Thursday, November 3, 2011

What I Learned From Doing a Marathon

1.  ANYBODY CAN DO A MARATHON {If they have the desire to do so}...Going into my first marathon, I kept anticipating the feeling of accomplishment that I would have as I crossed the finish line, and that feeling motivated me through a lot of my training.  I don't want to downplay the feeling of accomplishment I had when I crossed the finish line {because it was pretty phenomenal, and unreal at times} but almost more powerful for me, was the realization that "anybody can do this." As I was on the downhill stretch into the finish line, I crossed the last place lady {she was at mile 16}, probably in her 70s, who was leading the police escort at the end. Throughout the entire race I had seen people of all different demographics, but she really left a lasting impact with me...if she could do this, I had NO excuse.  I challenge ANYBODY who has the slightest interest in doing a marathon {or any physical task that they think is beyond their ability} to go for it.  I'll touch base on this next, but our mind is a very powerful tool, and we truly can do whatever we put our mind too.  No matter what the time was as all 5,000+ people finished the marathon, they were all "marathoners" at the end of the day.

2.  A MARATHON IS ALL ABOUT MENTAL TOUGHNESS...For the most part, I would consider myself a mentally tough person, but the marathon really challenged me and pushed me to the next level.  Did I ever doubt that I would finish...NO! However, I did allow my mind to convince me that I needed to "take it easy" if I wanted to finish, telling me I was too tired, etc.  But on the flipside, I was so proud of the fact that I completed my first marathon, that rather than beat myself up for this or that, I really turned my focus to how I would improve my next marathon experience. Talking about mental toughness, leads right into my next lesson learned....

3.  TAKE A MARATHON MILE BY MILE...For the first half, I never really got into the groove of just running, rather I was SO focused on "how am I going to finish this" and "what is it going to look like!?"  The course was challenging, especially the first half; and it challenged me both mentally and physically.  At mile 7, as we were climbing a mile long hill, I thought to myself, "I'm TIRED! Not so tired that I can't go any further, but tired enough that I am not going to be able to finish 26.2 miles."  So, my focus was always on the finish, rather than on each individual mile.  And that's a crucial part of not only the marathon itself but of the training: it's important to keep your eye on the goal, but also focus on {and enjoy} every step along the way.

4.  HAVING A TRAINING PARTNER IS KEY...and I don't mean just any training partner.  I mean a committed, motivating, encouraging, willing to get up at 4:30 am on a Saturday, will take a potty break in the bushes in the middle of nowhere on your long runs kind of training partner.  I originally signed up for the marathon thinking I would be doing it solo {which I was ok with}, but I can't tell you what a blessing it was to have Hollie join me on the journey.  

5.  SUPPORT FROM FAMILY & FRIENDS IS PRICELESS...I can't begin to express my appreciation for all who supported, encouraged, advised, and believed in me.  It was the texts, calls, emails, and FB "cheers" that really gave me the extra boost of confidence.  Speaking of family...I learned {or it was reiterated} at the start line that I am a Roberts, and we Roberts run fast and don't quit {words from my dad}. I am blessed to have two of the most amazing parents who not only support and love each other unconditionally, but also love, support, & encourage their children unconditionally. I wouldn't be where I am at, doing the things I am doing, if it weren't for them.

6.  PROPER FUEL & HYDRATION IN CRITICAL...I struggled A LOT with this during training. I would wait until I "needed" to eat, and by then it was too late, and I would bonk.  I finally got it all dialed in, and ate every hour {sport beans} and drank NUUN everyone mile.  

7.  THINGS HAPPEN AFTER 26.2 MILES THAT YOU DON'T EXPERIENCE AFTER 13.1...Following the marathon I took a trip to the medical tent, not to have my entire body wrapped in ice bags or lay on a cot to receive oxygen {Yes, several people were doing both of those}, rather to have my massive {and PAINFUL} blisters looked at {I wasn't sure if they recommended bandaging them OR popping them}.  I felt bad for the paramedic in training helping me, because I can only imagine how bad my feet stunk, and he had his work cut out for him.  After applying layers upon layers of moleskin on all 3 of my blisters, I was good to go again {I was going to include a picture, but then I realized that might be a little too much}! Next, thanks to a nice hot shower following my ice bath, I discovered hot spots from chaffing {those of you who run know exactly what I am talking about!!!} that I had never experienced before...on my back where my sports bra rubbed, and on the backs of my legs...weird!  This leads nicely into my next lesson learned...

