A Weekend of Fun and Remembering….

This weekend has been coming for over ten months.

Ten months of training.

Endlessly, tirelessly, and furiously training.

For what? you might ask?

A 2.4-mile swim

A 112-mile bike ride

A 26.2-mile run

ALL IN THE SAME DAY.

Yes. This is IRONMAN!

My sweet hubby has been training for this for nearly a year. Throughout all that training, he worked through the diagnosis of his mom’s cancer, two of her surgeries, my surgery for an ovarian cyst (no cancer, thankfully), and ultimately his mother’s death.

His mom, Lynn, was supposed to be here for this event. To cross the finish line with him as a cancer survivor/fighter, but the dang disease took her October 24th, 2011.

So, he runs this race in memory of her.

His Dad is coming in Lynn’s place so this race, although an accomplishment to complete the training in itself, holds special meaning to us all.

I hope you will join in and cheer my sweet hubby on.

CLICK HERE for the link to the Ironman Site. The race is today SUNDAY the 20th. It starts at 7am (AZ time.)  My hubby, CHARLIE, is bib number 1580. You can even track his progress on that site. Super cool!!

So, send up your thoughts and prayers that he is safe, healthy, and can finish! I’ll be down there the entire day so if you’re in the area, keep an eye out for me. I’ll be the one frantically cheering on my sweet hubby! Come by and say hi!

Have a super weekend

Notes—Week of Love

For today’s Love Themed-This Writer’s Journey I have to mention my sweet hubby.

Now, I know, it’s Friday and you’re like, “Oh, enough lovey-dovey.”

Humor me, it’s just one more day, k?

Celebrating fifteen years of marriage is super-exciting. And heck, the fact that I still kinda LIKE the guy, is even more exciting.

All joking aside…..I really wouldn’t be where I am when it comes to my writing had he not given me the support I needed to keep moving ahead.

So, I took some of the notes he’s given me over the last year and snapped a picture.

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How sweet is that? It’s those little surprises and notes of encouragement that really kept me going. And his belief in me. It made me believe in myself a little more to keep moving forward.

So, thanks, honey. I’m so glad you’re along me on this journey of Life! 

Why do I do this again?

Lot’s of people look at me cross-eyed when I mention I ran a half marathon recently. Some smile nicely as if to keep the crazy girl calm and quietly slip away. But many slap me on the shoulder and say, “Great Job!”

Talking about sports, especially some of the things I do (long distance cycling, speed skating, etc), sometimes draws mixed reactions. Especially when I talk about my dad (climbed Kilimanjaro & Rainer, biked 3100 miles across the country, etc).

It’s genetic. And I’m okay with that.

Although this past weekend, I might have questioned it once or twice.

I ran the Sedona half marathon Saturday.

Any athlete knows that some races just aren’t as good as others. Stomach trouble, freak cramping, or some other random issue.

Me and Stina at the start

Well, lucky me, I got a few of them. I still managed to enjoy the day and take one minute off my time last year, but it was painful.

At the start, with my friend, Christina, excitement hummed in the air. It was COLD (29 degrees) but the bright sun bounced off the beautiful red rocks. *sigh* I’ll never tire of that view.

Me chugging around the last corner toward the finish

By mile five I had a stitch in my side that burned like fire from hades. Couldn’t get a good deep breath and that just snowballed into fatigue, cramping and whole nine yards.

But, my good friend Christina kept my spirits up and chugged along with me. It was her first half marathon ever, so it was fun to share that with her.

I’ll be honest, I thought a few times, “Why do I do this again?” But the answer presented itself shortly thereafter.

A challenge.

What is life without challenges? Some we choose, such as running, extreme sports, etc, and some we don’t. My mother-in-law, while I was running this 13.1 mile race, was sitting in a chair getting ready to receive her very first chemo treatment. She didn’t ask for that challenge, but she’s facing it head on.

Stina and me at the finish with our medals and Sun Drop soda

Her finish line might not be lined with spectators cheering, tons of food, Sun Drop soda and a finisher’s medal, but she’s persevering, regardless.

The challenges we face, no matter what they are, we can grow from. Spiritually and mentally.

My race ended with me being a bit short of my goal time, and I was very sore, but I’m stronger because of it.

When I wanted to stop and walk, I thought of my mother-in-law.

When I wanted to stop and walk, I prayed to God for strength.

When I wanted to stop and walk, I thought of my sweet hubby cheering me along back in Phoenix.

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When you want to stop and walk, what do you do to keep going?

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Throwback Thursday–Week of Love

Love Songs . . . The’ve been around forever. Some good ones, some great ones, some with great lyrics, some from great movies.

I’m guest blogging today to give you my top 10 love songs. When I hear these, I think of the wonderful woman I married 14 years ago.

I hope some of these remind you of your special someone too.

10. Giving You the Best that I Got, by Anita Baker. Her unique voice has always intrigued me. The lyrics of this song are strong. Perfect theme song for a marriage.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsMHjbfFEjU]

9. More Than a Woman, by the Bee Gees. I know it’s disco, in fact it’s from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Listen to the lyrics on this one. Great words a husband would say to his wife.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK67GCIPaF4]

8. I Melt With You, by Modern English. Another movie song. Can you name it? Yep “Valley Girl”. Premise of the song: I would stop everything to be with you. Pretty cool. Great one hit wonder by the way.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuN6gs0AJls]

7. Biggest Part of Me, by Ambrosia. First of all I think David Pack has one of the best pop voices of all time. This song has got to be on you “Light Hits of the 70’s” CD

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QIWtY7gzvA]

6. Endless Love, sung by 2 powerhouses–Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. Also a movie song. But WOW, so powerful.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnfwnOp6uek]

5. I Love You More Today than Yesterday, by Spiral Staircase. Up beat catchy tune, but great lyrics. Older song, hopefully some of you remember it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuqHlv1YPe0]

4. Tender Love, by Force MCs. Something about it. Just a real simple tune. Some songs you can tell are sung from the heart….this is one of them.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x0T5UIBngQ]

3. I Live For Your Love, by Natalie Cole. If I had to guess I would say this song was personal for her. It came out in the late 80’s. Cole had struggled with addiction, etc and this song most likely was about someone special in her life.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zroDrTwgRTw]

2. The Closer I Get to You, by Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway. “by giving me all you’ve got….your love has captured me” Powerful lyrics.   Flack’s voice is beautiful. I almost put this at number 1.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T7NLqMGEck]

1. True, by Spandau Ballet. Chosen more for the production than the lyrics. Love the bass line, but love the lyric: “head over heels when toe to toe…this is the sound of my soul” the lead singer seems to bare his soul when singing this.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e4WLdLNajs&feature=av2n]

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There you have it–My top 10 songs that speak of LOVE.

Hug the one you love tonight…and heck maybe even play one of these tunes for ’em.

Lets hear some of your favorites!