Wednesday, December 17, 2014

10 years... Our Cancer Story...

I can't believe it...

... YESTERDAY was the 10 year anniversary of Jeff's cancer diagnosis...

... I guess the fact that we passed right by that date without a thought is a blessing, because 10 years ago today, was a day that changed our lives...

...there were really, really bad and dark times... but there were also very uplifting, loving, and hysterically funny times. There were moments that we didn't think it could get any worse, followed almost immediatly by a wink, or a gentle hand squeeze, or the look that Jeff and I give each other when nobody else exists in the world... it is just us... together... in perfect love... knowing that things would be alright.

Many years ago I wrote about the first few hours after diagnosis... I believe this is the 8th year in a row I have posted this special story. Jeff and I have been overwhelmed with the touching comments that so many of you send each year... so as long as you enjoy and/or are touched by our story, I will continue this annual tradition.
This story is Dedicated to my love,

my Sweetheart, my best friend,

my hero, my husband, Jeff.

Snickerdoodles, peanut butter, sugar cookies and spritz cookies…that should finish off our holiday baking. Go on a city drive of Christmas lights. Buy a pair of jeans to match the pink sweater for Jessica. Spend an afternoon in Julian and get hot apple cider. Finish wrapping gifts.

It was December 16th, 2004 and a week before Christmas. I was sitting in the waiting area of the Gastroenterology Department of Scripps Green Hospital writing my list of last minute Christmas ‘To Dos.’ Anna Grace, then six months old, was waiting with me for Daddy to be done with his colonoscopy. Jeff hadn’t been feeling well and hadn’t been eating very much. As he was preparing for the colonoscopy, he told me he was craving a Double-Double from In-N-Out. I promised I would take him there as soon as his procedure was over.

“Mrs. Locher?” Dr. Nodurft was standing in front of me. “May I have a word with you?”

He guided me through a door that led to the examination rooms. I walked down the hallway, pushing Anna’s stroller in front of me. All morning, the nurses that walked by Anna had stopped and made some comment about how cute she was or how happy. There were two nurses standing in the doorway of an exam room, waiting for Anna’s stroller to pass by in the little hallway. This time the nurses didn’t look at Anna. They looked me in the eye. They didn’t smile. They looked down at the floor. For a split second, things started moving in slow motion. Could there be a problem with Jeff? As the cold fingers of dread started twisting in my stomach, I calmly reminded myself that Jeff was 44 years old, in great health, and in good shape. I knew I was being led to the transition room where my slightly drugged up husband would be waiting for me, right? Everything would be fine! Everything would be fine!

I wasn’t led to the transition room, but a small exam room. There wasn’t room for the stroller, so I left it outside and carried Anna in. Dr. Nodurft entered the room with us and another doctor followed behind us. The room seemed to be filled by the exam table and I remember how white the paper liner looked on the table. Did I say the room was small? That feeling of slow motion was starting again and I had a bad feeling. There couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with Jeff. Don’t doctors give you bad news in their private office, or in a family waiting room…or in a private, small exam room…

NO! I was cuddling our beautiful baby girl…Jeff waited so long to become a Daddy…nothing could stop him from watching his children grow up…from walking his daughters down the aisle…to watching his son become a father and passing the family name to the next generation…why were they just standing there? But, I knew the answer, didn’t I!?

“As you know, your husband was here today for a colonoscopy. He has been bleeding internally and we needed to find the source of the blood. We found a tumor…” I tried to concentrate on the next words coming from Jeff’s doctor, but I seem to have gone deaf.

“I guess I won’t be taking Jeff to In-N-Out.” I told the doctor about my earlier promise. I smiled and was silent. He seemed to know that I needed a moment to process reality.

I was standing there, holding Anna. I was dizzy and darkness was creeping in from the sides of my eyes. Shouldn’t the doctor take Anna from me so I don’t drop her? I sat down in the only chair in the room.

I knew what my next question was going to be, but how would I ask it? I started my question several times, but only uttered a few disconnected words… “Is…will…it’s not…he can’t be…Jeff is not terminal…” came out more as a shaky statement than a question.

