Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It Is (Darn Near) Finished - Lessons Learned

Tomorrow. I can speak tomorrow. Ed keeps asking me what I'm going to say. I thought about, "Oil can," because I'm hilarious, and because it partners well with my last words, "Chicken fat." However, I'll probably just say something profound like, "Hey."

I'm curious about how I will sound. These seven days are the longest I've gone without vocalizing. Yeah, I didn't start speaking until I was six months old, but according to the attending parties, I started vocalizing when I was six seconds old. This door has been shut for a very long time by comparison. The hinges will be a little rusty. I keep joking that I'm going to sound like Sgt. Hulka after he falls off the obstacle in Stripes. (See below.)

This week has been unforgettable in a lot of ways. Two of the original purposes of my plan to blog about my week of silence were to help others who might someday find themselves in my silent position, and to view the experience as educational. With that in mind, I would like to share some things I learned this week.

I'd like to caution that I'm going to be fairly candid. Normally, I stick to reporting the positive. No one wants to hear the negative, and keeping positive is just good practice. However, in the interest of being honest, I'm going to report the hard stuff, too. Maybe it will help someone approaching a period of silence to be better prepared. Luckily, there's more positive than negative, anyway.

Pain is temporary.
The pain of the surgery was not that bad. The time period immediately following the surgery was painful due to the tricky intubation that was necessary, but that part went quickly. The most painful activities were laughing (not OL, of course), coughing, sneezing, and yawning. Yawning was the worst. (You're trying not to yawn right now. I see you.) After a few days, though, all "pain" was reduced to feeling like a bruise on the neck. No sweat.

Weakness is temporary.
It hurt to eat normal stuff for a few days. Mushy foods + low appetite + Crohn's disease = weak, weak weak. Again, that passed. Hooray, ice cream.

Music is divine.
Don't Speak
I had to put away the iTunes most of the time this week. The temptations to whistle or lip sync were too great. I would break those post-surgical rules without intending to do so. I really miss participating in vocal music. However, I will admit it was funny that "Don't Speak" was playing on the radio when Ed and I got in the car today. He sang it to me.

Planning is everything.
My pre-made "I can't speak because I just had vocal cord repair surgery," notes are worth their weight in gold. I always have 10 or so in my pocket. Whip out one of those bad boys, and the person who just asked, "How are you?" isn't wondering why you're just standing there starting at him/her with a goofy smile.

Planning isn't everything.
I carried around my iPad and wrote notes to people using the ShowMe app. It was very helpful for ordering food and asking for help in a store. Beyond those places, it was pretty frustrating. I just couldn't write fast enough to keep up with conversation. Being on a lower conversational plane (see my theory), coupled with a sometimes lagging app often made me very frustrated. By the second half of the week, I relied mostly on texting.

I need chargers.
All chargers in the house worked overtime to help me communicate. My iPhone especially was in constant need of a recharge. Having portable, wireless chargers in my purse saved the day multiple times.

I need outlets.
Having a way to escape and be normal was really important. For me, that was running.

Language will come.
Within a week, my family, friends, and I have unintentionally developed a dozen or so hand signals or gestures that have meaning for us. I bow for thank you. Hands in a triangle on the head mean, "Happy Birthday!" I make a little hand signal to "sound" the inside-joke battle cry adopted by my running friends and me. These communicative indicators developed on their own. Quickly. As a student of education, I find it fascinating. Maybe I could've held my own at the Tower Of Babel.

Laughter is good medicine.
Though I probably nearly ruined the surgery a few times, laughter with family and friends kept me afloat this week. A special highlight was when I was trying to teach Mom the ASL alphabet so we could communicate in the pool, where I had no means to write. The letters were getting all jumbled for her, and she looked at me and said, Ralphie style, "BeSureToDrinkYourOvaltine." I've never had to stifle laughter so much.

People want to help.
People didn't quite know how to handle me, but things usually resolved well. One of Ed's and my friends was the most forthright about it: "This is awkward. I can't talk to you." :o) We eventually managed to have conversation, though. If I stayed positive and smiled a lot, most people followed me down the rabbit hole.

