Friday, December 23, 2011

Don't look back on 2011- focus on thriving in 2012.

I enjoyed my early morning run today.  I reflected on the past year and decided that it wasn't the best year to date.  December 2011 started out with a 50 miler that I felt fairly good about.  Mid December my girls and I were in a car accident and left the 3 of us pretty banged up.  The day before I left for my 6 day stage race in Costa Rica in late January,  I fell while running down a scree covered trail and tore my shoulder and my triceps. Leading up to Costa Rica had me feeling really fatigued and my Doctor said that my labs were off.  My Lupus numbers were climbing.  I was hoping for a good race there, but God had other plans.  Then in February, one of my daughters started having health issues and the stress from that was all consuming.  In April, I had my shoulder surgery and my running came to a shrieking halt.  The rest of the summer had me hiking and enjoying sitting at the dog park with Jada and all my dog park friends.  My left arm was soft and weak.  In June my other daughter had surgery and was battling some health issues also. Life was not happening as I had planned.  All the races and vacations that Matt and I had planned had to be cancelled.  My 100 miler in France (UTMB), that was to happen in August didn't happen because of my shoulder.  It was a very stressful year and I am glad that we are beginning a New Year in 2012.
  I feel better and I am looking forward to a great year. I am happy to say that I have won 2 of the three 50k's I have run in the last two months.  I am planning some adventures and excited to do some different races this year.  I am starting to think of a resolution that I can keep that will propel me in a positive direction.  Life is starting to look up.  Merry Christmas to all of you out there and I hope your 2012 is filled with everything good.  I have to remember to not look back- I'm not going that way!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I will miss you forever, Dad

 Today I celebrate the life of my Dad who was taken from me too young and too soon.  He was just 60 years old.  Twenty one years ago today,  my life was turned over.  I celebrate his life today but I morn also.  In some ways he lost his battle with life years before.  Vodka took that away long before God took him.  A beautiful man filled with a creative mind, a great sense of humor, and a wonderful love of his family.

  I wish he was here to see me now.  I've grown to be someone he would be proud of.  I know that he would be proud of me, but not surprised.  I know that he watches me from above and smiles at me.  He would be so proud of my kids and would talk to everyone who would listen about what amazing adults they have become.  He would see himself in me and I think he would wish that we could spend time together again.

Thank you Dad for coming to all my boring long swim meets.  Thanks for going with me to Girl Scout camp and for buying me a horse and a horse trailer so we could go to  horse shows and overnight trail rides together.  You sacrificed so much to make me happy.  Thank you for being so generous and loving.  You were a good athlete too, Dad.  I think I got that trait from you.  I am tall and slim too, and I look a lot like you from the neck down.  No boobs, great lungs, long legs.  I look like Mom from the neck up and I have to laugh every time I see myself in the mirror.  Yes, I look exactly like Mom.  I am proud of that also.  She is a beautiful woman and I love her so much.  I am so glad that you too found each other and that I was born to both of you.  How lucky is that?

  I guess you know that I took care of Don when Pat died.  It was something I needed to do for both him and me. It was special to spend time with him. You were lucky to have him as your brother.  We had a lot of fun together and I felt so sad when Cancer took him away a few years ago.

  You were my hero and you still are.  Shawn and Wally got your creative traits.  Both of them can fix or make anything.  I on the other hand have no creative ability, but running and being outside is my passion.
  Today I am running a 50K in memory of you.  I will not cry, because crying and running don't really work together.  I've tried that, and it really sucks.  I will smile and know that you are watching me.  Thanks Dad for everything good and bad that we shared together.  It has made me the person that I am.  I am strong and determined and will never forget you.  RIP Dad.  12-10-1990.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Wyman Meinzer's West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that you are the pilot.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Canadian Death Race.....2012??

This race is on my radar for August 2012.  It looks very challenging and it has definitely caught my attention.

"The world is filled with interesting things to do. Don't lead a dull life in such a thrilling world."
American Writer and Lecturer, Dale Carnegie

Saturday, November 19, 2011

  Hello people! No, I didn't ditch this blog.  I have been just ignoring the fact that I have one!  How is that for honesty? ]

  A lot of things have happened since I last posted.  For one, I got a laptop.  I have wanted one for a long time and I am very happy with my Macbook Pro.  This is my first Mac and I am adjusting to it quickly. Since I last posted, I ran a trail marathon where I was reminded that I had neglected my long runs. It was a painful reminder.  I walked away with an age group win, so I was quite pleased with that.  Last week Matt and I went to Texas to run the Rockledge Rumble 32.5 miler, and I managed to win the womans race.  Of course I was happy, and staying with Tom Crull was icing on the cake.  Tom is the race director of the Rockledge Rumble and also a great friend.  I met Tom on a training run on the Western States trail several years ago.  We have been best friends ever since!  Speaking of Western States, I put  my name into the lottery and the drawing is on December 10th.  As of this morning, there are 1700 applicants.  Chances of getting in is probably nil.  Oh well, there are many 100s that are beautiful and worth doing, so I won't be real disappointed.  My fingers and toes are all crossed as I write this though.  :)
  Have a wonderful day and do something that makes you feel happy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hood To Coast Relay

Last week I headed to Portland Oregon with some friends to run in the Hood To Coast Relay that runs from Mt. Hood to the Coast.  I have never run HTC and didn't ever expect to, as I had really never thought about doing a relay before.  We had a complete blast.  Two vans, 12 fun people, and 200 miles to run, what could be better than that?  We finished in 25:00:17 for  a 8th place finish in men's masters division.  That put us at 99th out of 1268 teams.  Not bad considering that most of us are ultra runners and a few members of the team either just finished a 100 miler or getting ready to run a 100 miler. Oh, and did I mention that we are all OLD?

