Death and His Babe

In his running shoes...
Death's Babe...
I forgot to moisturize this morning!
We trick or treated the neighbors and scared several gaggles of kiddos. It's been a fun evening chatting with neighbors and seeing all the costumes. We actually exchanged some unconventional 'treats' with the neighbors. We brought them wine and we received pumpkin pie in return. Mmm...I love Halloween. And what a perfect evening it has been.

Now it's about time to turn off the strobe light and head for bed so I can get up for an early morning run to get back home to take off for Springfield. Thinking maybe 6 miles tomorrow and definitely 13.1 Sunday.

I LOVE Pop Rocks! I forgot how funny they feel in your mouth while they pop and crackle. I may take a few packets with me on Sunday to kick my rear in gear.

Who IS Maynard Cohick?

I'm running the Maynard Cohick Half Marathon this weekend as part of the Bass Pro Shop Marathon weekend in Springfield, Missouri. I ran it last year and have the same question this year as I did last year...Who is Maynard Cohick? Why would they name a Half Marathon after Maynard Cohick. So I decided to do a little research (not much) and I found this article on him.

Sounds as if he was definitely an adventurer who liked to summit mountains and was always up for a challenge. He actually died trying to summit Annapurna known to be the most technical mountain in the world to climb-just 800 feet below Everest.

So now that I know a little about Mynard Cohick, I'll be thinking about him as I run Sunday.

Here is the article. It's awfully long:
In the Wake of an Annapurna Avalanche
On the coldest winter nights, Maynard Cohick would pitch a tent and sleep in his back yard. During the day, he routinely ran to and from appointments, jogging the 15 miles back and forth from his law practice in Republic to his clients' offices in Springfield. The inscription on his business cards read: "On to the summit."
Cohick's constant pursuit of new challenges eventually took him all the way from Missouri to the Himalayas. For the adventurous attorney — whose hero was Sir Edmund Hillary of Mt. Everest fame — the rolling hills of the Ozarks were never enough.
"By the late 1970's Maynard was joining elite expeditions that took him to the most extreme places on the planet...."
Jeanne Cohick tells the story. Her memory is clear and her admiration for Maynard is still evident. She starts with their honeymoon, which was spent climbing Mt. Whitney in California. "The trail over the summit was about as wide as a railroad trestle," she recalls, talking from her Springfield home. "I was afraid I was going to get blown off. Maynard wanted to carry me and both packs, but I wouldn't let him." Later, when the stakes got higher, Jeanne never asked Maynard to stop climbing. She wasn't the kind of wife who sat at home worrying about her husband's whereabouts. And she still possesses the self-confidence of a woman who is adoring but capable of letting go.
"He always said, if anything happened, he wanted to be buried on the mountain," she recalls softly.
The Cohicks' first child, Steve, was born in California nine months after the honeymoon, placing his conception near the summit of the tallest mountain in the continental United States. The couple had two more children, Julie and Jenny, who would be raised along with their older brother in the small town of Republic, where Maynard had started his own practice after graduating from law school at the University of Missouri.
Maynard was committed to his family — still, the lure of the mountains was strong. He often left Missouri for months at a time, always in pursuit of the next summit. At home base in Republic, Jeanne tended to the children and her horses. Once, while Maynard was climbing Mt. McKinley in Alaska, Jeanne got kicked by a horse and suffered serious injuries. "I didn't want him to know," she says. "But somehow they got word to him on the mountain and he rushed home."
By the late 1970's Maynard was joining elite expeditions that took him to the most extreme places on the planet. During one of the expeditions, he lay awake at night in his tent, listening to avalanches in the distance. "Sometimes when danger is near and family and friends are a long way off," he wrote in his journal, "I fear that I might never again have the opportunity to improve myself in the eyes of those I care for so deeply."
But, back home in the Ozarks, Maynard would always get restless and look to the future. He tried to keep himself busy by making detailed plans for a 900-mile trek across Antarctica to the South Pole. And there were more mountains on the horizon, including Mt. Everest, which was constantly looming as the ultimate test of a climber's endurance.
At 5-foot-7, 140 pounds, Maynard didn't appear to be a dominating figure. But the bearded Cohick was quickly growing into the kind of man legends — even myths — are made of.
In 1978, Cohick and members of his party became the first Americans to climb Communism Peak (formerly Stalin Peak — 24,599 feet) in what is today Tajikistan near the bordering countries of Afghanistan and China. During the expedition, Cohick established a friendship with a member of the Soviet Army. The new friend ripped an army emblem off his coat and gave it to Maynard.
"I sewed it on his windbreaker," Jeanne says. "But now it's lost on Annapurna."
The Cohicks' 15th anniversary passed while Maynard was climbing in Russia. "He told me I could stop him any time," Jeanne says. "But that would be like cutting his breath off. I really wanted him to go to the South Pole, I know he would have made it. And after Everest he was going to quit. But he got the call, and he went to Nepal to climb Annapurna."
It was 1979. Maynard was 41 years old.
The 26,504-foot peak rises out of the Himalayan range about 150 miles northwest of Kathmandu, just south of the old Tibetan border with Nepal. It's actually a series of peaks, forming a range of summits known by Roman numerals, I and II and so on. Although Everest is 800 meters its senior, Annapurna I is considered to be a more difficult climb from a technical standpoint.
Cohick's group, which set out in July, included eight people from three countries and numerous Sherpas. They walked from Kathmandu to the base of Annapurna (meaning Goddess of Abundance to local Buddhists), acclimating along the way. Progress was slow. The monsoon season had just passed and the trekkers had to negotiate wet, leech-infested jungle trails on their way to Base Camp. Stronger members of the team, including Cohick, walked ahead to construct makeshift bridges across the swollen rivers flowing down from the roof of the world. The expedition suffered a blow before it started ascending the peak when two porters slid down a muddy embankment to their deaths in the lower altitudes.
Months passed. On September 19, Cohick and his group were preparing an assault on Annapurna's summit. The climbers were camped on a precarious ridge, waiting out high winds at 20,946 feet. They had chosen this ridge, called The Dutch Rib, because they reasoned the steep cliffs rising above their campsite would shield them from the constant threat of avalanche high on the mountain. Furthermore, the total area of The Dutch Rib is so small that sliding snow tends to be diverted in either direction, crashing harmlessly off the side of the Earth. The climbers felt like they had situated themselves in a narrow zone of safety.
Patrick O'Donnell, a ski-resort vice-president, who was on the mountain with Maynard, later wrote, "It was so narrow you could straddle the ridge with both feet and peer into 2000-foot deep gullies, which dropped away on either side."
The winds soon became horrific, causing whiteout conditions near the top of the mountain. Some of the climbers at The Dutch Rib decided to retreat to the relative safety of Camp III. Two men rappelled down the steep slope of the ridge, disappearing over the lip without further discussion of strategy. Three of their team members stayed behind: Gil Harder (Abilene, Texas), Eric Roberts (North Wales) and Maynard Cohick.
Harder was suffering from mild altitude sickness. Roberts had just descended from Camp V through the brunt of the windstorm. By all accounts, Cohick was strong enough to make Camp III ahead of Harder and Roberts, who chose to rest at The Dutch Rib before going down. Instead, Maynard decided to remain with his friends.
Then everyone on the mountain heard what has been described by most witnesses as a giant crack. The entire east face sagged and started to collapse from the seismic shock of the avalanche - leaving the two descending climbers buried in snow. The pair had clipped into their carabiners when they heard the giant crack. Still hooked to their ropes, they managed to dig themselves out and were able to scramble down the steep slope of The Rib to Camp III at 19,974 feet. They radioed Camp IV, trying to raise their partners. There was no answer.
Days later, after the storm subsided, a rescue party at The Dutch Rib found a piece of frayed rope between two ice screws and the remains of a tent, which had been ripped away into oblivion. No other signs of the lost climbers were discovered.
A runner was dispatched from Base Camp to Kathmandu, carrying news of the disaster that wouldn't reach the United States for another week. Harder, Roberts and Cohick had literally vanished into thin air.
Maynard Cohick spent much of his life traveling around the world; he died on top of it. In his last letter to Jeanne, received about the time of the accident on Annapurna, Maynard wrote: "I love you very much, and hope this long absence hasn't been too difficult for you. Tell all the gang I said hello and the next time you hear from me, I will have been to the summit."
Twenty years after Annapurna, Jeanne sits on the couch at her home in Springfield, talking about Maynard. She smiles. On her lap, she holds open a black satchel that is full of treasures. The satchel contains newspaper articles, photographs, letters and other mementos that document the life of an amazing man.
The newspaper articles and pictures are for the whole world to see. Some of the letters and mementos are private. "This is really a great story, don't you think?" Jeanne says, far away.
She's looking down at a photograph of Maynard. She might be thinking about the frayed rope, about the ice screws still attached to Annapurna. She sighs. "In many ways, it's really a love story."
—Lance Feyh, Living the Life with MountainZone.com

