Funnymoods Proving daily that Weight Watchers can be athletes, too.
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    July 30th, 2008Heatherthe husband

    I know I don’t post much about the fact that, to date, James and I don’t have kids. And, for a couple that is mid-to-late thirty-somethings that have been married for almost 14 years, that’s kind of a oddity. We do have other couple-friends who are childless — a few are our age or older. But, sure, by far the majority of our friend-base have started families — some of them are even married, too!

    No, the thing is, I’m used to being a little different. I’m used to being the only thirty-something in the room that hasn’t chosen to breed. I’m used to being accomodating of the child-responsible schedules of my friends. I also care about my friends kids. (surprise!) I really do. Just like (I hope) they care about aspects of my life – whether it’s work, my pets, my family, etc.

    But it gets hard. It gets hard to hear, all the time, “you don’t understand.” I know I don’t understand. I know I can’t relate. For some reason, being a mother has become the one acceptable defining life-experience that can be used to judget another human’s ability to relate vocally. I’ve never heard someone with a dead parent say, “you don’t understand because you still have a mom.” No one dares to say to another human, “you don’t understand because you don’t have a father who is an alcoholic.” We all have different life experiences. They all define us in very unique ways. And, for the most part, I think we all can really appreciate how those unique experiences translate into characteristics and behavoirs for friends and family.

    But it isn’t okay to generalize my understanding based on my familial status. The truth is: I may not understand because I didn’t grow up in the same city as you, or my mother raised me differently, or I didn’t have to work a part-time job in high school or my gym teacher treated me like shit. OR because I don’t have kids. The thing is: you don’t know. I don’t know. So it doesn’t make that okay to make that gross assumption VOCALLY about me — to me. Just like you wouldn’t want me to make a gross assumption about you — VOCALLY to you – for any number of life-choices you’ve made or life-experiences you’ve encountered.

    I just get tired.

    And, you know what? We’re not even decided on the kid issue. James and I haven’t decided. But if we do. And we don’t have kids, it is okay. It really is.

    At the end of the day, we all have our priorities. We all have what is important and meaninful in our own lives. And we just need to understand what those important things are to the people in our lives. We need to respect those things uniquely. If I can do that for you, please do it for me.

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    July 27th, 2008HeatherTriathlon training

    Wow. Can I just say wow? This summer has FLOWN by. I mean, F-L-O-W-N by and I feel like I’ve barely been able to enjoy a thing. James feels the same way, too. We’ve just been so busy and so crazy that — sitting here now — feels so weird. We actually didn’t have anything going on (wait, he did race today, but other than that, there were no major plans which has been a rarity).

    So, Racine just sort of happened. It’s not that I wasn’t training, but the craziness that has been work and the cloudiness of my dying dog made me less than focused. I honestly didn’t even want to go to the race. But it was my girlfriend’s first half-iron so I felt a bit obligated. It’s also no surprise that I’ve been less than enthusiastic after Grandma’s. I don’t know what it is with me this year, but I’m not “feeling it.” I got sick over Memorial Day and I have yet to feel my old competitive self return.

    I’ve also noticed a significant lack of muscle mass. Ugh. Lack of training??!! Not sure I want to talk about that…

    So, Racine was here. It was Friday and Judy and I were off to Racine, Wisconsin for one of my A race events of the year. We both had Friday afternoon off so we used that time to make the trek. Gas was spendy. The drive was long. And when we arrived at the Knight’s Inn at 10pm on Friday night, it was a horrible sight. The hotel was AWFUL. It didn’t help that there was a gang of people hanging out in the parking lot drinking around a mini-van that was decorated with a giant shark fin and watching our arrival (we later learned they were there for the Jimmy Buffet concert in East Troy, WI — what-EVEH.)