I hadn't run on pavement in like, 15 years or something, so I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it felt to run there.  I hope to be able to run there again someday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today my brother and I ran 22 miles and he struggled a bit with tight calves and aching hips.  I hope he figures out what the problem is because he is signed up to run a 50 miler in October.  After a quick shower, Jada and I headed out to our favorite place these days, the dog park.  It's a little embarrassing to say that I absolutely LOVE going to the dog park and just hanging out.  The people are great and the dogs are wonderful.  I would never have gotten involved there if I hadn't had surgery and been off work.  Just another blessing I got with being on medical leave. 
My friend Suz and I talk frequently about nutrition on our runs.  We discuss foods, cooking and just plain eating.  Our topic usually is around a gluten free diet.  I am basically gluten free and have been this way for over a year now.  I have found it to be easy  and I do believe that I am healthier because of it.  The Paleo diet is also a hot topic with us these days.  I am not so sure about removing beans and grains from my diet but I definitely am interested in decreasing these foods a bit. I think as athletes we need to be concerned with our diet.  You can't expect your body to perform at a high level if you are not feeding it with healthy foods.  Doing a little research can go a long way towards making you a better runner if you just heed the advice, and dump the sugar and flour in your diet.  I may be skinny, but I eat a lot of food and I am strong.  You need to be strong to be an endurance athlete.  Changing your diet by simply cutting back significantly on starches and dairy and replacing those lost calories with fruits, vegetables, and very lean meats can make such a difference.  Cutting out breads and pasta's were huge for me.  I was addicted to bread and taking that out of my diet was difficult at first.  Now, I never even feel tempted and I feel so much better.  I also feel like my running is better too.  Challenge yourself to eating more healthy.  It can only help you, and you might lose a few pounds!  Happy trails!
"Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still."
-Lou Erickson

No UTMB for me this year- bummer!

Today was a great day! Caleb is here visiting for a week on his summer break from Chiropractic School and so we all went out on the San Francisco Bay for a cruise on a big Catamaran.  It was a beautiful day, freezing but clear and we all had a blast!  It was fun to do something a little different for a change.
My running is improving!  It feels weird to know that we should be in France right now getting ready and all psyched up for UTMB, but instead I am running 10 miles and feeling like a big shot!  Wow.  My legs feel lighter and my stride is noticeable stronger in the last few weeks.  I think I am finally getting in better shape.  It's exciting and  a confidence booster all in one. 

It's sad to think that if I hadn't had to have my surgery, I would be very fit and just about ready to stand at the starting line of UTMB!  Instead, I will watch from my computer and watch Krissy Moehl attempt to win once again.  While everyone is lining up in Chamonix, I will be starting the HTC relay in Portland with some Team Diablo friends!  I've never done a relay before, but it will be a blast hanging out in a smelly van for 24 hours and laughing the whole time. We will each run 3 legs of 6 or 7 miles and run from Mt. Hood to the sea.  Should be interesting....I haven't ran on pavement in years......But- I did buy some road shoes.  That's a start, right?

Medical leaves happen for a variety of reasons.  On my last short "jog" before the Costa Rican stage race, I was pushed down by Jada and ended up having shoulder surgery.  Of course I was totally bummed, but so many good things came out of it.  Spending the summer at home was a big plus, but bigger was the time I got to spend with my dog, Jada.  I loved my "alone" time too.  Lot's of time to be thankful for. 

This morning I am excited about planning another long race or some kind of adventure.  I am feeling the need to push myself, to push the limits of what we think possible.  Lot's of ideas......I think I need to go buy a lottery ticket!  I hope you all can get out on dusty trail for a great run today.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

  I almost feel guilty about my long delay in writing on my blog.  All 3 of my blog friends have been on the edge of their seat waiting for me to post something.  Relax, I'm blogging at last!
  This afternoon I started my run by walking for about 100 meters up the hill.  I stopped and pet my friend the horse, and then proceeded to run down the trail to meet my sister.  Suddenly I stopped to pee.  I didn't think about anyone being around.  Why would I?  5:30 pm on a warm Thursday evening, lot's of people on their bikes, hikers, runners.  As I knelt down to do my thing, I remember thinking, what a scary sight my white butt would be to anyone coming up behind me.  I laughed to myself.  I pulled up my shorts and stood up quickly and glanced around me and much to my surprise there was a guy walking up the trail in perfect shot of my bare butt just 3 seconds before.  I was mortified!  He never gave me eye contact and didn't say a word.  I was soooo embarrassed.
  I am going back to work after being on medical leave for 4 months with my shoulder injury.  It is going to be hard to be back at work.  I have enjoyed my time off so much.  If I buy a lottery ticket within the next two weeks, AND WIN, then I could avoid going back.  Oh, if only I was rich.......I could get use to not working.  It would not be a problem for me.  I love my job, but I haven't missed it at all.
  I have been slowly trying to get my fitness back.  Stumbling along the dirt trails wishing my legs didn't feel like they weigh 100 pounds each.  I keep telling myself that it is suppose to hurt getting in shape.  The only way to get faster and fitter is to push myself.  Tomorrow I am going to run 16 miles and hopefully, I will have a decent run.  Hopefully, my legs will float and my breathing will be quiet.  I hope I will be smiling!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm starting to see improvements in my fitness- FINALLY.  Thank God.  I've been hiking and running and progressing like a herd of turtles!  Last weekend Matt and I went up to Kennedy Meadows in the Emigrant Wilderness area and camped out with the Johnson family and some of their friends.  We had a blast.  On Sunday, while Matt and Jada hiked, Tamara, Dave and I ran about 30 miles through snow and lot's of cold water.  Naturally, I was trashed, but managed to finish with no soreness or discomfort to speak of.  I even started the run with a brand new shoe- the asics trabuco 14, and didn't have one blister.  I couldn't believe it.  I don't think I have ever worn that shoe and it fit like a glove.  So perfect!