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all my Goolish Running Pals.
I love this time of year.
Things are turning festive.
Everyone is looking forward to times with family and friends.
Looking ahead to a turkey bird and a Thanksgiving 5K run.
The weather is turning crisp but nothing a nice bottle of wine and a fire can't warm up.

My October running seems to be a little lackluster. I ran 64 miles. It got me where I needed to be...A great 5K and a marathon with my best friend. It was a good month.

This weekend, Doug and I will be traveling to Springfield, MO to run. He's running the full marathon. I'm running the half. We'll be meeting up with Karen and her fam. That'll be fun to see her boys (3 and 4 years old) out there cheering us on.

Then in 2 weeks it's off to San Antonio, TX for the RNR Marathon. Then 3 weeks after that it's off to Kiawah Island, SC for another marathon on my birthday! Whoo Whoo! And then I think we have 6 weeks after that before we head off to Disney for the Goofy Challenge. Along with marathons, holidays, birthdays and regular living-we're going to be pretty busy. That's nothing new. We wouldn't have it any other way.

Good luck to all those racing this weekend.



I just had a very dear friend of mine, Tonya, meet me for coffee this morning on campus. It was so nice to see her and be able to catch up on so much. What a great way to start the morning.

And when I returned, there was an email from a co-worker letting me know he had doughnuts in his cube. I *heart* doughnuts. They were pumpkin spice and oh so delish. Mmm...

Friends and Doughnuts. What a great day!

Wednesday's Workout

Last night was a great night for a workout. The weather was perfect. You couldn't have asked for anything better. Sunny. 66 degrees. No wind. It actually got a little warm once we got going.

We did our 3 mile loop and had a good run. Pretty uneventful.

After our run we took Mols for a walk around the loop we normally take her on. We have never measured it so I kept my Garmin on while we took her out and it is exactly a 1 mile loop. A good distance for her.

Then when we returned home for a second time, Doug grilled out some yummy burgers for dinner. Sorry my veg head friends-this girl needs some meat! It'll probably be one of the last great nights this year we're able to do that.

While Doug was grilling, I headed downstairs for a ride on Osana. We went faster and longer than on Monday afternoon. I love Osana but she is a booger when you have to peddle peddle peddle nonstop on that trainer for an extended period of time. There's no downhill to coast or wind to push your back, it's just you and your legs pumpin' away. It's certainly a great workout though.

No workout tonight.


It's Hump Day Baby

And it's a good one too!

  • Construction on the highway I travel to work is completed
  • The sun is shining
  • It's supposed to warm up to 65 balmy degrees today
  • We don't have the SNOW Laurel received (check it out)
  • This weekend is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous for running-perfect for a half marathon
  • Tonight I'll run a short 3 or 4 miler and get my arse on the bike for some more butt time
  • The boss is working from home today to keep his nastified sick germs away

Life is Good!



It's co-ld here. And way windy. And tomorrow morning is supposed to be in the 20's. Brrr...This totally puts me into hibernation mode. All I want to do is curl up with my heating blanket by the fire, sip something nice and warm (hot apple cider, coffee or hot chocolate) and eat. Yikes.

Good thing I have some races on my schedule, otherwise I would be doing just that.
Sitting around.
Doing nothing.
Getting fat.
Being cranky.
And that's not good for anyone!