Dr. Nodurft explained we wouldn’t know anything without more tests and until the pathology was completed on the specimen that would be collected during surgery. We talked a bit more and I was told that Jeff was still out and wouldn’t be ready to see me for awhile. The good doctor suggested a nice, quiet spot outside by the reflection pond where I could make some phone calls. He assured me he would come get me when Jeff was awake and ready for a visit.

I sat down by the pond. Nobody was around but the coffee cart barista. I don’t know what the temperature was, but I was cold and shivering. Anna was so quiet…almost as if she knew what was happening. She just looked at me as tears flowed down my face.

I remember thinking of a line from one of my favorite TV shows, "Lost." Jack, the young doctor character, explained that in order to deal with the emotional situations related to his work, he would allow himself to give into his fear/pain/grief for a count of ten. Then he would take a deep breath and concentrate on what had to be done to rectify the situation. I slowly counted to 10, took that all important deep breath and called my Mom.


“Mom?” I could barely get the word out.

“What’s going on?” Her voice was shaking by the end of her question. She knew where I was.

“They found cancer…” came out in one gush of breath, as if I had been punched in the stomach.

Mom was sobbing by the time she finished her “Oh my God!”

I gave her the limited information that I had. “They don’t know how bad…Jeff is being admitted…surgery tomorrow…Jeff doesn’t know yet…”

I guess Mom knew the “10-second Fear Rule” because she was quickly down to business.

“I will call your Dad and get him home…”

“You don’t have to pull him out of work,” I inserted because I knew Dad had used all his vacation time for the year.

“I can tell you that he will not be able to work after he hears this news. I will pack while he gets home and we will be there as soon as possible.” She already had a plan for getting Anna from me at the hospital, picking up Jessica and Christian from school, and staying at our house with the kids as long as we needed. Isn’t that what Moms do best? They take care of business when their kids need them!

The next call was to our church. I knew Jeff would want Father Jim to pray with us before the surgery. I requested Jeff be added to the parish prayer chain. Both requests were granted.

Next, Jeff’s Dad. The receptionist was telling me Jeff’s Dad was out of the office just as Jeff’s doctor walked up. “Jeff is awake and ready to see you.” I would track down Jeff’s Dad after I had a chance to see Jeff.

Anna and I were led to the transition room. I knew my eyes were swollen from crying, but my “10-seconds of Fear” were over (actually, by that time, I had gone through many, many 10-second counts) and I was going to be strong for my incredible husband.

I could hear the beeping of the medical machines from all the patients hiding behind their privacy curtains. I could hear the nurses’ shoes squeaking on the floor. I could smell that unmistakable scent of “hospital.” Our eyes met. I was strong. He looked like he was still out of it. Everything else faded away. My grasp tightened on Anna’s stroller. There was a long pause, smiles from both of us, and almost simultaneously we both said, “I guess we’re not going to In-N-Out.” He had been told. He reached for my hand. Our grasp was strong. Neither of us let go. So many questions. Not many answers. No guarantees. Yet, we both felt a slight feeling of calm, serenity, peace. The feeling was buried by the fear and sadness and questions and that “spiraling out of control” feeling, but it was there. You can call it what you want…denial, hope, naiveté…I call it faith. No matter how small that pinprick of a feeling was, we knew everything was going to be okay. Looking back, I can pinpoint that moment, that first look and coming together of husband and wife during a life-altering situation, as the moment that God stopped walking with us, but gathered us in His protective arms and carried us. Together.

Ironically, as I finish writing this story, I am sitting in a waiting room. Anna is asleep in her stroller. It is one year later and Jeff is having his first colonoscopy since going through surgery to remove the tumor, which came with a foot of large intestine, some small intestine, his appendix and 29 lymph nodes. He was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, has endured six months of chemotherapy, and two additional surgeries. He is still dealing with side effects from the chemo, but we know those will fade one day soon.

“You can come in now.” The nurse is standing at the recovery room door. I had been pretty calm until this moment. I thank the nurse and start pushing Anna toward the door. The nurse is smiling at me and commenting on how cute Anna is. Although I smile back, I think I have stopped breathing.

I hear machines beeping, nurses’ shoes squeaking on the floor, and recognize that antiseptic smell. There are five nurses walking around the room. They all smile at me and make cute comments about Anna. Jeff’s nurse leads me to his bedside. He appears to be asleep.

