Age Grading

January 21

Still basking in the glory of yesterday's race I floated through my day. After a 13 hour workday and a 3 mile "shake the legs out run" I sit down to check my e-mail. Secretly, I look forword to the "You rock " e-mails from friends and family. I open up an e-mail from Bruce, Tim's dad. The e-mail explains to me the results of the Carlsbad 1/2. Yes, I had PR'd. Yes, I negative split the race. Yes, I ran a 1:44 placing me 42 out of 600 some runners my age........and yes I got beat by an 80 year old lady. She posted a 2:43 but according to age grading handicap system she finished 20th for the females.

How do I feel about that?

I say bring it on. Give me more ladies like that. Let those ladies kick my pink running shoes to the curb. Those ladies inspire me.

So thinking of women like that brings to mind my favorite lady of inspiration. Readers I introduce..........(drum roll)......... Sister Madonna Buder. Some of you already know her but for the rest you here's her story.

She Glows, She Flows, She Really Goes

We in the triathlon community have been blessed by the presence of a 76 year old nun, Sister Madonna Buder. In a sport full of technology and the latest and greatest gadgets, bells, and whistles she puts everything in perspective by keeping things so simple. I hope she attends Ironman Couer D'Alene this year as I want to see her at Iron prayer. Last summer at Ironman Canada Bruce met Sister Madonna and gave her a ride to the airport after the race (He had rented a big systems Buick). I also am hoping to meet her and ask if she would like to be sponsored by "" She'd look great with some stickers on her bike. Last year, she might have been too humble. After Wildflower, where some guy hit her on her bike causing her to crash and break her arm, she may support the cause.

She's from Spokane, WA. I think that's kind of like being from the Yettie North. Besides being a nun she has been setting Ironman triathlon records for the last 20 years. An Ironman triathlon is generally considered the ultimate triathlon test as the distances involved mean that only a few, elite athletes can finish in less than nine hours. In August, 2005 Sister Buder became the first female 75 years of age or older to complete an Ironman distance race. Sounds like a big feat but remember she's got connections :) She flows and glows and really goes is what he announcers say. From what I've read her attitude of gratitude and spiritual energy uplifts all around her. You think there are limitation in life and she shatters them. Sister Buder's athletic career began in 1978 at age 49 when a priest encouraged her and her fellow nuns to start running. Sister Buder felt that the exercise needed a purpose. The priest told them it would help harmonize mind, body and soul and this appealed to Sister Buder. She decided to run an 8.2 mile race and dedicate it to a family member who was having personal problems. Sister Buder believes that anything you do can have a spiritual meaning based on your intentions. The training for the race was difficult. In fact, her body was so sore that she felt that she could not do the race. At this point a voice told her that she would have to step out in faith. She said "that's fine, but you will have to be my strength, because I can't do this on my own." The training did not get any easier, but the race was "resurrection." She said it was a beautiful day and the race experience was great. She decided to keep running in order not to revert to where she had been during the process of training. Her plan was to do one race per month. Sister Buder realized that she had a talent for running and thought "how ridiculous would it be for a woman over 50 to run a marathon?" So that is what she set out to do. She ran well and qualified for the Boston Marathon. She thought she would run the Boston Marathon if it were for a cause bigger than herself. She determined to fund-raise for Multiple Sclerosis and they were very supportive. Sister Buder decided that the Bishop should know what she was up to. She made an appointment to see the Bishop and revealed her plan. Having obtained his approval she went on to raise about $4,000 in each of her two Boston Marathon races in 1982 and 1983. After running the Boston Marathons, she read an article in her local paper about a triathlon event that had just occurred in Spokane. The idea of completing a triathlon tantalized Sister Buder. She knew she could run and she had ridden a bicycle and enjoyed swimming as a child. Her first triathlon was a half-Ironman distance race. She rode a donated bike, but forgot to shift into an easier gear going into the wind and "trashed" her legs. The people at the race helped and encouraged her to continue. At the start of this year's Ironman Canada race Sister Buder said to herself, "This is the day the Lord has made, so I am ready." She asked for courage and little wind, but the race did not go exactly as planned. She had started walking at about mile eight of the run because of nausea due to a mixture of foods and drinks offered along the course. Sister Buder was expecting to pick up a jacket at mile 13, but it was not there. She had to rummage around in the community box for a warm shirt to complete the race in. She continued on, but the race had to be completed before midnight in order for the results to be official. It was dark and she was by herself and she had two conflicting thoughts. She was tired and thought "you don't need to do this. You don't have anything else to prove." The other thought was "you started this and you have to finish for the other women in the future." She decided to hobble on. At an aid station a race official told Sister Buder that if she kept walking at a 15 minute per mile pace, she would beat the deadline. She was convinced that she better start running. Allowing herself to throwup, she felt better and resumed running. Just after 11:30pm, well over 16 hours after she started, Sister Buder was heralded onto Lakeshore Drive by race announcer Steve King and cheering crowds. Steve King announced "Ladies and gentlemen, you are witnessing history in the making." Not only is Sister Buder the oldest female finisher of Ironman Canada, she is the oldest ever to have completed it male or female. She also holds four age group records in this Ironman race which no one in Ironman history has ever done. A five minute long standing ovation at the awards dinner left Sister Buder speechless and overwhelmed. Her eyes filled with tears. The crowd asked for a speech and she told the crowd "I am humbled at your show of enthusiasm because I don't see what the big deal is!" Sister Buder believes that being in sync with "mind, body and soul" is an attitude of acceptance. Negative thoughts can be changed to positive offering the possibility of peace and serenity. She also believes that goals are powerful incentives. As we achieve a goal we either need to reset it or come up with a new goal to keep you going. She also believes that there is "No such thing as failure as long as one tries. The only failure," she says, "is not to try." It is easy to see that this is how she has lived her life. Sister Madonna Buder also says when you train you are in God's Cathedral. I like that thought.
*Some of the above information taken from Role Models of Health by Greg Damian*

Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon

How was my race?
See Below.
A Pictures Worth a Thousand Words.
Sometimes life doesn't go as planned. Sometimes it goes better then you ever could have planned. Speaking only for myself actually. Last summer....before the prices went up or our interests went down, Tim and I signed up for the Carlsbad Marathon. For 4 weeks this fall I couldn't run due to IT band syndrome, for 4 more weeks I could only run1-2 miles at a time as I recovered. I knew the marathon was out. I switched my entry to the half hoping maybe I could run it. I envisioned cheering Tim on as he ran the full or pacing him for a while. Carlsbad was going to be Tim's race. A fibula fracture later it was Tim who had to cheer from the sidelines. He accepted his break and committed to swimming and the riding the trainer. Tim's not really a trainer kind of a guy but since I did shove him off the chair lift (for the Saks sale) I thought I'd lend him mine. I must say Tim accepted his injury maturely and graciously. I am embarrassed to say that if it had been me I might not have been so mature and gracious. I think I would have found a quiet and private moment to have a little melt down and wailed "Ironman" in a tantrum like fashion. Like the time I was training for the Chicago Marathon but I got plantar facitis so bad I had to limp through my long run. As I was preforming my post run ritual of garden tending I came to realize I wasn't going to do the Chicago Marathon. At the same time I found my beautiful tomatoes had been bastardised by birds. The birds took one bite out of several tomatoes (couldn't they just eat a whole one). At that moment I sank into utter female drama and hurled three of the tomatoes at the fence. I silently wailed "first my marathon and now my tomatoes" Strangely I felt much relieved after my tomatoes hurling episode I collected myself and moved on.
Anyway Tim was much above hurling tomatoes in this situation and it said a lot about his character. While running and riding my bike without Tim I had a lot of time to reflect on his behavior and contrast it with mine (at 22 at least I was young) I didn't seem right he was the one who wasn't going to race. This should be Tim's race. I decided to I would be Tim's legs January 20th. Meaning I would run not just for Tim (Be honest... anyone who enters a race does it for themselves, don't lie). I would do the race with Tim's inspiration. I would run as close to his pace as possible and I would gut it out when things got tough. I remembered Tim's story from Wildflower how he wanted to walk so bad up the hills but just wouldn't let himself.
I had planned to run with the 1:50 pace group. I met up with my fast friend Stacy early that morning. I know Stacy from the Velo Bella's from work, she is the chief resident at Scripps Mercy. There were 10,000 people there and when the gun went off to start the race we were still in line for the port-a potties. We quickly ditched our scrub pants and headed across the start line at 7:36. Fashionably late. (The race started at 0730 but we had chips on so the race would start when we started). We could barely move forward from the start. There were so many people. We zig zagged, then reached a bottle neck where things were at a stand still. By the time we reached mile one, 10 minutes had elapsed. Oops. I was a little worried about the slow start and wasting energy zig zagging. However, Stacy seemed calm and I knew there was no way she would post a slow time so I decided to focus on staying with here and enjoying the race. Although I did mention I wished I had my bike bell with us. I mentally rang in a lot that morning. We soon made up time. As the race unfolded I realized I was feeling really good. No aches, no pains, no asthma. I was just having fun. The temperature was cool which was nice. There was no need for extra water and no need for nutrition (too short of an event). Although you wouldn't know that by the people with four bottle fuel belts and rainbow belts of GU out there. I noticed we were passing lots of people. I only remember one person passing us. Passing people was really fun, it gave me more energy and confidence. Starting so far back gave us and opportunity to really bust through the crowds.
I loved every part of the run that day. I loved chatting with Stacy as we blitzed the course. I loved running in an area where I have so many find memories of cycling. I loved seeing Cindy as she yelled from across the way, so fit and energetic. I knew if her knees would allow she'd dust all of us.

Cindy showing what fit is and how to drop boys.

I was motivated to keep pace because Tim was out there on his bike some where trying to view the coarse. Also Tim's dad, Bruce, was running the full and I didn't want him to be able to use any of my famous one liners on me "C'mon Jen pick it up .....this isn't the AIDS Walk".

Bruce completing a hard days work.

If Tim was going to get up early and ride in the cold to see me race I was going to do my best to look good. ....and that doesn't mean having full makeup and a manicure. Although I must say my pink Newtons were looking hot.

These shoes weren't made for walking!

