Monday, April 19, 2010

Miles for Madison

Baby Madison with 2 yr old big brother Jackson

Miles for Madison

When Mike and I started our Mini training back at the end of January, our goal was to simply complete our training and complete the Marathon in the smaller goals we'd set for ourselves. On January 30th, our lives were changed upon hearing the news that friends of ours, both employees of our church, had lost their 5wk old baby girl, little Madison. Their blessing that was born on Christmas morning, had suddenly returned home to the Lord in only a short 5 weeks. It was unexpected, it was heart wrenching, and painful for all as we were there at the Memorial service for this sweet baby girl.

Mike and I ached in feeling that we were helpless to do anything but as Mike and Janese, Madison's parents showed unfaltering faith and strength in the Lord, we both felt compelled and called to give in return to them for the unwavering service and faith that they gave to us, our church, and their lives in general to the Lord. So Mike and I decided to form a Facebook group and we are logging our mileage ran/walked and are seeking sponsorship for the miles we've logged in memory of little Madison, to be given to the this family in assistance for the medical bills and unexpected financial burden that this young family was facing.

This cause has driven us harder and farther than we would have gone and it's kept us motivated even on those cold nights and days we are struggling to get out there and do it, as it isn't for or about us anymore. It's for the love of this family and the loss they've endured.

We hope you'll consider sponsoring and supporting us financially for this and if so, please join the Facebook page or contact me directly and we can go from there. *** Please know that you may sponsor at whatever rate you desire, as any amount as big or little as it is, will be greatly appreciated.*** Even if you are unable to support us financially, we sincerely appreciate your support in prayers and notes of encouragement as we are nearing the goal of completing the 2010 One America Indy 500 Mini Marathon

Here is the mileage we have logged thus far:

For the four weeks that contained February, from 1/31 through 2/27:

Mike: 64 miles
Kacie: 49 miles

For the four weeks that contained March, from 2/28 through 3/27 :

Mike: 54.75 miles
Kacie: 62.60 miles

So far for April- from 3/28 to tonight:
Mike: 43.75 miles
Kacie: 41.90 miles

Sponsorship info:
We received word from Pastor Steve that Connection Pointe Christian Church has agreed to support this cause! Thus all funds will be made out to CPCC and then directed to the their family from there. This thereby makes all pledges donated tax deductible.

The payments will be need to be marked with a memo of "Miles for Madison" and sent to the church itself- address to be provided if you contact me with interest in sponsoring and I'll get the necessary info to you.

We did ask though and since the E-payments option via CPCC's website does not have the ability to put a Memo on the payment, so this method of payment is not an option.

Bless you all and thank you in advance for your support and sponsorships!

Spring Break 2010

We set up a busy week for this week, from the end of March through April 2nd.

Monday- Walked to the park and flew/attempted to fly kites/MD loses a tooth!
Tuesday- Worked on meal planning/MD's gymnastics
Wednesday- Worked on meals/KT's first soccer practice
Thursday- Attempted to go to the zoo- went to the Children's Museum
Friday- Went to the Indy Zoo with Julie G and her girls, Miss S and Miss E. :)

Monday- walked to the park. We put MD and AC in the bike trailer, after converting it to stroller mode and KT pushed the two of them as Rei and I took off in the lead. We walked the 2 miles there and afterwards walked the 2 miles home.

We made our way there and spent the day at the park- starting off with flying one kite and trying to fly the second one. The second one was very flimsy and it ripped pretty quickly.

Here I am trying to get the flimsy one in the air- KT is holding Rei for me.

Once we gave up on that one, the kids were happy to share the one we did get up in the air and here is KT showing AC how to old it and keep it up there by tugging on the line and then she handed it over to him.

Before long, the kids were getting hungry, so we ate our picnic lunch and then headed over to Blast off Playground for them to play for a while.