Jeff’s nurse hands me the report from Dr. Nodurft. The first thing I see is a happy face. The report reads, “Well done, Mr. Locher! Your colon is perfectly normal! Great news. Next colonoscopy is recommended in three years. Let me know when you get back to cycling and we should go sometime!”

A single tear is rolling down my face. “Thank God! Jeff is going to be fine!,” I enthusiastically say to the nurse. I look over at Jeff…he hasn’t moved…his eyes are closed… and he is smiling.

As I read this story, 10 years later, I can't help but bust another tear.  Jeff is still dealing with issues from the chemo, but he never complains... never talks about it.  My sweet husband is going to be doing his first triathlon at the start of 2015... yes, I (and a few of his friends) pushed him into it... he rides... he swims... and he said he will learn to deal with the pain of the run.  With as much as I want to say, "RUNNING HURTS!" I know it hurts him 10-fold because of his neuropathy.  I love my husband... I love the fact he will smile through a tri because he knows I can't wait to be his biggest cheerleader... I simply love my sweet husband!  Happy Anniversary, Jeff!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 1 70.3 Training and Photos...

Week #1 of 14 of my training for Oceanside 70.3 is done.  I did every workout except (1).  Sunday, I was supposed to do a 20-mile bike ride and passed due to pain in my knee after Saturday's 6-mile run.  I don't plan to make a habit of skipping workouts, but at the very start, after doing (5) workouts in a row (which I haven't done in months), I listened to my body and rested a bit.

208.4 pounds
205.2 pounds
Today was also the reporting day for Week #1 of our triathlon's group Holiday Weight Loss Challenge.  In typical holiday fashion, this week I made it through (2) banquets and (1) night out with friends... and STILL lost 3.2 pounds!  Another reason why this is the perfect time for a Weight Loss Challenge!  If I wasn't part of this Challenge, I would easily have put on (3) pounds with all of that great food!  Some of my tri group friends read my blog, so I can't say where I placed (yes, Dad, I know they could do the math below)... but out of (16) competitors, after the first week... I can say I'm doing pretty well! ;-)

Time to go make dinner, do some laundry, finish addressing the Christmas cards, get Mom the list of details for Christmas Eve/Christmas, and start wrapping... and get some sleep for training week #2 to start. 

There is a reason that I love to Swim/Bike/Run...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It... Has... Begun...

Photo taken at 5:30 this morning...
on my way to Oceanside 70.3 training workout #1. 
Great spin today...
workout #2 in the morning...
only 95 more workouts until race day... ;-)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Athena of the Year - New Photos...

Kim, Catherine, Rick and Me... the kick butt Athenas and our Race Director
That title sounds pretty good, doesn't it!? ;-)  It sure does make me feel good!  Last night was the annual Awards Banquet for the Koz Events Triathlon Series.  For the 2nd time in (3) years, I was thrilled to take home the 1st Place Athena (over 40) Triathlete award!!!  It was a fun event, nice dinner, and great company.  Jeff and I enjoyed our evening with Catherine and Kim, the rest of the Athena (over 40) podium!  As Rick Koz pointed out last night, every triathlete has a story, and Jeff and I love getting to hear the stories of other triathletes.

We all received our medals and a special glass...
for whatever you might want to add to it... ;-)

It is also time to face the music with my weight loss (or in this case, gain.)  I have taken it very easy for the past (2) months getting ready for my Ironman training to start... add that with Thanksgiving and, well, I've added a bit to me.  So, who comes to the rescue but my triathlon group, Tri-It Together, who is doing a weight loss challenge THROUGH the holidays.  It started today and runs through Christmas and New Years.  A simple but brilliant idea that I need as my official Ironman training starts tomorrow. (It actually started today, but Monday is the one rest day a week.)  WARNING... the following photos are not so good... but what IS good is I start kicking those pounds in the morning!

