Words to live by...

"A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others." ~Author Unknown

"A good wife is her husband's biggest fan -- no matter how crazy he is." ~Me

"May God give you.. For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer." ~ Irish Blessing

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Go Beyond!

2007 has been a great year for Chris and I. We're planning some really fun adventures and races for 2008 and checking out some new gear for the efforts. Beyond Clothing is sponsoring all types of athletes next year and lots of their gear would be awesome for us. They've got a wide range of options and all their clothing is custom made. Ever wish your jacket fit in the torso and was still long enough in the sleeves? Well now it can be! Just in the softshell options alone, I'm hoping to try the warm and windproof Cold Fusion Shock Jacket while Chris is looking at the ultra breathable Cold Play Shock Jacket. We're both hoping to get the tough Cold Play Shock Pants as well for some winter 14er climbs. Check out their stuff and check back here after November 15th to see if we made the cut.

Chris and Marni's 2007 Adventures:
7 14er Summits!
Quandary Peak
3rd Wedding Anniversary - Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross
Mount Sherman
Culebra Peak

Chris's 2007 Results:
1st place SS, 4th overall - Rim Ride Moab
6th Place (Series Overall) - Cherry Creek Time Trials Cat 4
5th, 7th, 8th, 8th, 8th, 12th (Individual Races) - Cherry Creek Time Trials Cat 4
32nd Place - Boulder Roubaix Cat 4
2nd SS, 6th Overall - TransIowa
7th Overall - Kokopelli Trail Race
Bedrock Store - Grand Loop Race
6th Place (Series Overall) - Winter Park XC MTB Series Expert 25-29
3rd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 12th, 14th (Individual Races) - Winter Park MTB Series Expert 25-29
9th - 24 Hours of Moab Solo Men

Marni's 2007 Results:
22nd Place (Series Overall) - Cherry Creek Time Trials Cat 4
15th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 25th (Individual Races) - Cherry Creek Time Trials Cat 4
2nd Place (Series Overall) - Winter Park XC MTB Series Beginner 25-29
3rd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th (Individual Races) - Winter Park MTB Series Beginner 25-29

Some of Chris and Marni's 2008 Events:

Togwotee Winter Classic
Cherry Creek Time Trial Series
Winter Park Mountain Bike Series
14er's - Longs Peak, Mount Sneffels, Mount Bierstat and Mount Evans via The Sawtooth

Here's to more success in 2008!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Stress makes my hair fall out

Today I found out, after getting kid #30 in my class (16 kinders and 14 first graders!!), that the school will be hiring another Kindergarten teacher to take all of my Kinders and some from the other huge class. That leaves me with 14 first graders. I started the year as a first grade teacher, got changed to a K/1 teacher, and now will be going back to being a straight first grade teacher. For a person who HATES change, this year has been a serious test to my ability to adapt.

Good news -- 14 kids, all one grade, wow! Can't beat that! Granted I'll get every new first grader that comes our way, but that's ok.

Bad news -- I've fallen head over heels in love with my Kindergarteners and hate the idea of giving them up. They are so cute and it makes me incredibly sad to think I won't get to see them every day. Now I have to redo the grade book, the homework chart, the birthday chart, the reading groups, seating, classroom arrangement, filing system, EVERYTHING... and I JUST finally got it all changed over from my previous system.


More change. More stress. Dang... and I was hoping I'd stop losing my hair at some point... hey, bald will be easier with a bike helmet, right?

(I should also point out that I am now 8-0 in fantasy football -- I've come to l-o-v-e Tom Brady. I had four guys score under five points this week and still won because of Brady's 41.64 points -- sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sports can be great...

If this doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will!

p.s. fixed the link so it works now :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Random thoughts

1) VeloSwap was a little disappointing this year. I got a pair of short fingered gloves for $10.00 and two pairs of hiking/trail running shoes for super cheap. Other than that, even if I did have enough money for a time trial bike like I had hoped to have, I wouldn't have found anything. I guess that's good...

2) GO ROCKIES! While the game is still about to start and I'm not frustrated to the point of turning it off, I am excited about the first World Series game in Colorado. Who would've thunk? Even if they get creamed, I'm still so excited that they even made it this far.

