11/8/13

Unveiling My Updated Blog!

I welcome you with open arms!!! :)

I welcome you with open arms!!! 🙂

You may have noticed my blog has gone through some changes the past month. My tech support department (aka – Wayne) decided to move the content here to a new server since we were paying two companies (one for our race companies and one for my blog and a chess site we used to run.)  In the process of changing everything over, the header photo and my background disappeared.  That header photo – the one with me running down the beach of the Oregon Coast with  my five children chasing me is really special to me and once the old copy disappeared and it coincided with our first family trip back to the coast in 3 years, I figured it was perfect timing for a new photo shoot with my professional photographer (aka – Wayne) to capture an updated image of the kids and I running at the beach! And, that’s just what we did last month while in Lincoln City, Orgeon!

I hope you enjoy the updated header and thought I’d share some of my favorite images from that photo shoot! Enjoy!

Original Header Photo Taken in 2010 by Wayne

Original Header Photo Taken in 2010 by Wayne

 

The New Header - my favorite photo of the day!

The New Header – my favorite photo of the day!

 

Racing the kids

Racing the kids

 

Racing on the Beach. Jr and I tied 3 times! He'll be beating me in a sprint by his next birthday I bet!

Racing on the Beach. Jr and I tied 3 times! He’ll be beating me in a sprint by his next birthday I bet!

 

What fun would a romantic trip to be beach be without a little making out?!

What fun would a romantic trip to be beach be without a little making out?!

 

My two youngest daughters and I - Anneliese and Savannah.

My two youngest daughters and I – Anneliese and Savannah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

07/30/13

Track Day with the 5 Kids

 

My husband (aka - the "Coach") - keeping track of the kids' mile times today

My husband (aka – the “Coach”) – keeping track of the kids’ mile times today

I love how inspired Wayne has been lately to get fit and to help our kids get active too! This morning he signed up Wayne Jr for his first marathon (the same one I ran when I did my first, which I’m pretty excited about!!) and then we headed to the neighborhood track with the kids. The track is loose cinder – which feels like running in fine gravel, so they were getting rocks in their shoes every little bit and there are no marked lanes, but they were champs and stayed with it for a mile each while Wayne timed them, which was fun. I ran with Jr for the first lap, encouraging good form and pacing and then caught up with my 8 year old daughter who was in tears and stayed with her until the finish, where I kid you not she started sprinting and threw her hands up in the air at the end, which totally made my day!!!!!! Proud of these kids! I think we need to head downtown next time to show them what an awesome track feels like instead, though!

Wayne Jr - age 12 - training for his first marathon

Wayne Jr – age 12 – training for his first marathon

Rebecca (age 13) - a great support to her younger siblings and showing promise as a runner herself! It'll be fun to see what she does over the next few years!

Rebecca (age 13) – a great support to her younger siblings and showing promise as a runner herself! It’ll be fun to see what she does over the next few years!

The kids’ one mile times today on the track (intending to keep this up and show them how much they have progressed in a few months!)

Wayne Jr: 10:23
Rebecca: 14:29
Joshua: 14:35
Anneliese: 21:20
Savannah: 16:18

Joshua (age 11) - Feeling proud of himself for pushing hard on the track!

Joshua (age 11) – Feeling proud of himself for pushing hard on the track!

You should have heard the trash talk at the bleachers as they feasted on granola bars and Gatorade when it was over and I snapped a couple of victory shots. Savannah (age 6) to Rebecca (who’d come back out to run in her sister the final lap – Savannah was none the wiser and thought she was beating her 13 year old sister) – She said, “Becca, I kicked your butt today, but you ALMOST kicked mine!” Rebecca, “I know! You’re an awesome runner! I’m really proud of you!” Anneliese (age 8 – with the personality of a 40 year old in the body of a young child), “Savannnahhhh…. if you LITERALLY kicked Becca’s butt, that would be a bad idea because, #1 – That would be rude! #2 – It would slow you down! and #3 – You’d probably TRIP!!! She had her hands on her hips and was looking so serious. We all burst out laughing!!

