Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Live a life that matters

"Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten,

will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally

So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from

or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won't matter whether you were beautiful, brilliant, short, tall , heavy,
or thin….

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built,

Not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success,

but your significance in making a difference in people's lives….

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice
that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew,

but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories of those who loved

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom, and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.

It's not a matter of circumstance, but of choice. As we enter the holiday
season and ring in the New Year with its resolutions…

Choose to live a life that matters, and celebrate those who matter to you."

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 21st already?

It's hard to believe that it is December 21st. The year has just flown by. I hate that part of life. This flying through life is the pits. I want life to S.L.O.W. down. Christmas is here despite my dislike of it. I am sad that it has become so commercialized. Spending money we don't have and giving gifts to people we feel we have to. Christmas just seems so crazy, stressful and hurried. I wish I wasn't so Bah Humbug, but I am. Regardless of how I feel about it, it is upon us. I found this link on Mechelle's blog, which she took from Erin's blog. It is an eye opener. I think it will make you think. It sure spoke to me.

Despite how I feel about Christmas, I am excited to spend time with family and to begin the New Year. I always enjoy thinking up New Years Resolutions and this year will not be any different. I will come up with some Resolutions soon and it is always fun challenging myself trying to keep them. As many of you know, in 1981 I quit drinking alcohol for my New Years Resolution. 28 years and I am proud to say that I am still living an alcohol free life. Life is good. :) This year I know that I will continue training in the gym. I love the gym. I walk in and I feel like I've found my mothership. All the sounds and the smells of the wt. room feel so comfortable to me now. I don't feel like a visitor anymore. I feel like I've come home.

Running is going well. I love my La Sportiva trail shoes. The Fireblades totally rock. You can check them out at

It has been cold here in Santa Rosa. I scraped the skin off of my knuckles trying to scape together enough snow to through a snowball during my run with Wally a few days ago. But seriously, it is butt cold for this neck of the woods! I wore my Drymax cold weather socks with my new Sportiva's and it was great. I love the cold weather socks! They kept my feet dry and very warm. They are thicker than my other socks, but they felt great on my feet on a 30 degree morning.

I wanted to share that I have continued to work my upper body and have now incorporated ab torture. It's time to up the ante a bit, so my abdominals are beginning to join in on the fun. It fun to change my routine a bit. It keeps my muscles guessing. I am quite lean right now and that feels good for this time of year. I am thankful for my life and for that I am so blessed. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I remember my Mom always use to say that you needed 4 hugs a day to be happy. Give someone a hug this week and make their day!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Epic Run

Saturday was an epic day for a run. A really LONG run. A really LONG, COLD, BEAUTIFUL run.
Eight of us started at Bear Valley at 6am with our lights and the moon lighting our way. Our goal? To run about 70 miles to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was beautiful under the canopy of trees and we all had a great time swapping stories and joking about Facebook. It was funny to find out that everyone running had recently joined. Well, everyone but Suzanna. I don't think we convinced her to join the madness of Facebook.

We continued along while other friends joined in along the way. A few stopped after about 25 miles, but Suz and I were continuing on for the whole enchilada. We had a roving aid station that met us at specific stops and it was the best aid station I have ever seen. We ate so much that I think I gained weight!
As morning became afternoon, and afternoon became night, we continued on. The moon was the biggest it has been in 13 years and the shooting stars were amazing. We all secretly hoped to see a mountain lion this year but that was not to be. At 12 midnight, we reached the Golden Gate Bridge. Five very happy campers. We had ran about 70 miles. Lots of mountainous trails and no pavement. It was totally epic! My Drymax socks rocked as usual. No blisters or hot spots. My toes were sore from pushing off on steep rocky trails, but other than that no problems. It was a great day for a jaunt in the hills. We all came to the conclusion that what is said on the trails, stays on the trails. Running with good friends is the best. Another great run with great people. What could be better than that?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Did I really just join Facebook?

I finally broke down and joined Facebook. I may regret it, though. It looks complicated and confusing. I don't know. I will give it a go for a few weeks and see if I can figure out what a poke is or what writing on my wall means. With this ADD mind of mine, it all seems too much. I want to scream, "Stop the bus, I want to get off." HELP!!

This morning a group of running friends and I are running a long run that will take us from Pt. Reyes to the Golden Gate Bridge. It is all trail and is a beautiful route. This years route is slightly shorter at approximately 60-65 miles in length. The weather calls for rain so I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the rain will wait until Sunday. I will be wearing my Drymax socks and it will be a good test wearing them out in the rain and muck. I will let you know how they perform. Have a wonderful day of shopping or doing whatever you want to do or HAVE to do. PEACE OUT!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A training Day in the Headlands

"By entering here, you agree to give 100% of what you have. There are
no second chances. Every day, every moment is an opportunity to excel,
to be more, to be your best. Do not squander your time by going
through the motions. Train hard and get results. At the end of the
day, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you gave it your all. If
you do not have this type of commitment, do not waste your time or
This was written on the door of a gym. Wow. It makes you think.....

The above photo is Suz and I running in the Marin Headlands. A cool, crisp, windy day on the trails. A long, slow run (time on our feet), all in all a great day to be on the mountain. This photo was taken a few days after Suzanna won the Quad Dipsea. It's always a pleasure to run with Suz when she is tired. LOL

I got my La Sportiva Fireblades in the mail yesterday. They fit great and I can't wait to try them. I hope they will be one of the shoes I bring to wear in The Coastal Challenge in January. I also got a new jacket from Matt. I finally have a very warm jacket that is so lightweight that you hardly know it is on. It is the Mountain Hardwear hooded compressor jacket. It is toasty warm and the color is a beautiful blue. Can you tell that I like it?

