Friday, December 10, 2010
Today marks the 20th anniversary of my Dad's death. I can't believe that that much time has passed. I wish he could have gotten to know his Grandchildren and to see the person I have grown up to be. I believe he would be proud.
Alcoholism stripped him of his intelligence, his humor, his good looks. It took away everything that he had worked so hard for. Ultimately, it took his life.
I remember this day as though it were yesterday. Rushing to the hospital with three small babies in hand, running down the hallway trying to get there in time. "I'm sorry, Kelly, but your Dad just took his last breath", the nurse told me. I sat with him alone. I studied his face, memorizing his skin tone, studying his nose that had been smashed in with a metal pipe just two months before. Someone had hurt my Father and then robbed him of the only money he had. Two dollars! They broke his nose for two fucking dollars as he sat on a street corner, alone and destitute. I studied his feet that had taken him to both good and bad places and I wanted to remember everything about him, so I would never forget. This man who I loved so much and who had become so unlovable to so many. This man who had lost his job, all respect, all dignity and lived in a one room studio apartment when he died. My heart feels so much pain and sadness as I write this. I am crying now as I remember the man who was so strong, so funny, so charismatic. My Mom use to say that all the woman loved him and all the men wanted to be like him. Alcohol took that all away. Slowly, all the air was drained out of him. Kinda like a balloon deflating.
Today I honor my Dad for the man who taught me to be strong. He taught me to be a survivor, though he didn't know that. His drinking was a gift to me as strange as that sounds. In 1981, I decided to stop drinking for my New Years Resolution. A tribute to myself and to my Dad. I hated the taste of alcohol, but what if?? I couldn't risk ever having an issue like that. I couldn't put myself or the ones I loved, through that. So today I encourage any of you to take a step towards making your life a better one. I am so sorry that my Dad had to suffer with alcoholism, but he may have saved my life. He loved me and he would never have wanted me to suffer like he did. RIP Dad. You were loved so much and I will never forget you. You were my Hero and I walk proud today knowing that you were my Dad. I am picturing you right now. I am smiling and crying at the same time.
With the Holidays upon us, I have totally neglected writing in my blog. With Facebook so conveniently in my face everyday, I forget that I should update the blog once in awhile for the couple of people who do read it.
Last Saturday I ran The Northface Endurance Challenge 50 mile race that is a Championship race and the last of 6 races in a national series. There is a lot of money on the line for the winners. Ist male and Ist female win 10,000, 2nd wins 4,000, and 3rd wins 1000 dollars. As you can imagine, the race was stacked with some of the most elite ultra runners in the world.
It was an early start, 5am, and running for a couple of hours in the dark posed an interesting slant on a 50 miler. The weather Gods behaved themselves for the most part, and despite the rain and wind, it could have been a lot worse! The course is very challenging with lots of ups and downs and several sections of stairs that are endless. We even had to climb a vertical ladder on the Steep Ravine Trail. It is beautiful running in the Marin Headlands overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge.
I was happy with my time, as I started the race with minimal training and a very tired body. I was pleasantly surprised that I ran strong from start to finish. My good friend and pacer Suzanna Bon was excellent and it was so great to have her out there with me. My finishing time was 9:42 which put me at 16th woman, and 1st in my age group. I'm happy with that. I started the race with a sore low back and today it is still really hurting. I have been using the foam roller and stretching but I think a chiropractor appt. and a massage are in order.
Saturday was also the WS 100 mile lottery, and once again my name wasn't drawn. Oh well, what's a woman to do? Run a more exciting race, right? Well, I'm working on that. I'll let you know.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you will know that I do not drink. Nothing. Nada. And for a good reason, too. As a child of an alcoholic, I know what drinking does and what driving drunk can do. Please take the time to reflect on this video and be smart and safe this Holiday season. Do it for your children, and friends, but mostly do it for yourself. Thank you and have a healthy and safe Holiday Season.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Today I found myself reflecting on all the good things in my life. I am so thankful to be healthy and motivated. I am running a 50 miler in two weeks and though I don't feel ready for that distance, I will run with confidence and purpose. February is The Coastal Challenge, a six day stage race in Costa Rica. I can't wait! It will be an amazing adventure and so much fun. I've put my name in the lottery for Western States and will also try my luck for Miwok and Mont Blanc. Let's see what the lottery Gods has for me this year. If I don't get into these races, well, there is a lot more great races waiting to be run. No point sweating it. Last year when I didn't get into WS, I entered Big Horn and had a blast! Things happen for a reason.
The Holidays are quickly approaching and I like to go into winter feeling fit. Remember it is easier to stay fit all year than to begin all over again come January. Commit to a fitness regimen and keep off the extra winter weight. You will be so happy if you can do this. I had to include this picture of my daughter's dog, Bentley. He was so tired after trick or treating all evening that he fell asleep in in Halloween outfit. So cute!
"Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress." Alfred A. Montapert
Your action for today is to look at one of your long-term goals and see if you are making progress towards it.
Have an extraordinary day!
