Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Karma and Shopkins

Recently my daughter experienced one of the happiest and saddest events of her young life. That being said I need to make a disclaimer; I am referring to straight up first world problems, her story does not involve true loss. We are blessed with health, safety, security, family and friends.

Quite recently were on vacation to California, this meant we played on the beach, visited loved ones, and to top it all off…..A Trip to Disneyland! Non–stop fun, not only were we doing cool stuff, we were doing it with those near and dear to us. 

Now here is the low point of the trip. I had allowed my very responsible sweet 9 year old daughter to bring her most prized possession, her entire Shopkins collection.  She had collected 71 of these tiny overpriced adorable figurines. Each had a personality, each had a role she played out and basically each had a place in her heart.

So it’s late, we are all tired, we return to the hotel, all with the single thought of “how soon can I collapse in bed.” Fast fwd to the morning when my girl realized she had left her collection (in a darling customized box home she had fashioned for them) on the elevator the night before!

1-Daughter repeatedly crumbles with worry and tears.

2-Mom races to the front desk to check lost and found and notify any possible staff of the loss.

3-Prepare for a day at Disneyland.

Now we still had a super awesome happy fun time at Disney, however the mere mention of Shopkins would result in a 3 second countdown to genuine tears. My girl wrote a letter for the hotel staff to post in hopes of an international bulletin broadcast, and I can’t tell you how many times I had called to check for these wee figurines.
We returned to AZ and via social media word spread about our big bummer.  Instantly family and friends started sending us Shopkins! I can’t even start to describe the joy everyone’s generosity has brought this little girl!!!

This awesome kid knows charity and had decided the best way to repay this act of kindness is to pay it back with her own kindness.

Saturday morning June 13th Maddy and Max hosted an aid station for a fund-raising memorial walk. The event was in memory of a local teen who tragically took his own life. I took a round-about version of explaining suicide to the kids, however I did explain to them how devastating the loss of a life can be. The kids already have an understanding of the Golden Rule and Life Karma 101:  “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop

Here is the heartbreaking story of Marcus Wheeler.

Truly a thank you to all who helped Madeline re-establish her collection. Imeant a lot to us, and a ton to our little girl.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Anticipation of part 2

Having a mom and a sister that are professional photographers has perks.

Five years ago my mom, Corinne Geertsen, and I staged a photo shoot playing with angles, bends, and image manipulation. We created a book with these images and have been brainstorming since as to what our next collaboration will be. In the time that has past Corinne has become a Photoshop guru. She compiles images of "wonder and quirk": her website. This means we can rally our most creative and bizarre ideas and bring them to fruition. We are thrilled to pull this off with the new tools in our kit, totally thrilled! The photo shoot is finally ready to start, meanwhile the below images are from the last collaboration. Corinne has become such a skilled artist that these images look very basic and freshman in comparison to her current works. I have a ton of ideas and am so completely excited to take this project on! (Hopefully she can smooth out the swollen knee I crushed on last nights run.) Time to start stretching out the runner quads.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day, the great ones never go unnoticed!

The man I saw on the canal pushing a jogging stroller, this man is a sexy beast. His appeal did not stem from physique, apparel, looks or pace, it was the baby jogger that caught my eye. The ripped super-fit athlete who blew past him, that guy is just some dude. My stereotype for the dad with the baby jogger, this is a mature male, meaning a man. He has taken on the care for another human being, its simple dad stuff but it is also the recipe for a sexy beast. Upon taking care of the wee pooper in the baby jogger this dad has assumed a role that requires goal making, financial responsibility, enduring love, kindness, devotion and an enhanced sense of humor, the basics to being a good dad. All major traits consistent with masculinity and attractiveness. The fit tan fast dude at the peak of whatever his game may be....I see this guy as selfish with his time. I picture him blowing 1/3 of his paycheck on gear, events, and coaching, hopefully he can afford it without putting his family out.

I don't really know the sexy beast or the dude, and I realize the running dude may be huge philanthropist and the dad may be a compulsive gambler and a drunk, but this is what I imagine.

Basically to all you dads out there, you can bet that your level of sexy beast-ness tripled the second you turned from dude to a dad. It happened the very second you made the choice to not be a dude, or even dude with a kid, but made the conscious decision man-up and fill the shoes of a father. Happy Father's Day Men!

