You are currently browsing the blog archives for January, 2009.



New TNT Event

By Craig Gabel

Well I am now training for a new event. Actually I am double training for 2 separate events. In the short term I am training for the Olathe Marathon (full 26.2 miles)in March, but the long term TNT event will be the Hy-Vee Tri-Athlon in Des Moines on June 28, 2009. I am up for the challenge and very excited about it. The Tri-Athlon is an Olympic distance so it’s not too long. It’s a good place for me to start to see if I even like the Tri-Athlon experience. The ankle is doing much better. I had to take a whole week off essentially, but I came back last week and felt really strong all week long. I have 12 miles I am committing to today. My new Tri coach will be putting together a combined custom Tri-athlon/marathon training
schedule for me in the next week. I’ll post it on the Exercise Tracker page if your interested in knowing what all is involved. Since this is a TNT event, I will be fund raising again. The amount is much less than Disney so I only need around $3000 this time around. Of course I want to meet and beat that amount as all this money goes directly to cancer research. Leesa has been exceptionally inspiring to me this week. She jumped on the training again after taking some well deserved time off. I know she hasn’t blogged a whole lot about the Disney experience but she will soon or I’ll have to jump in here and steal her thunder. We also started walking with the neighbors over at the Great Mall last night. It a great way to get all of us out on a Friday night and get some exercise and then have a nice dinner out. Thanks for joining up with Brad, Sue, Steve, Lauren and Ian….and of course Alex and Ashlee. It was a good time and I look forward to making it a weekly event.



Running on Clouds

By Craig Gabel

What an awesome day to be out for a run. Snow fell on Kansas City yesterday and left a fresh blanket of white clouds on the sidewalks and trails. My run today started off on not such a good note. Last night I was getting excited to run today as it was the first snow since I bought my Yaktrax’s. Yaktrax’s are sorta like Ice and snow climbers crampons. They strap on your running shoes to give you excellent traction in the snow and ice. I got all bundled up (but not too much since the temps were going to get up into the 30′s) and strapped the Yaktrax’s on my new pair of Brooks Adrenaline running shoes and then headed out. I got a quarter mile away and came to an intersection and couldn’t tell where the sidewalk ended and grass began. Needless to say I stepped on the edge of the sidewalk and twisted my ankle in a big way. Twisted really isn’t the right word…IT POPPED! It popped loud. Some folks were standing across the street inside their garage and they stopped what they were doing to look my way. They didn’t say anything to me but I think they even heard it. Thanks for the help…NOT!!! Who knows maybe they were just looking at my sorta bright burnt orange running shirt. I kinda freaked out for a few seconds thinking I seriously broke something. Then I started walking on it and it was sore for sure but still mobile. I hobbled back home and iced it for an hour or so. It felt ok. I walked around the house with no problems other then some soreness. So I went out for an 8 mile run (well mostly walk). I ran the first 2-3 miles and walked the rest. The city blanketed in snow was beautiful. I found a few stretches with untouched snow and it was so awesome to run on. It was very magical. I didn’t think about my ankle too much at that point. It really felt fine…just sore. The Yaktax’s worked superbly! I highly recommend them to anyone. Once I got home and took off my shoes and relaxed for a bit, then the real pain set in. I could not find a comfortable position to sit, stand or lay down without my ankle throbing. After icing and fighting it for a few hours I wrapped an Ace bandage around it and now it seems a little better. I have a feeling the first few steps tomorrow morning are gonna suck. Glad I got in the 8 miles as I prepare for the Olathe Marathon but I hope I didn’t do any real damage today…ugh… I’ll let you know how it feels in a couple days.



100 Day Challenge

By Leesa Gabel

Today Craig and I and our ‘gang’ (neighbor/friend families Waddell and Bruss) started the Live Healthy America 100 Day Wellness Challenge. We’ve formed a group – Team WOBO – and are going to help each other over the next 100 days (and beyond) to get healthier — eating better and getting more exercise. There is space for four more on the team if anyone out there is interested. Drop me an email and I’ll get you all the info you need — it’s never too late to start!!

Now that TNT training is over, we’re trying to figure out what WOBO is going to do next. We’ll have some info coming out real soon about two charity events that we’re forming a team for (March of Dimes and Relay for Life) and anyone can join to become a part of.

I’m in the process of writing a ‘marathon recap’ blog and getting better pictures of our medals online. Should be online tomorrow or Friday.



DNF and I Don’t Care!!

By Leesa Gabel

A DNF (Did Not Finish) is much better than a DNS (Did Not Start) in my opinion!! I’ve officially logged my first (and hopefully last) DNF at the Disney Marathon. I know many of you have been waiting patiently for the results and the story retelling. The results are simple — I made it 1.34 miles, Craig made is 13.1. We started together, but about a half mile in my body was  finished. I had a great pace going (13 – 14 minute mile), but my shins, ankles and heels just suddenly didn’t want to work together. I couldn’t flex my ankles and it sounded like my feet were slapping the pavement flat-footed (because they were). The pain was increasing as I tried to keep up the pace….so I slowed down….and down….and down. The pacer was fast approaching. A decision was made….I didn’t want to risk hurting myself further or cause Craig to fall off the pace as well. So I kissed my husband, wished him luck and sent him off to the finish line and I took myself off the course. The Disney team was so very, very helpful. Their first concern was my medical well-being. I was given ice packs for my shins. They helped me in the sweeper van and took me back to the drop off area. More medical assessment — I was going to be fine. Then they gave me a ride to the TNT tent. The TNT folks were just as great!! I chatted with other TNT members as I waited for Craig. He kept texting me as his miles clicked by. There’s much more that I want to share about the weekend, but I’m still so very tired….and very sore. I see a doctor visit in my very near future. Craig and I had a very, very good time — I’m so proud of him and his accomplishment. And I’m so proud of mine — I might not have finished, but at least I started and gave it my all. Besides….there’s always next year!!!