I was worried Tim would see me at the half and think I was struggling being 6 minutes back. I knew if he saw me running with Stacy he'd know I was having a great day, so I kept trucking. I didn't worry much about my times or pace the miles were going by to quick for me to worry about and I wasn't having a problem keeping up. Maybe it was my beloved pink running shoes. I think they are like my Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and come to life when I am gone. I think they sneak out and run without me when I am at work or on my bike.

Pink shoes with a life of their own!

Soon we were at mile 10. For readers familiar with the area, this is where the Carlsbad Sbux is. It is a well known spot for cyclists, often a turn around point for rides. It is exactly 25 miles from home for me. Tim and I have had countless coffees at this Starbucks (before discovering Pannikin that is). Anyway this part of the coarse felt like home to me. It felt like I belonged out there running hard, doing well. I felt like "a runner." So when at mile 10 the time was 1:20 and Stacy said "let's go sub 1:40" I said let's give it a try. I knew the math for a 20 min 5k. I knew it would take a 5K PR and sub 7 minute miles. Reality said no way. I knew I could pretty much crumple for the last three miles a go sub 1:50. I figured why not try. That's the beauty of setting a goal. If you try you might achieve it and you'll be really stoked. If you fall you short. Big deal life goes on exactly the same, at least you threw your hat in the ring. So I ran my heart out. I looked at the Garmin and we were running sub 7. Inspired I stayed with Stacy for the next mile. I started breathing pretty hard. I wasn't going to tolerate this pace for 2 more miles. I gave in, just a hair so I could breathe. I continued to stay as close to Stacy as I could. Soon she rounded a corner ahead of me and left my sight. "Alright. Persevere" I told myself as that's what coach Sickie told me at swimming Friday. I ran as fast as I could go for the rest of the race. I knew this was going to be the race of my life. I wanted to make the most of it. What I learned in my years of ski racing is it not over until it over. You need to be on the other side of the finish line before you celebrate. I can tell of countless times, myself included, when a ski racer is three gates from the finish and thinks "this is the run of my life." Just then he or she hooks a tip on a gate and crashes. Despite knowing I was going to dust my goal I kept charging. As I rounded the corner with a 1/4 mile to go I caught the 1:50 pace group. The leader was yelling loudly to his runners. "Go, go, go . Run now. Sprint. Do you want to break 1:50? If you want to break 1:50 sprint." It was sort of surreal, because I could have been struggling to make this goal. I would have been happy with it. I started sprinting. I turned my number around and the pace group leader starts yelling. "Yes, yes. You see run like her. Turn your number around so you get your picture. Your picture breaking 1:50" At the 13 mile mark a band is playing the African drums and it makes me run even faster. As the sound fades behind me I sort of want to stay there running in place. I want to continue living in that moment. I run on, a few seconds later I cross the line. I've done it. I didn't make my goal I lambasted it. Ok I missed 1:40 . But get real. My Garmin says 1:43 and change, a 10 minute PR. The official results come out later with a 1:44:16. I am ecstatic and I only finished 55 seconds behind my friend. This elates me as now I feel like I didn't slowed her down too much. I think maybe we can race together again. Now I think I'm in a new class of running. Hmm Boston? Now I'm getting greedy.Maybe? If I train right? How fast can I go? I get way ahead of myself, as usual. Ok one day at a time please.

Me with my fast friend Stacy.

Stacy and I begin making the rounds we bump into our friends Pat and Jess , who have finished as well. Soon we see Tim in his Orange San Diego Tri Club jersey. I can't wait to tell him of my run. After all I borrowed his legs and spirit today. I share my post run snacks with Tim as he's already ridden 42 miles today. His mom finishes the 1/2. She beat her time from last year despite not training for walking. She could run a 1:29 but is forced to walk due to bad knees ( and no they are not bad from running .... so nay sayers of the world save it). We hang out and wait for Tim's dad to finish. I am glad not to be running the full today. The second half of this race has lots of hills. I know them only to well from my bike rides. Bruce I salute you, but I am perfectly content to bask in 1/2 the glory. After the race we head to the French Bakery in Carlsbad. We order one of everything.....just kidding and enjoy Sunday brunch just like everyone else.

Stacy, Jess, and I with post race grins.

Saks.....In The City

December 26th

Today is the last day of Christmas Camp. Tonight I will fly back to San Diego and tomorrow I will be back to work. Less than 24 hours from now I will be pushing morphine, protecting airways, fluffing and buffing patients, but for now I will seize the final few hours of Christmas Camp by (drum roll please..........) attending the Saks day after Christmas Sale.

Readers I know what you are thinking....."wait a minute.....I thought you were a triathlete, where's the running, biking and swimming?" What kind of a blog is this? My answer to you is as follows

a) This is my blog and if I only wrote of biking, swimming, and running it might get boring. Do you want me to change my screen name to "Boring blogger"

b) Another word for triathlon is multi sports. This is a sport. This is cross training. You've heard of Xterra. This is the Xterra of shopping. Besides if I can take on Iron man, I can take on the land of fashion.

