Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Other Side of the Aid Station Table

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. 
~Booker T. Washington

I have run quite a few races and am always grateful for the volunteers. I hope over the years I have been able to express that gratitude, through my huffing and puffing. It then only seems right that I return the good deed.

Last year I volunteered for a short period of time at the Javelina Jundred hosted by Aravaipa Running, one of the best running event hosts ever.. I loved it so much that I vowed to do it again and stay as long as possible. This year I took my two teenagers with me and we had a great time.

The Javelina Jundred is a 100 mile endurance trail run held in McDowell Mountain Park, just east of Phoenix, Arizona.  This year it was held November 12th through the 13th. The Javelina Jundred is always held on the weekend of the full moon closet to Halloween. It is a great big party with racers dressing up in costume and the handmade awards reminiscent of Dia de los Muertos. 

Volunteers arrive on Thursday to set up and are there through clean up on Sunday. The kids and I arrived Friday just in time for dinner and our first shift. We actually followed the PF Chang’s catering truck into the park. The main aid station, Javelina Headquarters, slash food tent, was well organized. I helped set up this tent last year and this year the improved organization was stellar. They brought out shelves, a portable sink and cleaning station, a refrigerator, and a stove! Yes a stove and fridge out on the desert.

We served the hungry runners white and brown rice with cashew chicken and for the vegans a veggie rice noodle dish. It smelled wonderful and by the number of people who came through the line two and three times, it must have tasted great too. For dessert there were two flavors of cake, cranberry cookies, and brownie bites. The volunteers can have dinner but I was so full from lunch that I only had a small piece of cake.

After dinner the kids and I retired to our truck to sleep. We had a 3:30 AM wakeup call for our next shift at the pack pickup table, for those runners arriving at the last minute.

If you have run a race you know that most people do not sleep well the night before. The anticipation, nerves, excitement, fear of missing the alarm, all conspires to a restless night; this was no different for me. I woke several times throughout the night. Around 2 AM people started arriving, either volunteers or runners that drove in. I finally gave up and rolled out of my sleeping bag at 3:15 AM, went to the restroom, brushed my teeth, and washed my face.

The kids and I, along with another volunteer hung out at the table and checked in runners until 6 AM when the runners were on their way! 

Now the kids and I had a long time until our next shift at 11 PM that night. So, my son went back to get a little more sleep, daughter to read, and I grabbed homework. A few hours later we decided to go into Fountain Hills, the closest town, and get a bite to eat and some much needed coffee. There is always coffee at Javelina Headquarters, but I needed it in large quantities and with liquid creamer… note to self, next year bring my cream.

We ventured in and found a great little bagel shop called JD’sBagel Cafe. I missed the cafe part and was prepared for just bagels, but it is really a deli. They have pasta salads, breakfast foods, wraps, as well as bagels and coffee. The service was great and I enjoyed my wrap and coffee.

After brunch we went back out to the camp site and just hung out. I did more homework and helped some runners as they came through the aid station. At about 3 PM I decided that I should try to take a nap. I crawled into the back of our truck and curled up with my blankie. The kids were in the front of the truck and we all eventually slipped off into dream land. I awoke to darkening skies and the need to go to the restroom. After I returned, I tried to sleep some more, knowing it was going to be a long night, but to no avail.

The kids and I got up and headed over to the Headquarters, grabbed some pizza, and checked out the leaders’ board. It was really neat to see the runners and the different laps they had completed. The race is run on a looping trail; runners do six laps of 15.4 miles, alternating direction on each completed lap, and then a shorter lap of 9 miles; so the race actually ends up being 101.4 miles total. While we were eating dinner, Hal Koerner crossed the finish line, to win, and set a new course record of 13:47:46; that is 8.16 miles per hour; 101.4 miles in less than 14 hours!!!

At 10:45 PM we could not stand it anymore and manned our stations. We were once again at the food tent and what a spread there was! Not only did they have the standard fare of gels, PB&J sandwiches, Gatorade, and water; they also had noodle soup, veggie soup, hamburgers, Nutella sandwiches, two other kinds of electrolyte drinks, and various assortments of snacks. This is my kind of event!

The kids and I, along with a few other volunteers were on duty from 11 PM Saturday night until 7 AM Sunday morning. During that time we encouraged runners as they came in, refilled bottles and hydration packs, escorted to medical if needed, filled cups with soup, made straight broth and anything else that they needed. We hooted and hollered, clapped and whistled. The next thing we knew it was getting light out. 

