Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nerds in the News

There was a nice write up in the Shawnee Dispatch today on the movement otherwise known as the Trail Nerds. Go here:


I really can't say anything other than, runners are hands down (feet down?), the best people in the world! I am overwhelmed by some things that have transpired in the last 24 hours and I will share those things at a later date, but right now I just have to say wow! I love you all!!

*and just to make it clear.. the picture is just a random cute dog picture

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mana Mana

So due to some alcohol induced silliness at a party on Friday night, I had the following song stuck in my head during my long runs this weekend..and I'm only too happy to share with you guys... good luck getting it out of your head!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hair yesterday, gone today

I spent an evening with my friend Stacy showing our support and love for our friend Abby.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Susan Komen Race for the Cure 5K

First off I have to thank all my wonderful friends who donated... thank you from the bottom of my heart, I know that money is tight for all of us and I really appreciate the sacrifice. I hope nothing but wonderful karma on you all! Many kisses and hugs and mud love!

Getting up for this run on Sunday morning was both really hard and really easy. Husband's band had played a show the night before at we didn't get home until 2:30 am. When that alarm went off at 5:30, it would have been so easy to roll over and go back to sleep, but having just seen Abby the night before with her new adorably sassy short hairdo, singing her heart out on stage even though she'd just had a round of chemo.. well how could we just go back to sleep? I roused the husband since we were doing this thing together and we got ourselves out the door. The race started at Union Station which is only a 5 minute drive for us on a normal day, but I figured traffic and parking was going to be a total pain, so we left early. As we headed down Broadway, there was a big ass line of cars in front of us, so we shot down a side street and just parked, it was no big deal for us to walk a mile to the start... best to save the closer parking for others. It was a gorgeously cool morning and the sun was shining.
We started wandering around the expo marveling at all the stuff that was being given away... if it was pink, it was being sold or handed out. I'm not a big "fight for the freebies" type person, so we just watched and laughed. (I did end up with some nice pink lip gloss and pink energizer bunny ears!). The only thing I got excited about was registering to win a free New Balance running outfit complete with shoes. (not that I wear NB stuff, but I'd certainly give a free pair a go!) I started calling my friends to see if anyone was there yet... my friend Sophia is an anchor at a TV station in Topeka and she was bringing a cameraman along to do a story. I was instructed to wear my pink mud babes shirt and find her before the race. We also needed to find Travis and his family/team so we could all at least start out together. Luckily both Sophia and Travis were easily found... thank goodness for cell phones! We did a quick interview with Sophia and then Travis, husband & I went off to find the rest of Travis's team. There was 24,000 people running/walking this thing, so we stood around for many, many, many minutes before we were able to start moving. And as we were crammed together and I was feeling much like a cow, I realized exactly why I don't run big races....this sucked! It got better when we started moving, and it was more fun to be spread out and able to see people. I was enjoying reading every one's shirt and signs that they had, I wish I could have talked to everyone and heard their stories. I chose to do the non-competitive run, so I could do it with my team and husband, so there was all sorts of people around us. We ended up breaking away from our group, there was so many people it was difficult for just Erik & I to stay together! We bobbed and weaved our way around people, enjoyed all the different bands that were playing and the cheerleaders they had on almost every corner. I swear every possible cheerleading squad within a 75 mile radius must have been out there!
The water stops kinda pissed me off... OK more than kinda... they were handing out big bottles of water and people were taking 1 or 2 sips and then throwing them on the ground. It was so freaking ridiculous, I don't even know where to start ranting! Thanks for destroying the environment people! (deep breath.. calm down and focus) OK, Erik and I had a really good time, and my non running "I hate running, you'll never get me to run" husband Erik actually did run a good chunk of the race! I keep telling him NOT to take up running, because I know that he would totally kick my ass and I'd be pissed, but I really enjoyed sharing the thing I love so very much with the person I love so very much. We finished ( I forgot to put on a watch so I have no idea how long it took us) and watched other finishers for awhile.
It was a pretty emotional morning, I kept getting choked up reading survivors shirts stating how long they'd been cancer free. I kept wishing we could just fast forward time to when Abby will be wearing that shirt that says 10 years cancer free. I have to thank Travis for inviting Erik & I to be a part of his team and honoring his mothers memory, it was a huge honor to have her name on the backs of our shirts.