Yesterday, I ran about 15 miles with Suz and just about died the last 40 minutes of the run.  For the rest of the day I had about as much energy as a snail.  I don't think I moved around too much for the rest of the day.  I wanted to walk most of the last few miles, but Suz pushed me to finish what I started and I'm glad that I did.

My shoulder is progressing nicely.  I go to PT twice a week and improving everyday.  Nights are still painful and I am unable to sleep without pain unless I take a sleeping pill.  I am trying to only take a sleeping pill a few times a week.  It's been difficult to get good sleep these days, but if you know me that's nothing new.

My daughter Chelsea, who is 23, recently got diagnosed with Lupus.  It makes me sad to think that she got it from me.  I hope she does as well as I have done.  My heart breaks for her.  She is a strong woman and I think she will do well.

"It's not the load that breaks you down; it's the way you carry it." -Lena Horne
On a positive note, today Chelsea and I were driving around and found a lawn mower in front of a house with a FREE sign on it.  Much to the embarrassment of Chelsea, I stopped and loaded that baby into the back of my car.  I brought it home and BINGO!  It works like a charm and even self propels itself.  What a find!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


"The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer
is this, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer
must at once be, ‘It is no use.’ There is not the slightest prospect
of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior
of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn
our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But
otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single
bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not
find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise
food. It’s no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is
something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and
goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself
upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get
from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end
of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money
to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is

--George Mallory, 1922

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Age is only a number

 I celebrated my Birthday last week.  It was a "hard to swallow" Birthday.  53 years old , sounds and looks so OLD.  I hated every minute of turning that horrid number.  I didn't even feel good on that day.  I felt old, ugly and used up.  But, today, almost one week later, I am feeling good and moving on with my 53 year old bad self.  Enough said!! Matt surprised me with a Greg LeMond spin cycle that is big and beautiful.  It is displayed in our living room (for now anyway), and it is as quiet as a mouse.  Now I can watch all my reality shows and get in shape at the same time.  I am really excited. 

 I was also given the okay to start running again.  My Doc gave me his blessing and then said, "but you can not fall!"  Duh....who goes out running and plans a fall?  Come on, Doctor K!  If I had any control over the subject, I would never, ever ,chose to fall! 

I have power hiked until the cows have come home and I still am sucking wind at every hill.  I guess I have a lot of running to do before I am feeling fit again.  Hopefully the spin bike will help me achieve my fitness goals. 

I don't think I have really ever talked about my dog, Jada.  I feel like a first time parent these days.  Everything is about Jada.  I go to the dog park, I take her on runs, long hikes, I kiss her a hundred times a day and I talk baby talk to her.  I think I've lost my mind.  Maybe its time to go back to work.....

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.  Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day training weekend is almost here on the Western States Trail.  It kills me that I won't be there.  I had played around with the idea of going up and hiking/jogging from Foresthill to the River.  I figured I could do that and still enjoy myself.  But then reality set in and I thought about it for a few minutes and I know that it  would not be the smart thing to do.  I would most definitely get caught up in the excitement of things and it would be hard not to run and the possibility of hurting myself is high.  So.......with much sadness, I will stay home and do a hike/joke thing closer to home.  My Doctor said that I could run on a paved surface or treadmill as long as I don't fall.  I don't think Foresthill to the River is what he had in mind.  :)  
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb
   I am lucky enough to be sponsored by La Sportiva shoes.  Yesterday I got  a new pair in the mail.  They are the Quantum trail shoe.  They have a funny wavy sole and they are ergonomic, adaptable, shock absorbing, stable and lightweight.  I can't wait to try them out! 

 My daughter Courtney had surgery today and had her Tonsils removed.  A big deal when you are 21 years old.  I feel so bad for her because I know it's going to be a painful and uncomfortable recovery.  Hopefully, she will be a healthier person without those gross Tonsils that constantly get infected.   

To everyone heading up to the WS trail this weekend, have a BLAST!  I will be there in spirit!!                                        

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rhabdomyolysis and Ultrarunning

This weekend I read a story in the new June issue of TrailRunner Magazine titled, Up Against a Hardrock. It is a story about Diana Finkel's amazing 2010 Hardrock 100 race and its devastating aftermath.

I was especially drawn to this story for two reasons. The first is that in 2006, I was lucky enough to pace my good friend Stephen to a great finish there. I promised myself and Stephen that I would return there to kiss the rock myself. The second is that in 2006 and 2007, I ran Wasatch 100 and experienced, both times, the same condition as Diana did after Hardrock. It is a story worth reading because as extreme athletes, we push ourselves beyond normal. Sometimes we can push our selves over the edge and into a sometimes fatal condition, and always a very serious condition called Rhabdomyolysis.

