Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My latest greatest

I have now run the following 10 races this calender year.......

Austin Livestrong Half Marathon 2:33

Capital 10 K(Austin) 57 minutes

Red River Half Marathon 2:40

Vern's 5k- 5 times- 26:35-27:25

Run for the Rovers 5K 27:40

Austin Turkey Trot (5 Miles) 47:44

It has been alotta fun just getting acquainted with this sport and so I hope that 2012 will be even better. I am signed up for the Austin Livestrong Half Marathon in February and I am considering doing the full marathon but haven't decided yet......5 plus hours is a long time - I even have trouble staying awake that long- much less running......for 5 hours. Oh well, I just wanted to update everything and I want to wish my babies a Merry Christmas and I love you!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Red River High Mountain Half Marathon

OK. By far, the craziest thing I ever signed up for was this race. The race was held May 21 in Red River, New Mexico. The altitude of the town is 8700 feet. The elevation at the highest point of the run is over 10000 feet. Austin is about 300 feet. Where I train there are no hills. Wheeler Peek is the highest mountain in New Mexico at 13,161 feet and I ran the race with beautiful views of this mountain. And the temperature was 36 degrees and windy at the start.

I have been going to Red River since 1975. I hadn't been there in four years. It was very strange going back but I felt like this was something I needed to do. I needed to put the past behind me and get on with my new life.

I got to Santa Fe Thursday and stayed with one of my best friends who has stuck with me since I met him in 1996. Bobby showed me some of the awesome places to eat in the Santa Fe area....Like Bobcat Bite and The Plaza. I got to run around on Friday and sight see. I love that part of the world and the culture and beauty and BLUE SKY! On Friday night we ate some Pasta at Joe's Cafe and decided to just drive up to Red River in the morning. We had to leave about 5 AM because it was 2.5 hours and the race started at 9 and I still had to pick up my packet.

We got to town and the headquarters for the race was on Main St. and Copperking Trail. Copperking was the first lodge we ever stayed at the first year we went to Red River. I remember that year Melanie was just a newborn and we only went to Red River because it was flooding in Colorado and our vacation was being ruined by everday floods and we were camping....

Years ago, my kids and I helped run a lodge up above Red River and had such fun times. I know those times will never be forgotten by us and I wondered how I would feel as mile marker 2 of our half marathon would be right at Aspen Park Guest Ranch.

As I said earlier, it was 36 degrees and Bobby (and his dog Maggie) probably thought I was crazy for doing this but they were there to support and Bobby took a few pics and stuff. There weren't a ton of runners for the race, which was also a 5K if you wanted an easier run. I would guess there were about 40 in the race total.

I knew it would be brutal but I was ready to get going. The horn sounded and the first part of the race follows the river in town and heads right at the "Y" past the Roadrunner and the Goose Creek Trail. It is relatively flat up until the Goose and I knew this would be a great place to set a nice slow pace which I didn't do.... I went out too fast, being anxious and by the time I was at Tall Pine I was pretty gassed but not about to walk or anything because it was starting to get steep.

I kept plugging along and got to Aspen Park. I looked at all the cabins that overlooked the river. Deer Trail, Waterfall, Columbine- where we always stayed, Triple, Shadow Mountain and Elk Lodge......and the big fireplace where we always cooked out and roasted smores in the evening.......a beautiful wonderful place and I wasn't sad at all. In fact, I was happy to have those memories.

But, I still had a race to run and I went past Goose Creek hiking trail and kept going on the national forest part of the run where there are basically no houses or business or anything....just me and the road and the mountain, trees and sky. It was spectacular and around mile 4 I was hurting pretty good and looking to see when this steep stretch might end.

Just then, the saddest thing possible happened. I got passed by a lady. An older lady. An older lady speed walker. This was about mile 4.5 and I decided to walk to the top of this hill right before the pullover with the first view of Wheeler Peak. It was absolutely gorgeous. Tons of snow and majestic as always. I could see the Upper Valley ahead and just needed to clear the 4th of July Canyon area to get to a nice stretch of downhill into the valley before the last climb before we turned around to come back down.

