Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflections

A few years ago a good friend emailed me with subject title of lemonade..... You know, life gives you lemons, you make.... well you know the rest (or can read about it here).

2009 has been all over the wall for the LaPans. If you have read my blog you have read all about the fun times. The numerous races I've been able to do setting PR in many distances. The entire summer spend traveling around, first with our friends in Utah, followed by months in the Pacific Northwest.

It was a summer of fun, reconnecting with old friends, losing touch with others. We visited people and places and tried new things and didn't follow a plan. Sorta lived in the moment. While yes, it still all sounds absolutely fantastic in 2009, it wasn't the complete story. I tend to talk about all the good in life. Glass half full kinda blogger, I suppose. I'm not going to change anything about that, just wanted to put it out there that I am expecting, hoping and longing for bigger, better and all around fresh start in 2010.

Back to the lemons. I suppose you can say the Lapans chose to take their lemons and turn them into sugary, sour yummy lemon drops. Maybe a little too many of those were had, but in the end we managed to survive this year. Those of you that know us, know the ups and downs of our year. We've managed to stay upright through some big real estate mishaps, family and loved ones drama. We've managed to get past the big bumps, and I think in the end realized our strong our relationship is, in fact I think our "lemonade" is pretty darn good.

While ending a year cycle doesn't necessarily mean everything changes come midnight tomorrow, but for me at least, it makes me hopeful. It gives a big fat ending line to an on the surface kinda good year that really was a struggle for so many reasons. It means a fresh start, and new beginnings. New adventures and new goals.

Tomorrow Shane & I are flying to Seattle to celebrate my uncle's marriage to his fabulous new wife Michelle, as well as bring in the new year. A weekend of celebration of a new family and fun times with my old family (college buddies). When we get home we will start fresh with a lot of things, including pulling the lemons off our tree in front that didn't make it over the summer, giving the good ones, the strong ones that survived a chance to thrive. It will be the theme of the new year.

Bring it on 2010. The LaPans are ready. New adventures, new challenges and soon a new member to the LaPan family (and the answer to your question is NO, just saying).

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Somehow, we didn't manage to get our stuff together and create our traditional Holiday cards.... It's one of our favorite things to do this time of year, creating some sort of story line about our year, or what is to come. While this year has had it's ups and downs, to be shared in another post about the upcoming NEW YEAR, we did have a huge loss - our Sara girl. So, to honer her I wanted to share our very first Christmas Card, circa 2002.

May you all have a fabulous Holiday - And we will be sending New Years wishes soon!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tucson Marathon

This isn't going to really be a "race report" per say, because honestly after the first 11 miles, it wasn't a race for me. It was a walk/run, say hi to my cheerleaders & wait for someone (Shane) to tell me I should stop so I didn't hurt myself any further. But, that's not what happened, I got a "suck it up buttercup," instead... and so, I did.....

Of course I can't start there without first going into the pre-race mishaps. And, now that it's over and done with I can totally laugh about it, but at the time -Not.So.Funny.

We left fairly early on Sat and went a back way to get to the start of the race. I wanted to see the course (which was a rookie mistake because I NEVER do this) because they had changed an out and back section and it looked like a good climb on the elevation map.

Driving the route you do see how much up there is in the first half. Certainly NOT a downhill course. Net down, absolutely. The new out and back, not pretty at all. A good solid climb for over a mile. But, I realized once I get done with that, the rest of the way is a very gradual straight descend, one of my strengths so I figured I could make up time there.

After the course, packet pick up, etc we were at the hotel & ready to check in when I realized my bag did not make it into the car. Yes, I know, how does THAT happen? I really have no good explanation, other than it just did. And it wasn't just a bag with some running shorts & shoes that could be quickly replaced. IT had my orthotics and my inhalers, etc.

My wonderful husband decided since he was 'only' doing the half he would start the treck back home to get my bag & I should stay. As soon as he left I got on the phone and started sending out messages to see if anyone could run by our house and possibly meet him along the way. Then I called our friends Bryan & Jamie that were staying in the same hotel & we had dinner plans with in a couple hours. They told me to come down and have a beer with them. I opted NOT for the beer, but company sounded great. Turns out they knew someone that was still headed down and happened to be right by my house and if there was a way in, he could grab the bag. We also had another friend offer to bring it down as well.

There REALLY are great people in this running/tri/friend community. Really, Really good people.

Needless to say several hours later, in exchange for a 6 pack of Fat Tire I had my bag!

Race morning was pretty flawless. I met a really cool (and fast) girl on the bus that said she wanted to start at my pace, around an 8:30 so she could get warmed up. IT was nice having someone to hang out with, since I didn't have anyone I knew staying at my hotel, thus riding on the same bus. The start was gorgeous. The sun rising over the mountains, wispy clouds above. Crisp cool air.

The start was very non eventful. You could see people taking off REALLY fast because the first mile is a GOOD downhill. My new friend kept an eye on her garmin so we were holding back a lot. The effort was so easy. First 2 miles about an 8:15 (which with that much down is REALLY hard to pull off when you could easy be in the low 7min mile range). I was happy to have someone to keep my in check. After a couple miles we had some rollers and I could feel the effort a bit on the ups so I gave her my gloves (she was still cold) and told her to go! She ended up finishing in 3:33!

I turned on my ipod and just did what I came there to do. Take it easy at first, no heavy breathing, and concentrate on good form. When we reached the out and back around mile 5 or so you could see the lead people heading back UP the hill. I realized then that Shane & I had not driven the FULL out and back and there was going to be even more climbing then I thought. This would normally not be so bad, except I didn't do a whole lot of hill running so I wasn't sure how much time I would loose. The hill was tough, but doable. I did loose quite a bit of time, bringing my avg between miles 5-8 from an 8:32 to a 8:48 ( I set up my garmin so I could keep track of both).

I knew that once I got to mile 8 though, it was a great descent (and straight) until mile 15. I slowly started to feel like I just wasn't in it. I was bringing my avg back down slowly, but my quads and under my knee caps started to hurt. I tried to take shorter strides, but as soon as I started to speed up the headwind was RIGHT in your face, pushing you back. I could get behind someone to draft (which WOW does that work when you have a wind like that), but then I'd need to pass them to keep my stride & form in check. Around mile 11 Things started to really go wrong. My left IT band started having pain off and on and I wasn't sure how long it would last.