Link to Sophia's report on the race (I admit to feeling myself up on TV!)

Link to Abby's blog... everyone really should read her blog, she just started it and it's a scream, but it's also made me cry a few times. Since she is a fabulous songwriter, writing really is her forte and her personality shines through. (If finding humour in cancer in not your thing you might want to skip it though)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Psycho Night Trail Run Aug 8

Whew! I'm finally getting caught up with entries! I was so sad to not still be on vacation but this race helped make me happy again. Yet another zany race from the Trail Nerds.. this one was a fun 10K that started at 8 pm at Wyco Park... just in time for it to get nice and dark. I was so very excited to see my running friends and catch up on everything that had happened while I was away, and a race was the perfect opportunity to do so. I got to the park about 7:00, pulled in right next to Nick and Laurie and the fun began. I stood around and gossiped with everyone for awhile and then wandered over to get my number.... I requested number 69 and Shane was kind enough to dig through the stack and find it for me. Yes! I Love being totally juvenile sometimes!
While waiting in line I finally got to meet Kim & her husband Doug... I've been totally enjoying her blog for ages now and it was great to find out that she really does exist! That's a picture of the 2 of them... aren't they adorable? I've been harassing her to stop running on the pavement and just run trails with us, but they do so much good work with Team in Training it's really selfish of me to try and lure them away. I was rockin' my new Mud Babes technical shirt that Bad Ben had so awesomely dropped by my work earlier in the day and so were a ton of the other girls!

Ben gave us a 15 minute speech on all the stuff to look for and the usual warnings and then we were off into the twilight. I bought a new headlamp at REI when I was in Colorado, but hadn't tested it out yet, so it was with crossed fingers that I turned it on and stuck it on my head. It was a super fast start and I stupidly didn't think to warm up... too much socialization, and I didn't consider that it was a short race. It usually takes me a good 3 miles to warm up, so I was sucking some serious wind for awhile. The course was a small, usually muddy section from the Psycho Wyco course but sadly most of the mud on the course was dried into ankle breaking ruts so I was feeling a bit out of my element! By the time I hit the Triangle I was feeling more warmed up and felt pretty good whipping through the twisty section. There was a good 15 of us in a row and the glow of head lamps and flashlights through the super tight twisty sections was super cool to see. I wish I had had a video camera! By the time we got out of the triangle I was feeling great but for some reason the dark was fucking with my head and I was reluctant to pass anyone. I figured as soon as I stepped off the trail to pass I would fall on my ass, so I just stayed behind the conga line until the trail opened up on a hill and then I was able to get by a few people.
I finished 10th female... not my best effort but it was fun and showed me that I need to do a lot more running at night. I felt pretty timid and the LED light was messing with my vision, so maybe a combo of regular light and LED is the way to go. I will also wear a bandanna on my head underneath my headlamp, I was sweating so much it was slipping down. Afterwards everyone hung out and ate Popsicles and drank beer and socialized. I wish we could do 1 night race a month!

