Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Ah, golden birthdays. 31 on the 31st. First Makiah woke me up by singing happy birthday to me (that or she was doing her typical whining thing for food). Then I got a sweet call from Tom - and he showed me a link to him playing live music at the Quarterback Pub in Bellingham and I got to listen to my favorite songs while sipping a cup of java. Then I got a call from Camile - wishing me happy birthday and I swear I've been on the phone with various people since. Thank you for all the birthday wishes - it's so nice to be thought of on your birthday!

Headed to the spa (free on your birthday!) and then to dinner tonight with the family. Good times, good times. Another 365 days on this planet. Here's to being only 1/3 of the way!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My neighbor Jo moved out this weekend. When she told me last week that she was moving, I was happy for her to be moving on in life. But the reality of her not being next door didn't hit until I got home from a weekend away and saw her blinds up, boxes packed, things moved and space empty.

She was there when I got back from San Jose in September. She was a voice of reason and soothing when shit hit the fan. Together we gathered rescue equipment, thinking that Ryan had fallen off his bike and we were going to be looking for him on a trail. She, along with Guy and my mom, was there when a policeman at the North Seattle precinct conveyed the news.

Though she's only lived there for three years, I feel like we've been sisters forever - joined through experiences. She successfully completed her PhD and together we protected my homestead when it rained so hard the gutters overflowed, nearly flooding the basement, again. We pioneered through buckets and buckets of blueberries - creating a winter's worth of jam and frozen berries. We shared lots of laughs and stories in the middle of our shared driveway.

Thank you Jo for being such a great friend and neighbor. Bathroom slipper visits will be missed and seeing you getting on your bike each morning to commute downtown. I know you're only 10 blocks away - but having you next door was such a comfort. You are such an incredible strong woman and I'm so lucky to have had you next door!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thanks Jenny Craig!

Check out these photos of Makiah taken at the beginning of September, 2008.

Seriously, what were we feeding her? Poor thing! That's not all fur, you know.

Then this photo was taken in late September - before the serious doggy diet. She was a little stressed for sure - but not quite on her way to her current, slender self.

And this picture was taken this past Sunday. No, I haven't been starving her. But I did switch up her eating habits. She now gets feed twice a day and only 1/4 cup each time. We're getting into running shape together and now her grins go from ear to ear!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A 5 Year Olds Observation

My mom went down to Brownsville, Oregon a couple of weekends ago and baked cookies with Coleman, my nephew. They made sugar piped cookies that only call for egg yolks. The cookies turned out great.

They kept the separated egg whites for breakfast the following morning and to give them some color, my mom added an additional egg and then scrambled them up for Coleman. Upon serving them, Coleman turned his nose up at them and uttered, "they look like the skin under my peter."

My mom, unsure of how to react, tried explaining what Coleman had said to her with Jaimie, without actually saying it (to encourage such language). The scope of it wasn't understood until Coleman uttered the same expression the following morning when served eggs for breakfast.

George is so proud of his son. You should have heard him giggle when he told me about it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What marks the progression of time?

Is it the realization that your routines have been forever altered?
The obvious wear and tear of the clothing you wear?
The deepening crows feet that highlight your eyes?
Or the gray hairs that pop up on your scalp that seem to multiply overnight?

Hopefully you've made the most of the time that just whizzed by. You took the trips you dreamed about, you strove to do what you wanted. You surrounded yourself with people you love and in turn love you. You stopped being unhappy and putting up with something just because you had it in your head that you were okay. Don't settle for mediocrity.

Run. Live. Breath. Enjoy the simple pleasures. Schedule that get away - you deserve it.

A friend and I went for a ride up to Edmonds today. He was laid off from his job a couple of months ago and made the most out of his time. He immediately headed south to sunnier states to ride his bike and live simply. He's having the time of his life. It reminded me of the time Ryan and I both stopped working for a while and traveled to Europe in our early 20's. The time spent there, living in the moment, soaking in the culture and doing what we wanted to do has produced some of the fondest memories I hold. Spontaneous trips like that always stick out - so what are you waiting for? Do it.
Thought I would put up something other than the previous squirrel photo - thanks again to Ben for that one! Apparently a friend of a friend of a friend took that photo and swears to its authenticity. Ha!

