Friday, December 08, 2006

Josie Update

Wow, it's been a while since my last post! not much has been going on i guess, until recently.

i took josie to an appointment with her "foot doctor" to see how her right foot/leg continues to develop. He says everything looks good and is pleased. he did say that he'd look at performing another corrective surgery on her leg in about two years. i don't know what it's called but they would cut through her leg bone, above the ankle and rotate her foot to a more straight forward position. it still curves in like a pigeon toe or club foot.

We went on a family vacation to Silver Dollar City last weekend. We used the free "passport" we received from the Give Kids The World Village. we just paid for travel and hotel. and travel... we picked the day after a huge snow storm to drive down there. most of the way, the areas received about a foot of snow. the road way was snow packed, even after the sanders and graters. we were one a only a few cars traveling south that day so that was good too.

the problem was when we got to Silver Dollar City, parts of the park were closed down due to ice accumulation, specifically the kids section that had lots of rides and activites for them. so the day itself was kind of a bust. not much for the kids. the hotel was a huge dissappointment too.

we went to the worlds largest toy museum and the owner not only knew "exactly" where the small town we lived in was(when we told him), but he talked of Rossville and he knew the pastor of the church there. he has sung there before. very cool. it's hard enough to find someone out of state whose heard of Topeka - the CAPITOL of Kansas, let alone a small town called Silver Lake.

i think that's about it. i have a long list of home repairs to do this winter and spring but this year i purposely did not schedule any work during the month of December. I'm tired of year after year watching Christmas fly by cause we are so busy and not giving any thought to the real reason for the season. but even with that, we still find ourselves busy this month and the first week has flown by. Christmas will be here in 17 days....

If i don't have anything to report before then, Merry Christmas to everyone!!!!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Survived Another One


I got home about 3:30 AM this morning. Right after the race we went back and showered, loaded the car and headed home. yes, we're idiots. actually we would have gotten home an hour earlier but we (and when i say we, i mean Bob) locked the keys in the car at a gas station outside of Des Moines, Iowa at 10:00 PM. That was nice. It took the guy almost an hour to get there and about one minute (literally... actually it was less than a minute) to unlock it.

Once the gun sounded, it took us 20 minutes to reach the actual start line to run. We were just a slow herd of thousands of people shuffling closer and closer to the starting line. I was both satisfied and disappointed with the results. Disappointed because i ran this marathon in almost exactly the same time as Lincoln. I felt so prepared this time and confident to run it much faster. But hey, it barely cracked 40 degrees at race start and by the finish it dropped to the upper 30's. it was misting for part of it, and there was some occasional wet snow flakes. And something i'm very proud of: i virtually ran the marathon all by myself. At mile 6 Bob was struggling with some respiratory issues he'd been dealing with for a couple weeks and he told me to go on. He later caught up to me at mile 17 and when on ahead, so i was "alone" for 20 miles, with the last 6 being the most grueling.

And another positive... Physically, i felt just as miserable as last time; my legs and lower back were "gone" around mile 18. I had ran the previous 17 only walking through the aid stations (drinks). I ran the whole last mile in, but i walked more than i ran the previous 4 miles. But the reason this was positive is that in Lincoln i was mentally shot too. i was delirious. But this time, it was just physical pain i had to truggle through. in Lincoln i had to lay down on the ground after the finish line because i was exhausted. But this time i didn't need to. I was shot for sure but i was "okay".

The Chicago Marathon was a great experience. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone crazy enough to run a marathon in the first place. For the money, you get so much along the way. there were tons of spectators along every single mile. some of them would hand out hard candy to runners and beads (like Marti Gras type beads). Lots of musical entertainment every mile or so. At the end was one of those aluminum foil type blankets, food, water and bags of ice (for swelling prevention)... and they actually had STADIUM type seating at the last 50 yards of the finish line... filled with the roar of cheering spectators. In all the chaos at the finish, i walked past the area you can get your picture taken, after receiving your medal. there was another tent for a post race party which had tons of other stuff, but we had to hit the road. In Lincoln i crossed the finish line alone (no other runners around me), in Chicago i was one of the last 3,000 runners to finish, but i was still surrounded by runners... it was still 'crowded'. it was so cool. 40,000 runners signed up but only a little over 33,000 ended up running.

I'm sure there are many more details, but that's the jist of it all. Chicago is definitely the "windy" city. it was bad enough the weather dropped to the 30's and rainy, but the wind was also coming in around 15-20 miles an hours and at times it was down right bone chilling. With the wind chill the temperature actually dropped into the 20's.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tracking my race

Okay, i was incorrect. you can't receive "real time" results unless you are there in Chicago at one of the many update screens throughout the marathon track. BUT there are several ways you can be updated on how i'm doing Sunday. On the chicago marathon website i posted in the previous blog, click on the "spectator" link to the left of the home page. then down the list of links you'll see "runner tracking and updates". there are several options there. my bib number is 46213.

there are "pacing teams".. individuals who carry a big sign with a time on it (the time in which you plan to finish the marathon). the fastest time is 3:00 (three hours) - however the elite runner will be finishing much fast than that (2 to 2 1/2 hours). the last pacer is 5:45 (5 hours, 45 minutes). and there will certainly be many people who don't finish in that time. but since my 'planned' race time is 5 hours, i will certainly be near the end of the pack, since there are only two pacers behind my position. my hope is that with all the excitement and motivation i can finish a little fast than that, but, i need to be satisfied with just being able to finish again. but if i can't do it in 5 hours, i'll be disappointed.

Chicago or Bust!




We leave tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM! The weather forcast continue to decline. As of right now, Sunday will be a high of 46 and a 30% chance of rain and snow. Saturday is a 60% chance of rain and snow. It will probably be somewhere around 40 degrees at race start, or colder.

I am actually not at all detered by this. cold is better than heat, but i just want to make sure i dress accordingly. it's one thing to dress for marathon class in the winter when you are only running a handfull of miles. it's different to be out in it for five hours. I suspect the forcast will worsen before race day.

it's still very exciting! Chicago will be exciting. Going to a Saturday night service at Willow Creek Church will be exciting.. it's just going to be a great trip that ends with a potentially miserbal five hour run and 9 hour car ride home!

If i think about it tonight, i'll update the blog with my "bib number". with that, and at the appropriate website, you can track my current race place in real time. of course, hopefully most of you will be in church , when i'm running, ha, but if you're not, check the website and see where i'm at (i'll post the website too). Now, with 40,000 runners, i expect i'll be somewhere in the last 5,000 -10,000. that is purely a guess though.

Everything about this race is so awesome. they provide for everything. there are aid stations (for water/gatorade) about every 1 1/2 miles, restrooms at every aid station, live bands and other entertainment at least every mile (there are 30 entertainment spots), they are giving out power gel packets (gel for calories, etc) at one station and bananas at another.... it's just gonna be awesome!

for those of you with high speed internet access, check out www.chicagomarathon.com and click on the "news and features" link on the left. from there you can view a streaming video of the route we run (fast forward film in a car) and highlights from last year's marathon.

i'm very excited! pray for safety on the way down (and back) and safety on the run. We'll get back late Sunday night.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hell Week

really that title is misleading since i have been fairly optomistic around the runs, but this week culminates with the "dreaded" 20 mile run this Saturday. the longest run of the training. on the positive side, Bob and i will be running together. on the negative, due to scheduling we are going to have to run in in the evening! from like 6-10 PM. and at 6:00 it's still going to be in the 80's, possibly still UPPER 80's.... that is NOT fun to run in. we can only hope for a rapid cool down once the sun goes down, but i doubt it. and what's going to kill me is running too fast too soon. if i run what i feel is comfortable, it's too fast to sustain 16-20 miles. if i manage to run as slow as i need to at the start i get more leg/foot pain. it seems to be more taxing on the body/legs to run slower/too slow in general. i hate the leg pain when it happens, but i will likely have to endure it the first 4-6 miles to finish the marathon.

As for josie, her psoriasis continues to look better and better. it's still obviously "there". but hopefully come February, it'll be gone. we'll keep you updated.

if you're out and about in SW Topeka Saturday night, you may catch a glimpse of Bob and I running. part of our 20 miler will be the north side of 21st street between fairlawn and Gage. most the rest of it is in residential areas - out and backs from approximately 17th and Macvicar.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The excitement builds

I have mentioned in the past how this training is far better and more satisfying than the previous marathon training. ya know, when i asked my doctor if i was okay to train for a marathon, aside from saying yes, he said it usually takes about 6-8 weeks to break through the pain of running. and i never "broke through" last time. i went the whole 4 months in pain. this time around, i have experienced minimal pain. so for me, it's taken a marathon to break through the pain of becoming runner. that itself is enough to discourage anyone from taking up the hobby.

the last few weeks i had been on a high (feeling great about the marathon), then last sunday, having had to run a third time by my self for the long runs, my motivational tank finally ran out and instead of running a half marathon distance, i only ran about 7. and i was discouraged. luckily, it took only running one time with my partner, yesterday morning to get me back on track and excited. we ran 8 YASSO 800's (8 X 800 meters = 4 miles). we took a two minute break after each 800. my professor told me i needed to be running each 800 in 4 min 35 secs as part of my 10:30 mile marathon goal. well i ran every one at an even faster pace. not cause i was trying to but because, again, it just felt comfortable. i didn't get tired until the 7th run, but on the 8th and final run we decided to push it as much as we could. we knocked about MINUTE off the time which equates to about a 7 minute 20 sec mile (if we ran a whole mile). i didn't even run a mile that fast in January for class, let alone after 3 previous 8 minute miles.

now, i couldn't have kept that pace for another half mile but it was such a boot to run at that speed after having already run 3 1/2 miles. the previous 7 runs were at close to 8 minute mile pace.

once my professor reads this blog, i may get scolded because he put much effort into essentially mapping out my training program (speed wise) and the last thing he said was, "never" run faster than 8 minute miles.....oops. Sorry Dr. P.