Hey you in the mom-jeans, you are a sexy beast.
You see her in the aisle at the grocery store, at the take-out counter in the local pizza place, and at every school car wash fundraiser. You do not see her leaving a salon, enjoying happy hour with girlfriends, or at the movie theater seeing her movie of choice. This woman is generally nondescript. Her jeans (and she is always wearing jeans) never fit quite right and are of that strange capri length that falls somewhere between the knee and the calf. Her hair is also a not quite right length falling somewhere between her ears and chin. You never notice her shirt as it is a basic tee and her shoes are always practical.

This woman is educated, and as practical as her footwear. I don't know her but I stereotype her. I imagine her to be a financial genius, her stupid pants say to me "I have a savings account for my child's college education and my vacation to New Zealand, Bali, Tour of the Amazon etc... when said child leaves for college." Her oddly shaped hair-do reflects the time she puts into actually preparing nourishing meals consistently for her tribe. There is nothing trendy about this woman, but she embodies the value of commitment to goals with long term payoff. Instead of splurging on the many, many, many things that women tend to splurge on (clothing, trendy home decor, bags, more clothing), she will be able to travel well and often once the kids are off to college. She has not lost her personal identity, she has just grown beyond flaunting it. Perhaps she is a world known internet resource and expert for her obscure niche in geology. She is a sexy beast.

So hooray for the great people that make great parents, my sister and I come from two of the finest examples.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tangerine Pants and other Summer (non)Essentials

Through the checkout line at the grocery store yesterday I noticed at least five magazines more expertly fashionable than myself, declaring to me what essential must have items for summer I MUST purchase NOW!

I'm intrigued, what could I, a single mother of two living just above poverty level possibly need this summer? What items are so amazing that beauty magazines are "lusting" and "craving" them? What am I "lusting" and "craving"...such strong words to be applied to flirty dresses, trendy nail polish shades, clutches, and espadrilles.

I gave some not so deep but very amusing thought to this on a 4 hour run today and came up with my own must have list for summer. To broaden my research pool I asked my kids over dinner tonight if some of the fashion-sets proposed items were things they would need this summer, and if not, what was on the peanut galleries summer essential list? So let's compare shall we?

First up from the fashionistas: a white bustier crop top that looks casual-chic when paired with blah, blah, blah, done reading that caption. I cannot express how much I do not need this top. I really wanted a similar one in 1990 that my mom put the kibosh on, if I'm going out in a scanty top you can bet it's a sports bra for a run between the hours of 7 pm -7 am outside of the harmful UV daylight hours.

My most favorite top this summer is the Pearl Izumi Women's Fly In-R-Cool top in white, I have two of these already and wear them all the time. The past two summers this top has made running mid-day bearable. The fabric cools you as you funk it up with your sweat, plus check out the skin coverage. When running for 4 hours in temps around 110 this is pretty much the only top that acts as your personal misting system. And it's a bargain for me as I already have this item! WIN, don't need to buy it!
Next up from the fashion set, a multi-tasking product to keep in your handbag, for the gal who needs touch ups on the go! Apparently just showing up with whatever state your face is already in won't do! This product will freshen up your lips and cheeks, I am not convinced that mine are dingy so I will pass. However I did get a new Dr Pepper flavored Lip Smacker the other day, which is a truly multi-tasking product, because when my son asks to use my chap stick he will not end up walking around with a glossy berry-stained pout.
Summer Beauty Essentials
I'm sure it's a no brainier here that my summer and year round face essential is sunblock. I prefer the mineral based kind with zinc as it will sit on your skin instead of being absorbed and metabolized (yuk), however any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen. Duh, moving on.
So this is serious ladies, apparently we need pants in a pop of color like orange. We can go from day to night with them. So how the hell did we EVER manage to go from day to night before! This is a game changer, now when I am done with working, studying, running, playing with my kids, and general cooking and cleaning nonsense that each day consists of for me, I can go to NIGHT in these pants, genius, orange pajamas! Oh wait am I supposed to go-out Out in them? What's this going out business?
My answer to this essential is I already have plenty of pants that work just fine, jeans, tights, running shorts, regular shorts, etc... Another WIN, no need to buy what I already have. However regarding my lower half I would like to have less of a tan that covers only the areas that my socks and shorts don't. It certainly won't stop me from being in a swimsuit but I am acutely aware that my legs are way-dark-tan and my arse and feet are reflective white.

