Daily Chatter

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vikings, Attack!

Vikings get a bad wrap.  You only ever hear about the pillage and plunder part these kindly vikings stopped by my house last night and the giant mess aside, they were lively company!

(Insert evil laugh)

Happy with all the booty they stole!
(took from the candy stash!)

That was our fun after a majorly messed up evening of "should have been gymnastics-was supposed to turn into soccer practice-the coach was a no show-ended up visiting with another players mom while the kiddos eat ice cream-followed by covert Easter shopping while middle one was reading on the pharmacy benches-mad dash home to finish homework and collapse!
I'll spare you all the details.

This morning I got out for a quick wake up run which I really needed after the terrible non-sleep schedule littles has fallen into.  3.5 (27:36) yeah for a little speed again!  After work I am hoping to get out and make some more vitamin D with the littlest.

What's your plan to work off that Easter candy?
Come on admit it!  I know you ate a little bit of what you bought for the kids!

A Great don't bother to enter I'm going to win this giveaway!
@ Racing with Babes

Monday, March 29, 2010

Good to be Back

I watched the skies all day at work today.  First it was raining then the clouds parted and the sun shone.  Then the clouds lowered again and the rain fell.  Along with my hopes of getting back out there running.  But I no sooner pulled into the driveway when the drops lessened and then stopped!
I ran for my running clothes while the kiddos played outside.  Littlest hopped into the jogger and middle one got situated for my run then off we went.
It was so great to be outside running again!  While I still feel like I am struggling with my pace and form, I hold on to the idea that all I need are a few solo pace runs to feel back on track again.
Littlest and I did our 6.5 loop "the easy way", which means instead of two steep inclines there are a dozen long steady inclines and two short steepish ones.  (54:06 this detail I'd rather leave out since I usually run this loop in 46 - 50 minutes)

The rain didn't return even after our run so we all went down the road to my sisters houses to visit for a little while before homework started calling us back.
I am already eager to see what runs tomorrow will bring. 
Isn't it great to run without the pressure of a training schedule and the stress of an upcoming race?!?
(Don't worry.  I am still trying to find that next offical finish line to cross.  I can't just quit racing cold turkey!!!)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I've Been Away

It was a long drive to Army Son's graduation but we made it!

We had to be briefed about all the could and could nots.

Finally we got to see our solider!  Littlest was so happy to see his big brother again.

Army son looks great!  He is having a very successful time!

The first day our pass only allowed us to spend time with our soldier on the base.  But we found wonderful places to share our time together.   Army son wanted to run me through his PT.  Unfortunately I had not brought wokout gear onto the post.

The following day was the graduation.  It was a very nice ceremony.  We enjoyed lunch with several other soliders and their families.  The stories they told and the fathers joined in.  It was a great time.
Our soliders missed the oddest things.  After a long lunch they wanted to go to WalMart.  Go figure!

But all too quickly it was over.  And we had the mad rush to get out soldier back to the base. 
I was very sad even though I was completely happy for him and beyond proud I was still struggling with some tears.  I guess that is why I forgot my ID to get back on base.  Ekkk!
After a sprint back to the hotel to ID we drove like crazy to the base.  
On E!  We were on fumes but made it in time for Army son to make formation.
We found diesel just of post and realized the Army son had forgot somethings. 
Yipee.  We got to go back and give them to him.  Luckily we didn't get him in trouble and all was well. 
With a few tears.

The next morning was rough after the emotional roller coaster but we got on the road for a long drive. 
We got tired of driving so littlest took his turn too.

Before I was even home Army son sent us a quick shot of his new location.  He is so excited and ready to take on the next leg of his journey.
Not much running was had the last 3 days and I don't know if I will get it in today but I feel like my time was well spent and my heart was exercised.
Just in a different way.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Get a towel, I'm going to gush!

This is my Army Son.
I am so proud to be his mother.
It makes me proud to think I was blessed with the opportunity to know this young man like few others.  At times he was confused and shortchanged myself but I have always known that within him was something far greater than he had yet dreamed possible.
This Friday my Army Son will finish one stretch of his journey to amazing himself.
I say amazing himself because it doesn't amaze me.  I always knew he would find that something that filled him with pride and passion.  I always knew he was capable of far more.
Nothing he ever does will ever amaze me because I know that God gave me a son bound to do great things.  I pray that with each accomplishment my son silently asks himself, "I wonder if this was that great thing mom always said I do?  Or is there still more?"
I pray he ALWAYS knows he still has more potential within him.
As every mother can understand, I love this young man my little baby grew up to be.