208.4 (ouch!)
208.4 time to make those
fat cells CRY! ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2014

2014 Mission Bay Triathlon (very late post)

HOLY COW... it has already been (5) weeks since my last race of the 2014 season and I haven't posted my race report yet... (what!?)  Since then we have prepared for and gone on a cruise, planned/had a Halloween party, trained with Tri-It Together and am getting everything ready (nutrition/training plan) for the 70.3 Ironman training to start in T-31 days!  Needless to say things have been crazier than normal around here, but I would love to share my thoughts on the 2014 Mission Bay Triathlon... photos... take it away...
This is the 5th year I have done this race (this
was my 1st regular sprint tri in 2010)  After 30+ years,
the course changed and I LOVED THE NEW COURSE!
I couldn't wait to get into the water!
My wave start included several different categories
and I knew I would do well... 4th out of the water of
all of the groups!
So... I had (2) issues on the bike... the new course was good, but had its challenges
(biggest being you couldn't train the whole course in advance because of needed road
closures) but I had a sunglasses debacle and I slipped my chain on the 180 degree
turn (that I was concerned about and now I was sitting in the crash zone
trying to reset my chain.)  I lost about (2) minutes with these issues, but still had
I saw the #2 40+ Athena athlete for the year (KOZ point series) at the
start of the run.  There was a short out and back part of the course and she
was about a minute behind me when I saw her.  CRUD!  I know
I am the slowest runner in our group and she was RIGHT THERE! 
I really liked the new run course and had practiced on it, so I
knew that I couldn't stop... darn it, she was RIGHT THERE!  I ran
for my life and looked over my shoulder several times looking for her
during the run.  I sprinted for the finish, still thinking she was
going to pass me, but I held on... and FELT GREAT!
Tammy and me... Athena friends... she and her
husband, Frank, give the BEST pre-race
prayers!!!  Love getting to see them twice a year!
Athena Podium Winners... Cheryl and Jaime are both new triathletes
and new friends (I'm going to have to watch out when they turn over 40!) :-)
It was a wonderful race and although there was a new course, I PR'd BY OVER 5 MINUTES!!!  WOOO HOOOO!  And guess who has the most points for the year... Athena athlete over and under 40 years old... ;-)  ... more details to come!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Baby steps...

OK... so maybe you can't see a loss of 1/2 pound... ;-)  The first week that I started this 2nd journey, I lost about 6 pounds... and I've stayed there for the past two months.  Although I don't like to plateau right at the start of a new journey, I'm playing around with food and workouts as I'm getting ready to start my half Ironman training.  And actually, since I had been between 208-210 for most of the past year, staying down at 203 for the past two months has been pretty nice.

This week, I went down to 202.5, so I thought it was time for a photo. :-) 

I just have to keep reminding myself that my overall journey is lifelong...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tri It Together...

(3) already in the water... could there be a more beautiful place for a
practice swim...? 
I have a friend who is a fellow athena triathlete (Hi, Susan!).  She found this blog and we Facebook friended because we have similar stories and she lives only about 30 minutes from me.  We met in person for the first time at the KOZ Events 2014 Spring Sprint Triathlon and have become "Accountability Buddies" online... posting our weekly workouts, our race schedules, and helping to keep each other motivated while we train, stay healthy, and get ready for our first 70.3 (Oceanside 2015!)

It sucks to train in San Diego... :-)
I saw Jeff running along the water and couldn't help but smile...
he's my best and cutest fan EVER! :-)
She hosts a group called, "Tri It Together" based out of Temecula and posts regular workouts for anyone to join on Meet Up.  Susan is doing her first International distance Tri in a few weeks at Tri-Rock and I read about a practice at the race site.  Although I'm not doing this race, I thought this would be a great workout, I'd make some new tri friends, and I would get a chance to ride with someone besides Jeff.  (SIDE NOTE... you all know I am a strong rider, but I am afraid of the road and my road riding reflects that.  With the start of my 70.3 training coming and the loss of any babysitter, I am going to join and start riding with the San Diego Tri Club, because Jeff and I are going to have to tag team watching Anna to get our long rides in.  I'm freaking out about riding with people I don't know and who don't know what a freak I am on my bike... on my rides, don't talk to me... I'm watching for potholes and glass and cracks and debris and CARS... I'm trying not to get hit... and trying not to crash on the downhills...and it may take me longer to descend than to climb!)  Needless to say... I was excited, but very nervous, about this workout!

