Saturday, June 30, 2007

Zurich Race Report

... is coming. First I want to find out why I have these HUGE fonts on my blog!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

group swim

We went for a great swim this morning - the water warmed up to at least 70 degrees... no worries about the swi m getting shortened...

Matt got back from the hospital after he passed a kidney stone. Now he feels great and is good to go to race. phew.

I met TriJack today!

He got here safe and sound, too... biked the course today... it was tough for him but not as tough as it was for the rest of us....
tomorrow we bike the Heartbreak Hill, go for a tour of the city, attend the athlete meeting... check back tomorrow...

we're here!

We got here safe and sound... what a beautiful place. I keep expecting to see Heidi...
Yesterday we rode one loop of the bike course - it's hard. Not like Wildflower, but I am glad I brought an assortment of wheels to exchange... the mechanic we have, Colin - is amazing. My bike has never felt tighter. I will load up some pics when I dig out my cord...
The natives don't yeild really well to cyclists on these skinny roads. Yesterday one of our group collided with a car and his fron wheel buckled. His jaw swelled up but it's much better today. He's a doctor (not TriJack!!) so he and one other guy - also a doctor - were on the scene, but it gave us all quite a scare! Another of our group went to the hospital on a gurney about an hour ago with stomach pain... arghhhh! I will let you know how he is, but I just met him and really liked him. We were going to try to get Ken Glah to get us entries to the Oly on Saturday and try to get home with two medals... his name is Matt and I will update you as we know what's wrong with him...
More later...
thanks for all the well-wishes!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

... and we're off!!!

To Zurich!
Laura and Greg will be here in a few minutes... and we're on our way. TriNick is bringing his laptop, and I have my camera cable so we'll be posting hopefully a lot of fun pictures!!!
Hello... IRONMAN!!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

TNT Fundraising Goal met!!!

To all of you who helped in the fundraising efforts for Micki Shelp - thank you!!! As of Friday night she met (and surpassed) her goal of raising $10,000 to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. John (her hubba, and our coach and friend) is doing really well - so thank you, thank you for all your prayers (and donations!) ;-)

OK, Micki - bring on Lake Placid!!!!! You have us ALL behind you; we will be with you in Spirit ALL day. Seize the day. xoxoxo

We held a Beer-Tasting party, charging $20 per person admission. We also had a Silent Aucion with some really fun items.

Here is Micki (pink shirt) checking on some of the guests.

Quincy and the pretty peonies that Tif and Mark brought over.

Here are Martin and Lexi chatting up Tanya and Santi.

Jeff, Jill (both coming to Zurich!), and Hannah.

Dawn chats up pro triathletes David Thompson and Dan Cohen.

This race belt (worn by David when he took 6th place at Escape from Alcatraz a couple weeks ago), was one of the items in "David Thompson's Personal Schwag Bag" - a hotly contested item in the Silent Auction which was won by Santi!

Santi with her schwag winnings...

This is me with Jenn Lenarz, whose donation of a 4-hour ride along with her (She's a Deputy Sheriff, SWAT team member AND a super fast triathlete), netted $100.00!

Jill and Hannah bidding on items.

Me with John - serving up boutique-beer samples.

Other items won that night were two pillows made by me (of course), a day with a brew master at a local brewery, original art, sweet T6 cycling jerseys and other gear, goodie bag from Gear West, massages, free coaching, an assortment of wine from Bob's cellar, etc...

It was a really fun night - just being together and getting to meet a lot of our friends' families, kids, and their other friends... and for a really great cause.

Thank you so much, everybody!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Swim Team

Bring on Summer.

The kids have completed pre-season after-school practices and the official season started yesterday. There are 100 kids signed up this year. Our club combined with another for swim team purposes and we have so many kids there are two practices. So every morning I am sitting around the pool from 8:45 to 11:00. Big chunk of time... but there are worse ways to spend big chunks of time.

Here Coach Damon talks to the team and gets them to stretch a little before workout.

Bobby and Ally having lunch after practice.

I took these pictures of Bobby and Ally the other day and converted them to black and white... they look so grown up!

Tonight we are having my high school Headmaster and some other people over for a reception. Even though Westminster School is located in Connecticut, there are a lot of alumni and future students that live out here (it's a boarding school). Some of the guests tonight were actually there when I was, so it will be cool to see some of my old classmates. I'll post pictures and stories later.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm in Love....!

...with South Dakota. Absolutely-crazy-I-miss-you-already in LOVE.

How did I get to be 45 years old without knowing what I was missing? Granted, I've always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore, but there is so much more than Mt. Rushmore over there.

