Friday, June 24, 2011

Heart of an Ironman

Below  is a link to a segment that aired last night on our local news station here in Spokane.  It's about the journey of a couple of friends from my triathlon team - Coach Scott Roy who along with his wife founded our team and a team mate Phil Sandifur.  Both of them are toeing the line this Sunday at Ironman Coeur d'Alene after having to endure life saving heart surgery. To say that they are inspiring and amazing is an understatement. I see these guys a couple of times a week....working out, laughing, training and having fun.  Who would have known that everyday people can be heroes. {and yes...I am in there briefly...I am a couple of people from the right in the group shots...I am the only one looking to the side in the photo}

Heart of an Ironman

Monday, June 20, 2011

Open Water Swimming

I've been working on my swimming. Pool swimming that is. Now the weather is starting to warm up I've had to face my nemesis. Open water swimming. Sounds straight forward. But unfortunately for me its a whole other ball game. I can't see the bottom.I can't see what else is swimming in there with me. Oy...what a mind game.

And so I figure I just have to get out there and do it enough times that it becomes just as easy as swimming in the pool. Yeah....brilliant plan huh!

So luckily for me my tri club organizes group open water swims. So out I went to Medical Lake....really hoping just to survive the first one. I was glad to see one of our great club members had volunteered to man the kayak just in case. Most of the other swimmers out there were getting ready for Ironman so they have been doing some serious OWS.

So the short story is I survived. It wasn't a great swim or even a good one. The water was murky and cold but I didn't drown. So that's score one for me! We followed up the swim with 20 mile bike ride which helped me warm up again until the rain came down. Nothing like Spokane in the springtime! Anyway, I plan to be out there again on Wednesday for the first of a series of practice sprint triathlons that the club puts another OWS is on the cards for me.{Thanks to my friend Suzanne who took these pics and made sure our gear didn't get stolen while we were out swimming}

Just on a side note, a local tv station KHQ6 sent a reporter out to our swim to film and interview team members doing the upcoming IM.  They plan to air a segment on the team every day this week leading up to the Ironman race on Sunday, so if you live in Spokane keep an eye out for the team on Channel 6.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Riding the Ironman course

Some of my friends and teammates are gearing up to race Ironman Coeur d'alene in a few short weeks. For those of you that aren't familiar with Ironman its the quintessential endurance race. It involves a 2.4 mile (4km) swim, followed by a 112 mile (180 km) bike ride and then a 26.2 mile (42km)run.As if that is not overwhelming enough the race has time limits. If you don't get through each stage of the race by the cut off time you are out of it and not allowed to continue. The professional athletes finish the race somewhere under 10 hours. Age grouper athletes can take up to 17 hours to finish. But when they do a huge achievement.

We are lucky enough to have one of these races staged close to where we live, in Coeur d'alene, Idaho. This is great for those training for the race. They get to ride the actual course and get familiar with every twist and turn so that on race day they are comfortable with the course and know exactly what to expect.

Last weekend a group from my tri club were doing their last ride of the course before the race.I decided to go along with them for fun. The course itself is two loops but we rode just the one loop of around 56 miles. It was a blast to be out there....the weather was beautiful, the people were fun and the course was gorgeous...hilly but gorgeous.

Along the way we saw some pros out there training.  One of them Hilary Biscay took some pictures of us as she rode past and posted them on her blog.  She makes it all look so easy.  Riding super fast and taking pictures at the same time. Her pictures show us stopped at an Ironman rest stop that some friendly person set up outside their house complete with water, sports drinks and a porta-potty.  Moments before these were taken I was changing my shirt so I'm glad she came by after I was fully clothed again as that would have been a little embarrassing.

The race itself is June 26th. Matt and I are headed out to volunteer and cheer on our friends. I'll be taking lots of pictures and will make sure I blog about it. Should be a blast!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011



My absolutely favorite 14 year old


She had a great day, shared with family and friends


One of our neighbors, Natalie surprised Ciara by decorating the front of our house while she and I were out. So fun to come home and see this..


Matt cooked up a BBQ extravaganza


And of course I was in charge of the chocolate cake. was good.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More birthday stuff

More birthday pictures for family overseas.


Jack and his friend Noah decided to have a joint birthday party this year as their birthdays are only separated by a week or 2. They chose to have their party at Laser Quest downtown.


You can just imagine what it is like taking a group of boys to a place where they get to shoot each other with laser guns. Boy heaven.


They were all very well behaved and Jack had a great time.

He is already planning for next year. It's never too early.

Last Week of School


Phew....another year in the homeschool bag. Lots of changes ahead for us as Ciara heads off to Central Valley HS next year. So we decided our last week of school was going to be a bit of a celebration. A time to put away the books and just do something fun.

We made a list of somethings we really wanted to try.  Our list included learning about Ancient Egyptian gods and making our own Egyptian mummy.  Here are some of the other fun activities we packed into our last week of school:

{WARNING - If you have a weak stomach then you might want to skip the last few pictures}

Geometric string art




Cake decorating


Frog dissection ( I warned you)



So now its time for summer.....bring on the hot weather. Yippee!!