Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New and Improved Blog

I finally decided that I'm ready for a nicer looking blog. Come check me out over at my new and vastly improved blog:


New pages, new info. It looks so much nicer! I still have some formatting to work out on some of my other posts but that will be where all the new updates go from now on.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Heart of the Rockies Half Marathon

This was by far the smallest half marathon I've ever done.  When Shanna and I arrived in Loveland we barely spotted the check-in tent. It was the easiest check-in ever! In about two minutes we had our bibs and went back to the car to stay warm. When we finally decided it was time to hit the porta potties and head to the starting line it had warmed up quite a bit.  One probably with the starting line...we had no idea where it was!

Finally someone made an announcement that we were all going to walk to the starting line together. We finally got to a super narrow path.  I didn't hear the official start but Shanna and I finally saw a tiny sign on the side of the trail that said start. Um...yeah, this should have been better marked.

Being a small race there was no chip timing or waves, it was just a go for it kind of race. Unfortunately since we didn't get right up in front, we got stuck in a huge crowd of people which didn't break up for a couple miles. At this point I decided you know what, I'm going to run with Shanna and just enjoy the scenery.

I enjoyed the scenery right up until we ran by a dairy from about mile 6-8. It stunk! Check out the cows. 

Not how I pictured an organic farm either. Josh was on his bike doing a great job being our personal papparazi.

Yep, I rocked green KT Tape. Around mile 9 I decided I just needed to pick up the pace a bit. I speed up a little bit to just hurry and finish. I was getting hot and it was the longest I had run since Nashville back in April.  This goes down as my slowest half on record but it was fun and nice running with Shanna.  Plus how could I not enjoy a 70 degree day in November?

Time: 2:25    Distace: 13.14 miles    Avg. Pace: 11:02...yikes I know.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gearing Up for Race Day

It's already race time! Tomorrow morning is the Heart of the Rockies Half Marathon in Loveland.  Did I get in those speed sessions I was planning on? Nope. Did I do another long run or two? I did one. Ten miles last Tuesday. I don't think my five miles on Wednesday count as a long run but they felt nice. Since my knees acted up on that last 10 miler I decided to give them a break. I might have to break down and use some KT tape tomorrow but we'll see how they're feeling.

Today I'm rocking my compression socks and continuing to try to get hydrated.  Even though I've had at least 3-4 large bottles of water just at work alone, every day this week, I'm still thirsty like I'm sitting out in the summer sun. It's crazy!

Speaking of summer sun. Can you believe this forecast for the weekend? Looks like I'll be rocking shorts and a t-shirt again for this race. I can't believe it! Hello global warming is all I can say for nearly 80 degress in Colorado in November. Can't complain though I'm not looking forward to the commute to/from work once the snow hits.
So tonight I'll be eating some of this...

and this...

...while I relax and drink 5 more bottles of water and Gatorade. Hopefully I won't feel as blah and exhausted as I have the past few days when I wake up tomorrow morning. Race report to come.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Say What!?! Chilean Miner to Run NYC

So I was perusing the news as I always do during my lunch break where I saw this article.  My first thought was what? How is this Chilean miners who was stuck underground for months going to be ready to run a marathon. I continued reading and it said he ran 5-6 miles per day down there. Ok, that's good he stayed active, but 5-6 miles/day equals about 35-42 miles/week. Running 5-6 miles at a time and 26.2 at once is a huge difference.

I continued a littler further and saw that he listened to Elvis on his iPod. I thought to myself, eh, horrible running music, but then it came to me, how did he keep his iPod charged?  Mine barely stays charged for a week let alone two months. I haven't read all the details about what they did or did not have down there, but I just never thought an iPod charger would be one of them.
I wish him the best of luck and can't wait to see how he does.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Have a Problem

Hi, my name is Jessica and I am a travelholic. Not kidding, I am obsessed with finding vacation for Josh and I to go on. I know he said that we should take a break from Europe but Espana is calling.  I can hear it loud and clear. Probably doesn't help that Josh's good friend Jeff is over in Madrid right now preparing for FOCUS to participate in World Youth Day.