Thanks to the ever wonderful Dick Ross at for the pictures

Pikes Peak

Continuing on my Colorado vacation theme of running some of my favorite places to hike when I was a wee one, I ran Pikes Peak on Tuesday Aug 5. Well, I ran to Barr Camp (1/2 way) anyway. I was lazy and slept in a bit so I didn't actually get on the mountain until about 7:30, which was too late of a start to consider doing the whole round trip. I was crossing my fingers and hoping I was altitude adjusted enough not to get sick and also hoping that I could be quick enough to get back down before the afternoon storms rolled in. I was carrying a long sleeve shirt in my Nathan pack but I'd just prefer to avoid the storms and the heart attack inducing lightning strikes that can happen on the Peak.
I started up slowly into the first switchbacks, and by the time I hit the first 1/2 mile there were a ton of runners coming back down. Running up the incline and then running back down Barr Trail is a popular morning run and since the Pikes Peak marathon was only a few weeks away, I was spending a lot of time giving way. I know that technically uphill runners have the right of way, but on the loose scree it's a lot easier for me to step aside and some of those runners were flat out flying. I took a mile detour over to the Incline trail to watch people coming up for awhile, I was kinda hoping for a Matt Carpenter sighting, but no such luck. I chatted with a woman from Michigan for a few minutes, she was asking about my Nathan pack and I was more than happy to extol it's virtues to her.
After a few minutes of watching gasping, sweating people struggle up the hill, I made my way back to Barr Trail and continued upwards, at this point I started passing people going up but no one was coming back down yet. I passed a woman with a light day pack on and a comb in her hand, and periodically she would stop walking and comb her hair! I slowed way down to watch for a few minutes... it was the oddest thing I had ever seen.
It was a gorgeous, peaceful morning, temps in the low 80's and most importantly low humidity... I was loving running for hours without ending up drenched in sweat. I was enjoying running by myself and had kinda gotten into a bit of a trance when I rounded a switchback and up ahead of me, I saw what I thought was a bear. I stopped dead, let out a squeak and as my heart raced madly, I realized it was just a big furry black dog. Scared the bejesus out of me. These are the times I wish I had a Garmin 305 with the heart rate monitor just so I could see what kind of spike I had gotten. I gratefully patted the dog as I passed him and expressed my relief to his owner. The rest of the way up was uneventful, except for losing my bright pink bandanna. When I realized I had dropped it, I just figured I'd find it on the way back down instead of backtracking.
When I reached Barr Camp, I used the bathroom, which were the NICEST things. They were composting toilets and were meticulously maintained, there wasn't a bug or piece of dirt, or even a bad smell in there. I was tempted to take a picture, but figured that might be a bit too weird. I ate a Lara bar and cleaned out my shoes while watching all the hikers mill around. I spent a few minutes talking to Teresa who along with her husband, Neal are the caretakers at Barr Camp.. they are both ultra runners and we talked races... she was hoping to do Heartland but it filled up too quick. I moved on when a bunch of hikers showed up with questions, but not before telling Teresa that I'd kill for her job! The idea of living half way up my favorite mountain year round taking care of hikers & runners.... woah, talk about a dream job! Cold & snow and all!
I headed back down at a quick clip... the last time I ran down this mountain I couldn't walk for a week, so I was really hoping this time would be different! I wasn't a 1/2 mile down when I heard the first thunder come rumbling through the trees.... I looked up and sure enough, dark, cranky looking clouds... I picked up my pace even more. It felt like flying at times, and luckily it only felt like flying... I remained solidly on my 2 feet instead of spread eagle on my face. As I pounded down the trail I was keeping an eye out for my bandanna that I had dropped, and at one point folded up nicely under a tree was a bandanna... but it was purple, not my pink one. I kept going and not a mile further there was another bandanna in the middle of the trail, and this one was pink, but it was a light pink instead of the dark pink I had dropped. Very odd. I never found mine, all I can figure is that someone decided that they would rather have my pink one and exchanged it for theirs.
By the time I had reached the lower switchbacks I was starting to get comments from hikers about how I was looking great and good luck at the race. I guess the assumption was I had to be training for the marathon... which I'd like to do someday... maybe. I'm not sure I would like being that crowded on the trail. I finished up before the rain hit and was amazed at how many hikers were just starting out, ominous clouds and thunder rumbles and all. I guess if you're only going a short way up it wouldn't be bad, but I hoped they were prepared!
I was thrilled at how good I felt after finishing, I never even felt the altitude and my quads felt great after the 7 mile descent. I did not want to fly home the next day!!

