Trail Zombie's Flatrock's Race Report

Check out Trail Zombie's race report of Flatrocks 50K. He has some beautiful pictures of the trail. Double click on the pictures for a better view. You will get a clearer understanding of how rocky it really is. It wears me out just looking at them again.

I've just let Doug know if he wants to go back next year, I would pick up the costs. He likes that idea. It honestly makes me a little nervous. But...with the lessons I've learned and some of the things we've talked out and know we need to do different next time, I think it's doable.


Honored Patient and Friend...Leesa's Update

I received awesome news tonight from Leesa...

I had blood and bone marrow samples tested last week. Although I knew Friday that my blood work came back cancer-free, I was waiting for the bone marrow tests to come back before I got really excited and shared the news. I found out today that my bone marrow came back clean as well. At this moment I am cancer-free!!!

**Insert cartwheels and happy dances here**

I go back Oct. 11 for follow-up tests. I’ve stopped taking the chemo pill and have entered what’s called a ‘watchful waiting’ period. As long as my blood work stays looking like it is now, I’ll get to use the word remission by year’s end!!

And she'll be back to training on Saturday!
You Go Girl!
Luvs and Hugs!


Marathon World Record Broken Yesterday

By Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia.
At the Berlin Marathon.

I would be ecstatic to run a half marathon in this time.


Everyone Needs at Least One

My Flatrocks 50K Race Report
Friday afternoon Doug and I headed down to Independence KS. It's about a 2 and half hour drive from home. We checked into the hotel and went straight to packet pickup. They were serving dinner so we sat down and had salad with spaghetti and meatballs. It was nice not having to find someplace in town to eat. After dinner we picked up our packet and headed out. Our next stop. Braum's. Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sundaes. Mmm...The place was a zoo. I think the whole town was there. At least those that weren't at the high school football game and those that were not at the movie house. I guess the big scoop (ha) was the movie sold out so everyone went for ice cream instead.

We drove back to the hotel after our belly's were full and snuggled in for the night.

Saturday morning we headed out to the lake to the starting area. It was foggy. Also nice and cool. We met up with Cynical Mud Babe and Christy and walked out to the starting line area together. After some last minute words from the RD, he took roll call. Yes, roll call. How funny is that? Just to see who was starting so they could keep track of everyone on the course. And when you actually got to each water stop, they would check you in.

We started out on the pavement for a very short jaunt and then right into the woods. This course doesn't gradually get hard. It kicks your butt from the very beginning. Rocks. Rocks. And More Rocks. The whole course was rocks. Here a rock. There a rock. Everywhere a rock. It was a very technical course. Not only were there rocks the whole way. It was up and down and up and down and up and down. I'm not talking little ups and downs. I'm talking rock climbing. It was tough. Very tough.

By mile 2 I was already getting hot spots and blisters on my feet. I knew this was going to be quite a day. I didn't say anything...just kept going. I think it took us an hour to go three miles. My feet were not as agile as they needed to be. My ankles were twisting every which way. I wasn't gliding over the rocks like I wish I could have. I never knew when I landed on a rock if it was going to turn on me, stay or slide under my feet. So...we walked. And walked. And walked. Even while walking, it was hard for me to maneuver over the rocks.

We mustered through the trails. Not stopping to fuel like we should have as we were trying to beat feet to the turn around before the cut-off. I think in 15 miles I had 2 Hammer Gels, 4 electrolytes, some Gatorade and 1 half of a red potato (which was sooo yummy!). I know Doug had much less. Not the smartest thing to do when you're trying to keep going.

About mile 13 I became dizzy and nauseous. Not good. As this was a very tough part of the course. I managed through after taking my 2nd Hammer Gel and some electrolytes. I was really starting to hurt. My muscles were tired and sore. Already. How could this be?, I kept asking myself. Have I mentioned this course was the course from Hell?

I knew at this point, making the cut-off was not going to happen. Doug kept ahead of me. Kept moving forward. I followed, but much more slow. He is so wonderful. He was my Sherpa. My pacer. My support team. My trail blazer. I could not have asked for anything more. He was the best. IS the best. As I started to get emotional, he settled my nerves. As I kept saying I'm sorry, over and over, he kept telling me it was okay. I think I may still be sitting in the woods somewhere right now if it wasn't for his love and support. Thanks Babe. ILY!

