30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 18

Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity

This photo was taken in jest, however  it speaks truth.  The excess weight that I carry is a constant reminder of years of apathy and lack of self discipline. 


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 17

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently


Team in Training has given me all of this and more.  I was stuck.  I didn't care anymore, and I was heading down a path of very poor health habits.  And then I found TNT.
In a nutshell... it changed my life.



30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 16

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you

In an interview with Byron for Meridian magazine back in October about his journey with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Byron told me:

"Before being diagnosed, I was on a dead end road.  I had just finalized my second divorce, things weren't good at home and I was living by myself so I ate nothing but fast food, something I had been doing for years and years.  I would grab a combo meal and a case of beer after work, go home and just sit there and eat and drink my beer until I'd pass out, then I'd get up, go to work and do the same thing the next night...

My doctors, when I was diagnosed in 2004, told me that I'd better get into shape.  I was pushing 290 pounds and I'm only five feet, eight inches tall.  The morning after I was diagnosed, I went on a mission to get in the best shape I possibly could so that I could beat this."

Byron is the most inspiring person I have met.  He is filled with life and love and truly cherishes every day as an individual gift.  I am blessed to call him a teammate and friend.
Love you B!


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 15

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die

I want to feel the wind whipping my whole body while I free fall.... anyone wanna go with me?!


30 miles in the wind: 2 flat tires, 1 crash and a broken shoe

Let me start by saying that not all trainings are created equal.  True, most of them are amazing and downright enjoyable, but there are the few that are not so great.

Remember my first time attempting to run 18 miles?
Yeah, not so great.

 But while not all trainings are created equal, they are all equally opportunities for growth and lessons learned.  And yesterday's training was an opportunity for both.

It started out with the team meeting at a park off of Floating Feather in Eagle.  The plan was to ride out through the countryside where there were rolling hills in a large loop for about 30 miles.  It was windy, and the clouds threatened rain, but we pushed on, determined to get our mileage in.  The first few miles were fairly unexciting.  We had a tail wind that was pushing us along nicely and it didn't seem to difficult to keep my pace around 19mph.  But after 6 or 7 miles things were starting to feel harder for me.  We still had a tailwind, but I was having to work pretty hard to keep up with the pack.  Soon I fell far behind, and Coach Brad circled back to ride with me.  He told me to pull over so we could check my tires.  And it was then, at mile 10 that we discovered my tires were only at 60 psi (they are supposed to be around 110).

No wonder I was beat!  I was having to work overtime to just keep my tires going.

So we (Coach Brad really) put air in my tires and I thought all would be well.
And it was.
For about 2 more miles. 

We were in the thick of our hills - rolling through Deep Canyon in Star, Idaho and climbing our way to the other side.  Coach Daniel rolled up beside me and asked how I was doing.  I was not doing well and told him so.
"I'm stronger than this," I said.  "But everything hurts.  My legs are cramping and I'm mentally over it."
He began asking me what I was drinking (Gatorade and water) and eating (Clif Bar) and how often.  We chatted a few minutes about it when he suddenly said, "your front tire is flat.  Pull over."

Flat #1

Coach Brad (who is a CHAMP!) showed me how to change my flat.  Since it was storming (still windy, and still rainy) he buzzed through it pretty quickly so we could all get going again.

After fixing the flat I was excited to take on the rest of the hills.  I figured NOW everything would be alright, and I could ride with less pain.  (Air in the tires makes a huge difference.  Take my word for it.)

I pulled up next to the team, who were all waiting so patiently for me at the top of the next hill.  Being overly excited and joking with them about being ready to ride for real now, I forgot to unclip my foot before stopping and promptly fell over.  Yep.

We were off again.  With only a few more hills to go I figured I could lick this no problem.
I would have loved it if that were the case.

About 5 miles later, after huffing and puffing, cramping and hurting and falling well behind the team's pace line I discovered another flat front tire.

Flat #2

Coach again replaced the tube in my tire and discovered that we had missed a step when replacing the first one.  ALWAYS check the tire for the cause of the flat.  While it may be a fluke, or pinched tube, it may also be because you picked up a friend along the way.  I happened to have picked up a nasty little goat-head.  So while we'll never know for sure, it is most likely that the second tube popped right after replacing the first one, and I had now huffed and puffed for another 5 miles on a flat front tire.
I was so ready to be done. 