Yesterday went on a 3 hour road ride in some nice spring weather. It was actually kind of warm out (53) and I was stoked I didn't get rained on. I traveled on some old routes I haven't done in a quite a while and it was nice to revisit them. Ryan accompanied me for most of the ride too - thoughts of him pushing me through the harder sections. I still can't figure out what's better - listening to his mp3 player or letting my brain travel in its regular patterns. Either way it seems at least once throughout my long solo rides I feel like crying. I've come to accept it actually. So if you see some HB rider bawling her eyes out on her bike - you'll know its me.

Yesterday I felt spring. The long winter is behind us. Sure we might have a few sputters here and there - but the dark months are over. Onward to the spring equinox!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Courtesy of Ben Carney.Ha!

Warning - totally inappropriate. :)

Colemanator and the Bug

Mad props to my sis who took these great photos of our niece and nephew. Adorable! marcysutton.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Velodrome Classic

The 2009 AVC is slotted for June 26-27, 2009 in San Jose. Right now they're boasting a prize list of $14,400 broken down into the following categories:

Elite Men $6,600
Elite Women $5,400
Master $1,400
Madision $1,000
TOTAL $14,400

Check out the following video Rick Adams created to round up a sponsor for the upcoming races.


Hope to see some of you in Cali!

The year of firsts

This is the first year since I started working, that preparing our taxes resulted in a stress free, dance-around-the-office kind of feeling. Most would think that owing $6K to the IRS would be daunting - but compared to the $10K I originally thought I owed - all I can say is THANK YOU TURBO TAX!

Now if I can just plan properly for next year, the April 15th deadline won't stretch the wallet as thin....

Government - who needs it? Ha!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I woke up several times Saturday morning to the steady drizzle of rain. My eyes finally peeled open for good at 9:30 and I rolled out of bed. Put the coffee on, start making some breakfast, and enjoy the warmth. My hopes of it clearing up outside were quickly lost when I crossed the Tacoma Narrows bridge.

Early season racing is in full effect. Sub 40 degree temps, steady rain, long hard miles.

I raced with my 5mm diving gloves today. Usually they're too warm and stinky - but I was super glad to have them. The first lap it was raining lightly - nearly everyone had stayed in the pack. And then as we rounded corner one, the skies opened up and a river of rain ensued. People dropped like flies. The pace was a lot slower this time around - with all of us ladies sitting in for the most part. I remember thinking to myself, that I could pull on the next lap - as we passed the parking lot - went and found Kelly and she talked me out of it. Boy am I glad.

Around and around we went. Single file for the most part for lap 3 - barely being able to see in front. Then my hands went numb. I tried digging out some Hammer Gel and couldn't get my hands to function properly. I drank maybe 1/3 of one bottle - soaking in the rest of the moisture with my skin and drinking a steady drip of road spray. That has to have some sort of nutritional value, right?

Last lap - Kelly, Tricia and Jenni make a move up the road. My efforts to reel myself into the break were pathetic - as this point I'm shivering. Carrie and I are the lone ladies left with the guys. The guys attack one another, chase, come back together and slow way down. This repeats about 10 times. Until finally, I can't take it any more and just start riding a steady pace. I peel away from them - and come into the finish solo. Carrie was so focused on following a wheel at that point - she misses me going up the road. I swim past the finish line for 4th. 60 miles done, in miserable shitty conditions.

I start shivering in the car so bad, I'm having a hard time controlling my car. But a big smile of satisfaction stretches across my face - and I can feel Ryan patting me on the back.