Here's KT and MD on the tire swing calling for AC to come push the two of them:

AC looking over an overhang and grinning from ear to ear for the camera and showing off his shiny blue shades:

A profile shot of Miss Rei watching the kids off in the distance playing, the sun shining on her shiny black face:

MD with her head poking through the peep hole:

We head on home and everyone is just exhausted and tired after a long day of fun. :) Later that after noon, MD bites into an apple and begins to scream. I figured she's knocked the tooth that was starting to turn colors and shifting sideways to make a big gap on the top, but to my surprise, she had knocked out a lower tooth.

Here she is- with the gap from the missing tooth and the gap nearly right above it:

Tuesday I worked on meal planning for our family. We've taken to purchasing bulk quantities of meats and stuff and I prepare 3 months worth of dinner dishes, with nothing repeating on a 4 week rotation. After preparing all the foods, they go in the freezer and this has helped IMMENSELY with our "grab & go" bad habits when we dont have this in place. We were able to spend about $1100 for 3 months of meals for a family of five! :)

Wednesday- We played with gerbils and I worked some more on the meal planning stuff. KT and MIke had their first practices for this spring season. I can't believe it's already that time of the year already!

Thursday- Grandma took a day off work to spend with the kids and our original plan was to go the Kohl's and buy the shoes needed for each of the kids and then head to the Indy Zoo for the day. However when made our way downtown and saw the two lines of cars nearly a 1/4 of a mile back from the zoo entrance, we quickly made a change of plans and headed to the Indy Children's Museum instead.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Ortho Indy Mini Training Series 15K Race- WE DID IT!!! :)

Since we had finally reached an agreement and was all set for the Mini, that then meant we should have the go ahead to participate. I had really hoped to get into at least one race before the Mini itself so that we could experience what the start and what the course atmosphere was like to some degree before we actually did the Mini itself.

So when I got the offer from Melissa- who is training with me in our church Mini training program, for a ride to and from the One America 15K Training Series race, I was really excited. It was probably going to be my only opportunity to get to do a race before the Mini itself- however it did mean that I needed to set up someone to watch MD and AC while Hubby and KT were at their first soccer game. So I was able to get that all set up (THANK YOU Grandma and Grandpa for watching them!) and we were good on the childcare front.

So then I looked into registering for the race. I was no longer able to register ahead of time and would have to do on site registration the morning of. So then I began to worry- what if I had issues with the staff while there- so I called Mr. Powers- the VP of Operations that I'd been negotiating with for the Mini stuff and told him of my interest in participating in the race. He was all for it and said simply that all the same rules for the Mini would apply and that I just had to make sure I maintained an 18 minute pace. I asked that he make sure that his staff was aware that we intended to come, so that I wouldn't have any issues with registration the morning of the race and he said he'd be happy to do so.

So Rei and I got up bright and early on Saturday morning at 5am. I fed her, gave her the rimidyl that the vet had recommended after she came up a little sore after the last long walk we'd did and took her out and breaked her. I got myself dressed and ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich with a Gatorade to get me going for the morning. Melissa and her hubby showed up at 6am and we made our way downtown as the sun was coming up.

The start and registration was in the Eiteljorg Museum and we parked, very close to the doors as we were one of the first ones there, and went inside on the lower level. We all somehow missed the sign that said registration off to the right, so as we headed on back, I headed to the help desk and I didn't even have to say a word to anyone. A lady came flying out from behind the table and said "OK, which one of you is Kacie?" and she was very polite, very helpful as was all of the staff there and they got me registered and we were all set!