The truth is, I needed people to aid me in my quests to buy a sandwich, or make appointments, or explain why I can't mouth words, or communicate with my currently in-the-doghouse health insurance company. (Aside: There, I felt a little like John Goodman taking the crowbar to the car in The Big Lebowski. As you may know, I can't link that video here. Ha.) I can't make phone calls. I can't go through a drive-through. I needed people. People helped.*

Tough times will happen; focus on the positive.
I planned for "the 2%," but I wasn't ready for its extensive emotional force. Fully 98% of the time, everything was cool. The days clicked along their tracks nicely. If there was a derailment, prior planning and problem solving got the day back on track. However, there were some really hard times. There were moments I felt like I was a burden. There were moments when people would make a voice joke that made me laugh in the 98%, but didn't register as humorous to me in the 2%. The worst feelings, however, were the lonely feelings.

This week, there were moments that I felt as alone as I've ever felt in my life. During those times, I tried to be as positive as possible: focus on the "finish line," so to speak; remember the people who love me; remind myself that as medical ailments go, this one is not so bad. It all worked. I eventually got through the 2% moments.

Choose quality over quantity.
I think the most important lesson I learned this week is that a good chunk of what I say isn't important, anyway... maybe even 50%. This week taught me that I can manage life more word-simply. In some ways, not speaking got easier and easier. I'll admit it: at times, it was a relief not to have to speak. I also learned, since writing takes so much time, to pick the words that packed the most punch. Stories are great, but they aren't always necessary. Here's a little of what my inner dialogue has been like.
Aw, shoot, I sure wish I could tell that funny story about ____. I can't, though. ... ... ... Now that I think about it, that story doesn't really fit here. I'm glad I was forced to think about it. ... ... ... When I can speak again, what will I do in this situation? Tell the story or not?
I wonder how much my future conversation will be changed by this week's experiences. I always tell my students to listen to what I say because a good 85% of it is really important. Turns out it was lower than that, but I think I could work to get it around 90%. (...she says as she completes a 1,575 word blog.)

And now...
Yes, quality over quantity is my favorite lesson. It will be a good one to carry with me now, because starting tomorrow, things are not back to normal. I won't be fully recovered for more than a month, and even then, I won't be ready to sing like I'm accustomed. My speaking will be limited to "speech of necessity" and "conversational tones." I will sound a little like the Men In Black bug-alien for a while. ("Sugar. In wa-ter. More.") Also, I will take more time to consider the words I want to use. You see, they have to be precise when you don't get many of them. I have a clever little idea about what I will say first tomorrow. Until then...

Oil can!

*Thank you to Ed for bearing the brunt of it all; to Sam for joining Ed in making me laugh, not OL; to Mom and Dad for being the secondary bearers; to Wendy, Wes, Amelia, and Yancy for the running, stories, songs, and sanity; Karen and Debbie at BMS for helping me during the health insurance freak out ("See what happens, Larry?!"); to the fine folks who helped me in some of Bedford's many fine establishments; and to all the people who took the time to be a little creative in order to include me in conversation. I know it was awkward, but we made it! Thank you! <bow>

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Equal Conversational Planes Theory

I'm deep into Day Four of no speaking, I have four more 30°-inclined sleeps until I can talk, and my methods of communication seem to have fallen into four categories:
  • writing notes on my iPad, laptop, or notebook; 
  • texting, messaging, and emailing; 
  • blogging and posting on social media; 
  • and miming, sometimes with the aid of an interpreter. I'm a really good mime; just ask Ed. My best move is the little bow I do to say thank you. 
After practicing all these forms of communication, I've developed a theory. I'll present it here.

The Equal Conversational Planes Theory
The Equal Conversational Planes Theory states that conversation between two or more parties is optimal when all participants are using the same form of communication or are on the same communal plane.

For example, if I am communicating with someone who is able to speak to me, and I am forced to write notes on my iPad, communication is not optimal. It is, to put it scientifically, really freaking awkward. The speaking party is forced to wait while I write, wondering where he should look and what he should do. If there are other people nearby, the speaking party usually passes my writing time by engaging another, and by then, I'm left in the dust.

If, however, I am on the same communal plane with another—both of us texting, for instance—communication is optimal. The same restrictions that bar my communication, bar the other participant, as well, so none of the "freaking awkwardness" exists. We can text, message, email, "social media," or whatever to our hearts' contents without the awkward wait existing for only one party.

The Expectation Corollary
However, there is an Expectation Corollary. The Expectation Corollary allows that if participants are on different conversational planes, conversation can still be smoothly achieved if the expectations of the participant(s) on the higher plane are low.

