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Monday, March 23, 2009

Gracie's Birthday "Month"

We have celebrated Gracie's birthday just about all month long! This past weekend, it finally came to a close for her big #5!

See, her birthday is March 12th, and I so very unfortunately was out of town that day in Tucson. So... here was the game plan....

The weekend of March 6th we went to get her birthday present. Yes... we took the plunge. The American Girl Plunge.
*Gracie and her new BFF, Felicity!
*Cooper enjoying his favorite part of The American Girl store.... Strawberry milkshakes in the Bistro!
*Gracie and Felicity riding the Carousel at the mall together!

*Matching P.J.'s and robes for them both. Thank you Grandma Ellen and Aunt Kellie for pitching in on the American Girl expenses!! :)
While we were at the mall, my little, baby girl did what I did for my 5th birthday... She got her ear's peirced!!
*Excited and Happy!

*Cooper's pre-anxiety controbution!
*She's ready!

*Both at the same time is THE way to go!

*I had told her that it would hurt a little. Her reply to me afterwards, "That didn't hurt a little. It hurt A LOT!" Tears were done within 5 minutes though. She was a brave girl!

Then on Tuesday, the 10th before I left for Arizona, we had a little family birthday party. She requested me to make a "Felicity" cake to match her new baby. I was short on time, so it wasn't my best work, but it passed the test. :)

I missed her SOOOO much on her actual birthday. I couldn't believe I wasn't actually there, so I had my Mom pick her up a special balloon from her mommy. :)

Now it was time for the actual birthday party!

We had Gracie and 3 of her little friends come over and I took them all for mini-makeovers! With their favorite babies of course.

First we got our hair all dolled up!
*The girls getting ready to have their hair done!
*Now we look like princesses!
*Felicity got her hair "done" as well!


Then it was time to get manicures and pedicures!

*Gracie chose Neon Green. What a suiting color for her! ha ha!!

*We managed to only break 2 things in the nail salon.... Not bad!! :)

*Now we're ready to party!

We couldn't get all dolled up for nothing. Now, back to the party, a Minnie and Mickey party, for cake and ice cream!

*It's amazing how easy it can be to make a cake using those cake molds and icing tips! :)


Let's just hope she realizes her birthday is now OFFICIALLY over. Now... it's time for Cooper's birthday. This one should be a one or two deal thing! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tucson Photos!!

*Kate, Marit, Jen, Me, and Spencer at the Meet and Greet before all the hard work! :)

*The view up Mt. Lemmon!

*Up, Up, Up, and more UP.... For 26 miles!

*We made it!! Whoo Hoo!!

*Some well deserved pool time Post Lemmon!

*Marit and I chowing down after the long ride on some AWESOME fish tacos and one of the most amazing chocolate cakes EVER!! :)

*Swim time on Friday. My amazing lane mates!

*Spencer cheering us on for the 200's!

*Getting ready for some free-standing 25 sprint races!

*Starbucks... the PERFECT post-swim visit!

*Sabino Canyon... the perfect place for a long run!

*Post long-run ice bath in the COLD pool! People kept warning us NOT to get in!! ha ha :)

*Saturday's long ride finally at an end. :)

*Back to the pool for some turkey wraps and R and R!

*Sunday's recovery run in our NEW, awesome Recovery socks! Thank you Marco!!

**So long Tucson... I miss you and my great new friends

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tucson Training Camp!

Wow... I am sitting here not even knowing where to begin!

Camp has been amazing in so many different ways, and I have learned so much!

Lesson #1
I departed early Wednesday morning off to the airport with A LOT of stuff! The bike box that my friend Alberto was so amazingly generous to let me borrow is... how should I say.... Large! But so awesome, as I can shove a lot of things in there to go with the bike! :) And it helps make it a little more worth the $190 Delta charged me for the pleasure of travelling with it. So that's my first lesson of the trip. Shipping my bike from now on! :) ha ha

Lesson #2
After arriving in beautiful Tucson, my lovely Coach Jen came to pick me and her husband Jerome up from the airport. Thank goodness Jerome did not have a bike to bring with him as we would not have fit in the car all together! But, we came over to the hotel that we had reservations at, Lowes Ventana Resort. Wow! Beautiful place! I actually feel guilty for staying here because the golf course is so amazing, and I know how much Adam would have loved it! Fortunately, Jennifer and Spencer were awesome enough to get us a fabulous deal here, and that was wonderful. I checked in with my roommate Marit and we were off to the pool! With a meet and greet dinner later, it was so nice to meet a lot of great new people all interested in doing the same crazy stuff as myself! So lesson 2 is great people = great stuff!

Lesson #3
Mt. Lemmon
I had heard about it from several different people. I had heard about the not such difficult climbing, but the hard part being that it's literally 26 miles UP. Non-stop, grinding all the way. I had heard that Lance and some other big name bikers come to Tucson just to train on this mountain, and it definitely was intimidating. But I was determined to make it to the top no matter how long it took me, and that's what I did.