Make 2010 your best year EVER.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
On Saturday I ran the first ever Boggs 50k in Cobb California. It was a beautiful course with lots of pine needles that made for a soft cushion. The rain held out and we started out in dense foggy conditions. It was actually a perfect day for a race. I won the womens race in 5:10 and placed 4th overall. Leigh Schmitt won the men's race in 4:26! I was happy with my performance with minimal amount of training. The race directors did an excellent job! I highly recommend this race to anyone who is looking for a beautiful race with great footing. I wore my favorite Drymax socks and finished with NO blisters. Thanks Drymax for covering my feet!
This week we have had an unusual amount of warm weather. Last week it rained everyday! On Tuesday, Karen and I saw a huge rattlesnake on the trail sunning itself. It was shocking to see one this late in the year and a good reminder that they are still out!!
Registration for Western States 100 is almost here. The lottery will be held on December 4th. I will be running a 50 miler on that day and will miss being up at the lottery. It is so much fun to be part of the excitement in Auburn on that day. Good luck to everyone who is praying for a spot in 2011!
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost. Dalai Lama
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Today, my twisted sista Suzanna Bon is running in the 24 hour Oklahoma Ultrarunning Championships. She has been running all day on a one mile asphalt loop. She hopes to qualify for the World Championships in Europe this summer. I hope she has a great run there as she has been training really hard. I admire her motivation and drive. I want to be more like her when I grow up :')
My training has been consistent and I am feeling good about the runs that I have done. I have managed a couple of 20+ milers and feel good about that. Next week I am running a 50k so it will be good to see where I am at with my level of fitness. I am running with Costa Rica in my mind and it excites me to think about my race there. Tamara is also going and so that is great too.
Work has been interesting to say the least. The best part about my job is that I get to meet a lot of interesting people. I love to meet new people and to interact with them. Last week I got to meet a transgender and a rock star! My job is never boring! I learned a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff this week! Hilarious!
I am not a baseball fan, but, how about them GIANTS? Woohoo! I have to admit that I did enjoy the game. I am happy for them. Okay, you can see that I have nothing really very exciting to say, so I will sign off. Happy Sunday!
"What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate."
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family.
Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize
She was not selected.
Al Gore won --- for a slide show on Global Warming.
63 years later
In MEMORIAM - 63 YEARS LATER
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I am sitting here waiting to go for a nice 15 mile run on this cold, clear morning. I am excited, but I am hesitant because of a fat furry baby that lies at my feet. Jada, our new Aussie puppy, is my pride and joy. I feel like a first time Mom, and I don't want to leave her. I want to play with her all day, kiss her, and teach her the ways of the world. Sounds corny, I know, but I just can't help it. Having a new baby in the house definitely affects my training these days. Instead of long runs, they are short and fast! I don't want to leave her for too long. Oh, well, I am off for a run!
This video was an eye-opener for me. I am sure you will feel the same way. It clearly illustrates how futile it is to try and exercise away dietary slip-ups. It's easy to put away hundreds, or even thousands of calories in just a few minutes, but it takes hours of very intense exercise to burn off a fraction of that. The idea that you can "undo" a gluttonous meal with a trip to the gym or a nice run, keeps many people from reaching their goals. I certainly will be more aware of what I eat now. Since I have begun eating gluten "less", I haven't had a pizza. Sometimes I miss having one, but I am one of those people who can eat five or six big pieces without a problem. Wow, isn't that scary! I guess it is best for someone like me to just avoid eating that. I really have a problem monitoring the amount of food I put in my mouth. I need to practice MODERATION. Get out the door and burn some calories! Remember: You can never out-train a bad diet!
Friday, September 17, 2010
"The distance is nothing. It is only the first step that is difficult."
Author, Marie de Vichy-Chamrond
Your action for today is to put in writing one action item to do regarding an idea you've wanted to accomplish.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
"Treasure each other in the recognition that we do not know how long we will have each other". Joshua Liebman
On Sept. 3rd, we drove 3 hours to buy a beautiful Aussie puppy that we named Jada. She is a blue
merle and we all are in love. She is so smart and so cute!! It is so much fun to have a puppy around again. I just forgot how much work they are!! It's like having a baby all over again.
I signed up for a 50k and a 50 miler today. I am glad that I committed to doing them, as now I have a reason to train!! I wanted to mention that it has been about 5 months since I've had either bread or pasta. I feel so much better and I can run now without stomach pains. Who would have thought?
The Coastal Challenge is my January destination. It is a 6 day stage race in Costa Rica. I am so excited to be racing there again. You may recall that I raced there in 2009 and had the adventure of a lifetime. I am motivated to get out and train with this race coming up in 2011.
My daughter Chelsea is interested in doing a Triathlon. I am so pumped for her. Her and I went to the pool the other night and besides freezing our butts off, she did awesome. I hope she continues to be encouraged to learn to swim, bike and run better.
Have a wonderful week!!
"If you try too carefully to plan your life, the danger is that you will succeed--succeed in narrowing your options, closing off avenues of adventure that cannot now be imagined."
