It was a BLOWOUT!!

If you had happened to be at our Regional Women's Church Basketball game last night, you would have seen an amazing team of women play flawlessly... and get a TON of turnovers and end with a score of 41 - 18.  However, it would NOT have been OUR team...

WE GOT OUR TUSHIES KICKED BIGTIME!!!

It was after they won the tip off and strolled down for a quick layup that I was first to bring the ball down for my team.  As I was looking for an open team mate, the apposing team stole the ball from me and ran down for another layup.  At that moment, I was psyched out!  Any thoughts that I was somewhat of a formidable player left me completely at that moment.

It didn't take long for me to not even want to bring the ball down because I was intimidated!  Dang... these gals were good!  They were faster than us, seemed to score with every throw, and kept us from passing as they scored MOSTLY from stealing the ball from us!  I didn't score a single point!  I can't count the turnovers... but my daughter seemed to get a lot of them on the videos she took.  Hmmmm.  It hurts to watch those videos!  This team we played were all young girls in their early 20's and most likely all played on their HS if not college teams!  It really wasn't a good match up.  We are a good team in our own way!

We decided to consider LAST WEEKS game as our TRUE finale!  That's when I was on my game and scored a record 16 points!  THAT'S the game I want to DEFINE ME!!  The fact that we even went to regionals and were playing teams from different cities is way cool!

I did earn my first FOUL of the whole season!  Yay me!! 


We were served some HUMBLE PIE!  Or should I say HUMBLE FROZEN YOGURT... as that is where we went to reminisce our amazing basketball season.


OVERALL - it's been AWESOME to play and I hope I can KEEP PLAYING with these gals even tho the season is over. :)

Today, I knew I need to do a "long run" for my 1/2 marathon training.  Last night I did get a pretty wicked leg cramp so I was wary about going out today.  But ya know when it comes to running or exercise - you can't THINK about it too much - you just gotta DO IT!  If you think too much, you may just convince yourself NOT to do it.

So out I went on this WINDY day.  Our basketball hoop had been blown over even!  I knew just a  minute into the run that it was going to be a hard run.  Part of the time the wind was pushing me from behind and that was fine, but when I turned to come back - the wind was right against me and I was surprised how strong it was.  I was wearing a cap that was on pretty tight but if I put my head all the way up - it would blow my hat right off.  So I ran while looking almost straight down.  My pace was barely a walk but with a bounce as I was trying to run!

I thought of my friend, Joy, and her last comment on my blog where she called me "Doer of hard things".  Those words gave me strength... Thanks Joy!  I ran just over 6 miles!  And I was pretty sore!  I hope I can get back up to my 7.4 mile run... but that was like a miracle!  Miracles take a little longer but they happen!! :)


SOOO.... my new plan is to REIGN IN my eating MORE!  I've been having too much frozen yogurt lately and it's stopping NOW.  I am deciding right now that I will not be indulging in ANY candy or chocolate for the Easter Season.

NO CANDY FOR EASTER!!

Anyone else wanna join me on this challenge?  Either don't buy it, or only get it for the kids... and avoid it yourself!  Who needs that sugar and crap?  Easter's not even about all that anyway!!  Whether you celebrate Easter or not, surely you see all the candy in the stores and so this is a challenge to not give in to any easter candy!!  Let's do it.  Let's keep it healthy.

Get those celery sticks and cut up the yummy red peppers!  Pop those sweet grape tomatoes, or nibble on a few nuts and low fat cheese.  Your body will thank you!

And that is all for today, my friends!  Sending my love to all my readers!!
Life is GOOD
xoXoxoXOO ~Margene

RAMA LAMA DING DONG


Whoa, OK...  Just updated the site with some great new stuff!  We're looking at new titles from KEVIN HUIZENGA, JULIA GFRÖRER, OLIVIER SCHWAUREN (The amazing Man Who Grew His Beard), CARRIE McNINCH (Of course, she's unstoppable!), CHARLES FORSMAN, ZAK SALLY (The new self-printed Sammy the Mouse collection!), DIANE NOOMIN, MARTI (The can't recommend enough Cabbie);  plus the long-awaited anniversary release ROCTOBER #50 and NEW INTERNATIONAL COMIX ANTHOLGIESKu(Š)! #10, Kolor Klimax: Nordic Comics Now!, Colibri #4 (now in ENGLISH!);  and restocks of some older Not My Small Diaries.