The marathon is FAST approaching. this weekend is a 3 hour run, then next week is the last long run... the dreaded Twenty-Miler!!!!! but i'm excited! i may feel differently at the end of that run, but at least i'll have two weeks of relative rest (easy running) before Chicago to re-coop!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Psoriasis

Well, as you can guess from the title, we have found out what Josie's break-out condition is. She has "Guttate Psoriasis". it is the kind of psoriasis you can get after a bout of strep throat.

If you'll recall, Josie contracted strep the week before her back surgery. she wasn't completely finished with her antibiotics before surgery. then she contracted strep two more times in the following 4 weeks. And some of the things believed to contribute to psoriasis is emotional stress (of the pending surgery), injury to skin (which is why her psoriasis is concentrated around her incision spots), reaction to to certain drugs, and then some types of infections (ie. the strep).

she has three creams/ointments we have to put on her body every night and she has an antiobiotic she takes daily. the doc thinks it should be pretty cleared up in a month. hope so! we've noticed a difference just in the last two days. psoriasis is a life long problem - but hopefully josie's will remain in remission as long as she doesn't get strep again. if this continues to be a problem, or doesn't clear up, etc, they may look at taking her tonsils out.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Upcoming events

This Sunday i leave for Rhode Island. My "job" asked me if i wanted to attend a training there... just me, wow! i'll fly out of KCI Sunday at 11:30AM and return Wednesday evening around 4:30. i really enjoy flying, but i'm quite nervous about having to switch flights, aspecially being by myself in a HUGE airport in another state (Chicago). Then there is the matter of being "alone" in another state for several days... no familiar faces at all. i tend to be a loner, but i will still feel quite lonely there. please pray for safe travel to and from, no problems with flights, hotels, you name it. pray for Tracy as she will be the sole caretaker of the kids that whole time too. i know that will be stressful on her. i will be taking the laptop with me i think (I just bought josie a new software game at her bookfair tonight, so i may not be able to!)

As for Josie, we are taking her to see a dermatologist on Wednesday (well, Tracy will, before she picks me up) at CMH. she has develped quite a rash of some sort on her back ever since the last surgery. we thinks its some form of allergic reaction to the tape or something, but nothing we've tried (over the counter and prescription) has worked to clear it up. the rash itself may not be a huge concern but if it's not cleared up, they will NOT operate on her since the breakout is all around the incision sites.... and THAT will be a problem. so please pray that an answer will be found next Wednesday and it can be cleared up before her next surgery in February.

Running Solo

My running partner came down sick last week so i had to run 16 miles on my own!! Earlier this spring i would not have even contemplated it. This time around, considering how well, mentally, i've been feeling about running and the recent successful runs... i was not petrified by it. actually, i almost welcomed the challenge. that would be a first for me - running 16 miles alone.

Well, the weather had different ideas and it was projected to rain/storm off and on all weekend. i mapped out an 8 mile out and back from my house which is just short of a mile from 75 hiway. i brought a headset to boost my morale and get my mind off running. but i didn't turn it on the first two miles cause it was pitch black still at 6am in the country. i loosened up by mile five and the tunes were a blessing!! before i knew it i was almost at mile 8! it remained cloudy and occasionally thundered. just as i neared the turn around, my wife pulls up beside me in the car. aparently she was awakened by the thunder and lightening, and rain. it was working it's way in my direction. i don't mind the rain at all, but i suppose it's not wise to run in lightning with an electrical device strapped to your arm and head.... so i took the ride. no more than we turned around when the rain started. it would pour and stop, pour and stop all the way back.

i got home and decided to run the remaining 8 miles on the treadmill. a mile and a half into it the power flickered and the treadmill stopped (good thing i wasn't running fast). at 3 miles my left foot began to hurt - felt like a blister forming so i decided to stop. oh, ya, the day before i bought new running shoes and this was the first day i wore them. turns out i did get a blister, but very small.

my partner intends to run the 16 miles this coming Saturday which would normally be a 10 mile run - per our schedule, so since i only ran 11 this time, i'll go ahead and run 16 again with him. i am confident i could have run the whole 16 on my own, all alone, which is an incredible psychological boost for me!!!! i am getting more an more excited about the marathon!!!! the guy that sold me my shoes in KC had nothing but awesome things to say about the Chicago marathon so i am even MORE psyched! i am getting more and more confident that i will "easily" make my 10:30 mile goal and finish this marathon near 4 1/2 hours! remember my first one was almost 5 hours 40 minutes!

i realize if i go out and run a marathon like that in October it will be even harder to "retire" from the running scene, but training for a marathon is such a time commitment and money commitment... and family needs to come first.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What A Quandary!

My mind is telling me one thing, but my body is telling me another. And from a "fitness" standpoint, it's good. I am running better than i expected. But here's the situation:

I am training to run a 10:30/mile marathon - which would actually be close to a 4 and a half hour marathon; which is over an hour faster than my first one. i will be happy to run 11 and a half minute miles which would put me closer to 5 hours. that's my primary goal - finish in 5 hours. my secondary goal would be to run 10:30's.

And to accomplish this goal i'm supposed to be running some of the training at marathon pace (10:30), some slower and some faster.

The problem i am facing, which i've posted before about is that i am finding it very difficult to run as slow as i need to at times. what should be a faster pace actually seems "comfortable" and the slower pace is feeling way too slow. The positive side is that is showing how i've "improved". but the down side is that it could lead to over training and leaving me with little come race day.

Today, the workout was 5 X 1 mile runs. 1. warmup 2. conversational pace 3. marathon pace 4. threshold (fast as you can for maximum heartrate-180's bpm for me) 5. cool down. well, conversational pace ended up being marathon pace and the threshhold mile i ran in approximately 8 minutes 10 seconds. then the cool down mile ended up being at marathon pace.

But my threshold mile i could have run faster. during my marathon training class we did a timed mile to reach threshold. i ran it in 7 minutes 50 seconds. and i was definitely at my limit. i thought i was going to pass out. yet today i had already run 3 miles and then ran my threshold mile just 15 seconds slower than in class... and i felt great. i was breathing heavy but I could have pushed myself faster to reach a true threshold. so cardiovascularly, i have greatly improved since last January.

so i think i'm going to keep training the way i am - running what feels comfortable. i will try to run slower when i need to but i'm going to follow what my body is telling me. and with the motivation of 40,000 runners and over a million spectators.... i may in fact pull off a 4 and a half hour marathon..... or better! but we'll see.

The sure fire marathon killer is starting out too fast and not having anything left to finish. this Saturday is the 16 mile run and then we still have the 20 mile run. those two runs will tell me a great deal about my pace and whether it can hold out for 26 miles.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

smooth sailing today

Bob and I ran 9 miles before church this AM. i seem to be consistently inconsistent. i'll have a great long run followed by a bad one, etc.. last week i really blew it on the 12 mile run. This morning 9 miles was a breeze!!!!

for those in Topeka, we ran down Macvicar from 17 to 21st, 21st to Gage, Gage to 29th, 29th to Wanamaker, Wanamaker to 21st, 21st to Macvicar and Macvicar to 17th.

Bob said we were running at a 10 minute pace average. according to the stopwatch our average time was 11:19, which is just 11 seconds off (faster) where i needed to be. but when you factor in waiting for a few stop lights, etc, we actually did run it in the 10's. which is significantly FASTER than i should have been running it. but i am really struggling to run it as slow as i need to. this pace felt great to me - but, i'm sure that pace won't feel good come mile 13 when i still have another half marathon to run!

my left ankle has been hurting again. i started to feel a little bit of something a couple weeks ago, but then last Tuesday i ran some ALL OUT splits that didn't help at all. and it's getting alittle stiff; no swelling but stiff. i'll have to keep a watch on that. my knees have also begun to hurt a little bit during the last couple long runs.

Taylor and Josie get their shots on Tuesday to keep their immunizations up to date, yeah! Cami should be starting dance again sometime soon. Taylor weel into his football season. they won their first game. they have a game this Wednesday night. he plays an offensive lineman (offensive guard). that's it for now, gotta watch a movie with the kids.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Father Who Didn't Have To

(Can ) Father-son bond of Dick and Rick Hoyt

Have you heard of Team Hoyt? Dick and Rick Hoyt.....(turn up your speakers)

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.``He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an institution.''But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told.``There's nothing going on in his brain.''"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want to do that.''Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore for two weeks.''That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''And that sentence changed Dick's life.

He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.''

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every > weekend, including this Father's Day.That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''
----------Story from Sports Illustrated--------------

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm Ready.... Are You?

rapture

And.... we're back.

