Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Run for a Cause!

Gary & Thelissa Zollinger, founders and organizers of the fundraiser for Early Lung Cancer detection research.  Gary valiantly fought for life and survived a double lung transplant, it was while he was recovering that he determined to do something to help prevent this dreaded disease from taking lives. . .

The answer:
An endowment was begun and the run was the momentum for research to begin that would provide a test to be performed during the annual routine physical lab work that would trigger alerts for medical professionals to catch Lung Cancer while it is treatable.  Gary had been seeing doctors and thought he had a bad case of asthma, he wasn't diagnosed until he was well into stage-4 Lung Cancer.

That is how this 5K race, staged at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, located in Aurora Colorado, was begun.

Lung cancer is a silent killer that takes life one breath at a time.  because symptoms usually do not occur until late stages, it is difficult to treat and cure.  For this reason, there is a great need for an early detection screening.  Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women in the US.

2010 Lung Cancer Statistics:
    222,520 newly diagnosed in the United States
    157,300 deaths
    Remains the #1 cancer killer

Lung Cancer will kill more people this year than:
Colon Cancer
Breast Cancer
and Prostate Cancer 

For more information than I have quoted here or to donate to this cause visit their website
(click on the colored text and it will magically take you there!)

So Why do I run?

 Gary:  Cousin in-law - more like close family!
Robert: Late Husband
Sharon:  Friend, who is currently battling Lung Cancer herself

 The setting of this run has additional meaning to me. . .

This is the same hospital, formerly known as the Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, where my late husband was treated for Cancer in 1990, he passed away on January 2, 1991.

Although Robert died of Liver Cancer, it was at this facility that he was treated, it was here and during this time of my life that I came to know Gary and Thelissa Zollinger and their amazing family.  They are my friends, they are part of my family

 The journey was exciting!  I flew to Denver instead of driving like we normally do.  Because it was just me going it just made more sense.  Flying is fun because you can be in a storm of grey and rain and within minutes it is sunny and beautiful!

 As a child I used to dream/imagine that I was in the clouds all soft and poofy all comfy without a care in the world, kind of like the snugly bear in Downy Fabric Softener commercials.  Looking at the clouds from this perspective I still believe that it would be wonderfully awesome!

 The frontier plane I was on had a picture of an Elk on the wing, their slogan "a whole new animal"  each plane features a different animal on the plane.  kind of fun I think

 Back down on earth, Saturday was cool, but beautifully sunny, a perfect day for a run!

 waiting to begin, with race officials and friends

The official start line

Two years ago when I was here as a volunteer, the night before we blew up balloons and then arrived at the race site at the obnoxiously early hour of 5:00 AM to get the balloon arch assembled.  The weather was not cooperative in the least with the wind blowing and it was COLD!  the about 30 minutes before the race began the entire balloon arch broke loose and floated away into the sky. . . I think it was looking for sunshine too.

This year they added timing chips!  way cool, no fudging your time. . . data is data  
Gotta love it!

the start line, I was somewhere in the middle.  My goal for this race was to finish in less than 30 minutes!  No time for loafing or pictures this time around. 

People kept thinking I looked like a real pro, I kept telling them that half the battle was look the part and people think you are better than you really are.  As for my time, I missed my less than 30 minute mark by :29 seconds, not bad, I think to myself!  but still room for improvement.

Helping to clean up, Jamie and I found these perfectly good, unopened bagel holes and decided to "dumpster dive" and saved them.  While we felt a little odd in the process, they weren't that great in the end, and now. . . I can honestly say I've been dumpster diving. . . officially. . . well okay not quite dumpster diving, more like trash can diving, but close enough for me!

 the final clean up, we had to haul all this trash to the dump site!

It's time to go home, getting ready for a race is exhausting, but a worthwhile and happily tired
I will look forward to coming again next year!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pink Flamingos and a10K

My first 10K- - - (6.2 miles) was unique in the fact that well. . . it was my first 10K and . . .

. . . while most routes are simply marked by painted arrows on the road, signs with arrows, or volunteer peeps holding arrows showing you where to turn and such, this one was marked by Pink Flamingos!  they made for an interesting and fun way to mark the route.  They had peeps with signs at the corners too, cheering and encouraging runners onward and such, but I liked the unique twist of the funny little pink birds.  Somehow they were a little out of place with cold weather mingled with snow flurries, not the typical tropical environment you would picture a pink flamingo in. . . sort of like me in running shoes, just slightly out of place but still there nonetheless.

