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

Apr

29

Squeaky, squeaky

By Craig Gabel

So earlier this week I thought it would be best to get back on my triathlon training schedule even though my hips were still hurting.  Monday I swam 3/4 mile and felt really good. Then yesterday I had a 3 mile run on the schedule.  I hadn’t ran since the marathon 11 days earlier.  I ran for a short distance (only a few hundred feet) and it felt like my legs were really stiff…almost locked up.  It was really uncomfortable and going downhill felt very unstable.  I felt like my legs could just give out at any moment.  I walked down the first big hill in my neighborhood and then tried to run the flats and part of the up hills.  It didn’t feel right by any stretch of the imagination.  I managed to get 2 full miles in and thought it best to stop while I was ahead (ahead?  ahead of what?).  I got in the house and just walked around with a very strange unfamiliar feeling.  Leesa noticed right away that I wasn’t acting quite right.  I went outside to hang with the neighbors and veg out in my comfy reclining lawn chair.  After an hour or so watching the kids play and chit chatting, I called it a night.  So this morning I still didn’t feel right.  I got ready to go and headed out to drop Ashlee at daycare and then off to the office.  Once I got to the office I was walking to the elevator when I heard this very high pitched squeaking-squealing noise.  There was no one else around so it was very quiet and thought to myself that’s odd, my shoe is squeaking.  The after a short ride to the third floor I walked my route through the cube farm to my home away from home and heard that squeaking noise again.  Then it hit me.  It was my hip making that noise!  I emptied my pockets and even took off my shoes and walked just to make sure it wasn’t something else on my person.  Sure enough it was my darn hip making this really high pitched squeak (like a metal on metal type noise).  I immediately called my doctor to schedule an appointment ASAP.  Of course I shared my squeak with everyone I ran into in the office.  They were all in somewhat disbelief as I was.  I can only imagine the nickname I will get after this is over.  No one had ever heard of anything like this before including my doctor.  I was hoping he had seen a similar situation and knew what the deal was but nope.  He was just as perplexed as I and all the others who witnessed this crazy situation.  He sent me off to have x-rays of both my hips.  Thankfully the x-ray technician had actually seen several cases in the past just like mine.  Of course I immediately prodded her for details on what she knew.  She said in most cases it is just inflammation of the joint.  That made me feel a little better.  So hopefully we can finally get this identified and resolved quickly.  I hate being off my training schedule.  Once I get more info I will also be going to see Dr. Walden who I am told by many is the guru chiropractor.  I swapped voicemails with him earlier today and he also seemed to know what I was talking about and gave me a confidence boost that this can be solved in quick fashion.  I guess we’ll see tomorrow.  I will post the update tomorrow.

Apr

28

Losing weight is tuff

By Craig Gabel

Why is it so hard to make the right eating decisions? I did start the day off right with some oatmeal and raisins. I also tried some pine nuts in my oatmeal but I don’t know if that was the best choice. Pine nuts are more savory then sweet. It was an interesting combination but there may be better options out there. Anyone have any thoughts? I also started drinking this Acai berry juice I picked up from Costco. Not sure if it helps with my energy, cardio or immune system but it tastes decent and make me feel good because I am drinking something healthy. Plus it’s way cheaper than Mona Vie but probably doesn’t have but a fraction of the vitamins and nutrients that Mona Vie has in it. Anyone else tried this Acai berry stuff?

Apr

27

60 Pound Challenge

By Craig Gabel

No that doesn’t mean I am hosting a contest with a British monetary prize.  I am challenging myself as of today to lose 60 pounds.  There is no real time frame since I’d probably set something unrealistic and I’d only let myself down.  I just want to lose 60 more pounds in a relatively quick time frame.  I spent the last 10-15 years putting these pounds on and I know it will take a little while to get them back off.  I am going to do all the things I know I should be doing but I’ll need some help all the way.  If you have some tips, tricks or ideas to help me along the way, please post them here.  If you yourself want to jump on my challenge bandwagon and challenge yourself to meet a goal, then come on board.  There’s plenty of room for everyone no matter what your goal is….losing weight, gain muscle, lower blood pressure or even just starting to get a weekly activity routine going.  The goal doesn’t have to be weight loss but it does need to be something health related.  I can’t help you save for the lavish boat or Ferrari (There’s plenty of other sites out there for that sorta thing).  I want to share some ideas.  Share my successes with you and yours with me.  Let’s see if we can do this together.  Who’s game?  Send in your goal and let me know if you want me to add your stats and updates to the board over on the upper right side the webpage.  Let’s get motivated and achieve our goals together.