I read this article that was written by Diana's husband and it took me back to my Wasatch DNF, where I was unable to finish because I knew I couldn't continue the last 25 miles crawling. It took me back to my 2nd Wasatch where I knew I had Rhabdo again, but I just had to redeem myself and finish this time. Both times I was hospitalized and was very sick. I was stupid during that 2nd Wasatch when I recognized the symptoms and practically crawled my way to the finish, sicker than a dog. We as ultra runners sometimes do stupid things. We cross health boundaries to achieve higher goals we set for ourselves and sometimes they have dire consequences. Rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition in which muscles break down quickly and spill their contents into the blood stream. Myoglobin is a protein that is contained in muscle cells, and if enough is spilled into the blood stream, it can clog the kidney's filtering system and lead to kidney failure and a variety of other serious medical consequences and complications. While muscles routinely get sore after physical activity, rhabdomyolysis takes that muscle injury to a higher level. Rhabdomyolysis is the result of massive muscle destruction.

Unfortunately, I have not returned to Hardrock to run that spectacular and difficult race. Rhabdo got in the way of that. I have done a couple of successful 100's since and several difficult races without problems. I hope Diana will be back to run 100's without issues too. Rhabdo is a reminder that we must take our health seriously even while pursuing our dreams. Maybe someday I will get a chance to kiss the Hardrock, maybe not. I'm okay with that.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

- W.B. Yeats

Friday, May 13, 2011

Walking with a purpose

Let's see.... four rattlesnakes in three days, a coyote, lot's of deer and turkeys, and a owl and her family high in a tree. This is what my daily hikes have presented to me. As a runner, you miss so much. Now, as I am rehabbing, I am seeing so much and enjoying what I am encountering. I thought walking would be so difficult for me. I can run 100 miles, but I hate to walk across a parking lot. Walking has always been too slow for me. Slowing down and hiking has brought some balance to my life that I have not had in awhile. I actually am enjoying the hiking. I happen to live in an area with miles and miles of beautiful mountainous trails and I am seeing them as never before. Hopefully, the power hiking will make me a stronger hill climber. I hope it helps me "walk with a purpose", when I need a break during a long race. Sometimes we need to slow down in order to build up. I hope I am doing that.

It's been six weeks ago today that I had my shoulder surgery. I am getting closer to the time when I can run. I am trying to practice patience. This video inspired me. I always need inspiration and something to keep me motivated. I hope this video sparks your fuse today. Kilian Jornet is an amazing athlete. The man named Bruno Brunod that Kilian speaks of in this video is his hero and also an inspiration to him. Today they are an inspiration to me.

Don't separate mental training from physical training

If you’re running, you’re training your mind as well as your body. Remember that.

Written by: Matt Fitzgerald

Your mind, not your body, gets the final say in determining how fast you run in races. After all, you set your pace mainly by feel (perhaps with a little help from time splits), and that sense of feel—those cues of comfort and discomfort—come from your brain. Obviously, the mind and the body are linked in such a way that you start to feel awful—that is, you start to feel the need to slow down—as your body nears its physical limits. But the mind is always a step ahead of the body, as has been shown in numerous studies finding that when athletes quit an exercise test in exhaustion, their muscles remain physically capable of continuing. It’s an intolerable level of suffering that precipitates the bonk.

Because the mind is always working with the body during running, the mind (which is to say, the brain) is also always being trained along with the body during running. It is while you run that you develop and refine the sense of feel you use to find your maximal sustainable pace. The brain changes physically in response to training every bit as much as the muscles do.

Mental training in endurance sports, as in most other sports, is typically treated as something separate from physical training. You do your run in the morning and/or afternoon—that’s your physical training. Then, in the evening, you lie down and close your eyes and envision yourself running prettier than you real do—that’s your mental training.

There’s nothing wrong with mental rehearsal, but all the visualization and talking to yourself in the mirror in the world won’t improve your running performance as much as taking full advantage of the mental training that occurs during your training runs. Your race performance is ultimately determined by how fast your mind/brain feels your body can go, and that, in turn, is determined primarily by how fast you have proved to your mind/brain that you can go in training. It’s all about confidence, and confidence comes from hard evidence of what you can do. You can’t talk yourself into having the confidence that you can run a sub-four-hour marathon or whatever your goal may be. The only way to build real confidence in your ability to achieve any race goal is to effectively prove it in training.

Therefore I encourage all runners to approach training firstly as a means of building confidence in their ability to achieve their race goals. On a practical level, this means you should create and execute training plans that are overtly designed to maximize your confidence. Don’t worry about which workout you need to do to boost your VO2max, and so forth. Those details don’t matter. Just think about the sorts of specific training experiences you need to have behind you going into a race in order to arrive on the start line confident in your ability to achieve your goal.

You also need to think in terms of setting yourself up for success in your training. Do everything you can to minimize the number of failures you experience in your training. For example, if you’ve planned a critical “peak” workout intended to put the finishing touches on your race fitness and prove your ability to achieve your race goal, be sure to rest up for a few days before that workout so you can crush it.

I’m not suggesting that the body is not important to running. Of course it is. What I’m suggesting is that you don’t really need to think about your body in training. That approach is unnecessarily complicated. The point of training is to get ready to achieve race goals, and the single best indicator of relative readiness to achieve race goals is confidence. This is something that all of the best athletes understand, but that all-too-many age-group runners miss.