For instance, Wendy, Wes, and I embarked on our first post-surgical run this morning. Everyone in attendance was aware that my only method of communication while running would be miming. Therefore, the questions asked were formed in ways that I could respond with hand motions and general overacted mimery.

Silly, But True
Of course, the presentation of this blog is all in fun, but there is truth to the findings. I do appreciate everyone's patience with me this week, especially those around whom I spend the most time. Ed and Sam are being patient at home, my Mom and Dad are being patient when I visit, and my friends are being patient when we run or hang out.

It's just that all of you get a break from it, and I don't. Even when I'm alone, I'm aware of the restriction. Solitude is certainly easier than being with others, but I can physically feel my inability to speak. That knowledge is the most awkward thing of all.

However, it's seven days. I can hang. I'll be to the halfway point in a couple of hours.

SARS! MRSA! End of days!
One of the conditions of me being allowed to run is that no debris (read: dust, pollen, gnats, other buggery), gets on my incision site. I am at a greater risk of sucking these fragments into my vocal folds while running. Therefore, I have to run with a surgical mask. Imagine running around town wearing that thing. Nothing says "fun run" like an "I'm afraid of SARS in Bedford!" mask. First, passersby look at me inquisitively. Then, they start touching their faces, like maybe I know something they don't.

Again, I jest (some), but I'm really very thankful. Today's masked run was one of the best I've had in a long time, even though my toe is jacked (yuck-pic warning), my cords are healing, and I'm on enough medication to supply a small country. That's probably why the run was so necessary.

Happy Flag Day, from my family and friends to yours.  You can still have fun if you can't speak!

Clockwise from top left: with Wendy, with Mom, Dad, Abbi

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day "Two" and Chicken Fat

In some ways, having no voice is easier than I thought. In some, it's really, really, really hard. I've been without my voice for about 34 hours now, so that makes me almost 20% done if you figure my total no speaking time at 168 hours (one week). At this point, 80% seems like a long journey. It's like being at the beginning of the sixth mile of a marathon. No matter... I can do it.

Day Two - The Easy
I consider yesterday Day One, even though I slept most of it. So even though today was full Day One, I'm calling it Day Two.

The first thing I did when I rose from my bed this morning? Stubbed my pinkie toe. Badly. So badly, I thought I broke it. (I don't like to post yuck-pics without giving my reader a choice, so here's your link to the yuck-pic if you want to see it.) The point is this: I couldn't scream. Isn't that, like, the common human response to the toe stub? Hollering like you've been shot? It is for me, but I managed to suppress it. One point for the voiceless.

Next, I cleaned the house. I put on music, but had to stop it because the urge to hum was too great. Sorry, Phillip Phillips. We can duet another time.

I followed cleaning with a walk to town on my freshly ruined toe, because I'm not allowed to drive until tomorrow due to the anesthesia. I had to visit school and Ginger Threads. Before I left, I wrote notes explaining my needs. Both visits went smoothly, but all involved had prior knowledge of my condition before I arrived.

My little card
I had my first experience as a non-voiced citizen (where others didn't have prior knowledge of my voiceless-ness), at Stonecutters Cafe. It ended up being really easy. I handed the person behind the counter one of my little cards I made earlier this week, then showed him my iPad, where I had written my order. He said, "Oh, cool." I got some lunch without a hitch!

On the way home, my phone rang. Hmmm. No real conundrum. I just put it away. No voicemail was left. If anyone knows who 812.825.1111 is, tell him/her I'm sorry.

Day Two - The Hard
My little app
When Ed came home from practice, things got harder. I had written him some notes about my day, but talking with your partner is not like ordering a BLT. I have a lot more to say than, "Light on the mayo." Ed is very good at interpreting my "miming," as he calls it, and the iPad helps, but I always feel so bad while he waits as I write. I ended up just typing and having him read my computer screen because it was faster.

Ed is very good about making sure I don't break the rules. If I make any kind of noise, he says, "Jo!" If I start mouthing words, he says, "Jo!" If I look like I'm about to start mouthing words, he says, "Jo!" He often accompanies these exclamations with a stern face and a hand slice through the air that I assume means to cut it out.