So now is a great time to break out my new baby. Add something new to the mix. So Doug set up our bikes on the trainers this weekend-thanks Babe. I have some awesome new cycling shoes and I'm ready to go. As a matter of fact, we have a lunch date today. I'm going to ride her for 10 minutes to try and get my butt used to the seat. A little at a time. It's been a long time since my butt has been on a bike. Honestly, I think I've been on a bike once since August of 2006 when I finished my Half Ironman. Scare me! And with a race this weekend, I'm not going balls to the wall cuz I know how sore cycling can make me when I haven't done it in a while.

With that said, someone in the household purchased some new goggles this weekend also. What does this mean?
New bike
New goggles
New shoes
Continued running
Looks like some good cross training this winter.

Noon Update:
Whew...that was a ride. 10 minutes about killed me. I traveled 1.82 miles and went...nowhere (I was on the trainer-Ha!). I averaged an 11.2 pace. Honestly, I'm not sure what my resistance was set to, but it wasn't that hard I don't think. It was a workout for sure! Butt feels fine. Legs were a little shaky after I finished but they are good now. Not a bad start for not being on a bike for 2 years. It'll just take some hard work and dedication to get where I want to be.
Watch Out!
I'm after YOU!


Saturday Morning Run

Got my butt up to meet the team this morning. Left Doug in the nice, warm and cozy bed. That was hard. I wanted to stay snuggled up but if I had to get out and meet the team, I wanted to drag him out of bed in the cold with me. I was kind though and didn't. He deserves to sleep in on a Saturday morning for once in a long long time.

I swear I was the only one from the San Francisco and Kansas City teams that ran marathons last week. Lame people. Can't believe they didn't want to get out and do a recovery run. So sure. Okay...not really-just kidding. Heee.

I ran a 6 mile recovery/taper run before the sun even came up. Recovery from last weeks marathon and taper for next Sunday's half marathon.

It's going to be a gorgeous weekend. The sun is shining. The leaves are (just over) peak color. The temperature is supposed to be in the 60's.

Will be running around buying some things for the house (downstairs renovation) and stopping off at the bike store for some shoes so we can get Osana on the trainer and going. Ohhh...maybe a short ride around the neighborhood to get her out and see how she feels on the open road.

Have a great Saturday. Best of luck to those racing today and tomorrow. Enjoy every minute of it!


Nike Women's Marathon Race Day Pictures-So Fun!

Rockin Out Waitin for the Weekend

So here I sit at work
Listening to my iPod
Rockin out to Elton John and Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
And in walks a co-worker
Okay...so I wasn't just listening
I may have been a dancin' fool
At least it was in my chair
That'll make for some fun and interesting conversation at our next meeting

Happy Friday
Happy Running


Already Smellin' the Turkey

I'm already smelling the turkey and tasting those mashed taters on my tongue. But before I get that far, I've signed up for our local 5K that is held Thanksgiving morning. Since I've 'become a runner', I have run this course a couple of times. Once with Doug's kiddos and the other with Karen and her family. It's becoming a tradition for me. And I love traditions. I really look forward to it.

A couple of perks:

  • Since I may (or may not) work on the campus where the race is being held, I receive a discount on the run.
  • Since I was one of the first 500 to sign up (around 455ish), I get a free stocking cap. Gotta love the freebies. I love stocking caps for winter running.

Tonight Doug and I went for a run. It was the first time this fall I threw on a long sleeved shirt, tights and gloves. It was a little cool starting out. The wind was blowing fierce from the South and it was chilly. Doug asked, "3 or 4"? 4 of course. It was my first run since the marathon on Sunday and it felt good to get out and go. We averaged a 10:27 for our 4 miles. Not too shabby.

And...logged my first 4 miles on my new Garmin.

Now we're sitting in front of the fire. Ahhh...What a great fall night.


Nike Swooshes in with Somewhat of a New Tune

From Yahoo...

Nike fudges, recognizes fastest marathon runner as "a" winner
C.W. Nevius, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

(10-22) 12:18 PDT San Francisco
Marathon runner Arien O'Connell will be a winner after all.

O'Connell ran the fastest time in last Sunday's Nike Women's Marathon, but when she finished she was told she couldn't be awarded first place because she hadn't run in the "elite" women's group, which was given a 20-minute head start.
O'Connell said she was contacted early this morning by a Nike representative who said they were going to award her a trophy and recognize her as a winner.
Not the winner - "a" winner. Notice the distinction.
"She told me they had been getting lots of calls and e-mails," said O'Connell, a fifth-grade teacher in New York City. "She said they were going to send me the same prize as the one awarded to the winner."
O'Connell's story, which first appeared in Tuesday's Chronicle, set off a firestorm of controversy, most of it directed at corporate sports giant and race sponsor, Nike.
O'Connell said the Nike representative also said that the sports shoe corporation had also decided to eliminate the "elite" category in the annual San Francisco event and would let everyone start at the same time.
The annual event is billed as the largest women's marathon in the world with 20,000 entries. O'Connell ran the race in 2 hours, 55 minutes and 11 seconds. The fastest woman in the elite group ran it in about 3 hours, 6 minutes.

A Shirt That Races

Check out A Shirt That Races and get in on the fun!

Shirt That Races Official Guidelines:
Shirt must be worn in an official race [i.e. 5-k, 10-k, marathon].
Picture must be taken with the official race bib pinned on the Shirt That Races.
Shirt can be worn by any participating female or male [if they dare].
Shirt must be washed before mailing to the next runner.
Runner must create a race report including a picture of their race in the Shirt That Races.
Shirt That Races must run in every state, including Canada.
Race info must be recorded permanently on the Shirt That Races. [use fabric ink/marker, permanent marker, etc.]
You are responsible for mailing it to the next participating runner for their scheduled race.
Runner must be COOL and have FUN!!
Let NikeMom know if your IN and your race date so we can make a calendar of success. Spread the word and let's hit all 50 states and more!! Run on.


Our Weekend...In Pictures

On the flight out, a current TNT member was having a birthday. The flight attendants worked and worked and worked on celebrating it right. They made her a crown, a sash and a birthday cake. We sang happy birthday. Turned on all our lights. And had a party. What a hoot!