Six-time Ironman champion Dave Scott said it well in an article for

I knew going into each race that my confidence would help to support a fast day and a successful outcome. After transitioning from coaching myself to coaching others, I knew the best place to start was to establish and build upon an athlete’s confidence level. The technical stuff is secondary if you don’t have the inner-drive, mental edge and physical foundation to take the leap.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Living Your Life

Typing one handed is really the pits, but it beats not being able to type at all. In five weeks the sling comes off and some of my freedom will return also. So excited for the little things. My Doctor has given me the okay to walk, (don't fall), and I can start spinning on a stationary bike with my brace on. Yippee! This layoff has me paying a lot more attention to the quantity of food I put in my mouth. I don't want to wake one morning and not recognize myself. The less I exercise, the less I eat. It feels good to not be shoveling food into my mouth 24-7. When I am training on a daily basis, it gets ridiculous. I start eating early in the morning and I don't stop until my head hits the pillow. It's like I have no control. I hate that!

I've got a terrible case of FOMO right now. (fear of missing out). I hate it that everyone is running and seeking adventure and I am sitting here waiting for an update on facebook! Did I say BORING?! Sorry for my belly aching. I've got to go now, it's been ten minutes and I feel an email coming on. Wishing all of my blogger friends, all three of you, a great evening! Run on a cool trail and think of me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I had surgery to repair my torn subscapularis earlier than originally planned. Last Friday, April Fools Day, I went under the knife. This puts me 3 weeks ahead of schedule! I will be running 3 weeks sooner, uh, walking, 3 weeks sooner is more like it! I thought that 5 days post op would have me power walking the streets, instead, I am power napping in a recliner! This is NOT what I had envisioned. I carry this huge apparatus the Doctor calls a sling, 24-7. Off only to take a shower. This is definitely more than I bargained for, but totally necessary. My sister Shawn, had surgery on her finger the same day. The walking wounded.

All of my racing plans for this season is caput and I am feeling quite trapped. Oh, and typing one handed really sucks, too. But life is GOOD. Soon these legs will be moving forward and I will be planning my next adventure. SOON....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I need WHAT?

“Somebody ought to tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit every minute of every day. Do it, I say, whatever you want to do, do it now.” — Michael Landon

My "living life to the fullest", came to an abrupt halt when my Doctor told me that I would need surgery on my shoulder. I heard what he said, but I had a hard time really believing him. I have races to run, places to go, and adventures to unfold. Crap, I have Mt. Blanc to run in August! But the reality is that I have a serious tear of my subscapularis tendon and it needs to be repaired. You may recall that I fell the day before I left for Costa Rica. I thought I had broken my arm but then realized that my shoulder was jacked up. I've waited for two months hoping that it would heal.... but to no avail. So, I go under the knife on April 18th for an arthroscopic repair that is going to leave me "resting" for quite awhile. I am bummed. But we all know that shit happens and sometimes there is not a thing we can do about it. When you play hard, things are bound to happen. And happen they did. So enough whining for now. I am not sick nor am I dying so I need to get on with my bad self. But first.......anyone have any suggestions about what I might do to keep in shape while I am in a sling for 6 weeks and unable to run? Anyone, anyone?

Hopefully, the weather will start turning warm and dry before too long. I am so ready for the warmth of the sun on my face. Don't put off living your life!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." - Theodore I. Rubin

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Seeing old friends

Today was a special day for me. I got to have breakfast with four friends from College. I hadn't seen any of them for over 30 years!! It sure felt great to laugh and reminisce about our wild days. Last night my old school's football team was inducted into the Hall of Fame. They had a big dinner celebration and I was invited to go, but decided to stay home instead. It would have been great to see all of the guys from the team, but I felt it would be best to leave the past, the past. So meeting up with four girlfriends seemed like a less complex thing to do. I am so thankful to have gotten together with them. I also got to see all of the pictures from the dinner and so it was almost like being there!! Great fun!

On the running side of things....well, that sucks. I am contacting my Doctor tomorrow because I am just not feeling that good. I am really tired and I have no power in my legs. My Lupus numbers are up and I am feeling weird. It's as if I am a balloon and the air has been released. " Help!!! I've fallen, but I can't get up!"

Lot's of stress in my life right now is not helping and I am feeling like I need to STOP THE BUS, I WANT TO GET OFF!! Not such an easy task, so I've got some work to do both emotionally and physically.

Yesterday was a beautiful day and today it is raining. Kind of like my life right now. Some days are diamonds and some days are stones. Let's all make this next week a Diamond week!

"The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be."
-Shakti Gawain

Thursday, March 3, 2011












Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rain, rain, go away

So, I am sitting at this damn computer waiting for the cold rain to stop. Yesterday's run was cold. Snowing, hailing and just miserably cold. My hands were so frozen that when I stopped running and got into my car, the pain in my hands was UNBEARABLE. It felt so good to have my hands feel normal again. Today, the rain continues. Suz and I have a tentative plan of running when the rain eases up. So, I sit here. My run yesterday was a good one despite the weather. I've needed a feel good run.