I managed to get up early enough to do an easy 5 mile run with Dad at Ute Valley Park before leaving for DIA. I wanted to run longer but decided that getting a shower in before boarding the plane would be a good thing. Although.... it might have meant getting a row to myself.... hmmm, something to consider for the future!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thirsty Trail Gods

After getting to my parents house in Colorado Springs on Sunday and taking a day off, I was ready to run on Monday morning! My favorite hike when I was young was Waldo Canyon, so I had put it on my list of runs I had to do while home. Dad's quads were still trashed from running down Rabbit Ears Pass, so he called his running partner Gerry to run with me while he hiked with his dog Zeke. I met Gerry when he came out to do Psycho Wyco in February, & he still talks about the mud, but not in a fond way. He has been training his butt off for the Leadville 100 so I was just crossing my fingers and hoping he wouldn't run my legs off. I was also hoping not to have any altitude issues, the canyon loop is just over 7 miles and goes from just about 7,000 ft to just over 8,000 ft and back down.
We started off up the stairs and the climb started, my legs felt pretty darn good, but it took me awhile to get my breathing & heart rate to a comfortable rhythm. Gerry took off but kindly waited for me at a trail intersection. He had me take over the lead and set pace and pretty promptly after that I tripped on god-knows-what and went ass over teakettle. I got myself picked up and inspected the damage: knees, hands, elbow, shoulder but nothing super serious. Gerry rinsed my knees off and I started off again, only to feel like I was going to puke. So I walked for a few minutes until my stomach settled down and then I felt great! The views are so breathtaking in that canyon, and Pikes Peak is my all time favorite mountain, so anytime I can come around a corner of the trail and find it spread out in front of me is a stellar day.
Gerry was telling me all about the Jemenez 50 that he had done in May, I think he was trying to warn me off it by describing how dang difficult it was, but kinda like waving a red flag in front of a bull, all it did was intrigue me. We met up with Dad & Zeke who were resting in the shade, Zeke is a great trail running dog but is getting up there in age and slowing down quite a bit. We took off again after a quick chat and shortly after that the trail gods decided that they hadn't had enough blood and Gerry went down. Damage check: hands, elbows, knees & chest. It freaked us both out a bit since it is only a few weeks until Leadville and it would suck most mightily to end up seriously injured while tapering. We slowed down and took it easy to the parking lot. It was exactly the run I was looking for in Colorado, cool morning, gorgeous views, some good hills and no bugs!

I spent the afternoon lunching and shopping downtown Colorado Springs with my mom, sister-in-law and cutest ever niece and when we got back to the house, Dad was getting ready to go out for a run with his friend Carl.
So I changed clothes real quick and headed out for another 5 mile jaunt. We ran part of the Santa Fe Trail which winds from Palmer Lake to south Colorado Springs. The American Discovery Trail Marathon is held on this trail and one I have on the schedule but it might be in jeopardy due to being broke! I was feeling pretty good so I dropped Dad & Carl and worked on some speed (I never do speedwork... I'm so lazy!) A few miles into it, I was passed by some kids on motorcycles, now the trail is closed to all motorized vehicles so the loud intrusion into my solitude made me very cranky. Me and my big mouth had to call them assholes as they passed, and I hoped that Dad had called the cops on 'em. I hung out and waited for Dad & Carl to catch up since I wasn't sure how far they were planning on going. After I hooked up with them, we continued on our way, trading complaints about the motorcycle idiots and lo and behold the said idiots were coming down the trail on foot. As we passed we all exchanged the stink eye and Dad said they were probably coming back to kick my ass for calling them assholes! (I think they were just looking for a place to get high) As we got a bit further up the trail we came across their bikes, and I so wanted to knock them over or drag them off into the weeds so they had to hunt for them but that idea got ixnayed by Dad. I stuck with the guys for the rest of the run in any case! After that run I was ready to eat and relax on my parents deck while gazing at the mountains.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wild West Relay