Savannah (age 6) - our "baby" - who's shown an enthusiasm and passion for running since she was in diapers! It'll be fun to fan the flame of interest she has over the next few years!

Savannah (age 6) – our “baby” – who’s shown an enthusiasm and passion for running since she was in diapers! It’ll be fun to fan the flame of interest she has over the next few years!

Anneliese (age 8) - my least enthusiastic runner/child - which made it all the more wonderful to see her sprinting to the finish line and SMILING at the end of the workout today! Woo hoo!!!

Anneliese (age 8) – my least enthusiastic runner/child – which made it all the more wonderful to see her sprinting to the finish line and SMILING at the end of the workout today! Woo hoo!!!

05/28/13

Hiking the Oregon Trail with the Five Cutest People I Know!

Who knew family fun on the Oregon Trail could bring out the JOY in all five of them?!

Who knew family fun on the Oregon Trail could bring out the JOY in all five of them?!

Our family enjoyed some much-needed playful time together outdoors on Memorial Day and I hope other families were able to do the same! We had a really lovely time taking in the views of Lucky Peak, Table Rock and the Boise Foothills and especially enjoyed running up and down the Basalt Trail, which is crazy technical and way FUN! My 12 year old son was a beast heading up and down that section, grinning from ear to ear.  Our youngest, age 6, needed a piggy pack ride back to the house after our 3 miles of family fun! I wonder how much longer Daddy will be her taxi?! 🙂

 

My baby girl and I - I think she's a chip off the old block!

My baby girl and I – I think she’s a chip off the old block!

Walk Like an Egyptian (or a bunch of Idahoans trying to pretend to be Egyptians!)

Walk Like an Egyptian (or a bunch of Idahoans trying to pretend to be Egyptians!)

I Leap for Family Fun!

I Leap for Family Fun!

04/2/13

I Donated Blood for the First Time Today

I'm so happy that I was able to finally donate blood!

Giving blood = giving life! I will always be indebted to those who gave blood so my little girl could live! It felt wonderful to finally be doing something to return, in some small way, the gift that was given to our family when Savannah’s life was saved in 2007!

I have several items on my “bucket list.”  Some of them are grand adventures like running Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim at the Grand Canyon, taking a ride in a hot air balloon, running the Boston Marathon or meeting a running hero like Kathrine Switzer. Others are a little less glamorous, but very personally meaningful to me. One of those things on my list was to donate blood – something that I think we all know is a good thing to do, but many of us never get around to actually doing.

There is a special reason why this was so very important to me. My beautiful daughter, Savannah, the youngest of my five children was a very sick little baby when she was about 6 months old. Though we never did get a diagnosis for why Savannah became so seriously ill, one of the turning points for her recovery was when she received a blood transfusion at St Luke’s Children’s Hospital on September 22, 2007.

Savannah in the PICU after her blood transfusion in Sept of 2007.

Savannah in the PICU after her blood transfusion in Sept of 2007.

I remember being terrified as they told me that my little girl might not live through the night, but standing by her bedside, stroking the soft tufts of blond hair on her little cherub head and singing softly to her through my tears as she received that life-giving blood. As the hours went by, color started to return to Savannah’s face. It would be nearly a year before Savannah would be fully well again, but that night will forever be etched into my memory as the night she was given hope again.  I told my husband that very day that it was very important to me to one day donate blood as the best way possible I could say, “Thank you” to whoever had given so selflessly to my own baby girl and helped save her life!

Well, a few weeks ago, while on an early morning run with my pal, Ryan, he mentioned feeling a little tired since he’d given blood the day before. That’s when I shared with him my own family’s story and told him I really wanted to give blood too! So, he invited me to join him the next time the American Red Cross came to his office and I happily jumped at the chance!

Thank you, Ryan for being a great example to me and letting me join you so I can do my part too!