Part of the Tri It Together Group for the day... some came to swim,
some came to swim/bike, or run or whatever... the support team was there for everyone!
Afterward... can I just say, this group is AWESOME!  Great people... different levels... everyone waiting for and supporting each other!  We did about a 1,500 meter swim at Spanish Landing.  I LOVED doing an open water swim with NO BODY AROUND ME!  No kicking, pushing, being hit, no air because everyone is splashing on you... just a few of us and the swim!  I was 4th in the water and 1st out! :-)  A very comfortable swim and about 400 meters short of the 70.3 distance... I've got the swim at Oceanside covered!

The 18 mile bike turned into 25 miles... and except for the first 4 (and last 4) miles of the ride that were full of traffic and tourists, the ride was AWESOME!  I felt so comfortable with this group (I hope that is normal and I will find a SD Tri Club group just as great)... no worries... just a wonderful ride!

Jeff and Anna did their thing... riding their bikes to a local Starbucks for breakfast and then a group of us ended up at Cafe Coyote in Old Town for a WONDERFUL lunch... getting to know new people...what they do... why they tri... what a FANTASTIC day!!!

This was my first "club" tri experience and it could not have been better.  Here's hoping my new group will be just as awesome!!!

Friday, August 29, 2014



So... (you know I love to tell a good story...)
I did my first triathlon in 2010.  I had hit 250 pounds, was fed up and had to do something.  I had just started my weight loss journey when Jeff's frat brother, Dave, challenged him to a triathlon.  Jeff has been riding for over 40 years and enjoys swimming, but since chemo and the neuropathy in his feet, just walking is painful.  Jeff declined, but I said (because I thought I was a badass since I had lost about 20 pounds at that point)... "I'll do it!"
My very 1st triathlon was the Pasadena Rose Bowl Triathlon.  I somehow talked my weight loss challenge group to do it too, so we all made the long drive that morning... and our trainer, Laura, and her husband, the Executive Director of our YMCA (where we all train), Alfredo, also made the long drive up to Pasadena to support us at this event.  Here is the link to that first race report... which was so funny looking back now... all of the nerves... not knowing what a transition was... and laughing and enjoying the whole thing...
I am SOOOOOOO HAPPY to report that Jeff has signed up for HIS first triathlon... and it will be the 2015 Pasadena Rose Bowl Triathlon!!!!  Dave (frat brother that started me on tris) has been out for a few years with injuries and wanted to get back into triathlons, so another challenge was laid out.  At the 2015 Tri, Jeff and Dave will be both racing and Dave's family will be doing a relay.  This race is one week before my first half Ironman, and I am soooo excited to sit back and be Jeff's support crew and personal photog! :-)
Since Jeff registered for the race, he has been serious about getting in his weekend rides... which is great... but I can't wait to get him in the pool and on the road to start running!  ;-)  He is my #1 fan, and I can't wait to be his #1, too!  Dave... you better watch out... Locher is coming... ;-)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cool Breeze Century 2014, Oh My The Glide, and TWINS!

Dan, Jeff and Me... ready to ride!
What an interesting, and educational, experience we had for this year's Cool Breeze Century weekend!  For over a decade, Jeff and his frat brothers, Dave and Dan, have been riding the Cool Breeze (100 mile bike ride) which starts in Ventura, up the coast to Santa Barbara and Goleta, around Monticito and back.  The start/finish is about 5 minutes from our family vacation house that we call, The Lot, and we always enjoy a great reunion weeked with friends for the last weekend of summer vacation. (Anna always starts school the day we get back.)  I think it was 5 years ago that I joined the ride, although I've only done the century once, the metric once and then two "make up my own ride"... at least I was out with the boys! :-)

But, before I get to the ride, I need to share a fun adventure... As I wrote in my last post, I found and fell in love with "Hoo Ha Ride Glide..."  helping to make your girly parts enjoy your bike ride... ;-)  I ran out of time to order my supply of Ride Glide before the Cool Breeze, so I figured I'd pick some up at a bike store on the way to The Lot.  We stopped by (4) stores in Ventura and NONE of them had Ride Glide!  I started panicing.  Although I've been riding for several years WITHOUT Ride Glide, I just couldn't imagine doing this long ride without it.  Finally, the TREK in Ventura, had a sample of another product, "Buttonhole" that they highly recommended, so I decided to try it for the Cool Breeze. 

