June 17, 2012

Mollz Bellz

Meet my friend Molly. Let me tell you the little story of how we became friends. It all started on a cold day in February - February 26th to be precise. How do I remember this date, well, there is a picture to jog my memory. You see, Molly and two of her friends, Haley and Lindy, came to Epic to buy bicycles! Little did they know they would have to endure hours with me. It sure was a fun afternoon, and ended with all three girls on brand new bikes! Shortly after the girls purchased their bicycles, we all became Facebook friends and I started including them on workout invites, etc. This, I'm afraid, is how Molly got my digits! (jk Mollz...jk!) Molly started texting me with questions about training and such. You see, Molly LOVES to ask questions! I must admit, without all those questions, we probably wouldn't have become such good friends. Molly and Haley joined me for a few workouts through the spring/summer. One night in the summer, I invited Molly and Haley to join me (and a few others) on a bike ride. They couldn't make the ride, so I said they should join us afterwards at All-Star. Molly ended up coming to All-Star. At the time, I was looking for someone to join me on the trip to NYC for the NYC triathlon. I wasn't asking them to race, just thought it would be fun to have some company. It just wasn't working out for anyone to join me. Long story short - and after many conversations and a requested meeting with her husband (LOL) - Molly decided to join me on the NYC trip! She was the BEST cheerleader during this event (see picture). I mean, who gets up before 3am to help a friend get to a race via shuttle - and then stands out in the rain for HOURS while said friend races. Walks along the bridge during the swim, watching this friend and cheering every step of the way. Who does this?! Molly! We had a great time exploring the city once the race was off our checklist. Times Square was a favorite, but I really think her favorite things was just sleeping in silence (sans children!) and Starbucks! Ahhhh. Our ride on the subway was quite an adventure as well. Thankfully we made it back to our hotel without incident. haha Good times. Good times. Since the trip to NYC, we have had many fun times - bike rides, coffee dates, she finally let me meet her kids (HAHA), the American Royal, karaoke, dinners, movies...the list goes on and on! We also had a great celebration with Kim, Haley, Molly and me for Molly's birthday this year - we all went to the Lady A concert. It was so much fun! It's been almost a year and a half, but I feel as though I've known her a lifetime! And that, my friends, is how I met Mollz! I mean, just look at that smile, what's not to love about this girl?!

May 27, 2012

Season Opener

Today was my first multisport event of the 2012 season. The Spring Into Summer Sedalia Duathlon is a good one to start the season. It's a low key race, shorter distances and just a really well run event without a lot of pressure. My buddy, Terry, and I have done this event several times and were looking forward to it again. Sedalia is about 2 hours away from KC. Kathy (Terry's wife) decided to brave the early start to the day and join us! The primary motivation was lunch at Mazzio's after the race, but - hey - whatever it takes, right? I was at their house a bit before 5 to load the car and head out. Terry greeted me with some unfortunate news - apparently when he was swapping out my wheels for his race wheels last night, my cassette broke! For those of you non-cyclists, a cassette is pretty important! Without a cassette, you have nothing to move the chain - you don't go anywhere. Ruh-roh! Terry already had a back-up plan in place. My brother (who just decided to do the race last night) was bringing the rear wheel off of his tri bike. Whew. Still need to figure out a solution, but for now, we focus on the race. I don't really get too worked up about these things. I just trust they will be resolved. If it was my "A race" for the season, I might have a different outlook. Well, there's no "might" about it - I would be concerned. haha We piled in the car and were on the road just slightly after 5. As we drove, I spent time thinking through the goals Coach Liz and I talked about. I was feeling well-rested, hydrated, ready. Now then, let's discuss the weather. For the past couple weeks we have had the most beautiful weather here in KC, one would almost start to feel like they lived in San Diego. Of course, that all changes race day. A bit of a storm blew through yesterday and brought us some delightfully hot, humid, windy conditions for today. I'm not quite adjusted to training in 80-90s yet, let alone with high humidity. So, here we go - acclimation time! We got to Cloverdell Park a little past 7 and met up with Bill and Kim. I told my brother about this race a while back, but he's been pretty busy with getting work lined up and adapting to Ironman training, so spaced that the race was actually this weekend. He happened to call me last night around 5 to see what my training plan was for today - it's a race, buddy! He decided to do it - yes, this is his first multisport event. Go Bill! While Terry worked on my wheel, Bill and I started setting up transition areas. We all went over to packet pick up together. Bill got signed up and we got our packets and an orange tie dye shirt! haha I now have Navy, Bright Green and Orange Sedalia Du shirts...all tie dye! Back to transition to do a quick warm up on the bike and make sure everything was shifting properly and see how the legs were. Legs didn't feel too bad, but it was steamy out there and I was very aware of the wind! Back to transition again, put on the running shoes and went out for a quick run. I feel good. I'm ready! The race starts with a pre-race meeting to go over the details of the course. And then, without delay, the gun sounds and we're off. For those who don't know, a duathlon is RUN-BIKE-RUN. Who signs up for an event where you have to run twice? Dumb people! haha My coach sent me a little reminder the other day that Duathlons hurt and you have to mentally prepare for the pain. Well, I thought I was prepared, but...well...I started the first run, trying not to get caught up in the speed of the pack. Stay controlled. The run goes immediately down a hill, sharp right turn and a gradual uphill for the next mile (?) until you hit another right turn onto the Katy trail. It certainly gets you winded and you just want it to stop. I kept getting passed by a girl who would get right over in front of me and then stop and walk. I just love that! It's kinda like having your car set on cruise control and someone making you turn it off - then speeding up when you get next to them - etc...you finally either have to step on it or drop back. I chose to step on it a bit and didn't see her again. I was so happy to turn onto the Katy trail and get a little shade. Before I knew it, I was onto a paved trail around the lake and back into the park. Kathy and Kim were sitting at a shelter waiting for us. I made what felt like a pretty quick transition to the bike and made my way to the mount/dismount line, only to realize all these other peeps were just riding right from the bike racks. Darn it - I should've done that! Once on the bike, you go up that same hill - thankfully it passes much more quickly than when you're on foot. I just tried to let my legs adjust to pedaling for a few minutes. I'm not sure why I always forget how hilly this race is, but I do. This time, I'm writing about it in my race report for coach. That way when I prep for next year, perhaps I'll be more mentally ready for those boogers! So, none of the hills are so steep you have to stand up (well except maybe the hill back into the park), they just keep you from findind a groove and falling into a rythym on the bike. It didn't help that it was a pretty windy day as well and I know it's not possible, but it just felt like we never got a break. I always think about wind when I train as more resistance and good training. I also know that I'm not as affected by smaller peeps in the wind, so I try to pretend it's an advantage for me! :-) I just tried not to spend it too much, but was eager for the pain to end. Back to transition and the legs were really feeling spent. I changed back to the running shoes and heading out the opposite direction this time - the 2nd run is a reverse loop of the first run. I started to run and realized that the ball of my right foot and my 2nd/3rd toes hurt so bad and didn't want to bend at all. I've had surgery on both of my feet (the right one in 09 and the left in 2000), so it could have to do with that. I don't know for sure what happened or if it's a combination of things, but it hurt so badly I didn't even want to walk on it. I kept trudging at a very slow pace and couldn't put pressure right on it so then it was hurting the outside of my leg too. Ughhh....what is happening here? Anyway, boy this run was toasty. You are on the Katy trail with some shade for the first part and then just out on the asphalt (thankfully more downhill than up at that point!!). I just could not wait to see the sign for the park. Sadly when you hook a left into the park, there is that lovely hill. It HURTS SO badly! I wanted to just lay down on the grass right there and have someone hoist me up the hill. Once up it, I was able to kinda pick it up a little, but was nearly out of gas. I might also remind you of the wind and sadly we had the headwind and the hill at the finish. Terry, Kathy and Kim were all waiting at the finish, cheering me through the shoot! SO HAPPY TO BE DONE! I grabbed a drink and tried to walk it out, but my foot was really bothering me. We ended up walking down towards the hill to wait for Bill and cheer him on at that tough point. We just chilled in the shade and tried to cool down a bit. After a little bit, we see him turning the corner. Go Bill! Go! It's so hard right there, after a tough day. We were all cheering him up the hill and into the finish. Very proud of him for doing this race and finishing strong on a day that would've been much easier to skip it! haha Terry had a strong finish! Sadly, his age group is so competitive he didn't end up placing. Bill actually won 1st place in the Clydesdale division - WOOT! And I managed to get 2nd in my age group!!!
A good day of racing. It was about 10:15 when all was said and done and cars were loaded back up. So, we chilled for a little bit at the park while waiting for Mazzio's to open. Kathy and Kim were ready to eat! :-) After a fun (and yum) lunch of pizza, we all headed home. I just wanted a shower! So, a great start to the 2012 season for me. I hope to just continue building on that right through November 3rd!!!