To reality that is.

Saturday was the 12 Auburn Run. But, instead of running anew rout (to keep my ankle off the unstable gravel part of the way), and to drive there to drop a car off so we can get back, etc, etc. we decided to make it the Silver Lake Run. Our house is 6 miles north of "in town" Silver Lake. So we dropped our drinks off along the way to town and then ran to my house and back.

the first six miles were great. the first three miles were a little fast but by the time we got to my house - the half way point - we were averaging 11:30 minute miles; right on target. but i was feeling a little tired. a mile back from my house i was fumbling with my bottle of gatorade and trying to open a gel pack and dropped my bottle. as i tried to slow down and bend down at the same time, i almost fell over (losing my balance).

that one single event kick started a rapid downhill progression. it seemed to immediately wipe out my energy. at mile 8 i was really feeling it - tired. my legs were leaving me. and for all purposes, by mile 9 i "hit the wall".

but here's a little back ground info that contributed to that failed run:
1. we walked only during the fluid breaks - or every 30-35 minutes (i'm used to walking every 12 minutes tops)
2. i probably didn't eat enough for lunch (quality carbs and protein) to support my run.
3. i tried to eat less on the run - to see if too much gel, too early was contributing to my upset stomach on long runs.
4. the gel i DID bring were new flavors i had never tried before. and they were nasty. so i couldn't even eat the gel i did bring.
5. i didn't have enough fluids in my body when i started ( i didn't pre-hydrate).

so, yes, i was probably doomed from the start. and though dropping my bottle is not what sabotaged the run, i think it was that i expended what energy i had left when i tried to pick it up while still running.

afterwards i couldn't eat or drink for some time due to my stomach queeziness. i did at least walk the remaining 3 miles. my knees were throbbing with pain and i could not stop sweating. i lost approximate 10 pounds of fluid on that run and i couldn't rehydrate my self til at least an hour or so after the run.

hard lesson learned.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Changing my mind?

Okay, if only all my workouts were this awesome, i might i have to rethink my "retirement" after the Chicago marathon!!!

This morning was a PMP (predicting marathon pace) 7 mile run. Since i want to run a 10:30 mile i set my watch for 2 minute, 40 second 400 meter intervals. the Shunga Trail where we run is marked off every 400 meters. and 2 minutes, 40 seconds every 400 meter gives me a little more than a 10 and half minute mile (i was cautious).

now i've been sick with a cold since last Friday afternoon and i almost went home early yesterday and stayed in bed ALL evening. that's why i gave myself a few extra seconds per 400 meters.

plus, even though Bob and i run together - we will no longer really be running "together"... he's a faster runner period and to run "with" me would hinder his own performance. so this morning i also had to run the whole 7 miles on my own. yet one more reason to get discouraged.

As expected, within the first 400 meters i was feeling pain/burning in my lower legs. and i was struggling to run "on pace".... i was going too FAST. within a mile i was able to maintain my 2:40 pace. and a really cool thing was happening; my legs/feet didn't get worse. they actually subsided some. i focused on my breathing and counting the 400 meter red stripes. before i knew it, i was half way done and ready to turn around. i hadn't yet stopped for a walk break. a half mile into the return run and i decided i should stop for some water at least. so i stopped for a mere 15 seconds for water and was off again. and i was running FASTER. i decreased my 400 intervals by TWENTY seconds! i was now running faster than a 9 minute 30 second mile! and i MAINTAINED that pace for two miles.

but it doesn't stop there... that last half mile i decided to kick it up a notch again! i shaved off another 15 seconds per interval (now a 2 minute, 5 second 400). i ran the last half mile of the run at a little over a EIGHT AND A HALF MINUTE MILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

now, does that mean i'm ready to run a 10:30 mile marathon? heck no. but it does mean my speed is increasing and judging by the way i ran the last half mile, i could have run the first three and a half miles at a faster pace. this morning my time averaged out to be about a 10 minute mile - for seven miles straight!!!

and i've never run that far without taking walk breaks. and i've never run that far, feeling so good about it.....

this morning was just amazing!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Third Time's a Charm?

I just got back from a men's retreat this afternoon. Tracy said Josie woke up saying her throat hurt. So while Taylor was at football practice, she ran Josie into the doc real quick.... and low and behold, she has tested positive for strep AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that's three times in about three weeks.

the doctor gave us a different prescription and we are to take Josie back when the medicine is complete. He wants to see if Josie is a "carrier" or something. Geez.

but hey, all else if fine!! i better get back to playing dolls.

oh, i forgot to tell you in the last post, Josie's next surgery is scheduled for February 16, 2007 (i think. i forgot to write it down). it's in February.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Post-op Visit

i took josie to Children's Mercy yesterday for her surgery follow up appointment. they took off her bandages and took post op xrays. she will need a replacement next time on the right side. they will CT only her cradles (the loops that connect to the ribs) instead of her whole back. they want to see how they look on her bones - if they are migrating or moving. after this last expansion, the rod on her right side is pushed up higher into her neck. if you push down on the muscle between her neck and shoulder, you can feel the top of the cradle. once i get digital pics of the xrays, i'lll post them so you know what i'm talking about. basically, the rod is pushing up on the rib with such pressure, her rib is bending. maybe i'll scan the paper xray i have to see if it comes out.... nope the file size is too big too upload. i'll see if Dr. Price's nurse can email me the digital pics.

Bob and i ran the 9 miler last saturday. i ran too fast. we ran the first 6 miles at sub-10 minute per mile pace. i was losing steam at 5 miles. by the last two miles, i had to take extra walk breaks to finish. this weekend is the 'timed 10k' (6.2 miles). this would be the run i would be shooting for 10 minute miles cause you are 'racing' basically. i will be shooting for 10:30's though - which is my goal marathon time. i'm gonna train as much as i can at a pace of 10 minute 30 second miles for the marathon. but i'll be satisfied if i can maintain 11 minute miles in October.

welp, that's it for now, i think.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Texas is out

i'm slacking a little on the updates....
Tuesday Josie came down with a fever. That same day we learned Cami has strep that she probably got from Josie a week ago. Wednesday Tracy took Josie in and she has recontracted Strep.

For this reason, and among other things on our plate causing us stress.... we are cancelling our trip to Texas this weekend. This is hard for us, knowing Dr. Smith is ill and we will likely never see him again, this side of Heaven. On the veptr.com site i learned today he is in the hospital having fluid drained off his lungs.

But we've got to do what's best for us. We are already stressed. in all actuality the trip to San Antonio would be stresfull as we rush through a 1500 mile round trip in 72 hours. But i really wish we could go. Dr. Smith is a wonderful man and the medical field is losing one of it's best surgeons. I'm not yet counting out a Miraculous intervention....

My running Tuesday was terrible. lots of fiery pain in my shins and lower legs in general. this is what made training for Lincoln so miserable. And it started out so well this time around... no such pain. But all it took was that two weeks off with the ankle sprain to ruin it all. This Saturday is the "Gage Street" 9 mile run. i hope it's better than Tuesday's 4.5 miler.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Back On The Bicycle

I got out and ran before church this morning.

my ankle held up great. no problems what so ever. my calves and shins were on fire though. that's what i get for two weeks off and no excercise. i hope this is fleeting though and i'm not plagued with it like i was earlier this year - especialy since i didn't have any of that when the training started up this time around.

hopefully i can start getting excited about Chicago again. i'm counting on that, in part, to carry me through this training. i got discouraged when i first twisted my ankle. but hopefully we're back on track again.

Josie is doing well. She hasn't slowed down yet. but she is complaining of some pain. this time around she's complaining that the back of the neck and shoulder area hurts. i'm assuming this is from the pressure/force of the rod pushing up. i have visions of the rod busting through her rib... it's not out of the question. IF it does some day (or any complication for that matter), it's nice that the hospital is just an hour away.

if my schedule permits, i'd like to journal on here more often - though not "scheduled" like during the marathon training. i won't send you an email telling you to check this site everytime i post something, cause it won't always be about Josie, but i'd like to start blogging about my training and life in general as i feel inspired. so check back frequently. if it is something important, i'll send you an email!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Day One


I was close. i got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep.

Surgery was scheduled for 7:30, she didn't actually go back until about 8. Two awesome things happened this morning.... i got to take her back to the OR to be sedated, yeah! AND, AND, get this..... we got to go back and see her in recovery!!!!!!!!! how awesome is that?! Now granted, this may very well not be a regular thing. they have 10 anesthesiologists, and they each have their own perogative if they'll let you go to the OR. but we'll work em all til they all say yes. The recovery situation is the same way... we may not always get to go back. But wouldn't you know, today Josie did the best she has EVER done in recovery. never even cried once. that's a first. All went well. She was out of surgery by 9:30 and we were in a room by around 11:00.

But i do have some good news and bad.....

The bad news is we won't get a chance to meet any of the other rib familes.

The good news is, that's because Josie is already home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We certainly didn't expect it, but it's not uncommon for a first up case, that's just an expansion, to be discharged later that day. and today was our lucky day. Josie was originally scheduled as the second case, but since they got a couple other rib surgeries scheduled, Josie got bumped up to the first spot. and it just so happened Josie did everything she needed to to be able to get discharged. She was a nightmare of attitude today, worse than usual after surgery. but hey, she recovered excellent and urinated several times, etc....