So we get to the cut-off about 10 minutes late. The volunteers were great. They were very supportive and asked what we needed. I sat down in defeat. Doug grabbed a Coke. Mmm...another yummy treat. After a few minutes, I think they already knew, but one of the volunteers said we were a few minutes late, but if we wanted to head back we could. Oh God Please...I didn't want to make this decision. You're supposed to tell me I can't go back. I knew what a disappointment I would be to myself and how upset I would be with Doug not being able to finish. But I was toast. Burnt. Nasty. Toast. Doug, being the kind soul he was today, threw in the towel for us. For me. He knew I was struggling and that it would be nothing more than a Death March back.

So with that, I was relieved and sad. I so did not want to go back. 15.5 miles just about did me in. I was afraid that another 15.5 miles might. The concentration alone would have been so hard for me. Picking up my feet to get over those damn rocks could have ended in a disastrous mess. I kept thinking over and over, I'm going to trip over a rock, lurch forward, face plant on a rock and knock out my teeth. I'm not quite sure how many times I replayed that in my head.

With the decision being made, we helped the volunteers break down the water stop, packed up and got a nice air conditioned ride back to the start. It sucked. The hardest part about the whole thing was Doug DNF'ing because of me.

So with a big 'ol DNF under my belt I've been thinking a lot.

Things I Learned

  • I hate my trail shoes
  • I love boiled potatoes with salt
  • I have to fuel my body if I want it to go for me
  • DNFing sucks
  • Trail Running is SO MUCH MORE difficult than road running
  • If I'm going to run a Trail 50K, I need to train on the trails-durrr...
  • Doug is THE BEST. EVER! (I knew that already)

A Couple Things that Made Me Feel a Little Better

"The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed." Lloyd Jones

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." Beverly Sills

Moving Forward

So now it's time to move forward. It's time to rethink if I want to continue this trail running stuff. It's so much harder than road running. And I feel if you don't do it all the time, it kicks you in the butt when you do. It's so different than road running. Also with today's events and Doug's poor seed tick infestation, we're both rethinking trails. We'll see after a short break.

I am looking forward to the Nike Women's Marathon I'm running with my best friend, Karen. This will be her first marathon and we're going to have such a great time.

It's time for pizza and some relaxation! See ya on the next go 'round.


How to Tame Fluttering Butterflies

The best solution to settle those nervous butterflies that I actually did end up getting...

Braum's Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sundae.

Mmm...I can hardly wait.

I'll be resting today after we got in 4 miles last night. If I can stand to! I'll take Molly for a long walk and just try to take it easy. I may have to go shopping to take my mind of tomorrow's run.

Last night I woke up several times with my mind racing. I'm certain it is due to nerves. Right now I feel like I could barf. Yikes! I really didn't think I would feel this way-but I do.

Now it's off to go find something to do to get my mind off this race coming up.


Flatrocks Here We Come

We head out tomorrow for my first 50K. MY VERY FIRST ULTRA. And not 'just' a 50K but a TRAIL 50K. The nerves are starting to show.

So to help ease the nerves I'm keeping myself busy with:
  • Cleaning
  • Packing
  • Homework
  • Sippin some coffee
  • Taking Mols for yet another walk

All before 9:30 am! What am I going to do the rest of the day?!

It's interesting. I haven't felt nervous about running in quite some time. It's exciting to do something I haven't done before and there is the certainty of the unknown. I believe I can do this 50K but honestly know I don't have it 'in the bag' like I know I do most marathons. I think it's healthy to push myself and not continue to do the same 'ol same 'ol. It's fun to do something out of the norm and attempt something beyond my normal limits.

I remember all the butterflies, racing thoughts, nervousness along with the uncertainty I had with running my first Half Marathon, then my first Marathon and then my first Half Ironman. I wonder if I'll get them with this race? I haven't had that feeling in quite some time.

I know it's just a few extra miles more than a marathon. But a few extra miles is just that. A.Few.Extra.Miles! And...it's on trails. Trails can pose many more obstacles than regular road running. Falling. Spraning an ankle. Falling off a cliff. Bug bites-right honey. Just to name a few. I've never been longer than 10 miles at one time on the trails (mind you it was Psycho Wyco) but this is supposed to be a pretty tough course as well. The concentration one must maintain is enough to wear anyone out.

