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



Our first Triathlon is right around the corner

By Craig Gabel

Alex and I have been training hard the last few weeks.  I am really proud of Alex and his efforts to learn a new sport.  I think this could be the one for him.  I guess time will tell.  He has done very well in our practices and he has really started to push himself.  Team In training has been a great team experience.  Everyone on the team brings something different to the team through their own personal experiences.  We have all grown together and it should be a good race for all of us.   I am looking forward to the race itself and at the same time can’t wait for it to be finished.



Relay for Life

By Leesa Gabel

Friday evening was the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.  This was Team WOBO’s first time at the event, but Craig and I’s four time at Relay. Although our team that night was just Craig, Lauren, myself and the kids — we had a great time!! This was my first year to wear the purple survivor shirt — an odd priviledge to say the least. It’s meaning is definitely not lost on me — I’m a survivor. I’m surviving. I’m living.

The event started at 6pm. The first lap is the Survivor’s Lap — only the survivors are on the track. As we came around to the grandstand, our caregivers joined us. The purpose was to end up at the survivor’s tent for a catered dinner. Although Craig has been my #1 caregiver through this entire ordeal….Lauren has also been there. So she joined me and we had dinner together while Craig and the kids walked the track. Dinner was a nice meal of salad and a chopped meat sandwich. The best part was the 4-layered slice of chocolate goodness!!

Back to Craig and the kids. It was hot and humid….I was sweating buckets in no time!! But it felt good to be out there on the track. I even passed a few people for a change!

At 10pm the luminaria ceremony started. Everyone has an opportunity to purchase a luminary In Honor or In Memory of someone. This year we purchased nine. Sad. The lights in the complex get turned out – complete darkness. Then one by one, people beginning lighting the luminaries. They circle the entire track and on the bleachers in the back, the word HOPE is spelled out. There’s a moment of silence, music and a personal story to bring it all into perspective.

This year, the sight of all the luminaries hit Alex rather hard. He and I went off by ourselves as Craig and Ashlee walked the memorial lap. He couldn’t get over the fact that there were so many lit. I tried to explain to my 10 year old son that this night is why Craig and I work so hard to raise money for cancer research. Tried to explain that all the money raised helps people with cancer. Sometimes he doesn’t always ‘hear me’ when I talk to him, but I think he may have when I told him that he needs to take the sadness that he feels and turn it into something good.

I’m looking forward to helping him turn it into something good. I’m also looking forward to wearing the purple shirt again next year!!



What a good weekend!

By Craig Gabel

I was finally able to train start to finish in all 3 sports and it felt pretty good.  The hip pain is still there but dwindling quickly.  The power of doing these events for more than just you is really impressive.  You see I think I needed to start exercising and training for more than just myself.  I’ve been looking for that one big life changing event to happen in my life and it finally came through.  My wife gets all the credit.  She started me on a journey that so far has been unbelievable.  I can only imagine where it will take us as a family.  I definitely am leveraging the inspiration of all my heroes battling horrible diseases.  Their pain is so much deeper than anything I’ll ever come close to and they all take it in as if it’s nothing.  That’s true victory and glory at the end of the journey.  Like the saying goes…life is about the journey, not the destination.



Cancer takes more lives

By Craig Gabel

Yesterday I lost a good friend to esophagus cancer.  He led a great battle and was beating it but lost in the end.  His will to fight was very inspirational.  I had a co-worker, but gained a good friend.  I had a good friend and gained a spiritual brother.  I had someone who could make me laugh at any moment and I gained an inspirational hero for life.  I will miss you John!

The coolest thing is that I know John reached down from heaven only hours after his arrival to help me finish my triathlon training yesterday.  I have been having a rough time running lately and his life is all I could think about. I performed the best that I have been physically able to achieve in recent weeks.  My hip finally felt decent enough to run and John kept me running.  Thanks for your help John and stay with me brother while I try to help others who are going through the same battle as you did.  You did good!  Let’s keep it going!

I also lost a cousin this past weekend to cancer as well.  Beth lead a lengthy battle but could not hold it back.  May they both rest in peace and give us the encouragement we all need to move forward and put this thing called cancer to rest once and for all.



We got our thrill…

By Leesa Gabel

…on Hospital Hill!!!

Saturday was the Hospital Hill Run. Craig was registered to do the half marathon, but the lingering hip issues made him switch to the 5K. Fine by me, having Craig join Alex and I for the 5K was great!!

Went to packet pick-up the night before. Wonderful goodie bags….nice dry-fit race shirts, socks, nylon bag to hold it all. Ate at Fritz’s then back to the cul-de-sac to drop Ashlee off at her sleepover.

It was another early morning at our house on Saturday. The 5k started at 7:30am, but Craig had a co-worker who was running the half and he wanted to cheer her on at the start (which was 7am).

The skies were semi-cloudy, the temps was cool. Of course the wind picked up when we got there.

The start was somewhat uphill….very gradual….then over a block and a slight downhill. But then came the ‘hill’ part of the title. OMG! I didn’t think it would ever end! At one point the safety car stopped and brought me a bottle of water. That helped!! Have I ever mentioned that I loathe hills?

Alex did very good. He hit his ‘wall’ at aroud 2.5 miles. But we encouraged him on the final half mile. In fact, all along the route he and I would switch off encouraging the other.