Apr

26

Black Tie Ball

By Leesa Gabel

Last night was the Black Tie Ball. Craig and I had a wonderful time!!

The evening started when we checked into our room at Hotel Phillips – a renovated 1930s hotel in downtown KC. It’s a beautiful hotel – it still has a lot of the original features and architecture.  Our room was at the top – 20th floor. The bed was the best hotel bed ever!! I wish we could have found a way to take it with us.

The walk to where the ball was being held was a long one….not….it was directly across the street from our hotel. It was in the historic Muehlebach Hotel. Thankfully it wasn’t raining…just windy…but I had enough hairspray on that my hair didn’t move at all.

We got there right at 6pm. Had we known, we would have waited a little longer because dinner wasn’t served until 8pm. So we did a lot of standing. But that was fun too because we could people-watch. We bid on a few of the silent auction items, but were quickly out-bid.

I received two compliments on my dress. Craig likes to point out that both came from significantly older women. Hey, I’ll take what I can get. I must say that Craig looks extremely handsome in a tux!!

Since it was a charity fundraising event, there were lots of creative ways for people to give. One way was with The Jewel In The Box. Each table (there were 93) was given a ribbon wrapped jewelry box…inside was a piece of jewelry worth $200. The catch, you couldn’t open the box – it was blind bidding starting at $100 and going up $25 after that. The bonus, one box contained a diamond and sapphire necklace worth $10,000. There were only three others at our table of ten.  They passed on the opportunity to bid, so I placed the winning bid. It felt like Christmas when it was time to open the box. Inside wasn’t the $10,000 necklace, instead was a beautiful multi-strand necklace of freshwater seed pearls. I’m wearing it today and will treasure it always.

Although the ball was fun and I hope to go again, after the ball was even better!! We went back to our room to change into regular clothes and then walked down to the Power & Light bar area. We made our way through the crowd and ended up at Howl At The Moon – a dueling rock piano bar. Very crowded….with more bachelorette parties than I’ve ever seen in one place. We had a great time sitting in the back listening to the music and people-watching. We left P&L around 2am….we both had a craving for cheeseburgers. We were disappointed to learn that evening room service at the hotel was just salads and cold sandwiches. So we called for the valet to bring our car up. We ended up going to Town Topic. A tiny little dive restuarant on Broadway. The greasy burgers and onion rings (Craig had tater tots) really hit the spot!

I think we were back in our room and asleep by 4am. Only to be awake again at 8am!! All the time to sleep in and enjoy a lazy morning and we’re awake – go figure! We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel and were checked out and on our way back home around 11am.

It was a really great time!!

Thanks to Lauren and Steve for watching our kids (yet again). Next year you two are coming with us!!