We (Coach Brad really) replaced the second one and were off again.  About 3 miles down the road we caught up to the patiently waiting team and I discovered that I could not unclip my left foot from the bike. I was stuck.  Long story short on this one, my clip had come loose and Coach Daniel had to pry it from the bike in order to tighten it back up.  Who knows how long it had been loose, but it was causing me to loose efficiency in pedaling while it was.

With two working tires, a fixed shoe, and a bike checked (I had the coaches check my bike just in case something else could have possibly gone wrong) we were ready to ride the last 10 miles back to our cars.

I have never been so happy to see my car.

I know I started off this post by saying that this training was not so great, but I want to retract that statement and clarify.  While it wasn't the smoothest of rides, or even the easiest (by far) it was a great training experience.  I am so proud of myself for finishing.  Believe me, I did not want to.  Many times I thought about an exit strategy and how it might work for me to quit.  But I didn't.  A year ago that would not have been the case.  I've grown a lot over the last 14-ish months, and I owe a lot (if not nearly all) of that to Team in Training.

I joked with my team about milking this ride for all that it is worth for donations to the cause.  Saying that this ride better earn at least $500 for cancer research.  And while that would be awesome (really awesome!) I think this ride earned me much more than that in confidence and determination.
I got this.
No one can stop me, but me.

Distance: 28.66 miles
Max Speed: 27.8 mph
Total Distance on Odometer: 91.8 miles

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 14

Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

Joie Lynn, you bless my life in so many wonderful ways.  I love watching you grow and discover the world around you.  The bond between us is everything I hoped for and more, and I look forward to seeing the amazing person you're going to become.  Big things are ahead for you, this I know.
Love you baby girl!


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 12

Day 12 - A picture of something you love

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but mine will forever be in Seattle.  There is just something about the Emerald City that speaks to my soul, especially in Alki Beach.  I can't quite explain it, and don't necessarily feel compelled too, but there's something special in the air there, and I just feel at home.


I Like to Ride My Bicycle... I Like to Ride My Bike

I asked my friend, and fellow photographer, Joncee May to take some photos of me with my bicycle for my upcoming fundraising postcards.  We headed out to the Greenbelt in Garden City and had a great time snapping some photos.  I can't wait to get my postcards in the mail!

Thanks Joncee!

And perhaps my favorite shot of all...

(Don't worry, it was completely staged)


It's that time of the season again... time to recommit!  Halfway during the training season you are given the option of turning in the funds that you've raised for LLS and walking away - no harm, no foul.  Or you can sign the papers and dedicate yourself to finishing this great task.  There are many reasons someone might not recommit (injury, bad timing, low funds raised, etc) but MANY reasons one will continue the task as well. 

The recommitment party is one of the highlights of the season.  We meet at Joe's Crab Shack and (after handing over our credit card info in case we don't raise our minimum - more on that later) we karaoke and party our tushies off.

This year's party fell on St. Patrick's Day, so many green beers were consumed.

TNT staffers Dan and Lynne started us off with a little "Love Shack"

Teammate Michelle got her Bieber Fever on

"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"

Really, we do :)

Jake redeemed himself by rocking a little Blink 182 after the girls tricked him into some Brittany Spears "Oops I Did It Again"

Our beloved marathon coaches Mike and Louise danced the night away.  How cute are these two?!

Triathlon coach, Roman, rocked the Kid Rock after refusing to dazzle us with his Lady Gaga

All-in-all the recommitment party was a great success!  The team is so big this season, and it's such a great thing to see so many people working their tales off to help save lives!!

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 11

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 10

Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most crazy things with

This is my friend Miss Jayme.  Together we have trained for (and completed!) a marathon, completed a very "Dirty" 10k, gotten tattoos and numerous other crazy and fun things!  I'd say the craziest thing is the marathon though... who saw that coming?!


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 9

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most 

Richard - I can't imagine my life without this man. Although I've only known him for 5 or so years, I feel like I've known him my whole life.  No one knows or understands me as well as he does. I won't digress into the "things he's gotten me through," but they are many.  And for them all, I am grateful.
Love you bestie!