 This morning was a blustery day, and as I left the house it was actually snowing even though it was May!  I toyed with the idea of not going, but I did pay the registration fee AND I wanted to know how it would feel to run 6.2 miles, and I did tell you, my faithful readers I was doing this event. . .  AND I didn’t want to be a wuss!  So off to pick up my race number, and here we are upside down and all.

I also managed to step in a huge mud bog and not only did it get my sock all wet, but now my shoe is dirty too!  Nothing like a first race to FULLY break in the running shoes.

I actually quite enjoyed the run, it was a local community effort and thus very low key.  One of the volunteers is setting up cones guiding the way to the finish line, I guess the little flamingos wouldn't stick into the asphalt very well.  There were no timing chips, or race officials other than volunteers and the organization staff.

The race was in the country with beautiful scenery and more than just local citizens to be amused by everyone running by.   This horse was highly interested in us as we ran past

I actually very much enjoyed running down the quiet country streets. 
I was only slightly envious of this dude on his bicycle

One thing I learned is to take your own water supply with you!  at least I’ve decided that I need to do this.  I need to drink, well rather sip regularly just to keep my whistle wet and without that all I think about is water.  It may be nothing more than a mental/psychological thing, but regardless of what it is, I need water!  They had this one lone water station with all these little bottles of precious H20, but that was it and I didn’t run across this little oasis until almost mile 4, then I had to carry my little bottle of water which was highly annoying as it kept sloshing and I couldn’t do anything else with my hands, because I had to hold the precious commodity.  I’ll try not to complain too loudly, for at that moment, I was grateful just to have water.

On my training runs I ALWAYS take my "fuel belt" with me, I just assumed that they would have water stations more regularly than they did.  So from now on, I will take my own, just in case.

This little guy looks how I felt at one point!  I've determined that while running is okay, I much prefer being on my bike.  However, Triathlons require running, so I will simply have to keep after it.  I've been told that I will enjoy it more with time.

 This is a little hard to make out entirely, but my official time was 1:06.89
not as good as I would have liked, but it's a start.

My first 10K with the Pink Flamingos was a great experience, and I'll look forward to doing it again next spring.  overall the route was beautiful and enjoyable, even if I was running. . . the good news, I wasn't last. . .  close but not quite!

It turned out to be a valuable lesson in my portfolio of running as I learned a few things:

even though it may seem a little nippy to begin with if you over-dress you will need to eventually, and soon after beginning the run, need to undress. As a person running warms up pretty quick!  After shedding all those unwanted layers, it  is then necessary to somehow pack the now, unwanted gear with you while you run.  that turned out to be an interesting feat.
albeit disappointing, the fact is I’m slow, and realize I have some work to do.
although slightly counter productive, taking pictures along the way was fun.
ALWAYS take your own water supply if you are like me

This race was the beginning of May, I did another 10K this past Saturday, but it will be part of the Wasatch Back blog post after the Wasatch Back in June, as there were several of us there.  Not to worry though, my time was 3 minutes faster, and pictures were still fun, and it was more up-hill than my first 10K, so I think it's safe to say, I definitely had a bit quicker step this time around!

Here is a sneak preview of Saturday's run, "Conquer the Canyon"  I'm the one behind the first runner,  take note that even though I'm slow, BOTH feet appear to be mid-air. . .

last time I checked. . .

I think they call that running. . .

Last week I logged a total of 7 hours 51 minutes training time.  It wasn't my best week, due to some intestinal challenges on Wednesday, and the fact that I missed a bike ride due to the "Conquer the Canyon" starting later than I thought it would, causing me to work later than initially expected, with a evening thunderstorm accompanied by BIG WIND,
yup I was a wuss. . . 

I dislike riding in BIG WIND, and I HATE riding my bike in the rain! Double whammy; for the justification:  It was after 7:30 pm when I got home anyway, so there wasn't much daylight time left for riding.  I'll be content with almost 8 hours of training for the week, I don't have much of a choice, the week is over and we are moving onto a new one.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunshine, A Box, and a Phone Call. . .

First things first:

Training is going well, I finally got the bike off the trainer and went for a  ride outside.  I don't know how describe how wonderful and refreshing it is to finally be outside on my bike. It's like going to that comfortable happy place that one looks forward to going, almost like vacation.   

 It did mean rearranging the living room a tiny bit

Now that looks better! . . .  The perfect parking spot for the bike

The next bit of exciting news came in the form of a box!  When you open your mailbox and see this, it's always exciting, especially when it is completely unexpected.

