Saturday, December 30, 2006
Did you really think that I would go down that easily?
Did you expect me to give up?
Did you try to catch me at a moment of weakness?
Did you think I didn't learn from our last encounter?
Look at me when I'm talking to you, house!
Sure I'm not the best plumber. I admit that the last time you messed with me I ended up with a $1200 bill. My bad. But I've grown since then, house. I thought you would have learned that.
How long have we been together- 5 years now? And you still have to pull this little shit on me at the most inopportune times. First it was the shower. You thought it was pretty damn funny to spring a leak and cause the ceiling to cave in when I was in Australia. Ok fine, we all got a little laugh out of that one. And then you had to take it one step too far. The hot water heater was just over the line. That really just pissed me right off. I know you realized it too. Tried to be nice to me for awhile. And now you have to pull this passive aggressive bullcrap again.
An hour before I was supposed to have my training buddies over you strike. Very funny. Water all over the kitchen floor. Good one.
Did you think I would actually just call a plumber?
Did you think that I would be above going to Home Depot after a 3 hour workout without a shower?
Did you think that your ass backwards 1930's plumbing, when nothing in the world was standardized, was going to hold me back?
Puuulease. You should know me by now.
I beat you this time, house.
I hope you learned your lesson you little smartass
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
First journal: 2/21/04
Well, I have one week under my belt here in Melbourne. I feel like I’ve learned about 25 new languages and/or dialects since leaving the states. I’m starting to think that every English speaking country finds the need to screw up the language in their own quirky way in order to be trendy. In PNG I was introduced to Scottish English. So these people have deemed it trendy to ignore any and all T’s that are in the middle of words. Whose screwed up idea was that? Here I have realized that the letter of choice for Australians is R. Not only do they not pronounce their R’s, they pretend not to understand you if you do. I was on the tram Thursday because I was trying to hunt down a cheap bicycle. I was looking for a Kmart and asked the girl next to me what stop I should take. She was an asian girl, and based on the look she gave me when I asked where the K-mart was I knew she must not be from around here. So I asked again more slowly and with an even worse Wisconsin accent (why do I do that?). Still nothing. A couple seconds later a lightbulb went on for her, and she said “Oh, K-maaat?” I guess I’m going to have to conform if I want to find my way around here. Now, I’m not trying to put down everyone else’s take on the English language. I take full responsibility for having the least attractive accent on God’s green earth, but at least I make an attempt not to neglect any crucial consonants.
So besides learning all about the Australian accent, I had a very productive week. I made more friends since Sunday than I made in 2.5 years in Ohio. Unfortunately, they’re all female. But they are a very spunky group and besides my friend Janine, they are all single and looking. Here's a pic:
One of the more free-spirited girls is having a party on Thursday. Apparently she met a couple of fire fighters last weekend at the beach (while wearing a skimpy pink bikini). She made plans to meet up with them Thursday, but last night decided that 2 men wasn’t quite enough. So she met 2 more guys last night at the bar and invited them along. So now the rule is that every girl that attends the party has to bring a random single man. It’s a “random people party”. I now have 4 days to find my random person and I’m beginning to sweat it a little. I’m going to end up with the nose-picking pervert I just know it.
When I got back from PNG I was amazed that I made it through the trip without any major bouts of travelers illness. I hadn’t thought I would need to watch out in Australia. Last night the girls and I went to the Moonlight Cinema. It is basically a huge blow-up screen that they set up in the middle of Melbourne’s beautiful botanical gardens. The movie was Lost in Translation last night and moviegoers bring tons of food and wine to the show and it’s quite a lovely way to spend an evening.I was introduced to bread and dip last night. Instead of eating chips and dip, they eat bread and dip here. The dips are more exotic here, though and you can buy about 25 different kinds at the Victoria Market down the road. We had 6 kinds last night and they were very good. Or at least it seemed, until I woke up at 2 am in a cold sweat. Needless to say, the dips apparently weren’t happy with accommodations in my digestive system and headed to the nearest exit. My morning run helped me to feel a little better, but my theory about the dips being the culprit was validated when one of my swimming partners bailed on me for our training session this afternoon. She had the dips last night, too.