We will see what Saturday brings. I know of a couple things it will bring already. That would be a great time with Doug. My first attempt at a 50K. And a day I will probably not forget for quite some time. I'm getting more excited (and a little anxious) as the time draws near.

Last night, Doug and I ran and then took Mols for a walk. Her 2nd of the day. We'll run again tonight and then rest up tomorrow.

To all those racing this weekend-have a great time!



All in a weeks time

As many know, I just returned from a great weekend vacation in Chicago with my girls.
For the remainder of the week, I'll be on staycation. Enjoying the beautiful fall weather, doing some fall cleaning, taking some walks with Mols, maybe finding a new TV for our new piece of furniture and then moving some stuff around to make everything fit properly. Oh yes...and taking a few naps, taking a few baths with some bath bombs I purchased in Chicago, eating some chocolates and just all around relaxing.

Then later in the week we head down for our 50K trail run. As of yet, I'm not nervous. We'll see how that holds up as the week continues.

Have a great Tuesday!


A WICKED Weekend in Chicago

Girls Weekend in Chicago was FANTASTIC!

Great friends.
Great theater.
Great food.
Great drinks.
Great shopping.

Just a quick snapshot of the weekend...
Our first stop was O'Toole's for Bloody Mary's

Then we headed to the Hershey's factory and then to Ghiredelli's Chocolates for sundaes.
Then up up in the sky...

Martinis at the Signature Lounge
96th Floor of the John Hancock Building Overlooking the City
We cycled through 3 waitresses

The view as we watched night roll in...

Then it was Portillo's for a Chicago Dog

Relish. Onions. Pickles. Peppers. Tomatoes. The Best!

Across from Portillo's was Hard Rock Cafe and the biggest Mickey D's I have ever seen. We also ate at Gino's East. This was the next day though!

Awesome Chicago Style Pizza. Mmm...

So much so there was a line around the building. It was an hour wait to get in and then another 45 minutes for your pizza to be made. However, we didn't have to wait 5 minutes to get seated with our priority card! We were rock stars.

We totally ate our way through Chicago. Good thing there were no calories!

We did take a break from the food Saturday night to head to the Oriental Theater to see Wicked. Well...kinda. I did have to stop next door at Garrett's for their world famous popcorn. Again, another huge line. Everyone was waiting for the carmel to be made. Me. I wanted carmel and macadamia nut so I got to cut through the mega line and head straight in to purchase my popcorn. Then it was time to head into the theater. Everything about the evening was fabulous. The theater was the most ornate, beautiful theater I have ever seen. We also had rock star seats. And of course, the musical was spectacular.

Sunday morning we got up for a run. We ran down Lakeshore Drive. There were a lot of people out on such a beautiful morning. They were having a 20 mile training run for the Chicago Marathon. We opted out for the 20 miler as we had lunch to get to!

What a weekend. Even the weather was perfect. I really could not have asked for anything more.


A Couple Pictures of My Two Best Friends and Me

One Short Day

Well...lets make that One Short Girls Weekend in Chicago! Whoo Hoo!! Watch out...here we come! Why girls weekend in Chicago? First...why not?! Second...WICKED!

When I saw Wicked in Kansas City I had to see it again. It was spectacular. So several months ago I rounded up some great friends to come with and we're going to shake Chicago down!

What I see in our Wicked future:
  • Wicked the Musical
  • Garrett's Popcorn
  • Martinis at the Signature Room
  • An 8 Mile Run on Great Trails
  • Shopping
  • A Chicago Dog/Chicago Style Pizza
  • A Great Weekend with Great Girlfriends
  • Who Knows What Else with Us!

One of the songs from Wicked is One Short Day. I find this song very fitting for our weekend. It reminds me a lot of Chicago and the friendships of those that are heading that way. Here are some of the lyrics:


Stories to come...



A couple friends ran the St. Charles Marathon this past weekend. Or at least attempted. It was cancelled after 10 miles due to flooding.

A friend of mine several weeks ago attempted Pikes Peak and it was cancelled due to weather.

Several friends of mine attempted Ironman Kansas in August (a Half Ironman) and it was cancelled due to weather.

One of my friends attempted ALL THREE of these! Three races in a row and DNF'ed due to no fault of his own.

