Monday, August 30, 2010

The Rainbow

Up on the hill, there is a beautiful oak tree. The tree sits alone. It's branches are plentiful and provides shade.

Everyday a little girl goes to the tree with her daddy, hand and hand. The two walk to the top of the hill and sit, laugh, lay back and look up at the sky. She can feel the wonderful warmth of the sun on her face and a warm breeze. She giggles as she watches the clouds above form into funny creatures. She is so happy. She truly loves her daddy. He is everything to her. She snuggles up to him and feels absolutely comfortable with him. She says "Daddy, I love you so very much." Her sweet innocent face changes a little as she sees the rainbow again. She remembers what her daddy has told her before. She starts to whimper a little and sits up and looks at her daddy whom she loves dearly and says "Daddy, a rainbow! How much longer till you have to go?" and he says "I'm afraid it won't be much longer, but just remember I will always be looking down at you from above and I will love you now and forever. Come back to the oak tree, think of me and know that every time you see the rainbow, I am communicating my love to you."..........

The little girl is now a grown woman and while she has not been back to the beautiful Oak tree since she was a child, she now returns in remembrance of her beloved father that she lost so many years ago. She lies down and looks up at the sky and sees a rainbow and she feels warm all over and very much loved.

She smiles and giggles.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

For the love of airplanes

My daughter Naomi absolutely loves the Oregon Airshow. Every year her eyes are absolutely glued to the sky. We live about 5 miles away from where the show takes place. We can see the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds fly above every year and they normally shake the house. Naomi loves it. "Mom, Dad, Kayla come quick, they're here!!" She often says and she will stay outside for hours watching them fly above.
We started taking her to the show last year, 1 day and she went this year. I think however, we'll take her to two out of the three shows next year.
With Naomi's love of airplanes, in a few weeks, she is again going to see some more planes, meet a few pilots and possibly ride in a plane. Very exciting.
I really hope she keeps up her with this passion. Who knows maybe her dream of flying one of those planes some day will come true. I'll encourage her and I know her father will.
May dreams come true.

My daughter's hero

With so many questionable celebrities constantly getting in to trouble without realizing so many young people are watching their every move. I aim to change this, with at least my kids. I want to be my kid's hero. I want them watching me, wanting to be like me. I at least know that I won't disappoint them some day.

The pathway to 50 miles

It was shortly after running The Portland Marathon in 2006 that led me to the idea that someday I would run 50 miles.

When I first started training for my first marathon in 2005, each higher mileage that I ran was just that much more exciting to me. I would come home and say "ask me how many miles I just ran." and I would say this to everyone. After running Portland in 2005, it was such an exciting and positive experience and that is the way all my runs have been for me.

So it was only natural that I would navigate to the idea of wanting to run 50 miles. When I ran my first 31 miles, I was actually "in training" for my first 50. My not so great idea was that I was going to go from 26.2 to 50. I think I got a little overly excited because I read the book Ultramarathon man by Dean Karnazes twice, he was my hero. I thought I'm going to go for it. Well okay, so I did the 31 miles on my own, just from my house. I did an out and back 9 miles and than an out and back 22. Very exciting, yes I did it. Way cool, but I got hurt due to training errors likely and had to drop out of the Autumn Leaves 50 miler.

The idea to run the 50 miles then went to the back of my head for quite awhile as I decided it probably would be best that I run some more 31 miles. I next ran the muddy Hagg Lake run in February of 2008, ran it in 7 hours and said I would never run again. Hagg Lake is hard. I then ran 31 miles at Wildwood in 2008, that felt better, but that race was just as hard as it rained 1 inch while I was out that, mean people moved the flags and everyone got lost and I was introduced to Lower Macleay Trail steep 2.5 mile start, Firelane 5 and Oil Line Rd. (Know them?, I'll take you) I skipped Hagg Lake in 2009, but ran the Wildwood run for the 2nd time in 2009, but was very prepared this time as I trained up there every weekend and with a map, wasn't going to get lost this time. I returned to the Hagg Lake run in Feb of 2010 and now I just ran the Hagg Dust 31 miler and this was my 6th ultra and I just feel very ready.

I chose Autumn Leaves for my first 50 miles because of the course. It may be boring to some, but I personally need the flatter and predictable course for any first time higher mileage. Going around and saying hello to my car 8 times will not be a problem for me.

Where I may have felt fear in the unknown 50 mile run in the past, I now have accepted that it is now time to move on. I have trained for all my runs with an open mind and have trained hard. I get emotionally attached to each run that I choose to do and always have the belief that I will succeed. Running 50 miles is just another door being opened for me. I'm moving on and it feels great.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

31 miles 8/21/2010

Not sure if there is a whole lot to say about today's race. I got there at 7AM, about as nervous as can be. But immediately felt better when I saw my two very good running friends, Mike and Bruce and a new friend Nathan.
When the race started, I was surprised that it was already 8AM and yes, the heart was beating. We started out running through a field to get to the trail, did the 3 miles or so out and back on a gravel road that was uphill both ways and just about everyone passed me. But, after the gravel I caught up with them shortly. Got to the first aid station fine, then the next and before you knew I had completed a loop and wasn't in my bad mood that I experienced in February. I think having absolutely zero mud to run through really helped. The second loop was pretty much the same, except I stuck with my new friend Caroline Kobin the whole entire run. I have found someone that runs my pace. Yipee!!! We chit chatted the last several miles it was really nice.
I tried really hard to not let Mike and Bruce catch up with me and I was in front of them the whole entire way, but they caught up with me and passed. I blame it on my foot cramp and leg cramp that kept me at a steady pace. But they are awesome, they just ran their first Ultra.
I swore to everyone that I was never running again, but we all know the truth and I am thinking about possibly competing in the Autumn Leaves 50 miler at the end of October. Well if Mike and Bruce are going to do it........
Total time, a PR at Hagg Lake 6:18:05

Oh and I want to thank all the volunteers at the race, including my husband and daughters and the very hard working race director, Fuzz.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

24 mile run for 8/7/2010

Today I headed out for my last super long run before race day.
I wanted to take it as easy as possible. Because my last weeks run of 27 left me very tired and I had some left upper foot pain/swelling throughout the week. By yesterday, it was still tender, but it never hurt while running.
I also decided that I was going to carry 2.5 qts of water on my back and not go back to the car to re-fill.
I parked near the Lower Macleay Park and ran up to Leif Erickson. Really not a whole lot happened. I did not turn on my IPOD almost the entire run. What did happen was at mile 10.5 on Leif, you know at the other end? This man stops me to ask how he can get to the zoo. This spooked me as why would anyone want to walk 19-20 miles to the zoo? He even tried taking out his map to show me and says "I don't even know where the zoo is on this" Well I didn't trust him, tried to politely explain it to him, but gave it up as he was acting funny and just left. I ran past him, but my turnaround was shortly up ahead, so I used the Honey Bucket, called my husband to let him know about the man and where I was at and told him that I would call him back after I passed him again. I saw a female walker and asked if she talked to him and if it spooked her and she said yes. When I saw him and was about to approach him, I dialed my house and talked to Brett as I ran past him fairly quickly. Strange.
The rest of the run, I dealt with my Achilles Tendon flair up, sore foot, sore legs, bad attitude, walking more than normal. I put my Ipod on at the final 2.5 and it helped, but everything still hurt.
Makes me wonder if running 27 one weekend and 24 the next, may be a lot for myself.
But it's taper time, things are slowing down..