I wonder if I can still out run him?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Clouds Rolled In

I had to hussle when I got home after work.  The clouds were getting heavier as the minutes passed.  I thought once about skipping it but I think we all know,
"You never regret the runs you take but you always regret the ones you don't."
So I got my middle situated for a hour and littlest and I took off for the 6.5 mile loop.
(will I ever get to run solo again?)
I have to say that getting any speed back since the ultra has been very hard.  With so much going on and my hubbs crazy work schedule I haven't had much any opportunity to get a solo run in.  I really need some so that I can get some speed work done. 

When I bid farewell to my last long love pair of sauconys I mentioned that I already had another 'red box' waiting for me.  Truth be told I have 3 red boxes waiting for me.  I usually buy 2 pair at a time (can anyone say SALE!) and since I hadn't changed pairs in so long I got a few extra purchased from gift cards I have gotten for Christmas and birthdays.  Sweet!
This is a pair I wore once before but they ATE my heels.  I'm talking the back half of this shoe was RED!  In this shoes defense I wore them for the first time with the wrong socks and on a LONG run.  Never do that to a new shoe.  It's just not fair.
So I was not afraid to give them another try.  (and the other 2 pair are so beautifully white that I just can't get them dirty by running in the potential thunder storm with them!  Not yet!)
Let me say they (only having one run on them) felt like little pillows under my midsoles!  They are trail shoes but not really aggressive ones.  I like a sturdier shoes sometimes.  They were wonderful and the ucky color will never look dirty.  There are nice orange accents on them but my pictures all came out fuzzy tonight.

You can see littlest and I beat the thunderstorm!  We were really slow but I am still happy for the miles and time together.  Littlest didn't nap but yelled at every bird, cat, dog, cow, horse, goat and person we saw along the way.  He seemed to be having a great time.
That was my running for today.  Yes, only one.  I know it's shocking but that's all I could squeeze in today.
Now I have everyone in bed and I am going to finally do what my Bondi band told me to do

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March in the 70s

It was beyond nice today. 
I had a difficult time in church focusing on the sermon because one cute little 18 month old boy couldn't behave of the amazing weather that was waiting outside for me!
I reminded myself of the importance of why I was at church in the first place and paid attention but when service was over littlest and I eagerly hit the roads!
We did our 9.5 mile loop today.  Having ran 6.5 yesterday with the jogger I didn't think I was up for too much more distance since I was pushing the jogger again and wanted to be able to hold a decent pace.

This route took us on a back road closer to the mountain.  There a these giant old trees that I love.  Their branches are so thick and wavy.  This picture does not do it's size justice!

After our run (1:23:01) the middle one joined us for a walk to my sister's and then the church so she could ride her scooter and draw with chalk.

I was a salty mess after running in the 70 degree temps even though I took water and drank.  Running in the heat will take some getting used to!

The birds were chirping so loudly that I couldn't ignore them any longer.  I went to check on my feeders, some of which had fallen over the winter.  I felt quilty for having disturbed all the ladybugs.  They seemed to be having their own little race to see who could get away the fastest.
With all this racing talk, I can't wait to go read how everyone did over the weekend with their races!

Army son update.  Graduation is THIS Friday!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Farewell to a Faithful Friend

My Darling,

I can not begin to tell you how much these past 1000+ miles have meant to me.  You have carried me throughall the training for a marathon, a 10k, a half marathon, several 5 ks and all but 12 miles of my ultra training.  Where would I be without you?

But I have seen that you have taken notice to that red box beside my bed.  I don't want there to be any lies between us.  We have come to far for that. 

There is someone else.  There I've said it. 

We both knew this day would come.  A day when I would have to allow you to rest after having helped me for so long. 

I am sure that we will still have our days together but as I start to prepare for my next adventure, I have to do what is best for both of us.  I know you wouldn't want to see me injured.  And I couldn't bear to see you completely distroyed; riddled with holes.

It's not you it's me.  I hope we can still be friends.

Yours in running,

Friday, March 19, 2010

But I thought you said 6 miles

Just when I was needed my lovely biking sherpa she is there for me! 
Isn't she just the cutest thing?
Of course that was after 2 days of harassing emails and text messages asking her to go with me, begging her to go with me, telling her that her butt was getting bigger from not exercising, asking if she'd died and what I should wear to the funeral because I knew that was the only way she would keep ignoring my messages; you know generally just nicely motivating her to be active.
So finally we are able to work out a pace re-setting run together. 
The next snag.  Hubbs won't be home in time to watch littlest so I will have to take him along.  Okay.  Roll with it.  You gotta do what you gotta do, right?
Littlest and I run to biking sherpa's house and see that true to form biking sherpa looks like a raging rock star with her newly coiffed hair.  But she was ready to roll.
Biking sherpa tell her mama that we will be back in an hour.  Her mama laughs, "Yeah, unless you get talked into another long run!"  We all laugh about how I like to get biking sherpa out on the trail and then surprise her with wanting to go further than I orginally told her.  We laugh that it might be two hours.
This my friends is what you call foreshadowing.  I didn't see it at the time but in hindsight; foreshadowing!