    The room was dirty, sticky, nasty. The air conditioner smelled like mildew but the heat of a non-air-conditioned was worse. Judy stuck to the table when she moved it to make room for our bikes. I stuck to the overhead light when I went to turn it on. We both stuck to the floor. It was utter gross-ness. I immediately began to think in terms of back-up plans. We couldn’t stay here – at least not the night before the race. I called around to all the hotels in Racine. Most were booked. Some weren’t taking a waiting list. Finally the Marriot had something. A king size room. It was $159 for the night, but it didn’t matter. SOLD. Their computers were down so we actually had to drive over to make the reservation for the following night. We had a beer in the bar after we booked the room and laughed at the situation.

    Returning to the nightmare-ish Knight’s Inn, we did manage a bit of sleep. The room was nasty, but it was quieter than expected. In the morning, I called the booking company for the hotel and pretended I was the party that booked the place. I told them we had to check out because of the squalor and the mildew in the air conditioning. They said they’d refund the night. Let’s hope that happens. TRAVELOCITY: We’re watching!!!

    So, it’s Saturday. The day before the race and we’re homeless until 3pm (when we can check-in at the Marriot). The weather is humid and misty. Judy and I head to Panera for breakfast and Wi-Fi. We waste an hour or so and end up heading to registration shortly after 11am. It’s raining now. Registration doesn’t start until 12pm. We wander around in the rain and drizzle for a bit (not exactly fun). We finally stand in line and start to hear the murmurings of water temperature. 56 degrees. Freezing. Neoprene head caps are sold out. I’m happy I have my full sleeve wet suit. I forget to register Athena like I did last year. So, we’re out of the expo with a few goodies and our numbers.

    After that, we take a short bike ride. Judy isn’t feeling that good (is she getting a cold? is she just tired?) — I’m negative and kind of wishing I wasn’t there. Luckily, the ride perks me up. Even in the drizzle, it feels good. I’m actually wearing my Time Trial helmet to try out it out (haven’t decided yet to whether or not to wear it). I conclude it would feel even better to go for a short run after the bike ride. Luckily, Judy is interested. So, we run, too.

    After the run, it’s showtime. We decide to test the infamous cold waters. We head down to the park restrooms to change. A woman there is practically in tears telling us how cold it is, how she can’t bring herself to acclimate. How her wetsuit is actually broken and no one will be able to swim in these conditions. I try not to listen to her and let her affect my attitude. Only *I* can judge what is un-swimmable. Although, truth be told, this is a little scary.

    We head down to the water after getting our wetsuits on. It *is* cold. Really cold. Total ice cream headache when I enter the water — something I’ve never experienced — ever. I own a full sleeve wet suit — but my exposed feet, hands and face are SO cold. Judy and I swim around a bit. We also get totally turned around at the buoy because of  the fog. Which way is the shore??!! Can we really have a race in the conditions??!! We figure it out, swim back. It’s still freezing, but I feel it’s doable. Let’s get some clean clothes on and check in to our hotel!!

    We check our bikes into transition. We check our bodies into the Marriot. We hang out for a bit in the hot tub (with the other billion kids at the pool). Then we shower and head to Olive Garden for dinner. I know. I hate Olive Garden, too. But I figured it was safe and easy pre-race food. I also break my pre-race rules and have a beer AND a glass of wine. Not sure yet whether it affected my performance or not.

    Back at the hotel, we get our gear in order. We plan to be up at 4:45. I know I want to leave by 5:30 in order to get to transition in plenty of time. I sleep sporadically throughout the night. At least the Marriot is super-clean and comfortable. That was nice and a STELLAR decision.

    Race morning: I’m all business. Judy probably thinks I’m a bitch. We gather our stuff. We check out of the hotel. We’re on our way.

    Right away, I notice how humid it is already. I think back to the Madison Marathon in 2006. Another swelter-fest. 70 degrees at the start is never a good sign.

    At transition, Judy and I split. I get to getting my gear in order. I line things up. I check my tires. I apply my sunscreen. I try to joke with the other participants. I stand in line for potty. The fog is thick. We soon learn the start is delayed due to it – first 15 minutes, then thirty, then another 15. Judy informs me that we can’t wear the latex gloves we purchased at Walgreens. We still have our Vasaline for our faces, though.