Oh, and there will be more coming soon, including some exciting publishing news from Spit and a Half...

Thanks for your support--
John P.


It's TONIGHT

Tonight is our BIG GAME.  Women's Church Basketball!!  I am already feeling anxious butterflies.  Probably because I want to do really well and I really want our team to WIN.  If we win, we play our next game right after!

And if we win the 2nd game, we play a 3rd game right after!  Crazy!  I will need to bring my energy drink.  Good thing I did a 3 mile run yesterday and not today - I'm trying to save my energy!

My hubs and at least some of my kids will come to watch.  This is just so fun.  What a dream to be able to do this after so many years.  We had two practices this week and it was fun!  We practiced our zone defense and had some small scrimmages.

Wish me luck!!!

I thought I'd post some of my eats lately.  I've taken pics and now I'm finally getting around to posting them for those who like food ideas.  Nothing fancy but yummy for me!  These are some of my maintenance lean and greens! :)

Costco Fish and sauteed yellow squash ~ Roast pork, carrots and salad (on my OR trip)

 Two Morningstar Veggie Patties w/ sauted red peppers & mushrooms ~ Rotisserie chicken w/ sauteed zucchini & mushrooms
Fish w/ various veggies & low fat ranch dip ~ Fish with sauteed red cabbage

Stringlets

Mousie was asked to join the Strings Program at school this year. She has been learning cello for 10 weeks. Several of her friends also started learning a string instrument at school, one of them being the daughter of Mousie's fabulous teacher from last year, Ms M. Ms M invited all the new string players to her house last Sunday to have a "Scratch & Giggle" party. Here they are, two cellos and three violins, all playing along together with the expert assistance of Ms M. She collectively dubbed them "The Stringlets", which I thought was rather cute.
I was surprised how good they sounded, for beginners. The girls all had fun practising, then eating afternoon tea, then playing games together. Ms M declared the event a great success and announced that they would have another "Scratch & Giggle" party at the end of next term. Mousie can't wait!!

Still Flying the Flag: Tortilla Bandera

"I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail."   -Adrienne Rich, "Diving into the Wreck"


In the wee hours of the morning today, my minister and his wife welcomed a healthy little girl into the world, their second child.  It was a pretty uneventful pregnancy, as far as I can tell.  The mom is healthy, by any standards: I think she competed in a triathlon in her late first trimester.  I suspect that she'll be back on her feet in no time, gracefully chasing around their preschooler while she wears her newborn daughter.

My relationship to these children is complicated.  While I'm celebrating just like everyone else, I see the event through a different lens.  The couple's first child was born when I would have been due, too, and it was during her pregnancy that I was diagnosed (if you can even call it that, because really, it was more like a non-diagnosis) with secondary infertility.  I spent her first pregnancy watching her belly swell and her skin glow, feeling like I'd been robbed of my own child, but also like I had a constant reminder in her of what never came to be for me.  And though I've long since dealt with those feelings, and though we are done building our family, I find myself strangely envious of the ease with which this second pregnancy and birth transpired.  It's not a very graceful feeling, but I can't ignore it.

It's not, as my husband might say, that misery loves company.  It's more that I just wish more people fully understood what they seem to take for granted.

The "after" in "parenting after infertility and loss" is a tricky word.  Because there really is no "after."  It's not like something you can leave behind.  There is only "with."  And "through."  When you lose someone else you love, like I lost my father to cancer, people expect you to remember them, to be sensitive on certain anniversaries, though your experience of that loss changes with time.  Why should this be any different?

I've referenced my father here before.  I've been thinking about him a lot lately; something about Easter coming soon and putting in the garden has stirred memories of him in me again that make me smile, and that make me a little sad he never got the chance to meet his grandchildren.  Much as our relationship was a difficult one, sometimes I wish he was here to offer some of his officious (!) advice.  So I spent a week eating his kind of food (more to come in the next posts), appreciating the daffodil blooms with my daughter, and honoring him the best way I know how.