DM Sighting

I made an appointment two weeks ago to see an accountant at HR Block in Wallinford. Tax prep material in hand, I showed up, sat down and waited. And waited. And waited. 35 minutes passed from my said appointment time. As I was staring out the window, who do I see? Mr. Dave Matthews walking his baby on the corner of 45th and Wallingford. I took as a sign to stalk him and get out of HR Block.

Thanks Dave Matthews for helping me realize I should just do my own taxes. My blood pressure just rose but at least I'm saving $300 clams out of my own pocket.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Embarrassing Moment

So I suppose I was over due for one. Last night, Chris and I went to a play at the Seattle Rep called Betrayal. My mom was out of town and offered her tickets. It's a play written by Harold Pinter and if you have the means, I highly recommend seeing it.

We took our seats about 5 minutes before the show started. The audience was conversing somewhat loudly, Chris and I both studying the program brochures. The lights dim, the audience silences and the actors take the stage. A few lines were spoken, and then my stomach, which had been acting funny all day, let out the loudest moan I have ever heard. It shook Chris's seat! He gave me the funniest look - of shock and denial - and I couldn't stop silent giggling for 5 minutes. It was one of those super loud moans - a funny reminder that human behavior can be erratic, unpredictable and unstoppable. Even the people behind us squirmed in response.

Fearful it would happen again, any shift in my intestine would leave me anxious that Bertha the Betrayer would speak again. Thankfully she said all there was to say and lay silent thereafter.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


1. If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.

2. There is no 'ctrl' button on Chuck Norris's computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.

3. Apple pays Chuck Norris 99 cents every time he listens to a song.

4. Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.

5. Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip.

6. Chuck Norris is suing Myspace for taking the name of what he calls everything around you.

7. Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.

8. Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Red Rocks

Way over due trip report for our trip to Vegas. But it's slow at work and I've been meaning to get this pictures up... so here goes!

Friday morning we woke up EARLY to find SeaTac jammed full of people. Turns out we were traveling on one of the busier travel days of the year - over Presidents weekend. With no printer between the two of us, we were subject to last minute check in on Southwest - which means back of the bus. But at least we were on a direct flight!

We arrived well before noon and headed to Whole Foods on Charleston Road to load up on java and ooey goeys for the days adventure. We headed up to Red Rocks National Conservatory and made our way to the Mescalito area.

After rearranging our packs and gear, we quickly realized that we had locked the keys in the car, with the radio running and our cell phones. Undeterred, we went climbing. Breaking into the car and dealing with AAA could wait as far as we were concerned! (Notice the keys are in the ignition!)

We climbed The Cat in the Hat, a 5 pitch 5.7 route. It was really easy terrain and a good way to get back into climbing. I hadn't been climbing outside since last July. There were a few demons to get over, that's for sure, but I'm really glad I did it. That is until we got about 4 pitches up and it started snowing HEAVILY. Luckily I came prepared - two puffy coats, long johns, etc. I started to freak a little - to which Chris responded that he learned how to climb in those conditions thanks to his mountaineering and ice climbing background. That didn't do much to ease my mind - especially considering we still had to break into the car! So we opted out of the last pitch (which was a good idea considering the party in front of us was moving super slow) and headed back to the car.

Chris showed his true colors. Locking your keys in your car, with it running and all of your overnight stuff in it, etc could potentially cause a small tantrum. Ryan certainly would have freaked out. But he calmly waved over a couple who was willing to help us (they were from Beaverton, OR) and lent us their cell phone. We called AAA and they were on their way. But there was only one slight glitch - the park was closed and the rangers had long since locked the gates. The nice couple gave us a ride back to the entrance, where we tried in vain to locate the ranger. Next thing we know the AAA truck showed up, flashed his lights in effort to locate us and we came running out of the dark and snowy night. One problem though - we had no way back into the park. So the AAA showed compassion on us and drove us to our hotel. Fortunately my steal trap of a brain remembered the address and at the last minute I had grabbed my credit card and ID so we were able to check in.