While I’m already on the subject, let me explain a little bit about the toilets here in Australia. They apparently are very concerned with water conservation here (I’ve been meaning to point out that they live on a giant island, but I haven’t run into the proper authorities). The toilets, therefore have about 2 cups of water in them. These 2 cups of water are about 2 feet from your bottom. You may know where I’m going with this… So every once and awhile I feel the need to do the dreaded #2 at work (the cereals here have a lot of fiber). Now in the states you can usually slip one out without much of a stir. Not here. You would think you’re laying down an air to land cruise missile. By the time I’m through everyone on the floor knows my bowel habits and I’ve had a second shower for the day.
Okay, I’m done with the gross-out stuff for today. Another cool development since I’ve gotten here is that I’ve convinced two of the girls to do triathlons with me! The first one is a week from Wednesday and I can’t wait. We are starting out with the ultra sprint variety which is a 300m swim, 10k bike, and 3k run. I’m trying to convince them to move up to the sprint level (500-20-5), but they tell me they think I’ll die on the swim. They may be right, but they obviously don’t know me very well. Because now I have a challenge. I’m going to sign up for the sprint on Monday. I’d do it today, but I’ve found myself without internet access. I refuse to let the computer nazi’s touch my laptop. These crazy bastards (that’s bastaads in Australian), strip you of administrative rights to your own computer and remove all music files and software before they will give you network access. They would have to rip my computer out of my dead rigorous fingers before they would take my music away from me.
Well, what else happened this week… My experiments have worked so far. I’ve been sent here to make some genetic manipulations to P. falciparum in order to piece together the mechanisms of drug resistance. I’m getting my DNA ready right now and it is cooperating. The woman I am working with (Jenny) is really great. I couldn’t ask for a better person to train me here. I’m meeting her for lunch tomorrow on Lygon street (a mecca of restaurants- mostly Italian). Then tomorrow night I am going to a concert with Janine (I’m hoping to pick up my random person there). The plans for tonight include a lot of DVD watching in close proximity to a toilet, just in case any more varieties of dip from last night become unhappy with me. I have the weekend to myself because my roommate has gone to Sydney to visit relatives. Oh yeah, the roommate. I guess have to speak about her a little, huh?
So my roommate is Arlene. She is a pediatrician who is doing a fellowship in malaria research. She is about the most animated person I’ve ever met. I’m currently trying to figure out if Arlene is gay- not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’m just nosy. Here’s my evidence so far- First of all, she has a pretty short crew-cut like hair-do and a lot of piercings. Not very convincing evidence here… Secondly, at the conference in Lorne a girl, who was definitely gay took a pretty quick liking to her. This is still not very good evidence. However, the kicker was her behavior at the beach last week. Beach volleyball is very big here. There are about 30 nets on the beach in St. Kilda. The first thing I notice is the dozens of perfect specimens of the male sex. We’re talking tan, built, and beautiful men. Hubba, Hubba. Amidst this she makes a beeline for the women’s teams. And takes pictures. To me, that’s just crazy given the distractions of the other courts. You make the call…
Well, I have to go get my laundry out of the dryer. I think $4 per load is highway robbery, but I guess you have to pay a price if you’re going to waste their precious reserves of water…
Talk next week,
Saturday, December 23, 2006
You may not know me yet, but I'm writing to convince you that sponsoring me this year is a wonderful business opportunity. I am a 28 year old student and athlete from the triathlete Mecca that is Cleveland. Not only do I have a mountain of athletic potential, but I offer unique marketing opportunities.