(I will add here that my husband is the one who performed the architectural feat that is this dish.  There was swearing in the kitchen, but I think it turned out great.  The colors are meant to symbolize the Mexican flag, hence the name.)

And to my minister's daughter: welcome to the world, little one.  May you know joy, and beauty, and the love of a community who will teach you to live a life full of grace.  Perhaps a little more gracefully than I do it.


Tortilla Bandera

3 small heads broccoli
1/2 large head cauliflower
olive oil
2-3 large peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1" squares
salt and pepper
12 eggs

Separate broccoli and cauliflower into florets and cook separately in lightly salted boiling water until just tender.   Drain and keep separate.

Heat 1 T. oil in a skillet.  Cook peppers until soft, lightly sprinkling with salt and pepper to taste as they cook.

Heat 1 T. oil in a 10 inch heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-low heat. 

Beat 4 eggs with salt and pepper to taste.  Combine peppers with eggs and pour into the hot oil.  Cook until set on the bottom.  Put a plate over the top of the skillet and invert the omelet onto the plate; slide it back into the skillet and tuck the edges under with a spatula.  Cook until set.

Beat 4 more of the eggs and combine with the broccoli.  It will seem that there aren't enough eggs, but don't worry.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange egg-coated broccoli on top of the red pepper omelet, leveling it with the back of the spatula.  Cook for about 8 minutes.  Turn the whole omelet over again, using the plate as you did before.

Combine the cauliflower the the remaining 4 eggs, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Don't worry that there doesn't seem to be enough eggs.  Pour the cauliflower mixture over the omelet and flatten with the back of the spatula.  Cook for about 10 minutes, occasionally running the spatula around the edge.  Turn the whole tortilla over one last time using the pate, and cook until firm (you may need to turn it again so it becomes golden).

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wordless Wednesday

Moab 100 pictures, courtesy of Glen Delman

Start of Moab 100
Pre-Race
After... 10.74 miles?
53.7 miles?




What FEAR can do

My niece posted this on Facebook and it really made me think:

Fear is selfish. It's so tragic how fear destroys the ones who nourish it in their hearts and souls. Then they let their fears feed on their relationships. All blanketed by a delusional white flag of victimization and martyrdom hoping to avoid accountability and escape the pain of personal power in their own lives; desperately attempting to secure sympathy, safety and love for themselves.


I can see myself a lot in this quote and have tried to see where I am letting fear guide my thoughts and behaviors at times more than taking my own personal power over my life!

That first line about fear being selfish is so true.  There is nothing uplifting to another person when you live in fear.  Not only that, but your fears drain the people around you as they try to help your fears.  And it turns you into a victim and deny's you of your own personal power.

I am tired of living in fear.  Fear of LOSING something or someone.  Fear of being FORGOTTEN.  Fear of gaining my weight back.  Fear Stinks!

I no longer want to "escape the pain of personal power".

Lately, I've been struggling with something that brings me either a lot of joy or a lot of anguish.  I've been on the more anguishing side of this dilemma.  In all my thoughts and analyzing, I have come to the conclusion that however it plays out - it will be painful for me.  There is no way to escape.

But wait.  I have personal power.  That often comes with pain but IN THE LONG RUN - (aka in God's view) it is better for us.  There is JOY.  God wants us to feel joy!

I'm so tired of feeling helpless.  I am tired of begin afraid and allowing myself to feel like a victim.  I have power!  I can do all things through Christ!  I am NOT a victim!

During family scripture study the other day, we were reading in the Book of Mormon, and in 2nd Nephi 26:13 it reads:  "And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith."

The part that stuck out to me and pierced me while we read was those LAST 4 WORD.  "according to their faith" - I know this is true - but I realized that that is what I was lacking in my own current dilemma... Faith!  Faith in myself, and Faith in my Savior, and Faith in what I believe to be true.  God can only help me according to MY FAITH.  If I am doubting, I am not giving Him the power in my life to work miracles!  And Hasn't the Lord ALREADY given me miracles?  Hasn't He already proven Himself?  My Life is a miracle!  I have a new life.  How can my faith dwindle so quickly?