American Diplomat, Harlan Cleveland
Use this week to think of an adventure you would like to have and take a step towards making it happen!!!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Yesterday, Matt and I hiked a total of 8 miles to a beautiful 300 foot waterfall. It was worth the work it took to get there. We swam in our clothes in the pool under the waterfall and it was so peaceful and serene there in the jungle. I look at my life and I am so thankful for everything I have. I think about the phone call from Caleb today and I feel terrible and selfish inside. I feel heavy with this news and I can't seem to get past it. I have always been fascinated and tormented with death. Today I feel tormented. A young man with so much promise is losing his battle. It doesn't seem fair, but I have to remember that life isn't fair. I must move on from this darkness or it will overcome me in a place where blue oceans and beautiful flowers abound.
Today as you run or do whatever you do to get away and be alone, reflect if you will, on the blessings that life is to us. Life is a terminal disease. Live it. Enjoy every moment for tomorrow isn't promised. Run with joy and lightness of step. Kiss or hug someone today. Smile! If you do nothing else today, please be thankful for the life that you have. It could be gone tomorrow.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I ran today on the main highway and caught up to a girl that was training for the SF marathon. I was hoping to run with her, but her pace was quite slow and she didn't seem interested in running with me, so I ran on ahead. I only ran about 6 miles, but it felt like 15. I am not use to the warm humid weather and running on the road is brutal after always running trails back home. It rained most of the day today, so today was spent checking out little towns and checking out Waimea Canyon.
"Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first." Frederick B Wilcox
I challenge you to identify an area where you would like to see progress and see what risks you're willing to take to have it happen. Maybe a change in your diet is needed or a change up in your workout. You will never grow if you don't take a risk. Stretch yourself and get out of your comfortable box you are living in. Run farther, run faster, or just start running. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Just do it.
Friday, August 20, 2010
To catch ya'll up on the happenings of my life I want to start by telling you that I have found an amazing, ( I love that word ), circuit training class. I have only gone to it twice, but have absolutely loved it. It kicks your butt and then spits you out. I sweat like a pig there and I come home drenched with my eyes blackened from my mascara running amok. I.love.it. It's a beautiful feeling to push ones body and feel the power of strength fill your soul. You come home looking exactly like you did going in, but somehow you leave there feeling like a hard, fit elite athlete. That is a great feeling.
I have started running a nice 12 mile loop near my house with just enough climbs, flats and descents to give you that "feel good" feeling. I know it will increase my fitness level as I plan on incorporating that into my weekly mileage. I am doing well on my nutrition plan and have finally become comfortable without the "comfort" foods I had become accustom to for all these years. I am looking forward to bettering myself, (is bettering a word?). I want to find balance in my life, easing the demons of anxiety that have quietly come to call my body their home. I want to allow only the good in and keep out the bad if you know what I mean.
Work at the hospital has been crazy busy. I swear it is harder than running a 50 miler. The only thing different is that at work I have a bathroom to pee in and you don't get a tee shirt for all the hard work! Oh, and a 50 miler is more fun! Duh!
The Coastal Challenge is just around the corner and getting the funds together is never easy. I look so forward to running that stage race again though. Talk about a challenge!! OMG.
I am just about ready to go out for a little run this morning so that is all for now. Aloha and Mahalo!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Four Year Old who Ran Forty Miles
The 4 Year Old who runs half marathons
Budhia Singh lives in Orissa, India where a third of the population live in slums and the state has the highest child mortality rate in India.
Since the age of three Budhia has been running 20 miles a day and is currently preparing to run a half marathon, his fifth in seven weeks.
Is Budhia's story an account of exceptional child talent or a darker tale of child exploitation.
His mother who worked as a maid for £3 a month has four children, of whom Budhia is the youngest. She was unable to feed and clothe them so took the heartbreaking decision to sell Budhia to a travelling peddler for £10. The peddler was a drunk who would beat the boy regularly. When Biranchi found him he was naked, wounded, and seriously underfed.
Budhia's talent for running was only discovered when Biranchi heard the young boy swearing at another of the Judo students. He ordered Budhia to run around the running track until he returned. Biranchi went out and forgot about the boy until his return six hours later. Incredibly, Budhia was still running!
Biranchi has no experience with athletics or long-distance running, but he has devised his own training programme which includes his belief that Budhia should not drink while running. He allows him energy drinks before and after a race, but never during one.
Budhia's coach wants him to take part in the Delhi half-marathon. No-one knows how he will cope with his first competitive race, but for Biranchi, it's an important step in his plan to turn Budhia into an elite, Olympic athlete.
On the day of the race, there is a problem. Budhia's fame has arrived before him, and with it controversy. He has been told that, due to International Rules, he can't run in the main race. He is so much the centre of attention that the race organisers agree to allow him to compete in the final event, a 6km race for all ages. At the after-race party, in the evening, he meets former Olympic champion Daley Thompson.
Tim Hutchins, the coordinator of the London Marathon, is outspoken: "Children shouldn't be training hard, for any sport, until they are fifteen or sixteen years old. For a child of three to be training hard is verging on the criminal".
