I run happy.

Friday, July 18, 2014


This so happened.
Two days of driving one way,  Circle J's, Love's Rest Stops,  Rented Cottage,  Churches with crooked crosses, dogs that looked like wolves that looked like lions...


As we drove over 16 hours to get to the choosen land,  I couldn't help but remind Rock Star that THIS was his dream.  One that he had shared with me years ago.  An Ultra.  In Colorado.  In Leadville.  Dreams happen.  Lives change.  Strength grows.  Muscles perform and the elevation creates a drug fog that leaves a normal man weak and tired but deliriously happy.  Thrilled even.

Coming in to the finish!
YOU did it!

Back on the trail!

The story:
We arrived in Leadville in the late afternoon.  It was pouring rain and as we drove through the highest mountains to get there,  I realized the "steam" coming from the rocks was really a group of clouds.  Yes, we were driving through clouds.  That's. how. high. we. here.  High as in way up in the Rockies.  I was car sick, tired, fed up with driving(oops, this is suddenly all about me-uh...)and couldn't wait to find our rental "cottage" and cozy up for the night.  It was a cottage...across from a church...with a crooked cross.  A scary little town on one hand because every single decrepid outhouse, barn and building was actually just left there to melt and desinigrate into the tall grass(or snow, depending on the time of year).  In this town,  time has stood still.  The downtown has WONDERFUL shops, restaurants and coffee houses.  We had a blast wandering through USED outdoor clothing and equipment shops and I scored a bike helmet that was originally $150!  However,  the quiet neighborhoods of Leadville want to keep themselves quiet.  Slumbering.  Aging in a normal way, naturally.  What IS...is in Leadville and that's the way THEY want it.  Once accepted,  the town became a little cozier.

The Race:
The reason we'd come.  RS was nervous for weeks leading up to this race.  Ailments abounded and sleeping in an altitude tent seemed to alleviate more nerves than boost his resilience.  Still,  RS was excited and probably the most confident I've ever seen him.

Race morning started around 4 a.m.  Coffee was made,  rain gear(well, a jacket)was tucked into the crew basket and we headed to the starting line about a mile away.  Parking was easy and as is NORMAL for the ultra crowd,  people chatted, fretted about the weather and acted like they were already tired...and as ready as they'd ever be.

If you didn't already know,  the Leadville start is a screaming, steep hill going straight up to Heaven.  It's rocky and at the top,  two people hold two large coins.  The first to sprint the hill,  win an entry to LEADVILLE 100 miler in August.  Cruel but also funny.  One coin for a man and the other for a woman.  This was amusing because once the coins were scored,  the sprinters all slowed down to a walk and there was a huge turtle traffic jam at the starting pad, just steps beyond the hill.  Most smart 50 mile runners chose to walk at this point not to be seen for 8-15 hours later.  The fast ones took off with an innocent confidence.

We moved from crew spot to crew spot...our screaming, exuberant selves.  My BFF since elementary school and her husband hoofed it with me and our biggest job was keeping RS moving through the aide stations,  focused and positive.  With four passes through 12,000 feet elevation,  this wasn't easy but he came in with  a smile and left with a smile so I think we did our job.  The details I won't forget are when RS would come in and shout out his needs which by the next aid station, proved to be the complete opposite of what he really needed.  We followed his "orders," his COACH included, and then we'd be chewed out at the next station.  We chalked it up to MOUNTAIN CONFUSION which in other terms could be expressed as,  LACK OF OXYGEN.  And...it was really true.  RS's personality was not his usual personality...so we just pictured a shrinking brain in his skull as he traversed the mountain side and all was forgiven by the FINISH.  He wasn't the only shrinking brain...SO many runners seemed to be overcome with EMOTION at the finish line. Whether it was the lack of OXYGEN or the flood of the feelings of accomplishment,  I must say that after sitting for four hours at the finish,  I'd never seen anything like it.  IT seems like we were all overcome with the Rocky Mountain High.  I shed tears watching women and men who had overcome the obstacles and reached their dreams.  It wasn't a performance but a process.  That. is. ultra. running. period.