I knew that my sister & niece were meeting Shane at his finish line & heading back up to see me on the course so I could see them at any time. Around mile 14 I took 2 more Tylenol and shortly after saw my family. I looked at Shane in pain and told him it was starting to get bad...but I'd run it out and see if it loosened up at all. The tylenol did seem to help, but the next time I saw them around mile 19 the road started to slant BAD and the dull pain went to a SHARP shooting pain. I stopped to talk to them, stretch it out and try to walk out the pain. The road was so slanted that even walking was hurting..... I don't know if it was the fact that Taylor was out there, or that I could do a 12-14min mile and STILL PR that kept me going, but it did.

Finally around mile 20 the road straightened out and the pain did subside a little. I saw my family again at mile 21, and Shane said that was it, they were going to the finish so I needed to suck it up and get there. I figured he's supposed to be my voice of reason so if he didn't tell me I needed to stop, well then I guess I was hobbling the rest of the way. I made plans with myself to walk until the pain made me limp, then I would stop, pull off the road do all the different IT band stretches (yes, I'm an old pro at this now) then run a faster tempo pace/Repeat. This is what got me to the finish line.

Taylor was there to give me a high 5 as I came down the shute. There was no sprint, or fast finish, I just needed to get there, and then head straight to the Medical tent for ice.

As I reflect back on the day I have a lot of feelings that vary. Yes, I finished and yes it was a dead on 7min PR. However, in the end I don't know that I would make the same decision. I didn't want my niece to see my quit, but in my heart I still know that the smart thing to do was probably stop when the pain got bad and not to do more damage on the IT band, like I did so many times to the other knee before surgery. I am also really happy about a few things. I learned how much stronger of a runner I am. I never once felt strained. I never once felt too fatigue or tired or like my effort was too much. In fact, at the finish I've never been so coherent after any sort of run race like that.

I know that I need to go to back to my surgeon, have an MRI and see what he thinks. I'm going to rehab the knee with rest, swimming and ART for a few weeks and go from there. Hopefully this winter/spring I will be healthy & focus on shorter run speed and races as well as getting back some of my cycling speed! Needless to say, once again I'm pretty sure stand alone marathons are just not for me. And, now that I've tried it (again), I am ok with that!

In the end, it wasn't about the medal, or the PR or the mental idea of not quitting - I didn't want Taylor to see me give up... even if I knew it wasn't really what I'd be doing, she wouldn't know the difference....



Someone on the course who did drop out, and my sister & Shane drove back to the start asked Taylor if she was going to be an Ironman like her aunt & uncle. She said, but only after I grow up first. Too cute.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Agh Hail the Marathon Taper. Or Not

I'm bored. The End.

Just kidding. Well, kinda. I'm starting to get restless. And, I should probably really get out of the house at some point. Shower, maybe even brush my hair and apply makeup.

Someday that will happen. Someday.

After our week in Mexico I've REALLY started my taper. Taking resting to a whole knew level. Well, it's been a week and I totally feel rested and ready. Well, maybe not totally ready...but I do know that come Saturday I will be.

There is something so different about a marathon taper vs an Ironman taper. Lots, actually. In Ironman taper you are exhausted. Famished. Sore, tired, hungry and grumpy. You wonder how you could possibly go 140.6miles in ONE day when you feel that crappy. And, for me at least, it lasts 2 FULL weeks. The last few long workouts are horrific. You start to doubt yourself.

Then compare it to the marathon taper. Which I may have thought similar to the description above if, well if I had never experienced the Ironman taper.

Saturday was my last "long" run. The plan I was following called for a mere 1 hour run. I went just a couple mins over and ran a whopping 7miles. I don't know that I have EVER tapered to that low of mileage for a marathon in the past, but I also have never done so much speed work, so I stuck to the plan.

Saturday afternoon I was TIRED. Even after about 10hours of sleep. My knees hurt, my glutes hurt & my IT band felt tight.

AH HAIL THE TAPER....

Sunday I laid around all day snuggled in blankets. Hey it was cold out side (read, hey..I maybe had a slight hangover). We rented movies. Ate healthy popcorn, jr mints & mike and ikes. It was just like being at the theatre, sans having to actually shower and look presentable to the public. It was PERFECT.

Yesterday I made it out of the house for a lunch time swim with masters in the RAIN. Yes, I feel like a champ for going - but there is nothing better then swimming with rain drops falling on top of you. Even if I complain the entire way INTO the pool. It really is awesome.

Today I got to go out (in the cold again) for a whopping 30min run. That's right 3.25miles in zone 1. Nothing like a good warm up to tire you out. Or, do absolutely nothing for your boredom.

My legs feel fantastic, rested. I'm managed to stay healthy thus fair (knock and wood, and a quick puff of my inhaler). The weather is looking great for race day. Things are lining up well.

I've gone through 99.9 million scenarios of outcomes for the race. So many variables:

My PR is 4:19 (nothing to brag about). It was at the St. George Marathon. I was running 10.5min miles in zone 2 at that time. Now, I run 8:30-9:15min miles in that same zone. I ran the half last year in 1:48. 5 months later with very little training I ran another half in 1:45. My knee feels great, but I also know deep down it's not. When you go from Ironman training to just marathon training you feel like you haven't trained enough. 5-8hours a week of exercise vs 12-24hours per week, totally different.

I feel good, I feel strong. I feel somewhat confident. If only I had a really good marathon under my belt to come up with some expectations. I did several weeks of yasso 800s. According to the theory behind them, I could have a VERY fast marathon. I am not however, THAT confident.

So, in just a few days, I'll be in Tucson. Freezing my hiney off at the start. Scared, nervous, and wondering why I got myself into this. Then, approx XX hours after that, I will be (hopefully) a very happy, and soon to be intoxicated finisher.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The LaPan's Holidays "al la De-Scrooge"



Last year we were convinced (aka guilted) into not going through with our tradition of going to Mexico for my birthday and Christmas. We did have a good time visiting with family and being with friends late into the evenign Christmas night. However, when we made the decision to celebrate our Christmas Holiday in Mexico, it was to build our own traditions. To avoid feeling guilty for leaving one parents or grandparents house too early, or not spending enough time with one family or another. It was our way of saying, this is what WE want to do.