I get emails all the time with the latest travel deals. I think my problem is that once we had fabulous vacations in Italy, Paris and London (yes I'm still working on those posts 2 months later), I just wanted to keep doing it. Here's what on my list for the next few years:

Costa Rica
Hawaii (Josh has never been)
Germany (Visit my uncle and meet all my cousins)

Now if only I had more vacation days. We're pretty good about figuring out how to time vacations with work holidays so that I get an extra day off. We don't have any real vacations planned at all right now. So I figure maybe I'll just start tenatively planning one in say May.  You never know maybe I can talk Josh into it.

Fingers crossed an unbeatable deal comes up for a last minute vacation over New Years. Might not be as great at it was ringing in 2010 but I could go for a vacay to ring in 2011.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Then I Ate a Huge Burrito

My long run did not happen this weekend. My original plan was to do a two-a-day run on Saturday. After a quick 4 miles with Josh and Lucky we had errands to run and a house to clean before Josh's b-day party. Oh and Husker game to watch. So the second 6-8 miles I was going to do just didn't happen. Before I knew it I needed to get those bacon wrapped dates made, spinach dip going and that baked brie baking.

It turned out to be a bit of a drunk night for myself and our guests apparently. Just goes to show that even though we're on the down slope to 30 we still can get crazy from time to time...evidence of the vomit in the bathroom we found the next day.  I was a total waste of space on Sunday. I basically was hating life.  Note to self...you can no longer drink like you did at 21. I think that is the last time I'm drinking for a little while. Beer isn't that fantastic that I cannot resist it and I'm just not really a big drinker anymore.

Monday was Josh's 29th b-day. I made him dinner, we went to the gym, but since it was his b-day I didn't want to spend hours running. Probably rude thing to do.

Last night was my night to get it in.  I left work and nearly got blown off the interstate. The winds were insane. Rather than do the running man I decided to run on the dreadmill. 

Time: 1:38   Distance: 10 miles   Avg. Pace: 9:49 min/miles

I stopped at 10 miles though I was planning on 12. My knees actually started hurting and swelling so I figured I better stop. Don't want to have to drop from the race in a week and a half.  (Bonus-I drunkenly talked Shanna into running the race with me! Yes!)  I couldn't really find a good elevation chart of the course so I used MapMyRun to make one myself.  It looks pretty flat to me, just how I like it!

After running Josh treated me to the Garden Fresco Burrito with Green Chili from Tres Margaritas...I ate the WHOLE thing. It was delicious. Oh and they made Josh wear a sombrero while they sang to him and gave him a weird red, white and green shot...yuck. Of course the one time I don't bring my phone or camera to take a picture. Drat!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ibogaine-The Way Out?

My Uncle Rick, is working a new film. This time he's working with my Uncle Justin to help him overcome his heroin addiction.  You may remember that he screened the film, Forgetting Dad, about my grandpa last year all of the world, including right here in Denver.  The new project is just in funding mode right now. I made a contribution this morning. I wish I could contribute more, but I figure every little bit helps. Hopefully they can raise enough to get it off the ground and see if Ibogaine will really help Justin. Check out the brief trailer Rick put together.

Monday, October 18, 2010

1/2 on a Whim

After the RNR Denver Half I am feeling even more determined to get the sub-2 hour half under my belt. So after searching all lunch I found one that I don't have to fly or drive for a gazillion hours to.  It's right up the road from me in Loveland. 

Yep, I just went ahead and registered myself for the Heart of the Rockies Half Marathon which is in three weeks!  That gives me a bit of time to get in some speed sessions and two more longer runs.  I'm not going to have the sea level advantage and I haven't seen what the course elevation is but Loveland is about the same elevation as Longmont (lower than Denver) and from what I remember from the two months we lived in Loveland, it's flat as a pancake. We're even going to run right by the condo we lived in. I'm sure there will be a few hills in there somewhere but I'm looking forward to it.  Maybe I'll even talk Josh into running the 10k while I do the half.  Hopefully we won't have snow or ice. That would just be crummy. I am all for temps in the 30s or 40s though. My best runs are in those cooler temperatures.

Never done two races this close together but hey, it's almost like training right?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Did you say PR!?!

Today something totally unexpected happen...that's right I set a new 1/2 marathon PR. I honestly was shocked while I was running and realized that I was going to PR.  Especially since I hadn't trained. But let me back up.

Last night Josh and went down to our friend Russell's house.  Russell, Josh and our friend Jason and I enjoyed some of my delicious homemade spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Mmmm. Totally hit the spot. I went to bed early like a good runner while the boys stayed up. Unfortunately for me I was a light sleeper because when Josh came to bed it woke me up and I was unable to fall back to sleep for any significant amount of time. 