The first thing you can't help but notice is that this area is a geologic wonder. Fabulous hillsides crumbling and sliding off their own faces, revealing sparkling teal, orange and green slate. Waterfalls just everywhere. One minute you are driving through a canyon, then you make one final turn and wham - you see nothing for miles but open ranges of buffalo grazing on ranches stretching to the next set of mountains on the horizon. It's just like the Dances with Wolves movie. Only in 360 degrees. The gentle roll of the hills are practically over-crowded with babbling brooks. Did you know that the entire town of Deadwood is a National Historic Landmark? Me either! But I can totally see why.

This is me with Holly at Mt. Rushmore. I can't imagine my life's work being something so gigantic and permanent. There is nothing else on our planet like it, except maybe Crazy Horse which is 50 times bigger and even more magnificent. I guess maybe the Great Sphinx is about as impressive... but it's sitting on the ground, not carved out of the entire face of a mountain.

This guy was just walking down the road swirling his gun like Hoss from Gunsmoke.

Here we are with a couple of cowboys.

Holly made a friend.

OK, this is pure Holly. I go in to use the bathroom about an hour after she did, and I see THIS on the floor. I freak out thinking we have some kind of animal in there. Then she just laughs and goes over and picks it up and says something like, "I love this thing - it really works!". Really... how many of you have friends that still travel with plastic toy poop?????

This was the outhouse at the start line.

Me with Holly at the start in Rochford, population 25.

One of the "houses" in Rochford. It's slapped together with scraps of wood and plastic bags. But you can't argue that the yard is AMAZING.

This girl looked like the bride of Grizzly Adams. She appeared to be running as a bandit. She sprinted like mad, then walked, then ran again, then walked. No race number, wearing canvas shorts, no bra, no pony-holder. I was guessing she lost a bet in a bar the night before. I wonder if she made it very far.

On the trail.

There was one spectator who drove all along the course and stopped every few miles to cheer people on. She became like family and we looked for her all day!

Running over another babbling brook.

Boulder, Stronger, Chris, and TriJack... this guy has your shirt!!!!!

View of Deadwood from the final resting place of "Wild Bill" Hickok and Calamity Jane.

This says "Courtesy of Tri-Club".... didn't know they had one of those in Deadwood.

From the "Weird..." file. This is a wreath made from human hair.

...It's on display next to a two headed lamb and a dinosaur skull.

The famous Bullock Hotel that Holly was too chicken to stay in with me because it's haunted - even featured on Unsolved Mysteries. So we stayed a block away at the Bullock's "Branch House".

The small orange square brick building is the Branch House of the Bullock Hotel.

So anyway, Holly wakes up last night because in the middle of the night she hears music playing really loudly. Thinking "who would be having a party this late? How rude", she rolls over, then starts thinking that um, there's no one else even staying at the Branch House that we've seen all weekend. Then she hears the sound of feet running down the hall. Maybe ten steps. Our room was at the END of the hall, and there were only two other rooms on our hallway, then you hit the steep and skinny stairs. It wouldn't take anywhere near ten steps to run down our hall way. Anyway, she didn't hear a door open or shut. So who ran down the hall, and where did they go, and why did it take so many steps? There were only a couple of rooms at this Branch hotel, and truthfully, we did not see anyone other than ourselves the whole weekend. Only 350 runners did the marathon, anyway.


Main Street in Deadwood.

The mirror where a lot of people have seen ghostly images. You can see scratch marks on the mirror, and I am telling you truthfully - there were no marks on this mirror. Not until I loaded them on my computer. I have several pictures - the all have these scratch marks, but in one picture they are shaped like the letter "A". Quite different than the way the marks look in this picture. Interesting.

I will be going back there for a week in August with Bob and the kids. There is so much to do that they will love:

1- pan for gold (seriously!)

2- visit the many caverns and caves

3- 4-story water park

4- biking on the gravel Mickelson trail - it goes right by Crazy Horse

5- visit the dinosaur graveyards

6- visit the 50 woolly mammoth graveyard

7- see the live wild west shows that are put on right in the streets in Lead, Deadwood, etc.

8- dig for fossils

9- ride horses

10- listen to some of the zillions of ghost stories told by the locals.

11- visit real ghost towns.
12 - learn about the history of the area (Bobby is a total history buff, and Bob actually majored in history)
and so on.....

Anyway, there is a race report buried in this post somewhere! Thirteen miles gently uphill, and 13 miles gently downhill. What I didn't realize was that we climbed up to an elevation of 6,225 ft. That's higher than Denver! Here in Medina we live comfortably at about, oh... 700 ft elevation.

We ran our usual pace, but found ourselves posting 11 and 12 minute miles instead! We finished in 4:47.

It was a beautiful, fun, but too short weekend.

Anybody out there been here? Were you as moved by this place as I am????