I could not believe that I had made it through the night without falling asleep. I was so energized from the runners and the other volunteers that I think I could have stayed and continued working. However, we had to get home so we could nap and then get homework and scholarship applications done. The only thing I would change for next year is to get a shift in the middle of the day somewhere. I felt useless and the time dragged on forever… or maybe I’ll go for a hike.

After very little sleep two nights before and 32 hours awake, the kids and I made it home, and my bed never felt so good. I felt a little guilty as my head hit the pillow, knowing there were still runners and volunteers out there.

If you ever get a chance to volunteer for a race do it. 
If you get the chance to volunteer for an ultra-race DO IT! 
Everyone is amazing and inspiring, nice and so very appreciative.

I am only one, but I am one. 
I cannot do everything, but I can do something. 
And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. 
~Edward Everett Hale

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Mount Lemmon 1/2 Marathon Report

Quite a few months ago I signed up with Muscle Milk Arizona (MMA) to do the Mount Lemmon Marathon (MLM).  We were going to have training runs, motivational emails, and get togethers.  A few of those things happened but not what Muscle Milk intended and not what we runners expected.  There were some personnel issues and issues with the event itself. 

“The Toughest Road Marathon in the World”
“The Only Uphill Marathon in the US”
“6000 ft of Climbing”

I went into training for the MLM with great enthusiasm.  I took the family to Oregon for summer vacation via Mammoth, California so I could run at altitude and see what it was going to be like.  In Oregon I ran all the hills around us.  I did hill repeats after hill repeats.  I felt great!!! 

Then we returned to Arizona and 118°F.  The kids went back to school.  No word from MMA or from MLM and my motivation flew out the window.  

We finally received communication from MMA that the race was still on.  At that point I decided to drop to the half.  I ran off and on.  Did long trial runs and hikes but did very little running three weeks before the marathon.

Reflection time...
In the spring I ran with a great guy named Milton Miller.  He was running from Miami, Florida to Los Angeles, California.  We ran 10 miles together in Arizona and he asked me something very profound that has stuck with me and I think I've learned from.  Milton asked, “Why are you so serious?”  

Hmm?  Why am I so serious?  I know I’m never going to win anything.  I’ve run faster but always seem to slow down to look around and enjoy where I am.  Then I get upset with myself because I’m not doing whatever I thought I should have been doing; speed, time, distance, etc.  I joke that I have running ADD.

So, I figured the MLM was the perfect place to relax and enjoy.  I decided to really take my time.  I never talk to people too much because I’m usually in my own little world huffing and puffing away.  This time I took lots of photos and chatted with a ton of people.  

I did run some but mostly fast hiked.  There was a lot of uphill!  Duh!!!  

We are not to the top yet!

The view from the vista point
At one point I felt a blister coming on so I pulled over and took care of that.  I ran out to a vista point to get a photo.  When we could finally see the finish line, I turned around to the ladies behind me who didn’t believe it was close and yelled, “I see it!!!” 

Due to the event changing hands and the issues with that, there were a few bumps along the way.  The Expo was very spartan but packet pickup was great.  Email communication was not consistent, I’m not sure if that was because I was with MMA but there were several emails from the race director that I did not receive.   

Other than that it was a great event.   I’m ready to sign up for it again next year!

Some cool things:
I had never had a timing chip like this one which I thought was pretty cool.  I wasn’t afraid I’d lose it and no wrangling it on my shoe.  

The sponsor hotel Sheraton was great.  The school bus drivers that drove us were wonderful.  Our pick up location was about a 10 minute walk from the hotel.  After the event the bus driver dropped us at the hotel on her way to the parking location. 

I have heard that the event organizer is considering changing the date of the race to the spring.  I vote for that!  Training over the summer here in Arizona is just brutal.  

So if you find yourself in Southern Arizona this spring and want to run a marathon or a half marathon up a mountain, I highly recommend The Mount Lemmon Marathon.  

This is going to be an event to watch out for in the future, I bet they have to cap entries someday. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

To settle is a choice or you can choose to run after your dreams.

I am having a crisis of identity.  Who am I?  I am a wife and a mom.  More recently I’ve been more comfortable calling myself a runner.  But WHO am I?  I mean when the kids go off to college and hubby is at work, who AM I?

Well, I am a student. I went back to school to prepare for the day when my little chickens would fly the coop.  That day is very near and my crisis has started to fully manifest itself. When I went back to school I figured that the logical outcome would be a degree and a full-time career.  I recently walked for my graduation and then decided to finish two more classes to complete two minors.  It really makes sense but am I delaying?  Could be… but I think I have decided that I do not really want a career.  A job yes but a career maybe not.

