January 29, 2012

106 days

It has been 106 days since my husband, Steve, was killed.  On one hand it seems so far away then on the other hand it seems like just yesterday because I see him everywhere.

I see his truck parked in the yard and see him getting out of it.  I see him sitting is his chair next to me eating dinner and watching TV.  I see him laying next to me at night.   I see him in his shop working on a new guitar.  I hear his music and see him walking around the 145 with his wireles mike.  He is a part of me and everything in our house is a part of him. 

I am trying to clean out 2 junks drawers in the kitchen.  You know what I mean.  Everyone has a junk drawer - it accumulates all sorts of crap.  We have lived in our house for over 21 years - So you know what can accumulate.  The drawers have been cleaned many times - but still the crap that I have found.

A lot of this crap is from the kids - probably from as long ago as from Scott was in Kindergarten (Scott is 26 years old).  I kept it because "you never know when you might need a set of colored pencils and glue stick".  Well the colored pencils are broken and the glue stick is all dried up.  So much is going in the trash.

But I am finding so much of Steve's stuff.  Bits and pieces left over from a repair project.  I have found Screws, nails, nuts and bolts, and little connectors that I don't know what they connected.  I have found little zip lock bags of parts - wishing I could ask Steve if these were important or did he mean to throw them away.  I have found more batteries than I know what to do with - several are corroded with white battery acid leaking out.  Little tools, screw drivers, allen wrenches, eye glass repair kits, electrical tape, bottles of super glue and enough shoe laces for all the shoes in the house.

I had to stop for a while and take a break.  Crying over kitchen sink repair parts was just too much. Just made me think of all the things that Steve did around the house for us.  It never failed, if something needed fixing - Steve would stop whatever he was doing and fix it.  There might be some complaining, but he did so much automatically - it was just the person that he was.

I miss you so much.

Fran and Steve at our nephew, Jason's, wedding May 2008

Corbin, Steve and Fran and our son, Chris', wedding.

January 22, 2012

Going on... One Step at a Time

Today, I get to try to start running again.  I injured my ankle on one of my "easy" runs 2 days after Christmas. I had been training for the Louisiana Marathon, which took place in Baton Rouge last weekend.  Instead of trying for what could have been my best time ever on an extremely flat course, I was cheerleader.  My grandson, Corbin,  ran a half mile race and my daughter, Jennifer,  ran her first 5K since having the baby in September. My friends Lee and Rosalyn both had great times.  I was so proud of them all.

Linda, Brandy, Jennifer, and Corbin after their runs

Lee and Rosalyn before their runs
 So after, 3 weeks of cold, heat, compression, elevation, Motrin, massage therapy and physical therapy, I have been cleared to run 1 mile.  It is a start.  But at 54 years old, starting over after nearly a month without running is hard.  It will take some time to get me back (if ever) to my pre-injury level.  I just need to take it slowly and work on my training very diligently.

I follow a blog called:  Shut Up and Run.  This blog is written by an amazing runner and athlete.  She is very funny with her blog and says things out loud - that I think.  Recently, her cousin was tragically killed.  She has blogged about the tragic events and how she is trying to cope.  She says that it is helping her.

So for those of you who read my blog, you are probably going to see more written of Steve.  I am finding that writing about this is very therapeutic.  And these days, I need therapy.  My blog is very basic - Jennifer's Blog is so much better.

Crying is just an every day event for me.  I see something in the house or think of something that Steve did and the tears just flow.  Friday, I went grocery shopping.  I still can't walk down the pretzel aisle.  I just look over and start crying.

Steve was so talented in so many ways.  I probably took him for granted way too much.  I am listening to his music - he was a great musician and song writer.  I really never listened so closely before he died.

He was good at everything that he did.  He was so good with his hands.Whether making a guitar, fixing the tractor, fixing the shower, or sitting down with Corbin and making the best train track ever.  He was a Harley Davidson motorcycle rider - but he changed diapers, fixed dinner, grew roses, and washed dishes.  I would listen to other wives complain about their husbands - I didn't have anything to complain about - I would just brag about what a wonderful husband I had.

The Gibson Family, October 13, 2010
Acme Oyster House - New Orleans
I cleaned yesterday.  Scrubbed toilets, vacuumed, and dusted.  Another form of "Fran's Therapy". The weather was beautiful outside.  I know what Steve would have said, "Open the windows".  So that is what I did.  Steve would have liked that.

So as with my running, one step at a time, I am trying to go on without Steve...One step at a time.

January 16, 2012

Frannie's 2011 review

As said in my daughter Jennifer's Blog, it is best to start with the most important events of the year.  Without even thinking, 2011 will always be the year that Steve died. Everything else pales in comparison.  But 2011 had a very wonderful event.  Grandson, Cole, was born.  Already, he is developing a personality of his own.  He seems like a happy baby.  I think that he is just holding it all back until he turns 2.