It was certainly tough. Not a lot of relief. Just continuous pressure on the legs and back for a little more than 2:30 hours. I didn't push it too hard. For one, I didn't want to crack half way up there. And two, I knew I'd have to pace myself. My back was KILLING me on the way up and it got really tough towards the end when we were just close to the top with snow on the ground where the temperature was about 30 degrees colder than it was below where we had started from and I was so cold my legs were literally shaking. But we kept moving forward and ultimately made it there to discover Fudge and coffee at the top. Ahh!! I'm not the most confident of descenders, so the 26 miles down, yeah... I was the last one down. I'm ok with that. I'm still here and that's what counts! :) But I have to say, it was physically and mentally really tough to push myself through what was like a 5:45 seriously hard bike ride when I haven't been on my bike longer than say 2:30 in over 6 months! :) But I survived, and lesson #3 is most of the time you always do. That which does not kill you makes you stronger, and let's hope in this case it does! :)

Lesson #4
5:45 on the bike grinding up a Mt. The last thing I wanted to do was t-run afterwards. OMG... are you serious. I wanted to back out so bad. BUT... I was like, no... you are here to push yourself Kellye. So, nothing too crazy, but I MADE myself do at least 20 min. Nothing hard. Just get out there and get it done! So that's what I did.

Lesson #5
To the pool first thing Friday morning. 3 lanes, and I'm in the middle. Ok, sounds good to me. And let me say, the other 4 ladies I was swimming with, were not your mediocre swimmers. I'm proud to say, I kept up, led during my turns, and made it happen. Ok, maybe I'm NOT such a bad swimmer after all and according to Spencer, my stroke, "is actually very pretty." (Insert cool british accent here when saying that :) So maybe if I actually swam like I was supposed to I'd get a lot better, um... that's an interesting thought! :)

Lesson #6
After a core session with Spencer's incredibly skinny wife and a little down time, off for a long run through the Canyons. There were 2 groups heading out and I had asked Jen which she thought I should join. The shorter, go at your own pace group.... Or the 2 hour faster group that you just go and hang on the best you can. Of course she said the 2 hour one. So... off we start! Ughhh... wait a minute.... I am feeling heavy breathing right away and look down at my Garmin to discover that we've jetted off at a nice 7:10 warm up pace. Ughh... NOT for me! At least not right now. That would be like a PR 1/2 marathon for me. Heck... that would be a PR 10k for me, much less a 2 hour run. So.... I backed off, pulled back and said, nope... it's ok. I'm doing my own thing. So... Ok, compromise. 2 hour run, yes. Definitely need to put in the time, but it's ok that I'm not ready to run like that, so I set my pace, headed to the canyon and literally took in every single glorious moment of it. It was I think one of the most beautiful runs of my life, and I have no regrets in not suffering my way through it. I pushed just to get in the hilly 2 hours, so didn't feel like I backed off, but I did what I needed to do that day to get done what my goals were and got to really experience the run in the process... THAT was good stuff!

Lesson #7
Saturday morning back up for another long brick. OUCH! I'd already trained more in the past 2 days than I've done in the past 2 weeks and now I'm going again! Ahh... ok, get perspective, and make it count! Yeah, there was a part of me that wanted to slack off on the ride, but I knew in reality that I really could push through it. So, I "put my head down" and did what I could. I told myself, that biking is my "thing." I should be up there with the front people. So I went out with them and went hard. Honestly, Spencer saved me a couple of times. My legs were DONE with the hills and every time we hit any sort of decent incline, I would start to lose the wheel in front of me, so twice Spencer and his bad self pushed me up again. And ultimately, I ended up feeling good. We rode 70 miles through a canyon area and it was amazing. I had the opportunity to go on with the front group for another 10 miles, but I did turn that one thing down. 150 miles in 3 days, I knew my legs were done. I could have gone through it, but felt like I'd been dragging up the back and didn't want to be "that" person again. :) So, me and some other ladies rode it home and it was good. Now remember, this was supposed to be a brick. So, not done yet... off for a run. I told myself AGAIN, ok... come on 20 min and honestly when I started, my quads felt like knives were stabbing them. I wasn't sure I'd keep going at first, but I decided to give it a few minutes and see if it would clear up and of course it did. So... to top it off, I made myself do 30 today. Up that dang hill again back to the hotel. I figured I'd end it on a decent note! :)

So after 3 rough days of grinding and pushing it out, I have so much to take from this camp. I'm no where near physically or mentally where I had envisioned I would be for this trip, but... that's ok too. It's good to get away and train with others from around the country and get a reality check. Ok, here are my strengths, my weaknesses, and this is what I can work on for the next 6 months until it's go time for me! Thank goodness, I'm not in top race shape just yet and not racing anytime soon when it's really going to count. I've got some time to put in my miles and slowly but surely work my way up to where I need to be. And one of the biggest things I'm excited about during this trip that I'm taking away from it, is that even during the push, I took the time to stop and take in the moment, even if that meant going slower, and for me.... I'm ok with that!

Promise to post pictures soon!

Friday, March 6, 2009

JUST what I need!!

Forecast for Tucson, AZ!

WedMar 11

ThuMar 12
Partly Cloudy

FriMar 13

SatMar 14

SunMar 15

Just 4 more days to go!! Whoo Hoo!!