The following morning we called AAA and had them meet us in the park. A Vegas cab driver picked us up and $60 later and 15 miles of hearing him bitch about the economy and his miscalculation of Enron stock and gambling problem, we were back at the snow covered car and surprised to hear the radio still singing.

That day we tried to find Geranimo and had no luck! The guidebook lead us to believe the climb started at the mouth of the canyon - and we of course walked right by and continued up the snow crusted boulders only to realize we totally got off route and had little day light left to complete the climb. At this point we needed some entertainment so we headed to Red Rocks Casino (aka freak show!).

The next day we headed back to successful summit Geranimo, a 5 pitch 5.6 climb. The reason we climbed such easy trad routes was because sandstone rock gets super brittle when wet. Big huge jugs can break off in your hand without much effort - and when a foot hold broke off mid way up Geranimo, I was thankful to be seconding Chris's lead. The views were great - and we got to check out Crimson Crysalis - a 5.8 that has a super hard chimney in it. But this trip it was covered in snow.

The next day we woke up to rain so we hiked into the Prince of Darkness canyon area. (Wish I could remember the proper name for that one!) Ryan and Andrew had climbed in the area a few years prior and I swear I could feel his presence. There's something extremely magical about that canyon. Tears were shed in his memory - but good tears. I felt closer to him there than I often do in our house. That night I had a vivid dream about him.

Our final day in the park took us to the Magic Bus area. It was a crazy weather day. On one side of the park it was sunny and beautiful and across the valley was a stormy snowy sky. We were happy to do some super easy mellow sport routes and were greeted by several Canadians who were happy to be somewhat defrosted from the cold weekend.

I actually had a really good time climbing moderate routes and pushing myself just ever so slightly.

My thoughts were with Ryan throughout the weekend and am really thankful for Chris's companionship. As I experience more and more firsts, their difficulty eases and I'm ever amazed at the journey it takes to complete them.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I have to admit that on Saturday when I registered for Mason Lake #1, the date didn't register until later in the race when Gina offered her condolences. 3/7/09. Six months have gone by.

If you would have told me six months and a day ago I'd be where I am now - I'd say bullshit. But then life has its way of taking twists and turns that are completely unexpected, unfair, rewarding and awe inspiring.

It was really kind of her to make mention of it - and really sweet of all the support I receive in the community from friends and teammates alike. My inner battles and struggles wax and wane - thank you all for showing genuine concern and care.

Last night I had what appears to be somewhat of a recurring dream. This time Ryan came back after being held in a monastery where his life threatening wounds were treated without my knowledge. Suddenly he was back in my life and I was feeling awkward about the new relationships and progression I had made since he left. He was shirtless in my dream and we were driving around in Maggie, our VW Westfalia.

And when looking for the above photo, I couldn't help but chuckle and laugh when i came across one of Ryan and Makiah before his weekly bike race down at SeaTac. He sure did love that dog! And this is just a reminder to live life to the fullest - laugh as much as you can and enjoy it - it's the only chance we get!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

6 Months

Today marks 6 months since Ryan's passing. Like the first month, tonight I found myself awake in the middle of the night, unable to shut my brain back to sleep. This time though, instead of severe shock and overwhelming grief, I think I'm just hungry from racing at Mason. I'm thankful my stomach woke me up before the clock turns over to midnight - another day complete. Sometimes you have to be thankful for the day you just experienced.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Got Weight Baring Exercise?


You should! Especially after reading this article...

Thursday, March 05, 2009


My little sister used to throw tantrums just like this when she was little. Except she would yell and scream until she passed out. Ha!
Update: Running muscles are not the same as biking muscles.

And it's funny how I couldn't get my heart rate higher than 150 after a short run the day before. What gives?

And the neck is STILL sore from the TT on Sunday.

Wow - I'm getting old. What a whiner!

I guess I'm discovering what being old feels like. :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


It's been about 5 years since I last thought about running. After my last arthroscopic scope in 2005, my knee doctor told me that running was not in my future. All because of a little tweaked knee when working at REI . Luckily I had a manager on duty file an accident report and L&I footed the bill. I thought it was humorous when I got a check in the mail for $1,500 for a "partial amputee" payment. But as time passed, and my relationship with running grew more distant - I started to resent that partial payment.