Back in February while talking with my Uncle Kevin about my tax shit (YAY for a family full of accountants!), he mentioned wanting to run this relay in August with a team full of family members. I immediately told him I was on board.. what was there to think about? A vacation in Colorado that revolved around running 195 miles from Ft Collins to Steamboat with my crazy family? That's a no brainer! The Wild West Relay was put on my calender. As time went on, I would hear bits and pieces through my dad, but remained in the dark about most things until, oh pretty much the day before the race. Somehow I didn't end up on the email list so missed out on most of the discussions and most importantly the leg assignments! Yipes! That would come back to haunt me about 10 am on Saturday Aug 2.

I got up at the ungodly hour of 4 am on Thursday to catch my flight to DIA, when I originally booked my flight I figured, the earlier I got into Denver the better. Dad could pick me up and we could head right to Ft Collins (maybe with a stop at REI on the way)... what I failed to consider was that we had to pick up Uncle Patrick from the airport also. He got in at the totally civilized hour of noon, so I hung out at DIA from 7 am to noon. I would also like to add that this was the very first flight I've ever taken that was EARLY! Yep, that's right folks, my plane was 15 minutes early. So tack on anther 15 minutes of sitting. I spent plenty of time people watching and reading, texting my friend Christy and freezing my ass off. DIA has a very fine air conditioner unit. Dad showed up about 10:30, saving me from total boredom and bringing me plums and tangerines.. my hero! (fruit and veggies are in short supply at airports... actually I take that back, I could have bought a banana for almost $2... that's 1 banana for $2.. yikes!) We finally collected Uncle Patrick and we were on our way to Ft Collins. Dad & Patrick spent most of the trip getting warmed up for the Shaw-harrass-a-thon that goes on whenever at least 2 Shaws get together. They practiced on Uncle Greg who wasn't even there to defend himself!

We reached Uncle Kevin's house, ate some lunch that Aunt Judy put together for us and then headed off to pick up our rented mini vans for the weekend. When we got to the place, the owner mentioned that he'd just gotten in a big conversion van if we were interested, it would be an extra $20 a day... we took one look at it and us 4 decided we'd kick in the extra $40 to live in comfort. So we had a sweet van with a DVD player and LOTS more room. A quick stop at Whole Foods and we were ready for our mandatory meeting to meet the other team mates, gather gear and sign waivers. When we got to Pinky's house it was a big blur of new faces and forgotten names. Jenna & Stephanie were the poor girls that were assigned to our van, I was just hoping they could handle the "Shaw effect". The most important part of the evening came quickly though... Uncle Patrick and I had to duel it out as to who got the hardest legs and who got the 2 hardest.... I'm not entirely sure how 2 flatlanders got stuck with the hardest legs!! There was a bunch of bitching, whining & crying and when the dust had settled I ended up with the legs that went over both passes (Sand Creek Pass & Rabbit Ears Pass), I figured it's all good training for upcoming races! The party broke up early so everyone could get some sleep since it would be in short supply the next night and we had an early morning start.

The next morning was kind of a comedy of errors as the guys tried to decide what was necessary to bring along and how to fit it all in... I had to keep reminding them that we still had 2 other girls stuff to fit in too! Finally we got everything & everyone in and we were on our way to the start.. the other van had to be there first since they were "active" for the first 6 legs and had to turn in all our paperwork. We were showing up to snap some pictures as a team and cheer on our first runner and then we were able to take it easy for 5 hours. The start line was a riot of decorated vans, matching teams & confusion. Fun! After we cheered off the 7:30 starters and the other van took off to the first relay point, our van retired to the nearest coffee shop to chill for awhile. My uncles & Dad promptly started insulting each other and after just a few quick seconds, Jenna & Stephanie joined in happily... whew! It was a relief to know that they were going to fit in just fine. It was also a relief to find out that they were of a more liberal bent then the rest of my family... I was beginning to feel a bit out numbered! We hung out and drank coffee (or in my case a yummy fruit smoothie) for a bit and then figured we get to our transfer point.