So another early morning we rise. We have a quick cup of coffee and homemade potica bread and head to the train station. This might sound fairly pedestrian but remember Tim does have a very swollen broken leg and is on crutches. I offer for Tim to stay home but he decides to come. Apparently he hasn't caught on to me pushing him off the lift yet. I doubt he'd be able to forgive me this quickly. Tim hobbles to the escalator which is not yet turned on and hobbles up the steps. I start to feel guilty for pushing him off the chair as I imagine the callouses forming under Tim armpits. Ouch. Tim's being a really good sport as I know hopping around on crutches is not part of the RICE recovery plan. ( Rest Ice Compress Elevate)

On the way into the city I study the Victoria Beckem "Every inch counts" guide to fashion and prepare myself for the shopping event. Until noon everything is 70% off. I have three items in mind maybe a new pair of skinny jeans. I know, I know I have am wearing skinny jeans now but Victoria says no bagging in the bottom or the knee. Shame, shame, all this training is giving me droopy drawers. Given that Saks is the place you buy clothes that last a lifetime maybe a pair of tall leather boots or maybe a cocktail dress. I do have the occasional fashionable function to attend and a cocktail dress could be magnificent.

We arrive in San Francisco and hurry the few blocks up the street to Saks, AKA the mother ship. Cindy advises me that the younger women's close are on the 4th floor, the shoes are in the basement, formal dresses are on the 2nd floor, and she would be with Janice on the 3rd floor.

Tim and I decide to proceed to he shoe department as shoes never go out of style. An Italian pair of leather boots might be just the ticket. When we arrive in the basement I feel as if I am swimming in the first 500 yds of a mass start triathlon. Arms everywhere. There is frenzy. There is panic. There are Manolo Blahniks scattered everywhere. My mother would be sick to see these shoes so mistreated. She would say at the least "It's a crying shame" or "It's a sin" Finely made shoes everywhere. Tim tries to help me find shoes that might be nice but it's too dangerous with his swollen ankle. It's a good thing he has his crutches for self defense. After enduring the first several minutes of combat we find a seat for him. Tim sits protecting his wounded leg as I head over to the boots. While I try one pair on I hear these gossiping ladies say "Can you believe that guy on crutches? What is he doing here? He is only going to slow his girlfriend or his wife down" They chatted on as I thought of a million things to say but couldn't decide on which nasty comment I would retort to them. Actually I sized them up to be the kind of girls who couldn't pay their credit card bill. The kind whose boyfriend or husband had 10 conversations with them regarding their spending habits and forbid them to do any more shopping. Also I knew they were jealous and who could blame them:) So I didn't waste my breath but I did stick my nose in the air and strut past them with a slight huff as I made a beeline to Tim.

"C'mon I said, we are out of here. Let's pursue some skinny jeans". In the elevator women start needling Tim. They say "This isn't a good place to be with a broken leg." "You should be at home" , "This isn't a safe place to be." Tim may be quiet and well mannered but he's also very smart and much quicker than these women. To them he states "You know handicapped people have rights too. There are laws in this country that protect the handicapped.

After a quick survey of the 4th floor I dismiss it. The skinny jeans are not on sale and the rest I wouldn't buy from a thrift shop. We head down to the 3rd floor where Tim's mom and dad are shopping. I make a few passes around the circle I find nothing but a jacket two sizes too big. Bruce spots us and says Cindy has a dressing room. I circle the 2nd floor and find a beautiful leather skirt. It's carmel color and soft as butter. I decide to give it a try. Hmm. It's nice, I can't find anything wrong with it but it really doesn't pop. Cindy suggests we ask Janice. Janice is this really nice sales associate who works really hard and is good at her job. She looks up and down and quickly says "No it's too big, your to small for that skirt." Bruce suggests I tell Janice what I'm looking for and ask Janice to find it. After several laps around the floors perimeter I am doubtful there is anything for me. I tell Janice I am looking for a cocktail dress. I don't know what size I am as the sizes are French, Italian and so forth. Janice takes an appraising look. In less then one minute she names my size and conjures up the perfect dress in her head. She leave and returns with a beautiful black velvet dress. Oh looks good. I don the dress and Janice pronounces it to be perfect. I ask if it is the right size and Janice pronounces "Honey you can't get it tailored any better then that, fits like the skin on a grape. The skin on a grape." The way Janice says this reminds me of a more sophisticated and modern day Dina from the Bobsey Twin books. I prance out of the dressing room with some loaner heels and head towards Tim. Tim has a very glazed look on his face but livens as I near him. I ask Tim what he thinks and he says turn around, turn around again. I am not so sure just how many twirls I make but I am dizzy with excitement. Once again I am in Mrs. Movelson's kindergarten class standing on my desk showing off my new dress. This dress has the pop I'm wanting to find. I also find a very nice timeless black wool skirt that looks like it's tailored for me. Cindy actually found the skirt but said she didn't need it. (Oh come on readers what were you expecting the two of us to wrestle for the skirt and tug it to shreds. No I will leave that to the ladies of the shoe department).