I rolled out of bed about 4:30 am, did my normal morning routine and jumped in the car to head to the race.  Once I got downtown I made my way to Civic Center Park.  I am glad that I had done this race before because there was zero signage telling people where to go. I was really surprised since the Rock N' Roll races are usually better organized.  I held onto my warm clothes as long as possible before heading to the corral. 

By about five after 7 am I was on my way across the finish line.  I was feeling good, not worrying about my pace when my first walk break alarm went off. I thought about ignoring it but decided hey, this is my plan and I should stick to it.  When we hit the only really steep hill around mile 4 people were dropping. The hill was hard but I powered up it. I remembered passing a lot of people in that same spot last year. 

A lap past the zoo, around the Denver Nature and Science Museum and I was already more than half way...still feeling good! At that point I looked at my watch and realized that I could probably PR if I just kept moving at about the same pace.  I didn't want to get cocky just yet.

Next up was Cheeseman Park. I remembered that last year there was a fairly long incline.  Not a problem I was still feeling great.  By the time I was half way up that it was time for a walk break and a my last gel.  This is apparently right where I missed Josh and Russell who had been waiting there to see me.  Once we were out of the park there was only a little over a mile left.  Even better it was flat with a slight downhill about a half mile from the finish and I was still on track to PR.

When I saw the shoot to the finish I sped up.  I breezed past the 13 mile marker and sprinted.  I was proud of myself for having enough energy to speed up.  I crossed the finish line and knew I had PRed and it felt good!

Splits courtesy of my Garmin:

Mile 1-9:33
Mile 2-9:38
Mile 3-9:27
Mile 4-9:23
Mile 5-9:44
Mile 6-9:45
Mile 7-9:36
Mile 8-9:06
Mile 9-9:42
Mile 10-9:33
Mile 11-9:38
Mile 12-9:23
Mile 13-9:03
Mile .25-1:54

Time: 2:05:10   Distance: 13.25 miles   Avg. Pace: 9:27 min/mile

So really I hit the 13.1 distance at 2:03:53. Which is awesome and a huge PR.  That is nearly 10 minutes faster than I finished this race last year and 2 minutes faster than Moab (which was primarily downhill).  But of course that's not what my chip time was.  Not gonna lie I'm kinda bummed I had to take the marathon medal even though I only did the half. Oh well. A medal is a medal.

Chip Time Stats:

Time: 2:05:09   Avg. Pace: 9:32 min/mile

Still a PR, but only by about 50 seconds.  Hey I'll take it! Maybe I shouldn't train more often. That or this run/walk thing is an excellent idea.  I really need to run a sea level race and I definitely be under 2 hours.  Hmmm.

I met Josh and Russell back at the car and we met my dad and brother Ted at Toast in Cherry Creek North. I was so hungry I had a really hard time deciding what to eat. I finally settled on the breakfast burrito with a pancake on the side. Definitely satisfied my sweet and salt craving.  As we were driving back to Russell's house to pick up Josh's stuff we passed by Bonnie Brae Ice Cream. Of course we had to stop for a celebatory cone. Mmmm.

My legs are a bit sore but I think that once I foam roll I'll be all good.  Woohoo for unexpected PRs!  As it turns out I may be faster than I give myself credit for. This is motivation to get my act together for my next race.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Walking is not giving up

This weekend I decided I wanted to get in one more long (using that word loosely here) run before the Rock N' Roll Denver Half Marathon this weekend. Being lazy and not wanting to experience the disasterous trying to run the Res (oh right the marathon is going on), that's ok I'll run from Roger's Grove (closed through October)-again (still ran 12 miles), Josh and I set out to do a few loops around the neighborhood.

Now I have not been training for this race.  I honestly haven't looked at the awesome training plan I created for myself in at least two months. Yeah I've been bad. But you know what? Life happens. Stuff comes up, plans change and it's not always possible to get in all your runs. With all of this going on I decided that I wanted to test out run/walking. Now I haven't purposely run/walked a race ever. Ok well I did walk when taking gels in Seattle and mid-race decided to run/walk Nashville (only because of the horrid conditions) but I hate walking during a race. It's always hard to motivate myself to start running again. Plus it's only 13 miles. I know I can run it without stopping, but at what speed this time?

