Friday, August 28, 2009

Update from Steve and a little more

I'm sitting down with my "Tim Hortons - Always Fresh" cup, which I my buddy Big B Gatzke schmoozed out of the Timmy's store on Vancouver Island about 10 years ago on a salmon/steelhead float trip. Figured it was a fitting java holder for my read of Steve's post this am. Sounds like he's got a bit of the pre-race jitters, which I certainly would have if I were swimming 2.4 miles, Biking a hundred and twleve and then tacking on a full marathon. In fact, I think I would be feeling faint, but then again, I have not trained like Steve has, so that would be expected. He's going to do great and show him some support on the FB page with encouraging messages like "Go get 'em Steve" or "I'll guarantee you a spot in the final of the US Open next year if you hit my time." or "If Earl Boykins can play in the NBA, so can you." Of course neither of the last two make any sense if you don't know that early in his sports career Steve excelled at both Tennis and Basketball, and probably would love to be a pro of either, at least a little more than grinding out a gruelling course in the hills of Canada's wine country, but alas he's just a finely tuned grinding machine these days. Of course, if you don't know that Earl Boykins is about 5'6, then you don't get that joke either, but that's OK.

Here's Steve's post from this am...GO GET 'EM buddy!

=====Begin Steve's post======

Penticton, Canada -- Wednesday, August 26, 2009 -- Wow, we’re here.

“Spectacular” is a fine word to describe the drive from Bridal Veil east to Penticton -- one-hundred miles of mountain peaks and rivers . I used up a camera battery shooting blurry pictures through a dirty window while Laura slung the FJ around a million hair-pin turns.

By the way, Canadians don’t have $1.09 per gallon gas or 100 mph speed limits. It just seems that way to people who use the English system of weights and measures. After 2 days in Canada, I realized this when I filled the FJ with 53 gallons of gas. It only held 20 gallons in the U.S.

After stopping at a road-side fruit stand about 30 miles outside Penticton, our route merged with the last 25 miles of the Ironman Canada bike course. I watched as the elevation went from 1,000 feet to 2,500 feet in about 7 miles. At first, when I told Laura we were on the Ironman bike course, she said, “no way, this is too steep. They don’t make you climb mountains in an Ironman.”

I agreed, hopeful that she was right as usual. But even the infallible are sometimes un-right (which is different than “wrong”, a word that I don’t use when speaking of opinions offered by my superiors).

So, if you’re tracking me online and you see my average speed drop from 20+ mph over the first 90 miles, to a speed that makes it appear that I have dismounted the bike and am carrying it up the mountain -- you will know that I have arrived at Yellow Lake Pass.

Penticton, Canada -- Thursday, August 27, 2009

This morning around 8 a.m., I went for a 30 minute swim on the Ironman course. The water is clear, the bottom is soft sand and the water temperature is 70 degrees. If I weren’t visualizing myself being consumed by the violent maelstrom that is the beginning of the Ironman mass swim start, this might have been one of the most peaceful open-water swims I’d ever done. Unfortunately, all I’m thinking about this morning is a strategy for surviving the first 1000 yards of the swim without swallowing gallons of water and a fellow competitor’s fist.

So much physical and organizational effort has gone into preparing for this one day that a person can’t help but to consider all that might go wrong. In Laura’s first Half-Ironman earlier this year, she was kicked in the right eye in the first seconds of the race and had to swim 1.2 miles with the right side of her goggles flooded. In Ironman races, people commonly suffer heat stroke, dehydration, over-hydration, hypothermia, blisters, sunburn and any number of gastric maladies. So preparation is critical. Unfortunately, I’m more known for overcoming my preparational shortcomings than for getting the preparation right in the first place.

This afternoon, Laura introduced me to Philip, a fellow Ironman competitor who is staying at the same B&B as us. Philip is from Frankfurt, Germany, which I’m taking as a sign that someone is sending us army brats a message.

Because Philip and I were both a little nervous about the extent of the climbing we’d be doing on the bike-leg of the race, we threw our bikes on the FJ and drove to the foot of the first long, steep climb at mile 40 -- Richter Pass. The climb was 7 miles long and it took us 30 minutes to climb.