Here is the course map of the route we followed- 15K or 9.3 miles:

After we registered and Melissa and her hubby picked up their packets, we settled on a bench for a bit as we watched people come in. We got our numbers put on, which had our timing devices and I decided to ditch the jacket I'd worn- which I was glad I'd done later on. I was wearing an under armour shirt with a T shirt over that. We hung out for a bit more and we started to see members of our church Mini training group come in. It was a blessing to see familiar faces and even more of a blessing that David- our head walk trainer and the wonderful gentleman that has worked with Rei and I each week in this training program, he was there and was really glad to see us there. Rei immediately perked up and hopped up to say Hi to him as well. :)

The Race started at 8am and about 7:30, I took Rei out back of the building by the canal to break one last time before the race itself and we walked up and down the section of the canal for about 8 tenths of a mile for a short warm up before the race. Then we headed in and I got in the LONG line for the restroom. Just as I came out, it was time to head out to the starting line up and the group of us from our church training program somehow wound up pretty much together, so we walked out together and stood waiting for the start to take place. Rei and I hung to the back since we were required to start at the back of the field and David and Steve, another wonderful gentleman, who is one of the trainers for the church program decided they were going to stay back and to the walk with Rei and I.

Then David saw Dick Wolfsie of Channel 8 News walking about and he grabbed him and told him about our story and that we are the first guide dog team to do these races. Mr. Wolfsie was ALL over it and was trying to do an interview quickly and the start took place. His camera man had to film the take off of the race and then Mr. Wolfsie pulled him back to try to interview us. The Mini people seemed a little frustrated and within a few minutes stepped in and told us we had to move on because they needed to open up the street. The pacers- a group of mini people that walk the 18 minute required pace said we needed to go and David told them to go on, that we'd catch up with them. So Mr. Wolfsie was trying to figure out how to get this interview in and the Mini official said they had my contact info, that they'd give it to him and he could get in touch with me. So then we were OFF!!!

We were definitely the last ones to take off from the starting line and boy we took off at a fast pace. Rei was almost trying to lope as she scared me a bit that she was limping, but she settled down very quickly into her normal trotting pace. We very quickly overtook the first stragglers as we rounded the first curve of the course. Not long after that we caught up with the pacers walking the 18 minute pace and then Melissa and her hubby was soon after that.

We hit the one mile marker and we were pushing along nicely at nearly a 14:27 pace. We zipped along at this point hitting the back of the field and David dis an awesome job of leading in front of us and calling out: Passing on the Left/Right, Guide dog coming up behind you! People quickly moved over to let us through and I quickly lost track of how many people we had passed. Steve pretty much stayed to our right to let me know of any changes in pavement and and did a wonderful job of encouraging us on throughout the race.

We kept up the mile eating pace and to my shock, we maintained under a 15 minute mile for every mile of the race. As we came to the first water/Gatorade station- I took a quick short drink and Rei did awesome drinking out of the cups and showed renewed energy after her drink. We gave her water in at the next station and then we skipped the next one and watered her at the last one before finish line.

We did very well through the entire race and as we went along I'll admit, I think I hit a wall between mile 8 and 9, where I was just ready to be done with it. I was tired and ready to quit, but I mentally got myself through it by looking at Rei and her dedication to me and what she was doing. I kept telling myself that is Rei could keep going, I could too and that got me through that last mile and a half of the race. :)

We rounded the last corner and saw the finish line and Rei immediately picked up pace knowing we were nearly done and we breezed across the finish line and one of the guys from our training program was there to see us in and congratulate us on finishing the race! It was such an exhilarating feeling crossing the line and knowing that we had DONE IT!!! I immediately bent over and was trying to catch my breath and gave Rei a back scratch and rub all over telling her what a good girl she was and then we headed on down the path to all the goodies they had for us- bananas, water, cookies, apples, chips/pretzels and so forth. Rei got a treat of 2 bananas for the hard work she put in and we headed inside and got our official time. We had done it!

It turns out our official time for the 9.3 miles was 2 hours 13 minutes 45 seconds and upon looking up our results here is what we had:

bib number: 7871
gender: F
division place: 155
gender place: 771
time: 2:13:45
pace: 14:21
guntime: 2:19:17

And here is the print out of my offical race time:

and here is the bib that I wore:

Unfortunately, as all of us were trying to travel as light as we could, none of us had brought a camera. :( So I'm anxiously awaiting for the Training Series photo gallery to add the 15K pictures to see if there are any of Rei and I.

Here's the link:

We'll see if they add any.