Thank you, Ryan for being a great example to me and letting me join you today!

So, today was that day. The day I was able to pay it forward. As I was lying back in the chair, I thought about how frightened and hopeless I’d felt the day Savannah needed blood and how utterly grateful I was when there was blood available to give to her. I wondered about where my own blood would go. Would it be another little baby like my own who would need it? A mother? A grandpa? It really doesn’t matter. It just feels amazing to know that there is a very simple way to do some good, to provide some help to those who really need it!

So, if you are like I was – thinking that giving blood is a good thing to do and something you’d always intended to do, I encourage you to take the steps to find a local donation location so that you, too, can share the gift of life! And for those of you, like Ryan who have been giving for years, please know from the bottom of my heart how truly grateful I am for your kindness! Thank you!!

 

Savannah (who's a healthy 6 year old and the light of my life) and I.

Savannah (who’s a healthy 6 year old and the light of my life) and I.

01/13/13

How Do You Juggle It All?

I had only ran 11 miles this week – 11 MILES! Argh! Sometimes people ask me how I manage to stay married to the same man for 15 years, homeschool 5 children, raise them, keep the housework and laundry caught up, help direct 10 races AND run enough that I’m trained for my ultras and marathons. The short answer: I DON’T! It really is a juggling act and when one area of my life is going exceptionally well, it’s inevitable that at least one or two other areas of my life are sucking pond scum!

This past week, Wayne and I’ve met with sponsors for our race company. Those meetings went exceptionally well!!! I sat down and caught up all the paperwork and bills for our family and our business. I spent some much-needed time having fun with my kids and took them bowling and out for ice cream. We got a replacement to our broken washing machine and got the laundry caught up (yay for clean undies!) Wayne and I even made time for some cuddling and talking and daydreaming about our future. It honestly was a good week! I just didn’t run as much.

I think that’s the lesson. I value my family above all — none of the running stuff would mean ANYTHING if I didn’t have them there at home to greet me after a run, there at the finish line cheering me in or along the course of a 100 handing me water and telling me that I can totally do it. They are my priority.

I see marriages falling apart in my social circle. It frightens me. I see other couples face something really difficult like cancer and cling to one another and fight it together and grow closer. I want to be more like the second kind of couple. I couldn’t do the things I do without the love and support of my husband!! He is my number 1 fan, my greatest encourager, my best friend (and the one who actually shells out the sweet moula for my race entry fees — thank you, honey!) 😀 I don’t want him to ever feel he’s taken a back seat to my training, my running, my friends.

Anyways… serious thoughts today as I remind myself of what’s important in my life. Thankfully, running is something that my husband will continue to encourage me on and that’s good, because I truly love it with all my heart! I had a talk with a competitive local runner gal this week. She said, “Running isn’t “me” time. It’s just part of who I am and what I do.” I feel like that too.

Oodles of snow out there today made it pretty hard to keep a regular pace, so I just eased up, walked and hiked through the 4 inches of snow and took a few lovely photos of the winter wonderland. I tried listening to music. My player died after 3 songs. Luckily, Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer, which pretty much rocked my socks!! 🙂

Elevation Gain: 315 feet. Mix of trail and road today (all covered in snow and/or ice.) Ave HR: 132. Max HR: 162. Felt: Reflective.

12/17/12

12 Miles on 12/12/12 with my 12 Year Old

My son, Wayne Jr has a budding passion for running! I’ve seen it in him for several years now and I’m always looking for ways to fan the flame of this new love in the hopes that he will grow up to be as crazy in love with the sport as I am!  When I woke up on 12/12/12 I didn’t have any concrete running plans, but felt I should do something to commemorate the day.  As I was making my morning cappuccino, I mentioned to Jr, who’s 12, that I was thinking of going for a run and I wanted to know if he’d like to join me. A huge smile spread across his face and he excitedly asked, “How far, Mom?”  That’s when it hit me: He’s 12!!! It’s 12/12/12 and I was planning on running 12 miles – a distance he’d never done in his life.   I said, “I’m going 12. Want to do the whole thing with me?!” He leaped up from the chair, did a fist pump in the air and yelled out, “WOO HOO!”  😀 Talk about enthusiastic running partner!