More years ago than I’d like to think about I took flying lessons.  I actually soloed fixed wing and it was amazing, at least I think it was, my memory is going since I’m so old. About 16-17 years ago I was studying for my LTA (lighter than air) license, that was a ton of fun, but I missed many things about fixed wing. 

I have heard that once a pilot always a pilot, just some pilots are current and some are not.  So am I pilot that is not current?  Maybe… yes.

Part of the deal with me going back to school was that I earned my private pilot’s license.  My hubby was very insistent on this.  I always seemed to find one reason or another not to.  I would say, “okay! I’m going to do it!”  And then I’d find another reason not to.  I have always used money as an excuse but I think I’m really just nervous about making that commitment.  I think I am scared to pursue that dream of so long ago.  What if I’m not that person anymore and I make a $10,000 mistake? 

If I never try, I’ll never know.

The first step is getting a medical exam.  I scheduled that appointment.  Maybe I am a pilot after all who just isn’t current but is working on that.

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.” – Already Gone performed by the Eagles for their 1974 album On the Border.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh Lord it’s hard to be Humble…

...until You put me back in my place.

When I started running, one of the things that I thought about was that by my age my mother was not able to walk down the street let alone run if she had wanted.  The summer before my freshman year in high school she was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis).  It was really hard on her.  She had a teenager, a toddler, and a relatively new marriage.  There were many things that happened over the ensuing years but what I think about now is what if I were in her place?

Feeling down, losing my focus, being scared, and in denial about what I need, what I’ve chosen to do is not productive.  Nor is it worthy of me as a person of whom my creator has given this talent to.  Oh I’m not delusional in thinking that I’m going to win anything, but for some reason God has put this running bug in me.  So who am I to not do it? 

It is at times like these that God reminds me, sometimes with a gentle nudge, sometimes with a FaceBook message, that I need to get my head out of my own messed up brain and just get out there and run. 

I sit here and think about a few friends that I know wish they could go for a walk, play with their kids, make love to their spouse.  They worry about their future or if they will make it through Christmas.  I wish I could reassure them.  I wish I was smart and cure them.  What I can do is be there for them.  I can make that lunch date before it’s too late.  I can tell them that they have made a difference in my life.  I can get up off the couch and go for a run. 

In the wise words of one of the people I am so blessed to call my friend, “…don’t put off those things that bring you joy because you never know when that ability will be taken away.”

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Denial, it's not just a river in Egypt

Months ago I signed up for a marathon.  A marathon that is dubbed as the toughest in the country.  A 26.2 mile uphill battle with over 6000 feet of elevation gain.  

About a month ago myself along with other team members had no idea if our sponsor was still out there.  We Facebooked and tried to email and nothing.  Along with this I had a lump on my chest that I didn't know what it was.  The lump turned out to be nothing and we all finally heard from our sponsor.  The race was on.  

The marathon is in two weeks.  When was the last time I ran?  Almost 2 weeks ago.  Yep I'm am slacking big time.  I had already decided to drop to the half-marathon.  There was just no way that I would be ready with everything up in the air I had become depressed and discouraged.  

Now I am just in denial.  Some where along the way my running spirit has been broken or has gotten lost.  There is no explanation for it.  My last run was with a great guy who is very encouraging and whom I respect. My family is very encouraging.  I have friends and family coming in for the event.  

So what gives?

I have no answers.  

I can only hope that tomorrow is the day I get back out there and put a few miles in.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mesquite Canyon Race Report

We are all finally on spring break here.  The kids are leaving for NYC with their grandma tonight, I'm sure going to miss them.

It's been a stressful week.

Friday we went to the humane society to see about the dog we had had 7 years ago, Duke.  He does not look good, poor guy.  The HS wanted us to pay $314 to get him and they hadn't really done anything for him!  We were not prepared to spend that knowing we were going to spend 2-3 times that at our vet.  It about killed us but we walked away.  Now we wait for them to fix him up and then we will go adopt him which will be $65!  WTF?! Really?

Spent most of Friday crying, watched my daughter sing Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World, and then had to go be social with my wonderful mom-in-law and aunt.  They are awesome!  They took their RV out to the race start so the kids and I could spend the night, roll out of bed, and go do our thing.  We arrived later then planned to gorgeous steaks, huge potatoes, green beans, bread, and Irish butter.  Afterwards they surprised me and had birthday cake and presents for me!  It was a really nice end to a crappy day.