So the test began. I set my Garmin to alarm every 11 minutes. That way I'd run for 11 the first time, walk for one minute then run for ten and so on.  Josh broke off and headed home after the first lap but I continued on.  Here are my stats:

Time: 1 hour 25 minutes    Distance: 9 miles    Avg. Pace: 9:29 min/miles

Pretty impressive pace for taking walk breaks isn't it? Now when I say walk, it's not leisurely it's a fast pace.  This helped me realize that walking isn't giving up and is actually a great option for finishing a race you're not really ready for.  We'll see how it goes this weekend.  If I can maintain the pace I did this weekend I'd be on track to beat my time from last year easily.  Then again, my neighborhood has like no hills.  Here's what the course looks like:

It doesn't really have rolling hills but from mile 2-5 it's a pretty steady incline. Then again from 8 to mile 11 before it heads downhill.  Eek. 

My bottom line for this race: Have fun. Enjoy the sights and don't worry about pace.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two Years

Two years ago today I was just waking up on my wedding day.  I woke up sick and it was cold and rainy, but the best day of my life.  Illness, weather, none of it could have ruined our day.

I cannot believe how fast the past two years have flown by. It's been an amazing two years and we're ready for whatever the next 50 have to bring. I'm so lucky to have found the love of my life. I love him more every day. We spent the weekend celebrating and enjoying each other after Josh's work trip to England. I'm so glad he was home just in time to celebrate. Tonight we'll dance to our song, At Last by Etta James, just as we did two years ago. :-)

Happy Anniversary Lobster!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Working on It

I keep telling myself today is the day I give the trip updates, etc. but there are just not enough hours in the day lately.  Couple bullets before I get my butt in gear:

-Trip was great. Paris is awesome and super romantic. Would totally go back for a third time.  London eh, kind of like being in America. Didn't dislike it but didn't love it. High Tea was a big highlight.

-Training has gone down the drain. Still doing the Denver Half but it's going to be sloooooooow. That's ok I think I'll be running it for fun with Shanna and her friend from out of state. Ran 12 miles on Sunday...slow but then again I wasn't really trying.  Ankle currently hurting even with insoles.

-Saw awesome concert with Rache, Josh and her friend Amanda. Darius Ruckers and Brad Paisley put on an awesome show! Few tears when the Justin Moore sang a song called "Grandpa."

-Got a promotion at work. Yeay!

-PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOANS!!!!  I can't believe it. Thanks to the sale of the Subaru and Josh's parents sending us a check for trip expenses I am now student loan free! Now we just have Josh's to contend with.

Little teasers for all of the update I need to do. I'm going to try to get them all done before Josh and I celebrate our 2nd anniversary this weekend (super excited for that!).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Potato State Wedding

Wow, I am just way behind on postings all things Jess lately. My schedule has been crazy and I've been sick...yes, again. My immune system is not liking me right now. Which could easily be enhanced by the craziness that was my weekend in Idaho.

Now almost a week and a half ago, just 4 days after getting home from our trip, I was sitting in front of my lady friend, Thalia's apartment at 5:30 am.  We headed to the airport and had awesome timing because the parking area bus was there waiting for us and there was no line at security. I couldn't believe it! I didn't even have time to get my ID and such out before it was my turn. By the time our flight landed I had got three hours of work under my belt and was ready to celebrate Heather's wedding weekend!

Heather was there beaming from ear to ear ready to take us off to get our nails done. Ahhh relaxation...

Poor guy had to deal with the two missing/starting to grow back toenails.  At least I warned him beforehand. After getting our nails done we got lunch, checked into our Bed and Breakfast, headed to the rehearsal, back to change and then back out to the rehearsal dinner.

The happy couple ready to say I do the next day!

With all of the must-do's done it was time to get ready to head out to celebrate Heather's Bacholerette Party! First stop, The Balcony which is Boise's local gay bar...awesome is all I have to say. Oh and cheap. I couldn't believe how cheap the drinks were. We continued on to a few other places, the last of which the boys met up with us.  I finally passed out fell asleep around 5 am. Yep, that means I was up for more than 24 hours straight.

The next day Thalia and I rolled out of bed around 9:30, and tried not to vomit lounged around until it was lunch time. After eating a much needed cheeseburger and sweet potato fries it was time to help get the reception ready. Pretty isn't it?