I loaded up the Nathan with lots of snacks: peanut butter sandwiches, salty chips, Shot Bloks, mint chocolate GUs and we each carried a hand bottle with Gatorade. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and full of fluffy clouds and we enjoyed one another’s company as we took off.  I let him set the pace, but encouraged him to walk as much as he needed since his longest run in the last 11 months was only 3 miles!

Jr learned one little lesson: If your running partner is also your homeschool Mom, she may spring spelling pop quizzes on you to distract you from the miles. She will also cheer enthusiastically when you get the words correct! 🙂  I’d brought along a little notepad and a pen and we made a game of writing down every single street name that we passed in our neighborhood. There were 27 that we passed, most of them named after uncommon plants, shrubs and flowers like Quamash, Nasturtium and Firethorn (Jr’s favorite!) I promised him that he could google them all when we got back home so he could know what each one meant.

As we were running downhill together, he said to me, “Mom, in Mine Sweeper you run faster if you LEAP run!” So, of course, we both started leap running down the hill, laughing and having a wonderful time.  When we’d pass street signs next to the sidewalk, he would grab them and twirl around them.  When we’d run under crab apple trees, he’d say, “Duck, Mom! Those are enemy bombs and they’re about to fall!”  It made me laugh. He made me smile – happy to enjoy those 12 miles with my son who one day soon may not think it’s cool to be seen in public with his Mom. 🙂  For now, he’s still a playful boy, full of life and energy and determination! I will enjoy every moment!

He finished up the 12.12 miles with his fists pumped in the air and a big grin on his face! It was the perfect way to celebrate such a unique date!

11/12/12

40 Miles for 40 Years – My “Over the HillS!” Birthday Run

On November 2nd, I turned the big four -O!! 40 years YOUNG! I can’t believe it! 40 is a pretty special number for me since it was the age my Mom was the year she ran her marathon. Four and a half years ago, when I took those first steps to becoming a healthier Mommy, my ultimate goal was to run a marathon the year I turned 40 years old just like my Mom had done.  So, here I am!! Finally 40!

Since I’d ran that first marathon a few years back (and gone on to do other ultra marathons including my 100 miler this past March) I needed a special way to commemorate the day.  So, I invited a bunch of my crazy running buddies to join me as I ran 40 miles to celebrate 40 years of a good life!

It couldn’t have been more perfect to begin my special day, in the dark, at 5:30 am with a headlamp meeting up with Ryan at the base of Lucky Peak. That alone was kind of sentimental for me. A year ago I moved to Boise. The night before my birthday, I was feeling a little down since I was still unpacking and didn’t have any official plans to run with anyone the next day for my birthday. It was late when the phone rang. It was my friend, Ryan, inviting me on my first-ever midweek trail run by  headlamp!!! Just one of the “cool, new things” that changed for me when I moved to Boise! The next morning, I awoke at 4:30 am (a time that seemed ungodly, but would over time become my new normal on running days.) It was freezing cold, windy, my hands were numb and I could hardly hear Ryan when he spoke because the wind was blowing so fiercely! But, we ran the Homestead Trail up towards Lucky Peak, stopping once we’d reached a great spot to view the city lights below. It took my breath away and almost made me cry! I felt like the luckiest person in the world — standing on the top of a mountain as a new year of my life began in a new city!

So, beginning this run in the same way was pretty special. To make it even better, my friend Andrea was joining us and my amazing friends Bobby and Calvin, who had driven all the way from Baker City, Oregon to join in were along the for celebration too! I was dressed in my new purple birthday tutu and I was feeling rather festive and full of appreciation for my good friends, my loving husband and five children, the gorgeous trails I run on and my good health! We ran under the bright moon and the twinkling stars and chatted as we made our way up.