My training is going well. I am running strong and feeling good. My gym workouts have been a great addition to my running. I love the way my muscles feel and I love the feeling of being "powerful". I certainly don't "look" powerful, but I feel it anyway. Have a nice weekend, my friends.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Mind runs the body

"Now if you are going to win any battle, you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired." –George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

I ordered a pair of La Sportiva Fireblade trail shoes the other day. I can't wait to try them out. I would love to wear them next Saturday on our "epic run". Pt. Reyes to the Golden Gate. It will be a blast, I know. I am really looking forward to it. I wanted to give an update on my Drymax socks. I ran on the Western States 100 trail for 31 miles last week, and my feet and toes were unscathed. No hot spots, no blisters, nada. I hope you will give them a try. Gone are the days where my toes would be sore after a long run. Drymax works. Try them, you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My three kids have been home for the Thanksgiving Holiday and it has been nothing short of great. We hiked, ate our favorite foods and just had a lot of time to catch up. Chelsea brought her puppy Bentley home and he is doing great. That has made us all happy. Matt's son Lloyd is home too, so the whole gang has been here. Lot's of laughing and commotion happening at all times.

Naomi and I ran yesterday in Annadel for 1.5 hours. It was a chilly, foggy morning and we had a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, we only get to run together about once a week. We have been running together for over 15 years. We have even backpacked with our families a couple of times, but that was years ago. Naomi has been a great friend and she even paced me at Western States 100 and Wasatch Front 100. I have a feeling that pacing me sent her over the edge and she will probably never pace anyone again. LOL.

On the racing side of things, Suzanna won the Quad Dipsea yesterday!! Yaaahhh!! I knew she would. She has been running so well lately. Way to run like a girl, Suz! I don't know her time, all I know is that she kicked royal booty in the womens race. For all of you who have run that race, you know it is not a walk in the park. That race chews you up and then spits you out. Four. Times. She will running Hurt 100 in January. I am sure she will rock there.

Today was a nice 7.5 mile run in the park with an upper body weight workout tonight. I am feeling good and getting excited for my race in Costa Rica.

Have a happy Monday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday Wally and Karen and I ran in the Marin Headlands covering 13+ miles. It was a nice day for a run and we managed to finish before the rain hit. Wally is training for a half marathon in December and he wanted to familiarize himself with the trails there.

This morning I woke up early and got to the gym for an upper body workout before work. It was the perfect start to a busy day at the Hospital. Yes, the Hospital was BUSY!! WTF! Why is it that so many people line up to have surgery two days before Thanksgiving? Is it the perfect excuse not to cook? What possesses someone to WANT to have surgery during the Holidays? Amazing.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy your day and that it is spent in a special way. Have a safe and fun Holiday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Running "down" to the river ---Ha!

Here is my daughter lying with her "baby", Bentley. He is home from the Hospital resting and recuperating after having life threatening internal injuries after a heavy object fell on top of him.

Yesterday a group of friends ran on the Western States 100 trail from Foresthill to the river and back to Foresthill. 31 miles of beauty and sweat. The weather was great and the company was even better. Everyone is training for something and a few in the group are running WS 100 this June. I don't think I have ever run this section in late November and so it looked so much different. The river is low, as we have had little rain. There is something so refreshing about running somewhere different for a change. I felt a little lighter and motivated running in one of my most favorite places.

Foresthill is at mile 62 in the WS100 race. We ran down to the Rucky Chucky river crossing which in the race is at 78 miles. For any of you that are planning on running WS100 for the first time. Listen up. When you hear someone say that you run "down" to the river, don't believe them. There is a lot of ups and downs and you don't want to be surprised. Running "down" to the river is just a bunch of BS if you ask me.

It was a long day but sharing the trail with friends always makes our runs so much fun. I hope you all had a good day doing something that you love. Whatever you do, MAKE IT COUNT!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Running on the Western States 100 trails

Tomorrow morning, really early, I am leaving for Foresthill to run on the Western States 100 course for 31 miles. I can't wait. Hopefully, I will take pictures and have them to show off. If not, well, then I will just have to tell you about it.

Today was a sad day as my daughter Chelsea's puppy is critically ill after having a book shelf fall on him. He only weighs 5lbs and I am just worried sick about him. He is just so cute and my heart goes out to Bentley. He has internal injuries and is bleeding. I will let you know when I know more.

I ran for 2 hours today in Annadel with Suz and it was another beautiful day. It was cold and crisp but the sky was blue and we had a great run. Running in comfortable socks make any run more enjoyable. I just love my Drymax socks! They are the most comfortable socks I have ever worn and I will wear them tomorrow for my long run. I encourage you to try them out and see for yourself. I guarantee that you will love them the first time you try them. No more Injinji's for me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I ran alone today

I ran alone today and loved every minute of it. I have become so use to running with friends that sometimes it is hard to get myself up and out the door to run by myself. It was a cool, damp, and foggy morning and the air was so fresh that it was exhilarating. My feet moved quickly and lightly as I ran along, careful of the Newt's that were out enjoying the damp trails. I ran without my ipod and enjoyed the sounds that I heard and it made me more keenly aware of the deer and the squirrels that live in this park. I was reminded how much I love running alone today. I reflected on my life and even shed a few tears.

I ran past the spot where my best friend in High School was murdered by a psychopath in 1978. She was 21 years old. I wondered how her life would be now if she had been given another chance at life. I was on a road trip in Iowa with my Mom and siblings when my Dad called to give us the horrible news. I will never forget that day.

I thought about my health and how lucky I am to be so fit. I thought about what makes us who we are and how I have gotten to this point in my life. I thought about the love I have for my children. Yes, I have spoiled them. I have spoiled them because I have loved them so much, that I want them to have everything I had and everything I never had. When you have children, it seems that you just can't give them enough. So you love them, and then love them some more. The love is so deep that it can take your breath away.

I also thought about my diet today. I am eating low carbs and enjoying every minute of it. I have found that a low carb diet makes you less bloated, more lean, and makes you feel damn fast. Yeah, it's true. I feel really fit right now and I am pretty sure it's this low carb thing.