    We make the trek to the start. It is foggy and starting to clear. But it doesn’t feel completely safe. We have many discussions. We swim around a bit. We re-familiarize ourself with the FREEZING water. It’s almost race time. Am I ready — um, no. But here we go…

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    July 27th, 2008Heatherrandom

    Originally uploaded by

    I can’t believe I’m actually drinking this – the wine is good, but the

    label is going to give me nightmares.

    Ca del Solo, 46% freisa – 43% barbera from Bonny Doon, 2005 red wine

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    July 27th, 2008Heatherrandom

    A slightly different take on the Cinna-spin cookies from our Web site:

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    July 26th, 2008Heatherrandom

    Originally uploaded by

    We visited the Minnesota Zoo yesterday and I was awestruck by the Grizzlies in the afternoon. They were fighting right in front of the glass window and it was the coolest thing ever.

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    July 24th, 2008Heatherrace reports

    I don’t know. My heart just wasn’t in it this year. I’m sure it’s a combination of the black cloud that is my dying dog, some work stress and lack of prep. I actually did pretty okay. I beat my time from last year by over 10 minutes. But before you get excited about that, almost all of it came from the swim because they had to move the course inwards towards the beach. The water was 55 degrees on race day! It was also super-foggy. So, for the safety of everyone, they moved in the course and I’m sure it was way shorter than last year. But I have no idea the actual distance. My transition times were slower (the race report should explain that). My bike was shorter. I did speed up slightly on the run (went from a 10:44/pace to a 10:35 pace) — but my heart wasn’t in it. My average HR for the entire race was 145. It should have been in the 150s.

    Still, I’m okay with my results. I didn’t tank for not being super excited. I didn’t have to deal with the trauma of my husband and the emergency room and I got to witness my buddy kick-ass in her first half. She finished a stellar 12+ minutes ahead of me.

    Here are the results:

    Overall: 971 out of 1382
    35-39 Females:

  • free downloads the roommate

    54 out of 103
    Swim time: 00:35:42 (1083 overall place)
    T1: 2:36
    Bike: 2:54:45 (19.2 mph, 950 overall place)
    T2: 2:42

    watch free alice in wonderland online

    2:18:37 (10:35/mile pace, 977 overall place)
    Total time: 5:54:32

    (I was a nerd and figured out that I finished at the 74% mark last year out of the total field and finished at 70% this year — so some improvement from last year compared to the group.)

    Race recap to come some time this weekend. But, honestly, I’m just relieved it’s done and I can concentrate on my fun Olympic-distances now.

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    July 13th, 2008Heathertriathlon

    Third times a charm, right?

    Maybe not.

    It’s the week before and I’m approaching the race once again with the same lack of preparation that I have for the past

    saw 3d download movie


    The thing is, I haven’t been thinking about it this year as I have in years’ past. Last year was really gnarly work-wise and I felt so unprepared for my first half-iron (not to mention the drama of James’ bike wreck the night before). And the year before that was more work drama and lack of training drama and then drop-out drama.

    This year? With Grandma’s as my focus, I’ve just expected to be fine at Racine. Also, having the experience of last year has had me falsely comfortable. The race wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d imagined it would be and that experience has led me to this sense of security coming up on year #2. Whether accurate or not. And with the marathon under my belt, I’ve just assumed I have the appropriate amount of base. Which, again, may or may not be accurate.

    So, when I went out for a long ride with some awesome chicks yesterday, I was a little struck over coffee with Judy afterwards. It’s her first half iron and she had all these questions and I’d realized I haven’t even thought about preparation for this year. What would I eat? How often? All this logistical stuff about food and transition and pacing.

    Suddenly, I feel like I need a plan. I also need to go and buy me some nutrition: Blocks, drink, gels. The worst? I don’t even remember if I even ate a bar last year during the bike or run. Did I? Guess I’ll bring along one of those, too.

    It also occurred to me that I don’t even have my lace locks on my running shoes. Need to make sure I have my race belt ready, too. Do I even know what I’ll be wearing? Do I know where my wet suit it?