She did have a real "nightmare" of her own. as she just fell asleep in her hospital room, she suddenly began screaming. tracy asked her what was wrong and she some "something fell on me!!"

She has 14 "tracks" on her arms, several on her neck/chest, and i swear a couple on the back of her neck as they tried to find a good vein for the IV. ultimately they had to put it in her foot again. so she looks pretty beat up with a number of noticeable blown veins. But she's resting heavily on the couch right now. she may possibly sleep the rest of the night, but we'll see.

well, i've got lots to do so i'll let you go.

Thanks for the prayers!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pre-Op



Good evening,
everything went fine today, height, weight, xrays and CT scan. on our way out of town we stopped at this awesome Architectural Salvage place we try to visit each time we're in KC. It's only open like Thursday through Saturday. Tons of awesome stuff, but they really like their stuff ($$$). Just about anything we'd need in restoring our home could be found there.

The surgery schedule has been rearranged so we are now the first case of the day again. so we have to be at the hospital at 6:00 AM. that means we leave our house no later than 4:30. i'll try to leave on time to avoid another early morning police stop!

i expect surgery will start between 7:30 and 8:00 for those praying for Josie. We're bringing Taylor with us and Cami's (maternal) grandmother is bringing her up to the hospital around 8:30 AM. we also expect Josie will be released Saturday morning. Hopefully it won't take all day to get discharged like last time, ha!

Tracy will be staying at the hospital tomorrow night so when i get home with the kids in the evening, i'll send an update out.

On the marathon front, i briefly ran on the treadmill tonight to see how my ankle felt.... no pain at all. running for 30 seconds isn't the same as running for 90 minutes (this weekend's long run), but i'm gonna get out there with Bob and see how it holds up. I won't push it though. if it starts feeling sore or tender at all i'll stop.

Welp, gotta get things in order tonight and at least pretend that we'll actualy get to bed early (reality is that i won't be able to sleep so i'll probably get about three hours).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

waiting for results

Earlier this week we got confirmation from anesthesiology to go ahead with surgery. We are waiting for final confirmation from her surgeon, today.

this morning i was shaking up her Amoxicillin and the lid wasn't on fully and the bottle flew out of my hands and onto the kitchen floor (and my pants). So i just talked with her doctor to get a 'refill' today.

my ankle seems to have stalled out on it's progress. it's about the same as my last report below. the swelling is "mostly" down and i can walk on it easily, but there is still some stiffness. i can begin to rotate my foot a little bit. i still can't roll my foot inward (the direction my ankle twisted/rolled). so i am debating whether or not i should try running this weekend or not. this weekend will be two weeks off of it. i should "probably" give it more time. within the next week i believe we are up to running 9 miles... so if i can't get started running again soon... i'm afraid i can't catch up.

we will have Josie's pre-op testing tomorrow most of the day. Her surgery, as of now, is scheduled for approximately 9:00 AM Friday morning. i believe it's just a bi-lateral (both rods) expansion and we should be released Saturday.

we'll keep you posted

Saturday, July 22, 2006

surgery?

Josie came down with strep throat Thursday. The issue at hand is that she won't be finished with her antibiotics by her surgery date this next Friday. I am waiting on a response from her surgeon's nurse to see if we are going to be able to proceed with surgery or if we'll have to reschedule....

Josie is well aware of her surgery date and had stated she does not want to do it.

My ankle continues to heal. most of the swelling has gone down and i can walk on it without any pain. i still have limited flexibility (i can't rotate it to the right or left). i do think i'll be ready to run again by next weekend.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's hot..in Topeka!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Good With The Bad

The good news....
we may be getting several copies of Josie's story. An extended family member of mine downloaded the newscast from the web and i can download it from him. Then i got a call from the reporter who stated she would get me a copy of the story. then a family friend said she contact WIBW and the director is sending us a copy... this all happened in less than two hours!

Now the bad....

Just when i was thankful at how well the training was going and pain-free.....Bob and I were doing our Tuesday Marathon workout at the University this morning when i twisted my ankle and hit the ground. it hurt but not too bad and the pain went away once i was up and walking on it. so of course i finished my last running segment. no pain. but as the day went on it began getting stiffer and more painful. i was limping by mid afternoon but didn't "look" at the ankle til late afternoon. i guess it's a little swollen. i hope i don't have to take too much time off. if i get "behind" too far in the training, i won't be able to catch up in time for Chicago so of course i am not even thinking about that. maybe i'll be able to run by the weekend? it's not all black and blue. that's a good sign right? i'm icing it all evening.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tooth Fairy and things


Josie has lost her first tooth! She even pulled it our herself as it hung by a thread. She was excited. Josie is NOT a morning person. She stays asleep as we dress her in the morning and sleeps til we put her in the car seat. But this morning - because the Tooth Fairy was to come last night.... she woke right up and felt under her pillow for the prize. and then she went back to sleep.

Her next rib surgery is fast approaching.. July 28 at Children's Mercy again. She is well aware of it and does not want to do it. The following weekend is the Titanium Rib picnic in San Antonio to honor one of the "founders" of the project whose health is ailling. it will be a bitter-sweet reunion. But we are so looking forward to going back and seeing our second home again.

I believe that is it for now!

Friday, June 23, 2006

WWJD

I have finally gotten around to getting the thank you cards (for the fundraiser) printed. now i need to spend all weekend typing about 100 addresses up on address labels. i hope to have it done and the cards in the mail by the first of the week. they came out really good. thank you so much Jay T for getting those done for me.

Josie has been talkg about Jesus a lot lately. which is great but some of her statements raise an eyebrow. tonight in the car she asked me which cloud Jesus was on which is a normal question. but a couple days ago she asked Tracy when she (Josie) was going to see Jesus. Tracy told her she would see him when she dies. to which Josie replied....... "it sure is taking a long time to die!" out of the mouth of babes..

Tonight Josie and I went to see an old high school class mate who is putting together a fundraiser for Josie in July. it means alot that someone i hadn't seen in over 16 years wanted to put a fundraiser together for Josie - BEFORE he even knew her or that I was her dad for that matter. he simply heard her story from someone else and was given my email address. It's pretty amazing.

back to the address labels, there are some people who didn't put their address on the pledge form. so i will be sending out an email (i won't post it on this site) of those names. that way if any of you know the person and their address you can email that to me so we can properly acknowledge their support.

well, i best get to inputting addresses!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Even The Nights Are Better


That blog title would be a song title from Air Supply (i've heard anyway). Tracy is watching them in concert tonight with a girls' night out. So me and the kids watched Disney Channel all evening. As you can see in the picture, Josie is being the doctor again and treating all my ills. the lumpy mass under my shirt is one of her dolls cause i had a baby in my tummy. actually, i delivered two babies tonight. The delivery process is her telling me to close my eyes and she pulls the doll out from under my shirt and placing he/she next to my head. see, i'm not sure what all the fuss about childbirth is. it actually kind of tickled.

I took Josie to KC earlier this week to pick up her new brace as she had out grown the old one. this time she picked purple with pink velcro straps. ya!, that one doesn't stand out or anything. and with the new, larger brace comes the need for new, bigger shoes.

Taylor and i went with our neighbor and his son to the World Of Outlaw races in Nebraska last night. we didn't get home until 2 am. then we woke up at 9:30, realizing i had to have taylor to the Sports Zone in south Topeka at 10:00 to check out his football helmet and pads. we managed to get there on time.

I haven't seen Cami much since this is the summer schedule when we only have her two weeks out of the month (seeing her every Tuesday and Thursday the two weeks we don't have her) and all the Tuesdays she's had dance practice, one Thursday she was sick, and once she's wanted to spend time with a friend instead.... here comes the battle for "time" with my growing teenager. but , for news, she has her yearly dance recital coming up...man, in just a few days!!!

It's official; Bob and i have registered for the Chicago Marathon in October. 40,000 runners and a predicted 1.5 million spectators. wow, what an exerience that will be!!! and today was the FIRST day i actually ran since the marathon. i should have started running at the first of the month. the actual marathon training won't begin until July, but i'm 'gearing' back up and conditioning myself. just a couple miles today. i ran it too fast so i was pretty winded, but felt fine other wise.

guess that's all for now. i'll post more when something news-worthy comes up!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

diagnosis

Taylor DOES have strep throat. now we just need to keep Josie from getting it!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Still Alive

Hey everyone,

it's been a couple weeks since the marathon. It feels like it's been even longer. i'm actually getting ansy to start running again, but i'm trying to stick to the needed "month" off after the marathon (day of rest per mile run). But here's some even crazier news... i'm contemplating running another marathon in October!!!! The Chicago Marathon. 40,000 runners. 1.5 million spectators..... wow. i've all but committed to running it with my friend Bob. We are looking into lodging - which is outrageous! we can't get within 2 miles of the start line for less than $200 a night. So we're looking into staying further out and driving or finding other transportation in. We would for sure visit Willow Creek church while we're there. Bpb has had the prviledge of going once and said we CAN'T go to Chicago and not go to Willow Creek.