We run along our usual loop that can take us either 6.5 or 9.5 depending which way we turn.  As we near the intersection we decide to continue on for the longer distance since it is so nice outside and we are chatting up a storm.
We haven't gone an 8th of a mile when biking sherpa says, "You know I don't really like that route.  Let's do something different."  "No problem.  We have lots of intersecting roads.  Where do you want to go?", I ask.  Biking sherpa suggests that we try a road that will bring us out on our 16+mile route so we would know where we were.  The only problem was we didn't know how much distance our little excursion would add to the night.  Remember I am pushing the jogger and had perpared for a 6ish mile run.
We happily turn onto a road that I haven't been on in years.  Two big black dogs try to deter our progress. (biking sherpa is very afraid of barking dogs)  We successfully get past the dogs and continue on our adventure making choices along the way of which intersecting road to take; left or right became the question of the evening.
We are having loads of fun and that kept me going for the first hour twenty minutes and then I realized that my body had run out of sugar and we were still miles from home!  Luckily littlest didn't mind sharing his crackers with us and I had brought the entire box!  
It got dark.  It got cold.  I got tired.
Biking sherpa did a great job taking over the talking when all I had left was to run.  She sang with littlest to keep him entertained.  (Littlest was GREAT the entire time.  He deserved all the extra cuddling he got after this unexpected long run!)
She pushed me to try and keep my pace up.  I can not thank biking sherpa enough!  Even though my legs were not too happy with her choice to "try something new" at the time.
We finally made it back to the house 1:58:23 later.  We laughed about our choices of roads and talked about wanting to know how long the route might be if next time we take different roads. 
I finally got inside and tended to all the things I should have been doing a hour earlier.  Once I got a free moment I checked the distance we had traveled.

13.19 miles

Just a little more than we had planned.
God bless the jogging stroller

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sunrise and Sunset

This was my favorite kind of day!
A double day!
It is so great when the stars align and I get to be outside in the morning to see the day start.  Later I am back out here after work watching the sun set as I enjoy the local scenery!
I put in my usual maintenance 3.5 morning miles with the littest.  My legs are still feeling heavy since the race.  Do you all deal with that?  How long does it linger for you?  Do you do anything to overcome the feeling?  I plan to get in a few run without littlest and with the biking sherpa over the next few days to help "reset" my base pace again.
Aside from the slow pace and heavy legs it felt great to simply be back at it while I decide what I can do next as far as races go. 
The hurtle.  Childcare while I race since hubbs works some crazy hours.  But I will figure it out soon.

After work I put on my GREEN and went out for a hilly 6.5 miles.  It was wonderful to run in the daylight!  My legs were still somewhat leaden but I pushed through and maintained a decent pace. 

Run Like a Mother (who by the way wrote a GREAT book) had a post the other day about the number of footfalls per minute.  I counted mine.  Ugh!  With the jogger only 73!  I am to be around 80+.  I am going to have to work on that.  Did you know that tidbit?  All these years of running and I am still learning from everyone in bloggy land.  Thanks for the education.

DoN't mIsS tHeSe GrEaT gIvEaWaYs!
Marcia @ Running Out at the Mouth Is hosting  a Running Skirt Giveaway!  Check it out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A View from the Front

Mom is distracted with mommy things so I can steal a few minutes to finally tell you all what it is like to see the world from the jogging stroller.
I've been trying to get my post together all covert-like but mommy keeps interupting me!
Most of you know my mom via this blog.  So you know that my mommy loves to run.  A lot.  To tell you the truth, I'm okay with that.  I have gotten to see loads of things because mommy ran by them all the while chatting her head off; "Oh Max look at that hawk!...Max did you see those deer?...Buddy do you want to touch this turtle?...Look over there!  That's where your cousin wrecked her bike while I was running...Max that is where your sister's friend lives....Oh look at that sun rise!..." 