Apr

22

Humble

By Craig Gabel

Today I feel very humble and fortunate.  I have received many phone calls, emails and congratulatory well wishes for accomplishing something most people would never even think about trying, much less succeeding.  A marathon is like this bar that is set so high that most folks (me included) think it is something that just cannot be attained in their life time for a multitude of reasons.  If you’re young, you think you just don’t have that kinda of time required to train for such an event.  If you’re older, you think you’re time has passed and you’re too old to complete such a task.  If you have young kids, well just forget it.  You’d never fit that into you’re busy schedule.  If you’re out of shape…why bother!  I had that same mindset until my beautiful wife convinced me otherwise.  Things really do change.  Things motivate you like you never thought possible.  I am all those people described above.  I am still relatively young, with two wonderful children and yet most days feel like I am too old, overweight and over the hill.  I was abruptly reminded how not old and not over the hill I really am.  I see other people who CAN’T run a marathon for a variety of reasons.  People who have real physical limitations.  I am an overweight, able bodied, relatively still young man.  Why can’t I do it!  Well, I can! I trained my butt off for almost 8 months and I finished the marathon!  I brought the bar down.  In the past couple weeks I’ve had some really great moments with friends and family.  One of my best friends total me he thought seeing me cross the finish line was like watching the brother he never had cross that finish line.  Dude that rocks! Since then, he and his family have been walking almost every night.  I don’t know if I had any impact on that at all and it really doesn’t matter but either way it’s cool to see people get motivated to start exercising.  My sister-in-law has been walking everyday this year and has lost 30+ pounds!  How cool is that!  Another one of my best friends told me he was very proud of me.  I am not what I’d call in overly emotional guy but for some reason that really touched me.  My Dad and brothers all had very kind words for me as well.  I felt like I did the unbelievable.  Then a good friend at work sent me a video of a woman who raced a Triathlon with a special needs girl.  She pulled her in a boat for the swim portion, pulled her in a trailer for the bike portion and pushed her in a racing chair for the run portion.  That video triggered a memory of a man and his son Dick and Rick Hoyt.  These guys are amazing.  I googled them up when I got home this evening and watched some of their YouTube videos in complete awe.  Dick has done the same thing as this woman with his special needs son for almost 30 years.  Together they have an impressive list of accomplishments from a 5K (well actually they have completed over a hundred of them) to full Ironman Triathlons (6 of them).  WOW!  Can you imagine the strength (mental and physical) required to do all that!  It made me think back to my time on the marathon trail.  Those times when I was struggling to push myself to build up enough energy to run a short distance now seems so insignificant comparatively speaking.  I know if Dick and Rick can do these amazing things then so can I and so can any able bodied person reading this blog.  I feel very humbled, fortunate and motivated…how about you?

Apr

21

Which is more painful…

By Craig Gabel

So the question of the day for me is “Which is more painful…a marathon or trip to the chiroprator afterwards?” Today I say, trip to the chiropractor is much worse. WOW! Talk about some hurt. Dr. Wilmore really layed into my hip tissue to break up that knot even more today. Yesterday was rough but today almost brought me to tears. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced something like this and if you haven’t, I wish that you never have to go through that in your lifetime. It was excruciating. I kept telling myself (out loud) over and over again…this will feel better later. A little pain for a lot of gain. Ugh…I go back again on Thursday morning for even more torture. Today I have an ice pack shoved down my pants sitting on my hip to bring down the imflammation.  Hey, at least I can sorta walk up and down steps now…well kinda… I still opt for the elevator when available. Now if we only if we had one in our house!

Apr

20

Dr. Backcracker

By Craig Gabel

I had a visit to the chiropractor today and it was painful! Dr. Wilmore found a big ole knot on my hip bone and he loosen it up with lots of force…ugh. I feel so much better now though. I can actually walk without the “needle jammed in the hip” feeling. I have another appointment tomorrow morning for some more torture. It’ll be fun!

Apr

20

Haircut day!!

By Leesa Gabel

Today I’m getting a hair cut/style!!! I’m going back to the salon that shaved off my remaining hair….it seemed an appropriate choice. No clue what I’m going to get. It’ll be short still, but the question is how short? And much to Craig’s disappointment, I won’t be coming home a blonde.

I’m back in the walking routine and my heels are feeling it. Need to stretch more before and after I walk. But it does feel good to be back out there!!

Apr

19

The aftermath

By Craig Gabel

My body is rebeling against me.  I didn’t sleep well at all last night.  I could not get comfortable and every time I rolled from one side to the other, I heard popping and cracking coming from every joint it seemed.  It slow going today.  I am sore from head to toe…LITERALLY!  Ugh….

Apr

18

First Marathon Complete!