May 17, 2012

I'm back! Well...I hope I'm Back

So the past few days I read back through some of my blog posts from my first time training for the ironman. I enjoyed the reminders of many workouts and funny happenings during those months. I also wanted to see when I started feeling worn out and distances I was doing, etc.
As I reflected on all that I read, I realized that I missed blogging and more than that, I would miss being able to go back and read all about this time around.
So what? Well, I've decided to try to keep up with this thing again. Woohoo! I hope it proves to be as entertaining as the first!

August 4, 2011


Still sitting on a plane, still not sleeping…more blogging – go me! July was full of work, training, coaching, etc. We had lots of group workouts – swims, rides, runs. Things are coming along. My focus has been very scattered, which you’ll hear more about in the NYC entries, but after the Naperville race, I was trying to somewhat focus on getting distance training to prepare for Redman ½ distance in September. That said, I had another priority…the WIN for KC triathlon! This is also a fantastic event – very well run and Epic is a sponsor, so it makes it even more fun!

WIN for KC Triathlon – Smithville, MO – July 30
The seed for this race was planted after the finish in 2010. Lori T yelled to me after the race…we’re doing a team next year, will you bike for us? We’ll get Tiernan to run. It was done. This has been the plan since that time. And, we weren’t just doing a friendly little team event, the goal was to WIN! No pressure. So, I haven’t time-trialed in a while, but used to be pretty good at this. Leading up to the race, I had a few rides where I incorporated some of those – make ya wanna puke – time trial efforts. Whew. I’m out of practice. I requested some assistance with a warm up plan from my ol’ pal, ST! He gave me a great warm up, which I practiced out at the race site the week before the tri. It’s a 10 mile course and has a total of 4 stops when the course isn’t closed to traffic – even with stopping; I did the course in 28:30. That’s a good time. I was ready.
Wednesday and Friday were packet pick ups at Epic! I worked both of them – I just love this event and getting to talk to all the women as they start preparing months before the race. This year was especially good in that area…I met so many great women and then ended up being able to help train them – or coordinate some workouts where we all swam, rode, ran together – it was really fun! The race director and their support team are a blast to hang out with as well, so packet pick ups were entertaining. Even my mom came out and volunteered at the shop this year. Woot!
Race morning. Well, it’s always early. I met up with Terry in Smithville, since he was working at the Epic tent with Scott, Alex, Tyler…a good Epic crew out there! We arrived and parked right by transition, where the Epic tent would be set up. My plan was to hide out on my trainer, behind my car, about :45 minutes prior to race start. I found our bike rack (all the way at the bottom of transition – really – the last rack) and put my towel down to secure the spot. Everyone else arrived and we hung out on a blanket by the Epic tent. Just chillin’ and watchin’ for peeps I knew. Ann, Tiernan and I were sitting there and I realized I hadn’t charged my Garmin. Boo – thankfully, it had battery life! We were just chatting about the race. I was feeling a little sick to my stomach. It was fun saying hello to so many gals I knew…encouraging them with their race.
As we sat there, a gal came up to me and said hello. She proceeds to tell me that I’m the reason she is doing this race! I recognized her face, but couldn’t recall her name. She reminded me that she came in the bike shop after the race last year and was asking me questions about it. I told her, “you can totally do that race…if I can do this, anyone can.” I actually do remember this conversation with her and was so touched that she came up to remind me of this. I wished her well as she thanked me for encouraging her to give it a “tri”! Wow.
Oh yeah, back to this race we need to WIN. I timed it out so that I would be on the trainer :45 minutes before the race started. So, it was time to get after it. I set everything up and got on the trainer. Just as I did, Molly and Hailey came over to chat. I literally had been spinning no more than 2-3 minutes when it started to pour! Thunder – lightning – the whole shebang! We hopped in my car, in an effort to stay dry/warm. It didn’t stop. It seriously hasn’t rained in weeks and really, it has to rain at this moment? We waited and waited. They were still saying race start was a go and everyone had to line up – teams in transition area – everyone else on at the swim. We were getting soaked and chilled! They finally called an official delay and started handing out trash bags. Thankfully, we just went up to the cars and got in. I ended up taking off my shoes and socks – which were drenched! Thinking I’ll just ride sockless….After lots of uncertainty and really thinking they were gonna call the race – lots of girls leaving – they announce that the race *would* start at 8:30. That’s just :10 minutes from now. So much for the warm up, eh? Back to my bike I went. Lori was in the water…go Lori – go! She’s out of the water and up the ramp to transition. Great swim, Lori! I grab my bike and run (well, as much as you can run in cleats/bike shoes – uphill in a large parking lot) up to the mount line. Struggled a little getting on the bike for whatever reason. And, I’m off. Oh dear. This does not feel good. I’m going as fast as I can, but don’t feel like I’m going. I saw the Epic crew and then my Dad and Bailey all cheering for me. Sweet. I keep pedaling. I’m thinking…surely once I get to the flat stretch of Hwy W, I’ll get my legs. Nope. I keep pedaling. Ok, maybe when I turn onto J I’ll settle in and feel better. Nope. I keep pedaling. Man did this feel ugly! I just couldn’t go any faster and sure felt at times like I was going backwards! Ahhh…the turnaround! I pretty much had to come to a stop here because it’s a really tight turn and the gal in front of me unclipped…better to be safe than for me to wipe out around her. Here we go now…I’m on the back half. Go Dawn, Go! Come on legs…where are you??? I was actually dry heaving on this back stretch, so I know the effort was there, but the pace didn’t show it. Finally when I hit W in the final stretch, my legs decided to join me…but, the clock already said 28:00, so I missed the goal I was aiming for. OH NO, I thought, I gotta fly here. This was probably the best stretch, but too little too late. Oh well, I heard my dad, Bailey and the Epic folks cheering again as I came to the finish. I was not very comfortable. I dismounted and “ran” downhill back to the rack. It was wet and I was sliding, I could see Tiernan and Lori and hear them yelling…couldn’t go any faster. Lori switched the chip to Tiernan and I collapsed in the grass until I could stop panting. GO TIERNAN…..
Lori and I grabbed a few things and headed over to the finish line festival to watch for Tiernan and eat pancakes. It was really cool to see the overall race winner cross the finish line – mind you, she passed me on the bike. Boo.  I’m pretty sure she set a course record. WOOHOO! We didn’t have to wait long and here comes our runner with a fantastic leg. HOORAY for Team Epic…we did WIN the WIN tri, team division! Yeah us!!!
We were gonna hang out for awards, so I was able to watch some of my girls cross the finish! So many…but I got to see Cherryh (that girl was fassssst!), Noelle, Haley, Molly, Lisa….soooooooooo many others! Great job to all of you women! And, another WIN race in the books.