Thanks, Darla!
A visit to my Mom and Dad's and Ed's Mom and Dad's was easy because they were careful to ask only yes-no questions. The hard part was not being able to tell Mom happy birthday. I'm not even supposed to mouth words because that action moves the vocal cords. (Who knew?) I just smiled a lot, but it sucked not being able to vocalize wishes.

Later on, Wendy and her dog Darla came to bring some cake. The three of us "talked" while Darla, who likely sensed my weakness, cuddled up to me. I loved them coming over, but it was hard not to be able to converse like I wanted. By the time I had written a response or question, sometimes the conversation had progressed beyond my comment. It's a hard way to participate. However, I'm not ungrateful. I know that this week is a means to an end, and that end is a healed, normal voice.

Chicken Fat
It turns out I haven't been 100% faithful in the no speaking. Last night, Ed and I were watching TV. That new iPhone 5s commercial with the funny song came on the screen. My dance teacher from the 1980s used that song in her classes, and it's hilarious. As is surprisingly easy to do, I forgot about my problem and said in a hoarse, rickety voice, "Chicken Fat!" I slammed my hand over my mouth, and Ed said, "JO!"

So, in 34 hours, I've spoken two words. One would expect that those words would be profound. Insightful, perchance. Wise.


Chicken fat.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vow Of Silence

This blog is all about my running. However, as I mentioned in my very first post, other aspects of my life will likely make appearances, especially since so much of my life is touched by running in one way or another. With that thought in mind, I'll be blogging about something different from the norm this week.

I had vocal cord repair surgery today. I'm not allowed to speak for seven days. No talking, no laughing, no singing, no whispering, no sounds, no mouthing words. For a week. After that, I'll be allowed to speak in only short sentences for about three weeks.

I've spent the last week bouncing between curiosity and terror about being without a voice. Sure, it's only a week. Also, it's very fortuitous timing for this teacher on summer break. However, there are so many snags you don't consider until you know you won't be able to speak. I'm sure there are many more things I'll learn in this week/month. A friend suggested I blog about it—giving me a way to retain "my voice," so to speak—so that's what I'm going to do. Maybe it will help someone who is in my position in the future, as well.

On the closing weekend of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in early March, I contracted a case of "laryngitis" that made the two-a-day closing difficult. My singing was breathy, and my range was diminished. Weeks later, when my voice didn't fully recover, I blamed it on allergies. Later, when my students and I would laugh about my vocal cracks, I blamed it on overuse. In early May, when it was still no better, I sought professional help.

Many doctors' appointments later, I learned that a hemorrhaging blood vessel was causing the problems, one that would never get better without surgical intervention. Blame it on what you want: teaching, basketball spectating, singing Joseph, breathing cold air, combination, whatever. I've done those things my whole adult life and never had a problem. No matter. Today, the blood vessel was removed from the left vocal cord, and repairs were made to the damage it had done.

If you know me at all, or if you read this blog, you know that I worry a lot. So, yes. I'm worried about things. Want the short list? I'm worried that:
  • I'll never speak again.
  • I'll speak again, but sound unlike myself.
  • I'll never sing again, à la Julie Andrews.
  • I'll sing again, but not well.
  • I'll have a raspy voice for life.
My doctor assures me that all went well, and that he expects a full recovery—like he's experienced with every other patient he's ever had in my situation—but I still worry.

Positives and Plans
As a worry shield, I've been trying to focus on the positives. Here's what I have so far. Add more if you'd like.
  • This thing will likely be fixed, and I'll be able to speak and sing properly again.
  • It will be a wonderful opportunity to really listen.
  • I don't have to worry about missing school while I can't talk.
  • This situation will make for some great stories later.
  • I won't put my foot in my mouth by saying something stupid.
  • I will learn better patience.
  • I won't feel like I have to fill silences with words.
  • I'll have a chance to work on quiet tasks like reading, movie watching, quilting, etc.
  • I may be able to help others in a similar situation.
  • I. Can. Run!
Ed will help me a lot. Mom and Dad, too. If I have to navigate around town without him or them, I can use some little cards I've made that say, "I recently had vocal cord repair surgery and can't speak at this time. However, I can hear just fine. :o) I'll write notes to communicate." I have an iPad app that allows me to write notes with my finger. I can use a notebook and pencil if my iPad is charging.

Drive-throughs are out, but I really only use those at the bank. Talking on the phone is out, but I mostly text, anyway. Wendy, Wes, and anyone else with whom I run will just have to carry the conversation.