It helped refocus me... AWAY from FEAR.  Because we cannot have FEAR and FAITH at the same time!  If we want to eradicate fear from our lives, then we work on building our faith, our belief in what is really true!  That's where I'm at today.

So I'm back to running here in Utah.  I'm trying to add in some sprinting during my runs to help me build up my pace.  Right now, I've got a slow and steady pace.


And playing basketball.  The hubs and I got an outside basketball hoop which is AWESOME to have!  AND - our church women's team is playing at REGIONAL now.  We won our first game last friday 52-18.  It was so fun!  Afterwards, Brent asked me how many points I thought I scored.  I'm not a big scorer as my skill is more on defense, but I knew I scored some so I guess 6 points.  Then he told me I scored 16 points!  BOOYA!  He said I'm good at assists and that there were people around him commenting on my ball handling.  Wow, positive things said about me!  It was an awesome feeling!
I am 3rd from the left in pink - Awesome team of ladies!!

My one year of High School basketball was spent in total self-concious anxiety and wanting to quit the whole season as I didn't seem to blend in with the team or have any friends on the team.  I never played after my freshman year.  So NOW I am making up for it and just having fun.  Feels good to get beyond that horrible first year of HS basketball.  Now I love it and I'm finally making it a better experience!   Only took me 30 years!

This Friday is our next game, and if we win - we play again right after - and right after if we win that.  This next team we play I hear will be harder so I am feeling a bit of anxiety but it's also so fun to even be playing!  I'm glad I am playing and showing my kids that it's fun to be active.  I don't recall my mom doing any sports... she was always too tired.  Hoping to change that trend in my family.

Life is GOOD!  
Hang in there my friends who are struggling 
and work on building your FAITH and not your FEAR. 
 xoXoxoX ~Margene

Free Fire Wood!!

Blessings Abound!!

Last Spring we had to have a Very large tree removed.
It was over 65 years old and over 70 feet tall. 

 Our Problem was that is was a Spruce and WAY to close to the house. We had seen a local Ad for a company called  perfectrees.com  So we gave them a call.  They came out the next day and gave us an estimate.  They explained that the tree would be professionally taken down..

that they were fully insured.

 Also, they would cut up the wood, remove it if need be and mulch the smaller branches.  

All for a VERY reasonable price.
We were very fortunate.. because 4 months later we had a SEVER storm that took down several trees on our property and left us without power for three days.  Had that tree been there..I am sure We would once again be replacing our roof!

This past week, almost exactly one year later, We received a phone call.
Jean Lecasse

Of
perfectrees.com 
Had taken down 3 large trees from a local client.
But they did not want the wood. And Jean himself already had as much as he needed.  As an alternative to it going in the landfill..we were asked.. "did we want the wood?"
It was already cut up..we just needed to haul it away and split it!!
What A Blessing! When we arrived on the scene..it was to discover the wood was mostly hard wood..of Maple, Birch and some poplar!
Even with the truck and trailer it took 7 trips to get it all!
What  blessing! Now we just need to split it and pile it! When that is done..we should have fifteen cord of wood for next winter!
So remember folks..if you burn wood for heat..Get to know you local tree removal company!
Even if you live in the city..they don't always have a ready source to dispose of the wood.  It is one of those things where EVERYONE benefits!
Thanks to Howie, my husband, Briar, my son and Briars friend Alex. For spending all day Saturday loading, hauling and unloading wood!!
Again, a special Heartfelt thanks
to 
Jean Lecasse
Of
perfectrees.com
For next winters firewood! We appreciate it more than we can say!!

CHEERS!!



Post Race Blues

I have spent the last four months doing a rigorous training schedule, all in the name of COMPLETING a 100 mile race. Well. I finished the training, but did NOT finish the race.

NOW WHAT???

