Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Running along Shinglemill during the RDS film shoot
I've never taken the easy path. Never followed the straight, smooth road. It's just not my style. Something catches my eye in the distance and I just kinda wander that way. I guess its just become part of who I am. A trailblazer. I hadn't really thought of it like that until this weekend when we were filming for RDS, but it certainly fits. I remember when I was little and my Dad would get "lost" and he would always tell us he was just trailblazing, its what he did in the Army. I had these visions of my Dad standing in a field holding a compass and trying to figure out where he was going. Now I'm the one standing in the forest, usually without a compass, just following my heart.

This was a really exciting week! While my mileage was a bit low it was okay because the week was so great in many other ways. The beginning of the week brought along yet another snow storm. And to be honest, as much as I love snow...I'm over it for the season! I want dry fast trails that you can just fly over! No more snow crust, icy trails...no more screws or gaitors! Its time for shorts and t-shirts! Okay enough of the whining... 

James and Seamus slowly becoming BFFs!
Friday Dan and I got in a great morning run! I love running in the morning. It's quiet and peaceful and with the recent precip things were starting to turn green and the air smelled of that fresh spring scent. We had a great run at Matt-Winters. I did one loop on my own and then we did a second together. Dan was running strong and kept a faster pace than he has been, so I know things are looking good for his season this year. I have no doubt he'll be setting a few PRs.

Friday afternoon we started filming for a RDS video that's a bit about our story to help raise awareness and money for Ds research. I'm really excited about this project! The storyboard is amazing and the video clips I've seen so far are really cool. It was a great weekend seeing what all goes into filming and sharing the trails I love with new friends. While I never take the views for granted sometimes you forget how lucky you are to run trails or roads with views of Pike's Peak or Bierstadt nearly every day. We filmed Friday and Saturday and I can't wait to see the final product. Stayed tuned for more details on "Run with Siobhan"
Ready for the draft

Too darn cute!

Not quite as soft as his straw, but still had to try it out
Week April 22 - 29

Miles Running 18.3
Hour Running and Hiking: 5 

Monday, April 22, 2013

100 Demons 100 Reasons

After I ran the North Fork 50 I was sitting chatting with Cheryl, whom I had met on a training run. It was both of our first 50, but she was also registered for that year's Leadville 100. She looked at me, shaking her head, and said "I don't think I have 100 demons! 50 yes, but 100 no." I wasn't sure I had a 100 demons to run out either. I've always said if everything's not okay at the end of a run, keep running. I've never finished a run still carrying onto whatever I started with, no tears, no worries, no stress. I've been thinking about these demons a bit lately. Do I have 100 demons to run out? I still don't think so, but I do have 100 reasons to run 100 miles.
  1. For me
  2. To prove I can
  3. For James
  4. to bring awareness and raise money for Ds research
  5. to finally break the tape
  6. for the buckle
  7. To see the world from Hope Pass (and in case I forget what it looks like after the first time, I'll check it out again!)
  8. For all those who can't
  9. For those who have said I can't
  10. To prove that hardwork and dedication pays off
  11. So I can say I ran 100 miles...at once
  12. Its the Leadville 100, that should be reason enough
  13. For Robert
  14. To finish what I started
  15. To inspire James to never give up
  16. To inspire James to set the bar high
  17. So that Dan isn't the only one in the family with a LT100 buckle
  18. To not quit
  19. To encourage others to push their limits
  20. For the Dale's at the finish, I've heard DPA tastes better after running 100 miles
  21. "Because it's there" -Sir Edmund Hillary
I guess I have a few more reasons to think of...but I'll have 100 shortly!

This week it was hard not to think about Boston on every run. While 3ft of snow and my body's need for an easier week caused my mileage to go down a bit, every mile I ran was a quality mile. I pushed myself on each run to run harder and faster. Friday I summited Green Mountain again, in an extremely tough run. The run up wasn't terrible, but at the top the sun crust was thick and sharp. Several times I stopped, my ankles throbbing from being sliced apart. But every time I stopped I remembered that I still got to run up a mountain, while Green isn't the largest or most scenic, I stood on top of a mountain that day and there were many people who didn't get to do that. So I pushed on, I didn't quit or give up, I guess that would have been tough given that I still had to get down somehow. But in the end I had a pretty decent week of high quality miles. Looking forward to another week of high mileage before things slow down leading up to Quad Rock.

Week April 15 - 21

Miles Running: 25.0
Hour Running and Hiking: 4.5

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Smiles Across the Miles

I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles -Audry Hepburn

Shinglemill Trial
I've always said if its not okay run farther. This week culminated in a 30 mile run and while the run started out tough, as each mile passed so did all the worry from the week. By the last mile I was running strong and felt great. This week was a struggle to get in all the miles, and took some creativity. During the snowstorm I did laps of the 2 mile loop around our house. It was so cold with really wet, heavy snow that my whole face  kept freezing, eye lashes freezing together. So I was able to warm up between laps and adjust my run as necessary. I got in miles on the treadmill when James was sleeping and aside from my long run I ran Conifer Mountain when I could sneak it in.