The third recommended summer must have items are wedges to add pop and "pizzazz" to your white sundress. I'm just happy keeping the pizza off my white sundress and can't believe I actually just read pizzazz to describe these shoes, that's a very Golden Girls word to me, fun to say though. I think I'd like to say it more often, in fact that word will be the first thing I teach my kids tomorrow morning. How great would it be if all the parents taught the kids that word tomorrow and it became the next trendy word, we had "awesome" and "rad" in the 90's, "extreme" in the 00's, and I'd be thrilled to never hear anything described as "epic" ever again, however something with "pizzazz" would peak my interest. 

This summer essential was handled by the peanut gallery, their mutual response was to the effect of "those are stupid, we need flip-flops". I couldn't agree more, and another round WON by me because we already have flip-flops and sandals aplenty. I guess I'll need to replace my trail shoes soon but I'm not craving or lusting after them. At then end of the day they are just shoes that you take off and take your nekked feet to bed-equal to all the other nekked footed people of the Earth.

The glamorous magazine says I need bling to slip on my arm to best accent my dress because it's always fun. Meh, not my style or my kind of fun. Fun? Do you honestly look at this shiny piece of manufactured yellow held together by crappy elastic and think, wow, I would have so much fun with that. Balloons or bubbles maybe, and wine, definitely wine and a bike, but not a bracelet.

Our family summer essential to slip on our wrists is Road ID, endearingly known to the kids as "safety bracelets." We wear them on all our adventures. WIN again, already have them, no purchase necessary. 

This next fashion forward item I can kinda-sorta get on board with, but not. Designer friendship bracelets. I like the inspiration behind them but think buying them totally misses the point. I remember making these for my friends in 3rd grade, each one had my love and what felt at the time like blood, sweat, and tears poured into it. And a CLASP on this, H E double hockey sticks NO! The true friendship bracelet is meant to be tied on by your friend and stay on your wrist until it no sign of its original color remains, is growing fuzz, and hopefully falls off your wrist naturally before it can infect you.
My summer must have rebuttal to this is a craft hour with my 8 year old daughter so I can hand down the ancient time honored generational skill of friendship bracelet weaving. I already have large box of every color string and safety pins so WIN, no purchase required. I rule. Plus the rainbow loom plastic rubber band thing is soooo ages 5-7.
Just about every list I saw stated that I need a tribal cross-body purse this summer. Sheesh, of course a token "it" bag has to make the list. At least the one this column featured is affordable from Target, a super glorious store. Still I shall walk past it the next time I am at Target, like Sinead O'Conner stated, I do not want what I haven't got, or at least try very hard not to. But this purse doesn't apply, it's a challenge for me to walk past really cool Lego sets for the kids and good-looking running clothes.
Honestly I am in the market for a new hydration pack. I have one that works OK but the adjustable parts loosen easily as it is old and chemically altered from years of sweat, thus I am always shifting it around during my run. I also have the line to the bite-valve rigged with a rubber band to avoid floppy-straw, the VPL (visible panty line) of trail running. I'm looking at the 2L Nathan VaporWrap. Behold the fanciness below. I may splurge on this, however I am not craving or lusting this. That would be weird.

Top 5 summer essentials from the peanut gallery (see if you can pick up on the theme):
-Swim suits
-Flip flops
-Pool Toys
-Swim goggles
-Like 12,000 popsicles

My Top 5 summer essentials, and lucky me that I already have most of these items, hopefully they are still en-vouge enough to get me through the season:
-Sun hats, shade is always cool
-My awesome cruiser that was my mom's bike when she was a teen
-At least one race entry for a scenic trail
-Beach vacation with kiddos
-A continuously clean home, it makes a huge difference to me when things are tidy

So now I must say what I am craving and lusting after, it's simple. A house to raise my kids in. I am sick of being in an apartment where we can't be loud or jump, I feel trapped with the lack of windows, however cramped is one thing we don't feel. This temporary home is small and my little tribe is close so we don't mind always being together in the same room, it would be lonely for me otherwise. So soon enough, I'll have a career where I can provide for me and mine. 

Meanwhile I will continue to mock the superfluous vanity and wasteful economics of this world. Hopefully I can teach my children that stuff is just stuff, no matter how fancy or expensive. And yes some stuff is highly sentimental, but that is not stuff we crave, that is stuff that finds us. Like my great grandmothers silver spoons that were pioneered across the plains, or the first drawing my daughter drew of her and I holding hands that is framed on my nightstand.