By Leesa Gabel

Craig and I leave for the airport in a few hours! I’m so excited!! This will be the first ‘vacation’ Craig and I have had together without kids since Alex was just a few months old (he’s almost 10) and this will be the longest I’ve been away from the kids. I’m thankful that my mom was able to come to stay with them — being with Grandma will make being apart from mom and dad much easier (I hope). Thanks, Mom!!

Thanks! To all the blog readers — ya’ll came out of the woodwork this last week — awesome!! Your encouraging and uplifting words really helped me see the big picture. You gave me an opportunity to look back and see where I’ve been. And really helped me put this entire experience into perspective.

Thanks! To everyone who donated to our fundraising efforts. Your generosity is overwhelming!! When we asked, you really stepped up and gave. Thank you so very much — your donations will be used to benefit people like me…..if ever I need help paying for medical bills due to my leukemia, I can seek assistance from LLS…..your donations would help fund that program. When I participated in the clinical trial…..your donations helped fund the grant that doctor received. Because of you, so many others with leukemia and lymphoma will be helped.

Thanks! To Craig’s co-workers. You guys amaze me!!! You really came thru for us — I can’t thank you enough.

Thanks! To the Waddell family. Without your generous spirit we wouldn’t have been able to go to the Saturday trainings. Thanks for letting our kids invade your home just about every Friday for the last 5 months. And for giving up your Saturday mornings too. We are so blessed to have you in our lives!!

Thanks! To Steve — for keeping me laughing. For kissing my bald head….and for giving me the great nickname — Cancer Girl.

Thanks! To Kim, Doug and Helen — you’ve been great supporters!! Craig and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without your coaching and dedication to TNT!! You guys rock!!!

Thanks! To Jolene — for the beautiful quilt! To Mary Kay — for the motivational 13.1 bracelet. To others for the countless cards and personal emails.

Thanks!! To everyone — family, friends, co-workers, strangers!! I’m sorry I couldn’t list everyone personally. Just know that you all hold a special place in my heart. And if ever you need anything….do not hesitate to call me!!

I’ve got to go pack — yes, I know I’m waiting until the last minute!! We’ll update as we’re able while in Orlando. We run on Saturday — we start at 6am (east coast time) and will be done 3.5 hours and 13.1 miles later!!



Almost Race Day

By Craig Gabel

Race day is now 4 days away. We’ve trained hard for the last 5 months and I know we are ready for the challenge. Whatever the outcome of this race, we’ve started something great, that is so rewarding in itself. I submitted a response to the Disney Marathon website to the question “Why are you running a marathon?” I answered “Because my wife made me do it”. I also followed that up with “…and I thank her for it all the time”. It has been a long road and yet we haven’t hardly even hit the pavement for the life-long journey we are now running. I have had days when I didn’t want to train in the past weeks but I always seemed to get inspiration from others to help keep me focused. I am so thankful that Leesa got us into this event and brought this TNT group into our lives. I know we have made some good life-long friends through the process. I feel so inspired to keep going after this event and I know we both will continue down the same path. So I just wanted to take a moment to say “Thank You” to all the folks who have helped keep me inspired. My beautiful wife is so inspiring. She has worked through the roughest time of her life with such grace. It’s like she is a new person. I loved the woman I married 16 short years ago but I love her so much more today. Thanks to all the people who have written me to share your stories and words of encouragement. That has really been uplifting…more than you can imagine. Thanks to everyone who helped us with our fundraiser. I can’t believe we raised almost $6000 for a charity that helps so many (It’s not too late to contribute if you feel so inclined). We did come up about $2000 short of our minimum requirement but it is all worth every penny. LLS is why we run and it is why we will continue to run. Thanks again everyone. I hope the new year brings you much inspiration to achieve something you never thought possible. Now get out there and walk your butt off!



Happy New Year!

By Leesa Gabel

Yes, I know I’m late in my well wishing! Sorry. It’s been a little too busy here in the Gabel home. We leave for Orlando in 4 days. FOUR DAYS!!! OMG!!!!! I can’t believe the race is almost here — less than a week!!! I’m getting SO nervous!!! There’s so much that I need to do around the house, but all I seem to manage to do is take a nap! I’ve been so tired lately, so very, very tired. One thing I’m going to do this week is re-read my blogs. I need motivation and inspiration. I’ve been told that I give both of these, so I think I need a dose of my own self. Sometimes it’s hard for me to recapture what I felt at the beginning — the raw excitement and feeling that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I’m so nervous about the race…..about not being able to keep the 16 minute pace. I can’t let negative thoughts enter my mind or I might start to listen. So if ever any one who reads this blog was going to leave a comment….this would be the week to do so. Even if you don’t want to leave a public comment, you can send me an email ( with your encouraging and motivational words!! I can use A LOT of motivation and encouragement!!