I took Josie to the Dr. yesterday for two appointments. One was to have her fitted for a new foot brace. the other was more impromptu. it appears the skin over her left rod is thinning out as it's stretched and rubbing over the rod. if it gets too thin, she'll need some immediate intervention to prevent the skin from breaking open - exposing the rod and having to have it removed for risk of infection. He feels she's okay right now and will be conferring with a plastic surgeon about alternatives. Otherwise Josie is doing great.

Tracy left this morning for a conference in Salina, Kansas until Friday. I spent the day home with Taylor because he started with a fever last night and has had it all day today. so he'll be staying home tomorrow as well, but he'll be going to grandma's so i don't have to take another day off.

Cami is doing well, she is now officially an EIGHTH GRADER! geez. nuff said. but seriously, i am very proud of her. she has already experienced some of the personal drama that awaits her in the coming years. i pray she stays strong and believes in herself to not compromise her integrity in order to "fit in".

As for the fundraising. some monies continue to trickle in, which is great for sure. i am in the process of making a thank you card. i've got the picture for the card but i just need to find someone to make them so i don't have to print them all myself. so, i have not forgotten about your generosity. everyone who wrote a check and those i know that gave cash will get a thank you card. if you don't ever get one, please let me know (i'll let you know when i finally get them in the mail).

I guess that's it for now. Have a great evening. I'll let you know if the Dr. says anything about Taylor tomorrow.

Monday, May 08, 2006

"It is finished"


It's done. Finished. completed. conquered.

At the half marathon point i felt awesome! i was praising God that i felt so strong. Then mile 14 came and something happened. i began to feel tired. by mile 16 my stomach began to feel upset. it was nauscious. i began to struggle eating and drinking cause it only seemed to upset my stomach more. At mile 19 i was feeling like i couldn't finish this thing - pain was setting in pretty heavily by now. i hit the restroom to try and throw up. at mile 20 i began to feel cramping in my hamstrings. my body was wasted. i had decided - with SIX miles still to go, there was no way i could possibly finish. i had basically started emotionally going through the process of quitting and and what that would mean for this fundraiser. i was walking/limping a whole bunch. At mile 21 i tried throw up again to help my stomach - but couldn't again. i tried to choke down another cup of water/gatorade. my friend Bob pulled along side me and stuck with me as internally and externally i felt utterly miserable. i still wanted to quit but i can't remember if i disclosed that to Bob or not. i struggled to get to mile 22. Then something happened. i don't know if it was tunnel vision or what but mentally i just "checked out". i focused on an object in the distance and just stared at it (like those 3-D posters that you stare into to see the hidden image) and suddenly i felt "better" and i began to run faster - what seemed like a faster pace than the first 13 miles. well, at least as fast. Mile 23... the same thing. everything around me was a blur except a pin point down the street. again i tried to drink and eat a power gel pack. i couldn't eat. Actually i probably stopped eating at about mile 20ish. i ended up drinking about half the liquid and spitting out the rest - just getting my mouth wet. At mile 25 i lost the ability to zone out of my pain and misery and began to feel it - but i was also finally at a place i knew i was going to finish this thing. I stopped once more at mile 25 and tried to throw up, to no avail. i grabbed a cup of ice and chewed a few pieces. At this point a i was completely out of it. my back, groin, thighs, knees, ankles, feet... all of it was in unbelievable pain. i rounded the last corner and though i could see the finished line less than 200 yards away, i had to walk again for a minute, one last time, other wise i did not feel like i could make it to the end.

and then i crossed the finish line.

the next 5 minutes were a blur. i remember a kid cutting off the time chip from my shoe. someone put a medal around my neck and i stumbled as i tried to stand for one last photo (they have photo takers throughout the race). Tracy came up to me and i know was saying something but i couldn't focus on it. i couldn't focus (auditory wise) on anything. like i was stilled "checked out". i walked over to the grass and laid down for a couple minutes. once i got up, i was back in reality. i (with Tracy, Bob and his wife) gingerly hobbled to the car to go back to the hotel to shower.

although i couldn't bare the thought of eating any more gel, or even drinking anything.. i was starving, and nothing sounded better than a big, juicy hamburger with fries. and that's what i ate. i had maybe two sips of my pop. infact, i didn't really drink anything for teh rest of the day. basically as of about 12:00.

as for my race time. i didn't make my goal. at a 12 minute mile pace, i was to finised the marathon by 12:20. but i probably walked an extra (not the planned walk breaks) half hour's worth just in the last 6 miles in order to keep moving. i think my unofficail time was 5 hours and 36 minutes.

Today, as expected, i am in more pain and soreness than i have ever been in my life. the only thing close i can compare it to is when you have the flu and your whole body aches and you feel miserable. even though you know you'll feel batter in a few days, the minutes seem to last hours and you feel like you are going to die....

i began to get emotional around mile 20 when i thought it was the end and i was not going to be able to finish this thing. and then after i crossed the finished line i began to get emotional, because i was relaxing and letting all the emotion flow. i felt like such a loser when i knew that i could no longer go on. It was only by God's grace, your prayers and my friend Bob's companionship that got my past mile 21 and indeed across the finish line.

Now, for the fundraiser update... are you ready?

as of saturday, the unofficial deadline of the fundraiser, we have raised $5,289!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there are three other pledges that i know of out there that will bring us closer to $6,000. UNBELIEVABLE. you guys are amazing!!!!! This is our single most successful fundraiser to date!! We did it!! we not only met, but EXCEEDED our $5,000 goal!!

but now i HAVE to get up and start moving around again to keep my legs working!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

One week to go!!

Seven days from now i'll put my body and mind to the ultimate test. The marathon is just days away! My foot is feeling better. it no longer hurts when i walk on it. if i flex it different ways it hurts though. hopefully it will continue to heal over the coming week. Probably around Wednesday i'll go to the chiropractor and get an adjustment. my back has been hurting some, but it also can't hurt to get "alligned" before i put my back and hips through 5+ hours of running.

I've been going to the gym and using the seated bicycle. Saturday (yesterday) the marathon class ran 9 miles - the last of the long runs. So i went and rode the bike for the number of minutes it'd take me to run 9 miles. i planned for 12 minute miles so i ran about an hour and 50 minutes. However the bike is very low impact and to get my heart rate up, i had to pedal faster - so i ended up "running" 14 miles in the time i planned for. it felt pretty good. I'll go to the gym this next Tuesday and Thursday and that's it!!! Then rest, rest , rest!

I will try an email everyone Friday night. We leave for Lincoln Saturday morning. The race begins at 7:00 AM Sunday. I plan to run no slower than a 12 minute mile. Therefore, i should complete the marathon within approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes; finishing at 12:20PM. Hopefully my pace will be a little quicker, like around an 11:30 minute mile. this will get me close to the 5 hour mark.

As far as the fundraiser.... $1256 is all that's needed over the next 7 days. $1256 and we will have met the goal i set out with. That would be soooo awesome... $5000 towards Josie's ongoing medical bills. Nothing would make me happier than to cross that finish line and know that i have also raised the money i set out to for Josie.

Keep the prayers coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Taking The Bad With The Good

I went to the doctor today to have my foot looked at.

the good news is there is no fracture. He believes i most likely strained a ligament. The not so good news is that i can't run any more until the marathon - none. I can only do things like swimming and stationary bike riding. As long as i can excercise and keep my heart rate up, he said i should have no problem remaining fit for the race. My strain may not be healed by then, but i will have given it the best opportunity to heal. It may still hurt by race day, but i'll just have to deal with it at that point and take some Tylenol.

i could use some prayers for a speedy recovery and fast healing in my foot. I also need prayers for a commitment to crosstrain. it will be much easier for me to sit around and do nothing than to get out and find other ways to excercise. Although we are in 'recovery mode'; getting our bodies fully rested and recovered for the marathon, i still need to be excercising. the class will still be running every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until May 7. i need to be commited to getting my excercise in as well.

i probably won't have much at all to "post" now that i won't be running, so i may just post a message a day or two before the race.

Monday, April 24, 2006

recovery update

I came to realize that the reason i probably felt so good after the 20 mile run was that i loaded up on ibuprofin before and after the run. since yesterday i have had the normal progression of soreness. so right now my thighs are pretty sore. but STILL, i avoided, not only the pain while running, i avoided the significant knee pain i normally experienced for days after the run. walking up and down the stairs has become uncomfortable. but being 48 hours after the run, the pain/soreness is at it's peak and will now begin to die out.

there was one 'injury' i did not tell you about from Saturday. no specific reason. i guess i was just so excited about how good i felt. but, halfway through the run i started experiencing a great deal of pain on the top left foot. it was a pin-pointed spot. i am pretty sure it was my orthotic. i had it adjusted cause it didn't have enough lift in the arch, but it must of had too much now. it was probably putting too much pressure on the bottom of my arch which was causing the bone pain as it was essentially being 'bent' over the support.

i ended up taking the insert out for fear of causing a stress fracture and just put in the normal shoe insole. that reduced the pain somewhat. it is still very tender today, but it doesn't quite effect my walking. part of me wants to be safe and get it xrayed. but then i would be so discouraged that finding a fracture would end my race with less than two weeks to go. i don't know if i could handle that. so most likely i will just see how it feels the rest of the week. we are now "tapering" our workouts so they will be getting less and less as we near race day. i will have the orthotic adjusted again. if it still hurts the same next week, i'll get it xrayed. now i know that i'm going to get some emails telling me to get it looked at.... i know, i know. and i promise i will... if it gets worse (or no better).