So we are gearing up for May 8th, when we do the 13.1 miles and follow this race course:

Please pray for us as we continue to train!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rei and the Mini Marathon

The last 5 months have been an interesting in learning to stand up and fight for the rights of using my guide dog. Last November, Hubby had decided to sign up for the OneAmerica Indy 500 Mini Marathon and I had toyed with the idea in the past but never thought I could get myself into shape to be able to do it. Plus I didn't know if I'd want to commit to that as well.

So Mike and I had done various things to try to lose weight, get in shape and so forth, but nothing had panned out or held our attention to continue the committment to sticking with it. So we both knew that it was going to take some financial committment to something, so we decided to take the step off the edge and do the Mini Marathon.

So with the increasing determination to do this, before signing up for the marathon I began to read through the rules and regulations of the the course in which it explicitly states NO animals allowed. Thus I sent an email to the 500 Festival group requesting their cooperation to be able to use Rei during the race. I did not receive any answer back for a week and then went ahead and signed up before the early registration ended. The response I received back was rather surprising.

2009-11-16- Response from the 500 Festival Group:
Hello Kacie!
Thank you for contacting the 500 Festival and for your interest in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini- Marathon. We would definitely welcome your participation in the event if you are able to supply a visual guide. Unfortunately, we do not allow any animals, including service animals, on the course not only for the safety of all of the participants, but also for the safety of the animal.

If you are interested in having a visual guide for the event, please let us know and we can provide you with the name and contact info for a company that may have guides available. Also, please note that both you and the guide must register for the event.

Thank you again for your interest!
Have a great day,

At this point, I contacted the Partners in Policymaking network and initiated some support and assistance in standing up to this. Mr. Greg Meyer, a fellow Partners grad and adovcate worked on this and was able to get us to the point of talking with the VP of Operations for the 500 Festival group.

The VP of Operations came back with a proposal that was unacceptable in many ways to me.

Proposal received in the attachment to the above listed email:

Dear Kacie Weldy;

Thank you for your interest in participating in the One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

The 500 Festival encourages visually-impaired individuals to participate in the event and we look forward to your participation.

As you know, our policy prohibits animals of any kind from participating in the Mini. This policy is designed and intended for the safety and security of all participants and is not intended, in any way, to discourage the participation of visually impaired athletes. Indeed, our policy is consistent with policies throughout the country.

Our goal is to encourage safe participation. Therefore, we are pleased to provide you with two options for participation.

The first, and our recommended option, is that you participate with the aid of a human guide. This has proven to be a very constructive method of allowing full participation and we have had several participants in years past who have participated in this fashion. We believe this would best serve your desire to participate as well as the interests of the rest of the field in maintaining safety.

Should you desire to use a “service animal,” we can accommodate you under certain conditions. You will be required to:

- provide us with validated registration for the participating service animal;
- agree to muzzle the service animal while it is in or around the race route;
- provide us with your plan for how you intend to clean up any animal defecation on or around the race route in order to reduce potential danger to other participants;
- agree to start at the back of the participant field to avoid trip hazards for other participants, as much as possible;
- sign a liability and indemnification agreement (which will be provided by the 500 Festival), as authorized by Indiana law, for any and all damage that may be done or may be caused by the service animal; and
- provide the above items to the 500 Festival on or before April 1, 2010.

We can and are willing to provide your participation through either of these aforementioned accommodations. Thank you for your inquiry and please let me know if you would like to discuss this further.

We look forward to your participation in the 2010 One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

Vice President Operations

At this point we began negotiations back and forth in which I requested a copy of the legal agreement that was referred to in the above proposal.

Liability and Indemnification Agreement received in an attachment of the prior email:



500 Festival, Inc., under the terms and conditions contained in this document, shall permit the undersigned ("Participant") to participate in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini- Marathon ("the Mini") with the use of a service animal.

I agree that my participation is subject to and conditioned on my signing this document ("Agreement") and agreeing to be legally bound by the terms of this Agreement.

