Friday, May 28, 2010

Arrivee Video...

Click on the picture and it will direct you to the video

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tumbles and Triumphs

It seems I have emailed, texted, Facebooked…you name it, enough times that I don’t think a blog post is really worthy. But since I referenced it in my last post, I thought I would expand on it a little. That being getting hit by a car, or hitting a car. Whatever it might be.

It happened just as Murphy intended. Take a bike that took me 4 weeks to build, get the “right” parts for, cost way too much, get it polished, fit, and wait for that perfect sunny day. Then, take it out for its maiden voyage and crash. I even joked with a few people about the probability of crashing on that first ride. I did this in hopes that if I verbalized it, it obviously wouldn’t happen. Wrong.

I was excited to ride it for the first time. I had been riding a similar bike (same frame) that Kalen Darling loaned me for the winter. Nice loaner huh? Kalen was so kind to do so and it really allowed me to get things perfectly dialed in. So when I got “my” bike, it really was no mystery as to what measurements I was working with. Kalen’s bike was built up with SRAM Red. Good stuff really. I rode the same kit last year and it worked well. However, I would be making a HUGE jump in going with the Shimano di2 TT kit on my new bike. I have been pretty familiar with this product since I also have it on my Orbea Orca road bike. If you have not tried the di2, try it. I promise you, you will want to get it. I have ridden a lot of good components. The di2 blows away any advancement in shifting. But as I say about many things, maybe a topic for another blog post.

It took me some time to get all the parts I needed. The TIMEX Multipost Team provided me with almost all of it, but there were a few finite parts that add a touch or personality. Those I got at Fitness Fanatics. Robin and her amazing staff always go out of their way to get me the “just right” stuff. I appreciate all they do for me, and so many others. So after getting everything I needed, the assembly would start. When you are running powermeters and di2, you have to get a bit more creative with how you run things, especially on TT bikes that don’t seem to conform to any rules. So I end up using quite a bit of tape, ties, and creativity. Morgan (mechanic at Fitness Fanatics) really helped give me some direction and options on making it all come together.

After it was all assembled, I took about 25 measurements, remeasured everything a dozen times, tightened everything, and was ready to ride. Though I run through all this in a couple paragraphs, this was a lengthy process. I never like to “rush” the assembly of bikes. Especially TT bikes. You really count on them to be perfect.

I went out for about an hour and half ride to get an idea of what was fit correctly and what needed adjustment. All in all it felt great. My power output was solid which translated into some swift speed. I decided to ride a large loop as to not write off the speed to a tailwind and rode about an hour at just under threshold. This is pretty easy to do on a new bike. Once I got back near town, I shut it down and took a quick peek at the data. Looked good. Bike felt good. Two thumbs up. As I was riding home, I maintained a pretty solid speed in the bike lane on Farwell. As I rolled through the light on Hwy 2, I was next to a new Chevy Impala. As we approached a side road, the Impala turned without indicating with a blinker or brake lights. I did my best to turn with the vehicle, but hit it and my body smashed up against it. I could feel my shoe rubbing against the tire until I lost all balance, momentum, and energy and was thrown to the ground. As I was bouncing off the ground, I could see me new bike tumbling down the road…bouncing. Not good. I stood up and did a quick ‘head to toes’ and knew I was alive. The driver came out of the car and asked if I was okay, and I said, “No…no I am not.” I got to my bike and did a quick look over and saw evidence of it hitting the ground pretty hard. I could feel my shoulder starting throb knowing that I must have hit the ground hard too. I gave a call to Jessi and she promptly came and got me. I was only 2 miles from home. But there was no way I could ride.

Not really my bike, but needed a picture

I cannot imagine the horror in Jessi’s mind when she got the message and heard I was just by a car. Even if I said that I was “okay,” a crash is a crash, and one involving a car and a bike is never good. Jessi and Emma arrived quickly and I think it really scared Emma a bit but she was trying to be ‘strong’ for me. But eventually, on the short drive home, she started to cry because she was scared. You just never know what goes through a kid’s mind in situations like this. As adults, we can try to logic this all out, but the reality is that kids often don’t think…they feel. And Emma ‘feels’ a lot. We talked and I reassured her I was fine. I just tipped over near a car. The grimace on my face and me holding my shoulder in pain did not help, but she felt better.