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Romans 15:30

Thank you, thank you thank you!! Today was an amazing day and it was ONLY made possible by the hand of God and through your prayers for me.

Today was the 20 mile run. THE longest run of the year, prior to the marathon in two weeks. As you read from my previous post, I was quite worried about today. not running much, being sick..
Today was THE best long run i have ever had. i began getting tired at 17 miles. i ran with the same girl from last week. it was great. the pace was great. i finally found my running partner for the marathon - but NO - halfway into the run she says she's NOT running the Lincoln marathon, but doing a marathon the following week in another sate. just GREAT! there is no one left except maybe one possiblility.

Back to my story. some people started running a little earlier in the morning so when my partner finished her 17 miles she was done (she had run 3 miles of warm up). So i had to run the last three miles by myself - mean, no one around. and it was tough. i walked way more than i should cause i was tired and no one was there to motivate me. i walked all the hills/slopes.

i had some groin pain but very tolerable..... and that was IT!! no feet pain, no leg pain...that is the best i've ever felt running. by the time i got back to the finish spot i was exhausted though. i felt like i either was starving or wanted to throw up. the reason was: i was so sick of the gels i was eating that i ate nothing the last four miles. i'm so sick of gatorade too. so anyway, when finished i was dead tired - but not real sore mind you. but i felt miserabley tired. but then after a few cups of cold water i sat down and began to stretch. when i got up, i felt much better. i slammed down the thick peanut butter sandwish i made and was still hungry so i stopped at McDonald's on the way home and grabbed a Quarter Pounder Value Meal too.

As of right now i am experiencing minimal outer knee pain and that is virtually it! i can walk normal. i can go up and down the stairs with no problem. no limping. no pain after sitting for a period of time. i mean, i just cannot describe to you how good i feel compared to any other Satruday run. i honestly feel like i could go out and run another mile or two. my muscles barely feel sore right now. i AM tired though, real tired. but i'm trying to stay on my feet as much as possible to keep out the soreness and lactic acid in my muscles.

i did take my ice bath again, which is getting easier and easier to "take". now, having said all that, i don't know what i'm going to feel like tomorrow, but i cannot imagine it feeling anything like the past. this has SO boosted my spirits about the marathon. now i KNOW i can go out there and do this!

i cannot thank you enough for the prayers at this most important time of the training when i was feeling pretty discouraged.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Matthew 6:34

I can't help it, i'm worried.

this bronchitis isn't getting better yet - in fact it's worse (especially overnight). I went to the doctor Monday and got medicine, and yes, it often takes several days to see an improvement. But time is not a luxury i have. it is definitely crunch time. completing the 20 mile run this Saturday is vital to being ready for the marathon. if i can't do 20 - i can't do 26.2. the problem is that i probably shouldn't be running with the repiratory issue i have right now. but if i don't run Saturday with the group, i can't fathom running 20 miles on my own a few days later (if i'm even better by them). not running it could spell disaster.

i also have a wedding i am supposed to be singing in next weekend (29th). But at this point, i can't sing the songs well at all because i have no singing voice. i believe there is still time to get better for that - provided i am getting "better". i don't want to think about the possibility of having to bail out of the wedding because i don't even know that couple (i was referred to them by someone). I would feel utterly terrible.

anyway, just on the heels of having a renewed drive doing this marathon, i get thrown this wild card. and here's how i've been over-anylizing it: i believe there are no coincidences so either this is just a trial God is wanting me to go through, or it's God trying to tell me i shouldn't be doing this, or it's Satan trying to keep me from doing it. If my "walk" was better with Him than it's been lately, i might be able to discern His direction. But i've been letting just about everything else take priority in my life and i am leaving Him outside the door. Maybe he's just trying to get my attention; Telling me this is way to big of a task to go at alone (without His help).

Monday, April 17, 2006

Posting a Comment

For those of you who have wanted to post a comment and don't know how or have tried and can't figure it out:

at the bottom of each post, you'll see this: "0 comments"
(or there will be a number in ploace of the zero, if comments have been posted)

click on that underlined link. a new window opens with a box for you to type your comment. below the place you write the comment you have three options to sign as: Blogger, other, or anonymous. choose either "other" or "anonymous". choosing "other" allows you to type in a name (you don't need to put in a website). that way i know who the comment is from. if you choose "anonymous" and you want me to know who posted it, just end your comment with your name. otherwise it just says, "Anonymous said..."

hope this helps.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fundraiser Update

Hey everyone!

ONLY THREE WEEKS TO GO!

So far Josie's received just over $2000. That is awesome! Just $3000 more - or $1000 per week and we will have done it!! I started this fundraiser with a goal of raising $5000 for Josie. I am still hopeful i can make it. But because i've been so focused on the marathon - mentally i haven't been checking in on how the fundraising is going.

Thank you so much for those of you who have already pledged in support of Josie. It means more than you know. afterall, it is you who make this possible for us to continue giving Josie the hope given through the Titanium Rib Project. Those of you who have not pledged, please consider doing so. Share Josie's story with a friend. Allow her story to touch their lives.

Please continue to pray for me in the coming weeks. As you'll read in the following post, i have really been struggling mentally lately. i really could use your support.

Three Weeks To Go

I promised you guys in the beginning that i would be very real with my progress and emotions and everything. And i think over the last three months i've limited that to how i feel about my pain. so i'll try to go a little deeper tonight and tell you guys how i'm really feeling inside about all this.

I didn't run all last week after the half marathon. i was so sore and my knees hurt, everything below my hips hurt - plus i started getting sick. i even stayed home from work Thursday. So i was fairly aprehensive about running for three hours yesterday (saturday). By thursday night i was really in a funk. i was wondering if i could do this; fearful that i couldn't; fearful of what you all would think if i couldn't. i was down. i want to be able to run it faster. but the bottom line is that i was questioning whether i could even make it the full 26 miles. as bad as i felt physically, i coudn't imagine running another 13 miles. As fast as i ran the half a week ago... to me was nothing because i 'hit the wall' at 12 miles. my legs were so full of lactic acid; i was dead physically. and that was only HALF way through a full marathon.

After talking with a friend and my professor i had new hope; at least a little; that i could do this. the bottom line is that i have to make this "MY" marathon. i've got to run it in a way that will get ME across the finish line. if that means going back to 12 minute miles and walking after every mile... so be it. see, i made the mistake of setting a "time" goal for the marathon. granted, that is good to set such goals, but i'm the kind of guy who focuses on my failures and not my successes. like the half marathon last week. i should be ecstatic that i beat my last half marathon time by 20 mintues - that is amazing - but no, i'm focused on that last mile and a half that i 'lost it'. all week i focused on how miserable i felt physically, how i've beaten myself up mentally and talked myself out of thinking i could do this. my second goal after "finishing" the marathon was to do it in 5 hours.... well, a 12 minute mile isn't going to cut it. so now i've got to try and be happy with just finishing. "just" funishing. there i go again. less than 1% of the population has ran a marathon - and i won't be satisified with finishing cause it wasn't as fast as i'd like. aren't i pathetic.

Well, let's get on to yesterday's run. i was aprehensive cause i hadn't run all week, as i said before. I had decided to run at the back of the pack.. with the "slow" ones. we maintained a 11 1/2 minute per mile pace. we were able to run 2 miles out in 23 minutes. then we turned around and ran back which totals four miles. we did this in all four directions (N-E-W-S). So even at a "slower" pace, i still ran 16 miles yesterday. After 12 miles i was still feeling pretty good - but getting tired. but considering after 12 miles the week before i could have collapsed on the ground... i was doing much better this time around. the last mile though... mile 16... i was tired. my legs were filling with lactic acid again. i wanted to stop running. then, with only 400 yards to go i decided i was going to stop and walk the rest. luckily my running partner had different ideas. as i started walking she said, no! you can do this! we're almost there!..... darn her!!!!!! so i began to run again, and i ran the rest of the way back. i was exhausted. i felt pretty close to how i felt last week. instead of praising myself for running another 16 miles... i thought of my physical misery. and again thinking.... i've got to run another TEN miles to complete marathon. again i began to contemplate how i was possibly going to make it... surely i can't do this. my body is just not made for this....

i went home and took an ice bath - a real ice bath this time. but then i did something different. i stayed on my feet the rest of the day. i didn't crash on the bed like usual. i was up and working around the house. i still had the usual "after run" knee pain... but yesterday it wasn't as bad! i could actually walk without limping! although it was in slow motion. i woke up this morning and my knees weren't screaming. i could walk down the stairs without support my weight on the railing and wall. tonight... my knees don't even hurt at all! all i am feeling is sorenees in my thighs and hamstrings. belive me, it hurts.... but it's like a "7" compared to a usual "15" (on a scale of 1 - 10).

so tonight i sit here and i can't recall the pain i felt yesterday morning. in the back of my head i still am apprehensive that the marathon is ONLY three weeks away, and i've barely run 3/5 of it. and in 7 days i'm gonna run TWENTY miles. but as miserable as i'm feeling on these long runs.. everyone says, if you can do 20, you can do 26.2! so all i've got to do is make it 20 miles next saturday.

so anyway, i am amazed at how well i feel compared to the usual after run recovery. i have hope that i can push through those 20 miles next week. by i'm still not confident. i guess more than ever (and even more in three weeks) i need prayer. prayer for staying healthy (i'm currently sursing a cold that is turning into bronchitis) and prayer for strength to see it through. thanks guys!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Raintree Half Marathon

good evening everyone,
This morning was the half marathon in Lawrence, Kansas. I was feeling pretty good about it since i've already run 16 miles. but i was a little concerned cause i didn't run much last week and i've had an upset stomach since Friday.