Saturday, the kids, mom-in-law, and I got up and walked the kids over so they could volunteer.  I picked up my bib, t-shirt, and loop timing thingy.  MIL and I went back to the RV and I finished getting prepped for my 1/2.

We could hear the announcements as they sent off the 50K and marathon runners.  Went back for my 8am start.  It was very touching, they had a moment of silence for Sally Meyerhoff and then we were off.

The weather was wonderful, a nice little chill in the air to start.  There were so many 1/2 marathon runners that there were a few clogs as we all started, but eventually we all spread out.

I had run this trail a few weeks ago in the reverse order that we were going to do.  I knew there was a really steep up hill and some really rocky, scree covered areas.  I went out conservative and made sure I walked the ups.  I soon discovered that doing the trail backwards was actually more difficult then the way we were doing it.

On the way down one of the two major downs, I ended up behind this guy with over the ear headphones.  I tried and tried to get his attention for about .25 miles.  I was trying to tap him on the shoulder, smack him in the backpack, something!  I guess I finally yelled loud enough and/or his song finished he finally heard me!  Grrrr... I past him and took off.  This was the fun part going down, down, down!

The aid stations were great and they cheered the runners as soon as they could see them.  That was a real boost!  I came to aid station 2/3 (there are at the start and finish of the loop) and was cheered, given water, and told only 4 more miles! Yeah!

Now began the really steep down hill.  It was good, I tried to remember all the things about not going too fast, keeping control, etc.  Last time I did this trail, by the time I got to this point my legs were so dead I could barely walk down.  However, this time it was awesome!  As I'm going down, the song "Jesus take the Wheel" came on.  I thought that was quite appropriate and sang as much as I could.  I'm sure all the other pedestrians heard was me gasping "Jesus" occasionally.

Speaking of pedestrians, the trails were still open to everyone who wanted a Saturday morning hike.  They were all great and would move over.  Lots of cheers and good jobs, and a couple of cute dogs to make me miss mine.

Reached the end of the major down, past the last aid station, and headed for the finish!  My quads clearly told me that they were pretty much done.  So I walked the little ups and then coaxed my quads back into cooperating and we were off and running again.

Nothing was so lovely as that orange tent and the finish line and my beaming family.  It was awesome to see my daughter come walking up to me and say "and you thought you'd be out there longer."  My hubby was there with our pups, and everyone was happy to see me.  My MIL and aunt arrive shortly after I did and we just enjoyed while I stretched.

It was a great day.  I couldn't do it without the support of my family.  As I ran, as I run, I always know they are there waiting for me.  They might think I'm crazy but they are proud of me and love me.  Thank you family!

On a side note, I also found out this weekend that I have a place on the Muscle Milk Machine Team for the  Mount Lemmon Marathon, dubbed "The Toughest Road Marathon in the World".  I'm excited and scared all at the same time!

~Happy Running~

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A life cut short

This morning I got up and never even made it to my email or checking in on my Facebook friends.  I was devastated by some very bad news, here's a link

I did not know Sally personally.  She lived in my neighborhood.  We ran in several of the same events.  Every time she passed me on the roads in our little community she always had a big smile on her face.  Her blog and everything I learned about her made me want to meet her.  I was following her promising career and thought that one day if we were at the park at the same time I was going to say hi.  My kids teased me about stalking her, and I laughed and said nope, I'm just a fan and I can't wait to watch her win at the Olympics.

So, I spent all day with one of our dogs, Kaylee, and we just hung out.  We went to a couple dog parks, a few pet stores, and a couple of coffee shops.  We just enjoyed.  I just enjoyed.   I was supposed to run today but instead I got in some good intervals running up and down the dog parks chasing dogs and tennis balls.

That was another thing that hit me, yes the devastation to Sally's family is immense, I cannot even imagine.  Besides her humans she also had fur-babies.  She has 3 dogs and had recently introduced a 4 into her little pack.  From her blogs you understood how much she loved her fur-babies.

Two days ago I received a phone call from an animal hospital about 60 miles from where we live now.  They had a dog that had been hit by a car and his microchip was registered to me.  It was a dog that we had had over 7 years ago.  He's hurt, has a bad heart, and is 13 years old.  He's a cattle dog and that's pretty old for them.  He's now at the humane society trying to locate the people how gave him a home after us.  If they do not claim him I will be down there  and we will fix him up and bring him home.   The vet said he looks like he's been well taken care of.  Of course I'd like his current owners to find him, but if not, we are going to figure out how to meld him into our little pack.