    This is really sad.

    The thing is, with Grandma’s as my big push, I haven’t concentrated much on this race. I figured I could get through it because I did last year. I haven’t been focused on beating any times from last year. In fact, I just want to finish strong (whatever that means).

    Worse, the whole dying dog thing has been a real distraction. The plan is that I’ll head to WI with Judy and James will stay home with the sick dog. But we have all these contingency plans based on her having to be put down or what not.

    This has just been a really weird time of year.

    So, I’m thankful to Judy for at least reminding me I need to think about nutrition. I’m also thankful for all the girls who kicked my ass on our ride to Afton yesterday. I am now going to read my articles and figure out what nutrition I need to bring to Racine with me.  I’m not in it to win, I’m in it to finish.

    I’m also in it to have fun. It’s Judy’s first half-iron. I know she’s going to rock. And being with her at the finish will totally make the weekend worthwhile. Fit people inspire me and, no matter how ill-prepared I may be, spending the weekend with her in Racine will be a good, good time.

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    July 6th, 2008Heatherrace reports

    Okay. Here we go. It’s start time. I’m off on Mile One and I’m wondering why the hell I signed myself up for this thing. I’m nervous. I’m still not sure if I can do this, but I’m here and it’s started and I have the next 4+ hours all to myself with 7,000 other runners. The day is shaping up to be beautiful. The sun is out. The view of the pine trees on old Hwy 61 is calm and relaxing.

    The course is crowded, lots of dodging for placement at the beginning (and I’d soon later learn that the field never really does clear all that much around me. I was passing and being passed up until the finish). This is one of the largest events I’ve ever competed in. As I start this first mile, I tell myself to take it easy. I have a tendancy to go hard with the momentum of a start. I let the crowd take me away. But my plan is slow and steady for the first 10 to 13 miles. I keep an eye on my heart rate and stay in the lower 140s.

    Mile 1: 9:50

    Okay, so a little faster than I was hoping. I cruised along still focusing on staying in the low 140s. I was noticing that it was already warmer than I’d expected. The sun started to peek out just before the start and it was warming up the road. I knew I wouldn’t have a cool race but I also tried to remain calm. It was still in the 60s. I felt strong. I was sweating already, but I had my enduralytes, so I’d be okay.

    Mile 2: 10:03

    Slower, good. I felt like I was settling into a pace. My heart rate was good. I had numerous people passing me at this point — on my left, on my right. I had an annoying “Team Robert” (as labeled by their orange t-shirts) roll by me like a rowdy crowd. Incidentally, at the start, one of their members elbowed me in the eye as he “stretched out” at the crowded start. So, I was bias against them at the beginning.

    Mile 3: 9:55

    Crap, I’m faster. Need to slow down a bit. Heart rate still in the 140s. I’m trying to run in the shade when possible. I’m also considering where I can go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, the two port-a-pottys I’ve passed at this point have had long lines.

    Mile Four: 10:15

    Okay. I’m right on track. My heart rate’s good. The sun’s a little warm but, at times, a breeze starts to come off Lake Superiour and it feels damn good. I look around at the cheery runners. Everyone is cheery this early into the run.

    Mile Five: 10:11

    I’m consistent and I feel good. I’m looking for my boy and Kristy, but they must not have gotten out on the course yet. I coach myself that I’ve just completed my normal 5-miler near home. Just a little more than a mile, then under 20 miles to go. I frame it up to sound comforting, but it ends up sounding more daunting. I also notice some of the people passing me that I know can’t hold their pace. They are flying. They will burn.

    Mile 6: 10:24

    Slower. I’m walking through water stops which is fine, but I know that affects my overall pace. I’ve started taking enduralytes every 2 miles and Hammer Gel every 4-5. I feel pretty good, but I want to still keep my effort on the easy side. My heart rate is creeping into the higher 140s. It’s warm, but all is good.