I acknowledge and agree that:
(i) Any "service animal," as defined by Indiana Code 16-32-3, et seq., I use in connection with my participation in the Mini is:
a. Properly immunized under Indiana Code 35-46-3, et seq.; and
b. Is properly licensed, if required, pursuant to any state or local law or ordinance; and
c. Is especially trained for purposes of being used as a guide animal pursuant to Indiana Code 16-32-3, et seq.; and
d. Will remain muzzled at all times while on or around the race course and when within 100 feet of any other participant.

(ii) My use of a service animal is completely voluntary, for my own personal benefit, and is not being required by 500 Festival, Inc. I have been offered to opportunity to use a human guide for the Mini and I have declined that offer.

(iii) I hereby release 500 Festival, Inc., together with its sponsors, employees, agents, members of its Board of Directors, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and any other person or organization associated with 500 Festival, Inc. ("Released Parties") from any and all claims or liability of any type whatsoever, including, but not limited to, property damage, physical injury, mental or emotional injury, defamation, and invasion of privacy, which I may suffer arising out of, based upon, resulting from, or in any way connected with my participation in the Mini.

(iv) I will not sue any of the Released Parties for any claim arising out of, based upon, resulting from, or in any way connected with my participation in the Mini.

(v) Pursuant to Indiana Code 16-32-3, et seq., I will be responsible for and will defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Released Parties from and against all claims, damages and expenses including, but not limited to, attorneys' fees and legal costs of defense, arising out of, based upon, resulting from, or in any way connected with or alleged to arise, be based upon, result from, or be in any way connected with my actions or the actions of my service animal while participating in the Mini.

I hereby represent that I am of legal age, legally competent to execute this document, and accept full responsibility therefor.

Dated this ___ day of __________________, 20___.

PARTICIPANT ____________________________________________


This proposal and liability form posed several issues which I was not willing to sign off and agree to. First and foremost, was the requirement of having to muzzle Rei. Other items that I had real issues with was starting at the back of the entry field and moreso the lability form which stated that I was leagally liable for any legal recourse that the 500 Festival group may incure for whatever reason because of the presence of Rei as my Service dog being in the race with me.

The next several months were spent corresponding back and forth and eventually contactint Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services (IPAS) to more forward in negotiations between their legal staff and the legal staff for the 500 Festival. In mid March, the 500 Festival agreed to drop the requirement of having to use a muzzle on Rei, however they stated they were not willing to forego the liablity requirements. We reached the point of filing a complaint with the Dept. of Justice, and with many thanks to IPAS and their awesome staff, the 500 Festival has agreed to allow Rei and I to be in the race, to do so without a muzzle, and that I am only required to provide the same liability and waiver form that all the other participants are required to sign. Rei and I will be starting at the back of the entry field and I have provided the other items requested. Thus we will be in the Race!

We have been training for a good while now and are seriously logging some miles in preparation for this.

Thursday - November 12, 2009
Starting Day!

We walked four 1/10ths of a mile laps around the CPCC gym in 10 minutes.

Mike and I signed up for the Mini tonight and have our confirmations and Bib Numbers!
My goal: To finish before being caught by the bus!

How I feel: I’m nervous and scared of going into this through the winter. I am trying to have confidence that I can do this and finish the race.

Friday - November 13, 2009

We went to the zoo with the girls for four hours. Walked the entire zoo and some circles too, slow and leisurely, but with Rei strongly pulling. Easily did 2-3 miles of walking

Saturday - November 14, 200.
Minutes: 25 Walked 1.75 miles, Weather: 65 and sunny

Monday - November 16, 2009
Minutes: 25 Walked 1.75 miles, Weather: 51 while cloudy and damp.

Tuesday - November 17, 2009
Minutes: 22 Walked 1.75 miles, Weather: 45 while cloudy and damp.

Wednesday - November 18, 2009
Minutes: 33 Walked Approx. 2 miles, Weather: 45 while cloudy and damp.