Excitedly I leave the dressing rooms and wait for Cindy to finish when I catch a glance of a jacket. It's not that exciting on the hanger. Definitely not average but I don't expect it to "pop" in any way. I try it on not thinking it will fit. Thinking I will dismiss it right away. Something intrigues me though, it has intricate gold stitching and the softest lining ever. Apparently that is what's to be expected of a Roberto Cavalli jacket. I put on the jacket and it just feels right. It forms to me but doesn't feel clingy or pull. I look in the mirror. Wow. In my whole life I've never worn something quite so chic. Hmmm. It's still a bit expensive at 70% off. I try to take the jacket off but something stops me. I leave it on a little longer. We laugh and ask if it can be further discounted......actually an extra 10% with a Saks card. I still have no desire to take the jacket off. I only have plans to wear the jacket. With no buyers remorse I buy the jacket and off we go. The four of us meet Seth and Val and cross the street to Neiman Marcus's sale. I sit with Tim on a bench inside. I can't resist looking in my shopping bag every 10 seconds to see my new purchase. I decide I want to wear my new jacket to lunch so I exchange my sweater for the jacket. Secretly I am worried I will be accused of shop lifting so I clutch the receipt tightly in my palm.

Satisfied our shopping for the year is complete we take a cab to the Boulevard and enjoy lunch before taking the train back to Pleasanton. We arrive in Pleasanton and I quickly pack and head to the airport. The next day I wake up and head to work as usual. At work I am busy running around and when I am able to pause and think I think maybe yesterday was a dream. I continue my work and when my shift is over I discard my stethoscope and head home. As I arrive home I see the Cavalli Jacket hanging in all it glory. wasn't a dream. I try it on more time just to make sure it still fits and it's really mine. Isn't it great when your life is as good as your dreams.

As for the handling of the horrid women in the shoe department. Victoria forgot a chapter in her book. So I'll write it for her. It's titled :

How to Handle the Rude and Crude

First wear Roberto Cavalli

This is how to stick your nose up in the air.

Here's how to strut passed the rude and crude

This is how to say...

So long ladies .Bet you wish your boyfriend snagged the Cavalli

Christmas Day

December 25th

Despite the air being cold there isn't any snow on the ground. Christmas morning we enjoy mass then we return home to open fabulous things and even some chocolaty things ;) In addition to having great company, I receive the greatest gifts. Not one but two pink bells for my bike. Oh how festive to drop boys with. What a lucky girl I am in oh so many ways. New knickers ( riding knickers that is). Tim and I have exchanged the same gift running shoes. Mine are the most beautiful pair of pink running shoes you ever did see. I take a long look at the shoes. I know they have one speed. Fast. When I tire they will just dance and carry me to the finish. I put them on and all I can think of is my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Movelson and Mrs. Evesheski letting the student stand on their desk when they had new shoes. Oh do these shoes shine.

I also receive a book about fashion by Victoria Beckem a.k.a. Posh Spice. Tim says this is his dad's idea of being outrageous but I actually enjoy the book and study it on the train into the city. I must be educated before arriving at Saks. Goodness knows I wouldn't want to buy jeans that gave me a ( pause for the dreaded gasp) MUFFIN TOP.

Anyway we all enjoy our gifts. I almost get disowned by Tim and surely would have been tossed in the snowbank if there was snow, but I risk my life and give his parents Timmy Baby Mugs. You remember the Timmy baby picture right. (If not check the archives).I figure on Jesus's birthday he'll have to forgive me.

Riley helps out with the opening of gifts and sportively wears remnants of the wrappings. He dutifully does this as he knows he'll get the next gift. Cindy dons her new Zoot tights and I must say they are very hot. I don my new Assos knickers and wow I think I've never worn something so fabulous. We gather Bruce and head out for a ride. I wish Tim could come. I offer to stay home and keep him company but he says no ( so off I go Ho Ho Ho).

When we get home we feel refreshed and energized. Tim's Nana and Gramps have arrived with Seth and Val soon to follow. I spend a little time chatting with my family on the phone then we enjoy a lovely Christmas Dinner.

Christmas Camp: The Kirkwood Adventure

Christmas Camp Day #3
December 24, 2007

Once again my phone alarm went off before 0600 shrieking with excitement of the day to come. We loaded up the car and headed to Kirkwood. This is the home ski resort of the Neuschwander Family. We were very excited to be going skiing despite the lack of snowfall so far this season.

We arrived and enjoyed the warm air as we got our lift tickets and headed to the lift. I had fun ripping down the slopes with Tim, Seth, and Bruce. We had been skiing for a few hours when Tim and I were riding a two man chair and Tim started talking about ways to get more skiing in this year. He wanted to go skiing the day after Christmas. I thought this was a fine idea except Tim's Mom and Dad invited us to go into San Fransisco for the Sak's Day after Christmas sale and to the Boulevard for lunch . Not wanting to admit to Tim I wanted to shop instead I waited one more chairlift ride before pushing him off the chair causing him to fall in a twisting manner and fracture his fibula. I know it sounds cruel, but if you ask any of the ladies in the shoe department of Saks the day after Christmas they would understand.
I feigned innocence and surprise while Tim examined himself. Being an orthopedic resident comes in handy. He thought his fibula was fractured or it was a bad sprain. When he got up to walk to the lift to ride down I knew it was broken. He looked all green. It was then the ski patrol decided they would take him down in the sled. I felt bad at this point and suggested icing his leg. Seth asked where we could get some ice, I started to answer "maybe the ski patrol" in my charge nurse voice when I looked up to see Seth's grin as he made a snowball. Alright I know when I have been had.