It's so amazing how someone can be out of our life for so long and then reappear due to an accident.  It's tragic when an accident cuts a bright life short.  So hug your loved ones a little tighter, tell them you love them, and cherish every moment.

God Bless...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Running Partners at Our Feet

They say you never forget your first, your first bike, car, crush, kiss, or running partner.  My first and only human running partner is a wonderful woman who I still count as my friend.  We were thrust into a living situation where our husbands were working and we found ourselves, with other wives, in a different state away from our homes and friends.  Out of this situation friendships formed and to this day we all still share those fond memories.

I often reflect on our running... the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, our fit as partners, and many of the laughs we had on those runs.  We talked about many things and nothing... well I talked or rather babbled and she, as she informed me on our first run, just needed to breathe.

When the job was finished we went back to our regular lives miles apart.   I tried another partner but I think I was ruined.  It just wasn't the same, she was faster, I was slow, she was seasoned, I was struggling, it just didn't work out.

While struggling with my running, my faithful dog Java has always been at my side.  Since I was struggling, my really slow and low mileage was just fine for him.

However, Java is much more at home climbing over rocks and boulders.  If the ground is flat then it's just perfect for sniffing and leaving his signature on the bushes.

Eventually I got a little faster, added speed work to my training, and Java began to show me that this was just not his thing.

Enter Cocoa.

We are not sure what kind of dog Cocoa is but she was born to run fast!   She is poetry in motion when she is free and running at her top speed, which unfortunately is not even close to my top speed at all.

I still ran, made some significant life changes, and discovered another running partner, Kaylee.  Again we are not sure what kind of dog Kaylee is but one thing is for sure she has boundless energy.  We are working on increasing her mileage but she will come back from a 7 mile run and then chase her brother and sister around the yard, up and down the stairs, leap on the bed and look at us like, "Okay, who wants some of this!?!"

I have read all about the benefits of running partners or friends who run and you can commiserate with.  I know a few runners but we are all at different places in our lives and just don't hang out.  I could go on about how far away I live, yada, yada, yada... I could have used it as an excuse to not run or not challenge myself, but I didn't!  I'm still working on my running goals and connecting with runners though Twitter and Facebook and other online forums.

The human factor is awesome and runners 'get' runners!  However, running with another human is not always possible.   I still take all three dogs out but for different workouts.  So, my advice on running partners, look around you, there may be a partner, or several, in the making right at your feet.

Happy Running,
~Theresa, Java, Cocoa, and Kaylee

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


A wise woman once blogged "in order to move ahead, you gotta know where you've come from..." 

My relationship with food has never been a normal one. Looking back I think my mother was anorexic. Whenever the were treats in the house you better eat your fill because you never knew when you were going to get it again.  This translated into adulthood as me eating everything in the house.  It was a long time learning that I could buy whatever I wanted so I didn't have to binge.

Add to the scarcity of food and my mother's failed marriages, a step-father closer to my age then her's, being the care giver for my much younger brother, and my mother's constant "you're fat" " no one will ever want to date you because you're too fat," and you get one unhappy kid with no healthy way to deal with life. 

Of course looking back I'd almost kill for the weight I was in high school!!! 

Soooooo, married young, hubby was in the Army, still dealing with my mother, and started having babies. After baby #1 the weight fell off! It was awesome!!! Baby #2 came along and the weight just wouldn't leave. Can you still call it baby weight when your baby is 15?! 

It's funny how family members will talk to you when you become an adult, I discovered that depression runs in the family. Lots of things make sense now! So yes I have also learned to deal with depression, I ate... boredom, I ate... loneliness from hubby working long hours, I ate... evidently I also have some anxiety, so yes I ate... 

I have always run to some extent.  I went to my family doctor and she advised me to exercise more.  Really!?  I was already out there running most days of the week, there was no way I could do more!

June of 2009, hubby was gone on an extended job assignment, the teens were busy with what they had to do, things sucking at our church, friendship department sucking, so I ate and ate and ate. Hubby was gone for 5 months and in the last 2 months that he was gone I gained 30 pounds!!! It hurt to bend over and tie my shoes, I was winded walking up our stairs, I was having anxiety attacks, and some very dark thoughts. 

When hubby came home I told him EVERY thing. I don't normally open up like that and he usually has to just wait me out, but this time I laid it all out. He said whatever it was I wanted to do we would do it, he's always been like that... 