Catching Up

Alright, time to catch up on my blog…I’m sitting on an airplane, heading to New York City! I thought I would be napping, but unfortunately, I drank a Verve (stock up on the vitamins and minerals before boarding the germ tank!) this morning and I believe it's also doing its job of providing an energy boost. Every time I close my eyes, the mind races with I packed or didn’t pack…too much thinking! More on NYC later though…I need to backtrack to a couple other events.

Naperville Women’s Triathlon – Naperville, IL – June 12
This race is perfect because it allows a visit to my good friends, the Simpsons! It’s fun to combine racing and catching up with friends! I decided to drive to Chicago again. It’s just easier with all the crap…I mean gear…you have to bring along for a triathlon. It’s really not that bad of a drive anyway, and I like the flexibility of leaving when I want. The sad thing about waiting this long to blog about my trip is that I can’t remember all the details. I do know it’s always a good time hanging out with the Simpsons, and I was happy to see Liv play some softball!
Race morning I headed to the race site solo. I arrived at transition shortly after it opened and found a sweet spot at the end of my bike rack, which happened to be just a couple racks in from the bike exit. Score! I hate running in the bike shoes. Not pretty or easy. Ha ha I set up transition and headed back to my car, which was just a couple blocks over. I basically sat in the car, nibbled on a Clif bar, sipped my water and relaxed! I’d much rather arrive early and have to wait around than to have a rushed race morning. I set my alarm to be sure I walked over to the swim start at the right time. Oh, one note – it was COOL here! I was not at all prepared (rookie mistake) for chilly temps. I even forgot the wetsuit, which might have been handy given the colder temps. Oh well. I borrowed a sweatshirt from Lonnie, hoping I would find them before the race started.
Hanging out at the swim start is always interesting. You see so many different people – different ages – different body types – it reminds me of one of the many things I like about this sport…it’s for anyone! A few girls chatted with me here and there, but mostly I just sat thinking about my race and watching for the Simpsons. I never did find them before the race, so I stashed the sweatshirt, hoping to find it after the race. I was standing on the sand, waiting for the countdown. And, we’re off. This is an odd swim. It’s in an old rock quarry and the course is set up in a zig zag type pattern, so several turns. I started to the outside and felt great getting going. I swam through the first turn, but realized all these other girls stopped and walked around the turn. This proved annoying as I ended up running into them once I started swimming again. I wasn’t breaking any records, but felt really solid throughout the swim and definitely picked up the pace on the 2nd half. As I stood up to exit, I heard Lonnie, Eric, Liv and Josh cheering for me! They were in a perfect spot to the left of the exit. Thanks friends!
The run up to transition is always long at a tri, but this one seems soooooo long. You run on sand for a short bit, then onto parking lot surface. It just kills my feet. BUT, I managed to jog all the way to my transition spot. Ughhhh. Onto the bike. I was hauling it…or trying to. I was passed by one girl and actually ended up passing her back on the 2nd half. I feel like there was something else about this bike that was noteworthy, but it’s just not coming to me at the moment. I flew back into transition and onto my favorite part…the run! Ha ha I’m just saying that, hoping one day it may be my favorite!
As I was exiting transition onto the run course, I saw my fans again – great place to cheer for me – I actually stopped to say something about the sweatshirt and Eric was like, go-go-go! Oh yeah, I’m “racing” here.  So, off I went. I actually felt pretty good on this run. I kept telling myself – it’s just 3.1 miles, Dawn. Get it done. As I was running along, this girl came up next to me. I totally remember her name, but will refrain from stating it…ya never know who will read this, right? Anyway, said girl…we’ll call her Annie…just starts running next to me. She says, “whattaya say we run the rest of this together – you can do it – I’ll stay with you to the finish…” Um, not to sound like a total snot here, but do you see this Mdot on my visor??? I am not concerned about finishing this sprint tri, Annie. And, should I be offended that you think I am questionable? Haha I didn’t say any of that, simply said that I just needed to run my pace. She doesn’t take the hint…”that’s ok, you set the pace and I’ll just run with you.” She continues to chat. She notices I’m not responding. I manage to sputter out the words, “I don’t really chat when I’m running…” I wanted to take off and just leave her, but wasn’t sure I would have the energy to sustain the break, so I took advantage of a spot where the course got a little congested and I slowed just a bit and tucked in behind some other girls. Ahhh…freedom from Annie! That is one of the strangest course interactions I’ve had. The funny thing is, I ended up keeping her in my sights to the finish, so apparently we were a pretty similar pace.
As I ran through the finish chute, I heard the cheering from my friends, once again! It’s such a difference doing a race where you have people supporting you. It’s certainly not a must have, but it sure is nice! So, thanks again to my great hosts and cheering squad, the Simpsons!!!
Once the race was over, we walked around the finish line stuff a little bit, but there wasn’t much there. It was pretty steamy out now, and they needed to head out to Liv’s softball tournament. Josh and Liv walked with me to try to find the sweatshirt. We found it! On the way, Liv was talking about how she would like to do that race next year. Yessss! The more, the merrier. So, we talked about me bringing my niece, Bailey with me. That’s the plan for now! I packed up transition and we headed out. Again – such a great race. I might also add that SheROX is now the race promoter – they put on a gooooooood event!