And to all the magazines out there, please note that "adding a pop of color" to my look most certainly does not constitute "daring". On the flip side every mom I know has had a poop of color added to her look at some point, and none of us get hazard pay for this "daring" undertaking. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014 Zane Grey DNF, or Magi's big apology

We knew the weather would be bad, I even had the most obvious dream about it the night before. In the dream my friends and I were lined up at the start under a perfect blue sky. Then the dark clouds rolled in, slowly and ominously taking over the sky, blacking-out all light, much like 'The Nothing' from The Neverending Story....not to different from what really happened race day.

5am start and we are all off from the Pine Trailhead headed to Camp Geronimo aid station at mile 8, everyone but me that is. I was feeling really good and enjoying the light drizzle that we had for the first hour and a half. Cruizin on down the trail I went, wheeee, having fun, stupidly assuming I knew where I was going.  I know exactly where I took the wrong trail and I unfortunately didn't realize I was following the wrong trail markers until I was pretty far off course. The Mogollon Monster 100miler shares some of the Highline trail with Zane Grey, grrr I'm such a dummy, face palm! There was hail, there was snow, there was freezing gusts of wind, and I managed to reach the top of the rim on the WRONG trail. What was I thinking!? Part of me was hoping the trail would intersect with a road that could bring me down the mountain on a different route--I did eventually reach a road, the rim road, a very much not right and incorrect road that at least I had enough sense not to take.

The worst part of this whole expedition was the time I wasted of the race's resources. This includes the extra time the course sweeper (THANK YOU) spent checking for runner 135, the time spent by a medic and Jim, the lead radio coordinator,waiting for me at the broken-down aid station, and the stress and worry I caused my crew, and friends.

As I was descending the Webber (wrong) Trail the weather was really getting bad. The rain had already turned to hail, but the hail and wind were getting worse. My gear was pretty good for the conditions but there is only so much your extremities can take. My hands and feet were beyond numb and stabbing--however this pain is irrelevant in comparison to what the other runners who endured the entire course went through. I knew my day was over and that I would be in a warm car by 10:00am. So I had as much fun as I could slipping and mud surfing my way back to where I got off track. I sang songs out loud to myself, sent messages to Emmet on the wind to not worry and that I was ok (bummer he didn't hear them), and finally emerged at what was the Camp Geronimo aid station 3 hours and 15 minutes late. As soon as I saw Jim I shouted "runner 135! I'm fine and I'm Sorry!!". Jim and the whole Zane Grey coordination team are extraordinary by the way--a sincere thank you-thank you-thank you!

Jim radioed in my found status (no longer jerk-lost status) and let my muddy butt in his truck to get warm. The medic who's name I wish I could remember (Alex?) had waited to make sure I was ok, which I was, (just embarrassed) and went to one of the many runners who would need his attention that day at Washington Park aid station mile 17.

To the amazing RD Joe Galope, I am terribly sorry if I added stress to an already intense day.

My crew and best friend/loved one Emmet was the one who had the roughest day. A word of advice to anyone that will take it, please avoid going missing, your loved ones will thank you. I had friends ready to drive up from Phoenix and start a search party, the race officials were 10 minutes away from starting an official search and rescue effort, and the whole time I was fine, just on the wrong trail. This is a mistake I shouldn't have made that I take full credit for.

After being returned to my loved one and a change of clothes, Emmet and I headed to mile 33 aid station Fish Hatchery to rally at the finish. What a day this was for everyone! The race was cut short and mile 33 was the new finish due to the weather. The finish line stories were another testament to the loving community that is ultra-running, each runner that came in had a story of how someone had helped them at some point. Congrats to all the runners who attempted Zane Grey this year, how nuts,crazy,awesome was that!?

The Amazing Michelle Patuto and I at the start (She did awesome!)

 The Amazing Tiffany Forster and I (She did awesome as well!)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

No Budget Low Budget Music Video

It's 8:17pm, as I write this I can hear the kids in bed wavering between love and hate. At points I think it's a fight I need to intervene on.....and then I realize they are making their stuffed animals argue, and it's heated.

The stuffed animal crew, or as we call them 'lovies' are part of the family. So much so that the worst repercussion of naughtiness in the home is not the loss of a toy, or time out, or even loss of privilege, but a lovie having to spend the night ALONE and LONELY in mommies closet of doom. I raised highly emphatic children apparently (message being your bad choices affect others, and don't eff with mom).