Biranchi's plans are becoming ever more ambitious. He will have Budhia run from Puri to Bhubaneswar, then he'll run the marathon in Nayagarh, and from there they'll go to Milan. But, before this he will set Budhia an even greater challenge, one that will put him into the record books. He will run 70km, 42 miles, non-stop. With no water, this is a run that could put Budhia's life at risk.
If he succeeds, he will become the youngest endurance runner in the world, and there will be official observers ready to record his achievements.
On the day of the race, temperatures are expected to reach 90°F. Not even the elite Kenyan athletes run these distances in such temperatures.
Budhia has a police escort and medical backup. Six hours into the run and Budhia has covered 58km. Biranchi uses a water-bottle, like a carrot on a stick, to entice him to keep running. After 67km, Budhia stops. Exhausted and disoriented, the army doctor who has been overseeing the race, steps in. After a protracted delay, Budhia is taken to the central police stadium to recover. The army doctor is convinced Budhia is ill, suffering from convulsions and possible brain damage.
One of Many Lonely Sojourns
Despite stopping 3km short of the target, he has still set a new record and will go into the Limca Book of Records as the youngest ever endurance runner.
Biranchi insists that Budhia runs of his own free will, he likes to run, and is not coerced in any way. The authorities are not convinced. Three days later, on the basis of the Limca run, a police warrant is issued for child exploitation. Biranchi is arrested. He is ordered to bring Budhia to Capital Hospital where the child committee want him examined by sports scientists.
The medical team include a cardiologist, a paediatrician, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist. They found his pulse-rate high, his blood-pressure high, he was under-nourished, anaemic, and suffering a vitamin deficiency.
The child welfare minister has now banned Budhia from running any more marathons in the state.
It seems like forever since I posted last. I just haven't felt very creative. Kinda blah. One thing I can say is that I sure enjoy reading other people blogs though. It helps me stay inspired and motivated!
I am staying in good shape and trying to get more quality runs in than just "junk miles". Sometimes after work, when I am dog tired it is easy to run a few slow "junk miles". I don't want to waste my time with those kind of runs. Kind of seems like a waste of shoe tread. I found a new 12 mile loop in my favorite state park that I am going to try and run on a regular basis. I am telling myself that I need to incorporate that run in at least once a week. Twice would be better, but we will see. I am going back to Costa Rica to run The Coastal Challenge at the end of January and I am so excited to be able to go back and challenge myself to this amazing adventure! Please check out their website and if you feel the need to challenge yourself and experience the most amazing adventure, please register using discount code KR2010 for a 10% discount at registration. I came home recharged and empowered after racing in this 6 day stage race. I know that you wouldn't be disappointed!
My gluten and wheat less diet is going great. I say gluten and wheat less, because to say that I am gluten free would be exaggerating. I don't watch every minute thing, but I haven't had bread or pasta for about 3 months and I feel really good. It's an easy way to eat once you get used to not eating bread. I grew up eating bread with every meal and pasta was an easy thing to fix for dinner. Since I have become serious about this part of my health, I can't imagine ever going back to bread and pasta.
Next week, Matt and I are going to Kauai for vacation. Actually, it was Matt's 50th Birthday gift from me. We are going to have a blast!! I can't wait.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I was suppose to run TRT 50 miler today, but I am sick with some sort of respiratory gunk. I feel like dog doo and my energy level is LOW. Soooo, I am kickin it at home and will probably go for a hike instead. It has been a busy week for everyone around here. My Mom had emergency surgery on Tuesday, (she's fine, now), and life has just been crazy. One great thing that happened is that I found a new cool place to run. Yippee!! I hope everyone has a great weekend and get's out for some fresh air. I hope these two women motivate you to move. I know they certainly did me.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
On Friday, my daughter Chelsea played in a softball game and won the game with a great catch and a double play! What is so funny about this is that she wore her booty shorts and her pink mitt and she didn't look like she could have even thrown the ball. Check her out in this picture. I am so proud of her. She's a glamour girl with a pink mitt and she was the MVP of the game that night. What a crack-up!
On the running end of things....TRT 50 miler on July 17th!! I love that difficult race! I hear that they had to change the course and that it is harder than before. Crap. I am still on cloud nine after my race at Bighorn. What a perfect race for me. I still can't believe that things went so well for me. :)
Today Karen and I went on a run on the Bay Area Ridge Trail. It was such a beautiful trail and I am excited to run there again. With all the running lately, I have totally let my upper body strengthening go to the back burner. Now, I need to get back to the gym. Remember how jazzed I was to be working out in the gym on a consistent basis? My abs were strong and my arms had some definition? NOT ANY MORE!! I have to get my butt back on the Mother Ship and start pumping some iron. It's summer and my arms are a flailing. What was I thinking......
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Western States 100 is always an exciting day for me. Whether I am running it or pacing, there is always so much excitement going on. This year was no exception.