After we got into San Francisco, it was time for lunch so we stopped off for some good eatin'.
Then it was off to packet pickup. And then a stop to Niketown for some fun shopping. On the outside window of Niketown, they had the names of EVERY participant in the race. Here I am baby.
Saturday morning, Karen and I got up and ran the Golden Gate bridge. What an experience. It was so exciting. Something everyone should do. It was foggy which made it even more fun. Here's a picture of the bridge while we're on it.

Here I am with some wild hair! When we got to the center of the bridge, it was windy!

When we got back from our run, this is what you could see of the bridge. On our way out you could hardly see any of it.
Later that day, we headed down to Ghirardelli Square for some chocolate, wine and cupcakes! We stopped off in a wine tasting store and Doug took this awesome picture.
Then off to the pasta party the night before the race.
Then it was off to bed for the 3:00 am race day wake up call. Here are a few of us before we headed out to the start.

Don't have many race pics as we took Karen's camera. I'll post race pics when I get them from her. After the race, we came back, got cleaned up and then went to eat at Boudin Bakery. Mmm...clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. To die for after a long, cool run.

After dinner, Karen and her mom retired for the evening. Doug came back from the victory party and we grabbed a couple bottles of wine and took them downstairs to the lobby. We met up with several groups coming and going, but we had one constant friend with us. Adrienne. Who would have thunk! She was a goose. We sat downstairs for hours drinking wine and chit chatting about a lot of things. Then...here comes this man. He had to be Russian. I swear he was trying to buy a couple of women he was with. It was just too odd. They were all mesmerized by him and there was another man talking with him. It was like a dream. He got up and danced at one point and the three of us busted a gut watching. Then it was off to In and Out Burger for a late late night burger and fries. Good times.

Monday morning we got up and had breakfast back at Boudin's. So yummy. Then off to Kara's Cupcakes for more cupcakes! These babies are to DIE FOR!

Doug and Me.
And Karen and I with our new Tiffany necklaces!

The Good Stuff...

The Winner...But Not Really...According to Nike

I found this on Runner's World website. I think the whole situation is jacked.

On one hand, I do see how knowing who your competition is could determine your pace. If I know someone is coming up behind me and I can see them, I'm going to pick up the pace. If I don't see them, how do I know and why should I bust ass to get to the finish when I know I'm the leader.

On the other hand, how do I know I'm elite when I'm setting a PR for myself?

Why do the elites start 20 minutes ahead of the 'regular' pack? It's obvious if they are elites no one is going to pass them-right? WRONG! Why don't they start with the rest of the pack? That I do not get. That way IF someone does come out and kick ass, they know what they are up against.

S.F., Fastest Time Doesn't Win
Mark Remy
Well, this is kind of messed up.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle,
There were over 20,000 competitors in Sunday's Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. And 24-year-old Arien O'Connell, a fifth-grade teacher from New York City, ran the fastest time of any of the women.
But she didn't win.
Huh? How is that possible?
Because, as columnist C.W. Nevius explains, "she didn't run with the 'elite' group who were given a 20-minute head start."
O'Connell had the race of her life Sunday, running a 2:55:11—a PR by 12 minutes. But because she wasn't registered as an "elite," she started with the regular schlubs, 20 minutes behind the elites, who were unaware that one of the schlubs was about to spank them all.
The moment of truth came at the awards ceremony, says O'Connell:
"They called out the third-place time and I thought, 'I was faster than that,'" she said. "Then they called out the second-place time and I was faster than that. And then they called out the first-place time (3:06), and I said, 'Heck, I'm faster than her first-place time, too.'"
Race officials weren't sympathetic, Nevius reports: "If you're feeling like you're going to be a leader," race producer Dan Hirsch said, "you should be in the elite pack."
And if you're not in the elite pack, would it kill you to not run quite so fast? Please?
Anyway, just something to keep in mind, sub-3-hour marathoners, next time you sign up for a race.

Nike Women's Marathon Race Report

Race morning came early. 3:00 am early. Lucky for us, we were in San Francisco, so with the time change, it was 5:00 am back home so it didn't feel so early.

Got up and around, did the usual stuff and met the team downstairs at 4:00 am.

There were 6 of us from our team doing the early start so we loaded the bus and headed to the start line.

It was a nice brisk morning. I wore a long sleeved shirt under my TNT jersey along with some shorts. I took a mylar blanket I had from my last race to keep me cozy until I got warmed up once we got going. I had it wrapped around my waist like a sarong. Received several compliments on how cute it looked. Ha!

We took some pictures and without too much ado, we took off.

For the early starters, for the first hour and a half (until the first elite came through), you could not pass the pace car that was up ahead. That pace car was traveling at a 15 minute per mile pace. So we all started out walking. We were having the best time ever. Chit chatting it up with all the girls. A couple miles in we somehow got lost from some of the crew so Karen and I took off at our pace.

Mile 3 came and we were able to see the support crew: Karen's mom, Leslie's parents and Doug were all there cheering us on. Coach Doug walked with us a bit to see how things were going. Karen's mom was a cheering fool. She was having a great time. You could tell she was so very proud of Karen. It was fun to see.

We kept chugging on. By this time we're doing some running. Most of it was running. We stopped. Took pictures. I went to the bathroom. That seemed to be the story of the day. I went to the bathroom 4 times on the course. That is a first.

We hit mile 6-7 and it.was.a.hill. We moved right on up it and found Karen's mom again. We also came across a station that was handing out socks. Fun! I love the socks I got last year from this race so I was excited to see socks again. Karen's mom took the socks and off we went. We actually received socks on 2 different places on the course. Too cool.

I thought by this time, the sun would be up but it wasn't. The fog wasn't out-but it was certainly cloudy. The clouds never parted. It was a cool, cloudy day. A perfect day for a marathon.

At this time, I still had my mylar blanket. I never really did warm up. As a matter of fact, I finished with my blanket. I'm sure my pictures are going to be lovely!! And that second set of socks...they turned into mittens. And hand puppets. Not sure Karen appreciated it too much, but I was having a good time! I did get her to laugh a time or two with them though.

We passed the split for the half marathons at around mile 11. At this point, we had slowed a bit and Karen was having some issues with her knees. We needed biofreeze. The aid stations didn't carry biofreeze or anything like it. For real? So, we got her some Tylenol to see if that would help.