So one of our dorkus family activities is making up songs on demand about whatever, some more notable than others. This music video has a few roots, first, I made a flat-ish teddy for Madeline before she was born, its a brown velvet bear made of two pieces, a front and a back. No face, no tail, no butt. Mads always thought it was weird and gave it to Max, whom Max took in with open arms and named "Silly Billy" as he truly is quite silly indeed.

So, when asked to improv a song about Silly Billy I was immediately reminded of the Pixies La La Love You as Silly Billy likes to shake his butt, but in all honesty, he does not know which side his butt is on.

Once again the Pixies live up to their reputation of being the most inspiring alt-rock band of all time.

Side note, we made this low key and terrible, thus any future lovie videos will be improvements, setting the bar nice and low. Plus the kids are happy and that passes my QC.

Set to the tune of Dick Dale and his Del-Tones Surfing Drums
Heeeeres Silly Billy and his El-Heinies performing Silly Billy Shake your Butt

Friday, March 7, 2014

Flashback Friday, ZG 2012 race report

With ZG 2014 in the very near future I re-visited my 2012 race report that I had only shared with family and friends. While it isn't the most thrilling read, it does add to the excitement for this years race!

I also ran the 2013 race

I hindsight I find a few funnies in here. Storytime:

Apologies in advance if you do not want to read this much about me, nevertheless this was an incredible experience and I am really excited to share it!
The Zane Grey 50 has earned a reputation for being one of the most grueling ultras out there. I had spoken with friends who had completed the race and the consensus was I could expect to add about 2 hours onto my avg 50M time (if there is such an avg) prepare to fall, get scratched, sprained, dislocated, lost, broken, etc… this all sounds like adventure right?! The race was a bit of a blur so I am sorry for the lack of detailed trail accounts.
 April 21st, 2012 was the big day of the notorious race, in anticipation of this I had prepared with all sorts of hot, hilly, long, and really fun desert mountain runs. Emmet was prepared to crew for me race day, this made a huge difference. Knowing that someone 100% reliable is waiting for you at designated aid stations on the course with water and nutrition refills, sunblock, an icy towel to wipe down with, words of encouragement, and anything else you may possibly need is indescribable. I say this because when you are running 50 miles through some of the most unpredictable Arizona terrain, your entire life is narrowed down to the steps it takes to get your butt from aid station to aid station. Emmet has accompanied me on many training runs so he knows my pace, my weaknesses, my strengths, and he also knows how to tell me what I need when I may not realize it, this is important. The weather was predicted to be 90 degrees, I wasn't too concerned about this, by default I have to train in the heat and have learned to be very smart about hydration and electrolyte balance. Unfortunately the heat was by far the biggest hazard on the course that day for many of the runners, out of 126 starters only 84 finished.

 This link is by a runner who has great pics of the course in his blog:

 In the two days prior to the race I had a total of 5 hours sleep, this was the only stimulus for self-doubt weighing in my head. The night of the race I was lying in bed with the "I want to cry but I'm so mad I can't" feeling. The alarm clock went off at 3:15 am and all that nonsense turned into baloney, it was race day, wheee! We arrived at the start 4:30am, just enough time to hit the bathroom, check in with race officials, and stay warm in the car until the 5:00am race start. And just like that the race started, off we went into the woods, all 126 of us with our headlamps beaming in the dark. Actually mine was lightly beaming, I think the batteries died just as the sun rose enough to see without it, lucky me! It was 8 miles to the first aid station, I was equipped with all the nutrition and water I would need to get me to the second aid station (mile 17) where Emmet was planned to meet me, the first 8 miles flew by, it took about 3 miles for the runners to spread out and about 40 minutes for the sun to rise. Running with a headlamp is really fun, the small illumination for your footfalls on new terrain makes me feel like a little kid exploring with a flashlight. Admittedly it really slows me down as the few falls I have had in the past all occurred while running in the dark, thus I now go a little slower. The logic is I'd rather be 5 minutes slower than broken. As we came into the 8 mile aid station we were greeted with cheers, and even better Emmet was there to make sure I was doing OK, (I had started the race with a new hydration pack and he wanted to make sure that it wasn't leaking) I ran through the station on my way to mile 17.
 Miles 8-17 were beautiful, the morning was cool and this portion of the trail was through pine forest ascending to views of the Mogollon rim, I was on fresh legs and trying my best to hold back for the many, many hills and miles to come. There were numerous river crossings over precarious rocks that really added to the adventure vibe. The course at this point was on an easy to follow single-track trail, well marked with yellow tape and glow sticks. Coming up on mile 17 I could hear the cheers as runners came into the aid station, this was so encouraging I cried a little! Emmet had prepared an area with everything I could possibly need, I quickly toweled off the crusty salt-sweat, exchanged my hydration pack for a freshly packed one, took 2 ibuprofen to help ward off inflammation and set off again----DANG IT! I didn't take my sunglasses, I was running without a visor on purpose as I didn't want to risk missing any trail markers in my periphery, the trail was now beginning to live up its notoriety and I could see how easily a marker could be missed. Many experienced ZG runners have lost hours going in the wrong direction.
 Mile 17-33 was brutal, I was told to expect the worst during this part, the majority of the trail is an old exposed burn area. Tons of direct sunlight (Gaarrr no sunglasses) lots of elevation to climb, and lucky you if you don't get lost as you have to be super aware of trail markers. This part of the trail has to recover from a harsh winter so the area has a ton of dead tree fall, new dry grass/shrubby growth, and lots of crumbly unsteady soft red rock. At mile 23 there is an aid station only accessed by the official race crew, this aid station is an oasis---it's called Hell's Gate from mile 23-33-- as I ascended into the station the volunteer shouted out "Welcome to Hell, how you doin'? I was doing pretty good considering all the runners were in the same hot boat, I was conditioned for the heat so I knew as long as I kept hydrated I would have no problems. I filled up my pack with water, chugged another few cups of water, and threw a handful of ice down the back of my shirt, off I went into Hell. At this point in the race runners were beginning to drop, many people started out to fast, spent their energy, and were not prepared for the heat. I was not really going to fast but I managed to pass many people during this stretch. The race is organized so that there are rescue workers stationed on the course about every 7 miles with radios, their job is to account for each runner as they pass and make sure nobody goes missing. About mile 25 I came up on a man who had passed me around mile 20, he was hunched over on the side of the trail, he was obviously unprepared with not enough water or calories, as I was offering him some of my water he vomited, nothing I could do for this guy except for run on ahead to tell the next rescue crew they had a runner in trouble. There were some parts of trail during this leg where I would think to myself "seriously?? I am supposed to run this?" and other parts where I had to remind myself that I had trained to go faster and harder, hiking was the only option for many parts of the trail, however dragging my feet was not. My head needed to be reminded to move my feet!

Whoo-hoo I made it to mile 33 aid station! The delirium sets in completely about this point, as I came into the station Emmet was yelling "go this way, now go this way, now this way" leading me from the check in to the car where all my gear was. This is where it makes a difference for someone who knows your habits to intervene, I was spot-on for nutrition and hydration but with the heat every ones sweat factor was major--Emmet made sure to impose upon me the importance of taking extra electrolytes--these are electrolyte tabs to swallow--if you had seen all the salt crusted on my face/shirt/body it's pretty obvious I was depleted, I now swear by these caps! Seriously, all I could tell you at this point was which way is up or down. My brain was only focused on watching my footfall to not trip and keeping a keen eye on trail markers. A funny note here, about a week prior Max had told me in his cutie voice "Good job Mommy" when I pointed out a local peak I ran to during a training run. During the race I had his cute little voice in my head rewarding me with a "Good Job Mommy!" every time I came upon a trail marker!  
So onto miles 33-44, Emmet loaded me up with 2L of water on my back, 32oz in my hands, about 800 calories in my pack (all of which I would use) and I was on my way! This was serious fun, the trail was about 60% run-able so now I know I need to improve my hiking skillz, other than this I was focused on the next 11 miles of adventure. I think my most proud accomplishment for this race was not falling once, I don't fall often but still this terrain is really 'trippy' (funny right?) so now blur blur blur, hill, hill, up , up , up , and I arrive at mile 44!

 The crowd is cheering all the runners as we descend into the station, Emmet leads me to the car and preps me for the last 6 miles. Hmmm 6 miles, how long might this take...try 1 hour and 40 minutes...uuuuuffffff. This last 6 miles was long and exhilarating, and hard. The terrain was pretty pine forest but my legs were shot, there was spot about mile 46 where some thin ice patches were still frozen on the ground, it just made sense to me to come to a standstill stop to look at them and contemplate lying down on one--I chose to keep on trucking but now I was day dreaming of cold pools to dip in and icy drinks. After what seemed like an endless stretch of trail I rounded a corner and was in earshot of the finish, what a rush! I picked up the pace as best I could and finished strong, the 35th finisher and 8th female to be exact. The whole race took me 12:40 minutes and every second was great!