At the top, we paused, taking in the views below of the city lights – twinkling like diamonds beneath us against a black sky. Though I’ve seen this view many times since last November, it still causes me to catch my breath and my heart wells up with awe at the sight and wonder of it all. Me, way up on a mountain on the morn of my birthday.

We headed down the hill, running hard and fast, dodging rocks, uneven washout on the road, letting gravity pull our bodies like speeding bullets down the hill, trying not to fall the way I did on my birthday the year before. This time, I can feel the familiarity in my footfalls. I run this trail in the dark all the time now and I don’t hesitate on the downhills anymore – I push myself instead – loving the riskiness of daring the rocks to trip me up, the drive welling up inside my chest as I try to chase down my faster friend! I run well, my cheeks are flushed and I am smiling. In fact, I find that I am running effortlessly — floating down the mountain, gracefully, quickly gaining on Ryan and I am not out of breath. I feel wonderful! I push a little bit harder, see the gap between us closing bit by bit. My mind is buzzing.. “Could THIS be my day? The day I finally catch my faster pal?!” My stride stretches and I get closer and closer, my breathing heavy, when I am right at his heels – JUST as we reach the gate and finish the run! I am elated! He teases, “If you hadn’t had on your headlamp you might have caught me this time!” Maybe next birthday….

We get about 8 miles in before the day starts to dawn. We say goodbye to Ryan as he heads off to work for the day and the others and I head back to my house as the sun starts to rise to meet up with a few pals who will join me for the next leg of our journey. I find my sweet friend, Martha there with her bicycle and a delicious homemade key lime pie — baked special for me! Yum!!! I hug her, and my friends Mark and Dennis also show up, giving me hugs and saying, “Happy Birthday!” My five kids wake and are enjoying all the commotion at our home at such an early hour. They love my friends and I think my friends love them too.

We head off as a group, this time running some roads and the Boise Greenbelt on our travels. We keep the pace easy, conversational. Today is about pleasure, celebration – FUN! We talk about the fall leaves – the golds, the eye-popping reds, the browns. It’s a lovely day – sunny, blue skies, comfortable. A perfect fall day for a 40 mile run! We spot a deer standing statue-still in the Boise River! I jump up and down and clap like a 5 year old! It really feels like nature just sent me the best gift of all – this moment to gaze at this powerful and graceful beast — as she walks serenely through the water, pausing, staring at us, then walking on. It’s a perfect day!

By the time we are back at my house, I and three of my companions have ran over 22 miles! The mission is half complete! My husband is adorable – wearing a pink flamingo hat, working hard to whip up grilled cheese sandwiches for all my friends and I, spreading the table with other goodies for us to munch on – yogurt covered pretzels, potato chips, M and Ms, bananas, oranges and all sorts of tasty drinks! We are nourished, we’re in good spirits and then my friend, Uli comes over! Ulrich Kamm is something of a legend in our group. He’s from Germany and he brings me a delightful little champagne fruit and nut cake covered in chocolate. Uli is over 60 years old and has completed more than 250 ultra marathons, including multiple 100 mile finishes including Leadville, Wasatch, The Bear, Big Horn and 10 at Hardrock – and he’s never ran a step of any of them! He’s a power walker unlike any I’ve ever known! His walking pace causes others to run just to keep up! He’s energetic, funny and inspirational and I am thrilled to have him at my party!

This loop on the Oregon Trails with Uli is one of my favorite! Bobby, Calvin, Mark and I laugh and enjoy the chatter of our faithful leader — as Uli keeps us all putting in a solid effort just to keep him in sight! It’s wonderful! We enjoy the rocky terrain, the views of the Lucky Peak Dam reservoir and I feel very, very alive and incredibly happy as we run (and Uli walks!)