    Mile 7: 10:26

    I finally find a port-a-potty without a crazy line. I do my business. I time it at a 1:30 loss. I’m also still walking through water stops. This was one of my longest miles.

    Mile 8: 10:54

    Okay, I’m back on track. At this point, I see Al Franken and his team. They are on the other side of the road. I considering hopping over to high-five him — although, I remind myself that, even though I hate Norm Coleman and want nothing better than to see him out of office, I’m still not a huge fan of Al. — (is that bad?) – As we pass Al Franken + co, I hear some guys with an accent discussing his appearance, “That guy? He’s famous. He’s on TV. A comedian.”


    “Yes, he’s on Saturday Night Live. He’s a famous guy.”

    This conversation goes on a bit as I pass the men slowly. I finally HAVE to chime in, “He’s also running for Senate,” I yell.

    “Really?” they both say? [OMG: please tell me these guys are not from Minnesota]

    “What’s his name again?” asks the guy who was telling his other friend about him.

    “Al Franken,” I yell.

    “Thanks!!!” they both respond.


    Mile 9: 10:13

    The craziest thing happens here. I’m running along. I’m feeling good and telling myself I’m now a third of the way through the day and I hear a bunch of runners yelling and cheering. I look to my left. There is a male runner off on the grass with a female. He’s on bended knee and CLEARLY proposing. More runners cheer. I assume she says yes. I then proceed to ruminate over the fact that this is Mile 9. MILE NINE — will they keep running? why propose at mile 9? why not wait until later? would I consider quitting if I was proposed to at mile 9? It was certainly a distraction and congrats to WHOEVER you are that got engaged at mile 9 of Grandma’s Marathon 2008.

    Mile 10: 9:39

    I must be peppy. I went harder than I should have making up for that time at mile 8. Oh, well. I feel good. My heart rate is in the upper 140s still.

    Mile 11: 10:18

    I’m back on track. I’m also wondering where the hell my buddy Kristy and my man James are, I thought I’d see them by now. I also ran into a gaggle of men debating politics. They are clearly more conservative than I am and I’m hearing arguments about health care that make my skin crawl. I can’t get into the details here (I clearly could, just choose not to). but I’m thinking, “If I run beside these guys for another 15 miles, it will kill me.” My blood is boiling.

    Mile 12: 10:14

    Okay. Two hours of running is down. I’m still nice and consistent and feeling good. Almost half to go. I have another gel at some point and I’m still taking my endurolytes every 2 miles.

    Mile 13: 10:08

    I finally see James and Kristy!!! But I’m also not that friendly. I’m plugging along. I feel decent, but I also don’t want to lose focus. I’m also halfway done!

    Mile 13

    Mile 14: 9:43

    Seeing my peeps obviously had an effect, I speed up. My heart rate is also entering the 150s, but that’s okay. It’s time to pick up the pace if I can.

    Mile 15: 10:15

    Woah, too much pace. Slow a bit. Although, I do kind of want to push ahead because I’m looking for the 4:30 pace group. They should be around here somewhere. I’m running faster than their pace (even at 10:15s) and I passed the 5 hour group back at mile 3. Where are they?

    Mile 16: 10:18

    I’m back on pace, but not exactly by choice. I had hoped to just slow down to a 10-minute mile.

    Mile 17: 10:29

    At least I’m consistent. But my heart rate is now in the lower 150s. The temperature is rising. There isn’t a lot of shade. I’m not getting the same distance for heart rate, but that’s okay. I’m doing okay. I see Al Franken again. This time, he’s on my side of the road. I high-five him. “Hey, didn’t I see you earlier?” I try to joke. He’s not receptive. Can I vote for a man who doesn’t laugh at my jokes?

    Mile 18: 9:34

    Ooh, that was faster. My heart rate is higher, too, but wait… What, is that a balloon I see waaaay up there??

    Mile 19: 9:41

    the rite psp

    I found it!! The 4:30 pace group. I smoke this mile catching them. I also see James & Kristy again, but I’m focused on cathing the pace group. MUST CATCH PACE GROUP.

