Sunday, December 30, 2007
This is a pic of my three beautiful kids. This pic was taken on Dec. 27th 2007, my youngest daughter Courtney's 18th Birthday. I feel so lucky that we were all together at Christmas. My middle daughter is Chelsea and she is 20. Caleb is the oldest and will turn 22 in January. Chelsea is on the left, Courtney in the center and Caleb on the right. They are growing up so fast.
Today is my Mom's 76th Birthday. She is the best Mom anyone could ever ask for. We are all getting together for a Birthday dinner tonight at my sister's house.
Today I ran with my brother and a couple of his friends in Annadel. We ran between 8-10 miles. The pace was fast and my knee felt great. Even my bad ankle didn't hurt. YEAH!! What a great run to end 2007 with.
"Life is a great and wonderous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here and right now. Don't miss it." Leo Buscaglia
Friday, December 28, 2007
Christmas went well this year. As I have said before, it is not my favorite holiday, but it turned out to be a Christmas filled with lot's of family and good cheer. The kids were thrilled with their gifts and we managed to pull off a Christmas Eve celebration with 35 family members for dinner!! Whew! I got a new pair of running shoes and I just love them. They are the Brooks Adrenaline ASR. Trail shoes that have proved themselves to be my favorite. They are light and supportive and they have a low profile. I have been wearing them for several months now and hold up well even during a 100 miler. Try them if you need pronation control.
Yesterday I got out on the trails after a two week layoff due to an injured knee. It was so hard to just cross-train and not run, but the rest paid off. I ran for an hour without any pain! The eliptical and the pool have been my saving grace. Thank God I have a gym membership and a pool to swim in.
It is almost time for New Years resolutions. I don't know about you, but I always start the year off with some promise to myself that I try and stick with. I am one of those people that can be quite strong and filled with will power if I put my mind to it. In 1981, I made a New Years resolution to never drink alcohol again. My father was an alcoholic and I had had a very bad week with him and his drinking. It seemed like a perfectly good resolution for me. Well, it is almost 2008, and I have stuck to my promise and have never had a single sip of alcohol since!! I am very proud of that. I was afraid to ever become like my father in that way. My chances of having alcohol become a problem in my life was higher due to my family history. I never wanted to become controlled by the bottle. I wanted to break the chain of destruction and prevent my future children from going through what I had gone through. I also loved myself too much to possibly live my life like he did.
I challenge you to find a New Years resolution that will change your life for the better. It can be anything. Believe in yourself and love yourself enough to make a positive change in your life. You will be surprised at how powerful that can make you feel. As we plan our races for 2008, think about what you want to do that will positively change your life for the better. Then, stick with it and you might be amazed at the outcome. I am a better person today because of my 1981 New Years resolution. I am a good example to my children and I hope they understand just what not drinking has done for me and for them. Start brainstorming and BELIEVE!!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I don't know about you, but I am a HUMBUG when it comes to Christmas. I was thinking about Christmas today. How did we get from celebrating Jesus's Birthday to buying everyone and their brother a gift? Whether you want to or not? It's just crazy, this rat race we call Christmas.
Tomorrow my brother and I are running together. He has made a commitment to get in shape and he is seeing progress. He and I use to run together years ago and we had so much fun together. I always knew he would get the running bug back.
I end this writing with the words of the late George Sheehan, M.D.--physician, writer, thinker, inspirational voice, runner.
There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly, I run because I am an animal and a child, and artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be.
No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life's most rewarding experiences. My times become slower and slower, but the experience of the race is unchanged: each race a drama, each race a challenge, each race stretching me in one way or another and each race telling me more about myself and others.
In facing life, no one knows exactly what is going to happen, what is going to be needed, where the search for the Grail will lead. The best we can do is be prepared. Running makes you an athlete in all areas-trained in basics, ready for whatever comes, ready to live each day, fill each hour and deal with the decisive moment.
Finally, and appropriately:
You must listen to your body. Run through annoyance but not through pain.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Our epic run from Pt. Reyes to the Golden Gate Bridge became a reality at about midnight on Saturday night. We started our adventure at 5:00am, and ended about 73 miles later at the Golden Gate Bridge on a beautiful crystalline night with stars and crisp clear air. Suzanna, Leslie, Karen, Chris, Rob, Scott, Mark, and I ran the early morning hours together sharing funny stories and enjoying the beautiful clear day. After the first 22 miles or so, our running friends went their separate ways and Suzanna, Chris and I continued on our planned route. Our friend Jeff was our crew and aid station guy all day and made our experience so much sweeter. Thank you Jeff!! Chris and I saw a LARGE Mountain Lion on Mt. Tam. and I was disappointed that I didn't get a picture. I was poised for a "kodak moment." This run was an experience that I will remember for many years to come. We experienced so much out there. We were out there to see the sun come up and we saw the sun go down. We enjoyed each others company and played games with each other when we got tired. I am so thankful for a great run on a beautiful day.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Running long for me always makes me feel powerful. Running long also makes me feel vulnerable. One thing that I can always count on is a lot of time to think while I am running along. When I feel powerful and vulnerable, I always find that prayer comes easy to me. Talking to God is so easy when I am out there with myself. Tomorrow I will dedicate this run and many prayers to my Mom. Last night we found out that she has Cancer. My heart felt like someone was squeezing it so hard and I could hardly catch my breath. It's hard to breathe as I type here now. My Mom has always been my rock and it was funny that last night after my brother and Sister and I told her the bad news, she told me not to be sad, as I was her Rock. I will pray for God to give her strength and courage as she begins this fight. I will pray for myself that God gives me strength and courage too, as I am HER rock and I must be strong for her.
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I have been watching my diet lately and am excited about the way I feel. I weigh the same but I am looking leaner. Watching my carb intake works for me and I am feeling strong. Even though I am an endurance athlete, eating a lot of carbs just bloats me and makes me feel sluggish. I am happy with the way my body feels right now. Check out this blog and read about some exciting nutritional information. I just got lost reading this blog and I found it so interesting.
Swimming today just totally sucked!! Could you hear me gasping for air? It was down right embarrassing. I swam with the Master's and it is amazing how fast I lost my endurance in the pool. I felt like I got a good workout in but I must commit to swimming on a more regular basis. I swallowed so much water that I haven't needed to drink any water since!! I cringe when I think about how many loogies I probably swallowed. Yuck!!
