Friday, December 23, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
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
Sunday, November 20, 2011
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
Have a wonderful day and do something that makes you feel happy!
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
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.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
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
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
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
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.....
Thursday, May 26, 2011
“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
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.
Friday, May 13, 2011
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.
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 Active.com:
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
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....
Sunday, March 27, 2011
“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
Sunday, March 6, 2011
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
TWO FRIENDS WERE WALKING
THROUGH THE DESERT.
DURING SOME POINT OF THE
JOURNEY, THEY HAD AN
ARGUMENT; AND ONE FRIEND
SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE
IN THE FACE
THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED
WAS HURT, BUT WITHOUT
WROTE IN THE SAND,
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND
SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.
THEY KEPT ON WALKING,
UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS,
WHERE THEY DECIDED
TO TAKE A BATH
THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN
SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE
MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING,
BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM.
AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM
THE NEAR DROWNING,
HE WROTE ON A STONE:
'TODAY MY BEST FRIEND
SAVED MY LIFE'
THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED
AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND
ASKED HIM, 'AFTER I HURT YOU,
YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW,
YOU WRITE ON A STONE, WHY?'
THE FRIEND REPLIED
'WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US
WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN
IN SAND, WHERE WINDS OF
FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY.
BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR US,
WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE
WHERE NO WIND
CAN EVER ERASE IT'
LEARN TO WRITE
YOUR HURTS IN
THE SAND AND TO
BENEFITS IN STONE.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
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
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
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.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
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
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
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
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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 www.ridgrunner.blogspot.com. My sister Shawn will update it as she can. Or: 1) TCC Coverage Blog
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
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
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