Yes, I have a lot of races scheduled, but mostly they are "just" half marathons. Now don't get me wrong. A half marathon is my favorite distance, I enjoy running them. But I know I can run one. I will likely not PR, or even come close, but I feel comfortable with the distance. I don't get pre-race jitters when I run them anymore. After 57 of them, the "thrill" is gone. (Although I am really looking forward to my travelling races - especially Seattle and... yep, WEST VIRGINIA!!) But maybe that is the problem. I am aching to be aiming for something more.

My schedule is pretty full through... well, the rest of the year. I probably can't add anything in. I already foresee my training going into a funk because I have nothing really to look forward to.

With that said, I think I am going to join the Tuesday night run club at the Boulder Lululemon store. It's only a 40-45 minute run every week, but maybe getting my butt off the treadmill will help.

I'll stop whining now.

To Tired To Write

I'm sorry but I am too tired to write today.  I have the Clermont 70.3 coming up in about 20 days and I have been hitting the gym, pool, pavement and bike way too much.  My eyes are droopy and the coffee has not hit my veins yet.  Here is a quick update of the weekend.
 


Me hanging out with the Geico lizard.
"I once caught a fish this big"
(Name that movie)

This is what my 11 mile run looked like at 5:00 AM!!



I did a 43 mile bike ride in the wind.
I nearly bonked.



After the bike ride I got some anti-bonk medicine!


Moab 100 (Race Recap)

Moab, UT
Saturday, March 24 to Sunday, March 25
Ultra Marathon #3
Weather - HOT during the day, breezy early afternoon, chilly and moon-less at night


Almost immediately after finishing the Bear Chase in September, I was on the mission for more. I couldn't talk anyone else into joining me for a distance past 50 miles, but November came and I located a 100 mile training plan and decided to go for it. I picked the Moab 100 (24 Hours of Utah) race, put on by Gemini Adventures for a few reasons. I liked it because it was close(ish), a loop (I could drop out if I needed to AND could access my stuff every 5.37 miles).

Up until the week of the race, I was pretty sure I was 100% alone. Luckily, my dad realized I was a). Crazy and b). Would not be able to drive back alone after running. So on Friday afternoon around 1:30, my dad picked me up and we headed west to Moab. The drive was pretty uneventful, and we stopped in Grand Junction for my favorite pre-race dinner, Applebee's. This time I got pretty much the same thing, but blackened chicken (and spinach) instead of just the three cheese/chicken. It was tasty.


I was super glad my dad was with me and that he is familiar with the Moab area. I am pretty sure I would NOT have seen the turnoff for the base camp. We arrived around 8:15, and while he was setting up the tent, I wandered over to the party I was invited to on Facebook. A guy running the 24 hour segment was throwing a party for his wife's birthday - and he had brought his whole family with him. What a friendly/supportive family he has! After harassing him for a few minutes for course details and devouring a piece of cake, I headed over to help my dad. He had forgotten tent spikes, so we had to wander around finding rocks to hold the tent in place. I decided to lie down around 9:15, hoping I would be able to sleep. Being in Moab and the nerves were setting in!

Race Day

I woke up about an hour before my alarm went off. I stayed in my sleeping bag for about a half hour, then decided I might as well get ready. Good thing I was up early, everything took longer than expected. It felt chilly early on, but I knew it was going to heat up later - forecasts for low 80s!


Even though I had pre-packed my drop bag, I found myself digging around making sure I had everything ready to go. At 6:30 I headed over to get my packet and use the bathroom.

Base camp/Aid station
Mandatory race meeting at 6:45, where we got detailed course instructions. The most complicated was going to be remembering to alternate loops. First loop (odd loops) were clockwise, even loops counterclockwise. This would be nice later because even though I was getting lapped, it took a while before people were ACTUALLY running right past me.

I lined up toward the back, and at 7:01, we were off. I took most of  my pictures in the first lap. With the sun coming up, the rocks were beautiful, and I knew I would not appreciate the scenery as much in the later laps, and I wanted some cool shots.

This is sand, not dirt
One of the only sections of just "trail"


East side of the slick rock
Fellow runner offered to take my picture!
Probably my favorite course picture

Oh look... more sand!