I indulge her and try to listen but I often fall asleep.  Come on!  Who could blame me?  I have such a sweet ride!  Warm heating pad and fuzzy blankets when it is cold.  The air and sunshine in my face when it's warm.  All the snacks I could want.  Mom even gives in and lets me have a lollipop sometimes while she is jogging.  But I think she is trying to bribe me to be good with that one. 
Don't tell her I'm on to that or the lollipops might stop!

I just want to ease all your mommy minds.  Us little ones, we love going for "joggies."  We get to see a little bit of what you mommys do when you put on those tight colorful clothes and fancy shoes.  We enjoy getting to share in seeing our neighborhoods and spotting wildlife from the comfort of your gently jiggling joggers.  So the next time you put your little guys and gals in the jogger and they fuss remember we secretly really like it!  It's just like you when you start a run.  At first you don't really want to do it but then you are so glad you did!
One final note.  I think mommy is coming! 
Thanks to all of you out there who have let nice comments about me and my sister and brother.  Mommy tells me all about them.  I just can't help it I'm so cute.  It comes naturally. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Electronic Lojack

You might not believe me but my son was born with Electronic Lojack. 
It's true. 
From the time he was able to pull himself along - low crawl style - he has been able to locate any and all unattended electronic devices.
Remote controls, cell phones, key fobs, cordless phones, computers, DSi, game controllers. 
Nothing was safe.

This is what happens when you leave a 18 month old Electronic Lojacked toddler alone for 1 minute.  I am certain that had I not intervened he would have created some technology advancing code in no time.
However since the risk that those advances would have come at the price of destroying Daddy's laptop, the choice was made to stop he frantic code entering efforts.

But true to form as the savant I just know he must be, moments later while Mommy was distracted with mountains of laundry, he was right back at it attempting to make ground breaking progress in software applications to better all mankind!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

What a Difference a little Sunshine Makes!

The time change. 
I struggle when they take that hour in the Spring.  I need to see the sunshine to lift my mood especially when I am not running many miles.  Due to the weather and flooding over the weekend I was able to REST.  Not really willingly but I did take off two WHOLE days from running.  I know that my body needs to rest after a race but I didn't at all race the Greenway Trail 50k that I completed.  I simply enjoyed it, experinced it, had fun with it.  So, my toes aside, I didn't really feel like I need to rest.  Of course all that would be excuses reasons why I am trying to justify not taking more time off when I know that to build a body, rest is one of those building blocks. 
But today I decided that if the sun was finally back at it's job of shining, I was going to get back to running, slowly.  That is what littlest and I did this morning.  A slow short wake up jog.
We enjoyed the sun coming over the ridgeline as we finished. 
Oh, I enjoyed it...

...because littlest was fast asleep by then.
I must have bored him to sleep because I was playing tour guide as we ran. 
I pointed out all the wild life and changes in the scenery from the receded flood waters while we cruised along. 
I guess I can check tour guide off potential fall back jobs! 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

They can two by two...

...the flooding is not quite that bad but it is enough to cut off some of my regular running routes.  I know you might be thinking that I just ran a 33 mile race that involved repeatedly running through water so what is a little 7 miles with wet shoes?  Right. 

Right now I am content to walk around and see the change in the scenery. 
I am content to experince the rich smells that the heavy rain and flooding brings. 
I am content to watch the raising water and dream of dry trails and sunshine.

I am content knowing that I will run even stronger tomorrow having taken this afternoon to rest.

What do you do on rainy weekend days?

Update on racing plans. 
Charlottesville Ten Miler in April 3rd
Anyone else running that race?
I am looking at the Capon Valley Trail 50k in May. 
Anyone with experince on that race?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Just beat the rain

I got out for another short run 3.5 miles with littlest in the jogger.  I am so glad I did!  Now it is raining and flooding and trying to blow the house away.  Ok only a few things that were left outside actually blew away but it feels like the whole house wants to go!

Hubbs and the kiddos went to his folks to visit so I may use the remainder of the afternoon to finally rest from my race.  (spend large amounts of time searching for my next fix trail race!) 

But what better weather to do it in than a rainy cold windy gray day?!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You never know what you'll find in a cereal box!

Today I finally woke up NOT feeling tired.  It was an achievement.  A milestone, really. 
My body was just trying to do too many things at one time. 
Let's see, running crazy high weekly mileage (90, 60, 40 in the week of the Ultra!), making milk (yeah still nursing!), menstruating (sorry men folk but girls have to deal with these extra challenges), working full time, married-single parenting, oh and running a trail 50k!

So this morning when I woke up and I didn't feel tired.  I didn't feel my boo-booed big toes.  I didn't feel my sore quads.  I just felt refreshed and awake.  I knew it was going to be a good day!