Today I get a MRI on my left shoulder. Years ago I had a psycho patient yank my arm and proceeded to tear my rotator cuff. I never had surgery and my shoulder has been okay. Not perfect, but I was okay with it. Two days before I left for Costa Rica, my dog Jada ran into the back of me on a rocky downhill, and I put my bad shoulder down to protect my fall and, OUCH! I thought my left arm was broken. Now, I think I have re torn my rotator or something in there. The cortisone shot that I got last week has not touched the pain and I am anxious to get feeling better. My Doctor doesn't want me to use my left arm until we know what's going on.

On the positive side of things, my knee is finally getting back to normal. That has been a long haul! Always something. This getting old thing really sucks!

I am looking forward to long, warm days. I'm missing the hot, humid weather of Costa Rica. I love the heat and could live in that environment eternally. The weather here is cold and rainy, and the dark sky is really quite a downer. I am going to visualize a warm ocean with the hot sand between my toes. I'll see how that works for me. Happy weekend, friends!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

“To have striven, to have made the effort, to have been true to certain ideals--this alone is worth the struggle.” -William Penn

The Challenge at The Coastal Challenge

Sitting at my computer, reflecting on my experience at TCC, it is hard to put into words the experience that I had. Of course I am disappointed that I was unable to complete the race. I ran 4 of the 6 days and was not feeling great for 3 of those days. It's just the way it is. Nothing I could have done about it. Several runners were down with vomiting, diarrhea, fever and body aches. It was crazy to see the chaos that this illness brought. I think I had it mild compared to many people. So disappointing and so hard to except.

The experience was great despite all the problems Tamara and I had with these flu like symptoms. Lot's of laughs and tears. The people we met, the places we ran and saw, the animals, the race.....priceless.

I'll never forget the rugged Rainforest trails, navigating through mud, vines and beautiful plants and greenery. I'll never forget the animal that hissed at me and spit either fluid or air, (maybe both), on me and caused me to scream into an already loud Jungle. Swimming with my pack on as the waves of the ocean pulled me down steam. The huge bug in my drink, was it a crab? The night we used our head lamps to look for crocodiles and we found them. Their big eyes illuminated by our lights. The stars that were so bright and clear in a perfectly perfect sky. I'll never forget the people. The Costa Rican hospitality. The CR runners that would so graciously offer a hand to me, while racing, when the footing was slippery and the water so crazy. Making sure I got out of a precarious position safely. The European runners with their skimpy booty shorts....funny! The coffee!! The beautiful birds and the incredible beaches with not a soul on them. The warm, bath like water that soothed my aching body and restored my soul. And lastly, the wonderful friends I met. Gillian and Martin, Alec and Jorge. Best friends forever.

A stage race like this is more of an adventure race than just a running race. Many different experiences than you would ever find in an average race. I think it is much more difficult than running a 100 miler. The day after day of difficult footing and heat and humidity. Our meals were made for us. Last time I enjoyed the eggs, rice, beans and fruit. This time it was hard to comprehend eating those meals with an upset stomach. Everyday it was basically the same meal, only a different combination of the same food. Rice for dinner and rice pudding for dessert. What is tolerable one day is totally intolerable the next. Foot care is prudent in the jungle. When your feet are wet continuously, you must take every precaution that you can to prevent blisters. Pre taping is a must. My drymax socks worked perfectly and I am happy to report that I had no blisters at all. Keeping hydrated is also very important. Good fueling and taking electrolytes are a number one priority. Being dehydrated or low on electrolytes could cost you the race or worse. You must keep on your toes in a race like this. Always thinking and making decisions. Stage races are great. I think I like them. No, I think I LOVE them. Sickness got me this time, but I will be back to do another one. Life is too short, don't waste it. PURA VIDA.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 4: The Revenge of the Borucas

Today's course is titled "The Revenge of the Borucas" because of its location in what used to be the home to the Borucas Indians. The roller-coaster route is difficult and some say that it's a twisted version of trick or treat.

Earlier this morning many of the runners experienced The Revenge of the Borucas personally as they possibly drank polluted water that has made them very sick. By the first Aid Station, many couldn't go on... and officially dropped out, including Kelly and her running friend, Tamara.

Of course, she feels sad and depleted, but she experienced three great days of running and if she feels well enough by tomorrow, she and Tamara will join those on the Adventure Run.

Kelly feels deeply grateful and rediculously lucky to have had this kind of experience woven into her soul. I can hardly wait to see the photos.

I am sincerely wishing all the runners improved health in a hurry.

I wish you strength. I wish you hope. I wish you relief. I wish you a perfect new day.

love, Shawn

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A letter from Kelly "I'm Alive and Well"

Hi! This is Shawn, Kelly's sister.

It's tough to write a blog for her when I have so little knowledge to report.

The Coastal Challenge website has so little information as you know if you've gone there to visit.

But I do know this.
I know Kelly is feeling totally free and totally connected to the earth and god and the sky and the jungle. I can only imagine, at the end of each day of running her heart out, as the rushing waters wash off the mud and sweat, she must think back to her day and feel completely humbled and honored as a guest in that sacred land. One of those spiritual mystical times that words have no ability to describe.

I would like to share with you an email Kelly wrote yesterday afternoon to family and friends:

January 31, 1:00 pm

Hey everyone,

I just finished my second day and finished 4th woman. It was very hot and humid today and the climbs were brutal. The end was a swim across water at the beach. A beautiful way to finish this stage. But first off, I want to tell you about day 1.

The start was at 10am and was already baking hot.

I felt quite good though and finished at the Rafiki Lodge.