Have a happy week!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Bummer. I didn't get in. I. Did. Not. Get. In. Western States, that is. I was sooooo hoping that I would see my name on the lottery results. On my way home from a run this afternoon, I got a voice mail from my friend Tom telling me the GREAT news that he was in and I WAS NOT. No. Nada. Not this time. Did I say bummer?
Immediately, I went to plan B. Not that I had a plan B. Everything was going to revolve around WS. Soooo, I decided to look at other races that I hadn't run before. I decided to enter Coyote Two Moon 100k. It is a difficult run with a 26 hour time limit in the Los Padres National Forest in Ojai, California. I had to beg and cry to get in. Finally, after a big to do, I am in. GULP!! It is on March 21-23. I'm excited!
Congrats to all of you lucky stiffs who got into WS. I am jealous and resentful, but I will survive. Everyone, get out there and enjoy your weekend. It is cold and frosty here, but no rain yet. Keep healthy and injury free as we move into the winter. Find your limits and move beyond them.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Short Layoff, Long Comeback
By GINA KOLATA
WHEN Helen Betancourt, an assistant coach at Princeton, was preparing
for the World Championships in rowing in 1998, she suffered an overuse
injury: stress fractures of her ribs. She competed anyway, but then had
to take five months off. Like most athletes, she did her best to maintain her fitness, spending hours cycling. Finally, she returned to her sport.
“I lost half my strength,” she said. And rowing just felt weird.
“It was like I had stepped off another planet.” Yet a couple of months later, much faster than it takes to get that strong to begin with, Ms. Betancourt felt like her old self on the water. Four months of rowing and she was in top form.
It shows, exercise physiologists say, that training is exquisitely
specific: you can acquire and maintain cardiovascular fitness with many
activities, but if you want to keep your ability to row, or run, or swim,
you have to do that exact activity. It also shows, they say, that people who work out sporadically, running on weekends, for instance, will never reach their potential. This is a time of year when many people who exercised religiously for
months cannot maintain their exercise schedules because they are
traveling, or they have a severe cold, or simply because they are celebrating
holidays with family. That may not matter if you do not want to compete, and there is no reason why everyone who works out would want to race. But if competition or
a new personal record is your goal, exercise physiologists have some
lessons to impart. Training has a pronounced effect on the heart, says Matthew Hickey, the director of a human performance laboratory at Colorado State
University. Athletes develop a lower resting heart rate, their hearts beat
slower during exercise, and their hearts are larger than they were before
training began. They also have a greater blood plasma volume, which allows the heart to pump more blood with each beat. One of the first and most noticeable
effects of detraining is that that plasma volume is lost. “It’s water in your plasma,” said Joseph Houmard, the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at East Carolina State University. “You just lose it. There’s no reason to keep it.”
Plasma water is lost amazingly fast, said Dr. Paul Thompson, a marathon
runner and cardiologist at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut. “We once paid distance runners $10 a day not to run,” Dr. Thompson recalled. “They spent a lot of time in the men’s room urinating.” Two days into their running fast, he said, the men lost a little more than two pounds from water weight as their plasma volume fell 8
percent. But if runners keep running, even if they cover many fewer miles than
at their peak, they can maintain their plasma volume, Dr. Thompson said.
When athletes stop training, the heart also pumps less blood to their
muscles with each beat. Both changes are so pronounced, says Edward
Coyle, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas, Austin, that
within three months of detraining, athletes are no different in these
measures than people who had been sedentary all their lives. But athletes, like Ms. Betancourt who do alternative activities still find that they lose a lot of conditioning. It makes sense, Dr. Coyle said, because each activity trains specific
muscles and the muscles change biochemically as a result. He compares bicycling and running: Fast runners propel themselves forward, using their calves and ankles. With bicycling, the ankles barely move and the calves play little role. Instead, the quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh power the bike. Even exercises that seem similar are rarely similar enough, Dr. Coyle added. Some injured runners run in a pool, wearing a vest. That, Dr. Coyle said, is not the same as running on land. In fact, it is more like bicycling because it uses the quadriceps muscles to push against the water. Training is especially challenging for people who want to compete in more than one sport, like triathletes, and have to divide their training time among different activities, exercise physiologists say. It’s also hard for people who reduce their exercise time because they are traveling or busy at work. When training time is limited, Dr. Coyle said, “you have to decide where you will get the biggest performance bang for the hour you spend.” The key, he found in his research, is to substitute intensity of effort for time. “A runner who’s been running doesn’t need much time to maintain his performance,” Dr. Coyle said. “But the training needs to be almost like racing.” Dr. Rafael Escandon, a medical researcher in San Francisco, did it all wrong this summer when he trained for a September triathlon in Cancún,
Mexico. Dr. Escandon said he was a natural runner who completed 43 marathons. But he spent most of the summer cycling. When he ran, he did not push himself and he averaged at most 15 miles a week. He normally runs a half marathon in about 90 minutes. When race day came, Dr. Escandon did great in the swimming and bicycling segments, even averaging almost 25 miles an hour when he was riding. But running was another story. He ran the half marathon segment in 2 hours 17 minutes, “my worst ever, by far, far, far under any conditions,” he said. “I completely fell apart.” But the good news is that it takes much less time to regain fitness for a specific sport than it did to become fit in the first place. Even exercise physiologists are surprised at how quickly the body can readapt when training resumes. Almost immediately, blood volume goes up, heartbeats become more powerful, and muscle mitochondria come back. Of course, researchers say, individuals respond differently and young people may bounce back faster than older athletes. But, they say, speed and strength and endurance do return, even in deconditioned athletes, some of whose lab test results look like those of a sedentary person. Part of the reason, researchers say, is that training may elicit lasting effects that are very hard to measure, like changes in nerve-firing patterns and blood vessels. Dr. Coyle, who has measured muscle mitochondria, said that even though muscles lose mitochondria when athletes stop training, they retain more of them than are found in muscles of a person who has always been sedentary. But another reason may be that athletes, unlike most inactive people, know how to train and how to push themselves. Dr. Michael Joyner, an exercise researcher at the Mayo Clinic, saw the effects of detraining and retraining firsthand. He was a young man at the time (he’s now 49), a college athlete, and had been training continuously for several years, running an average of 80 miles a week. “It was all very macho and I had a bunch of buddies to run with,” Dr. Joyner said. “Someone was always prepared to pick up the pace.” Then he agreed to be a subject in one of Dr. Coyle’s deconditioning studies, which required him to stop running entirely for 12 weeks. When he started running again, Dr. Joyner could hardly believe it. Running was so hard, he was so slow, he became tired so fast. But he
persevered, running 30 miles a week for the first couple of weeks and then increasing his mileage. “I just sort of got back with the group and started pushing it,” he
said. Which, of course, is the key. “A lot of coming back is knowing how to read your body and how to manage your suffering,” Dr. Joyner said. But there are real rewards. “I was back to normal again in about a month,” Dr. Joyner said.