I paced my friend Tim Quinn who is a member of TEAM DIABLO and who also happens to be 63 years old. I picked him up at Foresthill (mile 62), and ran with him to Green Gate (mile 80). He ran so well and it was great watching his enthusiasm build as he passed runner after runner on our way down to the river. His daughter Tiffany took over at Green Gate and she brought him to the finish in a great time of 26:42! Fellow TEAM DIABLO runner and good friend, Wally Hesseltine is a fast runner who happens to be 66 years young. I love Wally because he is so competitive and such a great guy! He finished in an amazing time of 27:27! Dan Williams, another TEAM DIABLO runner at age 61 finished his 20th WS in a great time of 27:48! Dan is a special friend and such a competitor! He is so tough and I just love his energy! 64 year old Rod Dixon, a friend I met years ago while doing a Ride n Tie, ran a great race in 29:44! He pushed hard and despite hating the heat, finished strong and with a smile on his face!
These four sexy, fast men all have something in common. They are all sexagenarians! Wikipedia says that a sexagenarian is a person who is 60 years old or between the ages of 60 and 69. These guys are so impressive and I am so proud of them. In my world, I know many men that run ultras in that age group. For many people, imagining a 60+ year old man running 50 miles, much less 100 miles, would be mind boggling. For some of you, it might be impossible to imagine anyone running 100 miles. It takes so much physical strength and a heap of mental strength to run 100 miles. Through heat, snow, mud, rivers, creeks, elevation and uneven trails, these guys pushed their graying hair from Squaw Valley to Auburn. How is that for inspiration? Wow, just thinking about these guys makes me tired. If this doesn't motivate you, then you must be dead. Don't couch potato it and let yourself be old. Get up and get moving. One day you will be a Sexagenarian!
Friday, June 25, 2010
"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about."
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian
Good luck to all my friends that are lining up tomorrow morning to run Western States. I will be with each one of you in my heart. I will be pacing my friend Tim Quinn. See you all in Auburn!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Western States 100 is this weekend. At first I was bummed that I didn't get in. I was disappointed and kinda angry. All my friends got in, it wasn't fair. Then Bighorn 100 happened and all I can say is "Thank you." If I had gotten into WS, I would not have had the opportunity to run in this incredible race. I would have really missed out on a terribly hard, but beautiful run in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. What a shame it would have been to miss out on that! So this weekend when I am pacing my buddy Tim, I will run knowing that Tim is not only the lucky one, but I am too.
Good luck out there to all my friends running WS this weekend. I am envious, but not jealous. I am happy for all of you who are lucky enough to line up at Squaw Valley and run to Auburn. You are lucky, but so am I. Run smart my friends and enjoy the journey. It will be worth it when you reach Auburn.
Matt and I and Leslie left from Oakland to fly to Billings, Montana on Wednesday morning. We stayed at a funky little motel with a flat uncomfortable bed, and a chain smoking lady working at the NO SMOKING motel, greeted us at the door. On Thursday morning we left Billings and drove the couple of hours to Sheridan, Wyoming where the race begins. We checked in and got through the medical check and dropped off our drop bags. We were ready for the 11:00 am start time on Friday. I was nervous and excited all at the same time. My last two hundreds left me very sick with Rhabdo in the hospital for a week each time. It was so important for me to run conservatively and keep hydrated and healthy. I went into the race undertrained. The highest mileage week was topped off at 68 miles. Low for most people training for 100's. I felt strong and my 50 mile races had gone well, but I wondered if I had done enough for the intensity of the Bighorns.
The 11:00 am start gave us plenty of time to have a nice breakfast and get to the race briefing by 9 am. I saw a few friends there and it was relaxing and beautiful. The weather was perfect!
At 11:00, we were off! The climb out of the Bighorn canyon was beautiful and I went slow and deliberate through there. It was incredibly remote and breathtaking. I loved every minute of it. I enjoyed talking with a lot of friends through here and it seemed like before we knew it, we had reached Dry Fork Aid Station at mile 13. Leaving Dry Fork you begin a long rolling descent all the way to Footbridge (mile 30). They throw in enough climbs to keep you from completely freaking about the return trip. There were beautiful wildflowers, meadows, stream crossings, and great aid stations! I was feeling really good as I ran the runnable portions of this section. The last three miles into Footbridge, you descend what is called "The Wall". It is a 3.5 mile descent that drops over 2,000 feet. In addition to the steep, technical decline, there were sections of thick, sticky mud, and running creek water that made for a slippery downhill experience. I am a slow downhill runner and this section was particularly tricky for me as I didn't want to twist an ankle or trip this early into the race. The mud was shoe sucking and I lost a shoe at one really deep spot. Getting my shoe back on was a comical experience! At Footbridge, I sat there completely confused as to what to bring with me up the long 18 mile climb to Porcupine (mile 48 turnaround). We needed to bring all our warm clothes and lights and we were told it would take around 6 hours for this 18 mile trek through the snow and mud. I changed my socks and stuffed my pack with warm clothes and headed out. I turned my ipod on and I started off. I hiked a lot and ran a little too. I kept reminding myself, Relentless Forward Motion. After following the river for a while, I came into an alpine meadow which was just beautiful. I crossed numerous log footbridges