We get back to the house, say goodbye to Uli and Bobby tells me his foot is bothering him. I feel so badly for him. He’s gone 30 miles – a huge effort and I am so proud of him! My buddy, Jon has shown up and joins in with Calvin, Mark and I for the final round. We are in good spirits and the boys are being silly – harassing me like school children, playfully kicking at me or running off with my cell phone to take funny pictures that I’ll find later!

We get a call a few miles later that two of my gal pals have shown up to run with me. Wayne drives them down to meet up with us and it’s a pleasant change of pace to run with the girls, with their fresh legs. I am struggling with needing a bathroom so we do more walking than running, but they don’t seem to mind and we laugh and talk and enjoy the rest of the day.

My friend Christena needs to head off to a family dinner, so Wayne comes to give her a ride and I hug her and thank her for joining me! Denise stays and we slowly meander up the trail back towards the house. Calvin has reached a new milestone — he’d never gone more than 33 miles before — and Jon and Mark help him run strong to the end! They are done several minutes before I come trotting up the road with Denise. I am smiling. Only Denise is there when I hit the big 40 miles goal and the low key finish seems just perfect.  She tells me “congratulations”, hugs me and I head into the house for a shower before my birthday dinner.

It was a wonderful day. About 40 people come to my dinner. My oldest daughter says, “Isn’t that perfect, Mom?!” And, yes, it really is!

I am so lucky! I feel surrounded by people I adore, people I respect and enjoy the company of! My kids and husband are there, smiling, enjoying the fellowship of our friends and I am happy. It has been a life well lived thus far!!! 🙂 Here’s to many, many more miles and years ahead…..

 

09/15/12

Harvest Classic 2 Mile Race

When I was in my late teens and during my college years, my “marathon mama” used to drag me along to her races on the weekends sometimes. One of those races was the Harvest Classic put on by the Nampa Recreation Center. It really is a great little event and quite well organized. I love the small-town feel, the sweet schwag; they give gift cards to TCBY, gift certificates to Domino’s Pizza and a few other really good restaurant freebies in the goody bags, plus chapstick and a free pass to the Nampa Recreation Center (a value alone of about $8.) They also give race shirts and a chance at 20 really great gift baskets (half go to the 1 mile race and the other half are shared by the 8k and 2 mile race.) There’s a live band, bounce houses, an outdoor climbing wall and delicious baked potatoes, chocolate milk, TCBY frozen yogurt (with the vendor actually juggling small cups of the sweet treat today, which was funny!), Domino’s Pizza and a Franz bread truck handing out a free loaf of bread to every entrant.  Not bad for my $20 entry fee or my kid’s $10 per child one! A real bargain if you ask me!

So, Wayne and I brought the five kids out today to enjoy the race, just like my Mom had done with me all those years ago. And my Mom didn’t want to miss the fun, either! She rode her bike onto the course and waited to cheer me on about about 1.25 miles in which was a highlight!

 

My kids had a great time at the 1 mile race and I got to cheer and take photographs at the finish line. I had ran off to the porta potty for a quick pee after they took off and as I was running back to the finish line I saw my son, Wayne Jr, standing, hands-on-knees and grinning already DONE! I looked at my watch and realized he’d done less than an 8 min mile! I was so proud!!! Next my son Josh finished in about 11 minutes. Then, hot on his heels, my husband came running across with my baby – my 5 year old daughter, Savannah, who had the most determined look on her face as she crossed! Finally, my oldest daughter, Rebecca (who is incredibly thoughtful of her younger siblings and agreed to run with her 7 year old sister, Anneliese) came across the line holding hands as Anneliese cried and clutched her side.  Running a race is TOUGH business sometimes!

I gave them all hugs and then they sat on the side as I lined up for the 2 mile race to start. One of my favorite parts of this race is that they warm up the crowd with three Zumba instructors from the Rec Center on a stage off the course. It was so much fun! Last year I got so into the shimmying and shaking that I accidentally danced my way right into an elderly lady! I was much more mindful of my flailing body parts this year and no further injuries were suffered by those lined up near me.