Friday, November 23, 2007
In a casual conversation I had today with a new sales rep servicing
my area of responsibility I made mention of the fact that I run. She
responded by saying "I would like to do that but I can't". I looked her
straight in the eye and without hesitation I said you only can't
because you believe you can't. I repeated the exact words she used in
response to my comment about my running habits and afterwards she seemed
flustered or maybe a better word would be amazed. She immediately
realized that she was putting limits on what she could and could not do. She
walked away after a short 10 minute conversation with me saying she
felt inspired. Mind you I never once went into detail about my history as
a runner but instead focused on her own words she used to describe her
inability to run. The only thing I did was to help her to understand
that she can escape the narrow world she lives in by believing in herself. I have a secret as to how I am able to run but it's a secret that I am willing to reveal. Believe in yourself and never allow doubt to interrupt those feelings of belief. When you look in the mirror each day focus on the pretty smile instead of the big zit that is on your nose. Positive thoughts lead to a positive
outcome. Visualize the best and you will receive the best. It has worked
for me in as a runner and it is a work in progress for me in life but I
can assure you it works everywhere and in every aspect of your life.
"If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right!" Henry Ford
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Today is the day to give thanks for everything in our lives. I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with lots of food and good cheer.
No run for me today. I hate the thought of eating a bunch of food and then just sitting there letting it ferment. Oh, well, whats a girl to do? Don't ruin tomorrows run by eating lots of junk. Everything in moderation, right?
For all of you guys running the Quad this Saturday, good luck! I wish I was going to be out there too. Have a happy day!
Friday, November 16, 2007
This morning was another day of getting up at the butt crack of dawn, and running with friends. We ran on the Quad Dipsea trail and enjoyed every minute of it. Suzanna, Florencia, Jeff and myself started out, with Suz and I taking a different route on the way back. What a great way to spend a Friday morning. A 20 miler before lunch. Yes!!
On a sad note, my Uncle Don passed away this morning. I am so thankful that he is out of pain and that he can finally be at peace. He had been in horrible pain with Cancer for a long time. He was my favorite Uncle and I will miss him very much. I will never forget him.
With just two weeks before the lottery, I know that everyone that entered is anxiously awaiting for December 1st when maybe, just maybe, our name will be selected. Don't get too excited as there are 1352 entrants and a mere 16% chance of getting selected. Wow, isn't that a total bummer? Oh well, 16% of us will get selected!
1. Get on the course as many times as you can. I know everybody says
this but it is absolutely true. The main reason to do this is that it
eliminates variables. For example if you have run from Dusty Corners
Foresthill 6 times in training and you have done it in a somewhat
predictable time frame you should be able to do that on race day as
Quite honestly, I have eight intermediate splits between Last Chance
Devil's Thumb (that's a split every 1/2 mile). Breaking the course
into manageable, familiar chunks is critically important physically and
2. Train for the pain you will feel late in the race. If you can do
speedwork, hill repeats and back to back long runs you will mimic the
of those last 20 miles. Certainly, you need to build up to this stuff
it sounds like you are suitably obsessed enough to do this.
3. Have a nutrition plan and stick to it. I can almost guarantee you
that you will not want to eat solid food at Green Gate, perhaps not
Foresthill. However, you need a plan that you know works. Carbs,
electrolytes and fluids. Get that figured out and stick to it no
what. Again, it removes a variable. When my crew meets me they simply
hand me the food I am supposed to eat, no questions, discussion, or
debate. And, I eat it.
4. Trash your feet and quads in training. Start a run by dunking your
feet in cold water and running through a dusty portion of trail. Then
your 25 miler. In fact, why not practice at the Quad later this month?
It will help. Also, find a longish downhill, preferably paved or
yet even concrete, and do downhill repeats once a week for four months
before the race. Sounds brutal but it works.
Thanks, Andy for the great training advice!! Now get out there and start training!
Friday, November 9, 2007
These animals are what made our 28 mile run at Pt.Reyes National Seashore so incredible. We saw two large herds of Tule Elk, Deer, and a Coyote. The Elk were amazing! They were big as Horses and ran by us with a ROAR of their footsteps. There are approximately 400 Tule Elk living there. There is also an abundance of bird life feeding near the tideline.
Pt.Reyes is a great place to run. We ran through fern covered trails and climbed open single track trails through meadows and up over forested ridges. We ran on the beach and saw fresh Mountain Lion tracks. It is so remote there that you get the feeling that there are many animals watching you. Pt.Reyes National Seashore covers 70,000 acres in Marin County, California.
That run just kicked my royal booty!! It was a great run but I think I lost my sense of humor after about 20 miles. The last 8 miles were a complete and total butt kicking. Suzanna, Jeff, and Tamara were not fazed by our run, but I was screaming for my Mama for several miles. Paul joined us for several miles at the start but had to turn off early due to more IMPORTANT things he had to do. I hope you all had a great day today. I sure did.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Yesterday Karen and I went on a hike up in Sugarloaf. Neither of us were feeling real energetic and so a hike sounded perfect. It was a beautiful day and it was so nice to see the blue sky. I had worked all day in the Hospital and never got to an area where I could see how the weather was. I was so surprised at how beautiful it was.
As most of you know, I just love finding bones. We found an area that looked like it was a perfect place to see a Mountain Lion. That area is known for cats and we see their prints often. We saw a lot of scat and found a large pile of turkey feathers and a part eaten leg of a big Turkey. Within a couple of yards of that kill, we found a pile of deer bones. It looked like it hadn't been dead for very long. Something large had enjoyed a meal of it. I quickly grabbed the skull and jaw bones and off we went to conclude our hike. I am excited to add another skull to my collection. Yeah, I know I'm weird. Duh!
Tomorrow I am meeting some friends at Pt. Reyes for a 25 mile run. I need to leave my house at 4:45 in order to get there on time. Yikes! I am looking forward to running with my running buds and enjoying a few hours of socializing. Have a wonderful Friday. TGIF tomorrow!!