and the roar of the raging rivers were amazing. At about 8:30pm, I put on my warm clothes as the temperature was beginning to change, and turned my lights on at 9:30pm. There was a crazy muddy section through an aspen grove that was solid mud and puddles for several hundred feet. There was really no good route- just plunge right in. The last few miles from Elk Camp to Porcupine were pretty nasty with long sections of muddy boggy marsh, several small streams and then about a mile or more of alternating snow piles and mud pits. A few of us came to a large river crossing with deep rushing water and couldn't find the trail markers. If we had looked to the left we would have seen a small footbridge to go over. Well, we didn't waste the time to look and we plunged in, waste high into cold freezing water. I think it took me about an hour to get some sort of blood circulation back into my numb, frozen feet. That was a terrible mistake not crossing the footbridge to avoid being wet from a freezing river. The course got more challenging toward the turn around with lots of mud, snow and creek crossings. I was so looking forward to getting to the turnaround, because I knew Matt would be there with a smile on his face, and encouraging words. Porcupine aid station was great. I came into the warm building to lots of energetic volunteers and to Matt who helped me get it together again. I think I stayed about 15 minutes, trying to get warm and then Matt got me out the door. Leaving Porcupine, I tried to stay mentally strong. I knew it was going to be a LONG night. The snow and mud were just relentless. My hands and feet were numb with cold. I was getting anxious knowing that I had several narrow bridges to cross over raging rivers. The bridges were covered in ice and my feet were wet, muddy and very slippery. I kept praying that I would slip off and fall into the raging water. The sky was clear and the stars were out and it was just beautiful. I kept my mind off of all the animals that lived among us. Watching the footing kept me focused and unafraid.
The turnaround to the finish is just one big blur. I do know that I felt great most of the time. I moved along and did not let negative thoughts cloud my forward motion. I don't know how many times I fell the last 50 miles. I was covered in mud and my teeth and mouth were filled with dirt from my dirty water bottle. The climb up to Footbridge seemed to take forever. My feet were trashed. I was covered in mud. I was excited to be moving and my stomach felt great. My fueling was working like a charm and everything seemed to be going just as I hoped it would. Running without a pacer was great. There was no need for aimless chatter and I did not need any pushing. I was motivated enough and just enjoyed the alone time. I was also excited that my Mom would be at Dry Fork to see me come in. She and her friend Lloyd were stopping by on their way from a road trip to Wyoming.
I finally made it to Dry Fork after a long uphill trudge. I saw my Mom and Matt there and enjoyed an avocado and a V8 juice there. From there I left and I alternated between fast hiking and running up to Sheep Creek. With 17 + miles to go, I tried not to think about it. I had wanted to finish in under 30 hours, but I was having my doubts. The miles seemed to drift by and before I knew it we were at the final climb deemed "The Haul".
It was steep, but it seemed easier than "The Wall". The long downhill was never ending and the temperatures were pleasant. When I finally hit the dreaded 5 mile gravel road, I knew it was going to be long and relentless. I looked at my watch and knew I could make it under 30 hours. That had me smiling. My legs felt great and I ran the whole 5 miles encouraging the 50k and 50 mile runners to join me. No one took my encouragement, so I ran alone. At about 3 miles to go, I came across Steve Restad, a Billings Montana runner who I had met earlier in the day. I told him to get running and we took off together to run together the rest of the way to the finish. We ran hard and fast to the bridge at the park. We charged across the finish line like we were running a 10k and it was a perfect way to end a perfect race! I immediately put my poor aching paws into the cold river. That lasted only for about 30 seconds as the water was just too cold.
I finished the race with not a bit of soreness in my legs and feeling great. I am so happy that I had no issues to speak of except very sore feet. I wore Drymax socks and they worked like a charm as always. Thank you to the race director and to all the volunteers for making this race so great. I will be back. My time of 29:30 made me happy! I am happy to report that I had no stomach issues, bloating or swelling of my hands for arms. My legs never got stiff or sore. I was able to eat and drink to the finish line. Mentally, I stayed focused and strong. I think I had the perfect race for me. I didn't run the fastest, but I bet I felt better than 99% of the finishers. I finished strong and happy. I couldn't have asked for anything more!
P.S. When we arrived back to Billings, Montana to spend the night before leaving the next day, a tornado hit 2 miles from our motel five minutes after we arrived and checked into our room. It was scary and exciting all at the same time. I have included some tornado pictures as well.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Bighorn 100 is almost here. On Friday, I will line up at the starting line in Sheridan, Wyoming to begin my race. I am excited and scared at the same time. I am not a great 100 mile runner. I don't run them they way I need to run them. My first three 100's went well, but I think I start out too fast and then crash at about 50 miles. Nothing is more painful than dragging your sorry ass over mountains for 50 long miles. I know. I've been there, done that. I can run 50 miles fairly fast without a problem. I cannot run 50 miles fairly fast and then run another 50 miles fairly fast. Doesn't work for me. This time I am going to start very conservatively and continue that way. I am not going to worry about time or pace. My goal is simply to finish healthy. Forward, Relentless Motion.
