Wednesday, September 26, 2007

End of Summer 2007: Part 2

Lumberjacks in the Sky
With my dad before our jump

My feet above Baldwin, Wisconsin

Yep. I finally did it. After years of my dad telling me how dangerous it is (he used to be in a skydiving show back in the 60’s) Kevin finally talked me into going for a jump. Jamie, Jill, Kevin, Nate, and some lumberjack groupies all decided to take the plunge on September 4th at Twin Cities Skydive. My dad drove me up there because he wanted to see how skydiving had changed in the last 40 years. When we got there, one spot remained on the plane… so I got to jump with daddy!
The jump was an absolute blast, and I really think EVERYBODY should try it. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I was falling… just floating over the beautiful state of Wisconsin. It really is an experience worth doing before you die. For some shots from the day, visit:


Evie and her mom Jen handing out food to the athletes. Talk about one cool kid.

Don’t worry, I didn’t actually compete this year. But I did run the Kohl Center Aid Station for the 6th year in a row! And I could not have gotten through the crazy day without Ken and my wonderful dad. Ken decided to sign up in 2008 so I got drug out of bed at 6am on race day to watch the swim start. Of course the crowd was so big we didn’t’ see a damn thing, but at least Ken got to feel the excitement of an Ironman start. I was happy to see it too because in all 6 years of Ironman in Madison, I have not yet seen anything else other than the Kohl Center. One day I may even see the finish line!
It was a long day of work at the aid station, but the weather really held out. 16 hours of running around covered in Gatorade, Power Gels, Coke, and sweat. Yummy. But as always, watching those athletes makes it worth while.
The next morning Ken was at the Monona Terrace at 5:30 in the morning to sign up for Ironman 2008. There were already plenty of crazy bastards there before him. But Ken got a spot and has already started his training. I guess I can kiss any quality time with him goodbye for the next year! I know Ken will do an amazing job, and who knows… maybe become a professional!

Zoo Run Run

Fastest pig ever.

One tired pig.

Actually, this activity happened last weekend, which really does not count as summer, but I will bundle it in here anyway!
Sunday I raced in the Zoo Run Run for Henry Vilas Zoo dressed as a pig. Yes, a pig. Runners were supposed to dress up as their favorite zoo animal. No, the pig is not my favorite (I am a huge fan of the ring-tailed lemur) but the pig snout was the only one at the costume shop with holes in the nose. Breathing during a race is always useful. So I show up at the race in my piggiest, only to find about 2 or 3 other costumes out of the 600 or so runners! Needless to say I felt like a big dork, but I wasn’t about to take off my cool costume. I ran the race as a pig and won my age group! Wahoo! I also got a nice gift card for being brave enough to wear a costume. By the way, if anybody wants a sweaty pig snout, I don’t plan on wearing mine ever again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

End of Summer 2007: Part 1

The last month or so of Summer 2007 was quite eventful. Here are the highlights:

Lumberjack World Championships

On the #4 log with Jenny

As always LWC was a very good time. Olivia and I shared a room which smelled of lavender (as did my car, all of my clothing, and my suitcase) but Olivia needs her flowers! And hey, flowers do make a hotel room homier.
I had some great matches over the weekend and made it to Sunday finals with the fastest boom run time and a finalist in log rolling against… Jenny! This was the first year I had ever been in the log rolling finals at LWC. I’m not quite sure what happened to me on Sunday, but in the boom finals I fell in (sometimes it feels good to get wet!) and Jenny beat me three straight in our log rolling match. To be completely fair to Jenny, I feel we both rolled at 100%, but she just rolled a lot better. The match was quite exciting, with no falls happening until the #4 log. She is an awesome roller.

Chippewa Valley Outdoor Games

Eating my mic after announcing for 8 hours in the hot hot sun.

The smaller tournaments are always by far the most fun. Sure there wasn’t much of a crowd on the first two days, but we rollers can be loud enough! I got to MC the youth log rolling on Friday, and WOW were there some exciting matches. It was hotter than spit out and these amazing kids make it to the #4 log numerous times. Some of the girls were on the #4 for over three minutes! Talk about insanity! Announcing was fun for those matches, “And they are still on the log….”. I had never been more proud of the log rolling youth.
Saturday was the women’s professional competition. My first match was with Leah Stanton, who in my opinion is one of the strongest rollers out there. She got me in two in a row (thank god the matches were three out of five) but with some sort of dumb luck, I was able to win that match. If you have to roll Leah in 2008 be afraid, be very afraid. I made it to finals once again against… you guessed it, Jenny. At the log rolling world championships I beat her three falls straight, and at the Lumberjack world championships (confusing, I know) she beat me three falls straight. With luck on my side I won the match 2 falls to 1. Saturday night Tanya, Kevin, Kelly, Travis, Lori, John and I all went out to party it up in the exciting town of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. After watching some very exciting rugby at the first bar, Travis, Lori, and John all went back to the hotel. Tanya, Kevin, Kelly, and I decided to go dancing. Us ladies (oh yeah, and Kevin) were a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor. Tanya protected everybody (including Kevin) from the scary rednecks, and we danced until we sweat all possible fluids out of our bodies. Too much fun.
Sunday the men rolled. It always amuses me how not serious the men are for competition. Water was splashed, immature words were exchanged, etc. I had the joy of MCing for the day. A HUGE thank you to Chippewa Valley Convention and Visitor's Bureau for hosting this fun event!

Too be continued (did you really bother to read THIS far???)…