Saturday, October 2, 2010

Most stupid, ugly cake ever!!!!!!!

Warning: Totally irrelevant, needlessly dramatic and stupid story ahead:

A few weeks ago, I decided to try and do something other than run so I decided to surprise my long suffering husband and bake him a cake. and NOOOOO, not from a cake mix either. bad idea.

From looking at the picture in the glossy magazine, it seemed easy enough. I was going to create was supposed to be a scrumptious Apple Caramel Cake. Just three basic steps: make caramel,( an impossible and horrific ordeal) slice apples and place in caramel, then pour cake batter over everything and bake to perfection. This did not happen.

If you've ever made caramel, you know why most people buy it. It's a major pain in the ass. The sugar and corn syrup didn't melt together. They congealed. The cream I added sizzled and boiled over the sides of the skillet, and what did remain in the pan scorched to the bottom along with the sugar. Instead of the golden brown confection promised in the stupid magazine, I ended up with a bug sticky, lumpy glob, which I proceeded to press in the bottom of the cake pan.

Next came the apples. This part I got right. Then again, how hard can peeling apples be?

The cake batter was another story. As an easily distracted and sometimes stupid woman, I forgot that I already had added the eggs, and added twice the eggs. I should have known from the copious number of egg shells strewn about the counter, but counting is hard and involves math and paying attention. Further more, I was still traumatized from the caramel ordeal, so it wasn't my fault. I poured the batter over the apple caramel mess, and put it in the oven.

In about half and hour, a strange burnt sugar, apple smell began wafting through the house. I ran down the stairs to find a smoke filled kitchen, and a sizzling sound coming from the oven. As it turns out, the whole stupid "cake from hell" had boiled over the sides of the baking pan onto the oven floor. Could it get any worse?

YES! Just take a look at the pictures. My husband bravely ate a few pieces, after I tried to conceal the awful looking mess with store bought caramel and ice cream. Princess also made sure she got her share too. I think I'll stick to running for a while!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hose on the trail, Lean Horse 100, Amreican Discovery Trail Marathon, and I'm tired!

Hello everybody!!!!

Hope you're all strong, healthy, and running happy and injury free! I know it has been a while, but finally life has begun to settle down just a bit and I have time to update my blog!

My fifth Badwater 135 was a total success and PR, thanks to my crew members who all went above and beyond to get me to the finish line. I wasn't sure if I was ready to run another 100 miler in less than two months, but when I asked myself one of my favorite questions," if I had a year to live, would I do this?" the answer was ,"go for it!" So about six weeks later I found myself at the starting line of the Lean Horse 100, in beautiful Hot Springs, South Dakota.

If you've never run Lean Horse, I highly recommend it. Jerry Dunn, the RD, and his volunteers, are fabulous! It is a very well organized, scenic race. It is a good first time 100 miler, and can also be used for a PR. Along with the good spirits and encouragement of lots of the other runners, the volunteers, the fantastic aid stations,(there were Rice Crispy Treats!! Yum!) the RD, and of course my ever loving, patient, and supportive husband, I managed a PR, despite having horrible blisters the last 16 miles. I'll be back to run this one for sure!

The week before Lean Horse, we found ourselves volunteering for the Pikes Peak Marathon, perched on a narrow strip of single track trail, about a mile from the summit, on what is known as the Cirque Aid Station. The Cirque Aid Station is my favorite, and I think it is safe to say that it is a favorite aid stations amongst the runners. The efforts that the RD and volunteers go to in order to create this aid station are extraordinary. On Wednesday, a bunch of volunteers drove to the summit of Pikes peak to unload all the supplies for this aid station, and also run a hose down the side of the mountain to fill the three huge trash cans for the water and gatorade for thousands of runners. Our efforts paid off: the runners were very grateful and in good spirits, and we kept the water supply going, although it sounded kind of funny after a while yelling out "HOSE ON THE TRAIL!!" to warn the runners not to trip on the hose laid across the narrow trail that filled the water barrels.A big congratulations to Matt Carpenter for yet another win!!! Matt is always an inspiration!

Seven days after winning Lean Horse, I ran the American Discovery Trail Marathon in Colorado Springs. The ADT Marathon is one of my favorite marathons in the country. Not only is it right in my back yard, but it is well organized, and you get a nice shirt, and finisher's medal. I didn't PR as I had hoped, and my knees were killing me after ten miles, but I still managed to get Boston qualifier time.