We got home and Jessi then realized I was not as “okay” as I said I was. I think I may have been going into some minor shock and she went into nurse mode. Jessi is normally more than happy to yield to my requests about not needing things, or being fine. But I think she saw some indicators that showed I was not fine. She buzzed around the house getting food, clothes, fluids, etc. She was ready to cut off my clothes, but because there really was no damage to them, we attempted to get them off by being creative.

Jessi immediately called Tiffany and asked if Emma could hang out with them for a short bit because we were going to the hospital. Tiff was more than happy and in all honesty was probably excited for some Emma time anyway :). Emma loves our friends…and our friends love Emma. We are so fortunate that we have so many people that give her love and support. And the street Tiffany lives on has many of these friends…including Natalie, Greg, Eric (Tiffany’s husband) and Steve. Fortunately they all live only 5 minutes from our home.

The rest is just hospital talk. However, my mom always told me to wear clean underwear because you never know when you may be rushed to the hospital. I don’t think I was wearing underwear at that point, but ran into many people I knew there that happened to be working or came to visit. Amy, Jessi’s sister, came and gave her support. It was great to see her and talk accidents. Amy has had the unfortunate opportunity to be in a few auto accidents and actually got hit by a car while running…none of these being her fault, but the recipient of a lot of PT and hospital time. My mom and dad came down too. It seems like they have been in the hospital waaaaay too much in the last few months. Last time I was in the hospital because I was hit by a car on my bike was when I was 13 years old and was in ICU for about a week. Different circumstances. It was so nice to have people there to talk with. Once I found out that I did not break anything, I felt relieved.

Now, it would be about recovery. It’s been a painful couple of weeks with my shoulder, but all things considered, I am very fortunate and lucky.

A big thank you to the insurance company that is handling the claim, State Farm. They have been very helpful and are helping get the bike all taken care of as quickly as possible. There was a bit more damage to the bike than I initially thought after a professional assessment.

Thanks also to Robin (owner of Fitness Fanatics) and Morgan (mechanic at Fitness Fanatics) for answering all my random questions and helping me get my bike up and running again. They are always super helpful, professional, and timely. I don’t know anyone that has gone in there and not appreciated how they were treated.

So now I need to reassess the season, get healthy, and hopefully be able to start training again. All in time. The body will heal, and the bike will be fixed. Life is good, and I am blessed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Whew...that's life.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. "
~ Ferris Bueller

The last couple months, our family life has been in somewhat of a challenging predicament. It has not been anything that is bizarre, or unheard of…but typically all these events do not come at the exact same time in anyone’s life. Kind of the perfect storm, or extremely unlucky to have a hurricane, tornado, and earthquake all happen at the same time. But because of all the craziness in it all, there have been some phenomenal learnings, experiences, and growth we have been able to share. I don’t think any one of us tried to make something good out of a bad situation…we simply embraced it, and reaped the rewards that subsequently came gushing out. And for that, I am thankful and grateful.

It all started in March when my mom’s breast cancer relapsed after being in remission for 14 years. My mom is amazing and even after being diagnosed again, she acts like it’s just another cold. She had a mastectomy and was back at work a couple days later. She schedules her chemotherapy on Thursday after school, so she can be at work again on Monday. She shows up to work no matter how bad she is feeling…it simply amazes me and makes me proud as well as feel a bit wimpy. But through it all, she has come out the other side with a smile and the faith that God has a plan. And that plan she knows is a good one. My mom even scheduled her operation so that she could be ready for my dad’s surgery shortly after.

So my young and youthful dad found out that he had an aneurysm on his aorta and needed to have his chest cracked open to remove/fix it. The surgeon suggested my dad stop smoking to help in the recovery and preparation process. Uh, stop smoking? My dad has been smoking since he was 18 years old and he will be 80 this month! (For those of you that have trouble with math, that is 62 years he has been smoking). But as of January 1st, he stopped and got through this very invasive process and is now doing very well. His next doctor appointment is in one year. That’s pretty neat.

Well, that takes care of my family…now how about Jessi’s side? Jessi’s dad had back surgery that was necessary to relieve some severe back pain that he had been suffering from for the past year. It was planned that he would have discs fused, but when the surgeon got in there, they cleaned it up and hoped that would do the trick. The recovery was a little tough and now VERY frustrating because the surgery was not as successful as they hoped. So after over a month of recovery, it has been determined that he will have to go back and have the discs fused anyway. This is so frustrating. He is putting himself into traction to relieve the pain…using chairs, tables, tree branches…anything. I cannot imagine how frustrating this would be, but he always seems to be game for a visit and have smile on his face and an interest in our lives.