Although 2006 was my first year doing triathlons I placed in my age group in several races. In at least one of those races I was competing against more than two people for the podium. The races were truly epic battles to the finish line. Just a look at my PRs will offer a glimpse into my talent. My half marathon PR of 1:52.52 is a showcase of my speed. I'm sure that I was right at the top of my age group because I was given a medal at the finish line. My blisteringly fast bike split at the Portage Lakes Olympic relays (ave. 19.7 mph) was enough to pull my relay team to a first place finish (sure, we were the only female relay, but that's clearly because we scared away the competition). But the leg that truly sets me apart is my swimming. Why would a bicycle manufacturer want to support a swimmer, you ask? The answer is simple... and genius. I will be competing in Ironman CdA in June. Let's say I get out of the water at 60 minutes. When I get on my Cervelo most of the field will be behind me. I guarantee that over the next 6 hours I will be passed by at least 1000 competitors. Adorn me with a DeSoto Trikini with a Cervelo logo and 700 men are sure to notice the bike I'm riding. The impact on your company will be huge. The plan doesn't end there, though. If you'd like, just for the benefit of your company, I will then take it easy on the run. I will make sure that I give the leaders plenty of time to go home and shower before making my grand appearance at the finish line. Extending my time on the course will give your company hours of additional exposure.
Although my current fitness is impressive, never underestimate the effects of sexual frustration on the athleic potential of a single 28 year old woman. I have an endless tank of energy to funnel into my triathlon training. There is no telling what the next 6 months will bring.
I'm not sure if word has gotten out to you yet about my triathlon blog. I had at least 50 visitors this year. Don't worry, I have saved plenty of advertising space for your company. I guarantee that within 6 months of sponsoring me, all of my mom's friends will be cruising around their neighborhoods on Cervelo Cycles. I truly think that the female 60-64 age group is a jackpot of untapped revenue for your company.
Additionally, I think that I could be a model spokesperson for your company. First of all, as a 28 year old still in school I will preach the merits of higher education. I have truly mastered the art of avoiding the workforce. Why does that matter to your company, you ask? Well, have you ever seen people that have more time on their hands to train than graduate and medical students? It's a group that will be quickly drawn into the sport. Then, once they hit the coveted 30-40 year old demographic, their education will pay off and they will be putty in your hands with huge paychecks. I see a future of garages lined with Cervelo road and tri-bikes.
Finally, my experience in marketing makes me an ideal candidate for your company. I was among the top of my marketing class in high school in all of our roll playing assignments. And have you seen my skills in a group? Clearly you noticed me at the Slowtwitch Virtual Christmas party. Give me a mixer of Gatorade Endurance and Vodka and I'll mingle like a socialite pushing a clothing line. I am even willing to give up a week of my time next October to be flown out to help promote Cervelo at Kona next year. I'll bet not many athletes would be selfless enough to offer up their time like that!
In conclusion, I think that we could have a very profitable and mutually beneficial business partnership. Please feel free to contact me for any other information that you may need. Thanks you for your consideration.
P.S. My bike size is 48 cm.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
So I have really been trying to comment on everyone's blogs the past few days but blogger has not been kind. I switched to blogger beta a couple days ago, and have determined that it just might be the devil. I have typed up at least a dozen replies to people's blogs only to be told that I can't log in or that my password is incorrect. Ugh.
And for more random thoughts....
1. Swelling has gone down in my legs! And to offset the water weight that I have lost I have made sure to eat it's weight in chocolate and cookies. I feel like a fat tick. However, I have been warned by my coach that I had better enjoy this recovery week because she is going to make me wish I had never pronounced the word Ironman next week. 2 days with one workout, 4 days with 2 workouts, 1 day with 3 workouts. 12,000 yards in the pool, 3.5 hours of running, 5 hours of cycling, and strength training for good measure. I think the weight should come off nicely :)
2. Never, ever doubt your coach. I know from experience. Since I have been doing so much long slow running I was really starting to think that it was ruining my speed. I mean, how can you possibly run fast when you are stuck in training at 10:30 miles? I was getting very frustrated. When it came time to race and Angela wanted me to stay in my heart rate zones for the race I begged her to let me run it. I just needed to prove to myself that I could still run. One last hurrah before I resign myself back to 10 minute miles for the next 6 months. She was supportive of my request. Still I was convinced that I was going to run a 2:00 half. Which would have killed my spirits since I ran a 1:58 before I started my triathlon training. Well, she was right. I PRed by almost 6 minutes and felt absolutely fabulous the whole time. I will stop complaining about my slow running now. And I will listen to her without question. I mean, I do pay her good money for her expertise. I'd have to be a moron to ignore it!
