Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Birds, Happy Weekend

This weekend proved to be a good running weekend after all. The smoke and haze continues to clear and things are looking up! On Friday, my brother Wally and I went for a 3.5 hour run in Sugarloaf park. It was warm and humid with spots of blue sky threating to emerge. Our run was a good one. I hadn't been on that trail for several months. The trails were so overgrown and it was confusing trying to stay on the right path. Today, Karen, Leslie and I ran up to Big Rock. We ran for 3.5 hours also. We did a lot of climbing and descending. Up and down we went. It was a great run for me as I didn't feel tired or stiff afterward. I think that is a first in a long time. I hope that is a sign that I am getting more fit.

I heard recently that chocolate milk can be a great recovery drink. I tried it today after our run and did it taste good! I might need to make that a habit, we'll see. Findings suggest that chocolate milk has an optimal ratio of carbs to protein to help refuel tired muscles. I can drink chocolate milk so much easier than drinking some sweet recovery drink after a long run. Anything with the word chocolate in it has gotta be good! Try it, you might like it.

Have a happy Monday everyone. I am finding it increasingly harder to keep positive in this economy. Tomorrow I will focus on the positive aspects of our world. Keep smiling! Peace out.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Smoky in California

California is on fire. Here in Northern California we have been living for several days in a smoky, smelly environment. There are health alerts all over the news telling everyone to stay inside and to not exercise in these conditions. They use words like carcinogens, respiratory failure, asthma, and lung problems. It's scary to say the least. Needless to say, running has taken a back seat.

Western States 100 was canceled due to the fires and smoke. I think it was the first time it was ever canceled in over 30 years. I hear that the conditions in the Sierra's are just terrible. The air quality is just horrific. With everything going on in our world right now, it makes you wonder what is going on. I hope the parks surrounding my area of town stay okay. Everything is so dry and our creeks and lakes are low too. I feel so sad for all the animals right now that are running from the flames and the heat of the fire.

On a different note, I went to the gym today and worked out on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes. I did a little upper body work too. It feels good to be in the gym, I should do it more often. I ordered a coolmax sheet (bag), from and got it today. It is the first item I have gotten for my Stage Race in January. I figure if I start getting things now I might be a little bit more organized come race time.

"Goal-setting is not a mind game. It is a process of developing the internal willpower to accomplish what you have set out to do." Joan Benoit Samuelson

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We were never meant to compromise, settle for mediocrity. This life was never made to be a waste of time. All that is within me says no more just existing. Live like there's no tomorrow, love extravagantly, lead a life to be followed, goodbye ordinary! Mercy Me

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I swam laps this morning for 40 minutes. I know what you're thinking....Big deal. Yes, it was a big deal. You try dragging these hard, shapely arms through the water and tell me how you feel. These push-ups are really working. The trouble is...I am the only one who notices...Crapola.

On another note, Matt and I met my sister, Dan, and my Mom at the old Franklin Cemetery for a tour of the graves and to learn of the history of our town and the people who are buried there. It was interesting and for anyone who really knows me, you know old cemeteries are right up my alley. The man who built my Mom's house is buried there, but today we could not find his grave. He built her house in 1847 and the history of the house and the people who lived there is really fascinating. Our town is really a large city now, but it still has an "old" feel about it. I like this place and I think I will stay here until the fat lady sings.

One week until WS!! Whoo hoo!! I bet all you entrants are getting so excited. Last year at this time I was so pumped.

Have a nice rest of the day. Matt and I might go on a hike. It's only 98 degrees out but I hate to sit around and do nothing. Life is just too short to waste even a second. Adios for now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ever caught a good sunset???

Yesterday morning I got up early to get a nice run in. It was hot and I beat everyone but a few mountain bikers to the park. My son Caleb is home for a week from College and so I wanted to be done before he woke up. It was a beautiful morning and I had a wonderful run.

He didn't drive home, but got a ride from his girlfriend, so he wanted to borrow my car. I decided that I would go get it smog'd as I was overdue with getting my certificate and I didn't want him to get pulled over without a current sticker.

