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Vision Board

At the risk of sounding like a complete dork, today I made my first vision board.
A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or a Visual Explorer or Creativity Collage) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images that you’ve torn out from various magazines. It’s simple.

The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.

In preparing for Comrades next spring, I have found myself with a long journey and one in which I have Comrades as the ultimate goal, but other goals to hit along the way to help enhance the journey and to help me complete Comrades to the best of my ability.

Usually, I stay pretty motivated just without any visual cues. Occasionally, I will hang something up on my bulletin board to remind me of what I am shooting for. Usually a race brochure or race profile. For Ironman, I just had the mental image of me crossing the finish line to keep me going.

This goal, I decided that one image wasn't enough. So I got out my magazines, my scissors, some pictures and little rubber cement and started creating.

So, here's what I came up with:

If you didn't get it from the pictures:
To prepare for Comrades, I am running the Miami Marathon-- where I hope to pr. Additionally, I want to focus on my health: drink more water, strengthen my core, trim down, go faster, etc. I wanted to remember my friends who will be with me in Miami and Durban, Becki and Heather. Watching Heather get her BQ-- and see how close I can get to one... In February, I want to run the Moab Red Hot 50k as a distance measure, so I wanted some Moab picts. And of course, I wanted to highlight Comrades with symbols of their race and everything I can't WAIT to experience in South Africa (Durban, animals and African culture).

I hoped to capture it all and I think that I have (for me). I finished it and hung it up in my office where I will see it every day and already it has helped. I can't wait to go running in the morning. I hope this feeling stays with me and I hope the board is a constant reminder of all that I am shooting for.

Call me a dork or call me motivated. I don't care. :)

Time to give back a little....

For the past year (actually longer) I have been reaping the benefits of friend's and volunteer's support. While I like to give back when I can, it is hard for me to sometimes find those opportunities that I can do with kids, family, etc.-- but not this weekend!

This weekend was the Rock'n Roll Denver 1/2 and full marathon and I had 3 friends running one of the races. (Not to mention the kids, who ran here.) It was much easier to involve the kids and Ross in the festivities since they, too, were friends with everyone. For support, we made t-shirts, signs, etc. so that the kids felt included and could do their part to cheer everyone on.
This is Noah's onesie. It says "See Daddy Run 13.1! GO DADDY!"

"The Dana, Chuck, Gaye OFFICIAL Cheer Crew!"

So, I started the day off at 5:00 a.m. waiting for Dana to pick me up.

Then it was off to get Chuck and go downtown. Once we were there, I made sure my race buddies were good to go and I was off to the first volunteer station (about 1 mile jog).
Ready to run!

Here we spent time stacking cups, filling water, etc. all while waiting for 15,000+ runners to pass on through. This was a really cool opportunity for me because I was volunteering at the Runner's Roost station (my local running store) that was partnered with my Tri Club, so I was happy to see everyone.
Sean, Elizabeth and a lotta, lotta Cytomax.

Once the runners started coming through, it was all business! I have never seen so many people in such a short amount of time (15,000 over about 45 minutes) race on through. It looked something like this.

The cool thing about the first stop is that it is over fast. When the runners were all done, we quickly cleaned up and I was outta there by 8:05. Then, I was running to mile 5 (about 3 miles away) to meet Ross and Dan (Dana's husband) and all of our kids.

Got there to find that Gaye, Chuck and Dana had already passed by. That was ok, I was glad everyone was having a good race! I could tell the men had their hands full with the kids (who wouldn't?), so I kind of anticipated I wouldn't be running too long with anyone (unless it was Gaye later when the kids went home).

At this time, Lorynne showed up and we all moved to mile 9.5-- two blocks away-- just in time to see Chuck pass.
So, then Lorynne, Braden and Noah were off to the finish line.

Shortly after Gaye came by

I got to see her and run with her a little.
She was doing awesome!

The kids did their jobs blowing horns and holding signs!

Then Dana came by and you can see how her face lit up when she saw her family and friends and it made being out there all the much more worthwhile!!!