    I'm in the green

    Almost there. I’m close. They just keep chugging along. I have to catch them.

    – halfway through this mile –

    Phew! I’ve caught them and I’m resting a bit. Finally, a group that can pull me along. If I finish with them, I know I’ll be a sub-4:30 marathon. Maybe I can still hit my 4:22 goal if I pull ahead in a few miles. I’m starting to feel fatigued, though.

    Mile 21 & 22: 20:59

    We enter Duluth. It’s actually kind of smoggy and stinky. I’m chugging along at the pace of the 4:30 group. It’s hard. My mental battles start. I know it’s less than 6 miles to the finish, but I don’t know that I can stick with the group. Must stick with the group.

    Entering Duluth

    Mile 23: 10:19

    Oh my god, this is hard. I can’t believe we still have 3.2 more miles to go. Super-woman pace group leader with the balloons is pulling me along. I tell myself I have to stay with her. It hurts. 3.2 more miles feels like an eternity. A guy in a red shirt with the pace group also stinks every time he’s in front of me.

    Mile 24: 10:19

    We’re running through downtown Duluth. I try to enjoy the scenery, but I’m mentally battling with whether or not I can stick with the group. I can do it. I must do it. I’m too stubborn a girl to give up now. Is this when we hit gum drop hill? I can’t remember. I do know I pulled ahead of the group while climbing. It felt good to have a change in terrain. Every time I’d pull ahead, the pace group would catch me though.  2 more miles seems like an eternity.

    Mile 25: 10:36

    Pace group has us consistent! I tell myself it’s okay to drop off from the pace group. Then I tell myself it’s not okay. “Just stay with them,” I coach myself. It’s only 15 minutes more. You can do it.

    – halfway through this mile –

    Okay. We’re hear. We’re approaching canal park and the pace leader wants everyone to run ahead. I don’t look back. I see a woman in tropical print ahead of me. I tell myself to catch her. I tell myself I can push it for 13 more minutes. I don’t care about my heart rate any more. I want to finish strong.

    I check my watch: 10 more minutes

    I check my watch again: 8 more minutes.

    Man, this is the longest mile of my life!

    7-1/2 more minutes.

    I do this for the remaining mile. I push and pull everything I have within me.

    Mile 26: 10:09  

    This is it. Only a fraction left. (OMG – how long is .2 miles??!!!) Tropical print is in front of me. I sprint it out. I pass her. I had NO IDEA I still had that in the tank…

    Mile 26.2: 1:47


    Finished. Sudden stop as they place the medal around my neck. I feel choked up, like I’m going to cry.

    T-shirt tent is next. I’m a little delirious. A kind volunteer says he’ll do us right. He gives both my and tropical print our finisher’s t-shirts. I thank tropical print for her motivation at the end.

    The finishing chute / area is crowded. I can’t believe this many people raced??!! I try to figure out where to go – food? bags? family meet-up area? I decide to find James & Kristy first. I do grab some ice cream and water. I find my letter “L” and wait for James and Kristy to find me.

    They do about 10 minutes later. I’m relieve to have people to share my finish with. My urge to cry is no longer there. We head down to Lake Superior so I can ice bath my legs in the cold, cold water.

    That afternoon, we showered and had a super post-race meal at Burrito Union. We also walked around Canal Park, but it was a little too crowded and “drunky” for me. We ended up finding a shop with artisan cheeses and meat and picked up a little stash to take back the B&B. We celebrated with a triple-cream brie, wine, smoked fish and crackers on the balcony in nowhere Minnesota. It was absolutely lovely.

    In the end, I’m proud of my time. I broke a 4:30 marathon. My official chip time is 4:26:56 and I will never belittle the 10-minute mile marathon ever again. It’s eluded me twice and I know I worked my ass off in both of those races.

    As for Grandma’s, I’m not sure it’s worth the hype. It was well supported. There were super volunteers. It was certainly a good experience. But, honestly, I like a little more variety in my scenery and terrain. 26.2 miles of the same highway that was almost pancake flat got a little old. I’m sorry, Grandma.

