Finding the Good Things

20140116-213948.jpg

Celebrating the Good!

1) My brother Gabriel is making significant progress!! Completely off nitric oxide (which was helping to inflate lungs) and today they have been reducing his reliance on the ventilator. Also trying to dial back the amount of sedation, however, he keeps trying to pull the vent out when he’s in the magical world of half reality and half twilight zone, so this step is proving to be tricky. Makes me wonder… If he is so good at getting his hands out of restraints while sedated, how many times did he sneak out of the house in high school?

Ya, I’ve got ya figured out brother.

20140116-220841.jpg

2) I made it through a week of teaching SIX fitness classes, training my predecessor at my 8-4, teaching my university students at night and visiting the hospital all with only a minor cold. SCORE!

3) My new boss’ boss bringing me flowers and chocolate. Because “that’s the only proper way to cope”. I’ll take it since it would probably be inappropriate for her to give me alcohol?

20140116-215326.jpg

4) Absolutely hysterical car stickers in the hospital parking lot. Mildly inappropriate? You bet!! #sorrynotsorry

20140116-215459.jpg

5) A fabulous friend who made us Chicken Lasagna to help out this week. Oh my. This stuff was so good! And my mom and step dad sure appreciated a hot, home cooked meal!

6) New faces in my fitness classes!! As of tonight I have now had 30 new people just THIS week! I’m over 50 people attending my TurboKick classes consistently! Sure am loving my FIT family and their energy!

7) A husband who can work on my Jeep. Even though said 2012 Jeep SHOULDN’T be having issues since I just bought it in August. Grrrr
Oh wait, this post is about finding the good. Yes, yes. Glad he can work on the piece of crap awesomeness.

20140116-220222.jpg

8) Friday. Tomorrow! Ya buddy! A day off for some pampering, an afternoon with two of my best friends and an evening with my Biker B!tches!!

Did you find the good in your day?

Cheers.

The Making of the Biker B!tch Crew

Allow me to introduce you to some of the coolest chicks you will ever meet.

Image2013 Biker B!tch Crew

Some of these girls I have known for years while others only for a short time, but what I can tell you about this particular group is that we share a unique and special bond that only female bikers can truly understand.

Let me take you through the making of this pretty fantastic group.

Background

Fall 2004 I bought my first Harley.

Summer 2005 I started riding with a crew I had only met a couple of times (including my now bestie, Sara).  They welcomed me with open arms, and I am eternally thankful for that being a new rider at the time.  Sara and I quickly became close friends.   She is one sassy lady with the kindest, most caring heart.  Sara and I have been by each others side through some pretty major life events and I am forever thankful for her friendship.  She is my #1 BBB.   (Best Biker B!tch, for those that may be confused) 🙂

Summer of 2006 Sara and I officially formed the Biker B!tch Crew…. or Duo I guess we should have called it at the time.

Even with just the two of us, we knew we were on to something pretty great. 🙂

ImageSara and I: Summer 2006

Holy Old School  Some of these older year pics have made me laugh-out-loud tonight.

Each year we started to recruit a few more girls to our Crew.

There is something pretty darn awesome about being a woman in control of your own bike.

Empowering

Sassy

Hot

Sara’s sister, Liz, joined us next.  Liz cracks me up with her sense of humor and say it like it is personality.   You know where you stand with these two sisters and I love that about the both of them.  Good people.  Good hearts.

ImageSara, Me, Liz

Then came Tammy; Sara and Liz’s step-sister.  Tammy actually bought my Harley-Davidson Sportster which was fun for me to see it passed on to another kick ass chick!  Loads of fun the four of us gals had that summer, let me tell you.

Soon after Tammy joined us, my friend Heidi came aboard.  Heidi and I met in 2006 when we both started working for the same company.  We bonded and survived that nightmare of a job, quickly became great friends and a few years later I had the privilege of helping her search for her first Harley.

And, this is where the years get a little blurry and I have no photos.

Sad affair, but we won’t dwell.  The best is yet to come!

Fast forward to 2010.

ImageHeidi, Sara, Tammy, Jordan and Liz

Image

The photos above were taken at Heron Bay in Louisville, NE.  Fun little dive bar on the river.  Highly recommend for a summer pit stop.  Don’t expect fanciness.  It is definitely a dive.

ImageLiz, Sara, me, Heidi, Tammy Chrome Lounge, Omaha, NE

Bottoms Up, Ladies!