I knew this was the highest point of the race- close to 10000 ft. The Upper Valley had always been a favorite place to go see elk and deer and I was glad to be there. Once I crossed the bridge over the river, I knew there would be a climb to the end of the pavement where we turned around. I struggled through this part with running and having to walk some of the tops of the hills. The altitude was a killer where my mind had bigger plans than the thin air allowed my body to do.

Finally, I got to the turnaround and grabbed two gatorades and a banana and started jogging downhill!! I saw Bobby drive up and he was checking to make sure I hadn't died. I knew I could get down quicker than the 90 minutes it had taken me to get up here. Little did I realize that it is kinda uphill and downhill both ways and not as easy as I thought on the way down.

I had seen this guy up ahead of me for MILES and I was finally getting closer to him. Bobby went down to the bottom again and back up. I finally caught this guy and started talking to him. His wife, he told me, was a super runner and had probably finished by now and he told me he was from Missouri and on vacation. We jogged and talked. Bobby came by again and gave me some beef jerky. No Man's Land Beef Jerky which is my favorite. This gave me renewed energy and me and this Missouri guy finished the last easy flat part of the race and tied at the finish. I found out later that this guy got a medal in the 30 somethings but I didn't because the 40 somethings had some great runners. Like Boston Marathoners and I didn't get a medal.

But I did get a great trip. A great challenge and had some good talks with Bob. Oh, and on the way home I had told Bobby that I wanted to stop at these hot springs on the Rio Grande by Taos to soak my aching muscles. We cross the Rio Grand on the John Dunn bridge and hike about a quarter of a mile to the springs. There we find this nude couple in the hot springs and I am like....I don't care. I have been through alot and I am from out of state and I am getting was awkward for awhile...for me....not them apparently. But muscles sure felt better from the 105 degree water.

I went back to Santa Fe and ate a green chile cheeseburger at Bobcat Bite and then talked with Bobby and Sherri and slept great.

I'll never forget that wonderful, meaningful trip and all the good people who helped me get back to Red River.

I dedicate this race to my family- MOM, DAD, Lisa, Melanie and their families and my children- who I love so much and Kimberly and Bella.

Thanks to Bobby and Sherri Spinelli for hosting me and for Daniel Bristo and my Lubbock Girls!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Everyone wants a fresh start. At some point we all go through times where we feel like all of the pressures of life just have to stop or we just can't take another step. I've carried around baggage for years and Im just not going to do it anymore. It's too heavy. I am going to take care of the things I can take care of and the rest is up to God. I am going to love my family and friends to the best of my ability. I can control that. I can't control most of the rest of things. I am going to love my family, especially. They have been the one constant in my life and have loved me even when their own mind probably questioned it. I am going to love a couple of girls that I really don't know what I would do without. They mean the world to me and I would do anything to make them smile or make their lives better. I am going to love my 3 kids as best I can and in spite of the limitations placed upon me. I will always be here for them.

I am also trying to take care of things health wise that I can take care of. I am exercising every day. Usually about 30-60 minutes of cardio and 30 or more minutes of weight lifting. I also am training to run the 1/2 marathon in Austin on Feb. 20. I started training Nov. 1 and I weighed 250 lbs and I now weigh 210 as of Jan. 27. It has been incredible in the improvements physically but even more so mentally. I just feel like I can get past the stress and the overall buildup of junk in my mind. And it just took a step. I just had a day where I wasn't going to accept an excuse for not joining a gym. I decided I was going to join Planet Fitness on Dec 9, 2010. I drove by and said to myself "You will join now". I didn't have any workout clothes but there was a Bealls next door and I went in and bought some workout clothes and got after it. Lots of eliptical and cardio. I actually went twice a day that week because work was really slow and I was really fat! After about two weeks of that, I wasn't losing a ton of weight but I was gaining muscle and my pants were getting baggy. I ate mostly chicken, soup and salad. I quit eating hamburger or pizza for the most part. Still haven't had a hamburger since Oct.

Other areas I have worked on are going to church and to small groups on a regular basis and trying to meet more people and have more friends. I don't know that I can control much more than that but it's a chore just to do these things but I have a ton more energy and that helps.

I am also working on a couple of things that I will post about later and I am looking forward to a summer of seeing my kids.......

I am deleting all of my old posts and moving on......Everyday is a new day and I am thankful for that...