Today I thought about my dad and that the anniversary of his death is quickly approaching. He was only ten years older than I am right now, but he really died long before his real death. (Does that make sense?) He was a man who had it all and then lost it all. He was loved by everyone, and then he became almost unlovable. Alcohol can do that to a person. Vodka was his lifeline and it led him to his demise. I know I have talked about this before on my blog. I don't want to be redundant, but it is an important message that I think is crucial to talk about. Substance abuse of any kind ruins lives. Not only yourself but everyone around you. Am I angry? You betcha I am. I got screwed out of having a father who was "there". My parents split up because of alcohol. I feel cheated, letdown, and empty at times because of what alcohol did to my family. My father was powerless to the addiction to Vodka. He became a person he never wanted to become. I hate that his life was cut so short because of a clear, odorless poison that ruled his life. I tell you all this story, because it is what I think about when I run. If it helps anyone to take a look at their life and change things for the better, than I have made a difference. I am who I am because of what my life has been made of. I was so lucky to have been so loved as a child. Both of my parents made loving us a priority, just as I have done to my kids. We could not have been loved more. I am thankful to my Mom for providing that balance when my Dad could not love us enough. I know I am rambling. Sorry.

Lastly, I thought about how lucky I am to be a runner and to live in such a beautiful area. I am so happy for my health and I was reminded yesterday at work when two of my patients under 30 years old, had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Take a moment and reflect on your life. Change the things you can and make a conscious effort to change the things that you might think are unchangeable. Make today count. Start exercising and eating healthier. Stop smoking, drinking or whatever your vice is that is keeping you from being the best you can be. We are given today. That is all we know for sure. Happy trails, my friends.

Listen to those inner signals that help you make the right choices-no matter what anyone thinks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tremendous Tuesday

Yesterday, after a long day at work, I met up with Suz and ran up the Goodspeed trail to the summit and then we added 10-15 more minutes down the fire road and then back up the steep trail. After my fast run on Sunday and being on my feet all day at the Hospital, I was just shot. Suzanna kept reminding me that it was good training to run on tired legs. Yeah, right. We were out there for almost 2 hours and I worked up a pretty good sweat. I do have to say that it did feel good to be out there. We finished just before dark and it was still so beautiful out there. We talked a lot about our "epic run", that is happening on Dec. 13th. We are running from Pt. Reyes to the Golden Gate Bridge. It will be approx. 70-75 miles on trails. Last year we did it around the same time and it was just an awesome adventure. I can't wait to do it again this year. If anyone reading this is local, and wants to join in, let me know.

Courtney has been home for a few days visiting from college and she left this afternoon. We had a good few days of visiting and enjoying each other. I miss her already. Next Wed. all three kids are coming home for Thanksgiving. I am so excited to see them. Lloyd is coming home too, with his girlfriend, and so we will have a full house for a few days.

Matt and I went and applied for our passport today. Our trip to Costa Rica is quickly approaching. My training is going well and now I have to start thinking about what gear and things that I will need to bring. I need to beg, borrow, or steal a light backpacking tent to sleep in during my race. I just may buy one if I can't borrow one from someone.

I didn't run today, but went on a very short walk with Courtney. We pet the neighborhood horse and I got zapped by the electric fence. I got a good upper body workout in and I cleaned our ceiling fans. Wow, all in all, a good day.

Saturday, I may be running up on the Western States trail. We are planning on running from Foresthill to the river and back. That will be about 31 miles. Stay tuned for that exciting report. Have a great day tomorrow.

The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach. Benjamin Mays

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Perfect running weather for November

I've had a few good runs this last week. The longest run was 3.5 hours, but I felt like I gave it a good effort. The weather had been gorgeous and from the mountain we ran on Thurs., Suz and I could see San Francisco. That's amazing because S.F. is 60 miles away. We both were sweating like pigs that day. Maybe it was the warm weather or maybe it was just humid. It felt good to sweat out the toxins that must be floating around in our bodies, despite trying to be the healthiest we can be. We discussed politics, religion, and life as we huffed and puffed up and down the trail. One of the greatest things about having a good friend, is that you can discuss anything and still respect each other whether you agree or disagree with each other. I like that about my friend, Suzanna. She is a true friend, even if she is a Democrat! LOL.

For years my calves would get so tight during uphill climbs, now I notice that it is my hamstrings that get so tight. It's time to join a yoga class and see if I can't loosen these legs! I mentioned a few posts back, that I was desperate to find something that would help with my Restless Legs. I started on Melatonin 5mg. and an Iron pill, and I feel much more rested. I am actually dreaming!! That feels good.

Today was a fast run that made me feel like I had been worked over. We sprinted down a flat road for a short stint, but it felt really difficult. I think that running fast is a good thing, especially since they say that the way to run fast, is to run fast!! OKAY!!!

Watch the Brooks Dream video and help a great cause!

This video captures the fantasy of the perfect run. Brooks will donate five cents for every view of the video between Nov. 13 and Dec. 21. Brooks will donate up to a max of $25,000 to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, earmarked for the support of Breast Cancer research. Thanks so much, Brooks!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

World Run Day

Today I drove with Wendy to China Camp where we met Geoff and several others to run on the beautiful trails and to donate to a charity of our choice for World Run Day. I met and ran with Leslie and it was so much fun. Leslie is a strong runner and it was fun to get to know her. We finished our run with coffee and muffins. It was a delightful day on this 9th day in November. I hope you all got outside today. Winter is almost upon us and the days are short.

This skull sits among candles and flowers during Day of the Skulls celebration in La Paz yesterday. Aymara Indians revere the skulls of their relatives and believe they protect them from evil and help them attain their goals. Relatives decorate the skulls and carry them to church or cemeteries to be blessed. I really think that this is my Dad. It certainly resembles him and that was his brand of cigarette. Yeah, I am sure that is my Dad, he was always up for a celebration. Always the life of the party. I miss him and think of him often. Oh, and he would get a kick out of my little joke about this being him. I can hear him laughing now.

Have a great Monday and make it a good week. I am taking tomorrow off from running but will hit the gym for some upper body work.