So, last year we stayed in Phoenix until the 26th. On Christmas Eve, also my birthday, we went to dinner with my family, then drove to Shane's family after their celebration to at least say hello. We ended up home around Midnight. On Christmas morning we woke up just in time to shower and get in the car to go visit Shane's (other) parents for Christmas breakfast - Almost 3 hours later and a photo radar ticket, we stopped by our house to let the dogs out & headed another half an hour to be with my family for Christmas dinner. After dinner, another 45mins driving we stopped by our good friends the Angelone's for a nightcap. With all the stress of driving - and Shane taking one for the team and celebrating with my dad (because it was my turn for DD).....then Big J later that evening he was well on his way to a not so good start to the drive to Mexico in the morning....

Long story short we drove about 200 miles between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, then finally got down to Mexico late on the 26th. We never set up a Christmas Tree or put out any decorations. We barely did any shopping or gift exchanging, just for our friends and family's chidren....

This year we wanted to change our bad attitudes. Even though our Thanksgiving plans were changed last minute, we did get the opportunity to get down to our Mexico house and enjoy some great beach time. We also realized that our co-house owner would not be down before us so we decided to set up our Christmas tree & change our holiday bah humbug attitudes for this year.

So, here you have it. Our fabulous (almost-free) Mexico style Christmas tree - up and waiting for us to get back here for the Holiday.

We started out with one of my last speeed runs a-la "Baxter bring it" style, shrimp & veggie scramble + Mimosas and tree decorating.

Couldn't ask for anything more. This year, we will be doing Christmas the LaPan traditional style. Shrimp, beach, and maybe a shot of hornitos.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This and that rambles.

The other night we somehow ended up watching Late night with Jay Leno - or whatever his show is called. Now that it starts at 9, it's not really THAT late. They had on some contestants from The Biggest Loser so we watched until we got to see them. But, first up was Howie Mandel. The only thing I know about that guy is he was the host of that silly show "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" Wait that's not right - it's the other one, the one with the brief cases... whatever that one was called - same difference, no?

Anyhow, my point was watching him made me nervous. He's ADD on a whole other level, planet actually. I was seriously stressed out just watching him. He couldn't finish a thought or make a point to SAVE.HIS.LIFE.

And then I realized, on a (hopefully) much lower level I am the SAME way. Especially lately. If I don't have 999things going on, or a million different things to do, plan, figure out well then, I'm bored.

Even when I'm busy working, driving, running, swimming or biking I'm constantly thinking of other things. Calculating routes and paces and thinking about races and elevation, and OMG make it STOP!

Ask me a question about a running route and I will give you splits, and mile markers. Potty stops and incline/decline. I can figure out what time I'll be at a certain intersection if you want to meet me in just a few seconds. It's rather disturbing I suppose. In fact. After talking with a couple of friends about how there was a POSSIBILITY they might join in my next 21miler this weekend, sure enough in less than a day they had an email in their inbox with the details of when/where and how far, along with a detailed map of course.

I wonder if it will work, and I will actually get their company?!?!?

Of course even if there was no chance of them actually showing up I would still have that email all written out in my head anyways.

So, aside from the plotting I'm also trying to start visualize this whole marathon thing. I don't know how some people find it so easy to say they think they can run XX. I just can't do it. I've run hills, I've run a gazillion 800s. I've even done the half marathon on the same route. Last Saturday we did a downhill run. It was only about 5miles down, but it was pretty steep. It sure was a confidence booster looking at the pace & the effort it felt like, but like I said, it was ONLY 5miles.

When it comes down to 3 weeks and a few days from now, I'm just going to give it what I've got and hope for the best. After this Saturday I will have done all that I could do to lead up to the race, and I've made a vow to myself to be just as strong mentally. Many say the mind is really what can get you there, can push past the pain. I'm certainly hoping so! It is most definitely MY GOAL to be mentally strong for this race. Whatever comes after that, it was meant to be.

ON another note, IRONMAN! Ironman AZ is just a few days away, and I'm lucky enough to get to host an incredibly talented athlete, Emily - A.K.A. "Speedy pants." I was introduced to her this year via the Supa. Seriously these girls are some of the toughest, bad ass, FAST chicks I have ever met. Oh, they just happened to be Hot as well. Utah breeds well, I can say that for sure.


I just had to repost this picture cause it sums up these tough girls. I HARD ass swim at 6000+ft elevation that nearly killed Shane & I, followed up by a beer. In Utah. I so know why I love these girls so much.

So, this weekend we will be taking on the sherpa role once again. I have to admit I've really grown to enjoy it. Last year, Momo's Ironman was my first real big Sherpa experience and I had SO much fun! You are out there all day long, cheering, picture taking, encouraging, and then the best part is you also get to enjoy in the celebrating! And, in the end, isn't that the most important part anyway? It is Emily's first Ironman, and I'm so excited to be part of it. I had some of the best support from friends for my first Ironman, and I'm just happy I can do the same for someone else!

Now, my only fear is the Ironman spectacle gets me all fired up and I try to do something stupid like SIGN up when I need to REALLY think about it first. What race (Canada) and the perfect timing for my next one. Not just do it cause I'm high on everyone else's adrenaline.

The house is ready, the yummy drinks are waiting & of course Baxter is so flipping excited for the girls he can hardly stand it.

All that's left is a little sherpa fashion plotting and creativity from The Team Emily.....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Baxter

Today is my baby boy's 8th birthday. Makes me sad. I hate that he's getting older. As nice as it is that he's not crazy 24hours a day, I miss it. He's still got so many years left in him, but really I wish he could stay 3 forever! Minus the hole in the wall he tried to eat through.

Here we are on the first day I got to bring him home, the day after Christmas, 2001. We were both babies then, and pretty much grew up together.

He's been THE BEST running partner anyone could ever ask for. We had our moments where I was barely running 10min miles and he wanted to go 7min miles. But, I think we've finally found our middle ground, and the gentle leader.


Still, he would be and always has been most happy OFF LEASH.

Shane tried to blame the fact that Baxter is somewhat of a lush on ME. But, here I have proof. Baxter's first taste of wine. Yes, that would be Shane's hand. I'm pretty sure he was trying to get the puppy to calm the F&%^ down. Little did he know what it would really do to him.


He always has been quite the ham.....


Still the most snugly, big lap dog EVER.


Even with his puppy....



Besides running, his favorite time is spent on the beach.



and drinking margaritas.....