Then my friend told me last night he wasn't running today (that's who i was gong to run with) - so i was a little worried about who i was going to run with. the other guy i run with sometimes - who is a tad slower than my pace wasn't going to be here either! So i decided to run with the girl a ran most the way to Auburn with. I had heard she was improving and running faster - but i didn't want to run by myself so i decided to keep up with her..... i'm an idiot. i don't know that i'd say the pace was too fast. she was running approximately 10 minute miles.

the problem was she only walked during the water stations every three miles, roughly. and even then i swear she only walked for about 15-30 seconds. so i'm used to walking for one minute every mile (or every 10 minutes), not 30 seconds after THREE miles. but i managed to keep up with her (or at least within 5-10 yards). she was running with another friend, so technically i was still running by myself - but i could focus on keeping up with them and not just running "alone".

well, i was starting to "feel it" about mile 7. it got a little harder to keep up. then by mile 11 i was starting to lose gas, and by mile 12... i was spent. much like the 16 mile run a couple weeks ago, it took everything i had to keep going. my legs ached so badly. but the difference was, on the 16 miler i WANTED to quit (i wanted to die really), it took everything i had not to walk the last mile in. But this morning i WANTED to keep going, but my legs were telling me they couldn't go on. the last mile i could probably walk as fast as i was running (on a day i hadn't run 12 miles already).

the good news is i beat last year's half marathon time by over 20 mintues! My time this morning was 2 hours and 14 minutes (compared to last years 2:36). But had i been able to keep up with the girl, i would have ran a 2:09!!!!! I lost FIVE minutes of time in the last mile. I ran it in 134 minutes which comes out to be 10 minute 30 second miles (even though until mile 12 i was running them in 10 minutes)The girl i ran with finished in 129 minutes or just UNDER 10 minute miles. i blew my mile average out of the water in just the last mile.

but hey, it was still fast for me - faster than i've ever run. but i'm paying for it. my knees are SCREAMING at me right now, and my groin muscles are a close second. another way i knew i was running too fast was my stomach started to feel a little upset during the last 3 water stations. which means i was running too fast for my stomach to digest easily. i coud barely walk when it was over. i can barely walk now! i had the next best thing to an ice bath - just a straight cold bath that sure felt like ice to me. my legs were numb within a couple minutes and then the tub felt fine. maybe i'll try ice next time. but the numbness has long since worn off and i'm hobbling around trying not to flex my hips or bend my knees when i walk - ya - try that.

i am even more certain that my running "career" will stop after May 7. there is just no way i can continue to run with pain just for the heck of it. i will try running again, once i've fully recovered from the marathon. but if i continue to have pain within the first mile... it's just not worth it.

i wish i got a participatory medal to show you (picture) like my half marathon, but they didn't give them out. oh well. i have rambled way too long but thanks for listening. i'll post you next week - if i can get out of bed! heck, even my professor was laughing at me as i was trying to get out of his Suburban today! i'm sure i was quite a sight.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

aches and pains

i felt really good during this morning's run. my feet didn't hurt at all. my knee hurt just a little. but man, by midday both my knees ached like they did the day after my 16 mile run. it's not the deep inner joint pain - i think taking last week off took care of that "injury". today my whole knees hurt, but it's that outer surface type pain - like the surrounding ligaments/muscles all around the knee. and it hurts more when i lift my foot off the ground after each stride. but man they ache, ache, ache. i may have said this before but i'm resigned to the fact that i'll likely be running the marathon with some sort of pain. at least the knee pain goes away as i run. it's the in between/rest days that they hurt.

anyway. i wans't even looking forward to running this AM when i woke up. especially after taking a week off and and "quitting" my 10 mile run sunday. but by the time i got to school i felt good and was looking forward to it. and as i said, the workout itself went well. my body is just getting old. i think it's aging faster than human years. maybe i'm growing in dog years. that's the way my body feels alot of times. becoming an avid "runner" after this marathon is not looking too good.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Make A Wish Trip

Hey everyone.
i don't even know what to say without writing tons and tons that would take forever to read. but i figure i need to get something out there for you guys who are waiting for a report.

we got back late Saturday night. it was great. the Give Kids The World Village we stayed at was awesome. i could have just stayed there all week. it was fantastic meeting up with our friends and spending the week with them. Josie was done with it all after about three days. she just wanted to go back to the "hotel". i think it was due to the crowds and the frustration of not being able to play or ride rides the whole time - we found it very difficult to effectively split the attractions up so everyone could do what they wanted (josie couldn't ride the rides Taylor and Cami could and they didn't want to sit around while Josie played in the kiddie areas). i would say that was the hardest part of the trip - pleasing everyone.

On the flight to Orlando, we rode the plane with a bunch of the workers and skaters with Disney On Ice - how ironic was that? no, we didn't get to talk with any skaters. Josie and Taylor did excellent on the plane ride. they loved it. it was their first time.

we hung out at the Village the first night. Day two was spent at the Magic Kingdom. it was MEGA crowded. too crowded. one person said they come every year and they have never seen it like this. even though we got to go to the front of the line on all the rides, just trying to navigate through the crowds to get to the rides was rediculous.

Day three we went to Universal Studios and Islands Of Adventure. it was the best. much better than Magic Kingdom. much less crowded. we had a great time.

Day four, our friends went to the beach. we went back to Magic Kingdom for the soul purpose of getting the princess's autographs and then we left and went to Universal Studios to get some Nickelodeon autographs (namely Spongebob). on one ride, we were the ONLY riders!! it was called Earthquate and it simulates a subway caught in an earthquake. the ride seats at least 150 people, but when the led us the back way to the loading zone... we were the only ones there! and we thought, surely they'll start letting others come in to fill the rest of the seat.... but they never came, then the ride started.... it was crazy, but cool at the same time, to have our own private riding experience.

Day five we went to Animal Kingdom and went of the Safari ride and others with our friends. Then we shot over to MGM to catch the car stunt show. we actually planned to see others and ride the Tower OF Terror - but we discovered the park closed a whole lot sooner than we expected. both Josie and her friend, Jessica (our friends) wanted to go back to the village and we were beat as well so we headed back.

Day six was just to sleep in and pack up. we had to be out of our Villa (house) by 11:00. then we went to eat and off to the airport.

We had more tickets than we could use = more tickets than we had days there. we didn't use our Seaworld tickets. we have free passes to all the major themeparks in the US and around the world (seriously, like canada and Thialand) that we can use over the next 12 months. they gave us a complimentary CD with photos they'd taken of Josie over the week and photos of the Village itself. we received other "parting gifts" as well. the kids received a small gift every day we were there. the icecream parlor was open from 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM. you could have pizza delivered to your villa up until 10:30 PM. our Villa was actually a HOUSE; a duplex - two bedroom two bath... house.

i know that i am leaving out TONS of things that i'll just keep periodically adding to this blog site.

i didn't run at all while down there. we walked at least 7 miles every day and i was just worn out. we didn't sleep much all week. getting to bed late, getting up early. our friends played it smart and just got up when they got up for the most part. but anyway, i knew i HAD to get in a 10 mile run, so i decided to do it Sunday afternoon while tracy took the kids grocery shopping. i was dead tired. i didn't get a chance to "plant" my food and drinks along the route so i carried them with me; pockets full of gel and two bottles ful of gatorade.

well, about two miles down the road i mentally talked myself out of it and i quit and walked the two miles back home. then i ran 10 miles on the elliptical machine. so i either made a wise decision or a poor run by not doing the run outside. because the elliptical is such a low impact run and i can run so much faster that i ran 10 miles in 41 minutes instead of the 110+ minutes it would have taken me on the road and my legs don't really get a full workout. but on the other hand - my body was so shot that i wouldn't have been able to endure the run anyway - so it may have been smart to take it easier. we'll see.

The Raintree Half Marathon is in Lawrence this next weekend. Rest needs to be a premium this week as i am STILL so tired and run down from the trip. after running 16 miles just a week ago, i'm not even fazed about running the half marathon.

It was nice to come home to some letters containing pledge money. there is only a month left and i have received somewhere in the neighborhood of $500. that's $4500 short of my goal. i do know there are some out there raising money still, but race time is getting closer and closer. please continue to get pledges and help us take care of Josie's medical bills for the next year or two! thank you SO MUCH to those who have pledged or gotten pledges. it means the world to us. you make it possible for Josie to keep going on this journey of hope.

sidenote - we've got about 300 photographs that we developed Sunday. i'll sift through them and post some on line soon.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Dead Man Walking

oh...my...gosh... i don't believe i have EVER been in so much pain in my LIFE!! i hurt, i hurt, i hurt! 16 miles baby! a new personal first for me. it sure came with a price though.