RS finished the 50 miles and proceeded to do more funny things that were totally out of character which made me see another side of him and appreciate his "self" even more.  After 27 years of being married it's a TREAT to see your *LOVE* in a different light.

Finishing his 50 miles in 13 something hours,  was an accomplishment in itself but HIS RECOVERY has rocked even more.  He is already jogging and feeling fit but a little tired.  I know there is a storm of plans, new goals, new races and adventures brewing in that now-oxygen-filled brain and I'm FORTUNATE to be a part of it...sometimes these adventures unfold as surprises so for now,  we recover and wait!

Happy Running Friends and THANK YOU Colorado and the COLORADO running/biking community for filling us with such awe and happiness for the beauty and splendor that IS Colorado.  Everyone MUST visit at sometime in their life!

*Special thanks to JILL PARKER for letting me stalk her all around Leadville and on the course.  IT was FUN to see you, Colorado Girl!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

WANTED: Abandoned Blog Update

Sparkle Pants Turns Five!

How does one catch up with oneself after not blogging for 7 months?  
Why start up again at all?
Who cares?

Suddenly, with NO warning, no prodding from BS, husband-runner-rock star MAN,  I decided I missed writing.  I missed amusing myself with the silly things that I do, say and notice around me.  Of course,  I'm the one only one who things these things are amusing.  And.  That's.  Ok with me. 

Then, BS-RS Husband asked me WHY I hadn't blogged and how much he missed my posts.  Which is strange since we have been married for 27 years, sleep right next to each other, run most days together, eat together,  hug, kiss and snuggle and text all day.  You'd think he'd know EVERYTHING that's going on.  BUT NO, we wants to know more.  Hmm...

I also realized that no one else really needs to know about my silly life anyway,  the reader is intriguing to me but I don't write to impress any reader(except my ROCK STAR)but it's FUN to put my silly thoughts to print and send them out into the universe.  THIS IS HOW blogging differs from the beloved FACEBOOK experience.  On FB,  I want to tell you all the spicy stuff that's going on...BE IMPRESSED READER...think I'm all that and then LIKE me 102,000 times so I know how great I am.  THEN,  I'll take a selfie and you can comment on how YOUNG I LOOK and how hot I am!  Baby,  FB is the place to make me feel AWESOME...
However,  blogging is words.  Blogging is expression.  Something I've missed for a while.  Blogging is not always perfect, nor the 100% authenticity that we need but it is expression of some form...and I like it.

OK, enough of the rationalization.  I'd like to say I'M BACK and truly mean it but life happens.  So for now,  I'll enjoy the sweet ride.


Most things.
Sparkle Pants is still the light of my life.

Still teaching kindergarten and loving the wisdom of a five year old, the transparency of our interactions and the honesty of a clean and happy heart.

Still running and also not running(depending on how hard I go out and then how many days I need to spend recovering from said run).

Still cheering on ROCK STAR and watching him push himself to the limit.


Not much.

Rock Star is running an Ultra in Colorado(Silver Rush)in mid July!  He has been sleeping in an altitude tent which is hilarious and HOT but he is filled with more confidence than he has red blood cells(which are not rapidly multiplying as I write this)SO that's all that matters.  I look forward to him doing his thing...what ever that may mean.  He does his thing in style.  That's just him.

I'm training for a marathon in Nov. and will officially go for a PB: 3:15-16.  THERE.  Said it.  I have found HOKA'S(angels trumpets sounding out)and they have pretty much saved my running career.  I sing the PRAISES of Hoka's every chance I get...MOST cover their ears but the chosen few are coming over to the dark side.  Or should I say, light side...can't wait for the lightest HOKA ever...the Clifton to be released next week.  BLISS.

What is not different is my stubborn determination to keep running and living life to it's fullest.  Running happy,  love.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

More Boston, More Boston!

