Tuesday, May 31, 2011


We got up bright and early to watch the marathon - start time was 0600. Now, I have never watched a marathon so I wasn't sure what to expect. Erika reassured me that it was really fun. You drive around from point to point - attempting to stay in front of your runners so you can cheer for them. Then you hope in the car and drive a few more miles, run down an embankment, cheer some more then climb up the hill, hop in the car and go somewhere else.
It really was alot of fun ~ an excitement in the air as you watched these guys push the limit. We saw them quite a few times along their route.
Ryan at the first cheer stop
Bryan and Spencer refueling on "goo" (not the best tasting gel mix of sugar and electrolytes - yes, I tried some).
Evan - now who smiles when they are running almost 30 miles ???
Goo Girls - Erika and Nychelle

Carter trying to catch his runner to give him some much needed water
Another spot to refuel on the move

We waited for a little bit at the finish line for we really wanted to be sure we were there as the athletes started coming through
After about 2 1/2 hours the runners started finishing...it was so cool. Amazing how they can run for 2-3 hours and still move~
Ryan was our first runner in

Great job guys! That was a blast~


Monday, May 30, 2011

Erika's Graduation

Mom - this post is for you since you were not able to stay in Indiana with us.

Biola's graduation ceremonies took place on Saturday while we were in Indiana for nationals.
So - Coach decided to put on a surprise graduation for the seniors on the team since they would not be participating in the festivities back at school.
Us parents were in on the secret - but the athletes were not...
We all showed up early and waited for the seniors to arrive
They came in the room to a downloaded version of pomp and circumstance. They were pretty surprised to see all of us waiting in the room for them.
Indiana Wesleyan University treated us so well - they even had a big Biola screen shot for the ceremony.Coach Zimmerman giving the commencement address.
The seniors did not wear a cap and gown...they were all in team sweats. So as they went on stage their hair was flipped to the other side just like a tassel is flipped. They received their alumni license plate holder and a new graduate t-shirt.
Erika - the graduate - she actual got a tassel as a gift.
Sisters - Erika and Michelle.
My friend Kathy Brooks and I
More parents
Michelle, Erika and I
Erika and her roommate Natasha. They have been roommates since their freshman year.
Another sister shot
Coach Zimmerman and Erika
The graduates

Graduates and family members

And a little video that Michelle made for Erika:

Congratulations Erika! Can't believe you are a college graduate!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

She's had a Great Run

Erika has run her last collegiate race. She has performed well.

She has trained hard in between going to classes and trying to have a social life.

Erika has always been athletic. Even when I was pregnant with her she was a mover. I first felt her kicking around 14 weeks gestation (which is a little early). And she never has stopped. She climbed on top of the house when she was two years old, she joined a softball team at 5 years of age and eventually went on to play soccer. She then joined a club level / travel soccer team. As she was preparing to enter high school, she decided to join the cross country team. She felt it would help her to be in better shape for when she made the high school soccer team. But her life took a different turn when she made the varsity cross country team as a freshman. The team ran in San Francisco and even once traveled to New York for a large invitational there (of which her team won). She went on to be a four year letter-man in cross country and track. She was the league champion in the 800m a couple of years in a row. And she was on a 4x400m relay team that took the league title twice. Once she started running, she kept going. I recently found this picture from her freshman year of high school. It is hard to believe how much she has changed and grown since then.

Biola University was a good college choice for Erika. She was able to help establish the team at the national level and she has learned so much from the coach. I will have to say though that I am a little sad that her college running days are over. We have been able to travel with her over the last 8 years and have had a blast seeing her compete. It is sort of bittersweet for me. I am proud to see her grow up, yet I understand that a chapter in her life is now over. It just makes me sort of depressed. Just knowing that I won't be able to see her race again.

Not only did Erika get to study and earn a degree. Not only did she get to compete and be part of a close knit team...but she made wonderful friends along the way. Friends that she will have for many more years to come. Friends that will be there in the good times and the bad.

Her roommates this past year. Some of which she will still be living with next year.

Erika hopes to start coaching soon. She does not plan to move back home at this time. She wants to work and then possibly go to grad school in the spring of next year. What ever she does - I know she will be successful.

My little girl who is now grown up...I love you and wish the best for your future. You have been a joy to raise and to watch grow. Maybe one day I will get to see you run a marathon or triathlon. You are such a beautiful young woman and I am so proud of you!

Love - Your Mom

Saturday, May 28, 2011

NAIA Outdoor Track Nationals

Warning ~ Long picture post ~ I want to remember every little detail....

We are in Indiana for the NAIA outdoor track nationals. It is cold and wet and occasionally rains a little bit. But the excitement in the air is keeping us warm!The host school - Indiana Wesleyan, is a beautiful campus and all of the buildings are beautiful brick ones. The athletic fields are amazing and everything is very well organized.The school even has little shuttles to cart us around from the parking lots, to the fields and back to the cafeteria. The woman in green is my new friend, Betsie. I met her at our hotel. She needed a ride to the event so she came with us and now we call each other "a new friend". If I ever get to Colorado, she has even offered to show us around :)It feels as if we are here for a really big event. Actually, we are here for a really big event - it takes alot for an athlete to make it to the final national event!This is a view in the student center. It is like a mini mall in here. Guess when you go to school where it snows you need somewhere warm to hang out.It remained cold and wet throughout the events today. But we cheered and had fun even if our bums were freezing on the metal bleachers.

Biola's first runners were in the steeplechase. This is Nychelle:

This is Kelsey - she qualified to go on to the finals in 2 days

Mom and Dad even came to watch the races :)

My mom and I

Carter running the steeplchase.

Coach Zimmerman and our friends the Gasner's with their daughter Kelsey. We are sort of the crazy parents that follow the team around.

Erika and her 4X800 team getting ready to run.

The lead runner Brooke

Brooke hands the baton off to Jane

Jane hands off to Carissa

And Carissa hands off to Erika.

She ran a good anchor leg of the race. She posted a really good time.

But sadly, the team's time wasn't enough to get them in to the finals :(

The last race of the night was sweet Sarah's 10K run. This race is brutal - something like 24-25 times around the track. It was late. Well after 9pm and very cold by now. Yet, Sarah somehow ran the fastest time she has ever run. She came in 8th place which she was very happy with.

We didn't stick around to watch the men's 10K ~ it was just to cold and they were running it in 2 heats so we watched it via a 'live stream' back at the hotel. That was fun and we were much warmer :)

I'm leaving you with a picture of my other daughter, Michelle. The unofficial 'official' photographer for the team. She and her dad even had press passes so they could get down on the field. Lucky people!

Back tomorrow for more track fun.