My car is really hot. I mean it. It totally rocks in my opinion. It is a Montero SUV, equipped with a Western States 100 license frame, a Montrail sticker on the window, you know, totally cool. I went to the smog shop and immediately after they hooked my car up, the whole garage filled with white smoke. All the employees were walking around holding wet cloths over their mouth and noses. It was terribly embarrassing when I realized that it was my totally cool looking car that was polluting the whole place. Needless to say, my car didn't pass smog. The mechanic stamped a big FAILED on my papers and off I went like a dog with his tail between his legs. It just goes to show you that you can look damn good on the outside, but be falling apart on the inside. Things are not always like they seem. Now I am going to donate this hot smokin piece of shizel to the State of California and find myself a car that actually runs as good as it looks! LOL!

Today Suzanna and I ran in the park. We met at 6:45am and it was already very hot. I ran with her for 2:15 and she carried on for another couple hours. As I drove away she was starting back up the hill. I didn't envy her at all. I did admire her mental strength, as it was tough for her to go back out. I felt trashed most of the day but as I think back on this morning, I should have eaten within 30-45 min. of finishing. I think my recovery would have been better. After eating some 2 hours later, I almost felt human again. Lesson learned.

I am still doing push-ups almost everyday. I am finally getting stronger. It is a great feeling to have hard arms. There is something empowering about it.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I am swimming tomorrow and doing a 2 hour run on Sunday. Next weekend is Western States 100 and I will be doing Safety Patrol. Matt is crewing Tom Crull my good friend from Dallas. I will help after my duties as Safety Patrol are done. We are looking forward to going up to the mountains and watching the race unfold. I love to see all my friends and to watch everyone hard at work, striving to fulfill a dream of finishing the WS 100. Good luck everyone!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Yesterday was a great day on the WS trail. My brother Wally and I and several other ultra friends ran from Squaw Valley to Robinson Flat. It is a 30 mile run that goes through Duncan Canyon. It was a beautiful day and a few of the runners were running their last long run there before the race. We swapped a lot of running stories and I really enjoyed hearing about the "old days", when a few of the runners there were running in the 18-19 hour range at WS. It was interesting to hear from these guys all the behind the scene stuff that happened while they were "racing" from Squaw Valley to Auburn. These guys were tough, and they still are today. Thank you Dan Williams for making our run yesterday a success. You are a winner.

For any of you readers that are running the race in two weeks, their is very little snow, the patches here and there will probably be melted by race day. Duncan Canyon has 70+ trees down and they are promised to be cleared before the "show" also. The creek at Duncan is about calf deep and will be a perfect place to cool off if it is hot.

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads. Matt's kids are coming for a BBQ and we are looking forward to that. Enjoy your day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

My friend and fellow team member, Peter tagged me. I am to answer these five questions. Here goes.

1. How would you describe your running ten years ago? I ran my first 50k ten years ago. I remember that my calves cramped and I thought it was so hard. My racing background actually comes from riding endurance horses in 50 - 100 mile races, so that was my only sport before running took over.

2. What is your best and worst race experience? My best race experience had to be Western States 2007. I had been injured all season and had very limited training going into the race. Race day found me excited and so positive! I finished under 24 hours and felt great most of the time. My worst race experience was at Wasatch 2007. I predicted a time of 27 hours there. I developed Rhabdomyolysis there and got very seriously sick and it took me 35 hours and change to finish. My kidneys and liver were not working properly and the pain of that condition was horrible. I would say I practically crawled the last several miles due to my body shutting down. I spent a week in the hospital after that.

3. Why do you run? I run because it gives me a feeling of power. It makes me strong and allows me to see and experience places that I would never otherwise be able to see. (I am too hyper to hike).

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running? The best advice that I was given is to always keep a positive attitude while racing. You must stay mentally strong, or you are really going to suffer out there. The worst advice? Keep running no matter what. That advice could have killed me at Wasatch. We must be able to tell the difference between normal pain and serious pain when we are out on the trail. There should be no shame in quitting if you feel that you are jepardizing your health to finish.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know. I quit drinking when I was 22. When I was about 12 years old I raised rabbits and butchered, tanned their hides and sold their meat to make money. I also love to collect skulls. I once wanted to become a Mortician and I worked in a county morgue once. (sick, I know what you are all thinking.)

Now tagging: Leigh

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wow, what a week!

Wow, what a week I have had!