Then, the next week, Jessi went to visit her grandma in Seattle (Jessi’s dad’s mom) since she has not seen her for quite some time. Grandma Elaine has suffered a few strokes over the past years but continues to grace us all with her positive spirit and desire to connect with family.

Whew, I thought we were out of the forest, but as I went out to 6th grade Camp at Camp Lutherhaven, I ended up getting the stomach flu the first night and Jessi came and rescued me. That seems like pretty small potatoes compared to open heart surgery, cancer, back surgeries, etc. But just a short week later, when I was riding my new Orbea Ordu that I just finished building that afternoon, I ended up getting hit by a car. Crap! As I tumbled and watched the car slow to a stop, and my bike tumble away from me, I thought, “perfect!” Kind of like the Alanis Morissette song “Ironic.” I don’t think there is a line in there that says, “It’s like a brand new bike that gets run over by a car…it’s your first ride back, followed by a separated shoulder…” But I think it would fit into the song perfectly.

Though the last couple months have been filled with what some people would think of as misfortunes, disasters, and bad luck, we have really learned a lot about family, friendships, and relationships. There have been some phenomenal moments that have made both Jessi and I take a step back and look at differently…better. Through it all we have delivered MANY meals to our family members which has resulted in spending quality time with them as well and helping out with their needs.

In creating the meals, not only have I learned a little about cooking and preparing food, Jessi and I have found an activity that we enjoy doing together. However, I don’t think I really “cook,” I cut and clean and take an occasional unauthorized taste. Jessi has been very patient with me when I ask her how to cut an onion…or how small ‘dice’ is and ‘chop.’ No matter what I do, when I ask her if it is right, she says it’s “perfect.” I wonder if it really is :)

Emma has also jumped in and has been passionate about being involved in the food preparation process as well. I have also found out that Emma knows just about everyone that works at Fred Meyer. Does not surprise me, but fun to hang out with a celebrity when I shop. Another advantage to shopping with Emma is that she knows where everything is and “runs” to get it. She is amazing if you did not know that already. It’s been a month of some great family time that has opened so many new doors of activities we never thought to be ‘fun.’

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ya, I like pics too

Since a majority of people like to read blogs that have pics, and quite honestly, most people are more drawn to the pics, I thought I would make this post mainly pictures. The series of pictures are from the last two meets that Emma did. One was last weekend in Lewiston with her best friend Brynn, and the other was just yesterday, (Thursday) at Comstock pool on the south hill. Both events were in 50 meter outdoor pools...that means "long course" and potential bad/good weather. Emma swam very well in both winning almost all her heats and setting a National Standards time for 10 and under girls for the 100 meter backstroke. Emma is 6. I could go on and on about her love for swimming, her commitment to it, and Jessi and my love in seeing her swim...but that may be for another post. For this one, enjoy the pics. She is a beautiful girl in so many ways. We are so lucky to have her in our lives. Thank you ALL for the support you give her and making her feel special every day of her life.

Lewiston Long Course Meet, May 14-16.

Two little swimmers after warm up...still a little cold

Getting some coaching from Coach Keddy

Still cold...but ready to warm up

Warming up...

Emma being wished "good luck" by an older WAVES swimmer

Start number 1

Start of the 50 backstroke

Brynn and Emma racing the 50 backstroke

"All we have to do between races is look cute."

Emma loves to watch other swimmers. She says it makes her a better swimmer

Two happy little sisters...I mean swimmers

No one there yet...you win

Any last needs?

Waiting and getting in the 'zone'

A little nervous. Emma ALWAYS looks like this before a race...ALWAYS

Some pre race encouragement from Mom

Start of the 50 breaststroke

Ready to start

Great start

Emma cheering on some fellow WAVES swimmers

Start of the 100 backstroke. She did not false start, it was just a fast start. This is the event that Emma set a national standard time for the 10 and under girls.

Brynn and Jessi cheering her on in lane 2

Winners of their heats

When you are heat winners, you get to pick out a special treat

Comstock LS Developmental Meet, May 20th

Warming up on a very cold day

Emma warms up with everyone...even the college kids. She is seen in the last 2 pictures with another WAVES swimmer who is much older whose name is Erica. She really looks after Emma and encourages her pre, during, and post race. Pretty cool.

Start of 50 backstroke

50 butterfly

Must be "Pre Race"

No starting blocks at Comstock

50 breaststroke

Start of 100 backstroke