After every race we do, Baxter gets to wear the medals. He sits and poses for his 'post race picture.' Could he be ANY cuter?


Happy Birthday Bub, here's to MANY, MANY more.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bub's Beach

The first time we visited Rocky Point at the end of October/Beg of November was after my first half Ironman (Soma). I remembered being surprised how gorgeous the weather was. Nice enough to still sit on the beach, yet cool mornings and nights. This past weekend was much of the same.

The first couple days were cooler, but not COOL by any means. I was able to get in my 90min "long run" which actually was harder than I thought (couldn't have had ANYTHING to do with my hydration methods or anything). But, I survived.



Baxter could not have been more happy. For the most part, the beach was quiet, just a few families here and there, but Bub's beach was almost all his.


We were also blessed with very calm waters. Not yet cooled down, I actually got in and splashed around a bit. We took the kayak out a couple times, which reminded me how much I need to get back to my Daniel torture to strengthen myself up. I'm WEAK. My forearms are still a little sore.
On our last day the water was so calm, we couldn't resist going out one more time. I'm so thankful we did. We saw the dolphins for the first time all week. Not only did we SEE them, they appeared right next to us, some even swimming underneath our kayak. SO flipping cool. About 20 in the first pod, and another 15 or so shortly after. Why are they so much fun to watch!?


We decided to venture out a bit on Halloween. I couldn't help but take this picture. There were two ladies dressed up as "old ladies that lost their puppies." So creative, funny & yet also so wrong on so many levels. It was fun to see everyone dress up & getting into the spirit. We just have to do it next year....


Other than beach time & runs on the sand, we pretty much relaxed, read & ate shrimp. October is the beginning of the prime shrimping season & let me tell you they were fantastic. I think we perfected our shrimp grilling skills.... Here's a little teaser. They were even better than they look.


All in all a fantastic get away, so much we might try to sneak one more trip back in before it gets too cool.
I love our home away from home. Sometimes I think I was meant to live at the beach.

Monday, October 19, 2009

June in October

Living in the desert is like no other place, really. We have some of the most gorgeous sunsets. The fall and spring make you feel like you've died and gone to heaven. Cooler mornings & evenings. Beautiful afternoons. You can walk, run, ride your bike, swim and enjoy meals outside ALL DAY LONG.

Then however, mother nature sneaks in one of those gawd awful weekends, just when you think you've hit that died and gone to heaven time of the year that makes you want to kill yourself. Or, something like that.

That weekend JUST happened. Most of you know my obsession with the weather. I don't know why, because it really is what it is & you can't do anything about it. Even if I'm sick in bed, for some reason I just want to KNOW. Traveling? The obsession starts about 2 weeks out. I mean what's a girl gonna wear?

So of course I knew that it was going to be a high of 100degs on Saturday. But, when you live in AZ 100degs really doesn't seem like anything much. What I failed to really pay attention to was the fact that when I planned a bike ride of about 4hours, with a some good climbing in there, and starting at 7am, it was already going to be 80degs.

The ride started out great. We had a couple of other guys join us this week, which was really nice. So three boys twice my size and me. I'm so not complaining about THAT draft. I learned last week that I can't start my rides heading straight up. Which kinda sucks, because by heading up north, after about an hour we have some of the most beautiful riding. But, my legs, especially these marathon in training legs need a serious warmup. If not, I think I suck, I hate my bike & I'm ready to quit.

The route had us doing a nice flat/easy 30min warmup, then we would start the very slight/steady climb up to the town of Cave Creek. We were cruising along, into a horrible head wind, but we all seemed to feel great, taking turns pulling (well - I tried my best, but don't think I helped them out nearly as much as they did for me) and keeping a GREAT avg. About 2 hours into the ride we were up in Cave Creek & Shane got a flat. He'd already changed one before the start of the ride so we were kinda worried. He rode over a piece of metal & his tube was pretty much trashed. He changed the tube & added a dollar bill for protection & got as much air in as he could. He decided he should not do the 10ish extra loop up into Legend Trails (hills) that I added, and just head home. That way, if his tire was trashed - I would see him along the way & have to head home anyway to get the car & pick him up (never mind the fact I totally forgot about him until we were a mile from home & someone asked if we were going the same route Shane would have taken - oops).

We filled up our water bottles & noticed none of us drank enough for that first 2 hours. We also noticed when we weren't heading into the wind and feeling the breeze, how incredibly HOT it was. My legs felt WORLDS better than last weekend, and the hills I normally loathe up in Cave Creek seemed pretty easy! Things were looking good.

At the next intersection, Shane headed on his way home & the boys & I went up for my extra loop. Straight into a flipping head wind. It felt like you were going going going, but not actually getting anywhere. At times there were some cross winds, and I was actually thankful for my tank Hillary (bike) vs mini me. I'm not sure I would have stayed on her.

At the top of the hills, we stopped and waited for one in our group. I noticed I was really REALLY dizzy. My nutrition was perfect, 4 thermolytes down but something wasn't right. We started the descent down Cave Creek, then turned onto Pima, hoping for a tail wind to bring us the 20miles home. But, of course Mother Nature was apparently PMSing and decided to shift the wind on us. So much for the downhill, tail wind dessert to finish up the ride.

The 3 of us were struggling & actually had to stop just 10miles from my house to refill water AGAIN. I took my last gel, and 3/4 a packet of salt (just like a shot, minus the tequila and lime!) but noticed I was getting chills, and goosebumps. Not good. We slowed down the pace, and basically did a 10mile cooldown.

4hours, only 66miles, my garmin didn't map it out so not sure of the climbing, 5 bottles of water, 550calories, 4 Thermolytes & 3/4 salt packet. Deydration, 4.5lbs.

We spent the next 3 hours pounding water until my headache was gone. It was like a flashback to those 5-6hour rides in May/June leading up to Ironman. When you can't drink enough, can't sit on your butt enough and well, are just plain worthless.

About 4pm we both were back to ourselves, fully hydrated and STARVING. We actually made it out of the house to Costco for 2 items. Pizza & lemons, need I say more?

All in all, despite the heat, it was a great ride, a good strength builder & hopefully gained a couple more riders for our Tour de Tucson group!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Confidence

"Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself. " Wikipedia

We all have our hobbies, whether it be running, triathlon, car racing, horse racing or even the well, interesting Olympic sport of curling. Or, non athletic hobbies of sewing or scrap booking or hunting and fishing.