3) To the turds that dented our garage door with rocks last night... wow. That's really cool. I wish I was as awesome as you. May you one day grow up and learn how it feels... and may you never have my husband, father, brothers, or biking buddies catch you in the act.

4) I miss peanut butter snickers.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fickle Love

I have watched movies, listened to music, and read poetry that eludes to the great feeling of love.

According to these reliable sources, when a loved one is not around the world loses its beauty and even food loses its taste.

Usually when hubby isn't around for dinner, I heat up some leftovers or make such gourmet dishes as cheesy rice. After a busy day and a week where I've resumed bike riding after a short hiatus, tonight I felt like eating real food despite my true love's absence from the meal.

I cooked up some delicious french dip sandwiches, complete with yummy au jus.

I sat down, by myself, to enjoy my great idea.

I took one bite... eh, ok.

I took another, and another, and soon I realized something.

Those movies, that music, those poems are right!

Even the best food loses its taste when my true love isn't here to enjoy it with me.

Despite being sad about the not-so-delicious food, I was exhilarated that I'd reached such an epiphany. I ate the food. Not what I'd hoped, but that's love's fault, right?

I took the dishes upstairs and started cleaning up. As I threw away the trash from my concoction, I realized something.

Instead of 3 cups of water in the Au Jus, I'd put in four.

Hence the not so delicious taste.

Well my love, perhaps you don't make food lose its taste as I'd previously given you credit, but you are still wonderful... unlike my dinner.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Another Plesko peformance for the books...

Right now I am in a horribly uncomfortable, yet oh so sweet feeling, Moab Super 8 bed. To my right there are Chris and his dad (Pete and Re-Pete) making this really cute half snore/half sigh thing that I've come to realize is hereditary -- oh yes, there's a picture, but unfortunately the download cable is at home. I napped for a little while, but these two have outlasted me and I'm starting to think my quest for pie may be a solo adventure in a little while. Why could they possibly be so sleepy?

Seven hours ago, Chris completed his first 24 hour race. He's done longer and arguably harder before, but a sanctioned 24 hour event where you go around in big 15 miles circles for 24 hours is a whole different ball game. Let me remind you...

I take you to Moab 2006 -- The Storm of the Century. We hauled down Dave N, Dad2, me, and Chris down in the Element and were joined by Scott and Melissa. Once down there we anxiously awaited the start of the race, with high hopes of a first try, first conquest 24 hour race for Chris. Eventually the rains began and never stopped. Without any sort of Easy-Up and a couple of leaky tents, we ended up rigging four or five tarps between cars for a makeshift (and quite crappy) shelter. Eight hours into the race and it was cancelled. Chris had been doing well, and completed five laps in a soggy eight hours. Desert schmesert.

Discouraged by Moab's lack off desertness, we headed down to Tucson, AZ in February 2007...

Fast forward to 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo -- The Great Stomach Disaster. This time Chris and I drove down alone with the poochy and met Dad2 and Little re-re-Pete (little brother Nick) for a hotish, very windy, and quite cactusey second try at a 24 hour conquest. Chris was ripping up the course until around 1 am when his stomach lost all ability to process food and Chris regretfully and painfully pulled the chord on another race. Between the borrowed Easy-up blowing away and everything being covered in a million little cactus pricklies (claiming the life of a much loved pair of SmartWool socks and a lot of hunks of dog's fur), the environment wasn't exactly our friend on this one either.

So here we are, one year after The Storm of the Century, sleeping in the same hotel, smelling of the same Moab sand, with a smaller but more experienced crew, much happier and more tired. There will be many stories told by Chris and his fellow competitors that will go down in the epic record books. The greatest story of all is not my squeemish 2am application of cold Butt'r to Chris's shorts as he drowsily and unknowingly explained that he was "hot down there" to a giggling posse of friends, but it was rather Chris's conquest over himself. I'll let him tell the story and results, but I'm happy to say (once again and in my humble opinion) that I'm married to one of the top 10 mountain bikers in the region, country, and probably the world. I'm also happy to say that the combination of Dad2 and myself makes for a pretty well-oiled crew-machine. Only a Dad can spring up with that much urgency every two hours when his son radios in saying he's hungry.