They say doctors make the worst patients except for athletes or maybe nurses. Well that about covers all of us. An x-ray was done at the Kirkwood clinic and Tim got to read it himself. Two fractures in the fibula. He proclaimed this was a benign break and better than a sprain. The clinic Doctor advised Tim it would be TTAT or touch touch as tolerated, Tim corrected him and said that it was weight bearing as tolerated. Yes, that is correct. Personally, I would have recommended OOBAT. Out of Bed as Tolerated. We have many abbreviations in the medical field. My favorites are LGFD , looks good from door and PITA ......that one I'll let you figure out. The only problem with WBAT was Tim's leg was so swollen and painful he couldn't bear much weight for a long time.

At first he refused the splint and pain meds as the splint wasn't the right one and the pain meds would delay healing. He convinced the nurse that he didn't need the splint because his snowboard boot would act as a splint. Are you kidding me ? Is this nurse going to fall for that. At this point I told the nurse and to assemble the splint. I could just see Tim wearing his snowboard boot the to Christmas Mass or to the Sak's sale. It is not the job of the injured to think straight, they are in shock. This poor nurse wouldn't make it 10 seconds at Mercy. The Mercy style of Care is to give your patient choices. For example you say sir would you like a cast from your head to your toe or a below the knee splint? See how patient first we are. Despite the Dr's making poor patients Tim was the exception to the rule. He was a great sport and insisted we continue skiing. He said he would enjoy the fireplace in the lodge while eating homemade Christmas cookies and sipping a beer. That's got to be the next best thing to skiing. We skied for a bit longer but it wasn't the same without Tim.
Tim endured a long car ride home with his leg on the center console. He looked forward to a loving greeting from his loyal dog Riley. True to form Riley was waiting at the door but when he saw the crutches he became upset and started barking ferociously. Riley could not be consoled. He knew one thing for sure those crutches were the sign of trouble. Once Tim was settled on the couch Riley was settled as well. He and the other family dogs (Dalmatians Elle and Polly) settled into a comfortable routing of running circle around the living room and occasionally bumping Tim's leg. Eeeyy the plight of a patient.

Christmas Camp

Let's get our ride on!

Christmas Camp 2007

December 22,

Camp begins today.

I have set my alarm for o400. Tim and I will be trying to leave before the peleton catches us. We don't want to get stuck behind traffic in LA. We want to get to northern California and get our ride on. The car ride is fun. Tim drives and I click away with my knitting needles. I haven't sat down for this long or sat this still for this long in a very long time. Well since my eye surgery and then I was drugged. We listen to the audio version of "The Nanny Diaries" We enjoy this immensely and will enjoy quoting the book and making fun of Mrs. X for the rest of the trip and beyond.
We arrive and visit with Tim's folks briefly before heading out for a ride. The Neuschwander household is bustling with Christmas spirit. Cindy is making all kinds of traditional Christmas cookies and poticta (I know I spelled this bread wrong) bread ....It looks like art work and we are going to eat it. We better do some pedaling to make room for some cookies. We enjoy a short 40ish mile ride then follow up with a run before we settle down by the fireplace to enjoy watching the model train. My favorite Christmas decoration is the model gondola. What could be cooler than that.

Riley needing to rethink his commitment

December 23th.

Day 2 of Christmas Camp.

Today my coach has said it should be my priority to go for a long run (8 miles) . At Thanksgiving I could only run a mile because I had IT band syndrome and it hurt. Lately nothing can slow me down. I'm running so fast and so far I'm wearing holes in my shoes. I'm not sure if an 8 mile run is on the agenda for Christmas Camp. It is Sunday morning, Tim's folk go to church with Seth and Val. They will double dip and attend service with Tim and I in the evening. Seth has received a new road bike from Santa. Personaly I think Oprah should have bought him the bike as he spent Thanksigiving protecting her estate. The bike is just like my road bike minus the pink and the flames. We plan to ride after church. While the rest of the family is at church Tim and I contribute the the Christmas delights. Tim makes choco crunch ( his grandmothers invention) I make molasses cookies, my mom's recipe. I rush them and don't let the dough chill long enough. They turn out flat and I feel a little flat looking at them. I prepare more dough. They are baked after I leave and I'm told they turn out like little balls of "crack" (I do use black strap molasses). Mmmm. Anyway after much procrastination Tim and I decide to do the run. We run 9 miles at the Pleasanton ridge. Riley comes with us. He goes zipping off in the beginning running so fast, then by the end he slacks off and almost refuses to descend the last two miles. Tim and I quote Nanny Diaries at Riley. We say in a very serious tone"Riley, you really need to rethink your commitment to this family and training regime"This is hysterical for some reason. Anyway, when we finally trick Riley into finishing the run and arrive back to Casa Neuschwander the rest of the gang is ready to roll on bikes. I snorkle down a piece of pizza and off we go. At first the ride is very difficult for me. I am cramping after the run and my body hasn't processed the pizza yet. After a while, things settle for me. I enjoy the ride very much. Unfortunately Bruce can not join us for the entire ride, but I enjoy riding with Cindy, Tim and Seth. It is really fun to see Seth enjoy his first ride on his new bike. He goes zipping off very, very fast. My legs hurt to watch, knowing how much power that would take. Ouch, ugg. Just before we get home Seth declares he can't make it. He says he bonked. I say "thank goodness". We spin home saving a little in our legs for tomorrows altitude training. Kirkwood. We are going skiing.

