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