Now it is time to work on my book, and take a few weeks off! Congratulations to all the finishers of the Pikes Peak marathon, the Lean Horse 100, and the ADT Marathon! Next up is the Mountain Cha Cha in Pagosa Springs, CO, and the brand new Crested Butte Fall Colors Half Marathon, on September 25th and 26th!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Barr Trail Mountain Race Toilet Box!

Just days after finishing my fifth and fastest Badwater 135 (thanks crew people....race report soon to come) I got the opportunity to volunteer once again at the Barr Trail Mountain Race, in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

I love Manitou Springs! You won't find any bog box stores, or strip malls here. But what you will find are awesome trails, a diverse population, lots of trees, flowers, and mountains. It is also home to the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent, as well as the very successful Barr Trail Mountain Race, that goes from the Cog Railroad staging area to Barr Camp and back.

Some friends of mine worked the sweat check at the start. As I drove over to volunteer in the wee hours of the morning, I remembered I forgot my box for all the runners to put their things for after the race in. Fortunately, there were plenty of dumpsters brimming with boxes Sunday morning. My husband helped me fish out a really good box, complete with a picture of a toilet on it. I told him that not just any woman would be willing to go dumpster diving at 5 in the morning with him. Ah, the memories!

Here is a picture of the toilet box, now a BTMR heirloom, and some pictures of the race too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Leadville, Mt Elbert, and a marmot......

A huge thank you to everyone who showed up to run, crew, and hike this weekend in Leadville , CO.

Friday's night run was just what I needed to get me revved up for the Leadville Trail 100, after finishing a tough Badwater 135 less than two weeks ago. Ultra runner extraordinaire Theresa promised me that there only were chipmonks out in the woods at night.....a beautiful full moon over Twin Lakes gave us some really good views. With the exception of some cpmers, we had the woods to ourselves.

On Saturday we found ourselves going up and over Sugar Loaf, my favorite part of the Leadville Trail 100 course. It got pretty hot, (for Leadville) although some evening thunderstroms cooled things off just as we were finishing up. Thanks to Jeff O, June and Theresa for keeping me company.

Sunday we all hiked up Mt. Elbert. The climb was steep, but worth it, because once on top we were surrounded by great views of Rockies. Lots of wild flowers of every color, and one very hungry marmot, made for a happy, successful weekend.

Here are some pictures!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Final Update for Leadville Runs

Hi All,

At 8pm, we are meeting at 8pm at the Leadville Fish Hatchery for a night run. We have at least one persona who has offered ta drive those of us who are running a ride to Twin Lakes, from which we will run to our cars left at Fish Hatchery.Please bring your own headlamps and water bottles, gels, and other snacks and warm clothing you think you may need. So far it looks like it is going to drop only into the 40's Friday night. but it is Leadville, so who knows!

Saturday morning we are all meeting at Mayqueen at 8 am, and getting a ride to Fish Hatchery. From there we are running up "the Loaf", and will love those three false summits! Once we get to Mayqueen, we will refill from our cars, and run back to Fish Hatchery. Will the fun ever end?!

NO! On Sunday, starting at 5 am, weather permitting, we are hiking up Mt. Elbert, about 9 miles round trip. If the weather is bad, we will come up with an alternate training run.

See you in Leadville, where I hope it is cooler than Badwater!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Leadville Run Updates!

As planned, we are going to meet at Twin Lakes at 8pm for a fun night run to the Leadville Fish Hatchery.

On Saturday, we are going to meet at 8 am at MayQueen, so we can leave a vehicle with our supplies, and then drive to Fish Hatchery, so we are actually starting at 8:30 am.

More soon!

Training Runs in Leadville!

Anyone looking for some good mountain running, here is your chance!

On Friday night, we will meet at 8pm at Twin Lakes, and run to Fish Hatchery, for a total of approximately 14 miles. Bring your own headlamps, water bottles, gels, warm cloths, and anything else you might need. After we all finish the night run, we are heading back to Leadville to sleep.

On Saturday morning, we are starting at 8:30 at the Fish Hatchery, running up Sugarloaf, all the way to Mayqueen, where we will refill water bottles, get more gels, shed layers, etc....then turn back around and run back to Fish Hatchery. This is about 26 miles total, with lots of climbing, so make sure you bring everything you need.

I am in the process of working out the details of who will leave their cars at which location. Look for another post on my blog later this week.

On Sunday, we are starting off at 5 am to hike Mt. Elbert. The route we are taking is 9 miles round trip, the perfect way to end the weekend!