Multiple creek crossings. Not deep, but sometimes I misstepped and got my feet damp and socks muddy
Oh, look! I'm still smiling!
West side of slick rock - see that white line? That's how course was marked during the day on the rock
MORE slick rock
Balancing rock
Another sandy trail (cars could drive on this section)
I had every intention of "jogging" this race. Start out in the back, not overexert myself, saving energy for later when I was REALLY tired. So I ran the flats, downhills, and slight inclines. Walked the sections that seemed "hard." This worked really well for me the first three or so laps. Then the heat kicked in.

Wow, with the winter in the recent past, I had forgotten what it was like to run in the heat. I quickly had to fill the bladder in my hydration vest - probably before we were even 16 miles in. There was only one aid station ON the course, about halfway in, an unmanned water station. At the base camp, there was the bathrooms, sunscreen, medical, drinking water, and snacks. I had brought some of my own fuel, and never needed it. There was plenty of stuff provided.

I started to slow down by about the fourth loop. The hills were feeling steeper and steeper. The heat was making me tired. I lost the running buddies I was chasing. I started to get lapped. On this course, there were not just the 100 milers, there was a 24 hour division (both solo, team, and relay), and a 12 hour relay. The 12 hour runners SMOKED me. I must have gotten passed 3-4 times by the faster runners.

Sometime in the early afternoon, the breeze picked up and it wasn't nearly as hot. SO nice. And by mid afternoon, the clouds came out, which made the temperature a LOT more bearable. When I headed out for my last lap before dark, I put on my long sleeve shirt since I knew it would get cold real fast when the sun dropped.

Razzy Roo headband, YMX top - Somewhere around 45 miles in
The sand hill. Hard to tell, but this felt like a 15% grade. Ooof.
Sunset
Course marked with glow sticks for night (with reflective tape on rocks)
Sunset - heading North towards base camp
I was allowed to have a pacer after 8:00. My dad had said he would be back by then and would do a loop with me.  I had an AWESOME loop miles 42ish to 47ish. I told my dad to save the loop until morning because I felt like I would still be able to get some running in and wanted to bank as much time as possible. By the halfway point I was a). Doing a dance only Liz Lemon could rival and dance/running and b). Was feeling so good I wasn't even considering I would not finish, unless I broke a bone or a limb fell off.

How quick things change. The sun went down, and the headlamp went on. Did you know that in the middle of the dessert with no moon it is RIDICULOUSLY dark?? Especially since my light wasn't very bright, I was running by myself, and the 12 hour runners were done. Very few people were on the course, and the glowsticks marking the course were few and far between. This is seriously what my light put out.
What it looked like at night with my headlamp
When people DID come up on me, they zoomed past me. My light was dim and I kept having to stop and adjust my light to look for the reflective tape/course markers. At this point, I began to feel concerned. I was texting with Heather and telling her how dark it was and how much I was starting to struggle. I suffered through a partial loop, that took about a half hour longer than any other loop I had done. I kept going, and the next one wasn't much better. I just didn't feel like I could safely run with it being so dark. On the slick rock I was never quite sure that I was headed in the right direction, and the trail sections were hard to run with the sand, and the only dirt sections had lots of loose rocks and drop offs. I considered dropping at the end of loop 11, but Heather convinced me to change my socks/shoes, eat more, then head back out.

I had the most awesome grilled cheese sandwich in the world at base camp, put on my capris and a fleece jacket and headed out for loop 12. It was the most awful experience. Ever. By now it was after midnight, and there was pretty much NO ONE out there. I was starting to hallucinate (they really WERE just twigs, NOT snakes), and I was feeling sorta lightheaded and couldn't seem to walk straight. My socks were hurting and the bottom of my feet ached. My shoes were NOT comfortable. My legs, however, felt great. I kept plugging along, and my inevitable drop of the race occurred when I missed a turn because the glow sticks leading up to it had died. After wandering around in pitch black for a good 10 minutes while I looked for the course, I knew I needed to stop before I got hurt. Or lost. The last two or so miles literally went on FOREVER. I was moving SO slow and that made the cold night air even colder. If I hadn't put on the extra clothes, I'm pretty sure I would have gotten hypothermia (or just been REALLY REALLY cold).