Monday, November 5, 2007
I had a great weekend! The weather was just beautiful and it was warm and it certainly didn't feel like November!! The weekend started on Friday with a great run with Suzanna and Jeff. We did a lot of hill climbing and the sun felt so good on our backs. On Saturday, Karen and I were joined with Bob and Matt and we again ran in our favorite park called Sugarloaf. We saw a large red Fox running up the mountain and enjoyed watching him lope along through the rocks and shrubs. On Sunday, Karen and Bill and I ran at Mt. Tam. We ran 22 miles and the weather was just incredible. Stinson Beach was warm and people covered the sandy beach. It wasn't a fast run but certainly a run that was just what the Doctor ordered. It was "time on my feet", and I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. I am feeling stronger now and am excited to be getting back my strength.
November is a great time for looking ahead and checking out what races might be nice to run. Last year I was plagued with so many problems and raced very little. I would like to race more in 2008. It's fun to think about the adventures that are out there. I sent in my entry for WS 100 this morning. It is exciting to think that there is a possible chance of getting in. If I don't get in, I will pace someone or volunteer there, as I can't imagine not being part of that race in some capacity. Have any of you looked ahead and started to make some tentative racing plans? Soon the weather will be cold and the days shorter. Making some plans now will help keep us motivated to train through the winter. Good luck with your racing plans......
Saturday, October 27, 2007
This guy is looking for a running group to join. He says he is ready for some trail blazing. I hope one of you can help. I told him that I just wasn't quite ready to hit the trails yet. He has a backpack filled with gels and succeed and is very enthusiastic. Oh, and for all you single gals, he is available....
I have been thinking a lot about running and fitness goals though. I want to remain very fit through the winter months and start thinking about races I want to do in 2008. In January, I am pacing my friend Suzanna at Hurt 100. I am committed to getting in awesome shape for that race. I think that cross training on the stair master might help me prepare for all the power hiking that may be needed there. I want to enter Western States 100 too. The odds are not good for getting in, but you never know. I just love that race. I don't think my family wants me to run a 100 again after my illness at Wasatch, but I want to keep my options open. As for the rest of the year, I want to concentrate on 50k's and 50 milers. I just may have to let go of the 100's and just enjoy myself at the shorter distances.
I do have to admit that I am still tired from Wasatch. I don't feel like the race really happened. Believe me, I KNOW it did, but it was slow and painful so it just doesn't seem real. I have to realize that despite it being a painfully slow race, I did run 100 miles, and the muscle damage I got from the Rhabdo is keeping me from having the recovery that I should have had. I am just doing the best that I can and I know that I will be back on the trails soon.
I hope that you all are seeking out running or fitness goals for 2008 too. Having goals will help us all through the winter months and have us all ready for an exciting year in 2008. Start today and see what happens.
Your limits are defined by the agreement you've made about what's possible. Change that agreement and you can dissolve all limits. Wayne W. Dyer
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
My running is going well. I have slowly eased back into training and I am feeling quite good. I think I'm getting my MOJO back. Finally. I have also been getting some swimming in too, and that makes me feel good. On Saturday my friend Tom Crull from Dallas will be here to run the S.F. 12 hour run at Crissy Field. I am excited to see him as it has been a while since our paths have crossed. When I ran the rim to rim to rim at the Grand Canyon, he ran the rim to rim. Wow, that was 6 months ago!
I want to concentrate on getting in great shape and in keeping healthy. I will be seeing a couple of specialist regarding my recent illness after Wasatch and I hope to get some answers. In the meantime, I am committed to eating well and taking good care of myself. Winter is coming and that means less daylight for training and more cold, rainy days that can make getting outside running or swimming more of a chore. I will remain committed and motivated. I am pacing my good friend Suzanna at Hurt 100 in January so that is more reason to get out there and get my body hard. I have got to be at the top of my game to pace her, and I will be. I hope everyone who reads my blog is committed to getting in better shape this winter. We all know that getting in shape can be hard, but once you have made exercise a habit and a priority, it is so much easier to get out there and do it. With that said, Get out there and JUST DO IT!!
Refuse to let an old person move into your body. Aging is simply a learned way of being. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Congratulations to my friend and ultra runner Bill Bradley who finished the Furnace Creek 508 mile bike race last weekend in Death Valley and the Mojave Desert. This 508 mile bicycle race has a reputation as one of the toughest endurance challenges with 35,000 feet of elevation gain and a 48 hour time limit. Bill, who told me that "I am only good at showing up", did an incredible job of not only showing up, but of digging deep and hanging in there for a time of 46:14:32. He finished 35th overall. Great job, Bill!! Way to HAMMER! Now go rest!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
As I drove past my old neighborhood today I reflected on the kid that I was back then. I grew up the oldest of three. Kelly, Shawn, and Wally. We were the typical American family. My Father worked and my Mom stayed home and took care of the house. We had a beautiful home always filled with lot's of friends and family. I, however, was not your so called "normal", kid. Thinking back, maybe I was just a tad wierd. No, maybe not really wierd, but just different from many kids, and certainly different from most kids today.
I always had a lot of energy and grew up wanting to be either a Veterinarian, Archeologist, or a Mortician. I spent countless hours digging up our pastures in search of Indian Burial Grounds or bones of any kind. I proudly displayed stuffed birds, snake skins and bones and skulls all over my room. I loved to hunt and butchering rabbits and chickens was a normal day for me. In Junior High, I sold my tanned rabbit furs to my friends for making purses. If you were a "special" friend, you might be lucky enough to get a deer tooth on a leather strap to wear around your neck. I might even bring you a blown out goose egg that you could decorate for Easter.
I had mad crushes on Movie Stars. Clark Gable being on the top of my list, with Ryan O'Neil a close second. Then it was Mark Spitz and numerous other athletes. I loved them all, but that was about the extent of my love life. I guess I just wasn't that cute. I was fun and entertaining, but cute I was not. In Junior High, fun and entertaining just doesn't get you much. I spent much of my time riding horses and tending to my farm animals. I swam on a swim team and dreamed of one day looking like a model in a Seventeen Magazine. The only time I watched TV was when I was home sick from school, and how much more boring could life be than watching TV?!
My favorite song, well, no, not really, was, At Seventeen, by Janis Ian. You might recall that song. I felt that song was written about me and I cried every time I heard it. The only guys who liked me were the guys who were kinda "different". The fat, slow learners, and pimple faced boys that always said the inappropriate things when called upon in class. I always felt sorry for those boys and I would be especially nice to them. That, I guess, gave them the green light to ask me out. BUMMER! My Mom would say," go out with him, Kelly. It will be fun and it will be something to do." Wow Mom, good one! Her and I laugh at that comment now.
