Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The swim workout of the week...

400 warm up pks
10x50 (25 ez, climb out, 10 real push ups on the deck, dive in, sprint back) :15 sec RI
50 kick
5x100 IM (odds regular, evens reverse) :20 RI
50 kick
400 IM kick
200 warm down

Just 2100 measly yds with 100 push ups sandwiched in there.

Try it, you might like it. Just don't puke.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Spirit of Racine Half Iron Triathlon: Race Report- Part 2

We pick up at T2.

I came down the hill into T2, dismounted, ran in and swapped cycling shoes for socks and running shoes, helmet for visor, and grabbed my race number. Time to hit the run!


I ran out and headed up the first hill. The run course was a mostly flat two loop out and back. I took a couple of Enervit Tabs (electrolytes) out and was sucking on them. They worked great in training but were not awesome on race day. It was pretty well shaded and there were aid stations just frequently enough. I ran the first three or so miles at a 9:00 pace before my stomach started cramping up. I walked just long enough (1 minute and 30 sec) to calm it down and then picked back up into a run. Two miles later it happened again. I had purposefully slowed to a 9:30 pace but my stomach was mad. At mile 5, I pulled off to use the porta-potty. That seemed to help and I was off again. I was running 8 minutes walking 1-2 minutes to keep my stomach happy and I was only drinking water and taking ice at the aid stations. I started to feel much better at the turn around to head back out but it was still hard to turn around and run away from the finish line. As I switched to a 4 min run, 1 min walk, I started to realize that the only thing that was really tired were my quads. I also realized that they felt worse when I was walking. Hmmm, yeah, run more, i get it. There was some guy that attached himself on to me and just kept talking to me the entire second half of the run. It is fun to see people out on the course and chat briefly but every time I walked so did he and every time I picked back up to a run so did he. Ugh. Run your own race buddy, I wanted to tell him. I just kept a smile on my face and answered briefly his random questions and comments. "Guess what? I watched the new Batman movie last night" or "did you know..." Shhh, dude, just let me run. Anywho, came around the corner, through the Racine zoo which is not awesome because you just run along the back side of it. You can't see any animals, just smell them, and headed towards the finish line.

Run: 13.1 miles
11:12 min/mile average (SUCK)

43/55 in age group (SUCK)
1062/1381 overall men and women, females and males were not split out in results

63 people - DNF
approximately 388 people - DNS. I am guessing due to weather.

I have to admit, I can't even remember finishing. I felt pretty darn good. I wasn't too hot, or too tired. I could have kept going for a bit longer and I was freaking hungry! I went over and put my finishers medal in my bag and headed over for food. The sweet little old lady in the food tent handed me a BBQ pork sandwich which I bit into before it even hit my plate. I told her how wonderful she was and moved down the line for a gigantic piece of watermelon, oatmeal cookies and chips. I sat in the shade and ate and then went down to the lake and knelt waist deep in the water to "ice down". It felt awesome! I gathered my belongings, took some time to enjoy the water, sand, and sun and headed up to my car. I am potentially in love with Lake Michigan. We don't have anything like that anywhere near here. Every body of water remotely close I can see all the way across. It was awesome. There were boats, and waves, and seagulls, and lots of water and sand. I wanna go back! There is something about the water that just pulls at my heart.

Nutrition was a huge issue for me as I wondered if it would be. The race was more than an hour and a half late getting started which meant that at race start I had eaten 3 1/2 hours prior. In my real, non-triathlon life, that is almost time for another meal. Not a great way to start. After I got home I calculated it all out. The result was that not counting breakfast, I took in a grand total of 380 calories, including Gatorade and I burned 3970 calories on just the swim, bike, and run. Yeah, anyone see a glaring problem with that? I think that Infinit is going to be my next option to try. I just kick myself thinking how much faster I could be if I had that figured out. Hmmm. Yeah, look out cause if I pull it all together, I could definitely be dangerous. :) Just kidding.

Another random fact about nutrition, if you have half a package of red sport beans in your jersey pocket and you pour water over your head repeatedly during a run and they fall out, it is a mess. I am just saying. Yuck. I had red food coloring everywhere.

Random Comments: People say strange things. For some reason I was a magnet for that this weekend. Here are a small sampling.

