Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back to "Normal"

I am not exactly sure what "normal" really is, but in my life we are getting back. Back to routine; back to solid work schedule; back to life. Daisy is really starting to feel great. She is getting around like a champ in her cast; this week it is hot pink with blue hearts. The surgeon has decided to keep some type of cast on her for 7 more weeks because she is sooo mobile. She wants to protect the bone while it heals without risking a break, which would be a disaster. So it is time to let Daisy wander and function with her cast on...which she is doing great at.

Paul was at his MBA intensive this past week. It was an incredible week with the highlight having his team win the Capstone Competition. I don't want to bore you with the "race report" of sorts I wrote, so here is the highlight...the competition was on Wednesday:
There was a moment a few years ago when we looked over the acceptances and debated is a UT MBA the direction we should go? I say we so very loosely because this journey has been all Paul's with just some sacrifices sprinkled in. Last night I clearly got to see that it was all worth it.
Many of you don't know that my husband is SO much more than an athlete. He is dedicated, and when he sets his mind to something he has the focus of a laser beam. It is with this focus he has been pursuing his MBA. And it is with this focus, his team won the Capstone Competition last night.
They stood up on the stage...Greg went first. One of Paul's classmates whispered to me that Greg might be a bit loud. But it was not the case. With incredible calm, he led the charge from behind the podium. (Good choice number 2...the other groups passed around the mic.) He stated the case, and defended the case. Then it was Paul. I can honestly say it was one of the proudest moments I have ever had. He spoke with such passion and was one fire. There was no beating him down. At one point I whispered over, "is he running for president?" It was just this incredible moment of all of his hard work through the program coming together. Everything he had studied for, all of the respect he has for the professors he was presenting to, all of the passion and work his team had put in. It was all coming together at that moment. Don't get me wrong, the hammering was there and it was tough...but they were ready for it, and they answered it. Then it was over...ahhhh; time for a beer.
We went down to the reception to wait for the judges to make their decision. It was fun to chat with his classmate and just be happy for the accomplishment of the program almost coming to an end. Soon enough the panel and Trent came to announce the winners. 3rd place was a tie, and then they announced the case you didn't know where this was going...Paul's team!!

WOW, what a great finale. I got some great pictures (I will have them soon) of one of his professor's talking to them after the win. All the pride in their faces was incredible. They had worked so hard, and the feedback was so much to take in. I hope Paul was able to absorb it all. For over 30 minutes after, they were the MBA kings and queen. They held center stage in questions about their strategy, and just how they accomplished something so huge.

I didn't get the magnitude of it all until I was part of it last night. Sitting on a plane with Crystal two weeks ago, we talked about it as her team had won it her year, but I didn't quite get it.

This is a big deal. This degree, this program, all of Paul's hard is HUGE and I am very proud!
With me seeing some normalcy returning to our world, I decided to make my fall/winter race plans. The first is to be Firetrails 50 in October. I am excited to have some kind of plan in place, as I work sooo much better with a schedule, races, and a plan. It gives me focus, helps me with my life time management, and as Paul continues to insist...I am much more pleasant to be around when I am running.
In case I haven't said it enough, I am truly grateful for all of the love and support that I have been given over the past few weeks. I cannot express how it has held me together, and helped me move on. I am stronger for it!! We have a moment where we can let life's challenges break us down or build us up. This one has built me up, made me appreciate my family and friends that much more, and enjoy each day I can get out and run with a new appreciation!

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Watching Over...

I made the decision Wednesday; Daisy is having surgery. She did her final track workout, watch a squirrel with her buddies, and was sooo happy.

Thursday morning she headed in for her big day: removal of the tumor, affected soft tissue, and the parts of the ulna that had cancer. Initial thought was the only a small part of her ulna would need to be removed. Reality: a larger part of the bone had cancer than expected. The result: a bionic dog. Actually, they did all the removal and then inserted a screw in to stabilize the ligaments and top part of the ulna to the radius. (I almost feel like an expert in limb-sparing procedures)

Apparently Thursday night was a little rough, Daisy cried in what they thought was pain so they upped her pain meds. I came by this morning to a very sad dog; did I make the wrong choice I thought? She was wimpering a little and just looked sad. I left her hoping to return this afternoon to bring her home.

This Afternoon was a WHOLE new story!! Once they took Daisy off the pain med drip, she sat up and stood up. She even walked to the room when I arrived, with the help of her new harness friend (I have one to walk her with). They said that after the IV pain med wore off, she was a new girl.

I got her home and Paul unloaded her from the car. I had made a bed for her out of a Target comforter and towels so that they could be washed regularly. (and not worry about any damage) We get her in her new bed, and let Flyer out to see his sister. Well in a wonderful scene, he decided his new home should be right next to her...watching over her!

Now it's time for love and recovery. The drainage tube comes out on Monday, and then the healing begins. No chemo, no more surgeries, just whatever time I have left of my wonderful girl!

By the way, if you are out and about and in the neighborhood...she would love visitors tomorrow afternoon or Sunday. Just call or email me and let me know you are coming :)

Thank you so much for your support and prayers; they are working in the the most wonderful ways!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I am completely overwhelmed:
- and thankful for all the thoughts and prayers I have received.
- by all the information that I have received.
- by my wonderful vet and her phone call on a Saturday while I was out of town.
- by my neighbors and their generosity to always care for Daisy and Flyer as though they were their own.