Shinglemill Trail
Saturday I knew I had to get in this 30 miler. So despite hardly sleeping this week I forced myself up and out of bed and out to Pine Valley. Nick was injured and taking it easy so that meant 30 miles by myself. Its a long way to go without anyone else out there. The first 10 miles were a struggle. My time wasn't terrible, but I just felt slow and sluggish and wasn't really enjoying the run. At this point I had debated cutting the run short, but found myself turning away from Baldy to head back to PVR and continuing out to the Colorado Trail. As I headed up Tramway I increased my calories and fluids and by the time I hit the Shinglemill downhill I was starting to feel better. I powered up the Baldy climb and was then really feeling good. I cruised all the way back to PVR finishing 29 miles in 5:17. When I ran North Fork the 50k loop is nearly the same, just 2 miles longer and it took me 6:30. I'm definitely feeling good heading into Quad Rock.

Tramway Trail
James still all smiles!
As I was talking with another mom this week, we commented on how lucky we were that despite various medical issues with our sons, none are that extreme. This week James made some great progress with this feeding and his feeding therapist at Children's was really happy. He's loving his puffs and just likes to chow down. He also finally hit the 15lb mark so it was a great week there. We also got a call on Wednesday that there was a cancellation for a sleep study so we were moved up. Wednesday night James and I spent the night at Children's for his first sleep study. They hooked him up, 15 electrodes on his head, 15 on his body, a chest strap, and abdominal strap and an oxygen nose cannula. The test doesn't start until 7:30 so by the time he was hooked up we had missed the window of opportunity to get him to bed and I knew it was going to be a long night. I finally got him to sleep, but nearly every hour the tech was in our room waking him up to readjust something or put on a new cannula. The poor guy was exhausted by 6:30am when they sent us home. James' oxygen levels dropped pretty significantly during the test so by the time we got home the nurse from the sleep clinic was calling to say we needed to come in Friday to see the pulmonologist. Friday we ended up seeing another ENT, two pulmonologists and the nurse from the Ds clinic. Its such a great team of doctors and nurses and I know we're on the right path to getting James off oxygen. We scoped his tonsils and adenoids and they aren't large so he gets to keep them! They suspect because of the IUGR his lungs never fully developed. We will go in for a bronchoscopy to lavage his lungs and check their development. Hopefully steroids will help the lungs to grow and develop. We'll also test for pulmonary hypertension at higher altitude to make sure nothing is going on with his heart. At least we have a plan and a great team of doctors that will get our little grommie all fixed up!

A whole new meaning to bedhead!

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have

Week April 15- 21

Miles Running: 50.6
Hours Running and Hiking: 9.5

Monday, April 15, 2013

Heartbreak Hill - Believe in the Run

Boston Marathon finish line 2009
I have run down Boylston Street... filled with excitement and pride as I approached the finish line of the famed Boston Marathon. I worked so hard to time qualify and train for this race. While it wasn't my best marathon, the smile that crossed my face as I made my way through the streets of Boston was unlike anything I've felt. I remember crossing the finish line and a volunteer placing a medal around my neck. Everything I had worked for the previous couple years had culminated in the 26.2 miles it had taken me to get there. I'll never forget running straight down the middle of the street. Taking it all in, the crowd, the cheering, the massive Boston Marathon Finish banner. It was something I wanted to remember forever. I had finally made it. I could finally say I had run Boston.

Every year I look forward to Patriots Day. I love streaming the race at my desk at work, watching everyone finish. Not just the winners, but those that are where I was April 20, 2009. I know how they're feeling and what its taken to get there.

Today I had a client meeting and missed the finish, but had just gotten an email from Dan with the women's results. I couldn't believe how close it had been. I was just about to see if I could find video of the finish when my boss called saying there was an explosion at Boston. I still haven't seen the women's finish. The innocence of the day lost by some crazy, souless person(s). In an instant the excitement of a close finish, an American woman coming close to winning, is all gone.

It saddens me to no end, this horrific attack in Boston. It hits to the core as I have been here. I finished in 3:53, which would have put me in the finishing chutes, medal around my neck, collecting my drop bag, and drinking a Gatorade, when the bombs went off. If you've never been to the Boston Marathon, its an amazing place on Patriots Day. There is such a sense of pride for everyone's running accomplishments as well as an overwhelming sense of patriotism.

Boston I will be back...running 26.2 miles for all those who can't. For those who fought to get here and had it ripped out from under them. The only thing I know to do after such horrific events is to run. So tomorrow, despite the raging blizzard outside, I will lace up my shoes and run hard.