Jeff and I learned a lot about "chamois creams" during this Ride Glide search...

First... nobody has heard of "Hoo Ha Ride Glide" and they all looked at me funny when I asked for it.
Second... there are several chamois cream options on the market.
Third... and MOST important... the people that create chamois creams have WAY TOO MUCH FUN when naming their products!!!  Here are some of the products we found/were offered during our search...
Also comes in "Chamois Butt-HER" for the ladies and "Eurostyle"...
The new product I used for the Cool Breeze...
Their tag line... "...get rid of that pain in your butt..."
Come on... WHO comes up with these names...?
Puns ALL intended, we laughed our way through our search! :-)  Ironically enough, on our way home from The Lot, we pulled off the freeway to grab lunch and there just happend to be a local bike shop in the same plaza... so, we checked them out... because OF COURSE they would have Hoo Ha Ride Glide... and YEP!  They sure did... AND they had Buttonhole AND about (5) other chamois cream products to consider.  When it was time to put down my money, I actually liked the Buttonhole product better and brought that one home with me.

Back to the actual vacation and ride... I wasn't ready for 100 miles, and figured I'd do the metric again (riding the first 30-ish miles with the boys and riding back by myself.)  However, due to road construction, they boys talked me into an alternate first leg of this ride... instead of a 15 mile, along the coast, pretty flat ride, we decided to do the 25 mile, almost 2,500 foot climb first leg and with as much as I actually enjoyed the scenery (which I NEVER do because I'm afraid of heights and downhills) I was really proud of my performance on those hills and the fact that I could look around a bit and enjoy it!  But that start killed me... oh, and maybe those (2) flats that I had in the first 30 miles...

I caught a ride with the SAG wagon at the 2nd rest stop after finishing 42 miles and almost 3,000 feet of climbing... and I was OK... I knew I was not ready to keep going and this was for fun... not a race... now my boys... they did 107 miles and about 5,000 feet of climbing.  Next year, after the 70.3... I'm all over that!!! :-)

TWINS... I CAN'T even tell you how random this story is about to get, but... here goes...

Last year, Jeff found a little, local bike shop, on line in Rapid City, South Dakota... called "Cranky Jeff's."  He showed it to me and for Christmas, I bought him several items from their store, including a bike jersey.

WHAT do you think the odds are that someone in Southern California would...
... be doing an organized century ride...
... would be wearing a jersey from a small bike shop in South Dakota...
You just have to see the photos for proof of this craziness...
While changing my 2nd flat tire, SAG came by and asked... "Didn't I see
you earlier changing your wife's flat?"  Jeff said, "Yes, this is her 2nd flat of the day"
We didn't think anything of it until Jeff made it to the last rest stop of the day...
and his "Cranky Jeff's" twin showed up (who had earlier ALSO been changing his wife's flat tire.)
  The conversation that ensued was pretty cool!  HOW... TOTALLY... RANDOM...?
After going through the photos of the day, I COULD NOT BELIEVE
that I saw the Cranky Jeff twin behind us at the start of the day!!!
(that is a pretty distinctive jersey... LOVE IT!)
It was another great weekend and now looking forward to the next race... Mission Bay Triathlon at the start of October!  Now... to get Jeff to sign up for his first tri... ;-)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Week 3 photos - and Hoo Ha Ride Glide

... good news about training for my first 70.3 is that I have almost (4) months to get READY to START training for the 70.3 (half Ironman triathlon).

... bad/good news is that I will need the (4) months JUST to get ready to start TRAINING for my first 70.3!

Jeff and I are joining his frat brothers and our friends for the annual Cool Breeze Century in just (2) weeks.  Jeff and Dave have been doing this 100 mile bike ride for over 10 years, Dan joined probably 5-6 years ago and I've done the full century once and the metric several times now.  I can't tell you how excited I have been to be welcomed by the "boys club" even though I am much slower than they are... they welcome me on this ride and actually give me a ton of crap when I decide that I'm not ready to hang for the whole 100+ miles.