I think I am twelve weeks out from Boston?  The weeks are so busy,  I lose track.  I am not obsessing nor perseverating about my training.  It is a part of my day, my week,  my life but it is NOT MY LIFE. I have so many things…
Last weekend was spent with twins from my class a couple of years ago, their buddy, her mom and our friend Shad…he ran the Lake Hodges 50 miler.  Tough guy.  Stoic.  Calm.  Pulled off another 50 miler and he didn't even need the cow bell.  

 Last week also yielded some SNOW in Encinitas…ha, ha…out of a snow making machine.  Some parents from our kindergarten brought ice and make snow for our Kinder Pretzels.  They were SOOO funny!  Some had never felt snow melt through their fingers.  They were shocked it was so cold and many just sat and ate it until it was gone.  Joy.  I love shocking kids and watching them react to something so ordinary to some, yet, completely foreign to most Southern California babes.  Loved that day.
Back to training!!!
The dead leg syndrome has a name now.  An origin.  A source.  Kind of sad.  Kind of strange but definitely not something to stop me from being superhuman!

I guess the 45 X-rays show that I had a fracture on my spine when I was born.  I was born breech and my mom says I was stuck with my legs and head inside of her.  After forceps and lots of pulling, I was born.  Possibly causing that fracture.  Anyway,  during adolescence,  I started to feel the pain as I grew and stopped riding horses competitively.  Only to have the fracture rear it's head once I started running longer distances!

The dead leg is actually referred pain from the nerves in my back, protecting the fractured spine.  Hmmm.

Once again, I'm back to pain management and feeling better knowing what's up.

Boston training is incorporating HILLS, HILLS and more HILLS.  Yesterday's workout was 14 miles, 7 up a hill with 6x5 min. spurts up the hill at goal marathon pace.
7 down hill.
I know the hills going up are great for my fitness and my back issue but going down took it's toll by mile 13.  Baby steps…

I've yet to determine my goals for this marathon.  At this moment, I'm obviously grateful to just be running.

Run happy,

Sunday, January 5, 2014

BOSTON TRAINING BEGINS, Dead Leg Syndrome and Living in San Diego

Ok, let's get the inevitable out of the way.  I live in San Diego.  Yes.  It's gorgeous right now and yes I feel guilty about it.  I cringe when I see a friend has posted another incredible sunset.  I was there to enjoy it.  I know how gorgeous it was and how the pink, purples, oranges and reds lit up the sky.  I was the one who sat at Swamii's Beach and decided to abandon a run and just melt into the bench, watching the show before my eyes.  Unable to separate myself from the moment.  Ugh.   Sorry…living in California isn't that great though.  Well, despite the weather anyway.  For instance…
despite the fact that my dear friend lives just steps from the beach,  she  can't get a new microwave oven.  Hey,  it's expensive to live here.  We pay three times the amount for a home so we have ghetto microwave ovens and
we use lots of duct tape so our furniture lasts longer.
Hey…SNOW or using our imagination and duct tape.  You decide.  We already have.

Speaking of warm weather,  Boston training officially began a few days ago.  I have a sort of calm and didactic approach to Boston this year.  I know I will be there.   I have been off of steady training since my ultra in November.  December was a mix of massages, acupuncture, random easy runs, SUNSETS, and just running by feel.  Somewhere in there I realized that my hip and left leg were STILL sore from the race and not responding to much of anything…even rest.  So,  I have been doing a lot of stretching, yoga and am seeing a specialist again this week.  It is possible to run through this and even train for a marathon.  At 48 years old,  we call it MANAGEMENT.  I just manage pain through lots of RECOVERY and stretching.  I've done this for the past three marathons and still improved my times but I DO NEED to seek some help from a specialist this week just to recover for good from my nasty left leg issues.  Done.

So,  yesterday was my first 12 miler and the end of my first week of Boston training.  I'm excited and hopeful for the spring.

Wishing everyone WARMER weather, nice sunsets and healthy training in the New Year!

Run Happy,

Sparkle Pants, my daughter  and I during the holidays!!  Can you believe he's already 4 1/2??