Naturally, the ascent seemed easier than it will during the race. For one, we started at the bottom of the climb, not 40 miles north at the swim-to-bike transition. Neither had we completed a 2.4 mile swim. Nevertheless, we were happy that it wasn’t one of those hills where you’re forced to stand on the pedals and tear your bike to pieces, inching you way to the top.

Tomorrow morning is the underpants run. Pictures to follow, Speedo fans.
============End Steve's post=================

I should be done on that nice light note, but I am re-posting another comment on my string about Mindy Goodin. This type of post is something that I think is important for all who read the blog to see, and if I don't re-post, most who read this blog won't see them. Fortunately, I am notified whenever there is a comment on one of my posts. Here it is:
=====Begin post from Anonymous poster=======

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "OK, this one a long time coming...Mindy...Why?":

Bill, my wife went to see Mindy a few years ago for a chronic fatigue/ achiness/ muscle weakness/ neurologic symptoms. She had already seen neuromuscular specialists in Denver who thought she had a viral illness causing her symptoms. Let me preface this further with saying that I'm an internal medicine doctor. She told my wife to take a whole bunch of different antibiotics for lyme, parasites, and who knows what. I didn't agree with it, but my wife went ahead and took them. No help at all. I talked to some specialists in infectious diseases who said it's all a scam and that nobody who really looks at the case thinks Dr. Martz actually had ALS.

The problem is that scam artists like them take advantage of people who have these vague illnesses (in some cases like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, etc, which have symptoms which are vague and can be related to any number of things) or established illnesses like ALS where there is no cure, and essentially think it's all the one think they want it to be (and that gets them money). The way she diagnosed illnesses and the treatments she gave are completely random, unfounded, and definitely not based on ANY research (I looked!) If I practiced that way, I'd be guilty of malpractice. I completely understand hoping for a cure, as I had a friend die of ALS at 35.

To anyone reading, I'd also say to put your efforts into finding respectable researchers at good institutions. Fortunately my wife stopped seeing Mindy (but not until we shelled out a lot of $) and fortunately we haven't heard from her since.
=====================End Post=================
My comment: Thank you very much for this post. It is another sad story related to Mindy, and the more I read things like this, the more angry I get about this. I don't have time or space in my heart for any anger right now, at least not any more that tries to creep in on me every day, so I have to let this pass, for now.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Steve's second post from the road

Hi All,
Attached is Steve's second post from the road. He's already done a third, so I'll post that one later. I am enjoying Steve's writing and love his humor. Some of the photos on the FB group page (Ironman for Heidi) are really funny, so if you have access, you should check them out. As a side note, i am not sure how much money has been contributed to cause as a result of Steve's great idea, but the Hope for Heidi page has just recently cleared over $11,000 raised in our quest to reach $50,000.00 for ALS-TDI.

On the home front, we are still battling. I received a different, manual wheelchair for Heidi yesterday from the local ALS Association's closet, and hopefully today we can test it out and it will work for her. Times are tough, but all your support encourages us all. Thanks again.

====Begin Steve's 2nd Post =====
Port Angeles, WA 3:30 p.m. -- August 23, 2009
Laura had to drive the whole way from Eugene to Port Angeles. It was my job to make ferry reservations and that didn’t happen. Without a reservation, we absolutely had to get to the ferry by 3:30. No 3:30, no boat. No boat, no Canada -- and were ready to meet some Canadians, dammit!
We made it at exactly 3:30. That gave us a couple hours to enjoy Port Angeles, which, for a town built with a fisherman’s wharf feel, has a strange affinity for metal statues. Naturally, I felt compelled to see if the the statues looked good in a Speedo, to Laura’s chagrin. Check out my IM for Heidi pictures for the best shots.
The boat crossing to Victoria, across the Straits of Juan De Fuca, was rough. The ferry held at least a hundred cars and RVs in it’s hold and still that sucker rolled a ton. Laura was looking a little green for a while, but I distracted her by discussing my strategy for swimming to shore if the boat were to sink. Landing in Victoria, we had a little trouble with the border patrol -- not that we were dealing with Sherlock Holmes. First, we said that there was no fresh fruit in the car. Fortunately, Canadians appear to have never seen bananas; otherwise they would have noticed an entire 5 banana bushel sitting in plain view on the center console.