Now here is my question. Is it okay to take a medal for something you did not finish? Even if it was at no fault of your own.

I say no. It's not okay. You didn't finish. It doesn't matter how close you were.

At St. Charles they gave everyone half marathon medals. Well...they didn't finish a half marathon. I don't care if it felt like you ran 13. You only ran 10. For me...the medal would have gone in the trash. And everyone knows how much of a medal whore I am so that is saying a lot.

Pike's Peak...from what I remember, they did get above the half marathon point, so I see half marathon medals being given out. Fine. I would have kept that-IF it were a half marathon medal and I covered 13.1 miles.

IMKS...they gave out medals to people who didn't finish. Medal...again would have been in the trash. Again, if you didn't finish-you shouldn't get a medal.

I know a lot of work, dedication, blood, sweat and tears went into all of this training. We all put a lot into our training and it really sucks if we are not able to finish-especially when something is out of our control. And add in the fact that for some of these races, people have thrown a lot of money into it as well traveling cross country to get to a race (airfare, hotel, rental car and whatever else it takes). I understand all of that. And it sucks. But buck up...get that next race lined up and finish that one. Unless you're Rick who can't seem to get a break!

Am I the only one that thinks this way? I would really like to hear what others have to say, what they think on this and the reasoning behind it.


It Burns. It Itches.


Let's backtrack 6 miles Tuesday night.

Doug and I head to Shawnee Mission Park to hit the mountain bike/horse trails as we have a 50K coming up next week and haven't been on the trails in weeks. First we had to knock off the old caked on mud that was there from our last run. Then we head out for our 'regular' 4.5 mile loop. It was closed due to the rain we've had recently. So we head down to the horse trail we've been on once before.

We guide our way through the 2 miles we're familiar with. We get to 2 miles and instead of turning around, we decided to continue on. I thought I had heard Bad Ben (our Trail Nerds Leader) tell us that there was a 6 mile loop they continue on. So we thought we could continue on and loop back to where we started.

Not so much...We ran and ran and knew where we were-it was just getting to the road to get us back. We finally ended up at some private horse stables and tromping through the pasture, through kids training, through some lady trying to catch her horse, horses following us wanting some love and through horse crap. We finally got to the road to head back to the park.

We had a great run. It was fun. The sky was blue. The temps were cool. The deer were everywhere. We probably saw over 40 deer. The trails weren't muddy at all. It was a great run. We just didn't loop back around to where we thought we were going to. Which wasn't a big deal either. We just covered a few more miles than we expected. Probably needed it anyway.

By this time, Doug is starting to itch and scratch and I'm thinking it's just the weeds we've been through that have scratched us as we went through some not so frequently traveled trails.

We finally get back to the car and the Trail Nerds are just getting ready to take off. Doug's scratching and Bad Ben nonchalantly says, " I think you may have some seed ticks". I'm like cool. Til I look down and they are EVERYWHERE. On Me too! Hundreds of them. OMG! Help! So it starts. I immediately start itching and scratching. It burns. It itches. Oh please help. It won't stop.

We get in the car to book it home. When we get there, I hop out of the car, jump in the shower and scrub down. Doug scrubs down. When we get out, I feel better. Whew. Then start looking and they are STILL everywhere. They won't come off! I jump back in the shower and scrape and scrub yet another layer of skin off my body. Ewww...Gross...How disgusting!

Finally...I think I'm safe. Now that I've had two showers, it's time for a couple beers and The Shield. Then maybe another shower before bed for safe measures.

**Update Wednesday Morning***
Marci-YES! They are the five legged crawly critters. Totally ick!
I was up half the night itching and thinking I still had these boogers on me. It was pretty restless. Found out this morning, these puppies welt so now I have red bumps everywhere on my legs and they still itch from the bites. Grody!!

Ho Hum

Nothing too exciting to report.
Trying to get over a crappy cold.
It has to be gone by Thursday-no exceptions.
It's going to be a short work week!
Philosophy classes...I do not get.
Would like to do my run tonight on the trails since I have a HUGE 31 miler coming up next weekend.
I need to knock off the mud that is still on them from the Psycho Night Run.
10 hours. 31 miles. Should be doable-right? Yikes! Nervous. Excited.