8.  YOU CAN'T USE ENOUGH BODYGLIDE...I was actually happy that overall I didn't chafe all that bad, but it was because I liberally applied the body glide. But evidently, not enough on my feet.  Just apply it from head to toe, because trust me, you will need it.

9.  ICE BATHS WORK WONDERS...I am a huge advocate of the ice bath, and don't do a long run without one.  

10.  KT TAPE IS A MIRACLE WORKER...About a year ago I had "knee" problems, which thanks to an evaluation from my friends {she's a physical therapist and he is an orthopedic surgeon}, I was relieved to know that it was actually my IT band.  I'm much better about stretching and rolling out on a foam roller, but it still bothers me occasionally, so I gave KT Tape a try.  I will be the first to admit that part of it is probably mental, but let me tell you what, this stuff works! I had absolutely NO pain in my knee/IT band area.  I now tape up for any run over 10 miles, or one with more hills than normal.

Now that I have my first marathon in the books, I am ready for my next! Perhaps Rock N Roll Seattle? Rock N Roll San Diego? Napa Wine Country? Disney?

But more important than deciding what my next marathon will be, I plan on taking what I learned from the marathon {commitment, dedication, mental strength, a can-do attitude, etc.} & apply it to all aspects of my life.  

Don't let you mind set limitation on what you can do...the ski is the limit!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My First {of several} Marathons

On October 16th, 2011, I did what I said I would NEVER do....I ran {with more walking than I wanted} a marathon! When I decided to do a marathon, it was important to me to pick one relatively close {I have been known to travel for races} so that my parents could be there with me.  So, I decided to enter the lottery for the Nike Women's Marathon, and Luck Be A Lady I got in. And so the journey to 26.2 started...

As we headed to San Francisco, we filled the car with all the essentials for both us runners, and our cheerleaders

Essentials for a marathoner {Nuun & KT Tape}

Essentials for a marathon weekend in San Francisco

Our fabulous home for the weekend {I really could live in a big city!}

One of my favorite parts of all races, is going to the EXPO! Not only does it get the excitement going when you get your bib and timing chip, I love walking around and seeing what all the booths have {the latest in running technology, nutrition/supplements, gadgets, running apparel, etc}.  Although I was disappointed in the Nike Expo, we still had a great time!


Throughout the entire training process I felt so blessed to have had no major injuries or setbacks in my training {especially since I started with a setback}.  I did struggle with IT band issues, and 3 weeks before the race I had some weird foot Dr. Roberts and KT Tape {I swear by this stuff} came to the rescue!

Words really can't explain the energy as over 20,000 women {and a few men}, of all ages, abilities, athletic levels & motivations {some were running in honor of survivors, some running in memory of family, friends, and loved one, some were survivors themselves, some were running for the prize at the end, and others just running to be part of a phenomenal even} gathered to support a great cause and accomplishment something pretty amazing.  No matter how long it took people to finish, and the end of the day we were all marathoners!!!

Heading to the start line, rocking our Team Sparkle skirts!

Overwhelmed with excitement!

Proud dad! Thankful daughter!

This was at mile 11...I'll be honest, I was STRUGGLING!!! It was more of  a mental struggle, than physical.  As we climbed the hills of San Francisco I kept thinking if I am this tired now,  how am I possibly going to finish 26.2!? It wasn't that I was so tired at that exact moment, that I couldn't run any further, but I was tired enough that I was afraid I wouldn't be able to finish 26.2.  BUT, I never doubted that I would finish, it just might be a little slower than I anticipated.  

The ugly cry!!! For those of you that know me, I am an emotional runner...I get overwhelmed with a feeling of accomplishment and joy every time the finish line is in site.   


We did it!!!

And the REAL reason why I wanted to do this marathon....

The blue box!

Firemen in suits!

My only goal for my first marathon was to finish, injury free, without any "accidents" and with a smile on my face...mission accomplished! Although my time was quite a bit slower than I expected and I walked more than I really wanted, I am still a marathoner and I learned a lot for my next marathon {blog post coming soon}.  

Thank you to all who supported, encouraged & motivated me throughout the entire process!   

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marathon Training Is A Lot Like Baking A Cake

I know this might seem like quite a stretch, but this weekend as I was making funfetti cupcakes with some kiddos, I came to the realization that training for a marathon is a lot like baking a cake!