Welcome to the world Cole William Lohrke

Fran feeding Cole in the ER - 9-27-2011
Just starting a 20 day hospitalization
 During 2011, I ran my fastest 5K, fastest 10K, fastest half Marathon, and fastest Marathon ever.  I travelled frequently for my races.  Steve got bored and didn't want to come along.  But, he would always call me and asked me how I did.  I sometimes just feel like he is away at Daytona (where he didn't usually carry his phone).  I miss telling him about my day or my run.  But I can hear him anyway saying something like:  "You know the deal" 

This was one of my most busy years.  During 2011, I finished:

                               2 Marathons
                               7 Half Marathons
                               3 10Ks
                               4 5Ks
                               4 Triathlons

January - Park to Park Half Marathon - Sulfur, LA

This is a picture of Sara (24) and me (25) at the start of the
Park to Park Half Marathon.  I decided that I needed a motivational
picture on the refrigerator for loosing a few pounds.  I showed Steve
several pictures and said "which one makes me look the fatest?"
He picked this picture.  Only a husband who really loves you
could answer a question like that honestly.

February - Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon

Grandson, Corbin, jumped in at the end of the race
and helped me cross the finish line.

March - Red River Run - 10K
              Charity 5k - PR - 29:00
              Rock N Roll Dallas Half Marathon

Steve and me at the Mardi Gras Ball.
Steve didn't stay in the suit long.
His band, Leroy Skillet, began playing
shortly after this was taken
April - Anacoco Tail Twisting 10K - PR - 58:52
           Crescent City Classic

May - Rocketchix Triathlon I - LSU - Baton Rouge, LA
          Armadillo Stampede  - 5K
          Combat Triathlon - Texas City, TX

June - Grandma's Marathon - PR - 4:59:47
          Sugarland Triathlon - Sugarland, TX

This was me in my Mardi Gras Costume
for Grandma's marathon.  Unfortunately,
it seems that most people in Minnesota
don't know what Mardi Gras is... and just
called me the "Bird Lady".

July - Rocketchix Triathlon II

August - Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon

This is the last picture that I can find of Steve and me together.
We are having breakfast at the Booker Lewis House when
his sisters came to visit for Jennifer's baby shower.
This was taken August 6, 2011.

Steve taking Corbin to his first day of 1st Grade.
One of my favorite pictures that Jennifer has taken.
Don't know what made Corbin look so happy, but I
know that Steve loved Corbin.

September - Rock N Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon

October - Alexandria Komen 5K
                Jazz Half Marathon - PR - 1:00:20

This is probably the last picture take of Steve.  He was driving
Kris up to the Hospital.  He was driving her to the hospital
to stay the night with Cole.

November - Keeping it Alive CenLa's Half Marathon
                    Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

December - Christmas Festival 5K - Natchitoches, LA

I got tired just writing all these events down.  This was just one crazy year.  I might have attempted too many events, but I was able to finish all with fairly decent times.  I had been training for a Marathon in January but fell on December 27th. Previous post describes the details. So No Marathon for me.  I did go and chear my running partners - who both had very good times.

After reading an article in Runner's World soemthing about What to next in your running life... The article focused on what do do once you have met personal goals.  I thought about getting involved and working with others to run their FIRST half marathon.  I sent out flyers, put an article in The Guardian (Fort Polk's local paper), and sent out information on Facebook.  After just a few short weeks, I was e-mailing over 70 people.  I was so overwhelmed with the numbers of people.  Because of this effort, I met some wonderful new friends (Lee, Heidi, and Rosalyn).  Several of which have helped me through the last 2 horrible months.  I did help 2 people run their first Half Marthon and introduced several people to new running partners.  All in all, it was one of the better things that I did in 2011.

Hoping that 2012 is a good year.  I know that it shouldn't be worse that 2011.

I have some family vacations planned, of course some runs (already registered), and 2 cruises with my in-laws.  I will try to be a better blogger.

This is one of the displays at Steve's Memorial.
Steve was loved by so many.
I miss him..

January 5, 2012

Injured - Races TBD

Forgot to post this - was still one of  my "Saved" posts

On Tuesday, my SmartCoach plan called for an easy 2 mile run.  I am a morning runner.  I just don't seem to have the energy to run after work any more. But with time changes and the time of year, 0600 is very dark.  I prefer to run outside rather that at the gym.  Running outside in the dark is like playing Russian Roulette.  You can play for a long time - but eventually something bad is going to happen.

I run my easy 2 milers on the running trail around the golf course at Fort Polk, LA.  It is an asphault trail with easy Louisiana hills that encompasses the golf course on post.  My friend, Rosalyn, and I are about 1.5 miles into the run. I am feeling good. My hip doesn't hurt.  Then, suddenly, I am on the ground in extreme pain.

Apparently, my right foot landed just on the edge of the asphault near a large hole.  My ankle rolled and I am on the ground.  I sit on the ground while Rosalyn goes and gets her car.  But the ground is too cold and wet, so, I hobble and meet her about half way.

I manage to drive myself back home, then nurse Fran goes into action.  I immediately take 600mg of Motrin, fill a bag with ice, and elevate my leg for about 30 minutes.  I go to the Emergency Room.  X-rays are all normal.  Just a "bad sprain".  Bad sprain can mean horrible ligament damage.  I have a consult for an Orthopedic doctor - but with military medicine - It might take weeks.  Only an MRI will tell if there is any damage.

In the mean time - I am elevating, icing, and taking Motrin.  I am able to move the ankle and walk. But, I am taking it very gingerly.

I just don't know what this means for Race plans.  The Louisiana Marathon is less than 3 weeks away.  I did have a 20 miler scheduled for Sunday.  Even if I can't run for 3 weeks, I can probably still do the half.  So dissapointed.  This was going to be my PR - I was hoping for a 4:45 or less.  I had done all my training perfectly. 

We will just have to make new plans - and reevaluate in about a week.