I Love a Rainy Night

Usually. Except last night at Light The Night. It wasn't so much fun. Actually...it really stunk. Due to the tornado warnings we had, they had to cancel the whole event. It was very sad to see the effort that was put into the event go down the drain with the torrential down pouring of rain. It's such a neat experience. I'll just have to wait for next year.

Singing in the Rain
This morning as I left for run group, it wasn't raining. But as soon as we stepped outside to start running-it poured. Despite the rain, I couldn't have had a better time. I ran with Karen and we had a ball! We were laughing and singing, "It's Raining Men" along with other songs we were making up at at the time. We were drenched but just kept chuggin' away. I told her if she wasn't there this morning, I very well may have sat this run out like some of the wimps that turned around. I could have stayed dry inside the running store, sipped a pumpkin latte from Starbuck's and shopped. But I didn't, and so glad, as we had a blast! We felt like little kids running in the rain. We even decided to jump into this huge puddle together-all four feet...SPLASH! Cherished moments between best friends...a life moment I will never forget.


Light The Night

Tonight is Light The Night. It's a wonderful fundraiser for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It's a 2-3 mile walk that starts around 7:45-so when it is starting to get dark. Thousands of people walk with lighted balloons. It's the neatest walk ever!

There are 3 kinds of balloons:
Red Balloons signify supporters
White Balloons signify survivors
Gold Balloons signify lives lost

It gives me chills every year to see thousands of balloons floating through the air as people carry them on their walk. It's a sight to see.

Before the walk they have a carnival like atmosphere where there are clowns and jumpy things for the kids, there are all sorts of booths, and a very important part of the night is a memory garden for those to hang pictures, write notes and to reflect and remember those with cancer, have survived cancer and for those that lost their battle with cancer.

It will be a great night to celebrate and remember. Hope to see you locals out there!


Just Got News

As many of you know, Leesa (my Honored Patient) and Craig (her husband) are training for the Disney Marathon with Team In Training. Leesa was diagnosed with CLL in May of 2008. She took some magical chemo pills, had little side effects and then remission. Pretty great news.

Until today. Leesa got a call from the doctor to let her know the cancer has returned. One of Leesa's first questions to her doctor was regarding marathon training and if she could continue. Her doctor said that she could. Whoo Hoo! This goes to show the dedication Leesa has.

Just hope and pray this next go 'round is as fast as the last. Get that crap knocked out.

Do you remember your first marathon? How tough it was, the training, the nutrition you had to get down, the miles and miles you put in. How nervous you were every other week when you had to bump up your mileage. That's about enough to enounter, but can you imagine training for a marathon, having cancer, taking chemotherapy and trying to raise $10,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society??? That's what this amazing woman is doing.

Give Leesa and Craig a shout at Walking Our Butts Off. Heck, give 'em a donation too while you're at it! They have a 'Blog' section where you can keep up with Leesa and Craig, what's going on with Leesa's health, their training and life in general. I also have their link in my 'Blogs I Stalk' section for later reference.

Keep these two and their two small children in your hearts, thoughts and prayers.

Trois Miles

Got this booty outta bed this morning and ran my three miles. Thought I would do it before the rain comes to visit us. Wow...6 miles in 2 days. That is rockin'. Ha!

Except I really am not liking my new shoes. At All. I ran in them this morning and got a blister. A blister running 3 miles-come on. Luckily this weekend our running group is meeting at the local running store so I'll be able to ask them to lace my shoes a different way to help stop it. I'll also get a new pair of inserts to put on top of the ones that are already there. And I'll also try a different pair of socks. If this keeps happening, I'm going to have to get a new pair. Awww man...a new pair of shoes? That would be horrible!


Could It Be...

I actually completed my 3 miles tonight?
It could! Instead of running though, Doug and I decided to take Molly with us. The poor thing hasn't been out on a walk in quite some time. We hated to neglect her of yet another day without a walk so we walked our 3 miles tonight. Just getting out helped a ton-as I knew it would. Glad I finally got out and did something. It felt great.

Another great night?
It could! A walk, a great dinner, cool weather, and baking brownies and cookies. Mmm...