2011 Biker Bitch Ride we added my girl, Tyree.  Tyree and I met when I moved to Omaha in 2006 and she’s become one of my closest friends and confidants.   We have some pretty wild things in common that helped us bond in just a few short weeks.  Tyree didn’t have a Harley when I first met her, but she invested a few years after.  I also had the privilege of joining Tyree while she made her first Harley purchase!  So much fun.

I can’t help feeling like a proud momma when my friends purchase new bikes!

In true Bitch Ride fashion, it rained the day of our 2011 ride.  It always seems to rain on us, but usually passes through pretty quickly.

NOT. THAT. YEAR.

Seriously….

We were poured on.  But, we didn’t let it damper our spirits.  Nor were we going to be called fair weather riders, so off we went!

2011 biker bitch

Me, Tyree, Liz, Heidi and Sara

Shiddle-E Dee – Clarinda, IA

Image

ImageEssex, IA.  We started a tradition of chalking the tables in 2011.  😉

2012 we added CB, Lara and Kayla to our crew.

CB is an old friend/step-mother figure of Sara and Liz and is such a caring and kind woman.

Kayla is one of my very best friends since our High School Days.  She and I were often up to no good, but we have some of the best memories together and I am forever thankful that we have remained besties in our adult years.  The shenanigans just don’t stop, especially since her husband and mine are inseparable.  They honestly should just move in together and Kayla and I could just pay them a visit every now and then. 🙂

Lara is one of Kayla’s close friends and is an absolute ball of fun.  I love this woman’s humor, compassion and zest for life.

Image

ImageNever truer words.

The day of our 2012 Ride a few of the gals were just meeting each other for the first time.  I was the only one that knew all of them, a couple of the others knew all but maybe one or two and then there were a couple other gals that didn’t know but only one.   By an hour or two into the day it was as if we had known each other for years.

This is the kind of friendship that can’t be explained.  I can say it until I am blue in the face, but there really is something about bonding over two wheels.  We share the danger, the excitement, the adrenaline and the enhanced sense of caution.  We look out for one another, we never leave someone behind, we encourage, poke fun and genuinely care for each other.

But don’t let all that fool ya…. We are often up to no good. 🙂

Image

ImageBottom Right – Clockwise – Kayla, Me, CB, Sara, Lara, Heidi, Liz and Tyree

Image

No shame in saying it how it is…. 😉

Image

For the record, it did rain that day.  Why would you think any different?

2013- 8th Annual B!tch Ride

Our largest group yet!  We added three new ones this year!

Regeana- Tyree and I met her at the Holstein’s 2013 All Women’s Run about a month prior to the Bitch Run.   She showed up to the run by herself in hopes of meeting a few other ladies to ride with.   We started chatting her up at the first bar stop and we have shared the open road with her ever since.  Regeana has two kids and a husband overseas.  She is a rockstar of a woman.

Ashley – a friend of my husband’s who I reached out to and invited her on the B!tch Run spur of the moment.   Remember that talk about building fast friendships on 2 wheels?  Ashley didn’t know a single one of us until this day.  I was even just meeting her for the first time!  So glad she stepped out of her comfort zone and joined us.  She is an absolute sweetheart and we all loved her from the get-go.

And Katina, didn’t know anyone but me (she grew up with my husband), but the gals literally took her under their wings within minutes.  Katina is such a quiet, sweet soul with a sneaky side to her (um, she just up and moved to Colorado for goodness sakes).   Thankful Katina was able to join our rowdy bunch and didn’t run away thinking we were all too crazy.

I am blessed to know such strong, kick ass, beautiful, fun loving women that I can call dear friends.

ImageHeidi, Regeana, Me, Kayla, Sara, Katina, Tyree, Liz, Ashley, Lara

Image

Our first stop on the 8th Annual B!tch Ride landed us in Macedonia, IA for lunch.  Our second stop (above) landed us in Griswold.  And this is where we remained for longer than anticipated due to…… you’ve got it…

Rain.

That’s ok though.  We had more then enough fun while stranded.

ImageOur attempt at recreating our 2012 hand in pocket photo.

Can we say, FAIL?

Image

Stop 3- Red Oak, IA

Image

Stop 4 and 5 – Essex, IA (chalk table) and Imogene, IA for none other then Little Beer Shots.

So. Good.

       So. Lethal.

                You’ve been warned.

Image

Case In Point – You may end up in a kiddie pool….

ImageTyree and Yours Truly

Image

And that my friends, is the History of the Biker B!tch Crew.

