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.