July 1, 2011

Half Time!

Where did June go? Anyone? Do you realize the year is now officially half over? Um, slow down please!

So, happy July 1st!

June was another full month of working, training and races! I kicked off the month with the Sedalia Duathlon in...well, Sedalia, of course! This was fun because I had others doing the race with me. Terry, Stasia and I loaded up bright and early Saturday morning and made the almost 2 hour drive to Sedalia. Terry and I have done this race in the past and I always kinda like it as a season opener, because it's really small, pretty close to home and very inexpensive compared to what is planned for the rest of my summer! In fact, this year, I didn't even register until I was at the race. That's just crazy talk for me - crazy!

We got signed up, checked in and all that good stuff, and found great spots in transition (they're almost all great because of how small the race is. ha ha). It was really hot and humid already this early in the day, so you knew it would be a cooker on the course! We got warmed up and next thing you know, it's toe to the line time. Terry lined up closer to the front and Stasia and I started a little further back. If I'm not mistaken, someone just says, "ready, set, go!" and you go.

Why is it that the minute you start running in these races, you think, "holy cow, what am I doing! this hurts, make it stop!"? I mean, literally, if I listened to those voices in my head for the first few minutes of any race, I think I would DNF (Did Not Finish) them all! Stasia's watch was beeping at her pretty quickly, telling her to slow it down. So, I gave her some rah-rah words and we parted ways. The course heads down a hill and then gradually climbs up to an entry to the Katy Trail. I worked hard on that initial hill just to keep my own pace and not let my breathing/heart rate get too much out of control. I was feeling pretty good by the time we hit the trail. Thankfully we had some shade on the trail because it was really soupy (is that a word?) out there. I don't recall for sure how long you run on the trail, but you hang a right and then you're onto a grassy patch for maybe a 1/4 mile? I almost went the wrong way - I was so engrossed in thought (not even sure what that thought was, but it had my attention), but thanks to a nice fella behind me, I was quickly heading back to transition. I hate the grassy patch! Really. My feet just don't enjoy unstable surfaces, but I managed to survive that stretch and back into transition I ran.
Onto the bike! This course is moderately hilly (it's ALWAYS hillier than I remember it being, even though I read my race reports that remind me of the hills...for some reason, I don't listen) and it was hot, humid and windy to go along with the hills. I had done everything right with fueling and actually remembered to fuel and hydrate on the bike, but I just did not have it out there on that bike course. I would pass people and think, I'm not going fast enough, they're probably gonna pass me back. Well, thankfully that didn't happen. In fact, I don't believe anyone passed me on the bike course, so perhaps everyone was having trouble with the conditions!
I kept riding hard, but felt very slow. I recall looking down at my Garmin, sure I was going to see 8 or 9 miles and imagine my disappointment when it read "3.2". Just keep spinning! That I did and finally I made it back to transition. As you come back into the park, you have a bit of a popper hill to climb up and then flat all the way across the parking lot. Ahhh....I didn't see a bunch of bikes back on the racks, so that's always a good sign.
I slapped on the running shoes and off I went. This time, you run the same loop, only in the opposite direction. So, you start with the grassy patch. Boo. Like your legs aren't wobbly enough from switching them bike to run...let's throw a grassy field in the mix. That'll be fun to watch! ha ha
They were setting up for a wedding by the lake and I remember thinking, "who would wanna get married in this disgusting weather!?" I could barely tolerate my tri shorts and shirt...a wedding dress? No thank you!
Oh right, I'm "racing"...back to business. Run Dawn, run. Did I mention I was hot? There was a guy up ahead of me and I just tried to keep the same distance between us. I found every bit of shade available and endured the sunny stretches. Once back onto the main road leading into the park, there was no shade. I walked a little - ran - walked - ran. I managed to keep sight of that fella until pretty close to the end. As I approached the park entrance, I saw Terry sitting on the rocks, waiting for me. He walked/ran up the hill with me and then I took off across the parking lot to the finish line. I was quite happy to see that finish line! Immediately the cutest little girl gave me a wet rag to put on my neck - that felt fantastic! It helped cool me down right away.
Terry and I chatted a little about our races and I asked if he'd seen Stasia. He saw her heading out for her 2nd run. So, we were anxiously waiting for her head to pop up over the hill. This was Stasia's first multisport event - go Stasia!
I was just about to go change my shirt, when over the hill we see Stasia...I went over and screamed for her (which I'm sure she hated at the moment), and watched her cross that finish line! Congrats to her on her first DU - in rather steamy conditions!
We got packed up and headed back to KC. We stopped for lunch at a questionable truck stop that happened to have a Subway inside. I'm pretty sure there was a serial killer eating in the diner with his reflective sunglasses and baseball cap on. Yikes.
All in all, a good race to kick off MultiSport Season. I looked up the results and while the field was small, I was 3rd female overall on the long course. I'll take it.