Awesome Girlfriends, Crazy Shenanigans, Lots of Laughs, Forever Memories.

__________________________________

Click on the below links to see what we've been up to!

9th Annual Biker B!tch Run | 2014

10th Annual Biker B!tch Run | 2015

11th Annual Biker B!tch Run | 2016

Turkey Trot, Hawkeyes Win, A Bet and our Harley Holiday’s

The Weekend in Review

Thursday

Turkey Trot- hosted by the Council Bluffs YMCA.  Thursday morning offered us a high of 28 degrees, and the run took place alongside the Missouri River, including a crossing of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.  Needless to say it was cold!   My girl, Jessica, ran it with me. 

ImageEven though the wind was in our face, it was still a really neat experience to run across the bridge.  The Bob Kerry Bridge runs across the Missouri River, allowing people to be in Nebraska and Iowa at the same time (what a touristy thing to say).

Image

Image

 

The rest of Thanksgiving Day was spent attending three family dinners.  And, sadly, I didn’t take but ONE picture.  Just one!  I guess I was soaking in all the family time.

Dinner 1: Grandpa Goecker’s. 

ImageClint and my Gr’pa shootin’ the shit.

 

Dinner Two:  My mom’s.  My uncle and aunt were in town so we swung by to chat with everyone for a few hours before heading to…

Dinner Three: Clint’s mom’s.  Dinner, cocktails and family time for another few hours.

 

Friday

Hawkeye vs. Husker Game

ImageWe are Hawkeye Supporters in this house!  I don’t call myself a fan, because I don’t follow every last thing the Hawkeye Football Team does, however I always root for the Black and Gold. 

 

ImageHow fun is my Grateful Hawkeye shirt? (and my ridiculous selfie)

 

It was a great game and awesome to see the Hawkeyes take the WIN!

Image

We had some friends attend the game in Lincoln, so they came up to our house afterwards to celebrate with a few beers.

Image

I said a few…. ahem….

Image

A few years ago, Tyree and Clint made a bet on the Husker/Hawkeye Game.  Huskers won, which meant Clint lost and therefore had to wear Tyree’s Husker Shirt for the night.

ImageSexy.

 

Well, paybacks are a B!tch, and apparently this bet is long standing.  Doesn’t Tyree look adorable in this Hawkeye shirt??

Image

Shenanigans. 

 

Saturday

It started to look like Christmas in the Pirtle household!  I spent the entire day decorating while watching CSI reruns.  It was a PERFECT day.

Image

Image

My entire tree is Harley Davidson theme. 

Did you expect anything else?  I mean, really.

🙂

 

Image

 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

Cheers to a great Sunday!

 

So, My Grandpa Beat Me in a 5K Race… The Story Line to My Half-Marathon

It was December 2012 and I made a commitment…

To run my first ever half-marathon.

Image

What was I thinking?!  I was the girl who had run a total of FOUR 5K’s at the time I decided to set this ridiculous goal.

One of the above mentioned 5K’s was with my Grandpa, who has been running for years!

Before we get into this half-marathon business, let me first recap that educational 5K day.

no-run

I believe it was back in spring of 2002.  Grandpa had asked if I was interested in running a race with him, and since I had never run more than a mile (at that point in my life) I decided it would be a good challenge and a perfect opportunity to spend time with Ol’ Gr’pa G.

And-so began “training”.   I thought I was doing great with a few jogs here and there, maybe a mile, maybe less, skip a few days, walk/jog.  You know….

I mean, I was still in college for goodness sakes.  Who exercised for FUN then?  I thought it was just about drinking beer and squeaking by decent grades during that stage of life!?

Fast forward to day of race.

I started out strong, running alongside Grandpa.  Then the 1/2 mile marker hit and I was D.Y.I.N.G.

Seriously, dying.  At a 1/2 mile?

Damn you, beer.

beer51

I told Grandpa to just keep going.  About a mile and half into the race was our turn-around point.

You know what happened?

Grandpa passed me….

Do I dare mention it was BEFORE I even hit said turn-around point?

Super cool.

Let us move along to about mile 2.2ish.   I am thinking I want to just quit.  I am clearly in last place by now.  I am looking down at the ground when I start hearing my name, so I look up and see this figure running towards me.

Ya, it’s him.  He had already finished and decided to run back and help me finish ‘strong’.

Cue the humiliation.

Grandpa, seriously.   Did you REALLY just do that?  I mean, COME ON!  Pretend you don’t know me or something at this point.  Don’t bring attention to the fact that I am your granddaughter who is clearly way outta shape and really only wants a beer in the worst possible way right now.