I had written my time from last year on my hand: 15:43. I knew I could beat it and that was the goal today. Last year, I came in 5th female overall and 1st in the 30-39 age group. This year, I was hoping to do better.  When they counted down and I took off, I was mindful to hold back on the pace and not get carried away with the crowd. I was pretty amazed when I realized there was an older gentleman speed-walking next to me, hips swinging lightening fast. I glanced at my Garmin and saw we were doing a 7:08 pace! Wow!!!

I eased up and let the crowd surge as I carefully played out my strategy – start conservative, stay steady, then accelerate little-by-little until the final kick. Goal was a negative split. My first mile went well – a 7:32. My average pace last year was 7:51 (something I’d made note of on my hand and focused on beating.) I knew I was doing good and I felt comfortable. I was passing people one by one from the first quarter mile as their too-fast starts caught up with several of them.

As we left the busy street and turned onto a small running path just as my Garmin beeped for 1 mile, the exhaustion started to come. I was halfway done, but still had a mile to go. I remembered this spot from a year ago and how much I’d wanted to walk here. This time I did not feel any desire to walk. It was difficult, but I felt I could manage it and keep it up for another mile.  My Mom cheered for me right about here and that was a nice mental boost! Inside I was smiling, but outside I was total focus and heavy, even breathing. I gave her a thumbs up and raced on.

I saw my friend, Julie up ahead, maybe a tenth of a mile or so. I was elated! Julie’s a much faster runner than I am and I had expected her to take the win, so I knew there was a good shot I was in second place. That bolstered my resolve to stay steady and strong and fight the pain and weariness to the end.

We left the path with 3/4 of a mile to go. It was getting hotter and I was tempted to slow down, but I didn’t allow myself to. I just kept plugging along – steady, smooth, forward. As we rounded the corner and got within 1/2 a mile of the finish, I realized it was time to see if I had any “turbo boost” left in my legs. I eased on the gas just a hair. There wasn’t much extra there but I gave it everything I had.

I was still chasing Julie and knew I could not catch her but used her as a rabbit, chasing her down to the final turn. Once I saw the finish line and the crowds, I forced myself to give every last ounce of push I had left and, with my face wrenched up in agony, I crossed the finish line in 14:57 — an improvement over last year’s time by about 43 seconds! I was 12th overall and 2nd place female, to boot! Yeah!!!!!  That last mile was, in fact, a negative split. A 7:25 pace.

Wayne and the kids were there taking photos and cheering and they all hugged me and told me I’d done a good job! It was a wonderful race!

Julie came in first female and beat me by about 20 seconds! She is amazing and I was happy to congratulate her on a well-executed race!

The family headed to the baked potato bar, loaded up some spuds and then grabbed some frozen yogurt and water bottles and sat down in the shade and enjoyed the day! It was awesome!

 

 

08/29/12

Dealing With Taper Madness

Whilst struggling with taper madness today, my adoring husband witnessed my pacing and disgruntled mood and offered to take us on a family outing! He said I could choose the activities, so I chose paddle boating at Julia Davis Park with the five kids, a visit to the nearby playground, a stop at a local fruit stand (where everyone got to choose something yummy and healthy to take home and eat) and Wayne (being the doting Daddy he is) also added in a stop to Fred Meyer’s bakery so the children could choose a special treat (three chose cake pops, one chose a cookie, Wayne and I split a slice of Napolean cream cake and Rebecca chose a chocolate coffee cup!)

It was a lovely family day and it was a wonderful distraction to my taper madness!!!

P.S. Operating a paddle boat is a pretty good workout on the legs!! Mine felt all warmed up and stretched out after half an hour! Niicee!!!