Upon reading the label and determining that is was definitely addressed to me
I still wasn't sure who it was from, so I had to find out. 

inside I found pretty pink bubble wrap and a letter

 Turns out one of the members that is in the area of the missionary
sent me a Mother's day box full of these amazing cookies and mini brownie cupcakes for him!

I'm pretty sure this is not the missionary's art work, 
I don't remember his penmanship being that perfect either

 They were almost too amazingly beautiful to eat!  the brownie cupcakes were the first to go, The cookies went one at a time, but I ate one everyday until they were gone, and enjoyed the fact that I had them to enjoy.  We had made some lemon curd for the Daughters graduation and I used the leftovers to dunk/dip the cookies in. . . yum

Then on Sunday (last Sunday) the missionary got to call home! 
Words cannot explain how wonderful it is to talk to your missionary.
This is the genius on the phone with his brother, he looks a little odd, as he is trying to see how long his hair can grow before it falls over.

While on the phone with the missionary it was determined that in fact the daughter did straighten the missionaries hair at one point so they decided to straighten the genius's hair.  he went from odd to. . . what word is there to describe this. . . I'm at a loss right now.

The genius ready to leave for school again.  straight from a 70's cowboy flick. . . not much else to say here either, pictures say it all.  but he looks happy about the look. . .

I was happy that he didn't get pulled over, I didn't particularly want to bail him out of an arrest  for suspicious behavior.

The genius left pretty late which explains why I didn't post this last week, I went to bed. . . 

I love my sleep!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

LOTOJA 2011 Lottery Results. . . . .

 Mixed in with a couple of glitches the past couple of days:

Sorry: no pictures for this post. . .  it's not very picturesque I guess 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011:

      Today is the day I find out if I was given a spot for LOTOJA 2011. . . .
  • woke up with a knot in my right shoulder, no fun. . . hey it HURT
  • glasses broke
  • lost contact lens after swimming
  • no e-mail about my status for LOTOJA, disappointing, but somewhat expected from last years experience.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011:
  • woke up at 3:00 AM in a panic checked e-mail for LOTOJA status, it wasn’t there, up for hours stressing - The genius actually went to bed early this night so he was no help in the consoling department :-(
  • discovered that my flight to Denver dropped $50.00 - ouch - - - I should have held out,  too late to fix that though
  • received a call from the mission office. . . . everything is okay, they just needed to know where to ship the missionary. Amazing he's that close to coming home.
  • messed up wasatch back support/volunteer assignments for the daughter and the hubby - - - but got it fixed through our team captain (thanx Erin)
  • because of my distress, missed swim and bike this morning, but I can delay everything for a day and be fine, I have Saturday scheduled off of training anyway to celebrate the daughters graduation from college – now that’s a cool thing!
  • e-mailed LOTOJA officials – received no response
  • called LOTOJA officials – No Answer

It’s not even noon yet!

  • still no e-mail from LOTOJA
  • Facebook - Saved my sanity (a bajillion thanx to Darcy).  Still anxious and antsy, but much calmer, I tried to be patient throughout the day, checking my e-mail and facebook at least once an hour for any news of any kind!
  • the LOTOJA website say’s their web-site has been down for SIX days. . . No wonder, but still antsy and impatient.
    2:45 PM:  word on the street is that notifications were going out. . . still nothing for my empty little "in box"
    Thursday, May 5, 2011:
    • still no e-mail
    • had a much better night, in fact slept like a petrified log. . .
    • e-mailed LOTOJA officials again today
    this morning, no e-mail

              later this morning, no e-mail

                        later again this morning, no e-mail

                                                                 . . . . . . waiting, checking, anxious with anticipation
    Then at 11:32 am this morning I finally received my e-mail from the LOTOJA peeps - with the news I've been waiting for for three days. . . .


     LOTOJA status notification

     Brent Chambers <brent@lotojaclassic.com>
      Thu, May 5, 2011 at 11:32 AM 


    It seems there may have been a couple of yesterday's email batches    that were blocked from going out due to our new email service provider having a sending limit of 1,000 e-mails per hour - a limitation previously unknown to us.  This morning we are resending those two batches to be sure everyone is successfully notified.  Thank you for your e-mail and patience.


    FYI - your application was successfully selected. 

    Brent Chambers
    epic events inc.   |   LOTOJA CLASSIC

                 Did you read that????

    A response directly from the director:  
    "FYI - your application was successfully selected"

    I'm in. . . .

    . . . .Whew, that was intense waiting for that to come!

    With that over with, now I can officially post my summer event itinerary, I know you have all been dying to see it, okay even if you haven't I can think that you have been . . . or at least pretend. . .