"Running never takes more than it gives back. Believe in the run. Boston"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Fine Line

Our happy, smiley guy
After a week of pretty good mileage, at least more than I've been running, traveling and well just being James' mom I was left totally exhausted. I've learned that every time I try to push too much when I hit that point of exhaustion I end up just getting sick. This past week was a battle between balancing running enough miles without overdoing it. In the end I backed off the miles a bit, Sunday I could feel I was starting to get sick so I was pretty much forced to take it a bit easier. I think this plan paid off though as I'm still healthy. Its just such a mind game wanting to push it further and harder, run more miles, but knowing when to back off as well.

I still got in some good runs. It was a gorgeous, super warm week, which meant shorts and a t-shirt and no screws! Dan and I had another date run on Friday. We went up to Elk Meadows to run Bergen Peak. I haven't run there in what felt like ages so it was fun to run some new trails. We ended up having to turn around about a half mile from the summit because there was just too much snow and ice for no screws. Plus we had gotten really cold since it was near 70 at the base and we didn't have any warmer gear on us.

I ran Conifer Mountain on Saturday since we had so much to do on the house. It was the first run all week where I really was feeling like I had gotten my legs back under me and felt great. I think I found that sweet spot this week between still getting decent miles without overdoing it and running myself into the ground. I feel good to get in another really strong week next week!

It's unbelievable how much James has grown the past week. He is so much more engaged in everything that is going on around him. He has gotten super strong in sitting, starting to mimic more, focusing better, and is eating quite a bit more. Of course he's also learned how to speak his mind a bit more. Heaven forbid he knock all of his alligator pieces off his excersaucer! Hopefully he figures out how to pull the pieces back soon, because the cries it elicits when the alligator is no longer there are hilarious! This lil grommie has certainly learned to let you know when he need something from you. We even tried puffs this week and he is absolutley in love! Who knew!

Week April 1 - 7

Miles Running: 36
Hours Running and Hiking: 7

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Running through Buffalo Creek
The beginning of the week was more fighting for each mile, each step forward in some cases. But with all the hardwork at the beginning the end of the week brought some amazing running! After last weekend's storm Monday brought completely snow covered trails. Since Green Mountain is pretty exposed I thought it might not be too bad... I broke trail up to my knees the whole way to the summit. Every step was a battle to continue moving forward. The snow was deep, slippery and covered in a light sun crust. Thankfully no one was around to witness such an endeavor because I'm pretty sure they would have thought this was some new kind of dance, definitely not an attempt at running. Certainly no sane or sober person could be making those moves. I'm pretty sure I actually covered more miles sideways than I did forward during that run. As much as it sucked to break trail that deep to the summit it was an amazing run. Trailblazing your way to the top of a mountain, not too bad for a days work.

Post Hogback run...I don't even want to know
what that foam was from.
Tuesday I was back at it with the hill repeats. While I don't think they ever get easier, this weeks were much better than the first time. And that was despite having a cold. I set out to do 4 repeats, maybe up to 6. On the fourth one I told myself if I run this one in under 3:05 it'll be my last. So I ran it in 2:56. Before I even had a chance to think about being done, I thought, well Rob wouldn't stop at 4 repeats. I could just hear him saying oh come on just one more, it'll be fun. And so I stepped it up this week and did 5 repeats. Never stop pushing yourself.

Thursday was awesome! Dan and I took the day off to play in the mountains. We went out to Buffalo Creek for a perfect 20 miler. It was slightly overcast and perfect running weather. Overall we just had a blast. By no means a fast 20 miler, but it was fun to have a little 4 hour date run. Some people go out to dinner, Dan and I go for long runs. Also good to get in my first 20 in awhile and feel good afterwards.

Happy Easter!

James and I flew to Wisconsin for the weekend for Parker's Baptism. I managed to get in a few runs on the Ice Age Trail which I always love. He and Parker were adorable together. I'm so excited to watch them grow up as friends. James has gotten so much stronger the past couple weeks in terms of sitting, eating, and interacting. For everyone that hadn't seen him in a couple months they were amazed at how strong he is now.

This week I also read about some new cognitive research being done on Down syndrome. Trailblazing at its finest...while I was trailblazing my way to the top of Green there are people out there trailblazing their way to a better understanding of what causes learning and memory impairment for people with Ds. Its unbelievable to think some of this research may have such a profound effect on James' life.

Week March 25 - 31

Miles Running: 48.3
Hours Running and Hiking: 9.5

James getting in trouble with Parker.

First James assessed Parker's mouth...
then moved in for the open mouth kiss!

Buffalo Creek
Buffalo Creek 

Holy Cross from the Ice Age Trail

Ice Age Trail or just Ice Trail?

Harbor House, Milwaukee