See you in Leadville!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Training Runs in Leadville

Hi Everyone!

It's hard to believe running out here in the beautiful California desert in 100 + degree weather that I will be running in possibly near freezing temperatures in Leadville, CO later this month.

If anyone is interested, some friends of mine and I are planning a series of training runs in Leadville, CO.

The first one will be a night run on Friday, July 23rd.
The second one will be a day run, out and back on Saturday July 24th. Be prepared to run at least 20 miles.
The third one will be more of a hike, where we will be summiting Mt. Elbert. Mt Elbert is Colorado's highest mountain. It is a Class One climb, which means even I can do it! It's a beautiful hike, and when you're done you can brag to your friends that you summited Colorado's highest 14er.

These training runs are free, and a great way to meet people and make new friends.All runs, except for the climb up Mt Elbert, will be on the Leadville Trail 100 course. However, this is in no way affiliated with the official LT100 race. You can use this as a training run for any of your upcoming ultramarathons.In my opinion, if you can run in Leadville, you can run anywhere!!!! Bring all your own gear, fueling needs, hydration, and any secret, magic foods you think you might need.

All the full details, (time, place, distances) will be posted on my blog when I get back to CO from running the Badwater 135, which for me starts at 8 am on July 12th. Good luck to all the runners! It looks like it is going to be crazy hot!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Estes Park Marathon, Mt. Evans Ascent, and more baby deer!

Still more beautiful weekends running in the mountains of Colorado. How lucky we are to live here and be healthy enough to run everyday.

Sunday June 13th marked the third time I ran the Estes Park Marathon. It is a really challenging course, due to the high altitude, and hilly terrain. This year's weather made it even more challenging. My husband and I woke up to rain and COLD! I had to run fast just to stay warm. At mile 20, I found out I was in solid second place in the women's division. My hands were too cold to open my gels, so I was running on empty as I entered the local high school track. This is a really well organized, well thought out race. The finisher's medals are nice, and the volunteers fo a great job. Thanks everyone!

Saturday the 19th marked my third time running the Mt. Evan's Ascent. I wasn't in the mood to compete, but still had a nice time running up this mountain which climbs to over 14,200 feet. As usual there were mountain goats to greet the finishers near the top. Tim and I camped the night before, and Tim was lucky enough to spot a baby bunny nestled in the forest. How sweet!

Off to the Leadville Marathon on the 3rd, then to Death Valley to run my fifth Badwater 135.

In a few days I am going to post some information regarding a training run for the Leadville Trail 100, to take place in late July. It is low key, unofficial, and free. More information to follow......

Sunday, June 13, 2010


What an amazing weekend surprise we had! On Friday, I was given the gift of witnessing a doe give birth to two fawns in our back yard. I am happy to report that mama and babies are doing great!

What was really incredible was that within an hour, both of the fawns were walking.Within three hours they were even trying to run, and were tripping over one another. They both kept their mother busy! She was very attentive, making sure each one was safe and clean. To keep her energy levels up, she ate all our geraniums, blackberry bushes, and primroses. I told her that was OK, as long as she promised not to venture across the street in all that nasty traffic. She obliged!

And I will never forget the adorable cooing sound baby deer make. One even came up to me when I went outside to water the plants. I didn't know they could make such a sweet sound.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Great Weekend at Steamboat Springs Marathon

Steamboat Springs Colorado is a beautiful place for running. Having run the Run Rabbit Run 50 miler in September a few times, I decided to run the marathon there, which they have every June. What a great job the RD and volunteers did! A huge thank you to all who came out and made this race fun, scenic, safe, and successful!

Here are some pictures of the race. There was a lot of snow in the mountains melting with the recent hot weather, and the parking lot at the motel we stayed at flooded, so Tim had to move the car. All the water made for one very green, flower filled race. I took third, which I am happy with, considering I ran a 52.4 mile race just a week earlier. Thanks to Tim for taking all the great pictures and all his support!

Monday, May 31, 2010

A windy Rocky Mountain Double Marathon

Number 61. Ironically, that was both my bib number and my 61st race of 50 miles. (actually this race is 52.6). I was hoping for a PR, but with a bad stomach after accidentally drinking gatorade at mile 22, lasting for almost the entire remainder of the race, and with no crew except for the last 13 miles, and a strong headwind on many of the sections, it just didn't come together. I did manage to take 2nd place female though. Not bad for having run another 50 miler in Bishop CA just two weeks ago.