3. Water Polo. Yeah baby! My master's team has started a water polo session on the weekends. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I was on the Wisconsin water polo team for a year. I loved it, but I was absolutely terrible. I'm so excited to have another team to play with to show off my mad skills.
That's all I've got for now. My head has been pounding for the past 6 hours now and I can't think straight. I think it's time for bed...
Monday, December 11, 2006
I checked in on Thursday and had a nice evening with my parents. We had dinner at a fancy Thai restaurant in The Bellagio and I had Szechuan Tofu. Here is a picture of our hotel at night:
Friday I had a 20 minute run scheduled and my dad accompanied me. It was a 10 minute warm up followed by 5 x 30 second pick ups with 1:30 zone 2 jogs in between. We got made fun of by some of the locals for how slow our jogs were. It was kind of funny since I know I could have probably out run every one of them. Patience Daniel-son! The rest of Friday afternoon was a big mistake. I think that we walked no less than 10 miles sight seeing. We topped it off by walking from Treasure Island to Mandalay Bay to pick up my race packet- a distance of no less than 3 miles. I enjoyed the expo and bought some running stuff and we headed back to meet Brienne who came in for dinner. It was absolutely fantastic to see her! After dinner we went outside to see the fountain in front of the hotel. Here is a pic of me and Brienne:
And one of me and my Dad:
In the morning when I woke up I knew I was in trouble. My hip was absolutely killing me. I was in a bad car accident was I was a kid and I think I did a little ligament damage to my right hip. It doesn't stay in joint well, so when I walk a lot or stand with my hip out (like when playing a slot machine for example) it gets aggravated. It was in enough pain for me to be limping around the hotel. And I had 13.1 miles to run the next day! Wonderful.
The task at hand, though, was the Santa Run 5k. It was run by a charity in Vegas who was looking to break the world record for largest Santa gathering. With our registration we all got Santa suits fully equipt with hat, jacket, pants, and beard! It was quite a sight to see 5000 Santas running down Freemont street, let me tell you! Here is a pic of us before the race:
Obviousely I wasn't in this to break any land speed records. The purpose of the run on Saturday was to loosen up and hopefully work out the pain in the hip. I ran with a buddy from my tri club that made the trip and let Brienne and my dad go ahead. It was surely the slowest 5k in history, but it was a ton of fun! The hip did feel a little better, but I was still in full limp mode all day.
The rest of the day was filled with relaxation and motivation. Brienne and I watched the NBC Sports coverage of a crazy endurance running race followed by the Hawaii Ironman coverage. If watching Kona doesn't inspire you, you are uninspirable! It was great and as always I cried watching the finishers. After dinner we rented The Guardian, which was another amazingly inspiring movie and were off to dreamland!
Wake up was at 4 AM and my bagel was already sitting by the TV just waiting for me to add my chunky peanut butter. I ate the bagel, took 2 Aleve, and had a half glass of coffee. Then I got dressed in my Under Armour cold gear. The weather channel called for race time temp of 50 F with a 30% chance of showers. I'd rather be hot than cold, so I went with full tights and a long sleeve top. Here I am proudly displaying my outfit:
And my HUGE muscles (Matt style)
You may wonder why my bib says "Bob's First". Well, as you may already know from a previous post, my dad was supposed to run this with me. After he broke his ankle, Active allowed him to transfer his race entry to me. Well, they also transferred the saying he wanted on his bib! Which was pretty funny. But a) I am my dad's first child, and b) my boss' (also named Bob) first PhD student. So it sorta fit!