Karen gets quiet. I know something is up. I try to talk it out with her. This was her race. We were doing what she wanted. When she wanted. I was out there for her. Who could pass up experiencing your best friends 1st marathon with her? The tears. The laughter. The pain. The exhilaration. Especially when she sites you as being her inspiration for doing it! I wanted to be there every step of the way with her. Experiencing everything together. It was not about time. It was about being a team. Being there for each other. Being best friends.

We do an out and back. We're cheering on our buds as we see them coming back and then it was down Highway 101. Beautiful part of the course along the ocean. I kept telling Karen to take it all in. Don't get wrapped up in looking at the pavement. Look up. Look around. She did and we kept putting, 'one foot in front of the other'. So I kept singing that. Yeah...poor Karen. Not sure she appreciated that much either! But that's what we did.

Then it was the lake. A beautiful lake that seemed like it took forever to get around. It did last year too. But we did. Grabbed some chocolate on the chocolate mile and I downed 3 of those puppies. I was starving. I had been hungry the whole time we had been out there.

Then it was back to the 101 where we were on the home stretch. You could hear and see the ocean. Ahhh...

We ran into Doug around mile 23 and he forged forward with us for a bit. Then off we were to finish. Finish! We saw the tents ahead and we were there. When we got to mile 26, I think that is the first time Karen realized this was it. She was going to be a marathoner! She cried, I cried. We laughed. And we brought it in. We crossed that finish line together. With Karen's mom cheering in the stands. With our hands raised in the air together. It was amazing! Then the tears flowed!

It was the best experience ever!

I love you Karen! Congratulations!

Pictures will be coming soon.


I Will Survive...I Did Survive...Hey...Hey...

Another marathon down. Number 15.
Karen and I had a great time. Or shall I say IIIIII had a great time. Karen did too but had bouts off and on. I tried to keep her in good spirits with hand puppets and singing. It's fun to witness the emotion one goes through being a 1st time marathoner. Brings back a ton of memories from my first. The I can do it...the awe man this is fun...the awe man...this is getting tough...is it over yet?...okay, I'm over this...okay, almost there...okay I can do this...I AM doing this. I DID IT!
So So fun.
Tough course but absolutely beautiful.
Lots of memories. Lots to talk about. Will do so in a race report soon. Still have some time to play before we head back to KC.

Thanks for all your words of encourgement and good lucks. You guys are the best!


Let's Get Ready to Rumble

Cuz here we go. Good luck to those racing today.Congrats to those that raced yesterday. Hope you had as great a time as we will! I'm so excited. This is such a beautiful course!

Just an FYI..it's 3:30 AM here!! Nothing like getting up at the butt crack of dawn to put Vaseline on your ass so you can go run 26.2 miles! LOVE IT!


Leaving on a Jet Plane

Yesterday's plane ride was an interesting experience. First, we get there 30 minutes before the plane takes off. How we got so far off track I'm not sure, but we did. So...as we check in, the bells and whistles alarm the rep we're late. Well...good times. She tells us she can't guarantee our bags to arrive with us when land in San Francisco. That's fine.

So we board. Karen, Doug and I are literally the last 3 on the plane. I find a seat. A middle seat of course. In between an 8 year old and an older man dressed in a suit and tie.

We're ready to take off an the pilot comes out to let us know maintenance needs to come on board and check something out. Grumbles. Cuz you never know if it's going to be a 2 minute fix or a 5 hour wait on the plane. Luckily for us, it was a five minute fix. In the meantime, Doug finds the flight attendant to let her know there were a bunch of us from TNT flying out and to see if she would wish his team luck. She says sure-and then hands Doug the phone to make the announcement himself. It was so funny to see Doug with the flight attendant's phone making an announcement. And of course, he gets a great applause after.

Steven (the 8 year old) and I become friends pretty early on. He is behaving very well and we're talkin' it up. He gets out his Leapster (too cool) and plugs in a School House Rock cartridge (even cooler). He is singing away to some of the songs. Many I hadn't heard before (or don't remember) and the an oldie but goodie, I'm Just a Bill. I love I'm Just a Bill on Capitol Hill. We listen to the different songs over and over.

After I got Steven occupied, the guy on the other side of me and I started chit chatting. He had run several marathons so we had a lot to talk about. As we were in conversation the flight attendant asked him if he was headed back home today. I found that a bit odd as he was coming from Baltimore, heading to San Fran, was going to eat lunch and then turn around and head back. He told me he was a courier. A courier for what? A courier for the Federal Reserve Bank. He was dropping off money. I mean MONEY. Lots.Of.Money. 190ish MILLION dollars fresh from the Fed Reserve.

Then the flight attendant calls one of our team members up to the front. She walks up and the flight attendant announces it is her birthday. She presents her with a birthday cake. Make of toilet paper rolls. Puts a crown on her. Made of peanuts. Throws a sash on her. Again...peanuts. She tells us to all turn on our lights for the ambiance of birthday candles. Then we all sing happy birthday to her. It was too fun. I took some fun pictures. I'll have to post them when we get back home.

Thennn...she gives all of us TNT'ers a free drink coupon. Bloody Mary. You are mine.

This was the best flight crew ever. They were all enjoying their job. You could tell. They were fun, smiling and happy. It was nice to see.

She even led all of us in plane exercises. It was a hoot!! What a great flight.

When we got to baggage claim, only one of our bags made it. One didn't. But we just had them deliver it to the hotel. It came in at 3 am this morning. Now we have clothes. Good thing, otherwise it would have been a free for all shopping spree today.

Alright...off to Fisherman's Wharf for a nice walk.

We've Only Just Begun

And we're having the best time ever!

This morning, Doug headed off to his coach's meeting and Karen and I took off for the Golden Gate Bridge for a run. We ran across the GGB and then turned around and ran back. It's around 3 miles round trip.

We headed out pretty early and I knew it was going to be foggy as it seems to always be early in the morning. We really couldn't see too far ahead of us as we were in a huge fog (not from the fog of our wine reception we attended last night). I'm taking the real stuff here. You could see the fog and the mist in the air as the wind was blowing it. It was such an awesome experience. We stopped. We looked. We took pictures. We awed and oohed.