When you find something you love, you start out just doing, then you might end up actually competing. Some compete from the get go. My husband is one of those. He loves the fire, the competitive spirit and the challenge. I used to loathe it. I used to make myself sick thinking about it. I'd be nervous before training sessions, let alone racing. I admire his ability to say what he's GOING TO DO.

I've been able to get over half my battle. To give what I have, and not be afraid to leave it all out there, regardless of the outcome. I've had some great success, but also some not so great achievements with this new attitude.

But something I still struggle with is the confidence side. WHAT can I do, how fast can I go, can I really do it. I've learned that my body doesn't give up. Come hell or high water (pain or no pain) I am more than likely going to finish, I just might not end up happy with the result.

I see other people's strengths, their speeds and I feel like I know what THEY are capable of. I can talk people up & feel like I KNOW they can do something they set out to, even if they don't.

For the life of me, I just can't seem to put that on myself. I know my training, I know what I've done & (like this summer) what I haven't done... So, why am I struggling so hard to figure out what all that can turn into on race day? Perhaps it's because I don't have a coach to go off right now. A coach to tell me what all the training I'm doing can equate to on that day? That can't be the only factor though? Is it a lot of disappointments that scare me from believing things I can do?

You see, I've got this marathon coming up. It's in 8 weeks. I'm following a good training plan. A training plan that has been very successful for others. I'm doing what is written, not questioning it. Before last weekend, which was my personal test of getting through the 2:40min run pain free, the reality of actually doing the full marathon wasn't set in stone yet. But, I did the run, I felt great & now it's out there.

In 8 weeks I will be doing another marathon. Something I though I might never get the opportunity to do again.

I've got some really really big fans out there, bless their hearts seem to have my capabilities all figured out, and with any luck their confidence in me will rub off a little. But, for now when people are asking my goal I've got 2 things to say:

I plan on a PR (really, not that hard)
I am actually DOING another marathon, and will FINISH it.

Here's to hoping I can get a better idea of my abilities in the next 4 weeks! But, for now if anyone has any words of encouragement, or advice on how to teach myself to say I will, please let me know ;-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

October, the most beautiful month of the year!

After struggling through the first few weeks back it the heat, the weather has finally changed. It's stunningly beautiful in the mornings, not forcing us to run at dark thirty am. The evenings are starting to cool, and our AC is finally not killing itself to keep the house cool. Yup, it's fall here in AZ, honestly one of the most beautiful times & places to be....

The first weekend in October we had the honor of heading to Sonoma to celebrate the wedding of our friends Ric & Sara. We could not be more happy for this couple. I can honestly say this was one of the most beautiful, elegant weddings I have ever been to. The setting was gorgeous, the details simple and perfect. And, of course the weekend of wine tasting could not have been better...

Our AZ family with the Happy couple

The happiness was so obvious, you couldn't help but get goosebumps during the ceremony




Natalie & Jeff...

Our own little "rehearsal dinner" night

and rehearsal day....

Shane & I had some time on our own to do tastings. Every visit we always have a favorite place we find, this trip it was Robledo Family Winery. The wines were incredible, the story amazing & inspiring. If you are in the area, it's a don't miss...
It truly was a fabulous, perfect weekend - complete with a visit with my old college friend Kelly. She works for Trinchero Family Wineries in the Sutter Home Facility. We headed over to St. Helena for a visit & she treated us with a tour of the facility & then lunch to catch up. So fun seeing good friends after such a long time!
After our return it was back to the daily grind. Work has picked up after a pretty slow summer & training is returning. I've had my two big "test" long runs to see if my IT band could hold up for the full marathon. Yesterday was my 2:40 run & it went GREAT! 17.3miles with a lot of climbing! I'm thankful my leg is holding up, and really thankful the weather has been so great!
This week is a recovery week (running) so we're going to try & build up some bike mileage & see if doing the dual 109mile el tour 3 weeks before the marathon is worth it. I know I CAN do it, I am just not sure how much effect it will have on my marathon performance and if it's worth it..... I think I'll know after this week!
Happy Fall!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Childhood Keepsake

A few month ago I got a message via facebook from one of my elementary school teachers, Mrs Reeves. She wanted to know if I had a copy of a book I wrote for the "Writer's Conference," and if not, she wanted to send it to me.

At first I had no idea what she was talking about. I wish I was on of those people who remembers all the wonderful little details of their childhood, but I'm not. I know bits and pieces, and things I did and participated in. I know I was a good student, very involved in everything (particularly when I was very young) and as far as I knew - well liked by my teachers. But, what struck me the most was the fact what Mrs. R. was referring to was a writing achievement, vs math. I don't remember ever being much of a writer, but always the brainy math nerd.

Of course I replied that I would LOVE to receive the book, and sent her my address. Right before we left for the summer I received the book in the mail, along with a letter from my former teacher.

"Krista - I have enjoyed having this book for 21 years! I have shown it to college students as a terrific example of children's writing and publishing.
But now that I have "found" you, I want you to enjoy it as a memory of your childhood. I loved having you as a student!

I have to admit I was pretty taken back. That a teach would hold on to such a thing for so long, then go out of her way to share it with me so many years later. I'm sure I'm not the only student she has keepsakes of, and I hope they all get a chance to reunite with something like this as well.

With that I present you my very first, and only published "book"....





Fair to say, it's prolly a good thing I didn't try to become an artist....just sayin.

Hard to read - I've rewritten...