As a result, I've managed to avoid running. But I've always dreamed about it. Gone are the days of the half marathons, the trail runs, fun runs, St Paddy's Day Dash. I used to take my hour lunch break while working at Voicestream and tear it up with my buddy Keith through Bellingham's back roads in preparation for the running leg of Ski to Sea. My greatest moment as a runner - when I lost a toe nail from pounding my toes into the ends of my shoes posting a time of 51 minutes for 8 miles. And then there was the running portion of the first Women World Championship training back in Scranton, PA. I remember heading to the track with all of the ladies and being able to run my buns off. Running and boxing went hand in hand.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I went to Sound Mind and Body for the first time in 6 months. I've been using the free gym access at HSP to do my normal strength routine. And since I couldn't drag my butt out of bed fast enough to get into the gym, I decided to use SM&B since I was paying for it. The only problem - they don't have the same equipment as HSP. So I went to get on the vertical climbing machine - only to discover one of the two machines wasn't working and some lady was on the other one.

And that's when I rediscovered running.

I approached the treadmill, climbed aboard and then started a brisk walk. Then I gradually increased the pace, until I was jogging. No knee pain. Then I decided to go for 20 minutes. Why not increase my pace? And why not increase the distance? Next thing I know, I'm throwing shadow boxing into the mix and getting a taste of runners high.

Hello old friend. I missed you.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A hero

Spoke with Chris last night on his way back from a rescue from Point Defiance. His neighbor Johnny called him to say, "go outside!" and that's when he discovered two guys screaming at the top of their lungs, gasping for air as their canoe capsized and they were caught without PFD's. A quick jump into his "power boat" and he plucked the morons from the water. Of course his proudest moment was admitting he donned his stairs and bars hat, purple puffy coat and house slippers. No mouth to mouth was administered. ;)

TACOMA -- A Tacoma Fire Department official says two canoeists have been rescued after their canoe took on water, flipped over and spilled them into frigid water off of Point Defiance.

The male teens were plucked from the water by a private power boat Monday evening and transferred to a Tacoma Fire Department boat.

Assistant Chief Faith Mueller says the two were barefoot and their jeans were drenched, but they were able to walk to an ambulance, where they were treated by medics. She says they were fine other than being wet and cold. She says they weren't wearing flotation devices.
Spring is in motion and my heart and soul are wide open for its energy.

Thanks Camille for the call today. You make me smile. And I'm pulling for you for the Santa Fe job!

Monday, March 02, 2009

I felt like pulling over on my ride today and screaming at the top of my lungs. Letting the world know how unfair things are. How fucked up they are. Instead, I bottled it up and let it seep out. My God, what an emotional roller coaster. You'd think at 6 months I'd be feeling like I made some forward progress. But lately it feels like I'm sinking deeper. Is it possible to die of a broken heart?

There are moments during the day I feel like I'm so lost. And then there are moments when I see clearly and feel okay. I can't tell yet what sets the disparity in motion. What triggers might be causing this emotional spiral. Instead, I break out my hankies from Melinda's grandmother and have myself a good cry.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The pitter pat of the rain this morning did wonders to my motivational levels. Thoughts of blowing the TT off crossed my mind - but a quick check with Hardcore - and I knew I was in for it, rain or shine. Like icing on a cake - it was as if yesterdays ass kicker with the Rocket ride wasn't enough for my mental demise... much to my surprise today actually turned out to be ok! It was dry at the start of the TT - and it was really good to see some familiar faces that have been hibernating since last fall, myself included. The pain locker still feels the same - but like a long lost, friend - I missed it! I got to re-enter the tunnel vision that only accompanies a really hard ride. Who knows or cares what my actual time was - I'm just happy to be out racing my bike and gaining some fitness for the long good season ahead...