I got to run a little with her, too.

Then, we were all off to the finish line... (a complete MADHOUSE with spectators for 15,000 people all in one place)

We got on the wrong side of the corral, but were still able to see Dana pass.

Chuck had finished, we found Dana at the family reunion meeting spot, but with 4 tired kids, we were unable to find Chuck & Company, but we got some good finish line photos of the Grotes.

I tried to text Gaye's friend, only to find I didn't save her number properly. I was bummed and waited for Lyndsey to text me, but nothing. So, I headed home with my clan to cyber stalk Gaye's finish.
Picture I pulled off the internet of Gaye finishing. That's my girl!

I was so happy to be out there supporting. I know it pales in comparison to all of the support I have received, but it was the least we could do.

I STRONGLY encourage anyone with friends, family, co-workers, etc who participate in these types of events, to spectate-- it makes all the difference in the world to a lot of them. And often, you make a difference in those you don't know as well. (In IM, one of the coolest signs I saw said, "I am a COMPLETE STRANGER and I am proud of you".)

Plus, you get to see some pretty cool and fun stuff. I'll leave you with some pictures of some fun runners. :)

Denver KIDS ROCK!!! Race Report

After a year of us racing, it was time for Hunter and Lincoln to strut their stuff... and boy were they excited.

We signed them up for Kids Rock Denver, which is the kid's race associated with the Rock'n Roll Denver Marathon and Half-Marathon. For the last month the kids have been talking about it a lot. At first, they thought it was a swim, bike, run race and their little hearts were let down learning they "only" got to run. But we promised them a kid's tri next year-- to which Hunter asked, "But, mom, who will coach me?" Me, of course.

To make the kid's have an extra-special race, I made them each t-shirts that said, "Cheer for me, I am (kid's name)". I got this idea from a tri-friend who said her mom did it for her and it always lifted her spirits to have people cheering for her by name. So, here are our little athletes, showing off their shirts and smiles.

Once we heard that the "kindergarten division" was ready, they grouped the kids and had a little organized stretching.

The volunteers did a great job at keeping the kid's occupied and lining them up at the start line.

Ronald greeting the kids at the start line!

All the "kindergartner division" ready to go!

Then it was time to run.
The gun goes off-- actually, they just said "go!"

Brendan, Hunter and Lincoln run by!

The race was 1/2 mile total. They ran up the street, turned around and came back. We got some better shots of the kids coming back.
Brendan booking it back.

Run, Brenny, Run!

Determination is written all over Hunter's face.

The end is in sight for Lincoln.

Here comes TYLER!!!

And Dana and Alaina are sweeping the course!

Laney loves her fans! (Dana, too)

Once they were all done, the kids got medals and lots of nutritious goodies (sponsored by McDonalds???). We sat down in some grass, had a picnic and they played for a few awhile on this perfect "fall" day (it was in the 70's!). They LOVED the whole experience and I will say RnR puts on a pretty good kid's run.

Lincoln, Hunter, Alaina and Brendan with their medals.

Evidentally, the Denver Examiner thought our kids were pretty cute, too, and featured them in their slideshow.

Ironfan Party

So, I hinted before we left that we wanted to do something for everyone who supported us over the year... so we decided to have a party.

The party was meant to help share the experience of the day with our friends here that couldn't be there, but more importantly to THANK everyone for their support. Seriously, we have an amazing support system out here and we didn't want them to think we didn't appreciate it. Additionally, it was our way of making up for not being able to always go out late, go camping, drink, etc. due to impending workouts/races/just being plain tired this past year.

Made signs for everyone coming to the party--much like the ones that we see when racing.

And a finish line...

And a recap of our year in pictures:

And a few friends:

It was a great night, just sad I didn't take more pictures-- too much time spent gabbing, drinking and catching up! Thanks to everyone who supported us this past year and for everyone who came last night. Awesome time with great friends-- you'll never know how much it has meant to us!

It was the perfect ending to our Ironman year!