Well, I never became an Archeologist, Veterinarian, or Mortician. What happened with those dreams are still a mystery to me. I did go to school and become a nurse and I am a Mother and I am happy with my life. My kids think I was probably a nerd, but I don't think so. I was just a kid who loved life and had a lot of hopes and dreams. I didn't grow up to be the person I thought I would be, and I will most likely never hunt or butcher another animal again. I still love skulls and bones, swimming and animals. And if you a really special I still might give you a deer tooth.
What were you like as a kid? It is fun reflecting back. I encourage you to take a "trip" back in time and see yourself as a kid again. You will probably like what you see. I know I did.
This is my sister and I about a hundred years ago on Halloween.
I can't believe it is already October! Ugh. I love summer so much, and always kinda dread the winter months. I hate to be cold and it makes getting into the pool such a chore! Ugh!
I mention the pool, because I have made a commitment to myself to get back into the pool on a regular basis. Swimming is actually a great sport. I swam on a swim team when I was young, and did very well. I tried to swim at least twice a week all last winter and I did find it quite good for cross training.
Since being sick in September, I have started getting back on the trail. I feel myself getting stronger and it feels so good to be out there again. It is so hard to be away from something that you love so much. I did promise myself to not race again until I am medically given the "okay, you are healthy" sign by my Doctor. I see two specialists at the end of October.
I have two friends that are racing this weekend in the Furnace Creek 508. It is the Worlds premier Ultramarathon bicycle race. This 508 mile race has 35,000 ft. of total elevation gain and traverses Death Valley. My fingers and toes are crossed for Dave Harper and Bill Bradley as they begin this epic journey on Saturday. You can check it out by clicking here. My butt is hurting just thinking about it. Both Dave and Bill are ultra runners and are so tough and driven. I just know they are going to do great.
Well, it is time for me to get my butt down to the pool. I have some swimming to do!! Peace out.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Vince Pedroia was an ultrarunner, horseman, and a veterinarian who also was an incredible writer. He died on May 29, 2007 at the age of 60 after a long and valiant fight with Cancer. He loved the Western States 100 and this poem speaks of those trails.
"Facing a serious disease left me reminiscing, and with a great sense of loss of opportunity for great adventures I have had."
Are my days of toughness gone
My fine white ashes soon to drift on an indifferent breeze
Falling through the pale fingers of my family
To settle on the fuzzy green leaves of the hazelnut bushes
Later by the rains to be washed into the waters of Pump Gulch
Then down Salmon Creek and on to the sea?
Is this my divine ending
Or just fate reeling me in
A family genetic tragedy, my malignant embryo
Delivered, yet its seeds lurking
Spread within me like dandelion fairies?
Will I be painfully eaten
Pleading mercy from God or Jesus or anyone
Will I reach for a weapon
Hoping the old ammunition will act
And wonder where, and how, and when
And how about a note?
Or is this just a pause
Will my body crave its toughness again
Running through Michigan Bluff
And wading Rucky Chucky once more
Will my days again be consumed by miles on the roads
And will I be drenched by my sweat for hours?
Will I live to see my grandson
Pulling the levers of the old Caterpillar
Laughing as he lurches as she bucks him?
Will I ride the rocky trails again
Feeling the steady trot beneath me
And pat the sweating neck
The reins loose in my other hand?
Will my sleep be interrupted
only by the desire to rise
To go to the pump once more
To crank the old Cat again
To hear the flutter of the quail rising
And to see them glide away
Is this just a pause?
Vince Pedroia 2004
From "A Mano" Vince's book of poetry published 12/06
Saturday, September 22, 2007
"Brick walls are there for a reason, brick walls are not there to keep us out, but to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. They are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough."
"It's not about how to achieve your dreams, it's about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself; the dreams will come to you."
both quotes by: Randy Pausch
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Well, I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself, when I saw this very funny, (but sad) picture of this poor old opposum. I just had to laugh. No, I just cracked up!! Isn't this the way it is with so many people? I have to admit, that I have done just about the same thing before. "It's not my job, and I am not going to do it!"
Pertaining to my blue mood, I decided that it's not anyone's job to make me feel better except for myself. Soooooo, I'll smile. No more moping around and feeling dejected. I need to take care of myself. Said. Done. Thank you very much for listening.
I've had it up to my ass with sedate." Thelma in Thelma and Louise
Yesterday I went on a walk with a friend and felt really tired. Today, I am planning on going on another short walk and see how I feel. I hope to start some slow short swims next week and then progress from there. I hope everyone is enjoying these last days of warm weather. Already, I can feel the air has changed. I don't look forward to winter, but it will be nice running in the rain again. I can't remember the last time it rained. Now, get out there and do something physical while the weather is holding and the sun still warms your back. Winter will be here before you know it. Now get out there and get er done!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
A HUGE congratulations to my best friend and running partner Suzanna Bon who was first woman at Angeles Crest 100 last weekend and for breaking the womens course record!! Her time of 22:00 hours just can't be beat!! Way to go girl!! Keep running like a girl!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Today is a better day. I can smile today and laugh at myself. Yesterday was one of those days when I felt like maybe I wasn't going to get better. I found myself feeling silently anxious, nervous about how sick I felt.
I hate feeling sick. I hate not having abundant energy and having my mind be blank. I am one of those people who thrive on activity. I am always thinking about trips that may or may not happen and places I must see before I leave this life. So much to see, so little time. Yes, today is a good day.
I hope you enjoy the pictures of Wasatch. Put it on your list of to do's. It is a beautiful race worth experiencing. Have a great day.
When you're told that you have some kind of physical affliction, you can either prepare to suffer or prepare to heal. Wayne Dyer
Saturday, September 15, 2007
After pacing there in 2005 and DNFing in 2006 due to Rhabdomyolysis and subsequent liver failure, I came back for unfinished business. My training was good and my health excellent. I was ready for whatever Wasatch brought me.
The start was very warm and I made sure to eat and drink early and often and I ran strong into Francis Peak feeling confident of achieving my goal of 27:30- 28:00 hours. Hah! Wasatch had other plans. From Francis Peak to Big Mountain things went well, but my legs were getting tired and I could really feel the altitude. I felt really emotional arriving into Big Mt. Aid Station (mile 39.4), probably because I was realizing that this beast they call the Wasatch was totally kicking my butt!! I tried to maintain my positive feelings and my confidence, but both were severely waining.