We left the room at 5 AM and went to the lobby to catch a quick cab ride to the race. It was a good thought... except that they closed the strip at 4 AM! The concierge told us the line to get a cab from the back entrance was so long that we'd be better off walking. So off we went, realizing now that we would be cutting the start very close.
As we got closer to the race we realized that both Brienne and I needed a quick pottie stop before the race. We headed into the Mandalay Bay Casino, because of course no one else thought to do that! Wrong! Line was WAY long. So in desperation, at 5:45 we headed outside to find the porta johns. Thankfully the lines weren't too long and we were out at 5:55. Great! 5 minutes to spare. But where is the race start? It became clear that we were not in the right place to enter the race line-up. So I quick gave my Dad a big hug, and Brienne and I jumped a fence and squeezed our way in to the massive crowd of people right as the Announcer sent off the wheelchair devision.
Looking around we noticed that we were seeded right next to the marathon 5:30 pace group. This was quite a bit farther back than our expected pace, but from my experience it is much more fun and motivational to start at the back and pass people throughout the race than to seed too fast and have speedy runners whiz by you for an hour. I told Brienne not to worry about it and we anxiously awaited the gun.
When the marathon and half marathon start was announced there was a cheer from the crowd. About 2 minutes later we started very slowly walking forward. We were about a quarter of a mile from the starting line and walked at a very slow pace until about 100 feet before the start when the crowd thinned and we started to jog. We crossed the chip mats just before 8 minutes clicked off the clock, I started my Garmin Forerunner timer and was off.
Brienne and I quickly became separated as we worked to find some space to run I pointed to a free space and told her to take it. Then she was gone! No worries, though, because we were planning on running our own races.
The first 10k was phenomenal. We had the wind at our backs and a slowly sloping downhill grade. I had studied the race course and had planned to take advantage of the elevation change and to go out fast. As you know, all of my training has been strictly heart rate based and very slow, so it was so freeing to be able to really run. I just tried to keep my heart rate around 180 and thankfully that put me at about 8:20-8:40 miles. I was breathing nice and easy and I swear I had the biggest smile on my face the entire time. Seeing teams of Elvis runners and brides and grooms to be (the wedding chapel was at mile 5) definitely helped. I waved my arms to get the attention of my Mom who was on one of the bridges overlooking the race. Having my parents' support out there was great. Around mile 5 I took my first Gu and took some water to wash it down. I went with the caffeine (vanilla flavored) for the run for the extra boost and it felt great when it kicked in.
I knew that the next 4 miles were going to be the toughest physically and mentally. The turnaround was at Freemont street and there were many spectators lined along the race course. This was where the half marathon split from the full, and where we turned into the wind and the uphill. I had picked up a running buddy who was wearing a shirt from a local Cleveland race and we served as each others support until mile 10. The wind was gusty, the grade was noticeable, and the spectators absent for this stretch. My pace slowed for awhile closer to 8:45 to 9:00, but that was all in the plan. I wanted to ease back to save all that I had for the last 5k. I took another Gu at around mile 8 so that it would be firmly set in my stomach by mile 10, the mile I had been waiting all morning for.
At about mile 9.5 my buddy told me he was going to drop back, I wished him well and prepared for my final 5k. I had mentally prepared for the 10-13.1 mile trek and had a great source of motivation. A very good friend of mine (Steve, as most of you know) got really involved in running right when I started my triathlon training. He's a 5k specialist and had really become a phenomenal runner in a very short time. Two months ago he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma which shut down his running season and he is currently in his second round of chemotherapy. Right before I left for Vegas he was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery. I told myself that the last 5k of my run would be for him. No matter how much my body hurt it didn't compare to the pain he was going through. So for the last 5k I just kept repeating to myself: "this isn't about you- you're running this for Steve". It was a very tough stretch, but I never once even considered slowing down. When I saw the 13 mile marker I got the biggest, most stupid grin on my face and just let it all out in a final sprint for the finish. It was the first time I had ever seen the pace on my Garmin go below 6:30 min/mile. When I crossed the finish and stopped my timer at 1:52 I wanted to jump up and down for joy:
Totals: Distance 13.15, Time: 1:52:52 Avg pace 8:34 Avg HR 184 Max HR 190
By the mile:
Mile......Pace.......Avg HR......Max HR
Not sure if it was a negative split or not, but I'll get around to calculating it one of these days!