So it goes, I have not gotten the long distance training that I need to do the 100 miles in (2) weeks... shoot... Jeff and I do a regular 20-25 mile ride, but we have only increased it to 35 miles for the past (2) weekends due to our schedule and we should be way above that by now. 

For my girls out there... I have heard about this product, "Hoo Ha Ride Glide" for the past few years and laughed and didn't think any more about it.  But, I've started having some lower back and "other" issues and thought that this product might be what I needed (those of you gals that ride totally get what I just said!)  After figuring out HOW to use this product... ;-) ... I will say that...
... IT... IS... MY... NEW... BIKE... BEST... FRIEND!!!  Holy COW!  How did I not try this before!!!?
Back to the 70.3 journey...


203 pounds
205 pounds



I'm starting to increase the workouts and watch the calories... and it is starting to pay off. :-)  Time to get back to "One-derland!"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Week 2.2 Results & My Sweet Husband...

I'm a bit late posting the Sunday results for week 2.2 (Week #2 in journey #2)... I was the same at 205 pounds, and after a week with a neck issue and 5 days without training, I'll take it! 

I've been doing a lot of planning, both training and nutrition, while starting this 70.3 journey, and I wanted to touch on one of the main inspirations that I know will get me to that finish line... my sweet husband, Jeff.  Jeff 100% supports the time I spend training, when I'm grumpy because I'm trying to eat clean and can't eat what I want, with the money spent on the entry fees and gear and tubes and Clif Shot Bloks (black cherry only) and GU (tri-berry only) and Nunn and training and getting up at 3AM on race morning and, and, and... :-)
I have posted this before, but this certificate...
... is posted right by my computer...
... I look at it everyday. 
Jeff gave this to me for Christmas in 2012...
... and after reading it...
... you will see why it puts a smile on my face...
... everyday!
... there is a reason why I'm always working to be My Husband's Girlfriend... :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A New Journey... HOLY... COW... and starting photos...

So here is the blah, blah, blah (because you've heard the first part before)...

... back to work over two years ago... still working out 5 times a week, but for much shorter times... long distance training took a dive... which led to a 2 year plateau in my weight loss, then an accumulated increase of 10 pounds and race times that were getting slower instead of faster.  It was not for lack of support because my family, friends and my sweet husband support me every step of the way.  This was an internal struggle (those darn negative voices that love to bounce around in your head) and I was losing grasp of my goals... be healthy... feel sexy... work hard... have fun... ENJOY!

There is a goal that I have wanted to acheive, but with the lack of dedication I've been struggling with, I kept telling myself that this goal was too far out of grasp. 

In March, (while doing housework) I spent 10 hours on and off my computer watching the live feed from this particular race and watched several of my friends achieve this goal.  I was SOOOO inspired... but it wasn't my time...

I have had friends for the past few months telling me it was time for me to go after this goal, but I said, "this isn't my time." 

Last weekend, at lunch after the high school reunion triathlon, the group was talking about this particular event and said that registration would be opening this week and that it would sell out in 2-3 days.  I don't know why, but that deadline stuck with me... I couldn't stop thinking about it... and telling myself, "2015 is not my time... maybe 2016..."

Then, the night before registration was to open, I read something on Facebook about a TV show... "Extreme Weight Loss," that follows someone for a year through an incredible journey... and this particular gal started at 329 pounds and completed a half Ironman race, with only 2 months of training.

I woke up the next morning, sat down with Jeff as we were getting ready for work, and told/asked him, "it is my time..."  We discussed the training and time commitments, cost ($400 just to register-with the insurance-for this race) new wetsuit (mine doesn't meet the rules), nutrition, hydration, San Diego Tri Club for training and support... (it was a pretty serious conversation for 6:30AM)  We both thought about it that day, slept on it, and agreed the next morning, it was indeed time!

So, without further delay, I'm thrilled to say that I'm registered for and going to complete my FIRST HALF IRONMAN TRIATHLON... Oceanside 70.3!!!  WOOOOO HOOOOO!