One bright and sunny day, a little girl named Marry was wondering if she could go on a picnic in a field.
Marry has long, wavy, blond hair. She has a beautiful face. She's eight years old. Marry is a kind person. She loves to give and share anything and everything. (She would really love to give her freckles away.)
Marry went into the dining room to ask her mother if she could go on a picnic. Her mother asked where she was going to have her picnic. Marry told her mother that she was going to go to the field across the street. So her mother said yes.
When Marry got her lunch packed, got her blanket and doll, she ran across the street into the field. She laid her blanket down, and put all her stuff on it.
When Marry was just about to take a bite of her tuna sandwich, she heard a squeaking, crying kind of sound. She......(continued on next page)


followed the sound of the voice.
When Marry could hear the sound perfectly, she looked down in some weeds, and saw a little furry animal. She knelt down and picked it up. It was a little puppy.
The little puppy had a light brown and white colored fur. It was a real cute puppy. Marry had seen puppies like this, but they were too expensive to get.
After Marry was done cuddling the puppy, she ran to her stuff with the puppy in her arms. She put her stuff in her bag. She put her bag on her shoulder, then ran across the street.
When Marry got in her house, she put her bag on the couch and ran into the dining room to her mother. Marry showed her mother the puppy.
After Marry's mother got done asking her where she found it, and said yes about keeping it, she said that they would have......(continued on next page)


to put an ad in the paper. Marry told her mother she knew. She also said that she knew if someone claimed the puppy, she would not be mad.
After two weeks, no one claimed the puppy. Marry's mother decided Marry could keep the puppy, but it would be her responsibility. Marry agreed with her mother.
When Marry and her mother were done talking, Marry kissed her mom then ran and got her puppy. She went straight up the stairs to her room. She was thinking and thinking for a name, then finally decided to call it Cuddles.
Marry and Cuddles had a lot of fun together. They went in the fields and ran around. They played with socks, slept together, and that's how their day went.
The End


My favorite part about the book, is I can tell it came from ME. The freckles comments, the name of the dog "Cuddles" is also the name of a Teddy Bear that I still, to this day have, and the "blanket" that Marry used for her picnic to put all of her stuff on.... I had this PINK (yes momo, pink) plaid blanket (DD) that I brought EVERYWHERE with me.... I laugh just thinking about it now.
But, most of all I think about how I was even then, The DogMom.... Some things never do change...
Thank you Mrs. Reeves, for bringing this wonderful memory back to life!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Swimming, like riding a bike.

Look at this. Two posts, back to back. Is this a comeback? Nah, I am just getting back into the routine of being home. Not doing tri-training where a couple workouts a day are required, and it's HOT so I'm up EARLY to get the workout out of the way. Work is slowly picking up (good), but still not keeping me totally busy these days.

So what happens with that? More time to think. And ramble.

I think I mentioned several times how, ugh, much we didn't exactly train over the summer. Yah, sure we worked out, and the first 4-5 weeks had a few races in there, but trust me we learned the hard way. You can't wing it if you still want to perform well. Which really does suck considering we were in GREAT shape before we left here. But, did you know that when you head out on all of your bike rides a leetle hung over AND end up cutting them ALL short, you don't maintain or gain ANY fitness. It's true. Trust me, no need to try it out yourself.

So, the other thing we lacked on was swimming. In fact, in all of August I swam a total of 8500 yards. Half of that came from 2 races. A typical week for me is about 8500 yards. Sure for some people that is still a lot, but when you actually enjoy it, and love the not impact it has on your joints, it's nothing to brag about.

Excuses? Well, I didn't really need an excuse. No triathlon on the schedule, why swim? For me, I love to swim. I love what it does for my arms and my back and recently learned how much it actually does for my core (or lack there of when not swimming) and belly. I love how it makes me tired, and helps me sleep. I love how I don't notice how much I'm wheezing when I'm in the water. I love how my legs feel after a nice workout, no impact, just somehow always better.

So why the heck did I stop? Well, for one I didn't know about pools where we were. But, the biggest reason is I was not comfortable swimming alone. The gorgeous lake only a couple minute walk from where I was, but being out there in the open water without someone by me made me nervous. If you know Shane, you know that getting him to swim, when there is no reason to swim, well, it's like getting me to eat something I don't like. Not Happenin...

As much as I was dreading coming back to the heat, I was so looking forward to getting back to masters. Something about being with the group, and having such a wonderful swim coach giving you workouts. Not knowing what's up next, or how long the intervals will be or how fast you should be doing them. Keeping on the toes of the person in front of you, or on good days leading them. Something about all those things I love.

Now, if ONLY I were a swimmer when I was a kid (playing around like a fish all summer long, not include), a real swimmer...

Yesterday day marked my return to swimming. 11 weeks since I had seen the black line. 11 weeks (minus races) since I had swam over 1500meters or swam sans wetsuit. I came back ready to go in a slightly slower lane than normal, ready to cut the workout short and ready to not remember how to do a flipturn.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. After being TOLD which lane to go into (no change there!) I started off on the warm up the last of 3 in my lane to go, after the first 100 moved up to second.

6x100, every 4th length double or tripple overswitch drill :10 rest.

I didn't look at my watch for these sets, but was surprised at how good it felt, and yes I remembered how to flip turn.

Main set = take your tempo trainer and put it where you would only be able to sustain the turnover for 100, MAX 150, based on current workouts.

Me to coach, "Ugh, I haven't been using this, let alone swimming workouts?"

Coach, "Ok, .85"

Me, "OK!" Yeah, I love when I don't have to do long slow strokes!

6x50 at your tempo trainer rate :15 fast. I took off in second position. "Holy cow, open water swimming must make my arms go slower, this is FAST. Like a propeller. Oh shit, Sorry James - those are your toes!"

Split - :41 "Shit, I should prolly slow this down, changed to .87, much better - Split :43, no toe grabbing this time."

Next up 300, add .15 to your tempo trainer. Take 1min rest and repeat the 6x50's fast. "Agh, this is nice and SLOW... great."

Of course within 3 laps I already lost track of my lap count & had to use my watch & math skills to figure out how much left. My triceps were burning. I added up the total distance.

WTF - ONLY 1200. You have GOT to be kidding me.

I kept telling myself to make it to 2000, that that was a great starting point & I could do that in my sleep. Finish the second 300 and cooldown, that's all I had to do.

But, of course not - Anne gave me the rest of the workout, 100 easy, 5x100:10rest level 2-3, and a cooldown. I knew I had it in the bag.

My arms burned, my abs felt it all, but you know what? In the end I felt fantastic. Fresh, tired, sore and loved every minute of it. 2500yards in the bag. Sanity, sleep & weightless exercise, PRICELESS.

For some people they can get on a bike and break out 3 hours after 6months off. Some people can run an hour on a whim. Not me. But put me in a pool, and I can get back & forth several times. Might be slower, but I will make it. There and back, There and back.

Just like riding a bike, you just remember.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Marathon

I'm pretty sure I've written on here more than once about how I will never do a stand alone marathon again. Or alluded to that anyway. Stupid IT bands, Stupid injuries = stupid painful marathon.