I picked up my pacer Sunny Blende at Lambs Canyon (mile 53.13) and off we went behind my projected pace but determined to get er done!! Things started getting ugly after that. Last year, my legs refused to lift up, and this year that same sensation started up. It's not like my legs are sore or anything, its more like there is no connection between my brain and my legs. I just cannot lift them up. I monitored myself to make sure that I didn't have anything else going on. I felt I was okay at that point. Note to self: Stupid; here's your sign.
I kept repeating to myself, "you can do this, you are a survivor." I continued to try and move forward, but runners were passing me like I was standing still. I had planned on being at Brighton (75 miles) , between 12-1:00am and at 4:30 I dragged my sorry a** into the aid station.
I picked up my new pacer, Alison, and tried to proceed with relentless forward motion. Damn it, it just wasn't happening. I felt like a snail that had been stepped on but still had the will to get home to safety. Fear about last years outcome, caused me to doubt my ability to be able to finish. I wanted to quit so bad. I had a lot of excuses that would have been acceptable, but I knew that it is too easy to quit. I am not a quitter. Never have been, never will be. No way. The 25 miles of steep, technical up and down's just about did me in. My poor pacer must have wondered what she had gotten herself into. I couldn't blame her. She encouraged me and tried to keep me going. My legs were failing me. Unable to muster up the ability to lift my legs prevented me from moving more that a snails pace. I was worried about my failing body. Was I experiencing the same thing as last year? Could I be permanently damaging myself? I kept praying a silent, "please help me finish this, keep me from quitting." I have never ever looked at a cutoff in a race before, but now I was racing the clock to finish!I had to dig so deep. I crossed the finish line in 35:14. It was such a struggle and such a hard mental push. When I crossed the finish line, I told the race director, "it was a great race, but I won't be back." He laughed.
In our room at Brighton, I urinated a large amount of coca-cola colored urine. Myoglobin in your urine is not good and I knew that I was in trouble. I didn't urinate clear until the next afternoon. On Tuesday, I was admitted into the hospital and was diagnosed with a severe case of Rhabdo. The Doctor said that I was not dehydrated. I am not clear why this happened again. I did know from experience that it is crucial to really hydrate yourself after running a 100 miles. I knew it was very important with myoglobin in my urine. The Doctor said that I saved my life by hydrating well after the race, and for getting prompt medical attention. He said I might be on dialysis today if I had not been treated.
I am going to be okay. There is no permanent damage to my kidneys or liver. I am very lucky. I learned a lot from this race. I do know that I am tough and that I have the ability to dig deep within myself to push to the finish. I am not a quitter, and I am hard headed.
This afternoon, I was released from the hospital. It was a scary experience, but a humbling one at that. No, I won't be back to run Wasatch. I will watch from the sidelines or maybe pace, or maybe crew someone. I love the race and I respect it. But no, Wasatch spanked me and put me to bed. I'm okay with that now.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
As you have all probably figured out, I had some health issues during and after the race and have been hospitalized with Rhabdomyolysis.
I'm doing well and the doctor says there has been no permanent damage to my kidneys or my liver. I'll be released in a couple of days and will write up a race report soon.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I have a pacer for the last 25 miles now and that makes me feel better. I have never met him but he is a friend of fellow Montrail/Nathan teammate, Bryon Powell. All is good. I am happy that he is looking forward to pacing me. For those who are interested, I think that the race has a webcast that you can watch to follow my progression. I am #186. I am hoping for a 27-28 hour finish.
Good luck to all who are racing this weekend. For everyone else, do something fun, something you might not normally do. You, know, STRETCH yourself.
"Respect the distance or the distance won't respect you! It will eat you up, spit you out and make you beg for mercy"
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Suzanna gave me a card yesterday that said this quote on the front. She wished for me a smart and successful race. Inside the card was a small silver heart that I will carry with me as a reminder, when times get tough and doubt creeps in, that I am a strong, powerful runner.
Thank you Suz for that beautiful card and your encouragement. Thanks for always believing in me. You are a wonderful running partner, but more importantly, a great friend.
Thank you to all my friends that have emailed or called me wishing me luck and delivering me lots of encouragement and prayers. As Dan Williams said, "Kelly, you have unfinished business that you need to take care of at Wasatch." Yes, Dan, you are right about that. Well, it's off to bed, time to take all my crap off the bed again, suitcases, backpack, unfinished drop bags, lights,etc...... and finish with my packing after work tomorrow. If there is an afterlife, I hope I come back organized. Oh, and Dan, I plan on running strong and long, but not too long!!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift"- Pre
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I grew up in the 40's/50's/60's with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it....A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.
Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more. But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return. So...While we have it...it's best we love it...And care for it...And fix it when it's broken...And heal it when it's sick. This is true...For marriage...And old cars...And children with bad report cards...Dogs and Cats with bad hips...And aging parents...And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special...And so, we keep them close.
I have so many people in my life that are keepers. I hope you all do too. Have a great Friday!!
Friday, August 24, 2007
In 15 days, I will line up to start the Wasatch 100 mile race just outside of Salt Lake City Utah in the Wasatch Mountains. I am starting to get excited, because last year at this time, I struggled to stay up with my running friends and I felt sick and very tired. It wasn't fun starting a race feeling that way. This year I feel good and I am excited to start this tough, challenging course.
Today, my friend Suzanna and I ran for about 4 hours in our favorite park called Sugarloaf. We did a lot of climbing and a lot of sweating! If I didn't know better, I would think that I was running in a humid part of the U.S. It felt very humid and hot out there. We came across a large rattlesnake that warned us with a loud BUZZ and a coiled body. Suzanna just about stepped on it. She is training for a 100 miler called Angeles Crest 100 which is in 3 weeks. She is an awesome runner and I know that she will totally kick butt there.
For me, it is time to taper. I know that I need to get more rest and to prepare myself for any kind of weather. I have been out on that trail when it was so cold that I could hardly move. I don't ever want to be that cold again.