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 8

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh

I'm cheating today - I couldn't hold this to just one picture.  It cracks me up how often a picture is taken of my niece and I together where in we have the exact same (or eerily similar) expression.  This kid is awesome.  There's no denying it.


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 7

Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item

I don't put much stock in "items."  They are just things.  Something for the ego to identify itself with.  I've been thinking about this more and more lately with the devastation in Japan.  What if all my possessions were to disappear in the blink of an eye?  Would my self-worth or value be diminished?  Would I be less of a person, or in need because of the loss?  No.  Don't get me wrong.  I feel for the people who have lost.  I wish them nothing but recovery, hope and strength.  But the things that they lost.  They are just things.  The loved ones that they've lost; however, that it a different story.  For that I grieve.  I mourn with them.  Love is a powerful thing, and it is felt deeply within when it is torn from us.  Love is my most "treasured item."


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 6

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day

I would love to trade places for a day with many people.  Just for the experience of knowing what they think, feel and do.  We are all connected, all the same, just living out different experiences and perspectives.  However, for reasons more of a timely nature (training for my century ride) I've chosen Lance Armstrong for today's choice.  7 time winner of the Tour de France and cancer survivor, Lance is an inspiration to so many.  I've read his book "It's Not About the Bike" many times, and am continuously inspired by his journey.

The reason I would like to trade places with Lance Armstrong for a day is so I can feel what it's like to ride so fast on a bicycle.  I'm sure he feels like he's flying... what a wonderful and freeing thing to feel.


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 5

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory

My favorite memory was difficult to discern.  I have so many great memories.  I've lived a pretty great and blessed life so  far and had some fun along the way.  When I think back... way back... memories like playing football in the yard with my brothers, working in the shop with my dad, crafting with my mom and cousin Jill, visiting the Oregon Coast with family, every Thanksgiving ever... those are things that pop into my mind and make me smile.  There are many moments that are flooding my mind, but the one that I keep coming back to, and it doesn't surprise me, is the Easter that I spent in California in 2009.

Jill and I flew down to spend a long weekend with Jed, Danielle and Joie.  It was the first time I really spent with my niece.  I had met her for the first time on our way back from Mexico.  But only spent about an hour with her.  The weekend was fantastic.  Anyone who knows me, or reads this blog, knows that my niece is my world.  I can't imagine life without her.  She is the most wonderful, complete little person I've had the privilege of loving.  

This trip brought lots of growth, and the start of new and renewed relationships.  

A wonderful memory.


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 4

Day 04 - A picture of your night

Since I'm doing these posts first thing in the morning, "a picture of my night," refers to last night.  I spent the evening with these two lovely ladies.  I've watched Olivia (3) and Samantha (4) for almost three years now.  The first summer Olivia was just 5 months old and Samantha a year and a half.  They are amazing, sweet and loving girls, and I'm blessed by knowing them and watching them grow.
Love you bugs :)


I need your votes!

I'm getting ready to send out my fundraising postcards, but I can't decide which image to use.  Help!  Vote, vote, vote!

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3


I've been thinking a lot lately.  Thinking about life.  Thinking about love.  Thinking about the past, the future, and what it all means.  And I've come to somewhat of a conclusion.

I don't need to think so much.

Life has a funny way of happening.  It has a funny way of being perfect and just right all the time.  Even when it doesn't feel like it's going the way it's "supposed" to, it is.  I have to remind myself of this in the troublesome and worrisome times, and it's difficult to remember, but it's true.

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 3

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show

I didn't discover "Gilmore Girls" until it was well into it's 5th season on TV.  Living in two different cities, my mom and I discovered the lunchtime reruns at the same time, but didn't talk about it until after watching a few seasons.  I don't remember exactly how it came up, but I do remember us both talking about a tough situation in comparison to an episode where Lorelei (mother) and Rory (daughter) were dealing with a similar problem.  It became a way for my mom and I to put our issues in perspective and subsequently become closer.   We both own the entire series on DVD because we unknowingly gave it to each other for Christmas a few years back.  We are Lorelei and Rory... friends first, mother and daughter second.
Whenever I feel the need for a laugh, a cry or to go "home," I can pull out a particular episode and lose myself in this silly little town full of its quirks and crazy characters.