And then, the next thing you know I have a wild hair up the you know what, a $10 off early registration coupon = Krista signed up for a FULL marathon.

Never say Never. My new motto.

Tucson Marathon, Dec 13th 2009.

OH Shit. What have I done?

It may have been the 10 week 'bender' I was on while "summering in CDA", as I've been told we were doing... That may have been the icing on the cake. More happy hours than workouts over the course of the summer. More lbs gained than lost. A few jiggles that weren't there when I started. Yah, something like that.

Not ready to commit to an ironman. Not much time on the bike. Certainly no swimming. And Running in the fall and winter in Arizona, heavenly. A winter, downhill course in Tucson, even better.

So, here I am week 4 of a 16 week training plan that I borrowed and I'm still feeling good. Week one was catch up. 3 days of running check. Week 2 first hill repeat workout EVER check. Week 3 second hill repeat workout in UTAH (survived, stopped on the 5th repeat to dry-heave, yup fun times) plus first long run back in the heat.

OMG - we came back TOO early. No really, we did. Weeks of running in 50-60degree weather then a 2 hour run in 80degrees plus 50% humidity, not so much fun. My body was in full on shock. I made it through the run, thanks to a great new running buddy (thanks Karen!), pace ok, HR a leetle high, IT band GREAT. However the rest of the day my stomach was a MESS.

Now we are on week 4 = rest week. In all the training plans I have ever done I've never had a full on recovery week. EVER. I imagine my build weeks weren't as tough as they are going to be with the plan I'm following, but I'm more interested in seeing how my body, particularly my IT band holds up including these rest weeks every 4th week. TBD.

So, the official plan is to stick to my 3 day per week running, and add 2 days of running and cycling for the cross-training. Fingers are crossed, Foam roll is ready, frozen peas purchased and in the freezer and ART guy on speed dial.

As much as I am terrified, I'm also excited. This is something I wasn't sure, and still am not, I'd ever be able to do again. I'm not getting my hopes up YET, and if anything starts to hurt too bad, or injury starts creeping up I will NOT hesitate to back down to the half marathon.

Goals? Finish with a PR (not that hard to accomplish with my past marathon times), pain free and happy!!!

And, still in the back of my head a repeat of El Tour De Tucson 3 weeks before the marathon. Doable? Desirable on my current bike???? Hmm - lots to think about!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Home Sweet (melting) Home

We finally made it home last night. Barely. About 3 hours away neither of us had any idea where the house key was. We searched all the bags, purse (murse) and then moved on to plan B. Who has a key to our house?

Thankfully, and without too much drama, we were able to pick up a spare on the way home, grab some takeout and were point to point Supa's to LaPan Casa in 10:20mins (including extra stops)! Pheww... much betta than the 11.5hrs from 9mile to Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

I'm not ready to recap the last few weeks yet, but I'll leave you with this. Dinner with my favorite Utah people in the world, and a picture of my Utah girls, baby Tweet included..

Mwahhh to you all, I miss you (and your weather even if I can't breath or climb up your mountains very well) already. Until next time.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Living in a Bigger World

Have you ever been back to a place, that somewhere in your lifetime you spent a LOT of time. Somewhere you have a lot of memories, like you could go back to that place with just a blink of an eye?

Priest Lake, Indian Creek Campground - that's my place. We spent a week to 10days there every year growing up for as long as I can remember. If we were friends growing up, you probably spent some time there with me as well. Even in College I brought a few of my roommates there for a weekend in the summer.

My parents would be first in line on the phone (post holidays) to reserve our week, the second week in August. Yes, you had to make reservations in JANUARY for August to go CAMPING?! Usually, we had 1-4 campsites between all of my parent's friends, and, if we were lucky we got the sites along the creek, no campers behind us... just skunks, and bears and well - pretty much all the critters that hang out in the woods.

So many memories. Night swimming and volleyball on the beach. Frogs in my tent (ok, I would like to forget THAT one). Singing "Achy Breaky Heart" at the top of our lungs. My first Kiss... (I would actually like to forget that one too). My first (maybe?) drunk - ugh, wine coolers and Bud Light....Parasailing, horseshoes, smores..

So, I just couldn't fathom NOT returning up to the lake, if even for just a day to bring back some of these memories. We figured we could be gone about 10hours and the dogs would be ok - not fun for them, but also a lot of work if we had brought them.

I researched a few day hikes that I thought might give Shane the opportunity for some photographs, but the descriptions on line were without maps so we were left to wing it on the road.

The drive up to the lake was as beautiful as I remembered, but the brand new road made it much more pleasant. Even before we got to the turnoff to the East Side of the lake, I started noticing how much had changed. New homes along the lake. A new gas station, cafe in Coolin...

I guess that is what 10years will do for you.....

Some things were the same though. Like rounding the corner on the road and suddenly you are just a few feet from the gorgeous, crystal clear lake. Nearing the turnoff to the campground and seeing the nice beach from the road.... It brought back so many memories.

Unfortunately, our hikes didn't so much happen. We couldn't figure out the directions that read something like "turn on this road, follow the well packed road, park here, blah blah"... After about an hour or so of driving around, we were losing time so we decided to head to the campground where, I knew I could at least find a short little hike up to view the lake.

Even the campground is so different. A brand new state park facility, new campsites, new CABINS?, new boat launch..... It was the same, but also soooo very different. So much 'smaller'..

One thing remained the same - the gorgeous view up the "view point trail" - a short moderate hike through gorgeous woods....


to a point overlooking the lake...



After the quick trip down we went over to the creekside of the park. I have to admit this was pretty disappointing. I remember spending hours on end running through the trails on the creek - crossing fallen trees to get to the other side. I remember this one tree - it was shaped like a camel - I looked for it, but it wasn't there. In fact, so much seemed worn down, like the storms just came through, took out half the trees and the trails.
As we were walking back, heading down to the water, I wondered if it was just me? Just my perception of the place I spent so much time at as a kid? Did I make it seem bigger or more grand than I was seeing this time? Or, has all this time and new amenities and the popularity of the place changed it?
We were walking along the water on our way back to the car and this is what really seemed different. The swimming area seemed HALF the size. The Dock only reaching half the distance? Even the log poles along the dock, that I remembered people climbing up and jumping off seemed half the size.... Was it real or was it me again?
As I was explaining how different everything looked, I told Shane I thought it must just be perception.. His response?
Your world has just gotten bigger....