Next up, Naperville Triathlon....(hope to get that write up in this weekend as well)

May 26, 2011

Bad Feet & Wild Hair

Bad feet and a wild hair - two things that pretty much sum up my 30's. Huh? Well, you see, I had surgery on both of my feet in consecutive years. Between both surgeries, I ended up on crutches/off my feet for a total of about 6 months. As a result of these 2 years of pretty minimal activity, I was probably 30 pounds heavier and quite unfit. It wasn't that I was terribly active prior to the surgeries, but I was completely inactive following them! In February of 2002, with the help of a fabulous employee benefit account, I purchased a treadmill! This was a huge purchase for me and I was terrified I wouldn't use it. I remember friends/family saying it would become a clothes rack, as their own treadmills had become. Tell me I won't do something and I guess that lights my fire - I was absolutely determined it would not be buried under clothes. I WOULD use this thing! And so it began...this journey I could never have predicted and often don't even believe! I started to run. Baby steps. Very slowly, I began to lose a few pounds, but this goal became less about losing weight and more about being healthy, strong and fit.
Maybe it was June of that year, I received a post card from Team in Training, a program that raises funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was a simple postcard, promoting their program for a few upcoming marathons. One marathon, in particular, jumped out at me - the Walt Disney World Marathon. I honestly don't think I gave it much thought at all. On a complete wild hair (this is where "hair" from my title comes in...stay with me, ha ha)I was SOLD. I WOULD do this marathon. Could I??? Again, I recall people telling me I was crazy and it wouldn't happen. I also recall trying to drum up some fellow suckers to join me in this endeavor - that part didn't really work out so well.
The training program kicked off in August 2002. I wish blogging was popular then, because it would be great to have an entire account of this process, but alas, I do have some memories stored in the ol' noggen. My brother started out training with us. We would travel out south every saturday morning for the "long" training runs with the group. During the week we would do our shorter runs and cross training. I heard members of our training group talking about doing an Ironman in Carlsbad. Huh? What's that? I had no idea. Once I learned what an Ironman event entailed, I was in awe. Here I am working towards a 26.2 mile run, I can't even fathom adding a swim and bike to that. Bike? What's that? I don't own one.
I distinctly recall the first time I ran 6 miles, for some reason. I remember telling friends I needed to go to bed early and fuel properly, etc...I also remember wondering if I could actually run 6 miles. I could, and I (we) did! 6 miles turned into 10 and so on. We all signed up for the KC Humana River Crowne Plaza 1/2 marathon as part of our training. I'm fairly certain I may have run a 5k prior to that, but I know for sure that this - November 2, 2002 was my first 1/2 marathon. It was super cold that morning and, if I'm not mistaken, there was a bit of rain/freezing rain. My brother (Bill) and I ran this entire race together, making it a fantastic experience! Shortly after this run, Bill injured himself on a training run and had to bail out of the program. :-( I was sad, but determined to continue this mission. And, January 12, 2003 was mission accomplished! I did it. I ran my first marathon. 26.2 miles at Walt Disney World. Does it get any better than that? In fact, it does, but that's a much later part of this story.
This was exciting! I had run a marathon! For some people it is "check" and done. Not for me. I wanted more...what's next???

I'll admit, if you could see that treadmill now, there are a few clothing items hanging on it, but there weren't last night - I'm still running on that same treadmill (only when weather or time prevent me from getting outside) - I just did a training run on the ol' Nordic track last night and it was clothing-free!

May 15, 2011

Four 'til FORTY!

Yes, friends, it's true...it's a mere four months until I am the BIG 4-O! It really doesn't seem possible that I'm about to turn forty. I mean, I remember thinking forty was sooooo old. Sure doesn't seem very old now. ha ha Where have the years gone? So, as I ponder the final four months in this decade of my life, I've been reflecting on the many things that happened in my 30's!

It would be difficult to forget my 30th birthday, as it was just 4 days after the attacks on our Nation. What a sad time for our country and Americans all around the world. I recall feeling quite sad personally, and not really up for celebrating my 30th. I was supposed to meet at the Wilkes' and we were "going to dinner". I tried getting out of it, actually. Problem was, my friends had already planned quite a big surprise for me - I had no idea! After a little persuading, Kathy talked me into coming over and, of course, I'm very glad I did. Many of my friends and family were lining the street leading up to their house, with large letters spelling out - Happy Birthday Dawn! (rumor has it, my neice was holding the "W" upside down prior to my arrival...that would certainly spell something different!) My parents were living in Dallas at the time, but my dad was able to arrange a diversion from a business trip, so it was quite a surprise to see him there as well! What a treat and such a nice way to ring in a new decade of life - surrounded by friends and family...well, and cake!

And, with that, I was launched into my 30's! No one could have guessed where the next few years would take me...stay tuned for the next segment of this journey...

May 13, 2011

Just DO it Already!

Ok, I am starting this blog back up! I don't know how much I'll write or how often, or any of that, but it's just gotta happen. Why? Well because I have SO enjoyed and benefitted from having this little "journal" of my life in the past. It is good for me to look back on some of the things I've done or gone through and really remember how I felt at that time. So, we're gonna give this a whirl again - no promises - just doin' it!

September 12, 2010

Thinking I should start this bad boy back up?

Is anyone still out there? I'm thinking maybe I should start blogging again. I miss it, but wonder if I will make the time to keep up with it. Hmmm.
I guess my last big race of the season might be a good one to start back up?

September 30, 2009

Redman, Race day 2

(September 20th)
So, our cheering squad headed back to Bricktown, and Tiernan and I went back to the hotel. I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel and into the SHOWER!!! Once outta the shower, I hopped into that cozy, white, fluffy bed! Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh. I also started chowing down on some of our leftover pizza.
Now, it's Tiernan's turn...the focus is shifting to her race tomorrow! We napped for a bit and then got ready to meet everyone for dinner! Scott and Ann have friends in OKC and were planning to meet them for dinner. We all went to a mexican restaurant - fajitas - mmmm. It was fun just hanging out and re-capping the day. We didn't stay out too late, 'cause we needed to get to bed for yet another early morning wake up call.
Tiernan was smart and decided she would just roll out of bed, grab her coffee, and head to the race site to secure a spot in transition. As it turns out, these race organizers already had that nailed down...I'm tellin' ya, it's a really well-run race! Anyway, she was able to get body-marked, etc. and came back to the hotel to finish getting ready. When she got back, I was out of the bathroom and ready to go, so I wouldn't be in her way at all. I made her a bagel and tried to just be there to support her, as she had done for me ALL day yesterday!
We got to the race site plenty early, which is always a good idea! I stood there watching all the nervous sprint/olympic distance athletes getting ready for their day. It was fabulous getting to watch, instead of participating! I stood outside the transition area, watching Tiernan set up her space. She took her bike out for a quick spin, and was ready to go. We grabbed her wetsuit and swim stuff and headed down to the lake.
We got her in the wetsuit and she was ready. Very shortly after that, James (her hubby) found us - yeah! She was excited to see him and promptly spilled his tall cup o' java as they were trying to get a pic. :-(
Scott, Ann and the boys found us too - we're all ready to cheer for Tiernan. Go Tiernan! We had so many spectating opportunities! Tiernan had a fantastic race, and it was so much fun just getting to cheer for her and so many other athletes! I liked being a spectathlete! :-)
This was Tiernan's first Olympic distance triathlon and she was speedy! She was like 25th outta the water, but moved up in the ranks through the bike and run, and finished top 15 women. CONGRATULATIONS, Tiernan, on a fantastic day!!!
We went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and packed...and started our road trip home to Kansas City. Thankfully, James came with us this time, and he drove us all the way home.
I want to mention just one more time that this Redman event had a fabulous group of volunteers and organizers!!! We had a great weekend!