If you are anything like me, you rely on Pillsbury when making a cake...He provides the bulk of the cake, and step-by-step, foolproof instructions to make it. When I am preparing for a race I normally head straight to for my training plan, but for my marathon I referred to Run Less, Run Faster {which for me actually meant run more, run faster}. Run Less, Run Faster training plans are made up of speed work, tempo runs, and long, slow runs {times for each are determined by your  fastest 5-k or 1/2 marathon time}

Just buying the box, or writing out a training plan, doesn't ensure a successful outcome.  While baking a cake requires eggs, oil and water; training for a marathon requires mental toughness, commitment to training, supportive running partner, family & friends, early morning wake up calls, the right shoes, clothing & undergarments, fuel for the run, proper nutrition, and lots & lots of water!  When baking a cake, once all of the ingredients are mixed together, I can't resist trying the batter, and having a little taste of what the final product will taste like.  Throughout my training, I had several "tastes of victory" {finishing a 20 mile run & getting a 7 min PR in a half marathon to name a few} that got me excited for the final product...crossing the finish line.  

The Necessities

After all of the necessary ingredients have been mixed together, they need to bake in hours of dedication, commitment and training.


Once the cake has baked {or the training plan has been completed} it is really important to let the cake cool completely {taper} before applying the frosting.  It's necessary to let  the cake cool completely, or when you go to frost it the cake will collapse, fall apart, and the frosting will melt.  I learned this past weekend, that the cooling {or tapering} might be the most difficult part of making a cake.  McKenna asked me every other minute if it was time to frost the cupcakes yet...and I kept telling her we needed to wait until they completely cooled.  The taper has presented some struggles for me too...Our first run of the taper was a 12 mile run, which I approached with the mentality of "Oh, this is only 12 miles, I've got it" {It seemed relatively short after 20, 18 and 17 miles}.  That run ended up being one of the most difficult runs of the training...both mentally and physically! Now that we are down to a few 400s and a 3 mile run...I find myself questioning if I am really prepared?? Or should I get in another run??  I keep reminding myself, just as I did McKenna, that tapering is a necessary part of the training plan.


Once the cake has cooled, it is time to add the frosting.  For me, my frosting will come as I cross the finish line of my first marathon, and am frosted with a Tiffany's Necklace.  Although I am excited to receive a blue box from a fireman in a tuxedo {I mean really, who couldn't run 26.2 miles for that??}, I am really looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment when I turn the corner, see the finish line & and my parents there cheering me on.   I am an emotional athlete, and am always overcome with an overwhelming  feeling of accomplishment when I finish a race, which almost always results in tears of joy!

All the hard work has been done...Sunday will be my chance to celebrate the hours of training, and miles & miles of running that have been put in.  My emotions are all over the board this week...excited, scared, doubtful, confident, anxious, disbelief, etc.  But the one think I know for sure, I WILL cross the finish line and will officially be a marathon this Sunday! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things I've Learned {or that have been reiterated} From Marathon Training

In no particular order...

1.  Once you hit 15 miles, commando is the way to go  OK, I don't need to go into too many details here {cause they're really not pretty}, but on my 20 mile run {in which I rolled out of bed at 4:30am, after going to bed at 12:00am} I managed to throw on my running clothes, but didn't take into consideration what undies I was wearing {up until this point, I always wore underwear with my running clothes}.  After 20 miles in my VS cotton panties, I was pulling out the Udderly Smooth cream I had purchased on day 5 of Cycle Oregon last year...from that day forward, I've gone commando style 

2.  Quite a bit of preparation goes into the long runs  Once we determine our route {which a lot of times covers a couple different zip codes}, we then figure out where to hide water and sometimes a snack.  For a typical long run, I need 3 or 4 water bottles, nuun tablets for all my bottles, energy jelly beans OR GU, a hammer solid perpetuem, and sometime a PB&J sandwich stashed away in a bush.

3.  The mind is a powerful {probably the most powerful} tool  I am a huge believer in the mind, and the effect it has on your run/race.  The mind can tell you that you CAN do something or it can convince you that for one reason or another you cannot do something.  Any limitations we set on ourselves are a result of the mind.  I KNOW THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT DO IF I SET MY MIND TO IT!