The Rafiki Lodge is set in the middle of the Rainforest and it is such a beautiful place to stay. The bugs were terrible last night though and as the evening went on it only got hotter and more humid. I had to laugh thinking about you, Matt, you would of literally died last night. It was so flippin hot. I even found myself complaining about it.

One of the Costa Rican guys told us to make sure we keep the tent zipped up to prevent any snakes from getting in. It did not keep the bugs out though and they swarmed my face all night.

It was a cold night and without anything warm I just about froze to death. Tonight I am borrowing a blanket.

I paid for 5 massages and I just finished my 2nd one. They are the best massages I have ever had.

The dogs here are wild and like to chase you through the villages. I almost got trampled from about 15 horned cows that were running behind me and it was scary because I was on a narrow trail.

Ive taken a lot of pictures, so I think you will all enjoy them.

I am having a wonderful time. I feel totally blessed to be able to be here.

Thanks, Pat, for the tent. It is working out beautifully! I hope you are all doing well. I miss you all very much. Being here and doing this race is just incredible.

I know this email is really jumping around, but I am tired and not able to think very well. I have a lot to say but no energy to say it. I will save it all for when I get home. I love you all!!!


To read what Jen Segger (placing in 2nd at this point) has to say about her experience, you can read about it here. She writes a really wonderful blog describing her experience running the coastal challenge. I tried to comment on her blog, but comments are only open to her team.

Thanks for reading and for supporting Kelly!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Coastal Challenge starts tomorrow

Today was quite a busy here in Costa Rica. After a nice breakfast, Tamara, Alec and I went into the city. It was busy and full of lots of activity. We walked through an open air market and bought some fresh coffee to bring home. Being the dumb blond that I am, I said to Alec, "this place looks like we are in a foreign country." To which he replied, "I guess thats because we ARE in a foreign country." Wow, did I feel stupid!

Tonight the runners were entertained with beautiful dancing girls and young men drumming. The girls were in skimpy outfits with feathered stars high on their backs. It was quite entertaining. Immediately after, Rodrigo and Tim (race directors), gave us a long winded race briefing. It sounds like it will be very hot and humid and more mud than we could ever imagine.

There are runners from London, Canada, Spain, Costa Rica, USA, Bermuda and Austria. Everyone is very excited. I am so thankful to be here. We will be up early to bring our action packers full of our gear to the trucks at 5am. We will leave at 5:30 am for the start. A long bus ride of 3 hours and then we will begin this adventure from Quepos.

We have met so many nice people here. That is always the great part of races. Meeting exciting adventurous people. Risk takers, people who are not afraid to push themselves. I love that so much. I feel so alive when I am pushing myself. Many of you who read this blog know exactly what I mean.

To my family, thank you for allowing me to follow my dreams. I will be smiling despite being uncomfortable. I know that I am so lucky. So blessed. Chelsea, this race is for you my sweet daughter. You know why. For everyone else, I will think of you all and be thankful and send good thoughts and prayers your way. Getting through any race always takes a positive attitude and a thankful heart, I will have both of those things.

So, now it is time to repack. Yes, once again. Happy running, my friends......

Friday, January 28, 2011


Tamara and I arrived to San Jose, Costa Rica last night. It was a long day of travel but we made it here safely. We got up early and took a 20 minute run through the city. The smog and noise of honking horns is terrible. Everyone drives like they are in a huge hurry and motorcycles whiz by like bees. The weather here is warm and sticky. We both have gone through our stuff probably a 100 times and I still can´t find anything. My organizational skills are the pits. Tamara brought enough food and electrolytes for an army, so if I need anything I know where to find it. I am so excited to be here and thankful for the opportunity to run this amazing race again. I have found peace with myself about my knee injury and will just go out and enjoy the adventure. I was so hoping to have been in great shape going into this race, but it wasnt meant to be. This will be a test of patience. Yes.....patience. I dont understand that word very well. The weather is too nice to be sitting here at the computer, so off to the pool! Pura Vida!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Coastal Challenge

Tomorrow I leave for Costa Rica to embark yet again on an amazing 6 day adventure through the Rainforest. Getting to the start line this year has been difficult. First with my knee injury and lastly a bad fall yesterday that has left my arm and shoulder less than "zesty". This is the way it is with athletes sometimes. Sometimes getting to the start line is more difficult than actually running the race. So many things can happen. So, with that said, whoever said it is better to go into a race under trained than over trained, I'm here to prove that theory! The Coastal Challenge Rainforest Run is set along Costa Rica's tropical Pacific coastline but weaves at times into the Talamancas, a coastal mountain range in the Southwest corner of the country. The finish is near the border of Panama. The terrain is jungle and rainforest trails, mountain trail and single track across ridgelines, highlands and coastal ranges; beaches, rocky outcroppings and reefs, river and estuary crossings, and ends in Corcovado National Park, one of the premier rainforest experiences in the world. The race starts on Sunday, Jan. 30th and ends on Friday. Feb. 4th. If you would like to follow along, you may do so on my Blog at My sister Shawn will update it as she can. Or: 1) TCC Coverage Blog
2)TCC Facebook
3) TCC twitter
Thanks everyone! Please keep me in your thoughts. I may suffer out there, but I will be smiling!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I can't believe that on Thursday I leave for Costa Rica for The Coastal Challenge, a six day stage race in Costa Rica. My action packer (a 24 gallon gear container), is getting filled. I think I have everything that I need, but as unorganized that I am, I need to check and recheck several times. Needless to say, I am pumped up! I am disappointed that I am not going into the race as I would have liked. My knee is still not perfect. I do have three more PT appointments and hopefully, it will be much better when I toe the starting line. I also am going into the race with a 6 week taper due to this injury. Very limited running since Dec. 4th. Ugh! Not ideal, not good.......crap! Oh, well, that's life as a runner. Sometimes that is just the way it is. So.......that said.......I'm going to do the best that I can with what I have. I am believing in the old saying, " It's better to be undertrained than overtrained." I'll let you know how that works for me. The race starts on January 30th and finishes on February 4th. My sister will update my blog while I am gone.