*edit* Negative split by 1 minute. Woohoo!
I met up with Brienne who had an amazing first half and finished at 1:51:00! We got our picture taken with a showgirl (unfortunately no Elvis this year for a photo-op, dammit!), and took a taxi back to the hotel to warm up and get some food. Twelve hours later, and about 7 more miles of walking around Vegas I was on a plane back to Cleveland.
When I woke up as our plane landed I noticed immediately that the little bit of swelling in my legs post-race had turned into a LOT of swelling, particularly in my left leg. It's pretty gross- I have cankles! When my boss saw my legs he immediately called his wife (family doc) and set up a morning appointment with her for some imaging to rule out Deep Vein Thrombosis. Since I've had my legs up the swelling has started to go down, so hopefully it's nothing. At any rate, the swelling had better go down by Saturday because I have a hot dress to wear to a Christmas party and the last thing I want sticking out from under the skirt is these tree trunks!
A quick pick of me with Brienne post-race with our medals. She did absolutely amazing! Beat me by almost 2 minutes in her first Half marathon! I'm trying to get her to sign up for IM Wisconsin with me in '08. I think that she caught the endurance bug!
Vegas baby, Vegas
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Body: Here we go....
Mind: I mean, I haven't run fast in 2 months. How am I supposed to do it now?
Body: Are you kidding me?
Mind: Have I told you our goal?
Body: Remember May when you made me do the last half? THAT was crazy. I was in terrible shape.
Body: Look at me. Remember how I looked in May?
Mind: Yeah, you were kind of flabby, I guess
Body: You weren't all that together, either, remember?
Mind: Do we have to get into the name calling? It was a difficult time...
Body: Exactly! And now look at us. I'm looking better than I have ever looked, I'm fueled better than ever, and I have muscles!
Mind: Come to think of it, I've been pretty good lately too. I haven't missed a workout in 10 weeks. I wake up refreshed, I'm confident, I'm happier than I've been in years...
Body: Now you've got it. Now that I have you back on track, we have to go through our plan on Sunday
Mind: Right, race plan, I almost forgot. What are you thinking?
Body: I'll take the first 10 miles. You have to let me go out easy. It's how I work. Start out the first mile slow. I don't want to see the clock read anything lower than 9:30 at mile 1. The congestion should help this. Don't let it frustrate you. We need to start easy! Don't worry, we'll make it up.
Mind: Okay, start easy. Mile 1 9:30
Body: After the mile marker we are going to pick it up. The beginning of the race is downhill. We are going to use that to our advantage. I want to see you hold the next 10K at 8:40 miles.
Mind: Geez... are you sure we can do that?
Body: Trust me!!!!
Mind: Fine. Then what
Body: At mile 7 we can ease off a little bit. Stop at some aid stations, I need you to drink some gatorade and take a GU. I'm taking the next 3 miles at 8:55. That takes me to your territory.
Mind: What do you mean?
Body: When we get to mile 10 I'm going to hurt. My wheels are going to come off, my joints will hurt, and I am going to want to stop. Your turn. I'm only leaving you 5k, so quit your bitching and drive!
Mind: Okay, okay. It's mile 10... I say we hammer it! Pain is weakness leaving your body. We are going to push harder. We are going to push a little harder for everyone who thinks we can't do it. We are going to push harder because Steve can't. We are going to push harder because we are healthy. We are going to push harder because of how happy we are to be alive. We are going to push harder because we want to get in line to get our picture taken with Elvis!