The three of us are exhausted and one of us can hardly walk, but we're all relieved and exhilarated by Chris's performance on the bike. In addition to our happiness about him, we are so proud of the Feedback team who pulled down a 3rd place in the Co-ed Pro-am category, Bill and buddies who pulled off an impressive 2nd place in the Clydesdale category, and Nicholette/Steve/Dan/guy we don't know, but will probably know soon, on their excellent conquest of their first 24 hour team race. We had a great group of home, internet, team, and new friends hanging around enjoying Moab (which actually could've passed as a real desert this trip).

Pictures of action-Chris, sleeping Chris, the Hotelement, and our WAY cool and super dialed in pit setup to come. HUGE THANKS TO MOM AND DAD FOR THE EASY-UP TENT! Your mad shopping skills were the envy of Solo Row as everyone else probably paid way too much for theirs.

Off for my own solo conquest -- PIE!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Last weekend I found myself on Culebra Peak looking like this:

It was about 11:00 am and I was headed off of a windy, cold summit about a hundred yards behind Chris. We were walking down a large grassy hill and as I closed one of my five hoods around my head to gaurd against the wind I tried to ignore my knee that screamed with every step. I looked ahead and saw Chris and Turbo walking gleefully down the slope without a care in the world.

Eventually the "ow, ow, ow" in my head was interrupted by an interesting thought "how did I get here?"

Not here in the theological sense, but rather, how did I (a person who appreciates nature's beauty but has never been one to engulf myself in it) end up on a cold and windy 14er on a random weekend in the middle of the busiest part of the school year -- my 7th in less than three months?

Even more than simply being there, how did I end up loving being there? How could I find being wind-burned, tired, 5 hours from home, and having a screaming knee fun? How could I make it through a whole trip like this without complaining? I've never been the "adventurous" one in the family. No one would look at me or meet me and think "hard core." Pretty soon I looked ahead and saw this:

I realized I have one person to thank, or to blame, for all of this: Chris.

Then I got quite nostalgic. And here it will spew into a pre-Moab tribute to my wonderful husband:

Chris, you challenge me like no one else in my life.

From the day we met, you have pushed me to do things that I would normally shy away from. Even the way we met was a challenge to my personality. My brother invited me to a triathlon team party where I wouldn't know anyone but my brother and his girlfriend, and there would be "this Chris guy who you might like." Luckily my roommate was out of town and I, in very un-marni-like fashion, said I would go. Even now, I don't think I'd go. I'm not sure what got into me. Once there I "danced" to Nelly with that strange Chris guy (I don't dance, and I REALLY don't dance to hip-hop, especially with some random guy I just met) and as the evening progressed, I snuck away from the cops. Obviously, from day 1, you challenged me to push the limits that I had unknowlingly set on my personality.

You've gotten me to work on and drive race cars. You've given me the opportunity to learn to drive and ride on a sport bike. You taught me to run and somewhat enjoy it. You've even showed me how to slide in a car in the snow and not think I'm going to immediately die. Most recently we've learned to hike 14ers together... I've learned that I can lose footing and not slide off the mountain... I've learned the wind can blow and I won't blow away... I've learned that I'm actually not too bad at peeing above treeline. You've introduced me to the great world of biking... I've learned that I can fall and not break things... I've learned that I can go downhill above 5 mph and the bike won't spontaneously combust... I've learned that I can race other girls and not totally suck.

Without you in my life I never would've experienced these adventures and I never would've learned those lessons. While I feel good about my accomplishments... I see what you attempt, what you accomplish, what you aspire to do with your life, and
it humbles me.

Many people call you "crazy." Hey, I've even called you crazy (even my blog header hints at such). Most people see what you do and think that there's something wrong with you.

What I don't tell you often enough, is that I admire what you do. I wish we all had the attitude that you have when looking at challenges. You see an adventure, no matter how outrageous, and think "I can do that" while I look at the same adventure and tend to think "I could never do that".

Luckily for me, you tend to believe in me much more than I ever believe in myself.

Luckily for you, I tend to believe in you even more than you believe in yourself.

I know that a few rides have brought down your bike confidence this year. I also know that you can do anything you put your mind to.