One can never consent to creep-when one feels the impulse to soar. Helen Keller

Friday, November 7, 2008

A rough week

It's been a rough week. Wow, I wasn't sure if I was dying or just being a hypochondriac. I had a headache for 8 days and I was butt tired. Running was a major chore and my eyes and face felt like they belonged to a seriously sick person. The only thing that sounded exciting was sleeping. That is not me, people. Yesterday I pushed and pulled myself out the door to do a LONG run with Suzanna. I tried to be positive and pushed myself to do the best that I could. It was brutal and it hurt. Mentally, I wanted to throw the towel in, but that would only mean that I would have to turn around and run or walk LONG alone. It just wasn't going to happen. By the time we finished, I was feeling better. It felt good to be running in beautiful weather with my good friend. We had a lot of catching up to do. Running and talking while sucking air made for some interesting conversations. I think I started talking only to restart several times, as the hills were killing me.

Today, I am glad to announce that I AM BACK! I woke feeling so much better and I do believe that I will live to see another hill. Suzanna and I ran for 2.5 hours today and it really was enjoyable. The weather is amazing and I am thankful to be feeling alive again.

This afternoon, Matt and I went to Tom's Memorial service. It was a true celebration of his incredible life. I saw so many old friends there and it was really cool to hear all the stories about his amazing life. Tom is with his maker now and I know that brings so much happiness to his wife Sandie and to their 3 sons. Rest in peace, my friend, you are loved and will never be forgotten.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My name is Kelly and I am a square

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it is what makes the difference."

This quote from an unknown author made me think today. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been dealing with a medication to treat my severe Restless Leg Syndrome. It is a nasty med with lot's of side affects. For someone like me, who hates taking any drugs for any reason, this has really tested me. On one hand, I am desperate for a good night sleep EVERY night. On the other hand, I cannot justify taking medication that is dangerous and makes you into someone you don't want to be for a night of sleep.

I do not do drugs and I do not drink alcohol. I am a square. Period. I have seen first hand what drugs and alcohol do to families and people. My heart and soul has bled out into the streets as I watched my Dad drink himself to ruin. I have cried and promised myself a life without anyone or anything controlling me. When I watched my Dad spiraling down into a life beyond belief, I made a promise to never drink again. That was 27 years ago and I have held true to that promise. Today, while I was on day 5 of this new drug, I made a decision to toss those suckers in the circular file. I am done with them. Kaput. Over. I will research other options and figure out what is best for me. I am so happy that I am the type of person that I am. I am a strong woman. I love the person that I am. (well, mostly). I do not want to change or alter my personality and who I am, because I like me. No, I don't want to feel lethargic and compulsive. I want to feel energized and excited for each new day. I want to LIVE and that is what I am going to do. Sleep or no sleep. God gave me the ability to run and for that I am so thankful. It has helped me run from my problems and has helped me run towards happiness. I am blessed that I am a runner and I really need to feel positive about that gift, even if my legs continue to run in my sleep.

Thanks for listening my friends.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, Everyone

I have had a busy week, so getting to my blog has been a chore. Last weekend we had a garage sale at my Mom's house. It was successful in that we got rid of alot of things and made room for more! We didn't make a bunch of money, but we had fun anyways.

My good friend and Doctor, Tom McCarthy, died the other day of Brain Cancer. We have been good friends for about 26 years. He was only 60 years old. He loved God and I know that he is in a better place now.

I started on some new meds for Restless Legs Syndrome. Wow, they are kicking my butt! Last night was the last night for me on these meds. I was able to sleep without the severe body movements that have kept me awake for years, but they have made me into somewhat of a zombie. Yes, a zombie, right in time for Halloween! The medication can also make you have compulsive tendencies. Compulsive shopping, compulsive gambling...well, you get the picture. No, those meds are not for me. One of the things that I like about me, is my energy. These drugs take that away. I want "me" back. I need to find another more "benign" medication. Obviously, my running has suffered, but hopefully not for long.

I am loving getting stronger and I want to try hot yoga too. The Coastal Challenge is getting closer and I am feeling good. I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween tonight. Beware of the candy jar!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Why do you run?

This story was in Excite News. Let it inspire you.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The routine was the same as always - the exact way I have grown accustomed to dealing with the hours before a big race. But on that November morning last year, everything else was different.

I had awakened before the sun and come downstairs to all of my running gear, laid out perfectly the night before, exactly as planned. There it all was: bottled water, my fanny pack, gels to eat along the way, my precious iPod with its playlist calibrated just for me. Exactly as planned.

I had even pinned my number to my shirt in advance. Alone, in silence, I ate a banana and a granola bar and half a bagel. Exactly as planned.

I thought to myself: I need this routine. I need to be a robot today.

Nearly five years before this day, before I started running, I had been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in my left shin. Then, much later, came the thyroid cancer; they found that one looking for more melanoma. I was 51 and I had two forms of cancer. Now here I was in the middle of chemotherapy - weakened, scared, with more chemo scheduled for the following day. And I was heading out to run a half-marathon on the streets of Philadelphia.

What was I thinking?

I arrived at the starting gate and joined the pack of runners. The sun was coming up. Nearby, I could see the city's art museum, where Rocky climbed the steps in triumph so many years ago.

I never heard the starting gun, but the people ahead of me began to move.

I clicked my iPod. My song came on - "Gonna Fly Now," Rocky's inspiration. Appropriate for Philadelphia, for this race and for me. The tears started coming, as they often do when I begin a run. I brushed them away because I didn't want to irritate my contacts.

And then I ran. Exactly as planned.

I was running for my life, in a sense, though I knew that competition was really unfolding inside my body, far beyond my control. I was running in affirmation, in defiance. I was running to prove that I could, to show that I was not defined by the clusters of renegade cells that were growing within me.

To deal with something in my life that has not, in any conceivable way, gone exactly as planned.


I haven't always been a runner. Cancer made me into one.

Two cancers, actually. They're unrelated, which is good. There are two of them, which isn't.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that among the 10.1 million cancer survivors that were alive as of January 1, 2002, about 8 percent had more than one form of cancer diagnosed between 1975 and 2001. Three cancers is "almost unheard of," one doctor told me. I guess I should be thankful for that.

This year, 62,480 cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, are expected in the United States and 37,340 cases of thyroid cancer. While my melanoma was a recurrence, I still saw it as unfair: Fewer than 100,000 people in this country got one of those cancers; I, a regular tennis player and nonsmoker, got both.