I was thinking about what it takes to be an ultra runner.... Many people run short distances and never feel the discomfort of really pushing yourself. Ultra runners need to become comfortable being uncomfortable. It's just that simple. Long distance running hurts. You must dig deep and keep on digging. There is a great sense of accomplishment in finishing a race that you did your best on. Whether you came in first or last, if you put everything out on the line and didn't quit, you are a winner. "To be successful you need a unique mindset. You need the ability to deal with fatigue and discomfort. It's a skill that comes through repetition and hard training. You learn to keep going even when things feel horrible." Matt Aro
In closing, I would like to thank my dear friend Tom Crull from Dallas, Texas who sent me a beautiful granite plaque honoring my Western States 100 mile finish. I got it in the mail yesterday and was so surprised. He is so special and I am honored to call him my friend.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend filled with lot's of laughs and beautiful runs. Happy trails.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
17 more days until the start of Wasatch!! I feel good about the race this year. I do need to find a pacer from Brighton to the finish. Wish me luck!!!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
At about 9pm, we noticed a helicopter flying low above our heads. Within about a minute, the helicopter had spotted us and were shining their bright lights on us. We kept running, laughing, and wondering what in the heck they were thinking. Did they think we were bad guys, or were they looking for someone that was hiding in the park? The helicopter followed us for about a half an hour while we had a hard time seeing with their bright lights shining on our faces and on the trail. When we reached a fire road, I took out my phone to call Matt and the helicopter turned around and flew away. Strange things happen when Suzy and I run together. It was kinda exciting, but I am glad that the SWAT team didn't parachute down on us, or the police were not waiting at the trailhead for us. Two innocent female runners just trying to keep fit. What's a girl to do?
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Yesterday I ran the Headlands 50 mile in Sausalito, California. It was a beautiful day out there and I highly recommend you putting this on your race calendar for next year. The 50 mile has an elevation gain of 8,160 ft. and is run in the Marin Headlands. With views of Tiburon, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge, is is not a race to miss.
"Nobody remembers who finished second but the guy who finished second." Bobby Unser
Do you get what I am trying to say? I came in second place!!! I am happy with my finish and I am happy with the effort I put out. My time was 9:01:25, 2nd female and 7th overall. My good friend and fellow Montrail runner finished first!! Her time was 8:43:42, good for 5th finisher overall. Way to go Suzanna Bon!!
In case you are wondering, this picture is not of Suzanna and I. I have felt like this woman looks on many occasions. Yesterday, thankfully was not one of those days. Eating and drinking while racing is quite the art. Recently, ensure, squeezy gels, succeed, water and coke seem to do the trick for me. Solid food tends to make me throw-up and do a lot of unpleasant things. None of which is good while running. I just hope the food thing keeps on working because it has taken years for me to figure this nutritional thing out. My friend Sunny Blende is a sports nutritionist and she even says I'm wierd! Go figure. I
I am planning on taking a couple of rest days from running and then it is time for a few more quality runs before Wasatch.
"If the word quit is part of your vocabulary, then the word finish is likely not."
Friday, August 10, 2007
Tomorrow is the inaugural Headlands 50-100 mile race in Sausalito, Calif. I am running the 50 mile as a training run for Wasatch 100 in Sept. My friend Bill Bradley is running the 100 mile. I do have to say that I am happy to be doing only the 50 mile. It's a tough course with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and of the ocean.
My training has been lousy at best. With 29 more days until Wasatch, it's time to get it together. I talked to my pacer Sunny Blende last night and we are going to have fun out there on the beautiful trails in Utah. We are planning on going on a night run next week to try out our lights and just visit.
I was asked to pace at the San Diego 100 mile in October by my friend, Melanie Johnson. It took about 2 seconds to respond with a big, I'd love to! I have paced Melanie at Wasatch before and we really had a great time. It's a great opportunity to get a chance to run on a course that I have never seen before. I am looking forward to it.
Let me explain the pic of ah, Kelly Bonds, or ah, Barry Ridgway. I came home one day to find that a picture of me running that was on our computers wallpaper, was gone and Barry Bonds was in it's place. Matt thought he was so funny, because he knows that I do not like Barry. We all got a good laugh out of that one. Chelsea came up with a better idea. While Matt was at work she morphed my face onto Barry's and now Matt has the best of both worlds. Everytime he turns on the computer he gets to see Barry and me. Lucky guy!!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
My daughter Courtney showed me this video and I fell in love with it...song included. It reminded me how important Dads are, especially when we are young and vulnerable. My brother Wally is a great Dad and I can picture him and his son Tyler in this video.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
I wanted to let everyone know how my friends did at Badwater last week. I am a little slow at updating their triumphs. Sorry about that! Lisa Bliss did an incredible job with an outstanding time of 34:33:40!! She was the 1st women finisher!! What a studette!! Arthur Webb ran a very impressive race and finished in 37:48:35!! Arthur is 65 and this is his 10th finish. Dave Harper had a fantastic race and finished this difficult race in 46:13:35!! I am so proud of all of them and to their commitment to challenge themselves and to push the limits. They are all very motivational "movers and shakers". So let's all get our groove on and do something to challenge ourselves physically this weekend. You will feel better for it....guaranteed.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
I've just got to tell you about my funny Motel stay. Matt was on call for the weekend, so I went up to Carson City alone. My friend Karen told me about this GREAT place that they were familiar with, and so I booked a room for Friday night. When I arrived in town, I excitedly drove to my Motel and just about died when I saw the place!! It is set up to rent to people from one day to a month. As you can imagine, the place was just a haven for the unlovely. There was a man out in front of his room BBQing on the bed of his truck!! Every resident looked like they had been up partying for days. There is a saying in the horse world-----"rode hard and put away wet". Yup, that is exactly what they all looked like. It was the perfect place for someone to end their life. A cheap motel on a side street behind a casino. I tried not to think about what these walls had seen. The room was clean though and I just had to laugh when I sat there alone in this raunchy Motel. Oh, note to self, never stay at the Nugget Motel again. I kept waiting for someone to knock on the door looking for a "date". Wow. Karen and I got a big laugh out of this experience.
My sister Shawn's birthday is today and we celebrated with her by going out to dinner. Happy Birthday, Shawn. I love you!!!!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Arthur will be running his tenth Badwater in a row at the young age of 65! He is running to raise money for the Valley of the Moon Childrens Home. He is also running to honor his former crew member Vince Pedroia, who died in May. Vince was a friend of mine too and a great animal Neurosurgeon.
You may go to this site and watch a short video of the Badwater race. I hope you enjoy it.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I am leaving this morning to Carson City, Nevada, to pace my friend Karyn Hoffman at the Tahoe Rim 50 mile. It is a difficult, but beautiful course and I have been lucky enough to have run it 3 times before. She and her husband Mike are running it in preparation for the Leadville 100 mile in August.