Wedding time was right around the corner.  Heather (and Kylie) looked beautiful!

They did it!

After the reception it was time to hit the bars again. This time I wasn't quite as out of control, but it was another 4:30 am kind of night. Just 2 hours after going to bed we had to be up to head to the airport. Oh yeah and my voice was almost completely gone.

So that is: 46 hours in Boise, 6 hours of sleep, 1 great weekend! My 26 year old self just cannot pull of weekends like that anymore. I'm just now getting over my cold and hoping that I'll be able to complete a 12 mile run this weekend. The Denver Half is in a few weeks...eek and I'm way way undertrained. I suppose I can run/walk it for fun?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Man it’s been a whirlwind lately. The past month has flown by. Updates from our trip to come but let’s recap what happened after I got home from Missouri and California.

That evening Josh’s friend Peter and his new girlfriend came over for dinner. Nice to see Peter but after no being home for 10 days all I wanted to do was hang with my boys and veg out on the couch.

Monday it was time to get back to the gym and Tuesday I finally got in another run and tons of laundry while Josh was a golf league. Wednesday we had dinner at our friend’s Ryan and Claire’s house…awesome. I hadn’t seen them in a while and it was nice to relax and enjoy dinner with them out on the patio. Thursday Josh’s dad was in town. We went out to eat at Martini’s Bistro. Of course I had to have some key lime cheesecake.

Friday I had a surprise dinner for my friend Sarah G in Boulder. She was totally surprised which was awesome!

Saturday, another crazy day. I did an 11 miler:

Distance: 11 miles Time: 1:45:36 Avg. Pace: 9:36 min/miles

My legs were a bit on the sore side from that one. Stretch, snack and shower later we were headed to Denver to celebrate Claire’s b-day. We had dinner at Lime which was delicious. Then there was a little of this...

and a little of that.

Great time…not so great hangover the next day.

By Sunday I was crashing hard but started getting ready for our trip. The next few days leading up to our trip were no picnic either. I think this is the first time in a long time that I’ve had something to do every day and night for several weeks in a row. Thank goodness for vacation!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Home!

But not for long.  Lucky and Josh greeted me at the airport on Sunday night. I was so excited to see my boys! This trip was the longest that Josh and I have been apart since before our wedding. Crazy right?  That night Josh's friend Peter and his new girlfriend came over for dinner. They are in town visiting from Minnesota.  Once they left I crashed hard. I am so exhausted in every way possible.  In fact I've had to take a nap every day after work just to get through the rest of the evening.

My training schedule is totally off. I did another hilly run in California on Saturday morning and ran a solid 5 miles on Tuesday night.  Luckily it wasn't too difficult to re-adjust to the altitude though it did slow me down. 

California Runs (3 total) Stats:

Distance: 10 miles   Time: 1:28:34   Avg. Pace: 8:51 min/miles

Stats (for Tuesday):

Distance: 5 miles    Time: 48:02    Avg. Pace: 9:38 min/miles

It's been a whirlwind since I arrive back in Colorado.  Tuesday was my downtime night for the week. Last night we enjoyed yummy food and great company with Ryan and Claire. They were nice enough to make dinner for us. Tonight my FIL Jim will be in town. We're going to eat at our favorite restaurant in Longmont, Martini's Bistro.  Mmmm...key lime cheesecake.  Tomorrow I'm partaking in a little surprise and then Saturday we're heading to Denver to celebrate Claire's birthday. Busy busy.

So glad it's almost time for vacation! We will be on our way to France a week from today. I can almost smell the cheese and taste the wine already.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Freshman Year

After a long week, it was nice to wake up at my Mom's house this morning.  I scheduled a few tweets for work and headed out for a quick run before getting back to the grind.  It was a hilly run that looked like this:

Even with the hills I was able to maintain a pretty good pace.  Gotta love the 4000 ft elevation drop. I'm totally off of my training schedule but I figure I can get in a couple good long runs before we head to Europe in 13 days!

Time: 36 mins   Distance: 4.05 miles   Avg. Pace: 8:53 min/miles

After getting cleaned up and some work done it was time to take my little brother Riley to freshman registration.  It totally brought me back to when I started high school. I vividly remember going to my registration, even what I wore.  As I watched the kids in line, unsure of themselves, with anxiety and excitement taking their school pictures, trying to open their lockers and getting their class schedules I was thankful I was all done with that.  Though I did meet two of my BFFs Sarah and Lisa that year. 