1. In transition, waiting for fog to lift: The girl next to me said, "where are you from?"
I told her, "Nebraska."
She said, "oh, yeah? Are you doing IM Kentucky then?"
I though, "huh?" and must have given her a confused look.
She said, "uh, I don't know much about the South."
I paused before carefully telling her how Nebraska was about as middle of the U.S. as you could get.
She said, "hmmm, so are you doing Louisville?"
Hahahaha. Wow.

2. I had on a CamelBak and some guy rode by and told me it was all about "comfortability". Is that even a word?

3. On the way home, I stopped to get gas and the man working there reminded me of the gas station attendant from the Simpsons. I hadn't showered and still sort of had the remnants of my body markings on my arms and legs. He saw the 8 and the 4 and said, "84, is that your favorite number or something?"
Really. Yes, I get up every morning and whip out my permanent black marker so I can write my favorite number of the day on my arms. Oh, yeah, and while I am at it, I usually write my age on my leg too, just so that if someone asks, I don't have to do the math. Instead, I said, "eh, nah, just did a race this morning" and walked away shaking my head.

4. And the last one. During the run I ran by a 77 year old man who was just running along. I said to him, "Have you done many halves?"
To which he replied, "yeah, quite a few, did one last weekend."
Whoa, that is hard core. I said, "Are you freaking kidding me, that is awesome."
He said, "every race you do, you lose a few IQ points. I am beginning to be quite deficient."
I said, "how do you earn them back?"
He said, "you get really good dates."
Some guy running by me said, "you might want to run a little faster!"
HAHAHAHA! Awesome.

ALSO: A humongous thanks to Blink for letting me borrow his neoprene swim cap from IM CdA. Thanks, you saved me a major ice cream headache! It was perfect.

So there you have it. I know I left stuff out and I am sure that it will come to me later but that is most of it. Can't wait to do more.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I am half of an ironman

In true Tri-Rob fashion I am going to post this in installments.
I am purposefully going to be a little long for my own sake. I suppose there are multiple purposes for blogs but this particular report is mostly for me to be able to go back and remember, as well as to fix the things that fell apart.

Spirit of Racine Half Iron Triathlon: Race Report- Part 1

Pre-Race: I left home at 6:45 am on Saturday morning. Mr KT was on a church mission trip and so I was flying solo on this one. I drove the 8 1/2 hours to Racine, WI and listened to Harry Potter (#7) on my ipod. It was uneventful really, until I got to some of the county roads just before Racine. Apparently, Jimmy Buffett and all of his best 40 to 60 year old friends were having a "little" outdoor concert Saturday night. The good news is, they were ready to have a good time, the bad news is, they were way drunk at 3:00 in the afternoon. I, of course, was driving against the grain and the sheriffs were annoyed. I thought they might detour me (problem, because I would have gotten soooo lost). They just directed me on through the chaos and told me to be very careful as people were randomly getting out of their cars into the on-coming traffic and then falling over. Hmmmm, can you say, "over the legal limit"? Anywho, I drove very slowly by one particularly rowdy group of concert-goers, who were definitely in the vicinity of my parents age and heard whooping and yelling, I looked over instinctively and no kidding, I got flashed by some guy who was twice my age. Ewww. That was not ok. His buddies of course, thought it was hilarious. This happened not once, but twice. Seriously, ew.

I got into town and found packet pickup. This was the only time that I was seriously overwhelmed and extremely nervous. It was loud and there were a ton of people. I had to drive through a shady part of the city to get there and then park and walk alone. I couldn't figure out how to get to the transition area from there and was moments from tears. It was the only time on the entire trip that I desperately wished I had someone with me. I made a few phone calls to familiar voices and calmed myself down. From then on, I was fine. I saw Jenny and Mike as I was headed to drop off my bike and chatted with them briefly. They had graciously offered one of the two queen beds in their hotel room the week prior, due to Orbitz and my hotel totally dropping the ball. I felt a little uneasy about it at first but finally gave in so that I didn't have to sleep in my Saturn! (Well, that and Mike assured me they practiced good hygiene and didn't snore). They were very easy going and just plain awesome. That initial meeting is always a little awkward but after the formalities, things were more comfortable.

I dropped my bike off, put plastic over my aero bars and bike computer and got my timing chip. I climbed back in the car, found the hotel, and went and got a little dinner (pizza, the pre-race dinner of champions). Don't dis it, it seems to work for me.

I spent the next hour and a half going through all my gear again. Checking and rechecking everything including my nutrition to make sure I had exactly what I needed and it was exactly how I wanted it. I felt like I was being a bit on the OCD side but it was making me feel confident and that was what I needed.