As I thought more about it it's so true. While I'm probably the same size I was when I was growing up (give or take a few curves, ha!) - The world that I am part of is BIGGER. I travel, I explore. Instead of swimming out to the buoy in the swimming area, I swim 2.4miles.... Instead of hiking through some short trails, I run 26.2 miles. Yes, I think he has it right - my world is bigger.... And, as much as I was so looking forward to my vivid memories looking the same... I'm pretty happy with how I see it all today....
After several hours of driving and walking around, we headed to the other side of the lake to Hills resort for a fantastic dinner...
I think we might be back here someday, this time with the dogs & for a couple of nights in one of their cabins.
If you ever get the chance and you haven't been - this lake IS a Jewel, and if you don't get to see it, and dip your toes in the clear water, you are missing out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Wrap up Weekend 1

Where has the time gone? We left Arizona over 7 weeks ago! The first week in Utah flew by, probably because we were running ourselves (or, being drug) into the ground by the Billy Goat Benny, and Supa... But, 6 weeks in Coeur d'Alene ALREADY. WTH?

With only 2 weeks left we were starting to realize we hadn't done nearly what we wanted to! Shane has been working his tail off, and while my work hasn't been all that busy - races are behind us, we needed to take the next 2 weeks and really enjoy ourselves!

We started out Friday! Date night :-) We headed out to the floating restaurant, Cedars (I have ALWAYS wanted to eat here!). It was a nice night, perfect temperatures, but a little windy (which made for an interesting meal on the floating patio!). The food was fantastic. I chose seared scallops with red mashed potatoes & green beans - I made a really good choice. Shane had the cedar plank salmon with wild rice & veggies. Of course finished with a chocolate molten cake.

For as long as I've wanted to eat here, it definitely lived up to my expectations... Someday I want to pull up on a boat for dinner :-)

The view of Tubb's hill from the patio (a.k.a. "Bubb's Hill)



Saturday we woke up to a nice COOL morning. I was trying to build up some mileage so the plan was for Shane & the dogs to run out 30mins with me, then turnaround - I would head out for an additional 10before turning around. I've got the crazy idea to "try" another marathon... That is a whole other post though - so I'll save it. Long story short a 16 week training plan will start, well today actually - and the long run on the schedule is 2hours - I'm not quite ready to jump that high so I though 1:20 was good.

I've had some sort of respiratory cold/infection since Tuesday so my lungs have been less than great for a week. I made my best of it, wheezing through the first half of the run, but finally getting more air on the way back in. It was a perfect cool morning with a breeze. 1:20 in the bank!

When I got back home Shane said "I don't want to work today!" I know, it's Saturday - DUH. I'm ON IT! Hmm, what can we do? Let's drive up to Sandpoint! So after some yummy huckleberry pancakes (Let the IDAHO EXPERIENCE BEGIN), we were showered and on our way.... Almost. The traffic on the highway leading to Sandpoint (only 40miles away) was horrendous. We were stop go, stop go for 30mins, only moving about 2 miles. We actually pulled off the highway, ready to bail on the trip, but found a slight shortcut to get us ahead of most of the delay. Pheww...

About 90mins later we were FINALLY in Sandpoint.
Hungry, and ready for?????? We actually had no idea what we were going to do.

First stop - FOOD. We started walking down the main street along the water and saw a pretty big line forming outside of this place... MUST be good. One look at the menu & I had found my perfect place. One full page of baked potato lunch options. Seriously, my heaven. Post long run fuel - gotta love it.


Next up? Wine tasting - The Pend d'Oreille Winery. Who knew? I swear this was NOT the plan - I found it in the Sandpoint Magazine on the way up...honest
I fell in love with my first taste - A Malbec (not usually one of my favorites). It was interesting, nothing like I've ever had with a spearmint finish. While the other reds I tasted from the reserve list were GOOD, this one was GREAT. I can't wait to try it with some food!

After the wine tasting, we decided to drive around the lake a bit - see how it compared to Coeur d'Alene. The lake is HUGE - quite impressive actually. However, every driving around the entire CDA Lake a few weeks ago, we were more convinced we someday want to call CDA our "partial" home...
A little further up in Northern Idaho is just a little too, well - this sign says it all.
I kid you not people - you can't make this stuff up. It was right along the main highway through town at a Bar/Grill. Nuf said.

As I was looking through the rest of the Sandpoint Magazine to see if there was anything else we wanted to check out, I saw an add for "Laughing Dog Brewery." Although beer was the last thing on my mind after wine tasting, when I mentioned it Shane perked up. A business acquaintance he knows was just telling him about said brewery and how they were having an anniversary party and it just so happened to be well, this day. So, we stopped by the brewery to see if we could find his friend.
Have you ever been to a beer festival, or any sort of beer tasting event? It's like nothing other. Especially in Northern Idaho :-) These are straight up cowboy, beer drinking hicks. Trust me, I know my roots & where I came from, but I have to admit it's been a WHILE since I've seen something like this.. Stumbling, sloppy, DRUNKS. Wow. My Idaho experience is almost complete. That said, we did find Shane's friend, visited for a bit & I had a very good Huckleberry Ale! It was light and crisp and not too hoppy! Just the way I like my microbrews.

Our Sunday was actually already planned. I found a local wine I really liked, and also found they had a tasting room close by. When in Rome..... So, I summoned some of my girlfriends and Shane & I met Joy & Molly for an afternoon of wine tasting at Townshend Winery. The winery is close to Mt. Spokane in an area of farmers & fields of every fruit and veggie you can imagine - Green Bluff.
The wine tasting was GREAT. After having been to several wineries in Sonoma where you learn what varietals you do and don't like, and even start to narrow it down to your favorite vineyards (Alexander Valley), I wasn't expecting to have to winery trips where I enjoyed nearly EVERYTHING - including a very nice Viognier (which I had to try after regretting passing it up in SandPoint once I read the description).
We finished up our wine tasting with a couple of pictures, and headed to a neighboring farm for lunch and a little more wine.


The afternoon was GREAT. Perfect weather, company, wine & good food. We finished off the trip with a visit to Grandpa, pie in hand. To say he was pleased is an understatement when we walked in carrying sweets!
Next installment - a Dinner Cruise on Lake CDA & daytrip to my childhood favorite, Priest Lake!