    Until this week, my training has been going remarkably well, and I have my season schedule pretty much in place.  (I always question whether I'm doing enough, but I hear that is normal) I read somewhere that if you were going to do something amazing, sign up, and then tell the world about it.  Well since through this blog, you are part of my world I am going to tell you about it.  Some of the goals I have set for myself this year are:
    FIRST:  Run the entire run of the Spudman Oly Triathlon (that's 6.2 miles) even if I'm slow. . .(I begin with the idea of a 9:00-9:15 min/mile, but it is more realistically going to be closer to 10 min/mile)
    SECOND: Shave another hour off of my LOTOJA time (Goal:  11:39 or less)
    THIRD: Participate in a Half-Marathon
    As you can see I have some work to do.  One of the ways that I am going to keep on track of my progress, is via da blog.

    As workouts and training go, Last week was great, this week has been a little rough and the daughter graduates from the University this week!  Even though it’s not doing much for training,  It’s incredibly exciting!
    For those of you who are still reading, here is what I have in store for myself this summer:

    Events for April/May:
         - Run against Child Abuse 10K Completed!
         - Health Days - 10K
         - Gift of Life & Breath - 5K

    Events for June:
         - Little Red Riding Hood - Century Ride
         - Hyrum Olympic Triathlon
         - Wasatch Back Relay Run from Logan to Park City
         - MS 150 Bike ride - two day event of 75 miles and 100 miles

    Events for July:
         - Cache Valley Super Sprint Triathlon
         - Spudman Olympic Triathlon

    Events for August:
         - ULCER - Ride around Utah Lake - Century
         - 7000 ft Century (this is my personal quest, and not an organized ride)
         - Strawberry/Bear Lake Loop - this is the last big preparation ride in preparation for LOTOJA
         - Find the missionary at the airport

    Events for September:
         - LOTOJA
         - Heber Valley Classic Century Ride

    Events for October:
         - Layton Half Marathon

    Events for November:
         - Rest for a minute

    Now I have told the world!  well at least you, who are part of my world. . . Thanks for stopping by and sharing my journey.  If you happen to see me around please say hello!

    What a great summer it's going to be. . . here we go, anyone that want's to go for a run (remember I'm slow) or ride give me a call and let's go!


    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Toys to track my progress:

    It’s a proven fact that for greater success in any venture, it’s important to have to report your progress to someone.  Since I want to get better but have a tendency to become “unmotivated” at times when something comes up, I just tell myself that I’ll double up for the next couple of days, and of course, just like a diet, that rarely happens.  So I am going to use my blog as a means of reporting my progress.  If you are watching and tracking my successes I’m sure I’ll be more motivated to keep it going avoiding the pitfall of “I’m tired today” or “I have too much to do” or "it's too cold outside" or any other excuse that I have the ability to dream up. . . trust me I can get pretty creative when I truly want to get out of something.
    So here is what I did this past week:
    Bike:  85.83 miles (on a trainer!)  Ugh, being on a trainer makes riding harder i.e. BORING, but is good for practicing mental focus  
    Run: 13.72 miles
    Swim 4850 yds (2.76 miles)
    Total training time = 9 hrs 47 minutes
    How do I track all of this stuff?   Well it's an evolving story.

    This is what the bike on a trainer looks like.  You cannot see the fan, but it is an essential part of the set up, it gets pretty sweaty!  The orange tire lasts longer than the traditional black ones and it is replaced with a regular tire when we go riding outside.

    If you have never worked out on a trainer this may not sound impressive.  This next little bit of detail is personal opinion only, but a trainer should be worth at least 1 1/2 to 2 times the effort put out on the open road.  the reason being is that there is no coasting allowed.  The trainer won't let you, even if you wanted, it just stops when you stop.  There is no beautiful scenery to observe, and because you are not watching for wild dogs, cars, pedestrians, debris in the road, or any other hazard you remain 100% focused. . .  meaning it is hard work to ride indoors!

    I was getting ready for a run Saturday morning and my HR (heart rate) monitor got lost in this messy pile of HR monitors.  Each time you purchase a new device, you get a new monitor, whether you need one or not, and so this is my pile of heart rate monitors.  That is one advantage to sticking with one brand such as Garmin, even though you get multiple HR monitors, you just need to keep track of one for all the devices.  Polar isn't quite that simplistic.