This was my fifth time running this course, and it never gets any easier. The scenery is beautiful though, and I even got to see a young moose run across the race course. But with wind and long climbs, this can be a challenging race, not to mention the loneliness. I saw a total of three people, only so briefly, for about 20 miles. Rude ATV drivers made parts of this race aggravating too. It is sad to see what ATV's are doing to so many wildlife areas across the country. From the looks of many of the riders, I think perhaps they should have been out running too.

Still, despite the difficulties I encountered during the race, I am still grateful for every footstep, no matter how lonely it is.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting Older

Yikes! Turning 39 yesterday wasn't easy. A friend of mine told me that getting older is both painful and expensive. I think she is right. When my youngest sister called me to wish me happy birthday,she, always being the positive one, told me, "but think of all the experience you have now!" Well, trust me, I would much rather have a few less wrinkles than some of of my "experience." ( of which is being detailed in my upcoming book, due out next spring)

There are some experiences that I would not trade for anything, and those are the lessons I have learned out on the trails running, both alone, and with friends. The trails and my true friends have been there no matter what. Through the good times, the bad, when I was broke,insecure, grumpy, happy, first place, last place, on the thin side, on the chunky side, real boobs, fake boobs,married, not married, addicted, and sober, thanks you guys! I love you all!

I "celebrated" turning 39 by running two races. The Bishop High Sierra 50 in lovely Bishop, CA, and a local 10km in Colorado that actually went through the zoo. Although it was rather painful to see caged up animals, I know that the zoo does a lot of good to restore the wildlife that is endangered. Both races had great volunteers and scenery, so a big thank you to all those who made it happen. Finally A run out on the Waldo Canyon loop in Colorado Springs, CO, with some great shots of Pikes Peak in the back ground soon to come.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Umstead 100, WSU 100km, and an upcoming book!

Early Sunday morning of March 28th, I finished by 22nd 100 mile race. It was not a PR as planned, but despite some "issues" towards the end of the race, I was able to drag my sorry butt across the finish line of the Umstead 100, for the 6th time in beautiful Raleigh NC.

Just a few weeks later, my husband and I flew out to Pullman Washington, to run the WSU 100km. I love this race, and am surprised that it isn't bigger. There were more people running the solo division that last year, which motivated me to a PR, and sub 10 hour and 30 minute time, which qualifies me to compete in the 150 mile Spartathalon in Greece next year!!

In the meantime, Princess and I are finishing up my long awaited book about my unlikely ultrarunning career.....which is much easier on the body that running 100 miles.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day of Spring!?

It's hard to believe that in just three and a half months that I will being running 135 miles across Death's freezing here! The snow is falling, the wind is howling, and I just want to stay inside and eat cookies instead of go outside and run. Good thing I will be in North Carolina in a few days to run the Umstead 100. The weather is calling for the upper 60's with no rain!

Here is what it looks like outside our house this weekend. Good thing I have my lap warmer with me!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gettin Ready for the 2010 Umstead 100

It's hard to believe that in just over three weeks I will once again find myself running the Umstead 100, in the great city of Raleigh North Carolina. Let's hope it doesn't snow like it has been here in Colorado, way too much this year!

The Umstead 100 is one of my favorite 100 mile races, hands down. The race director is a great guy who goes above and beyond to make sure everyone runner is taken care of. The aid stations are very well stocked, and I often joke to my friends that I have to go on a diet after running it. If you are looking for an excellent first time 100 mile race, I highly recommend this first class event.

In the meantime, I will be running the Carl Touchstone 50 in Mississippi this weekend. and the Run Through Time Marathon in Salida next weekend as a final tuneup for Umstead, and beyond! Princess the 20 pound cat is making sure she soaks up enough attention before her mommy takes off for yet another running adventure.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finally! Some pictures of Pemberton!

It's hard to believe that just a week ago, I was running and sweating in shorts in the beautiful Arizona desert, and now here I am freezing my butt off in a snow storm! While the snow is beautiful, it can be a challenge to run in. Fortunately, I have a great pair of Kahtoola Micro-Spikes. If you haven't run in them, and have to run on icey, slick surfaces, they are by far the BEST thing to run in.

Thanks to everyone for their nice comments! Good luck to everyone with all your upcoming races!

Here are some pictures of runners going out to run the Pemberton 50km. The desert is gorgeous! I took second overall, and won a bottle of wine and a cute bar of soap.