The melanoma begat two surgeries - one to take it out and one to make sure it hadn't spread. What's more, I was informed that I could develop lymphedema, a sometimes painful swelling of the leg due after surgery that happens because the lymphatic system has been compromised.

"Unless you want a fat leg, stay on the couch with your leg up. No running and very limited exercise," one oncologist, considered among the best melanoma doctors in the world, told me.

Then, I was not a runner. I'd been intrigued by it and thought I might try it someday - whatever someday might mean. But to be told, at 46, never to run, made me realize that I was too young to be sentenced to a lifetime on the couch.

So I took up running. I started slow and short, built up, pushed myself, gained endurance. I won't say it was easy, but I won't whine, either. I ran my first 5K a year later, then a 10K, then two half-marathons.

My decision to take up running produced varied reactions from my doctors. Most were supportive. Some were concerned. One shook his head and told me not to do it. My brother Bruce, a crack marathon runner, said what many others echoed: Go for it. If you can't do it, your body will tell you so.

His words reassured, but only to a point. Because somewhere along the way, I had stopped trusting my body.


When it came to running, at least, my body didn't betray me. So I ran. And then I ran some more.

As I did, I felt thankful that the drugs and surgery hadn't stopped me. And as I ran my physical and metaphoric races, I began to realize that my chosen sport and unchosen condition shared many of the same traits.

Runners, for example, seem to have their own language - PR/PB (personal record, personal best), chip time (finishing time recorded by a small electronic chip), and distances of races like 5K, 10K and of course the 26.2-mile marathon. Cancer, too, has its own language, and terms like PET scan vs CT scans (imaging tools that help doctors pinpoint the location of cancer), stages of cancer, clinical trials and recurrence have become daily conversation points for me.

Runners cheer each other on. The fast ones who finish first populate the sidelines, cheering for those of us still running. Cancer patients do the same thing. During long and frightening days in the cancer center, you see people holding hands and clinging to each other.

Me, I usually huddle in the corner with my work e-mail, trying diligently to forget where I am. When I do talk to my fellow patients, I always hear good news - like the guy with lung cancer who was there alone because his wife couldn't handle it. He wasn't complaining; he was focused on his next vacation and on a recent Eagles game he'd seen.

His goal was not to worry his wife. Mine was more finite. I wanted to race and, like any runner, to win. And I did.

OK, it wasn't winning in the traditional sense. I didn't come in first that day last November; in fact, I crossed the finish line that day way in the back. But for me, it was a more towering personal victory than I could ever have imagined.

My close friend awaited me at the finish. Around the country, my parents, sister and brother were tracking me on the race's Web site. When it crashed, my sister tracked down my friend to find out how I was, how I looked and if I had finished. My brother the doctor, my brother the marathoner, told me later that he was "sweating bullets."

Early this year, two months after I finished the race, I finished chemotherapy. My first post-chemo scan was in April. I would have done just about anything for positive news. And I thought I had done everything right.

On April 15, exactly one year from the first recurrence, the scan showed "uptake" - one of the words that cancer patients don't want to hear.

It means doctors are seeing "something" - maybe scar tissue, maybe a reaction to the shots, perhaps more cancer. In my case, the uptake was in both the thyroid and melanoma sites. That meant it could be a simultaneous recurrence of both cancers. Every doctor I spoke to said that would be all but unbelievable. And yet suddenly possible.

The news came back a few days later. The good: I did not have both cancers again. And the bad: The melanoma was back.

A day later, I ran. It had become what I do, how I fight back, how I shake my fist and press forward despite feeling like an unseen enemy is always following, always chasing.

It was a local race, only five miles, and I finished. I knew, however, that my metaphoric run - the one against an unseen enemy that just wouldn't go away - was only gearing up.

During the Chicago Marathon last year, which was held in brutal heat, a young man dropped to his knees a half mile before the finish line. Another runner ran by him, stopped, took a few steps back and said something to him.

The first man struggled to his feet. Together, they ran to the finish line.

I still wonder what the runner said to the man who was down that inspired him to get back up. I could use some of that.


I began this story with a run, and I end it with one. But first I must tell you about what happened in between.

It is not a happy ending. But neither is it entirely bleak, and in that I find hope.

For me, the summer of 2008 was not a good one. From May to August, I did not run at all. Radiation therapy kneecapped me and a debilitating round of chemo made sure I stayed down. For the first time, I lost a significant amount of weight - 15 pounds.

I now feel as if I know what it's like to be in a coma. I called in sick for four days - something I never do - and slept for 15 hours each day. Nothing I ate stayed down.

I was enveloped by my illness. It was controlling me. The fatigue was so intense, the sleep so deep that it was as if a chunk of my life was sucked away. I rose only to take a shower. One afternoon I tried to make tea and slept through the kettle's whistle. I awoke to the kettle burned dry to the stove and belching smoke. I had few conversations; that took too much energy. A trip to the grocery store was overwhelming.

One night around 5 p.m., as I was getting back in bed and closing the shades, I saw neighbors firing up their grills for a summer dinner. I felt as if I was slipping away from the world I knew. I would ask myself: Is this what it's like to die?

One recent day, I met with my doctors. They told me I looked frail. I felt frail. But I responded in a way that, by now, will probably not surprise you:

I ran.

The morning I did, in August, was exactly three months after surgery and 19 days after my treatment ended.

What, I wondered, would happen? I felt slow and stiff. I felt thankfulness and I felt hope - hope that I could do the run after all, hope that the drugs had worked and the cancer was gone.

I powered up my iPod. The same song came on as I had heard during that run last year - a day that now feels as if it happened a lifetime ago. I listened to the lyrics, and they penetrated my brain:

"Won't be long now. Getting strong now. Gonna fly now."

My goal was to run a half-mile without stopping - a small goal in the running world but a big one in the universe I now occupied. The one that mattered most.

I ran two miles. Yes, it took more than a half hour. Yes, it was difficult. But I expected it to be harder. And I didn't expect it to be quite so ... exhilarating. I was not shuffling around, not in a hospital bed or sick from drugs or closing the blinds at 5 p.m. and leaving the world behind. I was outside, and I was running.