Riley is playing freshman football this year which I think is great.  It's also a great way to get to know some of the new people that he'll be going to school with and being confident heading into the new world of high school.  He is also quite the ladies man. Every time we walked somewhere on the campus there were girls waving and calling for his attention. It was so cute.
After registration I took he and Emma for a celabatory frozen yogurt treat.  We stopped by FroyoLife.  It was delicious!  I basically tried half the flavors and had fun with all of the toppings.  Between the three of us we ate 2 lbs of froyo.  Delicious.  It was awesome getting some one on one time with my Californian siblings.  They are getting so big and are just great kiddos...ok teenagers.  I will be 30 years old when Riley graduates in 2014.  Man I feel old!
We headed home and so I could get some work done before Mom and Mike got home.  We had a nice evening talking, eating a delicious chicken, caper and artichoke dinner Mike made and hanging out.  It's nice spending some time with them not in heavy duty grieving mode.  Tommorrow my Uncle Ben, his girls and my Aunt Jan's family is coming over for a little BBQ. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Girls Gone Wild or Just Camping

*Playing catch-up with this post.

I haven't been spending nearly enough time with the girls. This weekend we packed up the Escape and drove to Lake McCounaughy. Sarah and Lisa spent the night on Friday night because we were getting up super early to head out. Rache arrived around 5:45 am and by 6:15 we were on the road. Everyone was pretty groggy until we got to Ogallala where they go their coffee fix.

Once Thalia, Melinda and Sheila arrived we headed to the lake. We tried the spot where we spent the 4th of July. There was a huge family camped there and the water was above where we camped last time. I could not believe how high the water was.

This is where we had our first adventure...Thalia's car got a little stuck going back up the rough sandy road. Luckily with Melinda behind the wheel it made it up. I followed right behind. I was super nervous taking the new car up it but we made it on my first try!

Final we found a spot in Arthur's Bay and got all set up. It was almost 100 degrees and the water was the only place to be.

Note to self...97 degree temps, pink panty droppers, and nothing but a granola bar in the stomach are a bad combination. After a small incident and a nap in the sand I was refreshed.

We drank, we swam, we laughed and lounged. By dusk we were ready to eat and relax. Smores...mmm so good!

As is the trend there was another huge storm. We could hear the rain approaching as it crossed the lake which was pretty cool.  The next morning we took a dip in the lake to get the sand off, packed up and headed into Ogallala for some deliciousness at Valentino's.

We were the first customers there.  After we were stuffed to the gills we headed home, but not before we got Thalia this awesome mustache and mini Blizzards from DQ.

Good girls weekend for sure!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Life Remembered

Thursday was a difficult day to say the least.  Of course I didn't sleep a wink and was up at 3:30 am digging around for pictures of my grandpa.  At that point I knew that there was no hope for recovery, but he was still hooked up to a ventilator which was breathing for him.  When I turned on my phone upon landing in Kansas City, a text from my mom popped up telling me that Grandpa had passed away about 15 minutes earlier.  I burst into tears. The poor guy in the seat next to me didn't know what to do other than get out of the way so that I could get off the plane asap. 

The final cause of death was a stroke which caused a massive brain bleed.  The doctors said that the stroke probably caused the car accident which then ruptured a brain aneurysm. It was quick and he died peacefully which gave us all some comfort.

Whitney arrived at the airport a few hours and a beer later to pick me up.  She was awesome at distracting me during the 3 hour drive to Springfield.  It's amazing how no matter how long it's been since we last talked or saw each other, we pick up right where we left off.  It's no wonder we've been friends for 17 years.  She kept me calm so that when I arrived at the hospital I was composed...until I saw Aunt Jan.  A few minutes later the chaplain and the doctor came down to take me to say goodbye.

On one hand I was so glad I got to say goodbye but it was devastating to seem him like that. He was cold as ice and looked so small.  The doctor cut a lock of his hair for me. I remember sitting with him, drinking juice, watching Shirley Temple movies playing with his gray hair.