Jenny and Mike came back from dinner and we hung out and laughed and talked triathlon and everything else under the sun. Here was the quote of the trip:
Mike: "My only goal for this race is not to chafe." Hahahaha! Not something that I would ever have thought about... EVER. They got organized, pulled their nutrition out of a tackle box like case with a combination lock on it (dang teenage boys eating all the sport beans), and we were all ready for bed.

Morning came early and I was up, dressed, and ready for breakfast by 5 am. I have discovered that pancakes with butter and syrup are the perfect pre-race meal for me. I am a little weird about food and I had made my own pancakes and had them in my cooler with butter and syrup from home. I popped two of them in the toaster and breakfast was ready and very yummy.

Race morning was very foggy. I followed Jenny and Mike to transition. (Thanks for not taking me down the bike path, Mike).
Walking to transition.

Looking at the swim course (what you can't see it) from halfway down the beach at 7:30 am.

A picture taken in almost the same spot at 3:00 pm after the race was over. Quite a difference!

Foggy was an understatement. Originally the first wave (pro men) was to leave at 7:00. We were on a 15 min rolling delay and I didn't leave until 8:30 or so. In addition, to the fog, the water was very cold, read 55 degrees. I am not exactly sure of the reasoning but the race director moved the entire swim course in. We walked a mile and a quarter down the beach and then swam back to transition down the shore line. I lined up in the front quarter of swimmers although I should have moved up even more. I heard the siren go off, took a deep breath, and ran into the cold water. I hadn't gotten in earlier, I knew it was cold, nothing was going to change that. The run out to deeper water was longer than I had anticipated. I dolphin dove under some of the waves. That first moment when your head submerged was shocking. It didn't take my breath away but I was definitely glad for all the ice bathes I had taken prior to this race. I pulled my wetsuit out a bit to let some water in and took off swimming. Although the race director swears it was safe, I couldn't see from buoy to buoy. I was trying to stay straight, follow some feet and try to sight as best I could. The water temp was significantly lower than the air temperature or my body's temperature and that caused some fogging issues with the goggles. The thing that I was most surprised by though was not the cold or the fog, it was the waves and the chop. I heard someone say as we were walking over how calm the water was but this Midwestern girl felt like I was bobbing around in the ocean. I was breathing to the right only because the waves were coming from the left and I was getting a little green around the gills as I felt myself rise and fall with the water. We were also pretty shallow. I could see the sand at the bottom although don't think I could have touched for the most part. There were men who were walking and I would only have had to swim in about 5-7 strokes to touch the bottom. There were a couple of times where I got swam over and got pushed under and used the bottom of the lake to push myself back up to the surface. Speaking of, men, I just have to tell you... it does not make you more manly to swim over top of the females in the wave ahead of you. I didn't have much clean water but I wasn't clobbering anyone. Girls, as a group, just seem to be less violent in a swim start. If I take a stroke and end up with my hand on top of someones swim cap, I am not going to pull, I will pick up my hand pull back gently and stroke with the other arm. I had a handful of men in the wave behind me literally dunk me and swim over the top. It doesn't frazzle me or make me nervous but I do think it is ridiculous. We aren't even racing each other. Besides you are going to smoke me on the bike so cut it out. *Stepping down off soapbox.*

Anywho, finished the swim a little dizzy but no worse for the wear.

SWIM: 1.2 miles
1:32/100 yds average

Had a 200 yd run up the beach to get to transition. Had a little trouble getting my wetsuit off because my hands were so cold but once I got that taken care of I slid into my tri top, cycling shoes, helmet, and clear lens glasses, grabbed my nutrition and was off.
T1: 3:22

Bike: The bike out of transition was an immediate up hill. People were falling all over. Hello people, check your gears before the bike starts. The bike ride for me was really uneventful. I tried to watch my RPE to keep myself solid throughout. There was some wind but it never seemed to affect my ride. I felt strong on the bike and although I did get passed by dude after dude and some girls too, I had to remind myself to stay steady and strong because there was quite a run after that. I stayed between 18 and 21 mph on all the flats. I would say the course really was quite flat. There were some rollers but nothing huge to climb. I ate 1/2 Snickers Marathon bar immediately which was not part of the plan. Then every 30 minutes I ate. 1:00 - 1/2 bag of fruit punch sport beans (yes JWim, they turn your entire mouth including teeth bright red), 1:30 - 1/2 bag of Cheezit Gripz, 2:00 1/2 bag of CheezIts, 2:30 stomach starting to hurt so skipped the solid food. In addition, I drank Gatorade Endurance every 15 minutes from bike bottle and water throughout from CamelBak. More on nutrition later. The bike was bumpy, my shoulders were starting to complain of all the jarring they were enduring. Nothing too exciting to report. The first 2 hours went really fast and the 3 seemed to drag a bit more. Cruised into transition and was set to start running.
Bike: 56 miles
18.7 mph average

Next, T2, run, nutrition and wrap up.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spirit of Racine Half Ironman

Race report coming soon.