Insert about 6 years of NO running after that.

I had run a few fun 5K’s that previous summer leading up to my decision to run a Half.  Think Color Run style.  A lot of fun and no heavy competition.

I wanted to set a major goal for myself that was rewarding both internally and externally.

You see, my grandpa means the world to me.  All my family does, of course, but this is something I wanted to do for him.  For me too, of course, but mostly him.  He has supported me in ways that I can’t ever thank him enough or pay him back for.  Doing something like this was my way of showing him how much I admire and look up to him.

And so it began.

I looked up multiple plans online for running a half-marathon.  I took several of these suggested training outlines, mashed them together and made one that fit my liking.

I also didn’t tell anyone.  I think it was around week 3 of training before I even told my own husband.  Maybe week 4 that I told my mom and a few friends.  Gradually, most all my friends and family found out in one way or another.

Of course, I had set-backs along the way and didn’t follow the training plan to a ‘T’.  But, I stuck with it until about three weeks before the actual race when I was sidelined with an injury.  I had been plagued with pain in my lower back and hips that often woke me up at night from the excruciating pain.  I went to see a few specialists, and basically was told to take it easy and fore-go running until the pain was gone.  I tried to run the week before the race, but the furthest I could get was maybe 2-3 miles, so I gave up all forms of exercising those last few days.

I was incredibly down and out and feeling sorry for myself.  At this point I even shed a few tears.  Dangit, I had set a goal, stuck with it, told multiple people and was feeling so good about myself.  Now, I was pissed.

During those last few days I received flowers, candy, cakes… the works.

All over a silly half-marathon.   I have some of the coolest friends.

goodlucks

And now; it’s the day of the Half.

I am GOING to do this.

I HAD to do this.

Running gear, hat, shoes, Sport Beans, Race Number and iPod.

I’m Doing This!

 109

It was FREEZING that day.  Finger numbing freezing.  And drizzly.

I didn’t care.

Ear buds in, Playlist cranked, GPS on and off I went!   The first two miles I remember being incredibly difficult.  My shins were so tight from the cold and I was so worried about my hip.  After two miles, I started warming up, I started actually listening to the music and I remember looking up at the sun and feeling this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment already.  I WAS going to do this.

I hit mile 5 and I was feeling GREAT.  I had been going a comfortable and steady 10.15 minute per mile pace up to that point so I decided to kick it up a notch.  It was at that very moment that I saw one of my colleagues (who is an avid marathoner) standing on the sidelines cheering people on.  She totally made my day.

My pace kicked up a little more.

Coming up on mile 6.5 and I could see my family.  My mom, Clint, my friends….  and then my tears.   I was half way there, I was feeling great and here they all are cheering me on.   The emotions took over for a little bit, and I welcomed the feeling.  It was all this emotion that was carrying me through.  What an incredible feeling.

Here I Come (pink hat)

098 2

There I Go

099 2

Mile 7,8 and 9 were a blur.  I remember around mile 9 debating on whether or not to pass a few people.  Internally, I wanted to pass them.  Externally, I didn’t want them re-passing me later.

I committed and passed them.

Mile 10 and I see my crazy friends and family again.

112 2

Mile 11.   Sucked.

I was HURTING.  My shins were tight, my lungs burning and my calves felt like they were going to snap.   Mile 11.5 and I felt like I was the only one out there.

Mile 12.  Almost there.  My pace was faltering heavily and I found myself giving pep talks every few steps.

Don’t slow down.  Don’t stop.  No walking.  Almost there.  You can do this.  You ARE doing this.

I see mile marker 13 and I start to tear up again.  I tell myself that once I hit the mile marker I was going to sprint to the end.

And sprint I did.

113

114

115

I crossed the finish line at 2:10:36.

I did it.

This is me seconds after crossing the finish line.  I couldn’t catch my breath and I was sobbing.

016 2

Husband to the rescue.

118

My Support Team

Tyree and Heidi

101

 My Mom

117 2

Clint

104 2

And my Grandpa and Grandma.  The guy who beat me in a 5K all those years ago.  The Man of the Hour (or 2 hours)

106 2

I think I made him proud.

126 2

What an emotional journey.  One I am so thankful to have experienced.

Coming up to that day I had no idea if I was going to be able to participate or not.  My biggest fear was failing.  I didn’t want to fail.  So many races I had signed up for and backed out of.  I wanted this one to be different.

This one was different.

121