On the way back you could literally watch the fog lift. You could watch the fog unveil Alcatraz from afar. You could see the GGB uncover itself from the fog. It was a gorgeous site to see.

After our run, we headed to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Latte. Perfect for a morning with a chill in the air and a cool breeze blowing.

Now, Karen and her mom are headed off for a tour. Doug is headed off for a long run. And I'm going to get around, finish off my latte, meander down to Fisherman's Wharf for a bit while everyone is off doing their thing.

Later after everyone gets back in, we're headed off to Ghirardelli Square for some chocolate and some super duper sundaes. Then our pasta party. Next will be to bed for an early early start to Sunday morning and marathon day!

We took some fantastic pictures so far, but I think we forgot to bring the adapter for the computer to load them. You'll just have to wait til we get back.


Osana is Her Name-O

Isn't she lovely.
Isn't she wonderful.
Isn't she precious.
Okay...love ya Stevie but time to move on.
I love her.
She's a Quintana Roo Caliente.
And Muy Caliente she is.
Osana is her name.
It means Health in Spanish.
I thought it was a perfect fit for the two of us.


The Dog Ate My Garmin!

Ned (Nasty Evil Dog)...sometimes known as Molly...DESTROYED my Garmin. Little fart. She has never done anything like this before. She's been known to get up on the counter, eat full packages of beef jerkey, down full pizzas and eat a GU or two, but this girl has never shown any interest in non food items.

I really think she was ticked off I didn't take her for a walk earlier in the day.

So...what is a girl to do without her Garmin??? With a marathon coming up this weekend? Doug said I could borrow his and that is very kind of him. But we are not a one Garmin household. We can't be. No way. No how. So I made contact with a friend of ours who works for Garmin. This is where we both purchased our Garmins from before-from this friend.

For those of you that are not aware, Garmin headquarters are located here in Olathe, Kansas. One of these days when I have the camera in tow, I'll run by there and snap a few pics of the headquarters.

So...after speaking with my friend, I'm getting a new one!! It's awesome to have friends in the right places. AND...it will be hand delivered to my home tomorrow!

I love Garmin.

Ned is on the short list (or leash) right now.


3 Days and Counting

The countdown has begun. Only 3 sleeps left until we head to San Francisco. (I got the three sleeps thing from Lily on the Road-thought it was cute.)

Tonight we have dinner with our Honored Patient for San Francisco, Ms. Ashley. Things seem to be going well with her lately, which is absolutely wonderful. It'll be nice to catch up with her to see how school and teenage life is going. Below is a picture of me, Ashley and Karen shortly after training started for San Francisco way back when.

Then tomorrow we have some plans.
And Thursday I need to pack.

Need to get in a couple runs between now and then too. Thinking Wednesday and Thursday.

Glad I'm working from home tomorrow so I can catch up on some laundry and get a run in before work or during lunch.

I sure hope Karen speaks to me after Sunday. We'll find out soon enough.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends. Hope you have a very nice Holiday.


6 Random Things About Myself Tag

I've been tagged by my lovely blog friend Marci to post 6 random things about myself.

  1. My 1st car was a convertible Volkswagoen bug. It was white with a white top. Too cute!
  2. There is nothing better than a long sleeve t-shirt.
  3. I love coffee. My favorite ice cream...coffee. Mmm...
  4. I've worked for the same company for 15 years. Met my best friend the very first day on the job. It was her first day as well.
  5. I have Harrington Rods in my back. Two stainless steel rods (one on each side of my spine) implanted due to scoliosis.
  6. Don't know the last time I put on make-up. Not sure I even know where my make-up is anymore.

I won't tag anyone else cuz I think everyone else has been tagged. And those that haven't, Dougggg...will roll his eyes at me if I ask him to. If you haven't been tagged and you would like to...consider yourself tagged.

Jared Coones Pumpkin Run 5K Race Report

Let's start the Race Report with the night before...
Doug and I volunteered at packet pickup Friday night. This is my second year volunteering, and I see myself volunteering every year from here on out. I love everything about this race. The way it's put together, the system they have in place, the volunteers, the Coones family. Everything. After volunteering, there was a mob of us that happened upon a local restaurant where everyone sat and chatted up the whole evening. It was a nice time.

So after getting home later than what we expected, we headed to bed. We were able to sleep in til 6 am. That's a dream for us on Saturday mornings. We got up and around and headed out to the race.

What a perfect morning. You could not have asked for a better day. There was a slight chill in the air, but you knew it wouldn't take long to warm up once the sun came up and race started.

We milled around meeting up with old friends, new friends and TNT members. For some of the TNT members, this was their first official race. How fun!

The sun was coming up and you could see the sun beaming on everyone's faces. The race was about to start. Everyone lined up in their respective spots. Doug and I lined up in the 10 minute pace group. I'm thinking I'm going to get mowed over, I shouldn't be here, but I stayed anyway.

After some announcements, prayer and a balloon release of red and pink balloons-pink for Jayne, red for Jared (his favorite color) the race started. We took off from the elementary school and wound all around through the neighborhood. It was perfect.

I took off a little too fast for my liking, but soon remembered, we're running a 5K here, not a marathon. There were kids zooming everywhere. It was fun to watch. They were in and out of everyone. Of course, they all took off like crazies, 100 miles an hour. There were actually 25 elementary schools that participated in the 5K running program to get them ready for this race. It was so fun to see the young kids and their families come out.

I zoomed through my first mile. 9:33. WOW! That's superstar speed for me.
My second mile I stopped to walk 30 seconds a couple of times. Still another 9:33 mile. What? This can't be.
I wrapped up my 3rd mile with several walk breaks and finished in 9:52 coming around the corner to the finish line with Doug cheering me on. I felt great! My official chip time was 30:26 (they had chip timing but no start chip mat so a couple extra seconds is added onto that. No biggie though. Just letting you know in case you do the math yourself!) So with that, I averaged a 9:47 pace for my 5K!! I am so excited.