September 29, 2009

Redman, Race Day 1

(September 19th)
Rise and shine! The alarm sounded at 4:40. Ugh. I was actually pretty happy that I had a solid night of sleep! I'm ready to go. Coffee is priority #1, then food, then shower, clothes, potty, car - we're off to the race site. We got there with plenty of time to spare, and after dropping my transition bag by my bike, I found the line for timing chips. This line was kinda long, but moved along pretty quickly and before I knew it - I had a timing chip strapped to my ankle. Next line? Portapotty. Gross, but what's the alternative, right? This line seemed to take longer than the timing chips!
I made my way back into transition and started setting up. Transition mat-bike-helmet-sunglasses-running shoes-visor-socks-swim cap-goggles-wetsuit-fuel...yaddayaddayadda. As I'm setting things up, I hear this guy yelling what I thought was "Bob" at the time. He must have said it 4 times or more, when finally it occured to me that the voice was actually yelling, "Dawn"! It was Brett from Kansas City! He had attended my spinning classes for quite some time, and it was great seeing him here. He told me he is now an Ironman also - yeah Brett!! It really was fun running into him.
I continued setting up, and just about the time I was ready to roll, I went over to chat with Tiernan...it couldn't have been more than a minute and I felt a drop of rain. WHAT?! It's raining. Boo Rain. Boo. At first it was just a drizzle and we were sure it would stop quickly. Well, as it turned out, it went from drizzle to downpour pretty quickly. I grabbed my wetsuit, goggles, and swim cap and headed for cover under the shelter. It was pretty chilly, but there were lots of us huddled in the shelter. It continued to rain.
The full distance athletes were supposed to start at 7. Well, the race announcer came over the speakers and said they were discussing what to do - sections of the bike course were pretty covered in water, so they just weren't sure. They kept updating us every few minutes - usually just saying that they were still talking and would tell us just as soon as a decision was made. At one point, they told us that we might do a swim/run/swim. Come again? Um, can you imagine getting back into a wetsuit after being sweaty and wet? Could be interesting. I wasn't excited about possibly missing out on the bike leg!
So, while we're under the shelter, I decided to go ahead and get into my wesuit to get warm! It was interesting working my way into the wetsuit while crammed under a shelter with all these people. Thanks to Tiernan's help, I was in! We started talking to this other gal and her fam/friends who were under that shelter. When I decided to walk back over to transition, I told her I was heading over there and she wanted to come along. We got to chatting and guess what? She was from Kansas City too! Not just KC, but Smithville...what? I had to come to OKC to meet another northland triathlete? :) Nan was doing her first 1/2 Ironman, but she has BIG plans ahead. In just 2 months, she'll be doing her first IRONMAN!!! GO NAN! We made our way back into transition and I just couldn't believe how "flooded" everything was! It was just drenched.
Finally, they announced that the race would go on - all three legs! We were told that at one part of the bike course that was flooded, so we would have to dismount and go around this section on foot. They encouraged folks not to stress about setting a PR, but to just go out there and have a good time, and that we did!
As the girls were heading down to the swim start, I was about middle of the pack, and heard them say, "60 seconds!" Uh, hello folks...we gotta move. Well, needless to say, we didn't all get down the ramp before the gun went off and it was time to SWIM!

I thought - no way do I wanna start in the middle of this mess...so I held back for a few minutes. I literally saw all the women up ahead. I was dead last. Hmmm. I don't like that either. Since the waters had cleared, I started to swim. I felt good, but was taking it easy. I quickly felt like I was gettin in a groove, and really felt great. Slowly but surely, I started passing these pink caps. Ok, I feel better that I'm not at the back. :-) We swam along the shore, three left turns, and then back into the RedBull arch! Once I hit the 2nd turn, I picked it up just a little bit more, but wasn't ever really in a big rush. That said, I ended up finishing the 1.2 mile swim with a solid time of 40:06.

I took my time in transition, since everything was soaking wet. Tiernan was a great cheerleader, and cheered me off on the bike! Wow. I learned a valuable lesson today (one that I should have totally learned before now!)...always pack rain/cool weather gear in your transition bag - always. I was cooooold on that bike! It was spitting rain as I headed out on the 56 mile route, but aside from the cold, rain, and occasional wind, my legs were feeling F-I-N-E! It was an interesting ride with all the water. There was no relaxing and settling in, because you had to watch for water-covered potholes and such. The good news was that it was pretty flat! Yeah for flat! I tried to just stay pretty comfortable and not kill it. I finished the ride in 3:04.

My bike to run transition was comical. I literally picked up my socks and had to wring them out. I also dumped water out of my tennis shoes. Never before have I stopped at a portapotty during a race...I did here. And, I was off on the run. The run wasn't my best performance ever. I couldn't believe how many puddles we were running through. This guy in front of me ran into one of the puddles and came out without his shoe! It was somewhere in the red clay/mud that was now covering pretty much everything. Too funny! The good thing was that everyone had a really good attitude about it, and I enjoyed being out there. I was amazed at how many KC athletes I saw out there too - very cool!

When I came around to the turnaround on the run, some more fans had joined Tiernan (Scott, Ann, their kiddos, and Tiernan's husband, James came to watch us race). It was good to see familiar faces and have the extra support out there. The sun finally decided to join us, around mile 8 of my run. So, while I wish I could've been a little zippier with the 13.1 miles, I did finish it (2:45). Coming into the finish was a beautiful sight...a big long trail of red....I was happy to be done! (6:39:43)

I claimed my medal and my finishers shirt, grabbed a drink and was greeted by my cheering section! Woohoo - another 1/2 Ironman in the books!!! Now, could someone please find me a chair?!

More to come....

September 22, 2009

It's been a month?

Wow - it's been exactly a month since I posted anything on my blog. Sad, eh?
I've been busy, I suppose. So, what's been going on?

Well, I celebrated another year of life (just a nice way of saying I'm older). I sold one of my bicycles. I watched the Tour of Missouri come through town! I completed my 3rd Half Ironman race. Yes, that's right, another half ironman is in the books. In fact, while we're on that subject, let's just hear the race update, shall we?