4.  Ice Baths are a life saver  Prior to training for a marathon, the only time I would even consider an ice bath, would be after a race.  I'm not exactly sure why I started, but once I hit 15 miles in my training, I took an ice bath after every long run, and I really believe it saved my legs.  The last couple runs we have done started & ended by the river, so I took advantage of a natural ice bath...

5.  Having a good running partner is key! Having Hollie as a {completely unexpected} training partner has been the biggest blessing and I don't know what I would do without her.  She has held me accountable & pushed, encouraged, and motivated me throughout the entire process; I am looking forward to having her by my side for 26.2 miles, as we both complete our first marathon together {I know things can change race day, but as of right now we have committed to running the entire race together}

*love the double chin...I was trying to get the entire headband in the picture

6.  You can't just roll out of bed Saturday morning and run 15-20 miles  Proper nutrition, hydration & rest throughout the week are crucial to a successful long run.  I've struggled with dehydration {I sucked my water bottle dry within the first 2 miles on one of my runs}, totally "bonking" and literally running on fumes...I'm constantly focusing on nutrition & hydration throughout the week AND during the run {I'm still struggling with the rest part}.  Each run is getting better and I feel like I'm getting it all dialed in.  

4 weeks until the big day, and I'm sure I have a lot more to learn.  But what I already know is, on October 16th, I will be completing my first MARATHON!!!!!  These are words I thought I'd never say {just a temporary limitation of the mind}

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Life Long Friend {LLF} Ties The Knot

This weekend I had the privilege of celebrating with two AMAZING people as they begin their lives together.  My friendship with Megan began 20 YEARS ago, when I moved to Medford and we went to school together & were on the same swim team.  During the school year my mom would drop me off at Megan's house in the morning and we would ride the bus together, then in the summers we would watch the Price Is Right every morning {really hoping that they would play PLINKO} at our own homes and then meet half way to spend the rest of the day together swimming, rollerblading, and just hanging out. Following high school, we lost touch for a while {Megan was in Portland & I was in Colorado}, but once I was back in Oregon, we picked up right where we left off.  Then,  one of the best things happened...Megan moved back to Medford!!! Megan and I became workout buddies and major accountability partners...Training for the Pear Blossom, starting the Paleo diet, and doing the Pacific Crest Triathlon.  Megan and I had {and still do, despite the distance} a great connection and understanding of one another when it came to training...when I was having a bad day she was always their to pick me up & encourage me, when Megan felt like she had nothing left at the end of the race, I pushed her to dig deep and finish strong!  Our friendship goes beyond fitness...Megan is the kind of friend I know will always be there for me in time of need {she was the biggest blessing when I was in my accident, as she just "happened" to be home that week} and will always love, support and encourage me.  I know these 20 years are just the beginning of an amazing friendship.

Ok, enough about the friendship {I was just moved when my parents asked me how long we had been friends, and I realized it had been 20 years}, and back to the two AMAZING people starting their lives together!

My parents {who have set the perfect example of what marriage should look like}

WOW! It seems like only yesterday Michael was the "little" brother

The boys ready to go


First Kiss

A simple symbol of love


Mr. and Mrs. Richard Watkins

First Dance


The newlyweds

Looking forward to another 20 years!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I can't stop thinking about it...

Ok, where do I begin....? This weekend I introduced myself {for the second time} to the world of twitter and tweeting.  I followed 12 ladies {phenomenal runners and bloggers} who had sent in their applications and were selected to be a part of team AfterNuun DeLight for the 30th Anniversary of Hood-To-Coast. These ladies were my kind of media I developed an instant connection with them. For 26 hours, my phone was "tweeting" non-stop {except during a chunk of time when they had no reception} with tweets about decorating vans, using the honey bucket at 3am, not being able to find a honey bucket so using nature, running at 3am with an arm full of glowstick bracelets, getting in an hour nap before their next leg, consuming excessive amounts of NUUN {which I will be trying on my 20 mile run this saturday}, and developing lifelong friendships in a 26 hour time frame with 11 {what started out to be} strangers...what could possibly be better???

Hollie, my partner in crime for the marathon, was lucky enough to run on a Hood-To-Coast team this year, so this morning while we were doing our speed work at the track, we rested a little bit too much in between so she could share her experience with me! I kept wanting MORE; it sounded amazing!