I wish I could tell you that the surgery and the drugs worked. But I don't know yet if that's the case. I am setting smaller goals these days, in both my running and my life. My aspirations are more compact than they once were, but they still loom large. My reach, I hope, still exceeds my grasp.

I'd be lying if I told you my future wasn't cloudy. But aren't all futures? My two races are, today, being run in parallel fashion. I am racing against cancer and against my own clock. Under the most adverse of conditions, I am becoming a decent runner.

Few things unfold exactly as planned, it turns out. And now, though I am weakened, I am stronger, too. I can handle more, appreciate more, understand more about the world around me. I can cope with the unknown, too; I'm not happy about it, but I am capable.

And I fight. It's an old metaphor, but it's all I have. I'm fighting to become a runner and a healthy person, and giving up either fight is not an option. I may be in the back of the line for the moment, but I am running two races. I am a dedicated runner now, and I plan on finishing both.

Exactly as planned.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Typical Monday

Before I say anything, I want you to go to my friend Ronda's blog and check her out. Wow, what a body! Ronda is an awesome fast ultra runner from Oregon and a very amazing person. Check out her blog, and be prepared to be impressed! She keeps me motivated and inspired everyday.

Here is a few pics of me at the Firetrails 50 miler this Saturday.

Today was the typical Monday at work. I heard that my good friend and Doctor is dying of Brain Cancer. He went home from the hospital today with Hospice. He was diagnosed in January. Several of the Doc's I work with have died of Brain Cancer. Scary to think about and kinda creepy too. It makes you wonder what is in the hospital that could be contributing to this sudden rise in Brain Cancer. Remember to live each day as best as you can. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.

I am just about ready to blow a gasket over our new Comcast internet service. Don't even get me started, but I will say that we only have 358 days left of our 1 year contract!! Have a great week. Thank you Pete Hazarian and John Medinger for the photos.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Firetrails 50 mile

I forgot what it was like to be cold. Really cold. I am absolutely cold to the bone. It may be because I used up my heat reserves yesterday at the race or just because it is October. I don't know. The pic above reminds me of how I am feeling. I can't wait until summer arrives.......

Yesterday I ran the Firetrails 50 miler. It has a total elevation gain of (+)7,800 feet and loss of 7,800 feet. It was an awesome day and the trails and volunteers were just great. I finally got to meet Victoria. She was sitting with her pink cast propped up volunteering at the finish line. It was nice to see her as I always tend to shy away from running events when I have an injury. I hate to be reminded of what I can't do and she is using volunteering as a motivation to get her back to where she wants to be.

The Race:
My plan A was to finish in 8:38. Plan B was to finish in under 9 hours. I made out my pace chart for a 8:38 finish and held on to it for a 8:38 finish. Unbelievable!! How did I do that? Believe me, it was only a coincidence! But amazing just the same. I was 2nd woman overall and first in my age group. I broke the 14 year age division record by 48 minutes! Pretty exciting for me as this age thing really bugs me. I hate that I am as old as I am. History proves that women don't do as well as they age (running), as men their same age. How many fast 57 year old women do you see compared to 57 year old men? See what I am saying?? It's just a bummer. The important thing is to keep on keeping on. Enough said. Oh, and for the record, I am not 57, I was just using that age to make a point. I ran the whole 50 miles in my Drymax socks without one blister and not a hot spot anywhere on my feet or toes. Thank you Drymax! I wore their trail running sock which is a high density protective padded sock. My feet stayed dry and free of dirt and debris. I've had a history of blisters and very sore toes during all of my long runs and races. Wearing Drymax socks have completely taken away that problem. I love that I can run feeling confident in my socks. Check out the Drymax blog to see what your favorite athletes are up to!

Have a nice Sunday and happy blister free running to ya'll!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A bit of my life of running

I spent the whole day running around town trying to find stuff for my race tomorrow. All the way across town for 2 packages of Luna Moons. Back to another part of town for this, and for that. Whew! I'm exhausted. I think I will feel more rested after the race!

Last night I went over to my brother and sister in laws house to visit with their two kids. My brother asked his 4 year old to clip his hair, and Tyler attempted to do that. When he lost interest after a few minutes, I took over. Within about a minute, the clippers died, so my brother is left looking like he has had brain surgery. I don't do anything with any rhythm or rhyme so his hair is really botched up. Sorry, Wally!

I wanted to show you all some pics from my running life. I will attempt to do this again. My blogging skills are less than okay, and putting these pics up have proven to be beyond my blog abilities. I am going to try again.

This is a pic of Matt and I during the Miwok 100k a few years ago.

Matt and I on the Hardrock 100 course in 2006.

Wasatch 100 2006

Western States 100 2007 with my Mom.

Grand Canyon r2r2r 2006

Headlands 50 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A fun weekend

Matt and I getting ready to hand out candy on Halloween last year. Only 3 weeks till trick or treat time! What are you going to dress up as?

Boy, did we have a nice weekend! Saturday night we had a nice dinner with friends at someones ranch. It was really fun and we enjoyed meeting a few new people. Most of the people there are our "once a year friends." We see them at the ranch or at a party maybe once a year. They are a great group of people. Cattle ranchers, horsemen, and grape growers. Always a lot to talk about.

This is a picture of my Mom and I on my 50Th Birthday.

Sunday night my Mom and Lloyd, my sister Shawn and her friend Brenda, and Matt and I got together for dinner at our house. We had so much fun talking about the past. We laughed our butts off thinking back to High School when I were getting ready for my High School graduation school trip. We were to take the bus to L.A. for a one day trip to Disneyland. The park was opened only to high school seniors. We were so excited!! When the school announced that we had to wear matching pants and tops and jackets, my Mom was all over it. She pulled out her pink and white checked seersucker pantsuit (elastic waisted pants, mind you), and exclaimed, "I've got the perfect outfit for you!" Let me fill you in on a few facts. I am 5'7. My Mom is 5'3. I have long legs. My Mom has shorter legs. I was 18. My Mom was 45. NO ONE in high school wore elastic waisted pants, much less pink and white checkered, and Seersucker? OMG!!! It was so embarrassing! I remember walking into the park with my pants pulled up high so that the crotch of the pants wouldn't be down past my knees. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I hear a loud voice on a speaker. Stop!! "Yes, you with the checkered jacket. Is your outfit matching?" Everyone stops and turns to look. I am dying inside. I can't believe it. I am being checked out. Everyone is staring and the man waves me through. I am free to be a teenager in my Mom's outfit. The pants are too short, the waist is too high, and the lapel on the jacket is just too much. I am wearing the outfit that my Mom has made for herself. I died a thousand deaths that night, but we have laughed over that story a million times since. The photo albums proved my story.
Brenda looked at a few pics of my wedding and just cracked up. She kept saying, these pictures are HILARIOUS!! Have you ever heard someone tell you that someones wedding photo's are hilarious? Well, now you have. We were hysterical. The pics were hilarious and I looked like a total dork.