A quick drive and a few minutes to find a parking spot and the waiting started. It was heating up quickly and we heard rumours of temperatures in the upper 100's. Yikes! We spent the time decorating our van with glass paint, lying around insulting each other and waiting in super long lines for the porta potties. We figured that our runner would probably arrive around noon and sure enough, right around that time our other van showed up and told me I had about 20 minutes till go time. One last wait in line for the pottie and I was good to go. My first leg was the easy one, only 3.6 miles and it was classified as "medium" on the difficulty chart. Honestly it should have been classified as "easy". The thing that made it hard for me was the heat & my non adjustment to the altitude... it was baking hot on that road and not a single bit of shade anywhere. When I started running my heart rate skyrocketed I was having trouble finding my rhythmic breathing pattern, and my mouth was instantly dry and parched. By the end I was really dreading my next leg and questioning my sanity! I bumped knuckles with Jenna and she was off into the heat. I grabbed some water, climbed into the van and we were off to the next point. The next few hours were a blur of driving, then waiting, and a flurry of activity when our runner came in and the next went off. The heat kept climbing and everyone was feeling pretty wretched out there. 4 of the runners in our van had their hardest legs of the relay first off and they were made harder by the temps over 100 degrees. About 5 pm we made it into the transfer point and hooked up with our other van and made the trade off. They figured it would be about midnight when we saw then again.
We stretched out some sleeping bags in the shade and tried to get a bit of sleep but it was way too noisy so after about an hour we headed out to the next transfer point. It was really lucky we left when we did since we had to take a 40 mile, 2 hour detour to get to the transfer point. The roads the runners were on in this section were super dusty and narrow so to keep the dust from killing the runners they had to detour the inactive vans. When we reached our transfer point (Woods Landing) it was a nice camping area with a diner/bar and they were serving a pasta dinner for the runners. After everyone ate we stretched out the sleeping bags again in a field and napped, this time I slept for an hour or so but got paranoid that we would miss our runner and ended up spending a lot of time looking up at the amazing night sky. The stars were so incredibly bright, living in Kansas City, I forget how riveting the night sky is. I saw shooting stars, satellites and planes while laying there, and even the odd UFO, but that could have been when I was dozing. Finally around midnight I got up for good and got myself ready to run and about 10 minutes later our other van showed up and told me I had about 40 minutes to go time. By this time the temps had dropped into the 50's and I was feeling much better about this leg. (Of course the few sips of coffee I had might have contributed to my feeling fabulous. I haven't had a drop of caffeine in over a year and 1/2 so it was like fucking rocket fuel for me.)

This leg was considered "very hard", 8.8 miles up Sand Creek Pass, from 7,464 ft to 9,126 ft. My headlamp was giving me issues for the first mile or so and my van had to pull over to swap up for a different one. Since it was pitch dark and pretty darn remote for the first few miles my van shadowed me until I waved them on to the relay point. It was amazing once they had taken off, it was pitch black, I was running up a mountain pass with the most incredible starry sky above me. I kept turning off my headlamp and just enjoyed running in the cool, quiet dark. I could have kept running like that forever. All too soon I came up on my relay point and I was sad to see this leg come to an end. I bumped knucks with Jenna and she was off. I climbed into the van, covered up with a sleeping bag and dozed on and off for the next 5 hours. The night was more difficult to spot our runners and be ready, but the low temps made it so much easier to run. I think our thermometer showed temps as low as 39 degrees... I was grateful for the sweatshirt I had brought! I have no idea what time we made it to our transfer point since I had fallen asleep after our last leg started and didn't wake up until after the next van had already started. When I woke up Dad was sound asleep in the van and Uncle Kevin & Patrick were asleep on a soccer field, and the girls were getting ready to take a shower. The North Park High School was selling access to their showers for $3 a person... what a bargain! I jumped at the chance to be clean and brush my teeth, so we spent a nice time luxuriating in water and soap. When we got done we got the guys up and went on to the next transfer point. Since the heat of the day before had slowed so many teams down, they were allowing teams to "stack", in other words, even though our other van still had runners running, we could go ahead and start our legs. It was a good thing since it was forecast to be another scorcher.