Then they asked for not only our passports, but our driver’s licenses. I had stupidly forgotten my driver’s license in the last pair of pants I wore in California, but I figured I could muddle through the trip with just my passport. It seems that you are not permitted to enter Canada if you’ve had a DUI, and I had just become a prime suspect. The officer apparently wasn’t buying that I was in Canada to do Ironman Canada despite the triathlon bikes hanging off the back of the FJ. In his mind, I was a drunk driver trying to sneak into the country. Fortunately, for the first time ever, the U.S. DMV came through for me, confirming that I was just an idiot and not someone with a suspended license trying to sneak into Canada.
By the way, Victoria is beautiful!
===========End Steve's second post===================

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Steve's first "Ironman for Heidi" update:

For those of you interested, but not on Facebook or on FB, but not in the group, we now have 118 members in the Ironman for Heidi group. Steve cooked up a contest that I blogged about here:
and the FB group is here:

I don't know if you are not a member of FB whether you can follow the second link and see/join the group. It may only be for people with FB profiles/accounts.

Steve and Laura are on the road...headed Victoria for the Ironman. Here's his first update from the road...good stuff, and some tips of what "not" to do. We are with you in spirt Steve and Laura. Just tell me what "plyometrics" is...or is it are? No clue...
Thanks for the update Steve, fun stuff! Keep it coming!

=====Begin Steve's update=====

Ironman for Heidi daily (ok, somewhat daily) updateTyping from somewhere north of Weed, CA

-- Saturday, August 22, 2009At 9:00 a.m. this morning, the Ironman for Heidi team was packing the car, preparing for the long drive to Penticton, for Ironman Canada. At 9:01 a.m., the Fed Ex man came flying down the street, screeched to a stop in front of the driveway, and delivered the last piece of baggage -- the Ironman Canada speedo. Like clockwork. Nothing stands in the way of the Ironman for Heidi train.Eugene, OR -- Later that dayStopped in at Home Depot to buy Off and some mosquito netting for the first night of camping.

Team Ironman for Heidi were both sick of being in the car all day, so Laura decided it was time to get in some training. We did a quick 3 mile run through the industrial section of town -- not really a triathlon crowd. Laura was getting catcalls from the locals, though I was looking pretty good in my compression socks, so who knows who they were whistling at really. After the run, I joined the other shoppers watching Laura do 15 minutes of plyometrics and push ups in the parking lot. We found a campground around 8:30 p.m. I’d be lying if I said it was beautiful, but beggars can’t be choosers. Laura reminds me that we need to be grateful for what we have and to stay positive, and she’s right. What great showers!

We moved all the luggage into the front seats and set up our sleeping bags in the back of the FJ. With the luggage blocking our side doors, we cleverly climbed in through the rear door and shut it before turning in. Around 1 a.m. I noticed Laura rustling around -- time for a trip to the potty. Unfortunately, the rear door doesn’t have an internal latch. I managed to McGiver us out of there in the nick of time, but that’s going to be a continuing problem if I don’t figure something out soon. Wilsonville, WA, 9:30 a.m. --

Sunday, August 23, 2009 Minor glitch during our second stop for Starbucks this morning. The FJ Cruiser has cup holders in the doors -- very convenient. Before you climb in, you can put your Grande coffee in the door so you don’t spill on yourself. But there’s always a catch. I jumped in, slammed the door, and created what I believe to be the world’s first coffee geyser. Yellowstone has nothing on a cup of coffee with a tiny little hole in the lid getting punched in the kidneys by a door mounted cup holder. No time to wipe up, though. We’ve got a 5:15 boat to catch. Victoria, Canada here we come.
=========End Steve's first update======