(September 18th)
Redman Triathlon races were in Oklahoma City. There were 2 days of racing: Saturday- Half and Full Ironman distance races, and Sunday - Sprint and Olympic distances. I'd been talking about these races early in the year, and knew of a few other KC folks going to race. Tiernan decided to race the Olympic distance and we made plans to trek to OKC together. We left KC Thursday evening, chatting all the way. It was a quick drive and we were in Edmond, OK before we knew it. Ya see, we didn't actually book a hotel room for Thursday night because the hotel we had set up for Fri/Sat didn't have anything left (well, except for smoking - not really an option). So, we were winging it. Thanks to my dad, we had a map of Edmond with several hotel options plotted out. First stop - Holiday Inn Express. Mind you, it was a bit after midnight, and we were greeted by Patrick. Patrick was a rather chipper chap, but we were happily entertained as we discussed rates, perks, etc. We got him to come down a whole $4 on the rate. Yee haw! His talk of a "free" hot breakfast, and seeing the fruit and Otis Spunk muffins strewn through the lobby, and we were SOLD! Sign us up. Give us our key. We're in!

I had no idea my little buddy Tiernan enjoyed the free treats so much. Here is a pic of all the food she collected in our 6, maybe 7 hours at that hotel.

Too funny! We had a great laugh about that!

We decided to sleep in a little bit, got up, dressed, and headed down for our free, hot breakfast. Mmmm. We checked out shortly after that and thought we'd go check in to our other hotel and get that all settled. When we arrived at the Extended Stay America (yes, it was cheap and had a kitchen, so we thought it was a good option), we were told that our room wasn't ready and we should check back at 1. So, we went to find the lake for a swim. Ooops, we can't swim again till 2. We needed to get some things at Target, and by the time we finished up there and wandered around town, we ended up back at the ESA to attempt check in. Well, the hotel smelled funny when we walked in, but we were both game to give it a shot. We again asked at the desk...the gal told us someone would go finish up our room now and we could check in. She then said, "it's 2 double beds, smoking, right?" To which we both replied...uh, nope. It should be non-smoking and that's pretty important. A few minutes later she tells us that it's a non-smoking room, but it's on the smoking floor. Hmmmm. Well, let us check it out and we'll let you know if we're staying. We went up to the 3rd floor to assess the situation. It took all of about 3 minutes to determine that it wasn't gonna happen. For starters, one of the beds was tilted all cock-eyed. Not really sure how anyone would sleep on that. The room wreaked of smoke (and the spray they used to try to make it a non-smoking room!). And, we all know there wasn't a chance that I would be storing anything in that refrigerater, let alone cooking a dinner in the pots/pans they provide. BARF!!! We turned in the key, hopped in the car and took off.

We found a great little Italian place and ordered some DELICIOUS grilled chicken pizza. While we were chowing down on pizza, Tiernan had her laptop going, trying to find another hotel option. Bingo! We found a room at the Crowne Plaza...just a few minutes from the race site. Our room was poolside, with two VERY comfy beds...white bedding that actually looked like it had been laundered, and a good sized refrigerator in the room. Ahhhhh. We were happy! Now, on to the race site.

We changed clothes, grabbed our wetsuits and such, and headed over to Lake Hefner. When we arrived, we opted to go through the check in lines first, and collect all our race loot. The line for the Half check in was pretty long. First thing was the race bracelet. Then on to the packet. For the half, we got a really nice carryall bag with our stuff in it, that was cool. Pink caps for the ladies. Medical form turned in. Maps picked up. Medium t-shirt...cute. I think that's it. We're done. We zipped through the expo too, but didn't find much we needed/wanted. So, over to the lake we went. Getting into a wetsuit is always a little challenging. It's especially fun when you have an audience. Well, fun for them! :-) Once in the wetsuits, we made our way down to the water, where they had a pre-race course set up, with lifeguards and all! The water was a little chilly initially, but as we got going, it felt good. We swam for 15-20 minutes and called it done.

Time to check in the bike. I threw on some dry clothes at the car, put the race stickers on my bike, and rode it up to transition. This race was so well organized, and the volunteers - across the board - were excellent! Bike check in took me no time, as they had all the bike racks labeled with your name and number. I noticed that I was in a sea of bikes from KC area and around...that's cool!

We're done here - well, until tomorrow. Now, it's off to find some dinner and get ready to race! We landed at the Olive Garden, and as suspected, there were tons of athletes waiting to load up on pre-race pasta dinners. While we waited, I re-packed my transition bag with all my gear for the race. It was kind of a relief to get that done now, so I wouldn't have so much to do back at the hotel.

Surprisingly enough, we only waited about 10 minutes before they called us in. Woohoo. We ate it up on salad, breadsticks, pasta....Mmmmm. Back to the hotel we went. It didn't take long for me to get everything set out for the next morning, shower, and hop into bed. Ahhhh. We set like 5 alarms to make sure we were up and at 'em eeeeeeeaaaaarrrrrrrlllllyyy! (to be continued in the next post. Pics will also follow when I get around to downloading them)

August 22, 2009

Bye for now, Pap

As I type this blog entry, funeral services are being held for Samuel McPherson (known to all of us as "Pap"), in Indiana, Pennsylvania. I've wanted to blog about the past few weeks, but just couldn't bring myself to do it until this morning. It's crazy that I've made it to, well, we'll just call it my middle 30's, never having lost a close family member.
(Photo: Left to Right back row is my Uncle Sam, Uncle Tom, Uncle Dan, my Dad - pictured with g'ma and pap)

I don't even really know what to say with this entry...thoughts galore are flooding my mind right now, and I'm not sure what will flow out.

I have wonderful childhood memories of my grandparents, Sam and Betty McPherson. I was actually born in Indiana, PA. In fact, I was born in the same hospital where my Pap passed away. We moved from PA to Florida when I was just a little girl. Growing up in Florida, it wasn't exactly a hop, skip and a jump getting back to PA, but we made that road trip many times. When I was in Jr. High, we actually moved back to PA for a short time, and lived in our own farm house in Amish country. This was quite an interesting experience, but again, holds some pretty great memories.

A few weeks ago, Pap was put in the hospital. He had a series of small strokes and wasn't doing very well. Dad and Mom jumped in the car and headed to PA to see Pap and G'ma. I might also mention that my sister, Sharon, and her family now live in Pennsylvania too. They aren't terribly far from Indiana, so it's been good that she can keep up with the family there and let us know how things are going.

