and in the midst of addressing, I felt seriously sick. Thinking it was gonna come out one end, it actually came out the other. Ugh. I haven't felt that crappy since I don't know when. I'm guessing it was dehydration since I didn't want to move. I got in bed at 7 pm and didn't get up til noon the next day - and didn't feel decent until that night.
I battled the "crap" for several days and had 0 interest in getting up to run with my buds. Then this past Saturday, we were supposed to do 18. JW's knee said no to running and so I didn't go either. We did go out for bike ride and about 6 miles in, I felt the same crap as the weekend before.
So needless to say, I don't want to run. I'm not finding it fun. I can't really remember why I signed up for this race. I know it was partially to stay in a shape other than round. Keep off the lbs so I can keep enjoying ice cream and cookies and whatnot. And it was partially because that is what I felt like I should do.
But you know what? Just going to the gym for boxing or zumba or yoga sounds fun. So what would be wrong with bagging the marathon and trading it in for a little more fun?!
One of BDR's cop buddies got married last weekend. We would've had a blast if he hadn't had to stay sober and go into work. But you can't really carry a .45 if you've been tossing back a few. I mean really - what do you tell the drunk you're pulling over? No DUI for you if you blow a lower BAC than me!
I did rather enjoy the best man's speech. He told the story of when the groom pulled over a lady. Before he could even say anything, the lady spouted out, "Wait, I know why you're pulling me over! You want me to buy tickets to the policeman's ball!"
To celebrate our "Yeariversary" BDR took me to the Melting Pot on the Plaza. What a fabulous evening! Great food, fun atmosphere and a momentous occassion!
Seriously, the Melting Pot is delicious. How can you go wrong with cheese and chocolate - and some steak in the middle for good measure!? We had a spinach artichoke cheese fondue with chips, bread, veggies and apples as dippers. Then a smorgasbord of protein includng sushi grade tuna, steak, kiwi lime shrimp (it was green!), pork, and chicken, along with some brocoli, potatoes and 'shrooms. Then a white/dark chocolate YinYang fondue for dessert, complete with cheesecake, brownies, pound cake, marshmallows, strawberries and bananas. Not to mention the "Tipsy Turtle", "Love Martini" and glass of Malbec. MMM.
BDR fights the smoke monster from the mojo pot.
MMM fondue and wine!
Afterwards the clouds foiled our romantic plans of stargazing to see the meteor shower so we met some friends for drinks instead. A great evening and a fun way to celebrate with my love!
The weekend was capped off with wonderfully cooler weather, long Peter walks and a BBQ with friends. Couldn't be much better!
Friday the 13th and I'm in a great mood. Its been an awesome few weeks at work - I'm closing loans like its going out of style, but trust me, its not! "If closing loans is cool, consider me Miles Davis!"
Besides that, BDR and I have been together for 1 year! We are celebrating tomorrow night and if all the crooks in Leawood behave, he'll get the night off!
11 mile run in the morning, means Powerade has been my BFF today. After a delicious sushi dinner last night with my best girlfriends (sans the newly engaged!), I've got a happy belly today.
Very random post, I know, but I'm sitting here smiling and wanted you all to know!
And it sure was. Ironband's first live show on US soil and the crowd was rockin'. Iron Maidens up front leading the dances. Sandbaggers in back holdin' down the fort. See for yourself in the video below.
Lead singer Kinner knows how to Rock.
Iron Maidens are the best groupies a band could ask for.
What an amazing race day experience on Saturday, 7/31. The WIN for KC Women's Triathlon at Smithville Lake, just nort of KC, boasted 850 athletes. It sold out four months early, and 405 slots were filled by first-time triathletes. How cool is that?!
Plus, even cooler - I got TOP 10!!! I've never placed so well in a race before. But I'm glad I've found the trick - no training! I've only been running. That's right - no biking and no swimming in over a month. They print out your splits after you finish and here's how mine looked:
The day started out sort of icky. BDR was supposed to sneak out of work early to come cheer me on, but some dumb lady decided to beat up her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend (seriously, he said there was blood everywhere and a missing tooth!) so cop duty called and he couldn't come. Luckily it wasn't nearly as bad as it was for a couple friends. For AV, her bike fell off the rack on the way there, burning off her front brake, back bottle cage and part of her saddle. Luckily, no frame damage and it was still ride-able. For Dr. Meagan, the bike she was toting for a first-timer decided it no longer wanted to keep its back wheel and it fell off en route to the race. Bad day for those bikes!
After running around all morning trying to find a new wheel for her friend, Dr. Meagan finally got to relax and get psyched up for the race. She's weeks away from Ironman Louisville and is going to do amazing!
Classy Cat Anna is my hero. She's focusing on her BQ hopes, but she still managed to get 2nd in her AG. Seriously, this girl is FAST.
I'm not quite sure how Rebecca does it. She's a full time mom and a full time triathlete, all the while with a great atttitude, wonderful smile and tons of effort. She also pulled out an amazing race.
For me, here's my recap...
Set Up: Got to the race site too early and wasn't quite sure what to do with myself so I hung around the GOTR booth and caught up with some friends. (See photos above)
Swim: Time trial start every 5 seconds. Made the smart move to start in a group faster than I actually am, but I didn't have to stand around and wait to get in the water, phew. My times probably could have been faster had I trained, and definitely would have been faster if I hadn't needed to hang on to a kayak to pee. That's 73 seconds I won't get back.
Bike: They call me greased lightning. I haven't had to say "on your left" so many times before. Now granted, many of the amazing women out here were on cruisers or mountain bikes, but still - I averaged 18.6 mph and felt like a speed demon.
Run: The only way to make this race better would be a different run course where spectators could get out and cheer. It winded through the woods on a paved trail, so it was hard to tell how close to the turnaround and the finish line you were. I averaged 9:18 pace and was very pleased with how hard I pushed myself when I wanted to walk. Sprints just might be the new thing for me. Who knows...
Post Race: Chris Cakes cooldown and an ice cream cone on the drive home. Followed by some serious lake time and a bit of sunburn. Pete had a great time swimming, and then got a much-needed bath.
All in all, very happy with my showing on Saturday. I haven't been this proud of a performance in the past. Sure, surviving Ironman and making it to the finish line is amazing, but a Top 10 AG finish is pretty sweet too.