After I crossed the finish line, I walked back to find Doug to cheer everyone in. It was so much fun. We stayed until the very end to watch everyone cross (or so we thought at the time) and then we headed into the gym for the awards ceremony. Tom was ready to start the ceremony when he was made aware there was still another participant on the course. This makes me teary eyed just thinking about typing it. He lets everyone know that there is still one lady left on the course, that he wants everyone to go out to the finish line and cheer her in. What a kind soul he is. So we head out to the finish line and cheer her in. You could see she had a physical disability with her leg, but she was trekking the 5K nonetheless. She later told Tom that she had done a couple of 5K's before but had never had a crowd cheer her when she had crossed that beloved finish line.

Before the trophies were given to the winners of the race, Tom had several other awards he was handing out. One was the Jayne Coones Spirit Award. It went to the Davidson family pictured below. Zach has been fighting ALL, Jeff (dad) has done multiple TNT events to bring awareness to the fight with 100 mile bike rides, running marathons and triathloning. Jeff's wife (sorry I forgot her name) is a nurse and was one of Jayne's nurses when she was undergoing treatment. As you can see, this family has A LOT of spirit for this cause and deserves this trophy like none other.

Another award, the Jared Coones Never Give Up Award, was presented to my friend and Honored Patient, Leesa. After getting cancer, it going in remission, getting it back WHILE training for a marathon, training through it and then getting rid of it again, I see all the reasons in the world Tom saved this award for Leesa. This girl does NOT give up!

What a great morning! It was perfect!

An added unimportant note...I finished 20th out of 143 female participants in my age group. It's not very often I get to brag about my race time or place. But I do have to say I am very pleased with my time. It shows some great improvement. It shows my running has been paying off. Whoo Hoo for me!


Marathoner Sarah Palin

Okay...I'm a blogging fool today. But I came across this as of late and thought it was blog worthy. I know she's not the only politician (or celeb) to have run a marathon but I found it interesting. And since it's my blog, I can write about whatever I darn well want. So...if you like her, or if you don't or want to whine about her because her husband is kind enough to watch the kids while she runs (or perhaps has a nanny-how horrible of her) check out the article below as she is part of our marathon family.

She ran Humpy's Marathon (in Alaska) in 2005
Her time: 3:59:36
You Go Girl!

Below is an article I found online from the Wall Street Journal:

SEPTEMBER 22, 2008, 11:09 P.M. ET
WSJ. Magazine
Gov. Sarah Palin: Midnight runs and caribou dinners
Coming Saturday Sept. 6 in the debut issue of WSJ. Magazine, a conversation with Gov. Sarah Palin about her unusual workout and fitness routine. Preview excerpt

Gov. Sarah Palin has always been a runner. Her parents were marathoners and high school track and cross-country coaches. "Running was a family affair," she says. "I didn't have much choice. Thankfully, I've never tired of it."

Gov. Palin, a mother of five kids, says exercise is still very much a "family thing." She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport's season. Gov. Palin (above, near Mendenhall Glacier, outside of Juneau) and her family live in Wasilla, about 45 miles north of Anchorage.

"Conventional running is my sanity," Gov. Palin says. Having recently given birth to her fifth child, the governor is trying to get back to her old workout routine. She was running 7 to 10 miles almost every day but switched to aerobics classes at her gym when she became pregnant. She has worked her way back up to running three miles every other day.
In the summer, when it's always light, she'll sometimes run as late as midnight. In the dead of winter, when it's dark, she sneaks in an afternoon run, or else grudgingly runs on the treadmill at home or at the gym in the evening. Gov. Palin keeps dumbbells at home, but she says most of her upper body strength comes from snowmobiling with her family. "It's the best upper body workout you could ever have," she says. "You're maneuvering through hundreds of pounds of powder." (Todd is a four-time champion of the Tesoro Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmobile race.)

Diet pitfall
"My family and I eat a healthy diet heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit," she says. "I guess my biggest pitfall is breakfast. I know it's the most important meal of the day but I still haven't bought into it. I hate to admit it, but a skinny white-chocolate mocha is my staple in the morning."

Workout gear
"My ideal fantasy is to be running on a hot dusty road just wearing running shorts and some kind of top that wicks away sweat. But in reality I'm running in 20-below temperatures, so I wear layers of fleece and always a good outdoor waterproof trail shoe. Right now I've been running in Nike Air Structure Triax. And I always wear sunglasses. My kids tell me to put them on so I don't freak people out when they see me with a goofy hairdo and no makeup."

While I'm working out
"I'm thinking about my next speech. I usually write my best speeches and letters [in my head] while out running. That is my inspired time."

Postworkout food
"Nothing. I just drink water."

Workout pitfall
"Being pregnant every few years. If I get lazy and go weeks or months without exercising it's not because of circumstances but because I'm being less disciplined. Shame on me."

Jared Coones Memorial 5K Pumpkin Run

Saturday morning Doug and I are running the Jared Coones Memorial 5K Pumpkin Run.

Tonight we are volunteering at packet pickup.

This is a great 5K that was founded by Tom and Jayne Coones, Jared's mom and dad. Tom and Jayne lost Jared to leukemia 10 years ago this week and this is the 10th year for the Pumpkin Run. This time of year was Jared's favorite so Tom and Jayne started the Pumpkin Run in his honor. The race starts at Jared's elementary school and runs through his neighborhood. A lot of the neighbors decorate their front lawns to the hilt with all kinds of Halloween garb. What a great time.

Tom sadly lost Jayne to breast cancer 2 years ago this December. So now the race is in honor of both Jared and Jayne. A very fun part about the race is that some of the local schools have started running groups in order to train the kids to run this 5K. So Saturday, there will be a bunch of kids from the local elementary and middle schools out running in Jared's honor.

The weather is supposed to be perfect. I can't wait!

Heavy Breathing and Lots of Sweating

TMI? No...I do have some sense of privacy.

Last night instead of going for a run for our anniversary, Doug and I decided to do a 3 mile skip holding hands the whole way.

Coach Ken...sick yet?

Okay. Not really. We did get in our 3 mile run. That's where the heavy breathing and sweating comes in. We averaged a pretty good clip for me and had a nice run. Then we took Mols for a walk. She's so pathetic when she doesn't get to come with.