We started at Gage Park Zoo (for those of you familiar with Topeka) and basically ran west on 10th street, which later turned into 'old Hwy 4o' and we ran out what seemed to be half way to Manhattan - okay, it just felt like that. but a number of miles west, along I-70, you'll notice an old abandoned horse farm, with a white, fence lined oval track on the south side of the highway... that's where we ran to and then turned around and ran back. The professor had food and fluids stashed about every 2 1/2 miles, but when we reached the second "stop" we discovered the refreshments were no where to be found...

i'll fast forward to about mile 10.. my running partner decided to start skipping the walk breaks every mile.... and i sure didn't want to run by myself so i kept right on plugging away. in reality it was only an extra mile in between walk breaks.

at mile 14... our last refreshment stop... that is what killed me. it was already hard enough to get going again after walking. but at mile 14 my body was telling me it was done. and i don't mean just tired. it took everything, i mean everything i had just to keep my legs turning the final two miles back. simply unbearable fatigue. but i made it.

a strange thing happened the end. i think my mind left me and i was delirious. do you remember how when you were kids and you stayed up all night. and about 3:00 in the morning, everything suddenly start sounding funny and you giggled at everything? well, that happened to me. i was in so much pain and exhaustion that all i could do was giggle. i could barely walk.

the backs of my legs - from hamstrings to ankles are sore and tight. i hae tried to stay up on my feet all afternoon cause if i sit, my legs start screaming at me when i try and get up. and let's not talk about going up and down the flight of stairs here.

but even in spite of all that - i actually feel pretty good here at 3:00 in the afternoon. i might not be able to get out of bed for church in the morning, but for now... it's barable! i just have to stay on my feet and keep my legs moving.

there won't be any updates next week as we will be in Disneyworld!!!!!! but i'll have plenty to post when we get back!

Monday, March 20, 2006

I ran 8 miles Saturday. I can't stress enough how tough it is to run on your own. The first two miles were great. i was actually on a 9 minute mile pace (which i learned was too fast). At my two mile walk, i was at the bottom of a hill - which is good - walking hills is easier than running them), but i wasn't at the top of the hill before my minute was up. so i decided to walk another minute to get to the top. i ran my third mile at a still fast pace (sub 10 min.) and i was beginning to feel tired already. Halfway into my third mile i had (mentally gave up) to take a 20 second walk break. But at the fourth mile stop i ate and drank. Miles 5 - 8 gradually felt better and better. I started off way too fast - even though it felt good at the time. But i made it, and that's what counts. i wanted to give up when i was tired and had no one to talk to, but i pressed on.

Yesterday Taylor and i hung out all day together having some 'man-time' while Tracy, her mom and sisters took Josie to KC to shop. They took Josie to the Build-A-Bear Worshop for her Birthday gift. She actually picked out a cat as you see in the picture. They had a great time and Taylor and i got to go to the movies, eat lunch out, and work on my truck motor together.

As for the fundraiser, keep getting pledges!! as i've said before, i have NO IDEA how it's going, and won't know til all the money comes in. I asked for it to be back by May 6, but we'll be in Nebraska so if any comes in that day i won't know til the marathon is over. Ihope to have a final count that following week. I'm going to mail out the envelopes and pledge forms (in case yours didn't print off right) this week.

One week from today we leave for Disneyworld!!!!! I have decided that i will leave my laptop at home. this was a tough decision since i like to update people daily when we are on a trip (medical trips). But i truly want to leave everything behind and have a week of pure unstructured, quality time with the family. which means i'll have TONS to report when we return home!! I'll post pictures on the VEPTR website (the hyperlink is to the right. i think it's called Josie's Pictoral Journey). i probably won't have them up for several days after our return though.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Make A Wish


The Make A Wish "wish grantors" came over last night to finalize some information and to give us the money for our trip. They brought tons of presents for the kids. Each child had their own 'package' of toys, then they had a LARGE (see photo) Sponge Bob backpack filled for more stuff for the 'family'; lots of odds and ends, things we can take on the plane, several disposable cameras, including a waterproof camera. It was like Christmas all over again for the children.

It sounds strange but one of the most emotional things for me is when we arrive in Orlando, near the baggage claim will be someone with a large sign that says something like "Make A Wish Welcomes Josie Martin". And for some reason visualizing that makes my eyes well up. i don't know why. you see that on the movies - a limo driver holding a sign with someone's last name... no big deal, but there is something emotional about doing it for Josie (or any special child). Hope i'm not a blubbering mess at that point!

Among ALL the things we "get" on this trip (which i'll elaborate on later) is a voucher for $50 towards film development. they really do think of EVERYTHING. this will be the first real vacation we have EVER taken. Once or twice we've went on a trip somewhere, like a relative's house and hung out with them or something and called that a vacation. We called our trips to Texas a vacation when we were able to go to the ocean for a few hours. But this will be our first family -do something totally fun everyday- vacation!

Pool Running

I went to the pool last night to get my workout in. I ran in a different part of the pool a few times and the floor was much rougher and so i kind of tore/cut up the bottom on my big toes. So they are sore today. i might have to wear bandaids when i run on them tomorrow morning. but it was still nice - very tiring, but nice. of course i had to take a 5 minute dip in the hot tub when i was finished. i don't know if that helps at all, but it sure feels good (relaxing).

Tomorrow, most of the class is running a relay called the Brew To Brew. it starts in KC and ends in Lawrence. i think it's 40+ miles. each member of the class runs an 8 mile leg of that 'race'. you can run more than one if you want. It ends up being an ALL DAY event. I was looking forward to it earlier in the year, and it was only about $14 to race and eat, but then i'd be tempted to buy a shirt or fleece jacket and i'd probably end up spending too much money before it was over. Plus there was plenty of work to do around the house, so i'll just run my 8 miles 'out and back' from our house. i miss running out in the country anyway. plus, it'll probably be raining (it's supposed to rain tonight trhough next Tuesday with snow coming in Monday) - and i enjoy running in the rain. but running in the rain when it's 80 degrees out is different than when it's say, 35-40 degrees.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

continuing to pace myself

Tuesday's class went well. very little pain in my legs/feet. some knee pain but just a little. We did a "YASSO" workout where we focus on maintaining pace. Our community has a walking trail (concrete) that has markers every quarter mile. The first time we did this earlier in the semester i ran with the 2:30 group (2 minutes 30 seconds every quarter mile mark) which equaled a 10 minute mile pace. Tuesday i ran with the 2:25 group for one leg and felt like it was a tad slow, so i moved up to the 2:15 group and ran the remaining 5 legs (one leg is actually two markers or half a mile). i was getting tired by the last two legs so i don't know if i was in the right spot or going a little too fast. we walked after each leg and i "recovered" fine. even though i was tired, i actually ran the last leg 20+ seconds overall faster than our pace time (the first quarter was approximately 2:10 and the second quarter was 2:00).

i hope that wasn't too confusing. Let's just say, it appears i am increasing my speed which is a good thing = a faster marathon time. if you convert that 400 split (quarter marks) time (2:15) into marathon time then i would be projected to run the marathon in 4 hours and 30 mintues - which is half an hour FASTER than my original goal was. but again, these are just estimates.

And i've got more great news! my professor has okayed me using a pool workout instead of the regular class schedule every Thursday. this will greatly aid in 'recovery' for my knee. this weekend i will run 8 miles on my own and then next Saturday is our SIXTEEN mile run! That will be a new personal "first" for me!!

Monday, March 13, 2006

School Daze

We just got back from Josie's IEP meeting at school. Tracy and i need to decide if we want to hold Josie back a year instead of sending her on to Kindergarten. this would mean a third year in pre-school instead of the normal two (Silver Lake starts pre-school at 3 1/2 YOA). As mature as she acts, she still has some "gaps" in her learning. It is likely attributed to all the time in the hospital and sedations, etc that has gotten her behind in some areas; basic things like learning her alphabet and numbers.

I don't think any parent WANTS to hear the words "held back" concerning their child, however, at this grade level it won't make a difference down the road, secondly, she is just now (march 22) turning 5 with only two months left of school so it won't be like she's "older" than the other kids, and thirdly, because of her physical size, she still appears younger than she is.

We haven't made a decision yet, but most likely, we will choose to hold her back. The last thing we want is to continue ahead and place her in a grade she will struggle greatly in. In Silver Lake they push education like no body's business - whish is one reason we moved out there with the added bonus of having an exceptional special needs program for Josie. Even in Second grade Taylor is learning things i'm sure i didn't learn til i was near junior high school.

So on one hand, it's disheartening, considering everything else Josie has to over come, but the teachers feel she will learn these things, it's just the medical issues that have slowed her learning down - temporarily. but now that we are at Kansas City, instead of Texas, she will miss much less school after each surgery which will help.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

All "Hail" the King

Thought i'd post some pics of the hail storm this morning while we were getting ready for church. We pulled Tracy's car into the basement and mine was originally outside with cushions and blankets over it, but at the last minute i decided to pull it onto the porch. Good thing when you see how big some of the hail was for a few minutes. That big porch of ours has been an emergency garage on a number of occasions!!