When I didn't get into the lottery for Western States (my fave), or Mont Blanc, I looked for a race that was challenging and somewhere beautiful. I had heard so many great things about BH that I decided to give it a try. I think I am ready. All I need to do is get my shizle together and line up at the start line. I can't wait!
Leslie and I went for a night run last week to try out our lights before the race. My two new lights totally sucked. I returned them and decided to use my old favorite hand held. I'm not big on headlamps I guess.
On another note, I am going back to Costa Rica for The Coastal Challenge in January! If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you will probably remember that it was an adventure of a lifetime. Having the opportunity to compete there again is going to be great. I am so lucky. If any of you would like to run The Coastal Challenge or any of their races that are run in beautiful places, use discount code KR2010 for a 10% discount at registration. You don't have to be a great runner to enter. You just need to love adventure and be ready for anything!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Well, since my last post the only thing worth writing about in terms of running has been my finish at Silver State 50k, ( I'm glad I didn't do the 50 miler), and a long run from Foresthill to Rucky Chucky and back on the Western States trail. Silver State went well, but I could feel the cumulative effects of my back to back races and my legs screamed at me quite a few times. In fact, I contemplated walking across the finish line, but then I heard Suz's voice in my head saying "you can run this", and I pushed myself down the trail and across the finish line. I felt totally trashed after that race. It wasn't a hard race, but my legs were tired and the elevation.......who knows? I'm just not a high mileage runner and I seem to do well on lower mileage than most. I hope I have done enough to finish Bighorn without injury or illness. It's scary with rhabdo still fresh on my mind.
Running from Foresthill to the river and back is always a blast! Leslie and Karen and I had a long day of "time on our feet". The weather was cold and overcast and we were shocked to run that section with jackets on. Every time I have ever run it I have been hot and sweating like a pig. Not on this day!!
The gluten free diet is going well. I am feeling much better and I am actually sleeping better than I have in years. I'm feeling quite good right now and that is refreshing. This weekend is going to be a high mileage weekend running back to back days on the Western States trail. I am hearing that there is a lot of snow in the mountains so it will be good training for BH. Have a great weekend of running or whatever makes you smile.
If any of you or any of your friends are interested in running the TCC/Adventure races, the discount code for 10% off any of their races at the time of registration is KR2010. As you know, running The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica in Feb. 2009, was the greatest adventure of my life.
Go to here to register.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
My good friend, Suzanna Bon is currently in the lead for Team USA women. She is racing in Brive, France at the 2010 World 24 hour run championship. Way to go, Suz! You can follow the race here.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman
This Saturday I am running Silver State 50k for a training run for Big Horn. I haven't run this race before, but I hear it is tough. I am secretly happy that I am not running the 50 miler! Wish me luck!
I think you will find this article uplifting. I sure did.
Doctor finds higher calling when death knocks.http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/
Have a wonderful weekend! Run long out there.
Friday, May 7, 2010
On May 1st, I ran Miwok 100k for the fifth time. It is always a tough race for me but I really enjoyed myself out there with the green meadows and the beautiful flowers everywhere. My time of 11:27 made me feel good and the Carbo-Pro worked great.
I took one day off after Miwok and have been running on tired legs and will run Silver State 50k on the 15th. I don't think this is the best training for Bighorn 100, but it is the only way that it is working out right now.
My youngest daughter Courtney is coming home for the summer on Thursday and I am so looking forward to having her home. She has really enjoyed USC this year and I am so happy that she is looking forward to continuing on there. Caleb is still in Chiropractic School and doing exceptionally well. I know he will be a great Chiropractor one day. Chelsea is busy working two jobs and enjoying her new life here in Santa Rosa. Matt's son Lloyd is working and happy with his job too. Life is good here in Sonoma County.
Mothers Day was spent with family at our house. We had lasagna and salad and everyone brought something to share. I look at my Mom and I am so thankful that of all the Mom's I could have been born to, I got her. Lucky me!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
It's 2:30am on Saturday, and I am sitting at my computer with toothpicks holding my eyes open. I believe that ONE more cup of coffee will get my eyes to open on their own.
Today is the Miwok 100k and I am running in it. This has always been a tough distance for me. 12 miles longer than a 50 mile is a LONG ways sometimes. The day promises to be beautiful and though it will be a long one, I am hopeful for a good training run out there among friends. I will be using Carbo-Pro today for fuel and it will be interesting to see how that works.
Good luck to everyone running this weekend and for those prepping for a 100 this year. Western States is just around the corner and I have lot's of friends that will be lining up this year at Squaw Valley to start the trek. Can you read jealousy between my words?
I need to sign off this computer and get myself another cup of joe. Time is a ticken and I must be on my way.