Karyn is a very strong, tough runner and I know that she will have a great race tomorrow. I am looking forward to spending time with her.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Shawn has lot's of friends and loves to travel. She is also really good with managing her money. I'm not sure where she got that trait from. That is not a trait I even came close to getting. As I have mentioned in this blog before, I spend everything I have and then more. Shawn is also a great writer and you will enjoy her blog because she always has something funny to say.
I don't know if any of you remember the DeFranco family, but they were a singing group when I was a teenager. My sister just loved Tony DeFranco and once while traveling with our family across the U.S. and Canada, she insisted that we take a drive 150+ miles out of our way to drive past their home in Canada!! Well, to make a very LONG story short, we found their home and we actually went up to the door and knocked. The DeFranco's dad was there preparing their home to sell and let us come in and take a tour. Believe it or not, somewhere, we have a picture of my sister Shawn sitting on their toilet. She wanted to get their kooties or something like that. I still laugh when I think back on that trip.
I am lucky to have a sister like Shawn. I know that I can count on her and she is always available to help me with this blog. She is great with computers and tivo's and everything mechanical and she can even fix things that are broken in her home. I am not able to do any of those things. Sometimes, I pretend to be good at mechanical things, and people who don't know me might think I am creative. Do I look creative? I think not. Shawn is an artist, writer and story teller, I am an athlete who can skin a snake, climb mountains, and has dreams of exploring Africa. I asked Matt what creative abilities I possess. He thought long and hard and finally came up with....."you make people smile." Hah!! Oh well, I know he loves me very much. With or without any real creative traits.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Back to my run. It felt good to run the trails and I felt like I was flying! The funny thing is, I was probably just coasting along. It does feel good to feel like you are really moving even if no one else thinks you are. It's time for me to get my butt back in the pool. I really miss swimming and the way it makes me feel. Nothing hurts and you've had a complete body workout. Wednesday will be my first day in the pool since W.S. As you recall, my swimming was really sucking and I needed to concentrate on my running and so my swimming really suffered.
Well, I am off to the Hospital for a day of fun and hard work. I hope everyone has a good day at their jobs or just a fun day doing something that makes you happy.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
My friend Bob turned me onto this great video clip. It was so inspirational and emotional that I just had to agree with him that it is totally worth sharing. Promising to do our Best at everything we do is the best we can ask for. Don't settle for anything except for being the best we can be. Whether it is running, swimming, or just being you, striving to give our everything leaves us with no regrets. And having no regrets is what allows us to feel free. Get out there today and do your BEST!! You won't regret it!! (no pun intended)
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I am not a good race report writer. In fact, I totally suck, because I never can remember what happened when. But here goes: Western States starts at 5am, so my alarm went off at 3am. I was already awake, hadn't slept all night, yada, yada, yada. I took a quick shower and had a couple cups of coffee and a bagel with peanut butter and an ensure. After, prepping my feet with powder, I was ready to go.
The start is always exciting. It is a busy time filled with lots of pent up energy. I was very anxious for the race to begin.
The start rises more than 2,500 feet in it's first five miles, cresting Emigrant Pass at 8,750 feet. I enjoyed this section, visiting with friends and enjoying the beauty of the area. I kept reminding myself, that I had many, many miles to go and there would be plenty of time to make up for this enjoyable pace.
I made sure to take a succeed pill every hour and to take a gel at the same time. Part of my fuel plan was to take an ensure as often as I could. I had my crew give me one wherever they were. I figured that was a good 250 calories for one Ensure. Ensure plus is 350 calories and I had a mix of the two. I have a real problem eating real food during races, and the Ensure proved to work well for me.
I was really concerned about my right ankle, as I have an injury that was really bugging me as I was going downhill. I ran super conservative on all the downhills as to not turn that ankle. After taking an advil, my ankle felt a lot better too. The downhill section on the back side of Red Star Ridge is quite steep and technical, so I was glad that I made it out of that section unscathed. I used my ipod through Duncan Canyon and then on to Robinson Flat. I love this aid station as it is always bustling with lots of people. There were a lot of cameras filming for the Documentary that is being made, and that made it fun. My crew was great, giving me my Ensures and kicking me out of there in a timely manner. On through Miller's defeat, Dusty Corners, and Last Chance. I threw up once on my way to Last Chance but was able to keep going while still feeling pretty good. Last Chance is a mining ghost town that the marks the jumping off point for the section of the course know as "the canyons." The first of the canyons, Deadwood, drops about 2,000 feet and ascends an extremely steep 1,500 feet to Devil's Thumb. I was surprised at how good I felt on the climb up, although I took it very slowly. The second canyon, El Dorado, is more gradual but deeper, with a descent of 2,600 feet followed by an 1,800 ft. climb to Michigan Bluff. Michigan is a huge aid station filled with lots of people, pacers, and crews. I was excited to be feeling good at this point. The canyon out of Michigan Bluff is called Volcano Canyon and it was warm but the trip through there didn't seem as long as usual. Nice. As I was running down into Foresthill, my sister Shawn, my daughter Courtney, and her boyfriend, Cameron, met me out on the road and ran into the aid station with me. It was such a great feeling to see them waiting for me. It's funny how a person can look so forward to seeing someone and then to get such a boost out of it! I picked up my pacer, Naomi and off we went 16 miles to the river crossing. The water was waist high and cold, and it felt good on my legs and feet. It seemed to help my nauseous stomach too, as I had had a bout of vomiting earlier while on my way to Rucky Chucky. I felt strong and driven as I was determined to win the silver buckle. I continued pressing on afraid to make a wrong move and lose my momentum. With only my light, Naomi, and a new friend named Keith from Philly, I relentlessly moved as fast as I could as I could see that silver buckle so clearly. My boyfriend Matt, friend Gayle, and my daughters Chelsea and Courtney and Courtney's boyfriend, Cameron were at Highway 49 crossing to cheer me on. It was incredible. When I crossed No Hands Bridge my family was there again, whooping and hollering and it was a total rush. I knew that I was just 3.4 miles to the finish. The run into the stadium was totally awesome. I had accomplished my goal by believing in myself and my ability. I had done what I knew I was capable of doing and I had done it to the best of my ability.
I want to thank my crew: My Mom, family friend Uta, my boyfriend Matt, friend Gayle, pacer and friend Naomi, daughters Chelsea and Courtney and Courtney's boyfriend Cameron. I could not have done it without you. Your positive energy and endless love and support for me is unending. Thank you for making my dream come true.