Sunday, March 3, 2013

Awesome Weekend

I have to admit that my mojo was slipping a little with all the snow the last couple of weeks.  I hadn't run because I don't have a gym membership, treadmill or clear sidewalks.  I was slammed with work (not entirely a bad thing) and I was pretty mentally fried a couple nights.  Then add jumping in a car and driving to Omaha (5.5 hours) by myself for a conference in fairly steady flurries.  The good news that the snow was actually less as I went north. 

Spent Friday afternoon with two long-time friends (Pam and Kim) who are both civil engineers (though that is only mildly relevant to our friendship).  Pam lives in Waverly, NE and Kim in Denver, CO.  These Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conferences are often the only time we really get to hang out so we purposely got there on the early side.  We spent the afternoon at a wonderful exhibit on the women's suffrage movement and "Women Who Rock" (featuring artifacts from various famous women in musical history).  It was in the Durham Museum in this amazing old train station whose architecture alone was worth the $9 admission. 
Rock On Ladies!  Pam and I at the exhibit entrance.
Left the museum and headed to the ice breaker event because Pam had all the cookies (crazy long story) for the weekend in her car.  We got there and had a ball in a photo booth (must scan this - hilarious viking hats), playing casino games, dancing, eating, drinking (though I only had one with alcohol) - even got a 15 min chair massage.  They had a live Twitter feed on a big screen so if you follow me,  I was harrassing Pam for all at the conference opening to see.  But it really was a fun evening with my friends.  We decided not to go out afterwards as we were pretty beat and knew we'd be chatting for a while back at the hotel.

Pam cleaning up at the Roulette table.  You bought extra raffle tickets w/ chips - I won a smelly candle.
Slept like garbage because of snoring roommates.  Oops.  So I got up early and did 4 miles on the hotel treadmill.  I walked some while talking to a sweet student from Fort Collins, CO.  It was nice to knock that out.  Showered, dressed and soon it was time for the breakfast, various breakout sessions, keynote lunch, more sessions, great dinner, brief awards and finale of dueling pianos.  What a great conference!  The Wichita ladies will have a hard time topping that next year! Icon13 was a total hit in my book. 
These guys were a lot of fun! 
But the super duper most awesome part of the weekend was that the keynote (and one breakout session)speaker was Patricia Walsh.  She currently holds the record for Ironman for a blind triathlete.  She also just happens to be an electrical engineer.  She worked for Microsoft for 6 years before leaving to start her own speaking business while she trains for the 2016 paraolympics.  She lives in Austin, but left the warmth of the south to join the Region i women for a wonderful weekend.  She spoke on blasting past perceptions - those we have of ourself, those people try to put on us and charging forward with "Blind Ambition".  She is also currently working on a book.  I'll be on the waiting list!  I highly recommend her for any kind of conference.  Love her attitude!
Patricia Walsh at the breakout session
Unfortunately, through some oversight on both sides of the fence - she was left to kind of fend for herself in a strange town that is not overly disabled friendly.  So Pam told her we'd pick her up this morning and take her to breakfast and then to the airport for her flight.  So we rolled into her hotel parking lot at 6:30 AM and took her to Perkins, enjoyed breakfast, and then helped her get on her way.  But make no mistake, she really didn't need our help - this is one tough cookie!

Got a couple pics with Patricia after the keynote lunch. 
So sweet!  She was even giving training tips and such.
I also met a lady from Kansas City who works for Garmin as an engineer (though not on the watches) that is preparing for IMWI so we visited a lot and I sat with her at dinner.  I hope to keep in touch with her and follow her journey. 

So is that a cosmic kick in the pants or what?  So tonight I jumped on the trainer for 80 minutes.  The twelve week training plan for Tour De Cure starts in a week, but there is no time like the present to get some time in the saddle.

Swimming = 5800 yds = 3.3 mi (must find a way to the pool this week!)
Biking = 203.5 miles
Running = 63.6 miles


  1. Awesome weekend!

    (Not sure if I have your correct email address - you won the Polk Audio giveaway and I sent you the promo code)

  2. amazing how many blind athletes are into IM now. I think I counted 4 at IMNYC this past summer..

  3. Hey, whodathunkit! You actually found a window of opportunity to train during a work related event!

  4. SMALL WORLD!!! I met Patricia!!! How cool!!