A great night with Lot's of stories. One of these days I will figure out how to get them on my blog. I guarantee that you will laugh too!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Last night Matt and I went to Paul and Colleen's running party. It was great to see many of our running friends and to catch up on every one's adventures. Dress code was that we HAD to wear a 100 mile buckle in order to miss washing dishes, so we all wore our buckles. A few had them on their belts, Lynn used her Vermont 100 buckle as a broach on her dress, and a few of us hung them from a cord around our necks. It was a whole lot of fun. Lot's of stories, lot's of laughs, and of course, lot's of good food! Lynn, me, Florencia, and Leslie posing with our buckles! Suz missed out on a pic because she left too early!

My good friend Stephen and I. We have had some really good times together in the past. I paced Stephen in 2006 at Hardrock 100 and it was an unforgettable adventure. I have so much respect for him and it was great to see him last night.

I just saw that OJ Simpson was found guilty to all the charges against him in his last smart move. How sad that as he sits in prison, he will not be able to continue his search for Nicole's killer. (sniff,sniff)

We had our first rain of the year last night and boy did it pour! I am so relieved that I don't have to water everything. Naomi and I ran for a little over an hour in Annadel this morning and only got rained on for a few minutes. It was fun to catch up with her and fill her in on AC 100 pacing and crewing duties.

Next Saturday I am running in Firetrails 50 miler. I don't know what to expect, so the only guarantee is that I will show up. Hopefully, I will have a good race. Anywhoo, I hope that you all have a great weekend and that you enjoy your day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wild Dollar Bill Bradley......extreme athlete

My friend Wild "Dollar Bill" Bradley was on the channel 4 Sports seqment with Gary Radnich out of San Francisco on Monday night. I have talked about Bill on my blog before. He is a great guy and a good friend that I met a couple of years ago. We have enjoyed some running together and I always get a kick out of him. He is one funny guy! On Friday, Oct.3 through Sunday, Oct. 5th, Bill will be competing in the Virginia Triple Ironman. This race consists of a 7.2 mile swim, followed by a 336 mile bike, followed by a 78.6 mile run. Read more about my crazy, extreme friend by going to his website. He says he has two talents....showing up and suffering. You will understand what he means when you read what he has been up to. Good luck, Bill!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just rambling on

Today started early with a nice run with Karen and my brother, Wally. After the run, I went to the gym and did some pull-ups and some upper body weight work. I just love the way it makes my body feel. I am surprised at how empowering getting strong is.

Matt and I went to his Mom's house for a late afternoon lunch with several of his family. We went to see their friends Alpaca farm and was promptly spit on by a mad Alpaca. The smell of her spit was just gross and of course everyone their just thought that was the funniest thing!

I got an email for The Coastal Challenge today updating me on the race. It is really exciting to read all the new information. Apparently there will be people competing from at least 8 different countries and I am sure it is going to be a total blast. I want to be as prepared as I can, so if anyone has any ideas on how I can be ready, please don't hesitate to contact me. I have never been to Costa Rica and I have never done a stage race so I am quite a rookie as you can see. My friends Florencia, Leslie and Suzanna will be training for the Hurt 100 in January so I will have plenty of opportunities to train during the early winter months.

Tomorrow I am up at the butt crack for an early start at the Hospital. It's best if I hit the hay early. Did I mention that we got a new bed? Y E A H !!!!!!!! You can bounce a bowling ball on it, but so far we love it. It is looking mighty comfortable right about now, so I will end this boring post. I hope you all have a nice start to the week. See you on the flip side.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Winter's a coming; get out there and MOVE

Today, Tamara, Suzanna and I had lunch at a great Italian restaurant in Sonoma. Tamara and I both had Lasagna and Suz had something I can't pronounce. It was so delicious! I will need to run really hard tomorrow to burn off all of that food! We had a great time talking about running, runners, adventures we want to do, weird people, and did I mention running? I followed up my lunch with an upper body workout at the gym. It feels really good to work your arms and upper body. All this work better pay off!! I love doing it anyway, so I'm just kidding. I learned a new exercise the other day. I think it is called negatives and you jump up to the chin-up bar and do a chin-up and then you S L O W L Y lower yourself down. It is really hard to do after a few of them. Something this hard has got to be good for me. You can use a step or something to help you jump up and reach the bar if necessary. So anyway, happy trails to you all this weekend. Winter's coming so get out there while the gettin's good.

A few of us are planning a climb up Mt. Whitney running the trails that are not used by the usual hikers. It is about a 45 mile trek. We are going to apply for a permit for a run there in May or June. Should be fun.

Do these sunglasses make me look FAST?

I have great news!! I have been selected to represent Aruba sunglasses. They are real eyewear for real athletes. Their sunglasses are intended for running, cycling, water sports, golf, and tennis. They are lightweight and very sturdy. Most importantly...they work. They work well on low lighted trails and they are very comfortable. Please check out their website and see for yourself.

In the pictures I am wearing the Wave 2 and the Wave. The Wave 2 comes with interchangeable lenses and they don't fog up. All of the sunglasses come in cool colors and different colored lenses. But most importantly....Do these sunglasses make me look FAST?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Call Andy Jones, we've got a leaner"

Untitled from Lynn Hesseltine on Vimeo.