Friday, April 23, 2010
i did two miles yesterday in 50 minutes.
you people dont know how lucky you are
that i am not on here every day
babbling like a middle school girl
over every step i take.
my running career has just about gone the full circle.
it seems only yesterday that everything was always on the way up.
that i was endlessly breaking new barriers
and setting new PR's.
working my way up thru the different running sports
track, cross country, road racing, marathons, ultras,
and eventually all the way to multi-days kept me on the upswing
well beyond where the natural curve should end.
because whenever i did something i never did before
it was a new PR & felt like improvement.
but we cannot be newbies forever.
eventually the PR's stopped happening.
running became all about maintenance of effort.
the only new "accomplishments" were cumulative;
measures of many years & many miles of running.
in recent years it has become a battle against slippage.
the wear and tear of what is approaching a 50 year running career.
the cumulative cost of a sometimes wild and dissolute lifestyle.
(no, i would not change a damned thing. but thanks for asking)
the cruel tricks of genetics and age.
little by little i have watched my running choices dwindle...
and my "career" wind down.
over the last 3 years have had some rough spots.
i have had to face the fact
that i could no longer actually "run".
i have had to settle for walking along & keeping the threads going.
the past two years, when i finally notched the 30+ effort
to keep my streak (now at 34 years) alive
it was a big thrill.
finding a timed event where i could participate has become a treat.
and when i actually "beat" someone it has been quite a thrill...
altho it sure doesnt say much for anyone i do beat.
(c'mon people, have more pride than that!)
i reckon i must have thought i could live forever
as long as i kept training
because i was surprised to find that i could lose ground
even while i continued to push myself.
that my speed and endurance could just dwindle away
despite using my legs every day.
but to this, like everything else we encounter in life,
we just have to adjust.
so it was a big thrill when i had a dr tell me
it was possible i might run again.
to be fair, his emphasis was that i needed surgery
to save my leg.
but you guys understand, i am sure,
possibly being able to run again
(even just a little)
was a powerful incentive to agree.
and seemed like a good place to set my sights.
it was a pretty tough surgery,
just the sort of ordeal that ultrarunning prepares us for so well.
accepting some discomfort
to pursue a goal that is too far away to see.
the hardest part was being patient during the early recovery
waiting on the instructions i know how to follow:
"at this point, the more you can stand, the better you will get."
what sweet words.
moderation is so difficult to achieve.
excess is what we are natural at!
so i am on the road again.
it has been sort of tough.
but i know ya'll understand when i say;
"not any of us would want it any other way."
every day i hit the road thinking;
"if this is as good as i get, how long will it take me to finish this year's 30 miler?"
(this year *IS* goinG to be # 35!!)
when you are having to stop every 20 yards to let the pain recede
and taking over an hour a mile,
the prospect of doing 30 miles in a stretch is sort of intimidating.
at the end of last week,
i finally got 2 miles under an hour.
monday, for the first time,
i walked an entire mile before i had to stop.
and yesterday, yesterday was glorious.
for the first time,
at the very beginning of my "run"
(before the leg started to hurt)
i felt the urge to break into a slow jog.
i resisted, because it isnt quite time yet...
but it is coming soon.
i made it nearly a mile & a half
before i had to stop the first time,
and finished the 2 miles in 50 minutes flat.
(the first mile in a sizzling 22 minutes!!)
ever since the first time i had to accept that i could not run any more
i have looked at this as the last great contest.
time is trying to take me off the road.
i am not planning on going down easy.
time is a tough opponent,
it never quits, it never tires.
and i know that some day time will win.
but not this day.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Leslie and I headed down south for the Leona Divide 50 miler in Palmdale, Calif. on Friday. We were both excited to run a race that we hadn't run before. Mer and Paul were staying at the same motel so we visited with them on Friday night.
Before I begin this race report, let me say that Olga admitted to me that I am not a very good race report writer. Duh, Olga. With that in mind, I am just going to give you a few details about my race there.
I guess you would say that LD 50 is run in the high desert. The air was dry and I was very thirsty even before the race started. The course is very runnable and the trails are soft and nice. There is a lot of single track and that makes me like it even more. The volunteers are the best and I got to try Carbo Pro for the first time. Carbo Pro is what they served at the aid stations. I know that they say to never try something new in a race, but this was just a training race for me and I figured, "why not?" Well, I think I found something that may work for me. We will see. I am going to try it at Miwok and see what happens. Maybe magic!! lol. Carbo Pro is 100% pure complex carbs and does not have any protein or electrolytes in it. It is tasteless and it works!! Oh, and it's gluten free!
I felt good running on this nice course and I tried to work on my less than good, down hill running. I am strong on the hills but I just suck when it comes to running down them. It's down right embarrassing. I think I did better than usual this go around. I finished in a time of 8:26 and finished 4th woman. I was first in my age group and that made me happy.
Leslie DNF'd due to an asthma attack and I felt so sorry for her. She needs to figure out what to do about that as Bighorn is quickly approaching. She was going to call her Doctor today.
Saturday night we had dinner with Errol, Lisa and John. It was nice to catch up with old friends.
Next up is Miwok 100k. Another race and more "time on my feet." All for my goal of finishing Bighorn upright and healthy. So many miles, so little time.
Thanks to RD Keira for putting on a great race. I will be back!
Thanks to Drymax for sponsoring Meredith, Olga and I to blister free running. We couldn't do it without these amazing socks!