So at about 9 am I started on my last leg. This leg was classified as "hard", 5.7 miles over Rabbit Ears Pass, 8,552 ft up to 9,432 ft. The tag line for the Wild West Relay is "Get your ass over the Pass" and this is the Pass they are talking about! This leg kicked my ass, I don't know why it hit me so hard, but I got seriously altitude sick, I was head achy, nauseous, and dizzy as all get out. It might have been a combo of very little sleep, altitude, and heat but every time I started to run hard, I started weaving all over the road and seeing little twinkly stars in my vision. Not good. I was reduced to walking really hard over the pass. I was still pulling 12 minute miles for the most part but I when I started to run, I would come close to passing out. This leg sucked not just for how I was feeling, but the cars & trucks coming down the pass had no interest in giving me any room. There was a fairly wide shoulder but I was in fear for my skin a few times, that plus the stinky emissions reminded me again why I love the trails so much. Finally I stumbled my way to the top and Jenna was off and running. I stayed upright long enough to get a picture taken with Dad and then I promptly got horizontal. As we started to go down in altitude I started feeling better, and by the time we hit Steamboat I was feeling human again, a mild lingering headache was the only aftereffect. At the beginning of the race I had planned on running the very last leg with Stephanie (who's leg it actually was) and Uncle Patrick, but decided to bow out. At last Uncle Kevin came into sight, bumped knuckles with Stephanie and they were off on the very last leg.

We drove into Steamboat, met up with the other van, everybody put on their team shirts and waited for Stephanie & Patrick to appear so we could all run over the line together. They quickly came into sight and before we knew it, we were over the line and posing for pictures. Whew! Done! They were serving a BBQ for the runners, and they obviously knew I was coming since they had watermelon. A bunch of my team mates are silly and don't know the magical properties of watermelon, so I was more than happy to eat their pieces. The original plan was to have a few beers before heading back to Ft Collins, but we decided that alcohol combined with sleep deprivation would be a bad combination with driving. So we jumped into the vans and headed back.
It was a great time and I really enjoyed spending time with my Uncles and Dad, I am blessed to have such a great family and it was really a special time, even when the harassment and insults reached a new peak. Everyone on our team ran their hearts out, we had a huge variety of backgrounds and abilities and everyone did amazing! I regret not getting to know the people in the other van much, the 10 minute chat session every 5 hours wasn't very conducive to close friendships. Kelly did a fantastic job at organizing things, she really worked her butt off and it all went so smoothly. At first I thought that there was no way I'd do it again, but after a few days of thinking about it, I realized I wanted the chance to run over Sand Creek Pass again in the dark, and I definitely have a score to settle with Rabbit Ears Pass. Next year I'm coming out a few days early so I can do some altitude adjustment and I'm hoping it won't be record breaking temps either. It was a very well put on race and a lot of fun, I would totally recommend it for anyone looking for a challenging relay race. The scenery can't be beat!

I'm home!

I'm back from Colorado where I spent a week running my butt off and spending lots of quality time with my family, I will be posting a race report from the Wild West Relay and pictures of gorgeous mountain runs that I did just to make everyone jealous!

Thanks to everyone who has donated to the Save the Boobies fund... you guys and gals ROCK!! Much love, kisses & mud to you all!