I'll make it. I'll be fine.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monumental Mile - Race Report

It seems a little crazy, perhaps, to drive an approximately 150 mile round trip in order to race one measly mile. Prior to the inaugural running of the Monumental Mile, I did some math and realized that when I traveled 8,500 round trip miles to run the Kona Marathon, that race was about a 1:324.4, race miles to travel miles, ratio. Therefore, I reasoned, 1:150 wasn't so insane. As it happened, The Monumental Mile was one of the more entertaining and educational running events I've attended.

Easy... Right?
The Monumental Mile was an ingenious idea on the part of the Monumental Marathon folks. "If you can run a mile in June, you can run a marathon in November!" they proclaimed. They also sought after experienced runners, encouraging them to run their fastest-ever miles. Sounded cool to me. I told Wendy, and she and Amelia registered to run it with me.

Here was my thought process:
  • I like to run. 
  • My maintenance runs are six miles, sometimes at 4:45 A.M.
  • I run from Mitchell to Bedford, or Orleans to Bedford, or Bloomington to Bedford... for fun.
  • ONE mile is EASY.
  • ...and if by some slim chance it's not easy, it won't last very long.

My goal was to run the mile in under seven minutes, something I'd never done officially. Wendy made up a workout for me, and I breezed through it with her and Wes like no big deal. 

Race Day
Ready to run The Monumental Mile
The race was on a Thursday evening.  Wendy, Amelia, and I arrived in Indy early in order to get situated. The schedule for the evening was as follows:

  • Open Female - 6:30 P.M. 
  • Open Male - 6:40 P.M. 
  • Master Female - 6:50 P.M. 
  • Master Male - 7:00 P.M. 
  • Youth Female - 7:10 P.M. 
  • Youth Male - 7:20 P.M. 
  • Elite Female - 7:30 P.M. 
  • Elite Male - 7:40 P.M. 

Start Line
The course was a straight shot south on Meridian, starting near 12th Street and finishing at Monumental Circle. We warmed-up with a run from the finish to the start, and then did some strides.

Even though we were ready, we were all a bit nervous. Amelia wasn't feeling well (we learned later that she had a fever), I was beginning to have vestiges of an awareness that this run was really going to hurt, and Wendy didn't know why she was nervous.

(Thanks to Scott Breeden for the start pic; however, I think Scott Spitz took it.)

The Monumental Mile
All of the sudden, the race started, and I'm very serious when I say "all of the sudden." Everyone was talking, and out of nowhere, a woman said, "ThreetwooneGO!" So we went. 

In a marathon or half marathon, you have several miles where you feel good... like really great. Then it starts to get hard. Then at the end it's a little nightmarish. Running The Mile was all of that packed into a little less than seven minutes. All the physical stress, thought processes, and emotions of a distance race happened, but they happened quickly and intensely.

About 300 meters to go
I don't remember much except the fire. Amelia said later, "It was like I swallowed hell," and I can't think of a better way to put it. My lungs and throat burned with the effort to supply my body oxygen. I remember Wendy giving advice. I remember being able to see the finish the entire time. I remember looking at my watch at 800 meters, seeing 3:31, and thinking, "Not enough!" I remember passing a lot of people in the last half. I remember hearing my friend Julia scream, "JoAnna!" (She took the pic of Wendy and me... thanks!) I remember running as hard as my body systems would allow at the finish. And I remember seeing a big, bright 6 when I crossed the finish line.

I guess there is a lot I remember, after all.

Aftermath and Due Respect
Wendy and I finished in 6:57 (though our results said 6:58), and Amelia was right behind us in 7:04, (though her results said 7:07). I knew my face looked awful, but I couldn't stop making that face. Wendy couldn't stop laughing about my face. I couldn't even speak. I felt as spent as I've ever felt at a finish line. 

Amelia and I finished second in our respective age groups (among all but elite heats), and Wendy was fourth in hers (but we all know she would've won if she wasn't slumming it with me). Here are the official results and my stats 'n' such.

The rest of the night, we enjoyed watching all of the other waves. We plopped down right next to the finish line and cheered for all the finishers, my favorites of which were the youth finishers. We had a great vantage point because almost the whole course was visible. The elite male winner finished in 4:03, and the elite female crossed in 4:43.