07/6/12

Boise Trail Runners 1st Drag Race

It all started as a silly conversation on Facebook. My friend Ryan was tiptoeing in a photo and I teased that he needed to get a pair of heels so he’d always be that tall. Then I said, in fact, you could wear them when we ran together so I’d finally be faster.  My friend Lynette (a former Hasher) said “Actually men can run pretty fast in heels! I’ve seen them!”  I asked if one of those “men” she’d seen was her buddy Dennis (the fastest 100 miler in our gang.) She said no. I commented that “I’d pay good money to see Ryan and Dennis race in heels!” From there it just snowballed! Ryan said he’d do it if the money was raised for charity – for a good cause like the Ridge to Rivers Trail System in Boise.  Dennis said he’d do it.  Lynette said it could be part of our 4th of July picnic event and my husband put together a web site and sign up sheet and before you could say “Transvestite”, several men had signed up and the picnic attendance list went way up in anticipation of the “show!”

And what a show it was!!!! The “boys” er.. “girls” did not disappoint! Six brave souls showed up in various drag costumes (the most noteworthy were Lady Liberty – complete with crown and torch and my pal Ryan in piggytails and a tutu – with a sparkly purse dangling off his forearm) to race the half mile in their sky-high heels!  My pal Dennis was in the skyscraper model at about 5 inches, so he’d also brought along his trekking poles, which looked even more hilarious!

The fellas lined up at the start line and the regular bikers and runners out for their daily exercise raised quite a few eyebrows when they saw these men decked out in their girlie ensambles.  Those looks might have been the funniest part of all! I think people thought our group was really “out there!”

My husband counted down, someone sounded the air horn and the men took off like lightening in those heels – tap tapping along the Boise Greenbelt, skirts flying back, blouses pushed back against hairy chests.  They may have looked like ladies, but they ran like dudes, pushing hard for position as they click clicked along.  Very quickly, Lady Liberty led the race and “she” held her own until the final stretch, with the two youngest “women” coming up quickly behind “her.”

The crowd went wild as they came towards the home stretch and the pace shot up to a dead sprint (which I must admit you had to see to believe!) My friend Sean and the youngest runner Jack (who I believe is 14) pushed past Lady Liberty and started charging towards the finish line like a couple of ladies at a KMart Blue Light Special with only one coveted sale item left on the table.  They both wanted that win and they weren’t going to be ladylike and let the other have it!

Their faces grimaced as they raced and then Jack shot ahead in a craze like a tween with Bieber fever and broke the red, white and blue ribbon, then landed in a heap on the other side, clutching his ankle (running in heels is dangerous. Don’t try this at home!)  Sean was a close second and tried to conceal his tears, through his smeared mascara (I may have made up that part).  Lady Liberty was 3rd, Ryan the tutu boy came prancing along, smiling and waving like Miss Congeniality in 4th place, Brian, with his burly red beard came galloping along in 5th and finally, finally……after everyone thought the race was over, way in the distance we could see Dennis in his 5 inch heels tap tapping along the Greenbelt, preening for the cameras and slowly coming into the finish with his hiking poles keeping him precariously upright at this late hour in the race. He resembled best a 90 year old librarian in his tasteful baby blue skirt and cardigan (which he’d unbuttoned at the top, brazenly flashing his man-chest!)

The crowd went wild as Dennis crossed and then (in true Dennis form), he dropped down to the ground for clap pushups.  Dennis is well known in our group for always finishing up his races with clap pushups (even 100 milers!) So, this was a show-stopper! Since he was dressed as a lady, he did girlie pushups, which made everyone laugh even more! Pictures were taken.  I got to “crown” the winner with a pink, feathered tiarra and hand him his single rose — giving him the image of a male Miss Teen America — and my friend Rachael passed out lovely Drag Race medals she’d made to each of the participants.  It was a really fun time!

After the drag race, we also had a more family friendly children’s race, where about 30 kids raced to glory on the same stretch of Greenbelt! Each got a medal from Rachael, a licorice rope from my friend April and a lollipop from me. It was a really fun time and I enjoyed watching all five of my kids run into the finish as I cheered wildly!