The Day Before Christmas Camp 2007

December 21, 2007Poised and ready to drop the boys.

Tim and I headed north to Pleasanton to see his family for Christmas and multi-sport training camp. Before we proceed I must tell you why the bike ride December 21st was so great. I started the morning with a master's swim which felt great. My body felt all loose after floating in the water. Everybody was jolly as the coach Sickie had us doing drills based on the 12 days of Christmas. As I walked to my car after swim, my mobil shrieked with enthusiasm alerting me of Tim's call. Tim was post-call and actually done at 9 a.m. He would be able to ride with me. I headed home to prepare some pb&j's and prep my bike for our ride. We did the loop I call "extended Elfin." The song "over the river and through the woods, to grandmothers house we go" describes this route perfectly. Except it's really over the river, through an elfin forest, over a mountain top and west to the ocean we go. Anyway I was feeling pretty good and when we came out at the ocean when lo- and behold we bumped into Tim's buddies Mykl, Simon, and Matt. They were quite good sports as they rode behind me and I told them they were my harem. It is really fun to see the dynamics of guys as they ride together. When I ride with the Bellas all of the women are very encouraging and nurturing of each other. Somebody could be totally deconditioned and the other gals would pull for her and tell her she be just fine. If one of the girls bonks, she'll have five others whipping out an extra gel. Very different are the dynamics the theses Stooges. Simon is a preppy European guy, who today is wearing arm warmers with a tattoo pattern, they almost look real but not quite. Simon looks very much the part of a serious roadie, but must not have been riding much lately as he's falling off the pace. We slow for him, then he picks up the pace on the next incline and tries to drop us ( well me) no luck for him and he relinquishes his attack. Matt is an English gent, who is a fan of fine bikes. He went head to head with Tim on the Mt. Soledad time trail. Tim edged him out by pretending he was tired and grimacing then sprinting past Matt at the edge. They have remained friends despite this episode. Anyway, Matt's looking very fashionable in a retro Bianchi jersey and his red, white, and blue Pinarello bike. In fact he is so fashionable he has a red front tire and a blue rear tire. Tim told goaded him by mentioning it was a "mullet" bike. You know the hair cut that is ready for work in the front, and long in the back for party at night. This statement I don't know if Matt will let go so easily. Huck choo.....Matt spits on the ground and with a look of disgust he says icily in a proper English accent. "This is a Pinarello with Campy Record" Matt is obviously over the antics of the three stooges. We ride along and I am so entertained by the guys antics I forget how much energy I am expending. They seem to be chatting like school girls and I sink into my aero bars and ride away. I ride off the front. Apparently MykL says to Tim "does she really think she can drop us?" He sprints ahead and pulls some big watts to take the lead. Tim looks at me and says "you ready?"with a knowing raise of the eyebrow. I draft Tim up to Mykl then Tim gives my bike a push and I sail past Mykl. I really wish I had a bell to ring as I passed him. I really Mykl doesn't know I had any assistance and gives up after standing up and firing for two revolutions. I ride along then slow down and start to sing "and another bites the dust" At this point Simon turns his bike around and says he's done. The boys depart and Tim and I head east on the 56 mile bike path. We arrive home and we head out for a solid 5 mile brick run before dinner as our chicken gorgonzala bakes in the oven. We enjoy our dinner, savor every calorie after a training day like today. Tim departs after dinner. We have to pack for Christmas camp tonight. Tomorrow Tim is picking me up before 0500 to drive north. That night I sleep like a baby as visions of biking, skiing, and running with Riley dog dance in my head.

Tom's in town

Just before Christmas Tom rolled into town. He was determined to get the most out the last few days of the year. I believe he stated he wanted to beat Old Man Winter, cheat him out of the shortest, darkest, and dreariest days of the year. In retrospect I'd say he did exactly that.

For a while it seemed he had been upgraded to a first class seat on the runway before finally departing. Tom flew into town late Sunday night after his plane was delayed leaving Detroit due to some unruly snowflakes. He settled into the Del Mar Marriot for some respite before beginning adventures with me.

Monday morning I gave him a call just after I finished my morning swim workout. Logic would dictate if I have finished a swim workout he should be awake right? Wrong. It's only 7:30 am at this time. A little groggy he sounded. No worries, I knew he would soon be bizzled and ready for adventures. I headed North from the UCSD campus one exit and pulled into the Del Mar Marriot. I knew the adventure was about to begin. After a morning swim I was ready for breakfast and coffee. I strolled up to Tom's room and we headed to the top floor for breakfast and bizzle. The sun was shining despite it being cold for San Diego standards. Out the window we could see most of Carmel Valley (where I live). Lots of cyclists were out on the 56 bike path. San Diego is such a cool and active community. As we sipped SBUX bizzle we planned our day's adventure.
We decided our adventure for the day would be Sea World or as Tom called it the "Shamu Show". I deicided to pay special attention to the dolphins. I would try to do a better job gliding through the water at my next swim workout. Funny, I don't think I looked that smooth from under the water at swim this morning. Sometimes we do dolphin dives but I don't think I look like these talented creatures.They should probably call my manuvers "Distressed Dolphin." Tom must have thought I didn't become wet enough at swim that morning. He was sure to be a sport and convince me to go on the rides that "may get you wet, possibly soaked".