I think I learned enough to come back next year and best my time. I've run mile repeats, but I had never actually experienced a mile race. My newfound experience can only help. However, I think the most important lesson I learned is that The Mile isn't the piddly little race I thought he was. Friends, know this: I officially respect The Mile.

(PS - To those who love Quantum Leap as I do, Julia's pic of Wendy and me running is reminiscent of the Pulitzer pic of Al in the episode "The Leap Home: Part 2 - Vietnam," no? It even made me want to cry a little.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May, Mileage, Milwaukee, and the BMS 5K

May was a crazy good run month for me. In addition to a fancy PR, the fifth month of 2014 included a lot of positive stuff. I'll let the stats speak for themselves.

Miles Run: 100.10
Runs: 13
Hours Run: 16.18
Average Run Distance: 7.70 mi.
Average Run Pace: 9:42.05
Average Run Duration: 1:14:41.8
Average Temperature: 60.3°F
Longest Run: 13.21 mi., May 3
Shortest Run: 3.06, May 23
Favorite Run: May 17, 12.4 mi.
Total Lifetime Mileage: 3,322.45

There were two major factors that influenced my increase in mileage. First, my unusual ankle/heel/foot pain did nothing but get better and better, and its healing allowed me to spend more time on it. The second factor can be summarized in three words:


With the help of the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council, Bedford is turning an old railroad into an amazing, beautiful, crushed gravel trail for hikers, bikers, and runners. You can click here to learn a little more about it. The scenery is beautiful, I am safe from traffic, and the soft surface is exactly what my Crohn's-weakened bones and joints need. The "favorite run" of May 17 cited above included several miles with Wendy on the trail. Because I'll be spending hours and hours and hours (and hours), running on the Milwaukee Trail, I've joined the volunteer crew. This trail is a true gem in Bedford. Expect to hear a lot more about it from me.

Race "Leader"
May is a difficult month for me because I have to tell my 100-or-so students good-bye. However, May also hosts the event that is one of the highlights of the school year: the BMS 5K. All students and teachers (who aren't serving as course monitors), run/walk the 5K. Local businesses donate free T-shirts to the students, and downtown Bedford is a sea of red and white Cutters enjoying fitness. There isn't a better day for a teacher to see her students reaching long-set goals. It's a magical day.

In addition to watching my students reach goals, I run the race myself, always with the goal of beating BMS's principal, Mr. Schlegel. In 2013, I bested him by a mere 17 seconds. Based on all the trash talking I had done during the two months before the 2014 running, I had some checks to cash.

5 For Flying
The BMS 5K also hosts a team division, scored like cross country. (The placements of the four fastest members of a five-person team are added together. Lowest score wins.) There are two "teacher teams," and students are encouraged to form teams with the goal of beating the teachers and earning a pizza party. Additionally, there is fierce competition between the two teacher teams. I captained Team 5 For Flying, and Mr. Schlegel was at the helm of Team Sweathogs. My team had never beaten Mr. Schlegel's team.

5K is my least favorite distance, because if one does it right, one is mostly in pain for a good chunk of time. My race plan was atypical. Instead of trying to post negative splits, I ran hard at the beginning. The goal was to make Mr. Schlegel follow me, which he did. The desired effect was that he would be too tired to keep up with me in the final (hilly) mile, which he was. I crossed the finish line first, in 24:33, but he did a lot better than he thought he would.

Beat the boss.
The same can be said for many students. It was borderline emotional (OK, not so borderline), to watch all those students do better than they ever thought they could. One student in particular wowed all in attendance with his domination of the eighth grade field. I can't count the number of students who came across the line with arms raised in triumph. I wish I could share those pictures, but it would be inappropriate for me to do so without parent permission.

Also, 5 For Flying dominated the Sweathogs in the team competition. Victory is suh-weet.

So, now what? June has already started well. Wendy, Wes, Anna, and I enjoyed a birthday run on the trail on June 1. Wendy and I started our Boot Camp with Drill Sergeant Sam yesterday. We enjoyed another Milwaukee Trail run this morning, on National Running Day. Tomorrow, Wendy, Amelia, and I are running Indy's Monumental Mile with high hopes of posting sub-7 times. (Wendy could do sub-6, but she's pacing me.) I also expect lots of Red Eye and Monumental training runs on that wonderful Milwaukee Trail. Hope you enjoy your summer, too!

Birthday Run