Over the last two days I have been reading the blog posts of AfterNuun Delight highlighting their Hood-To-Coast experience, reading the ins and outs of Hood-To-Coast and the application process, thinking of team names, envisioning our vans all decorated and possible outfits we could wear, sending texts and making calls to recruit possible teammates {right now I have people from Oregon, Idaho, and Missouri}, researching condos in Seaside for the after-party, making a mental note of "must-haves" for my Hood-To-Coast experience, and watching the trailer for the Hood-To-Coast documentary {which I will be ordering}.

Going back to my "glory days" on the swim team, there is something extra magical, and unique about a relay team.  Some of my greatest memories as a swimmer, and some of the closest bonds/friendships created, are from relays. My relay team {which consisted of Ashley Johnson, Megan Clark, Jennifer Adams, and myself} was the a force to be reckoned with, and we had a bond that was unbreakable.  The adrenaline of gathering before the race, cheering each other on before and after each leg, standing on the block preparing to go, and celebrating at the end as a TEAM, is an experience and dynamic that can only be created in a relay situation.

This is not "the" relay, but still a great one! 

I am beyond excited for the possibility of participating in Hood-to-Coast 2012 {its a lottery}....2 vans, 12 of my favorite people, 200 miles, 15,000 runners, more porta-potties than you can count, cowbells, clipboards & stopwatches, coordinated outfits, running with headlights and glowsticks, laughing, creating memories & tweeting for 30 hours.  On October 12th, I will be hand delivering my application to the post office in hopes of getting the opportunity to create the bond and memories that I have from the swim team days, with 12 of my favorite people as we do what we love best...RUN!!

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I officially became a runner when...

1) I started planning trips around {and bought plane tickets for} races
2) I never left home without my running shoes
3) I started setting my alarm for 5:15am on a Saturday morning to get in 15 miles before I "started" my day

                  On June 23rd I sat in Dr. Galt's office anxiously awaiting the "okay" to start running again following my surgery; but that is not exactly what I got.  I didn't spend much time with Dr. Galt, but quickly grew to like him and enjoyed giving him a hard time and giving it my all to get a smile out of him.  After 2 short visits, he had me pegged {he knew if he gave me an inch I would take a mile}.  So, at my 2 week follow-up, he said I needed to take it easy for another 5 weeks...and by easy he meant no impact or weight bearing exercises; basically I could sit on a stationary bike for hours and hours.  His eyes became the size of golf balls when I {jokingly} asked about going to Crossfit and waterskiing :c) I knew that healing properly was key longterm, and I also knew that I WAS NOT going to allow this accident to prevent me from doing another event {my marathon in October}.  So I followed Dr.'s orders...for 4 weeks...and then gave in and did some trail running {that's low impact, right??}.  The day of my 7 week post-op appointment I ran 8 miles, but didn't tell him until he reviewed my x-rays, and everything looked good; at that point I was given the "okay" to run.

                  At this point I'm several miles behind where I need  to be in my training, and the only way to catch up is to just pick-up the plan and go for it.  So 3 weeks ago I told my friend/motivator/encourager/running partner that I was ready to start following the mileage on the plan and see what happens.  She looked at me like I was crazy, but also knew that nothing was going to slow me down.  That Saturday as we set out on a 14-mile run I warned Hollie that I may need to walk, etc. but I was going to finish it! We RAN 14 miles, stopped twice to fill up out water bottles, and it felt AMAZING!!!

                I am a firm believer in the power of the mind, especially when it comes to running. Recently 2 stories have encouraged me {in all areas of life, not just running}, and have given me strength and perseverance when things get "tough" {I put it in quotes because it is all relative}.  I have been following, and immensely touched, by the stories of 2 local kids {Faith and Ethan} who have been battling cancer {one has recently gone to be with the Lord} . These two children have fought relentlessly to the end, never complaining or giving up faith & hope.  As I ran up Terwilliger in Portland I drew strength to make it to the top {home to Doernbecher's Children's hospital, where the 2 families had been for several weeks}  from these 2 unbelievable kids {angles}, who I knew never  complained or gave up,  and would "run the race with perseverance."  The day following Ethan's service I went on a 15 mile run,  and I can't tell you how many times I thought of him and his legacy, and drew strength from it.  Their stories have touched me on several levels {especially since my brother is a cancer survivor}, but two main things have really stuck with me (1) Our days are numbered here on earth, and we don't know how long we have with our loved ones.  So don't hold grudges, let the people you love know it daily, & make that phone call you have been meaning to make but keep putting off because "life" gets in the way.  (2) Change your mindset and attitude from "I Can't" to "I WILL."  Seeing these kids FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES really puts it into perspective; I have NOTHING to complain about.

