117 Miles.

This was my last big training weekend before my taper towards Ironman Coeur d’Alene. My training schedule called for a 117-mile bike ride on Saturday. When I first read the workout, I thought surely that had to be a mistake. I’ve never in my life ridden 117 miles. Why would I do it just two weeks before my big race? But I’m a believer in the TriDot program, so once I confirmed that the schedule said what I thought it said, I started making plans towards my 117 miles. Continue reading

Past The Stuffy Nose.

I’m sick and tired, and I’ve never been better. I flew home from Iowa on Tuesday and brought with me a cold. My head is stuffy, and I’m having to blow my nose every fifteen minutes. That was super annoying until I caught myself giggling at the boxes of tissues Dave left around my house the last time he was here. “A box in every room? Why is that necessary?” I see why now. You never know where you might be when you need a tissue. Thanks, Dave. Continue reading

Nine Months.

This weekend, I’m heading back up to Iowa, not just to see Dave, but also to spend a weekend on the farm with my dear friends from middle school geek camp. Last August, we had a wonderful gathering. It was our first time in twenty-five years to hang out together. That weekend went a long way towards lifting my spirits and making me hopeful for the future as I faced turning 40 and being alone. Continue reading

Missing St. George.

My friend just messaged me from St. George. He’s driving the course for this weekend’s race and identified the exact point that kicked my ass last year. Snow Canyon. It looks deceptively flat and feels like miles and miles of up. I’m not there this year. I meant to be, but I realized a few weeks ago that I had too much going on to make it happen. It was difficult to let go of that race, but I did. And I’m glad I did. I can’t imagine having tried to get on a plane this morning. It would have been just too much. Continue reading

Laughter.

I just made dinner plans with a dear friend who is in the midst of a recent cancer diagnosis. Her phone message of a few minutes ago confirming dinner ended with the words “I’m doing fine — I’m just depressed — I’m blue,” followed by a chuckle that I’ve heard again and again during our more than fifteen-year friendship. This girl, whose good humor has made me laugh as she’s cried over a beer telling whatever story of recent heartbreak she was facing – boys, work, whatever – is good humored even now. That’s one of the many reasons I love her.

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Hey, Girl.

Many mornings, I find myself in the locker room of my gym getting ready for work. I’m usually there between 7 and 7:30 in the morning, and the creature of habit that I am, I routinely head for the same set of lockers. If locker number 360 is available, I take it. There are a few women who get ready around the same time I do in the same area. They chat, and I listen, not to eavesdrop but because I can’t help but listen. I’m practically standing in the middle of their conversation. They are animated and sometimes so funny that I find myself smiling at something they’ve said. I suspect they’ve seen me smile, but we’ve never spoken. Until today.

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Neighbors.

My sweet 96-year old neighbor died this morning. It was a peaceful passing, and she was with the “kid” who took care of her. I say “kid” because he’s a grown man, but to her, everyone was really young, so she referred to him as a “kid.” He wasn’t her kid exactly, but he might as well have been. He took care of her and has for years. He loved her the way her own son would have had she had one of her own. She didn’t, but she had him, and that was just as sweet, from what I could tell.

I learned a lot from this sweet woman.  Continue reading

Into the Microphone.

This morning, miracle of miracles, I managed to get myself to a 5:30 spin class. I hadn’t made that class since this summer because I haven’t had the pressure of Ironman training to get my butt in gear quite that early in the morning. I do get up at 5:10 to meet my friends to run at 5:50, but getting up at 4:40 to make a 5:30 spin class is a much bigger challenge mentally. Maybe because the alarm time begins with a 4? Anyway, I made it, and my instructor made it a sweet morning for me. Continue reading