    This is the array of monitoring devices I have acquired over the years
    to assist in my quest of improving myself.
     I even have all the boxes, that must be the pack-rat part of me.
    Here are all the watches, except one, the daughter has it, and the Polar CS600 or my 705 neither being a watch, and wouldn’t fit on my newspaper like these.
    However, my favorite brand is the Garmin simply because they are GPS based.  

    This is the very first HR monitor I purchased, it died a noble death this past January which is why it has been replaced. This one only tracks Heart Rate and time so wasn’t very useful.  I initially purchased it to help motivate me to loose weight by keeping track of how hard I worked, by watching heart rate, and for fun it calculated calories burned.  I admit I was looking for the least expensive route, but should have researched it a little bit more prior to making my decision.

    This little unit was the very first bike computer I purchased five years ago.  It is basic, basic, basic and I don’t really miss it at all.  It was connected by wires that wrapped up and around the bike, which didn’t look very pretty to say the least.  This little guy only shows Cadence and Speed.  it doesn’t down/up load to any software and with all the wires that required wrapping around the bike to get it connected provided a tacky look.  So in this case the upgrade was a good choice, as ALL of my other computers upload onto the computer and they are wireless!  But I must admit I was surprised that the battery is still going strong!  This computer is almost 6 years old now and I used it for a solid 3 years before replacing it with the Polar.

    This is my Polar CS600, which replaced the little cat-eye above.   This little guy has been my friend for 3 years now and is very effective, I like it because it’s incredibly reliable, small, and has an amazing battery life, I have only replaced the battery once in three years.  The drawback is that it's not GPS capable so therefore it is my back up, when something goes awry with the Edge.  I was glad I had the Polar for LOTOJA last year, when my cadence sensor for the Edge quit working the day before the race. Because the Polar is more stable and isn’t quite as quirky as the Edge, it stays on the bike for now.

    The Edge 705 even though it is a little buggy/quirky is by far my favorite cycling computer! I refer to it as my “motivational speaker” Like the FR305 I can set it up to sing to me when I cease pedaling fast enough or when my HR, or speed drops below a certain point.  I can set it up for intervals and it beeps at me telling me when I’m almost done for a few seconds.   Both the 305 and the Edge, unlike the Polar, can be used to track all that important info while on the trainer, indoors without GPS enabled.  In addition to all these absolutely cool features, it has maps on board!  Being that I am one of the most directionally impaired people in the west, with this little unit I can find the road I want or even better, how to get back home!  I love my 705!  it doesn’t go running very well meaning that it tells you MPH  not mile/min and you can’t wear it, it requires that you hold it.  VERY inconvenient!

    Which is where the FR305 comes in. ( I have the optional accessory fabric wristband/bike adapter). The 305 is the perfect watch for running and triathlons.  While it runs and bikes, it doesn’t swim very well.   If you want to take it swimming, it’s necessary to put it in a zip-lock baggie and then tuck it inside your swim cap first, but by using this method you can see what kind of a swim line you make which can be very educational, and in my case, somewhat embarrassing. Like the Edge it can be set up to tell you to speed up or count-down for intervals, distance, time, or whatever you want it to tell you.   you can wear it to do dishes and stuff like that, however, you wouldn't want to just wear this as a watch, it’s a tad bit bulky.  They have a new model out that can go swimming and has a longer battery life, but I am waiting a bit longer before investing in the new & improved version.

    The FR 60, first off is cute, I love that it’s pink!  This is the little unit that replaced my first grey polar HR monitor/watch. It keeps track of my swimming, as the others don't go swimming very well, or better yet, they don’t go swimming at all.  This is the reason I’m tempted or at least considering the upgrade of the 305, one watch that will do everything!

    This one is a polar, it goes swimming and running, but isn’t compatible with the speed/cadence sensor from the CS600, it needs its own sensors and it doesn't have GPS capabilities, it will beep at you if your HR gets too high, or cadence too slow, but not very loud, I missed the beeps quite often and became frustrated with that element too.   So, with my only regret that I didn’t convert to Garmin sooner,  I have replaced this with the FR305.  I could still use it for swimming but Polar doesn't upload into Garmin and Garmin doesn't upload into Polar for data analysis,  and I like having all of my data in one place.  So for now, it is just there to remind me that I purchased it at one point.  

    So there you have it, the history of some of my toys and gadgets that I have acquired over the years to keep me motivated, improving and going forward, and this year I have you, via da blog!  It’s going to be a great year.

    I find out this week if I have a LOTOJA 2011 spot. . . the impatience sets in!  When I find out I will post my planned 2011 event schedule for all to see.

    Remember, always find joy in the journey of life!