2009 is the year for Rim to Rim to Rim?
It could! And I am so so so so so so so so excited! Rim to Rim to Rim? The Grand Canyon. Start at the South side of the Grand Canyon. Hike down. Hike up the North side of the Grand Canyon. Turn around. Hike down. Hike up the South Side of the Grand Canyon. Could it get any better??? Doug and I have talked about doing this over the past several years as something we want to do but have never gotten around to logistically planning it. Someone on the Trail Nerd's website brought it up and I hope there is enough interest that it'll be a go cuz we are SO in! I think it's around 43 miles round trip. So if things fall into place, the next step is deciding spring or fall 09. Then getting in some 50K's and 50 milers. 50 milers? 50 milers. Yikes! Especially from someone who hasn't even completed her 1st ultra-Yet!

This girl is back on track and trekking forward.


Get In A Run Tonight
It'll be the first thing I do when I get home
After kissing Scuba Doug
And I bet he'll even go with
It's nice weather
Couldn't ask for much more
Clothes/shoes are laid out ready to go
And so am I-that is...ready to go...not laid out-Hee!
I need to
I have to
I want to
It's time
I'm going!


Allowing Life to Get in the Way

It's been a week since I've laced up my running shoes. Life seems to be crazy busy right now. If we're not running off somewhere after work-all I want to do once I get home is crash. However, after a couple days of crashing seems to only lead to more days of more crashing. And then sometimes I only become more tired and sluggish when I'm not working out. Mind you, I just did run a marathon a week ago today and should probably be doing some resting...however, I just feel uggg when I don't work out and the longer I go the more uggg I feel.

So I need to find some energy to tie those puppies up and get out the door. I have my first 50K in a couple weeks and have a long fall/winter running season ahead of me. I know once I get my butt out the door things will get back on track. My question is WHY WHY WHY is it so hard to get back on track? Especially when you KNOW it is going to make you feel better.


Fessing Up to a Not So Normal Self Inflicted Injury

Usually tonight is our TNR. Well it still is-I just won't be going. I had planned on running tonight until I remembered I had a Fundraising Seminar to attend tonight with my newbies.

Then tomorrow night is our Parrot Plunge Fundraiser at an indoor water park here in Kansas City. It should be a fun time. People bought these parrots (rubber ones-not the real ones) that are going to be 'released' from the top of a huge slide into the pool. We will then have Coach Doug in the pool picking out parrots for prizes. If he picks yours-you win! It's going to be a hoot. I'll be sure to take the camera!

I'll just wait until Saturday to do some short mileage. It won't hurt me to rest until then. This marathon I just ran beat me up just a tad. I am losing (still not gone yet) a toenail and had a couple of small blisters on one foot. And then I'm recovering from:
GU Pack Boob Rash

Ever have it before? I didn't want to carry my Hammergel/GU packets so...I had a great idea! I would put them in my sports bra. Now...hands free. It worked very well. It didn't bother me at all. Until the sports bra came off and I jumped in the shower. YOWSER! Had some major chafing and raw skin from the GU packs digging into my skin for almost 6 hours.

So now it's itchy and I have to be careful to itch cuz people either look at you funny or with 'hungry eyes' when you're scratching in between your boobs!


Who Needs Toenails Anyway?

I saw this saying almost 3 years ago as I was running my first marathon. It was painted in black on a king size flat sheet hanging from a 4th story window. It made me crack up. And think...Ewww...people really lose their toenails? Then Doug piped up to tell me they can also get black. Double Ewww...

So, as I've said, it's been almost 3 years since I ran my first marathon. October 9th, 2005 as a matter of fact. I've never had a black toenail. I can say I have had 1 or 2 bruised toenails, but never black. And heaven forbid, never had a toenail fall off. EVER. Not even close.

Until tonight. It's still hanging on. By a thread. It's like a little kid losing her first tooth and it's just dangling. Breathe on it and it'll pop right off. Yep. This is what this little baby is doing. Hanging on. Barely.

So, what is a girl to do?
Let it hang on hoping and praying it'll somehow re-attach itself?
Rip it off myself?
Let it fall off on its own?
Wait for it to catch on something and have it rip off?
Make Doug gnaw it off?

None really sound all that fun and exciting to me except the re-attaching one.

I do have to say, if having my ten toenails is my main concern right now, I'm a pretty lucky and very blessed girl. And I know that and appreciate it deep into my soul and do not take it for granted.