By Craig Gabel

Frisco Marathon

Frisco Marathon

WOW…I don’t know where to start on this one.  So I’ll recap the entire adventure. 

I woke up at 2:30 AM.  Doug and Kim came by around 3:10 to pick me up and we were off to Bolivar, MO.  It was actually a fairly quick ride down there.  I was awake but yet not fullly awake the entire trip.  We arrived before everyone at the finishing point and were kinda wondering if we were in the wrong place or what.  Shortly there after others started to arrive and open the school building we met at.  We gathered all our stuff needed for the race and boarded a bus to the start line down in Willard, MO.  Once we arrived we soon realized we were at the start line for the 50K and 10 Miler.  We had to get on another bus to go to the Marathon start line.  Thanks for inquiring about that Doug!  Hindsight, the ongoing joke we had about fooling me into doing the 50k instead, probably would have killed me!  LOL!

The trail is the old Frisco Highline route that was converted into a hiking, running, biking trail.  So once at the marathon start line, which was at a country road\trail crossroads, we had to walk out .2 miles to the actual start since the total distance from the crossroads was exactly 26 miles.  There was 20+ of us total and we started off with much excitement and conversation for the first .2 miles and then everyone started breaking apart once on the trail.  Kim hung back with me for what I thought would be the first few miles. The trail was not quite what I expected.  I was hoping for the fine crushed gravel that been compacted with rain into an almost  cushy concrete.  Some sections were like that but most was this loose gravel that was hard to get a footing on and just wore me down after awhile.  The first 8 miles were great although I had a blister pop up around mile 4.  Kim was still hanging back with me for the duration to help pull me to that finish line. I was well under my goal pace and felt really good.  Then it happend. I hit the perverbial “Wall”.  I was really bummed because I knew exactly when it had happened and it happened WAY to early in the race.  From that point on it was more walking then running and the further we went the less running I did.  I simply had no energy to run.  All in all I felt fine physically (even the blister was tolerable) till about mile 20 and then all the usual aches and pains came out along with some new ones I hadn’t experienced before. It became very frustrating but I had no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t make it to the finish.  Know whether or not I would finish was never an issue but I was really bummed about my time.  I really wanted my first to be under 6 hours.  We saw a tons of intersting sites including road kill (armadillos in Missouri..Who knew!  Well Doug knew actually!),  lots of frogs (some in romantic embrace :0), lots of horses and cows.  At one point had had a bit of a stand off with a few cows.  They were crossing the trail in an area where two fields were opened up to each other with cattle guards on the trail.  It was kinda cool and yet weird (since it was a marathon).  We lost count of how many bridges we crossed. It was very scenic for most of the route.  As we rolled into Bolivar we were back on paved roads and it actually felt better to run on asphalt and concrete but my energy to keep running was long gone unfortunately.  We turned on to a trail for the last half mile or so to the finish where Doug was waiting and taking pictures.  It felt really good to FINALLY cross that finish line.  Kim let me cross first…she such a sweet heart.  All in all it was a great experience I will never forget.  Thanks Kim for hanging back with me, I really do appreciate it.   I won’t say I couldn’t have finished without you but you made the whole experience way more fun, easier and probably a little faster.  That helps my motivation to move on to the next marathon for sure…so “Thank You” for being there with me for my first marathon.  Once over the finshline we were given our finishers medal (pictured above).  Kim gave me mine in a nice quaint ceremony.  It probably seemed routine to the handful of people that were still there but I will remember it for life.  It those little things in life that make all the difference.  Kim was then awarded her 2nd place finisher award for her age group.  Ya she got an award for a 6:29 finish!  How fun is that….sorry Doug!  3rd place and beyond were way back behind us…i think because they never registered!  LOL!  Then we were off for a pasta dinner and cookies provided by the race organizers.  That was tasty!  Then we headed back to Olathe.  The trip back was pretty quick and full of much more conversation since we were awake.  Once home, it was a relaxing evening hanging with the neighbors for a bit and then a wonderful dinner Leesa prepared for the occassion.  Prime rib never tasted better!  Then I was off to bed!