I sucked on the run. I finished (in a sucky place). I never got sick. I drove home. I loved it.

Promise, race report in the next two days.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What is it about Ironman?

It is all I can think about. I want to be able to think of something else, I really do. I just can't. I think about how nuts it is to think that I could do it. I think about how horrible and awesome it would be all at the same time. I think about how much it will hurt and how hard it will be mentally. I think about how sweet it would be to finish. I think about how Mr KT, told me I was, "f'ing insane" and how my mom said, "maybe you should get through the half first and then decide" as if that was going to change my mind. (Well, it might, but only for a couple of hours. I will be planning my sign up on the way home, I am sure of it.) It totally freaks me out and makes me want to run the other way. Which is why I think I want to do it.

Wait, what?

Yeah, I don't get it either.

Those of you who have been here know the feelings before that first 140pt6. You know the hesitation, the excitement, the dreams and the fears.

I think I can do it.

With the right training and some coaching, I really think I could.


Now, the question is...Ironman Florida or Ironman Kentucky?

This is actually where I have been stuck. So obviously I have pretty much already talked myself into it. Let's break it down. And note that I am not looking for easy, it's Ironman it will not be easy.

Ironman Kentucky:
positives -
*Earlier in the season - makes the race season more manageable
*NOT an ocean swim - I live in the Midwest, never seen the ocean, not sure how that swim would go

Ironman Florida:
positives -
*Flatter course - easier to get nutrition in and is more like what I typically train on here although there are hills I could do
*Later in the season - therefore maybe a bit cooler as I don't race well in extreme heat and better biking time here in Nebraska in September and October

Any thoughts on any of this? Any of you that have done either of these races have any input? Do I need to be at the race (volunteering) in order to register for 2009? Or could I register online? Time to find out how this all works.

I am so excited it is ridiculous.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Photographic evidence

I am totally not going to flat on race day. Nope, not gonna happen. Mostly because I practiced changing my tire today so that I would really be prepared. I had one moment of itty-bitty freak out (that would have resulted in tears had it been an actual race) when I couldn't get the back wheel on. I have been on several longish rides alone that would have been disastrous if I had gotten a flat because I would have panicked. I have spent many hours on my bike thinking, "please don't flat, oh please, God, do not let me flat". I feel like that is a big waste of His time so I decided to do something to help myself out, practice. :) Well, that and I am tapering... and bored.

Here are some pictures to prove that I did, in fact, make the effort and didn't just beg Mr KT to do it, again. (He did make a cheat sheet for me.)

This last one is for my mechanically inclined "little" brother. A.C, are you proud or what?


So, Thursday, I got a phone call from Orbitz. Went something like this...

Me: "Hello"

Nice Woman I Really Wanted To Yell At (NWIRWTYA): "Hi, is this Katherine?"

Me: "This is Katie"

NWIRWTYA: "We were just calling to inform you that the hotel on your Racine, WI itinerary will not be able to honor your reservation for July 19th, 2008."

Me: "Wait, what!?"

NWIRWTYA: "We've thoroughly checked the area and nothing else is available that night."

Me: "I made that reservation months ago!"

NWIRWTYA: "We are sorry about any inconvenience and hope that you will use Orbitz again soon. Have a nice day, ma'am."

Me: "Are you kidding me!?"

NWIRWTYA: "Goodbye"

Me: "What the... hello, hello? UGH."

HA! Well, after Bikram yoga this morning I will be doing some checking around. Any of you bloggers in the area that would be interested in telling me names of surrounding towns that are close to Racine and have hotels, please let me know. I was wondering how close Milwaukee is, 45 minutes? I am not that worried, really, just more annoyed than anything. The hotel room that I did have was crappy anyway. Anything else I get will be better and although it is not usually in my nature, I plan on calling the stupid hotel and giving the manager an earful today. It's not like I am going to spend the day relaxing by the pool, I have a 5-7 hour race to do. Cancelling my hotel is very un-cool.