May you all be healthy and happy. And possess all of your toenails...well...that's optional. I'm pretty certain you can be healthy and happy without a toenail. Or without a couple for that matter. Cuz...Who Needs Toenails Anyway?

Now it's off to relax for the night and see what Palin has to say.

Sweet Dreams.

Kick Off!

Last night was our Kick Off Celebration for Team In Training's Disney and RNR Arizona Teams! It was a nice gathering and I was able to meet many of my team members as I am mentoring again this season. We have a great group and this is going to be a lot of fun.

One of my team members is also our Honored Patient. Her name is Leesa and she was diagnosed with CLL (a form of leukemia) in May of this year. She is training to run the Disney marathon. What an inspiration!! Both her and her husband are both training!

Also, another kick off for us last night was The Shield. Love Love Love that show. It's the final season and I think it's going to be great!

On the training field I'm resting and recovering. I'll get in a 3 miler tomorrow night for our TNR and then Saturday I'll do something short, maybe 6 or 8 miles.


The Rest of the Weekend

Besides running a marathon this weekend, Doug and I did a few other things. Friday morning, I was thinking it was going to be a nice and quiet weekend. By Friday afternoon, all plans had changed.

Friday Night
We went out and marked the course for Saturday's run. I wasn't going to run as I was running a marathon on Monday.

Saturday Morning
I then was going to run 4 but was having such a fun time running with Karen, I ended up running 6.75 miles.

Saturday Afternoon
Yeah...hadn't planned this for the weekend either, but after my run I went home and started picking grapes. And picking grapes. And picking grapes. I picked almost 14 gallons. That is 14 GALLONS from our backyard. Then after picking 14 gallons of grapes I got to de-stem 14 gallons of grapes. I sat in the backyard in the shade with a slight breeze and picked away. For hours. Then Doug took the grapes and mashed and smashed them with his new little contraption. I didn't realize it was so much work. We ended up with around 2.5 gallons of juice after mashing them. Not bad. So now it's in the process of becoming our very first batch of Real Homemade Wine! I can't wait to try it. In about a year.

Doug makes his own wine already but it's from a kit. This will be Our Grapes from Our Backyard made into Our Wine. Fun!

Saturday Evening
We were invited to the neighbors for smoked cheese and wine. They smoke their cheese on the smoker outside and it is so delish. Hot, smoky and very tasty. We had that along with wine and Sangria. It was such a nice evening outside on the deck. And refreshing after picking grapes all day.

We headed down to Columbia Sunday afternoon and the rest of the weekend you already know...marathoning. After we finished the marathon we hit the pool for a cold dip, then headed back home where we spent the rest of the evening relaxing.


The Hills are Alive...Heart of America Marathon Race Report

NOT with the sound of music. But instead with a demonic desire to kick your butt up and down those babies. Whew...hot, humid and hilly just about says it all.

Doug and I headed down Sunday afternoon to Columbia, MO. It's an easy 2 hours drive from where we live. Home of the MU Tigers, Doug's favorite college team. We arrive in town and head straight to packet pick up. And that exactly what it was-packet pickup-nothing else. Then we drove the marathon course. Funny how when you're in the car the hills don't seem quite as daunting. We knew there were going to be some doozies as Doug has run this marathon before and just driving some of those hills made your cringe. But once you're climbing those babies on foot, one after the other, the car ride never does it justice.

We did some running around Sunday night after packet pick up. We ate dinner at Willy's and then headed back to the hotel for a 4:00 am wake up call for Monday. The race ended right in front of our hotel so we decided we would walk to the start (about a mile and a half from the hotel). About mile 18, I was wishing I had that mile and a half under my belt to count for my marathon.

The marathon started at 6:00 am and by the time we hit mile 2, we were drenched. It was so humid and sticky out. We knew we were in for a long day. We took our time, took plenty of walk breaks and did what we could for what the weather brought us.

It was a tough course. There were about 5 major hills and multitudes of rollers and other hills too numerous to mention.

Not too much to say about this marathon. Not very eventful. It was very small. I think just over 120ish maybe. Hot...humid...hilly...sunny...hot....humid. Probably one I will not be putting on my list of ones to do again. The medal sucked. The shirt is ick. But I did get another state and marathon under my belt. I'm glad I did it but glad it's over.

I'll be making sure we have some big big plans for Labor Day Weekend next year!