Here is a video of Dan Williams finishing AC 100 two weeks ago. Suzanna Bon paced him. Dan is an amazing runner and just a great guy. Dan and Suzanna are two of my most special friends. Dan struggled this year at AC despite getting in some great training. His back started doing "the lean thing", and it was quite a struggle trying to run like that. I am so proud of him for a job well done. Many people would have thrown in the towel, but not Dan. He kept his head high and finished with a smile on his face. He is a true ultra runner. A little stubborn, and a lot tough.

Thanks Lynn Hesseltine for the video of Dan's emotional finish.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Team Diablo rocks at AC

Last weekend I had the honor of pacing Tamara Johnson at the AC 100. The race starts in Wrightwood, California and ends in Pasadena. The race is run through the San Gabriel Mts. AC is a hard 100. There is 21,610 ft. of climbing and 26, 700 ft. of descent. The course is as beautiful as it is tough. It is well run and course markings are everywhere. I would say that if you are looking for a challenging 100, AC is for you.

Suz, Jeff, Ken, and I crewed and paced during the race. Crewing and pacing are almost more tiring than running the thing! We had a great time and Team Diablo kicked butt! Of the 7 Team Diablo runners, all 7 finished strong. Troy Howard came in 2nd with a screaming time of 19:25:04. Tamara Johnson wanted to finish under 28 hours but she is happy with a finishing time of 28:28:28! It was an honor to crew and pace for Team Diablo. They are not only amazing runners, but great people too. Thankyou Team Diablo for welcoming me into your group. Congrats to Dan, Wally, Tamara, Dennis, Dave, Mac, and Troy for a job well done. You all ran strong, despite some tough issues that some of you faced. You are all winners in my book.

I paced 42 miles wearing Drymax socks on steep technical trails with no blisters! I love my new socks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pacing at AC 100

Tomorrow morning Suzanna, Jeff and I will drive down to Southern California where we will pace our friends at Angeles Crest 100. Suzanna is pacing Dan, Jeff is pacing Wally and I am pacing Tamara. We will all run approximately 45 miles with our runners. It will be a fun weekend. I really like to pace in 100 milers. One of the best pacing jobs I had was pacing my friend Stephen at Hardrock 100 in 2006. It was one of those experiences that I will never forget. I am so appreciative to Stephen for giving me the opportunity to pace him and for his faith in me. Believe it or not, I still think about that race and how amazing that experience was. Thanks, Stephen!

Suzanna and I ran today for about 8 miles. We hadn't run together in awhile and it was fun to catch up. Our conversations are so scattered. We both have so much to say and we try and fit everything in between heavy breathing. We talk about everything except politics. We have different views but we value each other enough not to let that interfere with our friendship.

I am still going at it with my upper body conditioning. I really am not seeing much change. It bums me out but I am getting stronger. Can I change my body at 50? I believe that I can. So.....I will just keep on keeping on.

I found a recipe for a green smoothie. They seem to be the rage in some of the blogs that I read. I will try one and let you know how they taste. More importantly, they are suppose to be really good for you. Since I can't cook worth beans, maybe I can blend a smoothie.(I really can cook, but I just choose not to.) I am so done with cooking!! I have got to get motivated to commit to cooking at least 3 times a week. Think of all the money and calories we would save. Have a wonderfully relaxing weekend.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Run far, run farther in Drymax socks

I am excited to announce that I have joined the Drymax family and will be running exclusively in Drymax socks. My friend Olga Varlamova gave me a pair and I have been addicted ever since. If you are looking for a great sock that is tough enough to last a tough 100 miler, and then more, all without the distraction of blisters, look no further. Please check out their blog to see what all the Drymax athletes are up to. I am excited to be running in such a great sock that has proved itself time and time again in all kinds of conditions. Thank you, Drymax socks!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Running long and feeling strong

I have really been a blog slacker lately. I really don't have much to say these days. It's hard to come up with something that you all might find interesting. Oh well, here is the recap of my week.

Karen and I have made it out to Armstrong Woods to run 3 times in the last week and a half. It is an awesome park with lot's of ups and downs and lot's of technical trails. The park is in a very remote area and there is a lot of pigs and other wildlife to be seen there. Our runs have been slow but they have been really good. We've run two 14 milers and a 18 miler out there. It was HOT each time and I kept thinking how heat trained I was, and then it occurred to me, heat trained for what? I have no races coming up that will require me to be heat trained. Bummer. Kind of like "all dressed up and no where to go."
I also ran an 18 miler with Leslie last weekend at Mt. Burdell. She was getting ready to pace Beth Vitalis at Wasatch which was this weekend. Beth DNF'd due to some medical issues. My friend Chris Garcia finished and I am anxious to hear his account on that monster of a race! Definitely a butt kicker!

Next weekend Suzanna and I are driving down to AC 100 with our friend Jeff. The three of us are all pacing friends at the race. It should be fun. Suzanna won the womens race last year and holds the course record there.

Matt and I had a nice weekend of eating, eating, and more eating. We enjoyed walking around Sausalito yesterday and had a wonderful dinner in Healdsburg. We used a gift certificate for the restaurant that I got from winning a race. It was really enjoyable knowing that I could order ANYTHING. We came home to a yard full of Turkeys and several turkeys on our roof. Our area has more turkeys then china has tea, so it is common to have to wait at busy intersections while a flock of turkeys (20 or 30) cross the street. Today we went to John and Lisa's Harvest Party and enjoyed their lovely home and gardens. The food was fabulous and we enjoyed visiting with many of our running friends.

I bought a 24 gallon "action packer" at REI this weekend too. It is the required container that The Coastal Challenge wants us to have to put all our race stuff in. It's exciting to think that it is quickly approaching. Suzanna, Leslie, and Florencia will be training for the HURT 100 in January so we all can train together at the same time. The Coastal Challenge starts on Feb. 1st.

I hope you all were not too bored with my mundane writing. The long runs have made me feel more conditioned and my bad ankle is feeling better. Even my PF is better. I hope everyone has a good week at work or at home and that you are making health a priority in your life. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Make today count.

Examine what you believe to be impossible, and then change your beliefs. Dr. Wayne Dyer