Afterwards we meandered to the wine store to see if they had anything new. Oh boy do they ever. We bought a kit to make some wine-Kiwi Pear-and then as we were walking out saw a limited edition of chocolate raspberry dessert wine. I soooo want that! I'm sure we'll be returning sometime this weekend to pick that up!

Then it was off to gorge ourselves on Greek food and pastries. Yummm...Yummm...

As we waddled into the house we poured ourselves some wine before we settled in for the evening.

Pretty perfect evening. Couldn't have asked for anything more. Okay...except still feeling stuffed this morning when I woke up!


2 Loves...2 Anniversaries...

Happy Anniversary Doug!
I Love You Babe!
Today is our 4th anniversary.

Happy Anniversary to marathoning and me!
I love you too!
Today is our 3rd anniversary.

My very first marathon. Portland, OR 10.9.05

3 Years.

14 Marathons.
12 Half Marathons.

It was 1 year to the exact day from when I met Doug that I ran my first marathon.

Without Doug, I have to say, I might have missed the grand journey of marathoning. He introduced it to me, trained me and helped me fall in love with it. Just like I fell in love with him. Who knew my two passions in life would come to me in one night. It was certainly unexpected, both Doug and this thing called marathoning, but so lucky for me we stumbled upon each other.

Our favorite Greek restaurant better be ready for us tonight!


Go Go Go

Starting this weekend I have 5 races in 9 weeks. That's almost a race every other weekend. I actually have a 2 week break in there at one point. 1 5K...1 Half Marathon...3 Marathons. Who put this schedule together? I can't imagine it would have been meeee doing something crazy like this. This is how it breaks out:

Oct 11 Pumpkin Run 5K
Oct 19 Nike Women's Marathon
Oct 26 No Race
Nov 02 Maynard Cohick Half Marathon (Maynard? Cohick? For real?)
Nov 09 No Race
Nov16 San Antonio Marathon
Nov 23 No Race
Nov 30 No Race
Dec 06 Kiawah Island Marathon (and MY BIRTHDAY!!)

The Pumpkin Run is just for fun. It's going to be a great time.
The Nike Women's Marathon is going to be the best race ever. Karen's first marathon. We're running it together.
The Maynard Cohick Half Marathon will be a nice recovery run from Nike and a nice taper for San Antonio.
The San Antonio Marathon will be a blast. I'm getting a charm of the Alamo for my marathon charm bracelet. This will be my first marathon in Texas. Not expecting any lightening time here but would like to have a halfway decent run. Not expecting much with the amount of races I'll have done though.
The Kiawah Island Marathon will be a great day. It has to be! It's on my birthday. Oh...I already mentioned that. I love my birthday.

So that's 3 marathons in 3 months.
Counting September it'll be 4 marathons in 4 months. Which is the total number I've completed the first half of the year.
So by the time I've completed my marathon in December, that will be 8 marathons in 12 months.
Not too shabby if I can say myself.



That's how many miles I've run thus far this year.
600. Six hundred. Six zero zero.
Wow. That's a lot for me.
That's a long way!

Ran 5 miles this morning. I'm sounding like a broken record as of late but what a beautiful morning to run. It was a bit windy and I hit several hills I normally don't hit on my normal route which made it a bit more challenging but still averaged an 11:36 for my 5 miles. Not too shabby for me running back to back days.

I've been having a bit of a challenge with myself. I have always been bad about pacing myself properly. I tend to have two speeds. One is slow running. The other is walking. Lately, it has been a bit faster running. In the 9's when I'm running. I'm killing myself but can't seem to reign it in unless I stop to walk.

The other day Doug and I were running. I'm like, "we have to slow down, you're going too fast for me". He laughed at me. He then told me I was the one setting the pace. He was actually running behind me! So I guess I'll keep up at my faster pace for as long as I can and then try to slow down a bit when I need and walk when I have to. I guess as long as I keep pushing my faster speed further I'll be doing myself some good. Unless I give myself a heart attack.

Have a great rest of the weekend!


What a Beautiful Morning for a Run

What a morning. Yet again the sun is shining, the temperatures were perfect for a morning run. Just chilly enough to wear a long sleeved t-shirt but still warm enough for shorts-my favorite running attire. My favorite trees in the park are turning beautiful shades of orange and red. They look glorious when the sun is shining upon them. Ahhh...

Had a great run with Karen this morning. She inspires me. Which is funny because she says I inspire her. I guess it's perfect all the way around and something best friends should do, huh?

Leeza and Craig did great today on their 10 miler. Only 1 week (if even that) after Leeza's cancer is gone and she's barely off that nasty (but MIRACLE) pill. Great job you two! Great job! I just want to hug Leeza to death. She is the sweetest, kindest soul who keeps going and going and going no matter what. You are an inspiration to me as well.

Gotta lotta stuff coming up the next two weeks I'm very excited about.

Ran 8 today. Will run 5 tomorrow. Time to get on track for Goofy.

Now it's off to get a Pumpkin Latte, lunch and to enjoy the beautiful day!


Break Time

How nice it is to get up, head out for a 3 mile run, come back nasty sweaty and not have any co workers be offended by your stinch. At 10:30 am on a work day. I love it when I'm able get a run in when working from home. Especially today when there is still a chill in the air, the sun is shining and all is right in the world.

Back to work...


We'll Cross that Bridge When We Get to It

After Molly's growling, grunting and jumping around at us tonight, we took the goofball for a walk. What a beautiful night to do so. Sunny. Blue skies. Cool weather. Leaves changing. A perfect fall evening. So...we took a gander down the trails to see what sort of progress has been made. Every morning when I leave, they are working away. They have done a lot of drainage work along with other things, but I am most excited about the bridges (it's the most obvious progress made). They have installed 3. One is massive (the 2nd picture below).

Guess Who?

Not sure if they are going to get the asphalt poured before colder temperatures come to town. It would be nice so we wouldn't have to continue running on gravel throughout winter.

I Love...

Fall Colors
A New Sweater
Pumpkin Lattes
The Smell of Fall
The Windows Open
Home Cooked Comfort Foods
Snuggling Up on the Couch with a Warm Blanket
Orange, Red and Yellow Leaves Falling from the Trees

3rd Quarter Running Totals:
200 miles