It all started on Friday, June 6th. A typical early summer day that happened to be my Birthday. Matt stayed home from work and he and I had a nice short run and I tried to get use to the idea that I was now a half century old! We celebrated with family later Friday evening at a nice restaurant in Santa Rosa. There was about 15 people there and we had a blast. We ended the evening by going to my Brother and Sister in laws house and having cake and opening presents. I was so lucky to have so many nice gifts from everyone and it was just so special. At the end of my gift opening, Matt handed me "one last card". I opened it up and was just shocked and at a loss for words. Matt's card to me read...Kelly,
Get your passport, call in sick, because you are going to The Coastal Challenge 2009!
I just about burst out crying with surprise and excitement. The Coastal Challenge is a stage race in Costa Rica. He and I will be going there for 15 days. I will be racing there for 6 days through the Rainforest! I am just so excited I can't see straight. What a special gift from such a special man! I am truly blessed. This gift is especially unique because he went outside of the box for this gift. He knew that this adventure would be the best gift anyone could ever give me. This stage race is not something that he would be interested in doing, but he knew that I would love it. He loves me THAT much. I am a lucky gal.

The race starts February 1st. I know a few people who have done it, so I will be contacting them about the details of what to bring. Neither Matt or I have ever been to Costa Rica so we are totally jazzed about going.

Sunday, I ran the Auburn 50k in Auburn, Ca. It was run over some of the Western States trail. It was hot and dry but I had a good run despite not feeling as good as I would have liked. I came in 2nd to Beverly Anderson-Abbs and 8th overall. I was 1st in my new age group. We finished off the day at a Graduation Party for Matt's nephew and had a nice time there.

Monday was Matt's Birthday and we went out to lunch in Healdsburg and had a BBQ with family at home that evening. We had a nice day spending it together.

I am truly blessed and very excited as I start my 50th year. I have lots of running to do and a whole lot of training ahead of me. I want to be in the best shape of my life this year. Come on 2008, bring it on!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!!

Today is my 50th Birthday. I am having a hard time believing it. I have lived over half of my life. Wow. I am thankful for everything in my life, and really have few regrets. I wanted to share a few Birthday quotes before I head out the door to run for the first time at this ripe old age.

Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened. Cora Harvey Armstrong.

Looking fifty is great - if you're sixty. Joan Rivers

The fact is, that to do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in, and scramble as well as we can. Sydney Smith

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A time for slacking and a time for Celebration

I admit it, I am a blog slacker. I just haven't been able to get into this blogging thingy this past week. I think I lost my creativity or something. I just haven't been able to think of a damn thing to say. Maybe my meat eating diet is clogging my creative mind. I don't know. Help!

I guess I should start where I left off... On Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend, I ran up on the Western States trail with lot's of people. We ran about 27 miles in rain, mud, and cold. I had a blast! How can you not have fun when you're running with friends on the WS trail? A bad run just doesn't happen up there. There is just something so magical there. The rest of the week was spent swimming and resting as I felt a little soreness in my left achilles. I figured I better rest and nip this overuse injury in the bud. For once, I listened to the voice of reason in my head and did the right thing. After a few days I was just fine.

On Friday, May 30th, my daughter Courtney graduated from High School. It was a sad and a happy time for me. I will miss her when she goes away to College. It has been hard at times knowing that my kids are growing up and spreading their wings. Sometimes I want to hold them back, but I must let them fly. I have always kind of dreaded this time in my life when the kids would no longer need my guidance on an everyday basis. A sad time and a happy time all rolled into one. Friday morning I got up and ran for about 8 miles. It was one of those runs where nothing hurts and you feel like you are just flying. I know I wasn't running all that fast, but in my mind, I was hammering. I felt good inside knowing that I have given my all to my children and that I have been blessed. Courtney, my child, spread your wings and SOAR!

Sunday we had a graduation party and now it is Tuesday and I am finally getting to this blog. I am running a 50k on Sunday, June 8th. I think it will go well, as I will be turning the dreaded 50 on Friday. I will be in a new age group! I'm wondering if that is the only good that can come out of turning fifty. The good thing is that I feel about 16. My mind says I'm 16, my body says it's 30, and my face says, SH**!

I refuse to let an old person move into my body.