Friday, July 11, 2008

As Tri-Rob would say...


Time to get into race mode.

The last few weeks have been big build weeks for the Racine Half Ironman. 8+ days and counting.

Saturday -
Run 10 miles
1 hr 33 min
9:18 min/mile

90 min Bikram yoga

Sunday -
Bike 35.8 miles
2 hrs 15 min
15.85 mph avg (crazy wind)

Run 7.5 miles
1 hr 10 min
9:22 min/mile

Good solid Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with all three disciplines.
Thursday B-Fit B-Day Challenge. (See last post.)

Friday: Rest day which I took very seriously including pizza and ice cream.

Saturday: Monster brick! Just two days after my "halfway-between-HIM-and-oly-distance-challenge" I took on the biggest workout I have done to prepare for this race.

Bike 53.6 miles
3 hrs 17 mins
16.26 mph avg

Run 12 miles
2 hrs 3 mins
10:04 pace (with stopping to switch dogs and get water twice)

And then...
and ice bath. The most beautiful, wonderful, awful thing in the world.

I have to admit something here... after that last workout... yeah, I ran to the gas station to get the bags of ice because it was just too slow to walk. Ran, after 5 hours of biking and running, I ran down the street to get ice. I guess it's like driving on the interstate at 75 mph and then exiting and having to drive 35 in town. Just feels slow. Good sign I think.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

B-Fit B-Day Challenge

I have a confession. Sadly, I didn't take many pictures. I'll explain as I go.

My birthday is July 3rd, 1980. It fell on a Thursday this year and if you do the math correctly, I turned 28. I have never taken my birthday off work but this year was different. I took Thursday off, had Friday off for the holiday and then of course Saturday and Sunday. It was a whole birthday weekend. Mr KT was on mission trip with the youth from our church and our "boarder" went home for the long weekend and so I had the house to myself.

Swim: 2 miles
I woke up bright and early on Thursday and headed out to do a double masters workout. 2 swimming miles is apparently 3300 yds. Perfect. I had wanted to take my picture from the back putting on my goggles with the pool ahead of me but about 50 or 60 swimmers who were in town for the Olympic swim trials were there that morning and that just seemed too weird. The masters set included

600 pks warm up
4x150 free getting faster within the 150 RI:10
16x25 IM order RI:05
4x200 (2 pull, 2 kick) RI:05

Then I was told to warm down. Um... I need at least 900 more yds coach. She was a rookie (not my usual coach) and didn't have anything else planned for me and just then two guys jumped in my lane for the next practice. They started their 600 warm up and so I just added myself to their circle swim and swam a 900. Why not? Felt good, did the first 700 at race pace and the last 200 as a warm down.
Total time for practice and the extra 900 - 1:20

T1: 4 hrs 10 min
I had a buddy coming in from out of town to ride and run with me. So I took some time during T1 to have some breakfast, calibrate my ipod, run to Target and the bookstore and play my guitar.

Bike: 28.05 miles
E and I rode south on the Keystone Trail with the wind. That meant that at our self proclaimed turn around we had the wind in our faces. I ate every 30 minutes, drank Gatorade every 15 and sipped on water from my Camelbak throughout but my legs were still tired from Sunday's longish brick and it was a somewhat challenging ride. I wore my local team's sleeveless triathlon jersey and the pockets are minimal so no room for the camera.
Bike time - 1:40
Pace: 16.3

T2: 10 minutes maybe?
Enough time to change into running clothes and grab a visor for me and a hat for E.

Run: 8.2 hot, sweaty, thirsty miles
We headed out with no water bottles or fuel belts. I tried to pick a fairly shaded route but its hot and humid in Nebraska in the summer no matter where you run. We were about 3.5 miles in and I could tell E was not feeling awesome. He is in great shape but hadn't had lunch. We ran the back half of the loop and then came back around looking for a water fountain. At this point I accidentally reset my Nike ipod+. Totally annoying. We figured out how much further it was and headed out on the sun baked Keystone trail for a mile and a half or so. We finally turned around and headed back home. I never run in just a sports bra but I was so hot and miserable I peeled off the tank top. I'm not proud of it but it felt good to be free of that sweaty shirt. I had to walk for about 200 yds as we headed home due to cramps in my pelvis and low back, not sure what that was all about. Ran the giant hill up to my house and it was over.
Run time: 1:15
Pace: 9:08 min/mile

So no pics, but got the job done!
Happy birthday to me.