I was so very proud of him when he crossed the line!! Especially because we weren’t sure he’d even be able to do it because of a knee injury. He saw a doctor and had x-rays before and all was well — plus he wore a knee brace.

I’ll add a picture of the medal later. Every finisher got a medal and a pair of flip-flops. I think the best though was the cold, wet towel at the end. My salt-lick of a face LOVED how refreshing it was. Can’t forget the ice cold chocolate milk too.

Did you know that chocolate milk is the perfect thing to drink after a long workout? I just want to kiss the researcher who discovered that fact!!

So another ‘official’ 5k under my belt. Many more to come! :)



Catching up

By Craig Gabel

Well I haven’t posted in a bit so it’s time to catch up on what been going on. 

Two weeks ago I had my first Swim-Bike-Run…ok it was actually a walk.  I managed to squeeze into the wetsuit and finish off a 1\4 or so miles out at the lake in Lakewood in Lee’s Summit.  The water was a bit chilly and the wetsuit was not totally water tight.  It made me even more buoyant than I already am with the extra poundage I am carrying these days.  That was interesting.  The transition was smooth to the bike.  It was a bit cold as the lake water soaked my Tri-short and shirt and the air temp was not quite warm at 7:00 am in the morning.  We rode about 16+ miles and it went very well.  Some decent hills but not too bad.  I feel really comfortable on the bike now.  Then I walked a bit after the ride and then stretched while my teammates rocked out 3 miles.  Everyone did great!

Last weekend the team went on a 30 mile ride on south of Overland Park.  The route was just beautiful.  Nice rolling hills…except for one monster hill that I had to jam my gears all the way down to granny gear and stand on it to make it to the top, I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest.  Otherwise it was a great ride.  We met up with the Tahoe century ride team to get in one last ride and give them a send off for their race this coming weekend.  Good luck to you all! 

Training has been going pretty good.  I have missed a few days due to being on vacation or scheduling conflicts.  I have been getting really bummed when I miss which tells me the level of dedication I have accumulated throughout this journey.  It make me feel really good went I finish a workout.  I have not run for over 6 weeks now except for little jaunts here and there.  I rode 10 mile tonight and tried to run 3.  I made it through 1 and was frankly a bit depressed that my hip is still killing me.  My left side, which is where the pain started, feels great.  It’s all on the right side now.  I hope to try and run a little bit every day from here going forward.  I only have a little over three weeks till the Hy-Vee Triathlon.  I desperately want to be able to run the entire 6 miles but it almost seems like an impossibility.  I guess anything can happen though.  I know the swim and bike will be good.  If I have to walk the 6 miles then so be it.  It’s all about finishing the race for me.  I’d just really like to have a good finishing time.

Going forward from here I hope to get over this hip issue and start working towards a (HIM) half Ironman distance triathlon.  My good friend Kim was going to do the Redman in Oklahoma  this September which I thought could be attainable for me but she found a race closer and cheaper but it a month sooner.  It’s the Pigman HIM in Cedar Rapids, IA.  I suppose time will tell but I’d love to finish a HIM this year. That would be cool. Now that I think about it, if I did the Pigman with Kim, I would have went from total couch potato to finishing multiple 5K’s, 2 half marathons, a full marathon and a Half Ironman in about a year.  Wow!  That sounds pretty cool when I read it.  The Hospital Hill races are this weekend.  I will be dropping from the half marathon to the 5K.  It will be fun since I can run with Leesa and Alex.  We’ll have a blast!



Join us for Relay for Life

By Leesa Gabel

Relay For Life is fast approaching. There is plenty of room on our team if anyone would like to join us. Here’s the link to join –

Here’s a re-post of why Craig and I relay (it’s worth repeating)…..

Cancer Does Not Stop at Nighttime

Relay For Life starts at dusk and ends the next morning. The light and darkness of the day and night parallel the experiences of the cancer patient undergoing treatment. The Relay begins at sunset, which symbolizes the time a person is diagnosed with cancer. As evening progresses, it gets colder and darker – this represents the patients’ struggle as they endure the emotions of being a cancer patient.

The time between 1 to 2 a.m. represents when the cancer patient starts treatment. They become exhausted, some sick, not wanting to give up. As a participant in the Relay, you have been walking and feel much the same way. Like the cancer patient, you cannot stop or give up.

The time around 4 to 5 a.m. symbolizes the completion of treatment for the cancer patient. Once again, they are tired, but they know they will make it.

The sun rising represents the end of treatment for the cancer patient. They see the light that life will go on. The morning light brings on a new day, full of life, and excitement for new beginnings. As a participant, you will feel the brightness of the morning and know that the end of the Relay is close at hand.

When you leave the Relay, think of the cancer patient leaving their last treatment. Just as you are exhausted and weak, so is that person, but there is hope in the new day! The money raised at Relay will support patient services, lifesaving research, education, and advocacy efforts….and that is why we Relay!!



5 more days

By Leesa Gabel

Hospital Hill is just 5 short days away!! I’m ready….I think. I hope Alex is ready. And I’m wondering what Craig’s decision is going to be….5K with us…10K or the Half.

This week I’m also going to start training for my next half marathon attempt. The KC Marathon. Which means I’ll need to include hills on my routes. Ugh. I hate hills!! Craig is working out a training plan for me.

Other than that….life is relatively quiet in the Gabel house. I like it that way. :)