My next LEAP OF FAITH will be participating in a run that raises funds to find a cure for childhood cancer {I'm sure a plane ticket will be involved :c)} and then I will look into starting an event here locally.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Officially A Cyclist

On Wednesday May 18th, my friend Shay and I set out on what was to be our most difficult ride, in terms of climbing, of our {or should I say of my} training.  We started at the Pony Espresso in Jacksonville {our favorite place to meet}, and headed out of Jacksonville, up Applegate/Kady Rd...which for those of you familiar with the area, know that hill is a doozer {is that even a word??}. The plan was to head up and over Woodrat Mt., loop through Applegate and end up back in Jacksonville.  
Well we made it up Woodrat Mtn...

..and down! {which isn't Shay's favorite part} As we began to head towards Applegate, something completely unexpected, that I never thought would happen to me, happened...I crashed my bike! All I remember was waking up, sitting up on the side of road, seeing 3 people {Shay, and two people who stopped to help}, and noticing my bike on the ground out of the corner of my eyes. I had no recollection of what had happened, and even the events of the day were a blur to me...I kept asking Shay what happened, where we were, where our cars were, etc.  Despite being aware enough to know that something was wrong, and being in pain, and I had a peace {God given} that everything was going to be ok.  After being dropped off at our cars, Shay and I headed to the ER so I could be examined...mainly for a possible head injury.

This was my helmet...

On the way to the hospital I called my parents, who headed straight there {I really am blessed to have the best parents} and my friend who I was supposed to be doing the triathlon with.  For some reason I really felt like I needed to call her and let her know I had been in an accident, but that I was ok.  After about an hour or so in the ER, I was diagnosed with a minor concussion & a broken collar bone. 

Initial x-ray...

 Of course, the first question I asked was, "How long will I be out? I am supposed to do a triathlon in 4 weeks." Well it quickly became apparent that that wasn't going to happen. Despite a concussion, a broken bone, and a goal temporarily put on hold, I chose to still have a smile on my face as I thought of what could've been...

{Fast forward two weeks}...I went to visit a dear friend of mine, who is an orthopedic surgeon and wanted to see me two-weeks following the accident for another x-ray. Well, this is what the x-ray showed...

Within 2 weeks {I actually think it happened the evening of the accident in the ER}, my collar bone had become completely displaced {yes, I had been walking around like that} and now I had to make the decision to have it treated surgically or non-surgically.  After consulting with other surgeons, and people who had treated their broken clavicles both surgically and non-surgically, it seemed unanimous that I needed to have the surgery. After seeing Dr. Galt on Thursday, I scheduled the surgery for the following Tuesday.  Although I had accepted the fact that I would no longer be participating in the triathlon, I was determined to not allow anything to prevent me from going and cheering on my friends and spending some time in the mid-west {my flight was Friday following the surgery}.  Despite thinking I was crazy, my doctor thought that if all went well I would be able to travel that soon following surgery {as long as I promised him I wouldn't participate in the triathlon. He figured me out real quick}

If you don't know already, my mom and I enjoy taking pictures when most other people wouldn't...

NO, they hadn't started the drugs yet...

I'm now Bionic Woman

A very dear friend {who was constant support throughout everything} and I enjoying a sandwich after I hadn't eaten for over 24 hrs :) 

I could not of asked for a better surgery experience...I came out of the anesthesia wonderfully {I was nervous because other than having my tonsils removed, this was my first surgery}, had minimal pain {I was on narcotics for less that 24 hrs and then nothing after that} gained full range of motion in my shoulder within 1 1/2 weeks, and most importantly I was able to get on a plane Friday morning!

Throughout the last 5 weeks, I have...

1) been so thankful for a mom who loves and cares for me unconditionally. 
2) been blessed beyond understanding by the love & support {meals, cards, texts, cards, etc} I have received by family & friends
3) been joyously thankful to have a broken bone.  I realize how fortunate I was to have no major head injury. 

I now have a 5 inch scar to remind me that the Lord protected me that day on my bike, and can't wait to get on my bike again this summer.  Being head cheerleader at the Kansas 70.3 was a blast, and I am looking forward to my next leap of faith...the Nike Women's Marathon in October.