I knew the course pretty well by now, but I didn't seem to be making any progress. I was on the verge of hysterics when I thankfully saw the gate entrance to the road. I made it back to base camp and officially called it when I checked in at the end of my loop. I was informed that all the other 100 mile women had already dropped, and there was only one female left out on the course.

It's hard to explain how I was feeling. I probably could have suffered through more miles. However, with the last 16.11 miles taking me just over 6 hours, that meant I would have had to have resumed my earlier pace of roughly 1:15 per loop just to make the cutoff. With another 4 hours of darkness, I knew I didn't have it in me. I trained for this race for four months, and believe me, I really never considered "what if" I didn't make it. I sat down by the heater next to the snack table, almost in shock. There were some relay runners waiting to head out, and they all tried to convince me that I was amazing for doing what I had done. However, I felt like a failure and a quitter.

What did I actually complete? 12 loops, for a total of 64.44 miles. This course had approximately 110 feet of elevation gain PER MILE. The challenging terrain of sand dunes, slick rock, dirt trails, and creek crossing made for proably the hardest course I have ever encountered. I believe my time was about 19:45, but I didn't wear a watch and official results aren't up yet.

Edit: Results added


Loop 1 (5.37 miles) - 8:17 am
Loop 2 (10.74 miles) - 9:32 am
Loop 3 (16.11 miles) - 10:48 am
Loop 4 (21.48 miles) - 12:13 pm
Loop 5 (26.85 miles) - 1:38 pm
Loop 6 (32.22 miles) - 3:16 pm
Loop 7 (37.59 miles) - 4:50 pm
Loop 8 (42.96 miles) - 6:28 pm
Loop 9 (48.33 miles) - 8:12 pm
Loop 10 (53.70 miles) - 10:03 pm
Loop 11 (59.07 miles) - 12:06 pm
Loop 12 (64.44 miles) - 2:43 am
Total Time - 19 hours, 43 minutes

After eating a bit more and chatting with the other runners, it was all of a sudden almost 4:00 am. I decided to put more clothes on and sit in the car until the sun came up. I made it about 10 minutes, then decided a few hours of sleep was better than none at all. I was obviously exhausted and fell asleep in minutes.

In the morning, I headed over to base camp to see how the other runners had fared while I had been sleeping. The other woman runner had only done one more lap before also dropping - so no female finishers at all. She had been a loop ahead of me during the day, so she finished overall 10.78 miles more than me. She also had a boyfriend/friend that she was running with, which I'm sure helped. With 5 hours until the course was closed, I was informed that only one person had finished, and only a total of three runners were likely to finish the full distance.

The friend from Facebook had run 75ish miles and stopped at 1:00 am. His loops awarded him a second place finish in the 24 hour division. The winner of the 24 hours was a female, who finished 91ish miles (WOW!!).

After learning all this, I can feel a teeny tiny bit better about my failure, but not much. First time I have ever not finished something I started. I felt especially crappy because I wasn't injured, I just got tired and discouraged and gave up. I even kept all toenails and didn't get any blisters!


So. Overall? What worked and what didn't?

Worked:

  • YMX tops. Long enough that they didn't ride up. Comfortable, and they BREATHE.
  • Zensah sports bra - NO CHAFING. 'Nuff said.
  • Lululemon "shorty shorts" under my skirt. I had actually NEVER run in these before, but all compression shorts tend to ride up on me. These never BUDGED. I ran in them all laps until the last one. BEST PURCHASE OF MY LIFE.
  • Running Skirts triathlon skirt. Cute, and functional. Liked having the pockets for my trash until I got back to base camp.
  • Extra clothes for when it got cold. Instead of just a straight running skirt, going with the shorts & triathlon skirt made it easy to change into capris when it got cold without mooning the volunteers.
  • Nathan hydration vest. It was ridiculously hot out, and I am pretty sure that one 10 oz bottle off my belt would not have been enough fluid for me. I did, however, see lots of people with just a handheld, and some people (must have been relayers), didn't carry anything at all!
    • I am proud to say I remembered to drink early and often. Might not have done that if I was "rationing" water.
    • Related - I made sure to take one gel (Hammer gel on all loops after the first one) every single loop. Of note, this was one of the first times I haven't had a bathroom emergency/stomach ache during a race. Wonder if it is the switch from GU to Hammer gel?
    • Made sure to eat a handful of snacks after EVERY SINGLE LOOP. M&M's, chips, little PB&J on tortillas. I think I fueled well.
    • Coke or heed sports drink (or both) every loop.
    • Electrolyte capsules - took one every other loop
  • My hat. I typically don't wear one, but wow, I was glad to have it. Bright, and hot, it was nice to have the extra shade - plus now I don't have a sunburned scalp.
  • iPod shuffle - battery life is 17 hours. Awesome.
  • Chapstick. SO GLAD I REMEMBERED THIS. I must have used it a BILLION times.
Didn't work:
  • My deoderant. I smelled SO awful after about 4 hours I could hardly stand it. Next time, I'll put some in my drop bag, just for my own comfort. Blech.
  • Newton trail shoes. SO UNCOMFORTABLE after the first 16.11 miles. Felt like no cushioning whatsoever. Bottoms of my feet were angry. For last loop, changed into my other Newtons. Those were even worse because since they weren't trail shoes I must've gotten half the dunes in my shoes. Brought gaiters, but (I will admit this) couldn't figure out how to use them and was too embarrassed to ask. Note to self - FIGURE IT OUT NEXT TIME.
  • CEP compression socks. Fine for my calves, but since I have small feet, the padding around the toes kept bunching up around the ball of my foot. SO UNCOMFORTABLE.
  • Headlamp. I didn't really realize there were different levels of headlamps. Mine had two angles and two levels of brightness, and neither one seemed to work well. Next time around, a brighter headlamp, and also a handheld lamp.
  • Forgetting my gum on THREE loops made me crazy. It did, however, give me something to think about for 5.37 miles.
  • Forgetting to put Body Glide in my drop bag. About halfway through, I could have used some for around the straps of my vest. No major chafing, not a big deal.
  • Forgetting to take off my capris before bed. They bunched around the back of my knee - closest thing to chafing of the day. Ouch.
Thoughts on the race/distance:
  • Volunteers literally there before the race started, and still there until everyone is done. That was awesome.
    • However, there were some loops where I could have used some help, and they weren't all that eager to actually HELP (filling bladder, cup of coke, etc).
  • 8 potties at the start - plenty for a race this size (and their families).
  • AWESOME shirt (but I don't feel I can wear it, since I didn't earn it)
  • The course was not marked well enough for night. Bigger/more reflective tape markings for night.
  • A bit more information about the race/course on their website might have changed my mind about picking this one. I was NOT the only runner surprised with how tough the course was.
    • With that in mind. Before I even got back to Denver, I was already considering how "next time, I might just sign up for the 24 hour division"
  • This does NOT have a high completion rate.  What that means, is it is a significantly challenging course. It is well organized, and honestly, I will probably do it again.
  • 100 miles. I believe I had the mental capacity to do it. On an "easier" course. However, I don't think I'll attempt the distance again without someone to join me. It did get lonely out there in the middle of the night.
  • 100 miles is FREAKING FAR. I was surprised at how 50 miles didn't seem "that bad" - but pretty much as soon as I passed it, it was all downhill from there.
  • Ultra runners are the BEST. They are encouraging and friendly. I wish I knew more local runners, they made me feel right at home even though I was obviously WAY out of my league. They say hi, they wave, they tell you that you look great. Awesome. Just awesome.

It was a really good thing my dad was there. I would NOT have been able to drive back, I slept almost the entire way. I can barely walk, but I actually think I am in less pain than after my 50 mile race. Helping with that are my magic compression pants - Aspaeris Pivot shorts! And lookie what J got for me:


I would just like to thank all my virtual friends (Twitter, Facebook, Dailymile, Blogger) for all the support. It really meant/means a lot to me. Especially in those hard hours, the texts and encouragement (especially from Heather, Lesley, L and J), really made a BIG difference to me. Not to be sappy, but I love you guys :)

Until next time... what an adventure.