Sunday - November 22, 2009
Minutes: 38 Walked Approx. 2 miles, Weather: Low 50’s while sunny.

Wednesday - November 25, 2009
Minutes: 42 Walked Approx. 2 miles, Weather: Low 40’s, wet and misting rain.

Friday - November 27, 2009
Minutes: 30 mins 32 secs Walked. 2 miles, Weather: Low 50’s, sunny.

Sunday - November 27, 2009
Minutes: 45 mins 22 secs Walked. 3 miles, Weather: Upper 40’s, cloudy.

Friday – December 4, 2009
Minutes: 31 mins Walked 2.3 miles, Weather: Mid 20’s, sunny.

Saturday – December 5, 2009
Minutes: 45 mins Walked 3 miles,

Then we started the Mini Marathon training at church.
Week 1
1/24- 2 miles, 26 mins
1/25- 2 miles, 26 mins
1/26- 3 miles- 52 mins
1/27- Rest Day
1/28 - 2.4 miles, 32? mins
1/29 - 3 miles ?
1/30 - Rest Day

Week 2
1/31 - 3.5 miles, 65 mins
2/1- 4 miles, 1 hr 5 mins
2/2- 2.5 miles, 37 mins
2/3- Rest Day
2/4- 2.4 miles, 32 mins
2/5- 40 mins cross training/shovelling snow
2/6- Rest Day

Week 3: Total of 17.8 miles
2/7-4 miles- 61 mins
2/8- 3 miles- 50 mins
2/9- 60 mins cross train
2/10- Rest Day
2/11- 2.4 miles- 32 mins... See More
2/12- 3 miles- 50 mins
2/13- 5.4 miles- 95 mins

Week 4: Total of 7.5 miles
2/14-Rest day
2/15- Rest day- bad weather
2/16- Rest day- bad weather/sore
2/17- 2 miles- 35 mins sore/quit early due to pain
2/18- 2.4 miles 32 mins with training group
2/19- 3.1 miles- 65 mins
2/20- Rest Day

Week 5: Total of 14.8 miles
2/22- 3 miles- 55 mins
2/23- 3 miles- 50 mins
2/24- Rest Day
2/25- 2.4 miles 35 mins with training group
2/26- Rest Day
2/27- Rest Day

Week 6: Total of 16 miles
2/28- 7.6 miles 132 mins
3/1- Rest Day
3/2- 3 miles 52 mins
3/3- Rest
3/4- 3.4 miles 42 mins
3/5- 2 miles
3/6- Rest

Week 7: Total of 12.9 miles
3/7- 4.8 miles
3/8- 4.5 miles
3/9- Rest Day
3/10- 3.6 miles
3/11- Rest (Indy West Great Banquet activities through Sun)
3/12- Rest
3/13- Rest

Week 8: Total of 23.10 miles
3/14- 7.6 miles 128 mins
3/15- Rest Day
3/16- 4 miles 72 mins
3/17- Rest day
3/18- 2.4 32 mins
3/19- 9.1 miles 155 mins (oops, did a mile extra...)
3/20- Rest

Week 9: Total of 10.5 miles
3/21 Rest Day
3/22 Rest Day
3/23 3.0 miles Rei came up sore and unwilling to walk
3/24 Rest Day
3/25 1.5 miles
3/26 6.0 miles
3/27 Rest Day

So now we are calling all supporters, all service dog handlers, trainers, raisers, walkers, and friends to come out and show thier support along the Race course on May 8th!

Since Rei and I will indeed be in the OneAmerica Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon race, I would like to put out the word to all service dog handlers and puppy raisers/walkers to please show your support (and let others know too) by coming out and being along the course of the race to cheer us on and make a presence that people will notice!

The race is downtown Indianapolis on May 8th (mother's day weekend) and will start at 7:30am and be over no later than noon. We have 13.1 miles to walk, so I hope to see you there to cheer us on and let people know what service animals do for us!

I thank you in advance for all your help on this! Please email me directly with any questions!

Please share the word!