Yesterday, my brother and I powerhiked and ran one of my new favorite trails. Lots of climbing, but worth the sweat. Then Matt and I went to the city for the day to celebrate our 12th anniversary. It was a clear beautiful day and we had a great time. Today promises another beautiful day and I hope to get out for an afternoon run. Make today count and get out and enjoy the day. "Don't say, 'The day will come.' Bring the day!"
Lyricist, Jakob Rotblit

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tomorrow is a 5 hour run with good friends. It will be a good test for my injured knee, that's for sure. I've been going to physical therapy 3x per week, and I think it may be helping. My knee is certainly better than two weeks ago and I am hoping that it will be 100% in another two weeks.

Last night and tonight I practiced putting up my tent and then taking it down. I will have to be comfortable taking it down in the pitch dark in Costa Rica, so I figure it is time to practice. Lots of things to get together for The Coastal Challenge and I am starting to get really excited.

I am frequently asked about the spiders and snakes in Costa Rica. I absolutely hate spiders and I'm not exactly happy to think about the possibility of getting bit by a snake in the Rainforest either. Two years ago while racing there, I just didn't let myself think of such things that slither in the jungle. Over 130 different snake species make Costa Rica their home, and this includes some of the world's most deadly. Bushmasters, coral snakes, and the REALLY dangerous fer-de-lance are famous. The scary thing is that these fellows generally live in the jungles hot spots and are generally shy, but there is an exception.

There are also boa constrictors which I am told are not venomous and thus not so dangerous. Still, anything that can squeeze me tighter than my boyfriend is never going to be on my favorite things list.

The fer-de-lance is absolutely deadly, and even if you survive, it inflicts a permanent necrosis to tissue that can be life crippling.

Like most snakes, it prefers to be left alone, but it does sometimes bite humans with little provocation. The fer-de-lance bites several hundred people each year in Costa Rica, mostly those agricultural workers who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Only about six people in Costa Rica die from the fer de lance.

Because of the ready availability of antivenin produced at the Clodomiro Picado Institute, which makes much of the antivenin used in Central America, deaths from snake bites are low. At the Clodomiro Picado Institute, over 200 snakes, including the fer-de-lance, are "milked" to produce antivenin.

Today is my son, Calebs 25th Birthday. Hard to believe that 25 years ago today, such a beautiful, perfect, little boy was born to me. I will be forever grateful that I was chosen to raise him. An amazing young man and such a loving, responsible 25 year old. I am so lucky!

Enjoy the three day weekend, everyone. The weather here is suppose to be great. I am sure looking forward to it. Get out and do something fun. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Trials and Tribulations of a long distance runner

In less than 3 weeks I will be in beautiful Costa Rica for The Coastal Challenge. I am excited but filled with trepidation. My knee injury is healing ever so slowly. I bought a brace for it and tried it out today and for about 20 minutes, I almost forgot that I was injured :( What should be a big week of quality training is just turning into a week of slow, calculated jogging. WTF! I am really bummed to say the least. But what can I do? Then, to make matters worse, my tick bite from Dec. 31st, decides to go bad. Real bad. So, off to the urgent care center to pick up some antibiotics and hopefully no problems down the road. Wow, when life throws you lemons......I have no choice but to make lemonade!
"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." Founder of the Great Plains Black Museum- Bertha Calloway
I think this quote is telling me to take this knee situation that is less than idea, and adjust my attitude so that I can have a great time in Costa Rica no matter what happens.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to take my antibiotic, some celebrex, rub my knee with voltaren gel (after icing it, I might add), stretch.........and hit the hay. 3:45 am comes quickly these days. Have a happy Monday!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Next up? The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica!!

Happy New Year everyone! 2010 was a great year and I am excited about the possibilities in 2011! My three kids were home for Christmas and Caleb brought home his girlfriend, Rubia for us to meet. I love it when we can all be together.

On December 31, my friend and co-worker, Theresa, succumbed to cancer. She was 54 years old. She will be missed by her many friends and family. She was an amazing person and I feel honored to have worked with her for many years. Theresa's death is just another reminder to live life to the fullest. We never know when our time is up.

A few weeks ago I found out that I got into UTMB. I still can't quite believe it! It will be both Matt and I's first time in Europe. I am really excited to start my training for that race, but first up is TCC!! It's hard to imagine that I will be in Costa Rica in one month. I can't wait for the Rain forest Adventure to unfold. My training has been on hold due to an injury I sustained in a car accident before Christmas where I bashed my knee into the dashboard. I had my knee injected with steroids, iced it till the cows came home, eaten Celebrex like it was candy, and still it is painful. I am hopeful that it will be back to 100% soon. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed. I want to go into the race feeling strong. Physical therapy starts at the end of the week, so we shall see. "Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn't permanent." ~Joan Kerr