An Olympian in our midst

I have a couple of things that I am behind in writing about but this definitely trumps them for the moment.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

I swam in the lane next to Kate Ziegler last night at Masters.

Yeah, I actually got kicked out of my lane because she needed it. (Thanks, coach.)

Anywho, a little about this swimming phenom for those of you who have been living under a rock for the last week as the US Olympic Swim Trials conclude in Omaha, NE.
Kate finished 2nd to Katie Hoff in the 400 free and won the 800 free at the Olympic Trials, earning her spot in Beijing. In addition, Kate has the 1500 m world record by nearly 10 seconds. She demolished Janet Evans long standing record.

It is amazing that the women's 1500m free event does not yet exist at the Olympics. If it did, would Kate Ziegler be the girl version of Ian Thorpe? I think she would easily win the 400, the 800 and the 1500 meter events.

Anywho, we did a synchronized flip turn before she was so far ahead of me I could hardly see her... and it was magical.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hy-Vee Pics

Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of great pics this year. I was standing in a different spot (obviously, since it was a different course) and it just wasn't as good as last year.

But, regardless, here are a few of the photos I took. Enjoy.

T2 before the women came through the first time.

Greg Bennett setting up his T2 prior to the start of the men's race. Here he was talking to the crowd. There were some cute little boys in the front row who asked for his autograph and he was super nice about it and signed a bunch of things for people.

I think this is Sara McLarty and Sarah Haskins coming through leading the bike.

These last three are of Sarah Haskins running through T2. Good to see that even the pros accidentally leave their helmets on as they race through transition and head out on the run. Oops.

One of the bikes didn't get racked very well and fell over as she left transition. A race official righted it.

Emma Snowsill after the first of four(?) loops.

Emma Moffatt looking strong, trying to chase down the leader.

Julie Ertel looking ripped!

Sara McLarty in her baby blue USA race suit? A little strange but she is fast enough to pull it off.

Reed trying to get his T2 just perfect. It was funny to watch him walk back to it and pull on the rack about 3 times.

NBC camera guys.

Men on the bike.

Simon Whitfield in the red. Love that guy.

Did I mention that I was totally rooting for Simon.

Rana, Kemper and Reed running hard prior to Reed dropping out.

Henning from Denmark ran his way to another 1st place. Pretty amazing.

Here's Andy Potts trying hard to earn an Olympic slot. Unfortunately he just couldn't pull it off today.

Henning, Bennett, and Whitfield running in the lead pack.

So, it was a fun race to both race in and then watch. A long day but totally worth it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

After a brief hiatus...

...we're back!

So, there was a brief break in Internet usage as well as lights, refrigeration, laundry, air conditioning, and anything else requiring electricity. A week ago, a crazy storm blew through Omaha at 100+ mph. Yeah, hurricane force winds in the middle of the United States along with sideways rain, hail, and LOTS of damage. This left 200,000 homes without power lasting from a couple of hours to still a week later. We were without power for about 72 hours give or take. Basically a whole weekend. It was not a big problem as it was cool outside and we have a gas water heater. So we opened our windows, lit candles, broke out the headlamps, and ate bagels. I had to throw out everything in our fridge, and I mean everything. But I have to say that if that was the worst of the problems we had it was no big deal. Check out the damage in some of the photos below. It was unbelievable. Huge trees were completely uprooted, grass and all. The traffic lights were out at almost every intersection in the city! There were fires from down lines, accidents from people running all the 4 way stops. It was crazy. It was eerily quiet because no air conditioners were running but there were nonstop sirens from police and ambulances piercing the air.

This is the side of my car facing West after the storm blew through. Oops, should have put that in the garage.

This is a look down the street. (Yes I have to run and bike up that hill after every workout to get home.) All those "bushes" are trees and branches that are down. This was just after the storm. Everyone was outside and it got sunny. Weird.

This is the neighbors gazebo. They had a lot of damage to their garage, trees, garden, and yard.

These two are of the back alley where the transformer blew. What a mess!

This last one is of a house in the neighborhood. Three of their trees on the west side of the house were uprooted and these were HUGE trees. One of them went through their house and into a bedroom. The car in the background also got crushed flat. Unreal.

Well, we now have power back and I am going to play a little catch up with pro pics from HyVee and my B-Fit B-Day Challenge from yesterday!