I can't wait to be your crew at 24 hours of Moab again this year. Every race you enter or ride you attempt, I look at you with such admiration and pride. To me, despite what I may sometimes say, you aren't crazy. You are wonderful, smart, talented, and ambitious. Without your "craziness," I wouldn't be half the person I am today and you wouldn't be half the person you are either. I love you because of what you have accomplished and dream to accomplish, not in spite of it.

You are, and will always be, my puzzle piece. Our personalities may be quite different but it's our differences that make us fit together perfectly. Thank you for making me a better person.

Good luck this weekend in your big race. I can't wait to be there to push you out on your bike and cheer the loudest for you as you finish. I'm your biggest fan and I'm proud of you for even attempting such great things.

P.S. Remember during the race that I may be mean at 2:00 am, but it's for your own good :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

And then there was one...

Our Wednesday group is generally a pretty reliable source of weekly riding.

Lately, however, the group has quickly dwindled.

Two weeks ago we had four.

Last week we had three.

This week it was going to end up just being Chris and I on good old Marshall Mesa. Except today I'm getting sick again. AGAIN. *$&*(#()@*#$^$!!!!

My throat hurts. My ears and head are feeling like they are going to burst.

So today the group lamely dwindled to one. Poor Chris is out riding alone on a Wednesday night. I feel sad for him. I wanted to ride. I've been looking forward to riding. I didn't ride last night because I knew there'd be a good opportunity tonight. This morning I thought I'd still make it. This afternoon I had to email Chris to tell him that I, too, am now super lame and not riding tonight.

Sorry love :(

Monday, October 01, 2007

From Rockies to Rockies

Saturday night, hubby and I embarked on another great Plesko adventure. After plans got derailed due to the unpredictable fall weather at 14,000 feet, we still managed to squeek out an unbelievable weekend. We ate a delicious dinner at my sister-in-law's parents' house and then Chris drove us the 4+ hours down to some ranch gates 9 miles from the New Mexico border. We thought ahead and set up the air mattress in the back of the hotelement and around 1 am we curled into our sleeping bags with Turbo keeping watch in the driver's seat and attempted to drift off into sleepyland. Wind howling against the car and the bright almost-full moon kept us from getting any actual sleep and our 5 am watch alarm came both WAY too quickly and not quickly enough. I whined my way into keeping us curled into the warm sleeping bags until about 5:30 when Chris finally coaxed me out into the windy cold to start our adventure up Culebra Peak.

Culebra Peak is on privately owned land and the owners are not so keen on the idea of letting dogs (let alone most people) hike there. Luckily for us, a nice guy from the 14ers.com board talked the ranch owners into allowing this dogs/owners day (in completely Culebra, his dog finished 14er #53 -- nearly every official 14er in Colorado). Apparently dogs haven't been allowed to hike there in over 10 years and Turbo is one of the luckly five to summit in at least a decade. We paid our fee and took the E up a road that made even Chris a little nervous. The E is 4 wheel drive, but doesn't have the clearance or gearing to crawl over such harsh roads without scraping, cursing, and clutch-smoking. But, we all survived, including the car, and once at the top we set off to climb 14er number nine for the Pleskos.

Climb details and pictures will come tomorrow. For now, I just got home from a kickball double-header where I acutally didn't seriously suck. The Rockies are currently playing in the bottom of the 13th to catch a wildcard playoff bid. I was a die-hard Rockies fan for a few years, never missing a game whether it was on TV or just on the radio. The Rox have, frankly, sucked for many years and in those years my fan-dom, and most of the city's, has dwindled down to nearly nothing. Today it seems like back in the 90s. We actually had a radio out at the kickball game listening to the Rockies/Padres game. Everyone asked how they were doing. No one has cared this much about Colorado baseball in this town since, well, ever really. I actually listed to the game on the way home and gave up going to sleep at a nice early time to watch the rest of this game. Did I think they'd pull it out? Heck no. Especially when the Padres hit a two-run homer in the top of the 13th. And holy crap. They just pulled it out. I can't believe it. Was the call at the plate to end the game iffy? Absolutely. But oh well. No worries. I'll call it now, the Rockies will find a way to flop it in the first round. But they provided a night of hope for Colorado baseball to last another 10 years. Good job boys.

Finally off to bed. More mountain report tomorrow :D