    All in all, though. I’m glad I did it. I’m happy with the outcome. And I hope it makes me a stronger runner for the remainder of this season.

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    July 6th, 2008Heatherrandom

    Originally uploaded by

    I made this on Saturday for a cookout. No one drank it there. No one drank it the cookout at our place last night, either. Am I the only one who can appreciate it’s yumminess? Am I the only one who adores the flavors of rosemary and citrus together? I can’t be.

    Side note: thanks for all the kind words about Tryna. We’re pretty broken-hearted. But we’ve decided that surgery would really be too much for an elderly dog like my pooch. The tumor’s just so big and invasive, I can hardly reconcile putting her through that trama. It’s not that I’m being cheap — I have the money for the surgery and I would spent it in a heartbeat if I felt it was the right thing to do by her. But we really believe it would be more for us than her.

    Ironically, Jeremy Sartain (a neighbor and local elite triathlete: just went through the same thing last month. I can’t bring myself to read his entries yet (I start sobbing each time I do), but it was comforting talking with him on Friday evening. He’d stopped by to pick up his Birchwood team kit and I used the opportunity to feel him out about the experience. The conversation was both comforting and gut-wrenching. We just have to try and enjoy our time left with her as much as is possible and make her as comfortable as we can.

    She had completely stopped eating her hard food. She’s still into “treats” but have found that she is vomitting them all back up undigested (so we stopped with that). She is managing to keep the canned food down, so we’re going to stick with that as long as we can.

    She can’t really hop anymore. She’s walking, but is clearly stiff. She’s no longer jumping on people when they come to the door (something I always complained about). But she is still getting up and greeting us and anyone else who enters — so that’s good. We’re also having to put her in bed when she wants up. She usually doesn’t sleep with us in the summer, but she has been for the past few weeks (even before we knew). I guess I’ll take all the cuddle-time I can before she’s gone.

    She’s really been the only thing on my mind. We did have an enjoyable weekend that included cooking out with buddies, a long bike ride, a long swim, the movies, etc. But each time we get home, she’s there and I just become a little sad.

    That’s probably why I haven’t posted my Grandma’s race recap. It’s pretty much written (honest!) — just needs editing and photos. Maybe I’ll get to it tonight. It just feels so unimportant in our current circumstances.

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    July 2nd, 2008Heatherrandom

    We found out today that Tryna, our 11-1/2 year old Keeshond has a massive tumor. We took her in because she’s been lethargic and not eating as much as normal. She’s normally the first pup to the doggie bowl at 7 am and 7 pm, so we knew the lack of interest in food was a sign of something.

    Of course, I didn’t think it would be something THIS big. Last time we were in, she had a thyroid and was put on medication. I was just wondering if her levels were still off. Unfortunately, the cause of her lack of appetite is a giant tumor that is squishing her intestines and organs. The vet said it was the largest tumor she’s seen in a long time. James was actually at the appointment today and he confirmed that there was no mistaking the huge thing in her body from the x-rays. When he described it with his hands, it looked the size of a football.

    We could have an ultrasound and see how invasive the tumor is — we could consider surgery. But there are a lot of “what-ifs” and the unknowns and the vet is concerned about just keeping her alive during surgery because the tumor is so large and it could be pretty pervasive.

    We haven’t made a concrete decision yet. But our gut is to let it go, check her daily and put her down when she is clearly uncomfortable. Keeshond’s typically live to 13 – 14 years. I really don’t know that surgery would be the right thing for her at this stage in her life. To put her through all that, for what?, another year. Especially if the tumor could very likely return (even quickly) after a surgery.

    I feel cold and heartless that this is how I feel. But both James and I are leaning this way. This is what our guts are telling us.

    So, I’m sad. She’s the bad

    dog. I complain about her all the time. But I don’t want to see her die. I certainly don’t want to see her suffer. And I feel guilty about all the times I said she’d live forever just to torture me. Clearly, that’s not the case.