Wish I Could Swim like that!

We walked a lot and saw everything. We went up in the tower that gives you a panoramic view of San Diego. In the winter it is covered with Christmas lights and looks like a Chrristmas tree. You can see it from Tim's house. In fact Tim was telling me a story about goingup in the tower with his grandpa when he was a kid the other day. As I looked across the bay towards the lights , I could just picture it. Crash. I came tumbling down into the street. Darn crack in the pavement. Well that woke me up.

My favorite picture from the park is one on my cell phone of Tom and a polar bear. I can only share it in person though. I will say the polar bear in the picture with Tom does not look nearly as sweet or innocent as this one.

After a full day at the park we headed north to my home in Carmel Valley. That evening Tim came over. We headed out for a 5 mile run before heading to my favorite pizza joint "Pizza Port." Pizza port is in Solana Beach it is approx 13 miles home via bike. You can hardly imagine the aroma I partake of after 50, 80, or 100 miles of riding. There just happens to be a traffic signal that inconveniently turns red whenever I am really hungry and smells waft into the street. Tom enjoyed the pizza followed by an enjoyable ride home via the backroad through Rancho Santa Fe. In the big systems Buick some might have mistaken us for locals.

The next morning Tim came over prior to the crack of dawn and in our warmest cycling gear we headed out for a fast 54 mile ride. It was light out but still very cold as we rolled along. At first I had a hard time trying to make my legs go fast. I just hadn't had enough coffee. Tim was smart and he drank some good espresso in his car on the way over. Ugg.....I yawned along as Tim zipped ahead. Then the coffee kicked in and I warmed up a little. I really enjoyed my morning ride with Tim. When we got back Tim made his famous sourdough pancakes. I manned the coffee (an important task too)Tom smelled the coffee and slugged down a cup while Tim finished preparing the pancakes. Pancakes, coffee, and real maple syrup after an early morning ride. Yum. To have a ride in this early makes me feel delicously smug. What a good start to the day.

Unfortunately Tim had to go to work and miss out of the fun. We decided to go to Balboa Park for the day. Maybe we could all meet for coffee near the park. Tim and I both work near Balboa Park. It is a really cool and colorful area of San Diego. Full of coffee shops and men working out in tighter shirts than I'd ever wear... ....if you get my drift.

Hmm where could we meet later in the day for coffee and a treat.

Some place ................extraordinary.

Yes, Extraordinary Desserts. I had only been there twice and it was over a year ago. Tim was there once. Uh huh. Not with me. On a date .....with another girl ;) Another girl got dessert and I had to ride up Torrey Pines on a bet to get dinner Hmmmm. Well we see how thinkgs have worked out. Anyway we were all looking forword to the visit to E.D.

Tom and I spent the day strolling the park. We visited the Museum of Man. Tom put his Blackberry to good use looking up anything we weren't sure about on Wikipedia. The afternoon went by quick. We enjoyed a cool IMAX film on dinasours and soon it was after 5:00 p.m. Time to head to Extraordinary Desserts and meet Tim.

Tip: If you click the picture it will enlarge!

2nd tip:If you come visit I'll take you there!

Tim arrives as Tom and I are sipping tea. We glance longingly at the long display of desserts. They look like a work of art. It's sort of sad somebody worked so lovingly in creating these delicously and soon they would be assulted by silverware. Maybe instead of vegetarians people should be dessertatarians. It must be cruelty to the desserts about to be snorkled up. Tim looks at the displays and declares he doesn't see anythink he thinks looks good. He does this with a very serious look on his face and even I almost believe him....Almost, but not quite. Tom looks quite confused. He doesn't know Tim well enough to know he's kidding. The three of us make our selections and it is now 6:30 pm. None of us have eaten since breakfast and with a day of activity I am starving. It's time for dinner. I once read "In a world of uncertainty eat your dessert first". I ate less than half of my piece of super delux chocolate pie. It was about twice as much as I should have eaten. About a 1/2 hour later I had the worst stomach ache I think I ever had. I think the boys polished off their desserts with no remorse. I was feeling like the kid who sneaks the dessert his mom says is too rich. "You'll get a stomach ache and then you'll be sorry" she crowes. On the way home Tom asks me to stop by a sporting goods store for a pair of shades. He forgot his sunnies as it was gloomy in Michigan. He needed a replacement for the rest of his trip. While he is looking at sunnies I break out into a cold sweat and feel clammy. This is a sure sign that I am in diabetic ketoacidosis despite not being a diabetic. I need an insulin drip, too much sugar. I need to go to the E.D. and not Extraordinary Desserts the Emergency Department. I wonder who the admitting team is. I wonder if they'll drop an NG and pump my tummy. Oh dear. This is not good. How will I live this down. In a life of uncertainty don't eat your dessrt first. I survive the trip home and force myself to head out for a run. I figure I can't feel much worse. I sort of feel like a dog eating grass. Miraculously I am saved from an embarrassing ICU admission and I recover by completing my 5 mile run. Maybe this is the true sign of an Ironwoman. I have overcome adversary. Thank goodness. No NG tube, no IV insulin.

In the morning I have to work and Tom continues on with his journey to Vegas. A good visit it has been.