On Saturday I got the news that I didn't really want, but kind of knew was coming. Daisy has bone cancer on her leg. My vet said that she had never seen the cancer on the ulna, so she did some research for me. There is a surgery that they remove the tumor and the bone, and spare the limb. She didn't know the success, so she referred me to an oncologist and an oncologist surgeon.

This morning I saw the oncologist. Tomorrow is the surgeon. After that it is time for a decision. Again, I am overwhelmed. I wish Daisy could tell me what she wanted. I wish I could take some of her pain away. I wish we could go for a run...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hard News

A Race report with all of the joy and memories of the weekend will come, but first a hit of reality stopped the post-race fun...

Daisy is hurting. She has been limping and I just wanted to say that a 13-yr-old dog is supposed to have some aches and pains. I thought a trip to the vet would be the prudent thing to do. The vet said that she needed an x-ray. So, this morning Flyer and I dropped her off for her x-ray.

Then the call came...there is a tumor and we need a biopsy.

She has been wanting to run and play, but she has been trying to tell me that something is wrong. Now it is just wait and see. I get it. This is part of life. This is reality. But that doesn't mean it feels any better.

So, for at least a little while, until she comes home and I show her a brave face, I hurt probably more than she does.

I know, "she is a dog," but in my world she is my family. Please pray that whatever outcome I get is one that will allow her some time, some comfort, and a chance for a few more runs!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What do you WANT??

First of all I feel like I am blogging so much lately...maybe it's taper madness (yes, Jamie, I am going CRAZY)!

I have a fairly standard conversation with my clients in regards to making good choices when eating out. The first thing I tell them to think about is, "What do you want?" If you want the burger, get a side salad, if you want the fries, don't get the burger...etc. It's all about starting with one choice and then making good choices around that. If you start with what you are really wanting and craving, and then satisfy that, even in a small way, the good choices come easier. It is also easier to stay on track when you don't feel totally deprived or restricted. That is no way to create a healthy lifestyle. It is not practical and it is not long term!

As I was with a client today, and we were really taking this further into her journey of a struggle with workout burnout, I continued to push the question, "what do you want?"

During this discussion, we kind of moved on into the thought that finding what you want or even searching for what you want might lead to incredible balance.

I have friends who want BIG things right now: whether to run more miles than the ever have, to finish a race in a certain goal, or to just finish a race. I have a husband who is striving toward a successful completion of his MBA, an Ironman, travelling for work, and being a good husband. Even I fit in here: to be a good wife; to be a good friend; to be healthy; to race well; to have a great business; and to find balance.

Maybe it's selfish to take a look at what you want? But, if you want for something/anything and get it or continue to strive for it...doesn't it just push you to become a little more complete, whole, or well balanced?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but can guarantee that running over the weekend will hopefully bring me closer...

In the meantime, think about what you want...don't add or complicate it (again, if you want the burger skip the fries), don't lessen it's value, and when you get there savor and appreciate the journey and the result.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Volunteering Funness

Jack and Adam's and the guys do so much for Paul and I that I really like to give back to them! This go around was at Jack's Generic Tri this morning. I have a few random skills up my sleeves and one is that I am a fairly decent bike tire changer. That votes me in for the job of SAG/course bike tire changer. OK, I vote myself for the's really fun to be out on the bike course.

Paul wasn't racing, so I was on my own...until last night. Melissa agreed to come with me!!! I was so excited. JT - that's right, she has traded mountain climbing for tire changing at a triathlon!

We arrived at the race, said hello to many folks, and got our stuff ready to go: a bucket of tubes, levers, and a bump! The idea is to wait for a pile of people to get on the course and then head out so that if they get a flat or need help, we can be there.

Melissa and I have so much fun creating games of the funny things people do/things we see, particularly during triathlons. Here are some of the highlights:
- 1 VERY Hairy guy in old school short khaki shorts to RACE in (did I mention that they were SHORT)
- 1 VERY old speedo (hint: when they are old you can see through them...yikes)
- 1 Helmet on joke
- 1 Guy who didn't really want to buckle his helmet (no, REALLY, buckle it BEFORE you get on your bike!)
- Many first-timers with bottles that needed to be unscrewed as they were riding. A mid-ride realization that forced a stop on the bike course...poor things.
- 2 Guys that had flats and were awaiting our arrival. They approached the car acting like they were done for the day. Unfortunately for them, they had NO idea who they were approaching. My response, "no you're not. I am going to change your flats and you are going to finish." At that, both tires got changed and they BOTH finished. Joshua got his first flat at his first tri and finished with a smile on his face!! We got to the finish line to see him finish!
- 1 VERY GRUMPY REDNECK who yelled at Melissa and I for about 10 minutes on the road, telling us that "what we are doing out here is dangerous and illegal and that he is going to the Commissioner on this." I was very courteous and polite, but all we could think was that maybe if he got himself doing some exercise he might not think this "weekend business" was so dangerous.

Needless to say, spending the morning with Melissa volunteering was the best!

The guys put on a first class event with plenty of fluids AND ice (40lb ice bags are freaking heavy), great fun, and good hard tapering work!

Have a great Sunday!