I did my first road run this weekend, after making this choice, and already I felt a mental shift in my training.  A (5) mile run in the past has been a chore (because running is my worst of the parts of a triathlon), but this time, I smiled to myself the whole time... I slowed it down just a bit... and kept telling myself it was time to relax into a pace that I could do all... day... long... because, well, I may be pushing the time limit to finish this race (8.5 hours).  I'm excited about finding my training plan, nutrition and getting everything in ink for the next 8 months.

Which leads me to the last part of this post.  I haven't been posting my photos for quite some time and now, it feels like this is the first post of my new journey.  I'm excited and curious to see what is going to happen in the next (8) months... but for today, here is where I'm starting... week #1 in journey .2...

First week of my 70.3 journey...
205 pounds
THIS is where I need to lose...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

MVHS High School Reunion Triathlon - Race Post

What is better than reconnecting with great friends from high school...

... in your 40's...

... and trying to kick each other's BUTT in a triathlon...

... with beer (and braging rights) on the line, of course...

... WELCOME to the 2nd Annual MVHS 25th High School Reunion Triathlon Relay Challenge...

... we had (3) relay teams this year...

... and it was all about this...
... the racers...
... and my favorite moment...
... read below... trust me... my sweet husband is a BEAST!
 ... time to let the photos tell the story...
Team "2DudesNG"... come on... we were limited to the number of
characters we could use to name the teams.  Gary... bike leg... had to bail out
a few days before the race, so Gina (sorry Gina... flying in from Atlanta to
do the race and had to get a bike to do the bike and run legs of the race last minute...)
This relay become a two-some... and having SOOOO MUCH FUN!
The swim leg of our (3) teams... getting in the water for the warm up.
Gun went off and (2) of our (3) teams running to the start...
... and (1) of our teams doing a penalty.  FLASHBACK...
 ... after our first tri challenge last year... at lunch a few hours later... we all had so much fun that we decided to do it again this year.  There would be a few new rules.  The selection of the teams and who was doing what leg of the race for each team would be randomly selected.  Needless to say, this made a few of our group members nervous... so an option was added. "Any team that decides to switch the assigned legs of their team... can do so... but with a penalty... 20 burpees for each team member before they start their leg of the race." 

And only (1) of our teams decided to accept the penalty and made the switch.  I don't think any of us really thought about the reality ramifications of such a penalty, but we all agreed anyway.

... back to Mike... the rest of the wave group started with the horn... except Mike.  He started 20 burpees... in the sand... and all of the spectators looked and him and started asking, "What the hell...?" Those of us that were taking photos and videos explained the situation, and the specators thought that was crazy awesome!

... little did any of us care to realize was that Mike is a multi-time Ironman
and Ironman coach... a few burpees weren't going to slow him down...
and he passed and finished before both of our other teams.
... back to Jeff and my favorite moment of the race.  So, Jeff was on Mike's team...
... and had to do the 20 burpees before he started the bike...
...what nobody knew was that Jeff had never done a burpee...
... and that he can't be in the normal push-up position because of his bad wrists...
... so my sweet husband...
... did his 1st ever 20 burpees...
...on the blacktop...
... IN HIS BIKE SHOES (which has a slippery metal plate on the bottom where your
shoe would hit the pavement in the push up position)
... AND HE KILLED IT!!! (I love you, Sweetheart!!!)
... so back to my team...
... Steph finished 3rd in the swim and Greg (Iron Man in training) was 5 minutes behind Jeff at the
start of the bike... and I knew that Julie was at least 4 minutes faster than
me in the run... so I needed Greg to come in first... with a 4 minute lead...
... as I was grabbing the timing chip from Greg... and thinking were were OK...
... Greg said, "RUN...Jeff is right behind me..."
So, Greg caught up to Jeff (Yeah)... but Jeff held tight to Greg (Augh)...
And Gina... who had to jump in to do the bike and run
for her team... gets a transition area escort from her new
husband (4 month old newlyweds...)
The finish of the run was uphill... and I CAN'T TELL YOU how AWESOME
it was to hear my friends cheer for me... I started sprinting and brought it home...
... unfortunatley for my team, 1:45 behind Jeff's team...
It was all good at lunch after the race... good food... good friends... and thank you,
Gary, for the main round of drinks!  CAN'T WAIT for next year... new
challenges... and hopefully a 4th team!