My Grandma is doing as well as can be expected for losing her 'best bud.'  We spent all of Thursday and much of Friday going through pictures, telling stories, laughing, crying, loving and mourning.  I am absolutely amazed by the friends my grandparents have made in Branson. There was a continuous stream of people bringing food, drinking, and hugs.  The community they live in even provided lunch and dinner for us and any other mourners that wanted to join us. My grandma has a wonderful support system there which makes me happy.

The memorial service was on Saturday evening. I seriously considered wearing grandpa's big, white Velcro shoes to the service but decided against it at the last minute.  I used to love to put on those boats (size 13) when I was little. 

Beautiful flowers and pictures covered the alter. Friends and loved ones told wonderful stories about my grandpa, including one written by his best friend Wally, read by Wally's daughter.

I wanted to get up to tell everyone about how Grandpa was always at the end of the pool lane cheering for me at every swim meet, he ate all the jelly beans I didn't want until I finally got the right color out of the 'pooping' duck in this office, played dominoes with me in the piano room while I enjoyed juice and he enjoyed a glass of wine, always made sure ice cream sandwiches were in the freezer and strawberries in the fridge and so many more things but I couldn't get through it.  My grandpa was a big teddy bear who loved me, my family and his friends unconditionally.  I will miss hearing him call me Jessie Anne and say I love you Honey.

I feel so blessed to have had him in my life for 26 years, but am so sad that my kids won't ever get to meet and know him.  One of the best parts of the weekend were all the stories that people told us about him. I feel like I learned so much about him.  We even found pictures we're calling the Bond Years from when he travelled the world studying architecture. The service was followed by a party at Wally's house to celebrate Grandpa's life. It was a great time and he would have loved it. 

He was a world traveler, accomplished architect, gifted artist but most of all he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend. I will miss him forever.

February 26, 1926-August 12, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010


My Grandpa Tom died about an hour ago.  Unfortunately I just wasn't able to get there in time to say goodbye.

I'm sitting in the Kansas City airport waiting for my friend Whitney to come get me and drive me to Branson. I feel like someone just knocked the wind right out of me.


The obituary appeared in several local newspapers as well as ones in California where they used to live.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Colorado Girls

Thoroughly amused by this. Recap of the girls weekend at the lake to come...

....still feeling like crap.  From the cold...not the hangover.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sore...throat that is

After two days of presenting at a trade show I figured my voice would be a bit on the tired side. But then I woke up yesterday morning with a pretty bad sore throat. This morning I can barely swallow.  I think I have strep...ugh. I'm going to head to the doctor and hopefully they can get my all doped up so that I can get all my work stuff done for the week and enjoy the weekend at the lake.

Last night I was bound and determined to exercise since I didn't on Tuesday night after the closing of the show.  Instead of doing a speed workout I did a tempo run. Not going to lie it was hard. Breathing hurt and my ears were ringing.  I pushed through though.

Time: 37:35  Distance: 4 miles  Avg. Pace: 9:24 min/miles

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summertime and the livins easy

Friday night was baseball night for the Van Kirks.  We met our friends Cassie, Monte and their adorable son Porter at Coors Field.  Not only did the Rockies beat the Cubs, they set a record in the 8th inning for the most consecutive hits in one inning.

Yep you're seeing that right, the Rockies decided to make the loss really hurt with 12 runs in one inning.  We stopped at The Gin Mill for a few hours afterwards before heading home. I was super excited to hit the pillow when I crawled in bed around 1:45 am.

My plan was to get up and head out running around 6 am.  Yeah that did not happen.  I rolled out of bed around 8:30.  I arrived at MacIntosh Lake just before 10. It was already nearly 80 degrees. By the time I hit 3 miles I knew there was no way I was going to get through 7 more out on the lake with zero shade.

Jumped in the car and headed to the gym.  Finished up the run there no problem. I tried my first Hammer Gel...not bad. Consistency was pretty good as was the flavor. What really sold me was that I had no GDF.


Time: 1:37:16   Distance: 10.01 miles   Avg. Pace: 9:43 min/miles

Saturday night was ladies night! Thalia, Rachael, Sheila and I met at Thalia's before heading to the Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum concert. Oh Tim.....

The show was awesome! Wish we would have been able to get a bit closer. We enjoyed it nonetheless.  We made it back to Thalia's around 2 am.

Completely exhausted I still made it back home and up to Estes Park for a quick hike in Rocky Mountain National Park with Josh, my sister-in-law and my nieces.