On Tuesday evening, August 11th, Sharon sent an email with pictures of everyone visiting Pap on the therapy floor of the hospital. On Wednesday, my folks were making another visit to the hospital and out to see g'ma, and were planning to head home. Unfortunately, things changed pretty rapidly from this point, and Pap started to decline quickly. When Bill and I saw the pictures, we both felt the urge to get there and see Pap and all the family again. Bailey's birthday was Thursday, August 13, so since we were going to miss her party, Bill wanted to spend some time with her that day. This worked out fine, as I needed to pack up and get some things taken care of before heading out. I squeezed in a swim, packed all my gear (and I do mean all - even my bike!), and headed out to Bill's house. I dropped Tucker off with Kim and Bailey, moved all my stuff over to Bill's vehicle, and jumped in. It was a little later than we hoped...like 5ish...but we were on the road!

We drove through the night, taking turns sleeping/driving, and arrived at Sharon's house a bit after 7a.m.! It was good to see everyone and be all together. With only 2 hours of sleep, I was a bit tired, but didn't really want to sleep...we wanted to go see Pap. We showered, grabbed some breakfast, and loaded up for the hospital. I wasn't really prepared for seeing Pap that first time. It was mid morning, and he was very sleepy/groggy. He opened his eyes, but they just seemed empty. Oh boy, it sure was tough seeing him like this. Dad looks so much like Pap too, that it was really just more than I could take at that moment. We didn't stay long on this first visit, 'cause Pap just wanted to go to sleep. I was able to tell him I loved him, and we let him know we'd come back. I was a mess.

It's funny how it sometimes takes moments like this to realize that you should always tell people what they mean to you, and it's pretty silly that we try to hide our emotions. Why does it matter if someone knows you're sad? Why can't you cry without restraint? It's just funny, and perhaps a bit sad. When we got to the car I told my dad I was really sorry he had to see his dad like this. It must be extremely hard.

We grabbed something to eat and headed out to see g'ma at the house. As it turned out, we missed them! Uncle Sam and my cousin, Steve (Tom's son), had taken g'ma to the hospital. We waited at the house for a bit, and then decided to go up to the hospital and catch them up there. It was good to see g'ma, but pretty heart wrenching seeing the way she looked at my Pap in that hospital bed. They've been married for 67 years!!! I cannot even imagine. We were able to talk to Pap this time, and he was responsive - what a relief to know he knew we were there. He was even making jokes like he always did. At one point I asked if he was sleepy. His response..."I'm always sleepy." This was so true and made us all laugh. Pap had a great sense of humor. Sometimes you couldn't tell if he was joking or not, but he was always funny.

Pap was getting tired, so was g'ma, so we all headed out. Saturday, we went back to the house to see g'ma. It was good to see her, the house, and my uncle Sam. Dad has 3 brothers - Sam is the oldest, then Dad, Tom, and Dan. Dan lives in Indiana, but everyone else is now out of state. Bill and I sat in the house for a while, talking to g'ma. We reminisced about the good times we've had there - the hot cocoa and frozen girl scout cookies, Danny and Bill getting yelled at by g'ma 'cause Pap told on them, g'ma working in her office, the clown room, rolling down the hill in front of the house...we could go on and on, and we did. It was nice talking to her. It was also tough seeing her declining too. Her mind is still sharp as a tack, however, and she always has told the best stories (yes, sometimes they really are stories) - I love hearing her describe "stuff" (one of her favorite words).

There were a few times during our visit where Sharon, Bill and I were with Mom and Dad - so strange having the 5 of us together again...just the 5 of us. We laughed it up about some really silly, stupid, funny things that happened over the years. We reminisced a lot about times spent in Pennsylvania. We went for ice cream (a couple times, actually!) at a place we went as children. We went to see the old farm house in Smicksburg, and Dad took us on a drive to show us the house where he grew up, where his friends lived, hills they sledded down, where he went to school, etc. We all really enjoyed these times. It was all bittersweet, really.

The next couple days were more of the same - sleep, eat, hospital, g'ma's, hospital and repeat. I cannot even describe the sadness I felt, sitting in the hospital room with Pap. It was unbelievably difficult watching him lay there, getting weaker each time we saw him. I'm extremely grateful we were all there, and we know that Pap was aware of it. Bill and I returned home on Monday. It was hard to leave, knowing we wouldn't see Pap again. It was also tough leaving Dad and the rest of the family...it was just nice all being together. It was also good to get home, though it seemed so quiet.

Everyone loved Pap - how could you not love Pap?! And, I think we all knew that Pap loved us. He had a wonderful family, loving wife, 4 sons, lots of grandchildren, great grandchildren, many friends, spent years traveling in the RV, camping and just sitting on the porch or sleeping in his chair...he had a full life. Most importantly, Pap knew Christ as his Savior and that's why we were all able to let him go. We know that on Wednesday morning, August 19, when Pap took his final breath here on earth, he was immediately in heaven with God. What a comfort knowing that many of us will see him again someday.

So, goodbye for now, Pap. We love you and will miss you, but we'll see you soon!

August 12, 2009

Sleepover with Bailey!

Bailey and I had a sleepover tonight! Bill and Kim were both working, so it worked out well that she could hang out with Aunt Dawn and celebrate her birthday (tomorrow!). So, I picked her up - with Tucker - and we ran some errands to start. No fun, but had to be done. :-)
We dropped Tucker off at home and headed out for the first "surprise". A little history here...when Bailey spent the night last week, we watched TONS of the Cake Boss! We went so far as to check airfare to Hoboken, NJ to see Carlos Bakery in person. Too bad that didn't work out, eh? 'nough said - we love the bakery shows and I knew I wanted to take her to some kind of bakery for a little birthday treat.
We headed to the River Market area, to a small shop on Missouri Ave, called Baby Cakes. Mmmmm! is just one word to describe it. The shop is tiny and cute, and smells oh-so-delicious. We snapped a few pics outside, and then went in to survey the options. Wow-wee, so many flavors to choose. Bailey picked a chocolate one, and one with peanut butter and chocolate. Of course, I also had to have one, but I went with what they called their signature Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
We chatted with the shop owner a little bit too, and he must have really liked Bailey, 'cause he gave her a few birthday surprises (in addition to the cupcakes, of course). She got a couple little trinkets, and then he gave her a long-sleeved tshirt that says, "Baby Cakes" on it. So cute. She was pretty excited.

It was soooo hot outside, we weren't able to leave the cupcakes in the car, so we had to eat them right away - not a problem. After the cupcakes, we drove around in the P&L District a little bit. I didn't find anything I was looking for, so we headed back up North. Bailey wanted to eat dinner at Chipotle, so that was our next stop...even after the cupcakes! he he

After dinner, we went to see a movie and then called it a night. What a fun time with my lil' niece. I can't believe she'll be 12 tomorrow. It just doesn't seem possible. Soooo, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Bailey! I'm already looking forward to our visit to Baby Cakes next year!!!

Here's a link to our pictures - way fun!