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




By Leesa Gabel

Once again my body has worked against me and my goals. I have another abdominal hernia and this time it’s really bothering me (this makes #4 for those keeping count). If not for the ultra-busy weekend (scout camp, Ashlee’s chicken run and Alex’s triathlon) I probably would have already had the surgery to fix it — the surgeon I saw in the ER on Wednesday thought I should get it done sooner rather than later. But the weekend has given me a little more time to avoid the inevitable. I see my sugeon on Tuesday. I just want to get it over with at this point. I can’t train until it’s fixed. It pains me when I exercise. Heck, it pains me even when I’m not exercising.

Right now I’m pissed off. I’m mad that this is happening again – right when I’m in a good groove and making great progress. I had just signed up for a fun Martini Mile run — only 1 mile and I get a martini at the end – PERFECT!! Now I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it. Then there’s a bike event, Royals 5K…and the big one….the KC Marathon. All in jeapordy.

I feel that at this rate I’ll never finish a half marathon and most importantly I’ll never lose weight. It’s a vicious cycle — start exercising and losing weight, get injured (or need surgery), stop exercising and start regaining weight, get to a point that I’m back physically before the injury/surgery only to have something else happen again. So effing frustrating!!!

We had just joined a really awesome gym – Health Ridge – I was going every day; getting in my miles or cross training and rewarding myself with time in the steam room and sauna. Assuming I can have the surgery next week, it’ll be at least 6 weeks before I can do anything at the gym. Six weeks is a very long time. Especially when the KC Marathon is only 11 weeks away. Which means that Disney is like 24 weeks away.

I’m moving from pissed to depressed…..why me? Why does this keep happening?!?!!!



Training is going well…

By Craig Gabel

Leesa is doing a great job with her training for the KC half marathon.  She has been keeping up with the schedule and I am so proud of her.  I know she will make the finish line.  I have been continuing to train all 3 sports in preparation for the Redman half iron triathlon even with the cast on.  The bike is what scared me the most but actually it’s not that bad with my new aero bars.  That’s where we are today.  Keep the posts coming.  We like seeing the encouraging words.  It helps us to keep going.




By Craig Gabel

Fourth of July weekend we took a trip to STL with our neighbors and had a really fun time.  Our mini-vacation started off at the City Museum and was a blast for the kids and adults.  The whole museum is an old 10 story warehouse that is converted into a recycled playset.  Lots of rebar and industrial related products are used my make most of the ladders and slides and what not.  They just opened the roof top the week we were there.  From the roof top to the 1st floor is a 10 story spiral slide.  To keep you inside the slide they have essentially put a cage over the top using rebar.  The problem is that they spaced it way to close together.  On my final decent of the day I accidentally got my hand caught in between to pieces of rebar.  Rather than stopping me it just snapped my hand and broke the hand bone that extends out to my pinkie finger.  So long story short, I am in a cast for the next 6 weeks (well 5 weeks  now).  I have been bummed and training pretty much was derailed all of last week.  This week I am back on it and have a very positive outlook.  I really want to go do the Redman race in OKC coming up in September.  I have about 9 weeks till race day.  So 5 weeks with the cast and 4 without…hopefully.  After being reminded of some stories of cancer patients this weekend and the battle they suffer through, my energy and motivation has been renewed.  One of our TNT alumni spoke of a girl who he ran in honor of a couple years back.  Her name is Emma.  She struggled but was a very courageous fighter.  A few months later he ran in her memory.  If this little girl can battle cancer and take all the punishment it comes with just as my wife, my Triathlon honor patient Emilee, my good friend John and millions of others have done, then darn it all I can train with a broken hand.  Their story’s give me strength and I hope my story can give them and all who read this blog the strength and hope get pushing through whatever battle you are faced with.



1st triathlon is complete!

By Craig Gabel

WOW…what a weekend.  I am not even sure where to start.  The trip to West Des Moines on Friday was a very easy drive.  The venue at Raccoon River Park was just incredible.  The folks at Hy-Vee did a phenomenal job.  Once we arrived we were able to get in a practice swim in the lake.  The water was perfect and our minds were set at ease just knowing what to expect.  The next morning was a little early to get out to the venue for Alex’s big day.  He did AWESOME!  He setup his own transition area (parents were not allowed in to help).  He had a great swim, we didn’t get to see much of the bike but Mom saw him several times on the jumbo-tron from the grandstands.  I made my way over to the grandstands and saw him several more times on the jumbo-tron.  Then we saw him running hard and fast to the finish on the blue carpet.  We were so proud of him!  It was a very emotional moment for us.  It was just awesome.  We treated him to cheesy fries at Fuddruckers that afternoon.  Then I got in a short nap while the kids went swimming at the hotel.  That night we attended the TNT Pasta party.  It was a fun time with good food, friends and some inspiring stories.  We had the entire team and their families as well as our honor patient Emilee and her family in attendance.  It was a great group of folks to hang out with and we were blessed to have everyone’s support.  Afterwards we went back and saw the coolest video montage of Emilee and her family.  Her sister Kylie put it all together and it documented Emilee’s battle with cancer.  She is such a sweetheart and her sister is amazing.  Her mom and dad are so supportive and heck they even drove all the way up to see us compete.  How cool is that!  Sunday morning was a 3:00 wake up.  The kids did great…no crabbiness to be found.  We headed out to the venue and got our transitions set up and then waited on the beach.  The temperature was a cool 60-something.  Then the mayhem started.  The running beach start was a new experience.  I did okay though.  I took a wide path and tried to pass as many people as I could.  The course was much longer than it looked form the beach. I started 12 minutes back from the front pack of elite athletes.  I was encouraged when I passed many of them on the swim.  It set me up  for a decent start on the bike.  It seems most triathletes are really good on the bike and run but not the swim.  Thankfully I am a good swimmer.  So I had many athlete’s fly by me on their super nice bikes.  It was really kinda cool (I know that sounds so weird to say it was cool to be passed, but hey I was passed by some of the best triathletes in the world that I had already passed on the swim and they had a 12 minute head start).  The run up the beach and into the transition was a very strange feeling.  It was tuff.  My transition was slow as I tried to get some focus back before jumping on the bike.  It did fairly well on the bike.  Lot’s of long hills and a strong headwind going out.  Then a nice tailwind and mostly downhill coming back.  That basically equates to being passed by many on the way out and passing a few myself on the way back.  Weight has its advantages when rolling downhill on a bike.  It was a lot of fun.  Then back to transition.  My bike to run transitions was a little  slow as well comparatively speaking but I’d didn’t care too much.  The run portion was the hardest for me.  My calves were solid rocks.  It hurt to run but I was on the blue carpet portion of the venue with cheering spectators on both sides of the course.  I couldn’t not run!  So I manned up and ran it out till there were no more people then walked for a while to stretch the calves.  I felt better and ran several short spurts but then my thighs tighten up and were on the verge of cramping.  I had to walk and run in short segments.  By the last mile I was able to run it into the finish line.  I heard Leesa and all my cheering fans and that was cool.  It was an exhilarating race.  I had some moments of glee and moments of frustration but by far I had a great time racing.  Afterwards we had a post race lunch and celebrated with everyone.  I think we convince Emilee’s dad Larry to come train with us.  That will be really cool.  The ride home was nice and quiet and I got to have a great conversation with my lovely wife who inspired me to start doing all this.  I can’t express the amount of love I have for this girl!