Flash Back: 
On my 29th birthday when I said, "I'm going to run a marathon by my 30th birthday," he said "ok, let's figure out a training plan!" When I freaked out that in 4 years I was going to turn 40 and kid #1 was going to graduate high school and the next was the following year, I said "I need to go back to school." Hubby said "go into aviation it's what you have always loved." I am so unbelievably BLESSED!!! Praise and thank you Father!!!! 

Ok, so where was I??? Oh yes... some friends of mine had been seeing a naturopath for weight loss. I went to see her and did a course of hcg. It really helped break the addiction of white stuff, sugar, flour, rice, etc.  I learned what a person should eat and how bad some "foods" really are.  Finally!  I made the nutrition connection!!! 

Through this journey I have had to deal with things as they come and not self medicate with food. When disappointments happen, I have to find other ways than food to deal with my emotions. When anxiety hits, I have to turn to something else other than food. It's working so far. 

I am so happy with the past year and the accomplishments I have made.  What are those you ask?  I've lost 70 pounds, I am consistently eating healthy, I don't miss soda or junk food, and my running has never been better!!!  I'm running faster than before, I can run a 1/2 marathon on any weekend I choose (actually I've been doing that distance every weekend for quite sometime now), and I'm currently training for a 50K!

It's good to reflect on the past.  We must always remember the past so we do not repeat it, well the bad parts anyway.  

God bless!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

20 Years of Marriage

This morning the alarm went off, I rolled over and cracked a very tired eye at my sleeping hubby.  The first thought that went through my mind was 'I should go run and get it over with so Bri and I can spend the day together uninterpreted.'  My second thought, 'today is our 20th anniversary.  No more, we will be married 20 years next year, next month, next week, tomorrow... tomorrow was here!  Wow.'

The reality of it all was AM carpool, a stop by the store to pick up last minute Valentine chocolate for the kids, my morning miles, and then the rest of the day dedicated to my honey... only interrupted by dog duty and delivering dinner to the kids at school after rehearsal.

So what does a couple do for their 20th?  Well the party was on Saturday.  We had a great time with most all of our friends and family that were there in the beginning including our off spring.

It was great to reminisce and make new memories.  I think my favorite quote of the night was, "you know back then we all thought you guys were nuts?"

So today was just to spend some time together.  First a very romantic lunch.  Apparently Chipotle's is becoming a tradition, we did this last year too. LOL..

Then at the end of the evening a family dessert 

What did I learn today?  I am a very blessed and lucky woman.  Well, I guess I didn't really learn that today, I've known this for a loooooong time.  God has blessed me richly with a wonderful man who is a great husband, father, provider, friend, supporter, and encourager, among many, many other adjectives.

What do we have to show for 20 years?  We don't have the biggest house or the newest cars.  However, we do have a deep and meaningful relationship that has weathered the test of time (so far).  We have two children that we are very proud of.  We have a love that surprises us both and has grown deeper over the years.

I cannot wait for the next 20 years!

I love you honey!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Always Learning

I firmly believe that you can always learn something from a successful run as well as from a horrible run.

The same then holds true for races.  Saturday January 29, 2011 was the 17th Annual Arizona Road Racers Desert Classic Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K, and Marathon Relay.  I signed up for the 1/2 and intended on using it as a training run.  The plan, take it easy, not go out too fast, but still hoping for a good time since it was a race.  

My son and I arrived early to volunteer.  I understand there were a few hiccups with volunteers.  Our first was when directed to go to an aid station several miles out that was "already set up."  It wasn't, no one was there, so I left my poor son in the middle of the desert, in the dark, all alone. I had to get back to the start to, well start. I know I'm horrible.  I told him to file that one away for his therapist. ;) 

Lessons Learned
Lesson #1: Never pass up a port-o-potty, even if it's in the middle of the race course and dark.  I made it back to the start with 15 minutes till start and got in line for the 3 port-o-potties for well over 300 people.  I should have stopped at the one I passed while dropping my son off.

Lesson #2:  The race will go on, use the potty even if it means you start late.  You are being chip timed, it's for fun, so what's the big deal anyway?  I mean seriously I'm not going to win any medals.  I actually learned this lesson after I was done and overheard a gentleman saying he started 15 minutes late because of the potty situation.  Boy I wish I had been that smart!  My apologies to the volunteer how took my chip.  :(  So yeah, the end was not pretty but I made it.  

Now for the best part!  I PR'd!  Yea! Me!  

I'm seriously thinking I need to have two sets of PRs, those pre and the post weight loss.  It's like two totally different people out there running. 

Remember, try to learn something from every run. 

Happy running!