Body: You were doing so well, why did you have to bring the King into this?
Mind: I'm just saying the line might be long...
Body: Whatever gets the job done.
Mind: I'm so glad we had this conversation. I'm feeling better already!
Body: Great. Can we go to sleep now?
Mind: Right, you probably need some extra rest. Sorry about that.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Oh, and did I mention she's also a motorcycle racer? If she comes to Vegas it will be aboard a BMW cycle with hand warmers. How cool is that???
Saturday, December 02, 2006
1. We had a surprise B-Day party for my roommate Matt last night. A great time was had by all. I bought him some Under Armour and he, in classic Matt style, put it on in front of all his guests and flexed his muscles. It was awesome. And we have so much beer left over! Thankfully a lot of people brought over Great Lakes Christmas Ale. I love the stuff. I have about a 1 month limit, though, because it is a little bit of a spicy beer and it's easy to get tired of it.
2. We had a really fun training session today. DaisyDuc came over, right from a PR 5K of 21:37 (awesome!) and we did a 2:15 bike / 35 minute run brick. Janet, Matt, and I set up our bikes in the living room, popped The Terminal into the DVD player and spun away. Afterwards we had a hectic T2 (In true Ironman style we had separate male and female changing "tents"). FYI, don't try to put on Under Armour Cold Gear when you're covered in sweat. It's not pretty. The run was nice and easy and, as always, I really enjoyed Janet's company. I am so lucky to have such wonderful training buddies!
3. I guess maybe I am a hopeless romantic. I tend not to be a girly girl and don't watch the romantic comedies. But one of my movie weaknesses was on today. Love Actually is one of my all time favorite movies. It's just so heartwarming and wonderful and funny. Maybe I'm just a sucker for Christmas movies. Yeah, that's it.
4. Had a girl's night with Colleen tonight. We went out to the fancy shmancy outdoor mall for some shopping. It was great. The air was crisp, trees were decorated and Christmas music was playing. We both bought the most adorable dresses from White House Black Market. Mine is a black strapless number with an asian looking embroidery on the front. I'm going to a few Christmas parties coming up and I can't wait to wear it!
5. Steve update: Here is a little except from the email I got on Wednesday from his wife:
He felt great all week-end. Monday he started getting "small" cramps but was standing at the door waving when I left for my night class around 5:00. By 8:00, when I got home, he was in the ER in the worst pain he's ever experienced. He basically collapsed in front of the kids, called my dad to come watch them, and sent Emma to the neighbor's house to get help.
A second CT looked "about the same" but he was in so much pain, I had them transfer him to UH, where they noticed a "microperf" on the bowel. By 4:00, when he wasn't improving, they took him to surgery, and it was a mess. The surgeon said the hole was as big around as her finger and he was filling up with pus. She cleaned him out, removed 32 cm including ileum and cecum, and took out a few lymph nodes she thought were malignant. Otherwise, she said there was no visible mass. Most of the cancerous part is out of him ... Not the way we wanted it to happen, however.
The next morning, I walked in expecting him to be flat on his back, drugged out of his mind, and still looking scary, but he was sitting up, cracking (bad) jokes, and being the real Steve (well, morphine Steve). A huge relief after two days of such awful pain. He is looking really good (for a cancer patient, that is). No signs of infection, lots of soreness, but the tubes, etc., are gone. I expect bitching and moaning to begin before long. :-)
We went to see him on Thursday. He looked fantastic and is in great spirits. He says that he feels that he should do something incredibly heroic once he beats the cancer. He said his wife said: "If Lance can win 7 tours after his cancer, what are you gonna do?"
Great attitude. He's vowed to enter Cleveland's Road Race series this summer and give his age group a run for their money. What a great guy! He's such an inspiration for me. I am so honored to be raising money for L&L in his name.
I'm out. Another really busy week ahead. My half is in one week. I'll post a pre-race report sometime before Thursday.
Hope you all had a great weekend!