 Littlest and I went to a easy morning jog (3.5/30:40).   Before school my middle one had cereal for breakfast.  She is often upset that I don't buy her the kinds that have "prizes" in the box.  But today she found a little "prize" in her pile of flakes and she gave it to me.

There were no medals or T-shirts at the Greenway Trail 50k.  She told me I could have this to remember how much I had loved that race and that she was there with me running in to the finish.

Does it get any sweeter?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You know you are a runner when...

...you are house shopping and you google map to find running routes near each house before you agree to go see it!

Yes, that is what I did.  After my birth into the amazing world of ultra trail running (before which I never was truly alive or a runner!), we went to see seven houses in Virginia.  My hubbs is looking at certain he will get a new job in the VA area.  So house shopping we went.  The plan has been for him to first go see loads of houses and slim the list down for the family to go see.  Of course, what better day to do it than the day after my first ultra?!

I loved three of the houses we saw.  Hubbs and I agreed on two of the houses and middle one only liked one.  And I seriously did consider where I would be running.  I am not a runner who likes to drive to some place to run.  I want to walk out my front door and have running options.  Safe running options.  Let's remember that I often run with the jogging stroller so that is a factor in what is safe enough.

Another thing I did was check out the neighbors.  Where our PA home is this is not a concern.  I know nearly everyone who lives within 25 miles of me.  However, I was a bit scared when I checked and saw that there were 47 hits for "predators" in the area around two of the houses.  (versus zero hits at our PA home) 

I do understand that there are people who are convicted or accused of a crime and will never offend again.  I also realize that there are people who were in a situation such as a 20 year old boy who is accused by his 17 year old girlfriend. 

BUT.  That is not what I am worried about. 

I am worried because I won't know which ones to worry about.

This may seem off topic considering I have been all high about my ultra running lately but it really is something I think about.  I am a creature of habit.  "Bad" people use that against you.

So I am looking for some words of advice or wisdom from those of you who have moved and run or have children and have faced these same concerns. 

What did you do prior to choosing a location/house? 
Did you allow the move to change your daily behaviors?
Have you ever google predators in your neighborhood?  Were you surprised by what you learned?

On the running front:  I ran 3.5 this morning (with no concern of crazies).  I made some friends at this trail race and I am already looking forward to finding the next trail race with their experience and guidance.  Running people are just the nicest folks ever!  Oh wait, you are all runners too.  No wonder I like you all so much!

Incase you were wondering about my toenails, I got them drained.  Yeah, I just stuck a needle under the toenail.  Me = crazy or brave?  You choose!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

When I Dream I still see Trees

I know it has been 3 days and I am already looking for my next trail race but I feel like I can still smell the evergreens.  It has been a long time since a racing experince has left such an impression on me.  Even though I can't really say I was "racing" during this lastest event as much as I was enjoying the journey. 
And ENJOY I really did!  The still painful big toes are a small price to pay for such a wonderful day.

Since the race I have been cross training; the eliptical, walking, a little jogging and core work but that is it.  And I am going crazy.  I do hope to get in a short easy run tomorrow to test out my poor boo-boo toes.  I hope I don't lose more toenails!  My trail shoes did not have enough miles on them and I think they should have been a half size smaller. 
My big toes were the only 'hot' spot after the race. 
Major fluid under my toenails.  Painful! 
I will spare you the details.

Have you ever experienced a blister under your nail bed?
What did you do to relieve the pressure?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Through snow and mud and water high...

We were up and ready early in the morning. 
I was still suffering from a major cases of nerves but I was eager to get the race started knowing that once I was running things would settle down.
We didn't have any trouble finding our way to the race start.  I got registered (you did that race morning) and could have made the 7a.m. earlybird start up couldn't find hubbs, who was managing the kiddos to let him know I could head out early.  So I waited with the family, visited the potty a few times and generally just dealt with second guessing my clothes, shoes, fuel, screws in the shoes....

Finally it was time to get out there and line up with loads of other crazies! 
It looks like I was feeling very confident.
As the race started I realized I didn't know the proper way to pass someone on a single track.  I struggled with finding a way to pass with so many runners trying to fit into the tiny trail.  I will remember this for my next trail race; start at the front of the pack!
I wanted to try and take pictures throughout the race however the footing was so bad the first, hummm how many miles?  With no mile markers it was difficult to judge distance at all and to be honest the footing was bad almost the entire race (whether it was due to ice/snow or mud/water).  At least the first 7+ miles were serious snow/ice with challenging footing.  Once I was in a safer section I snapped this shot to show a little of the snow.  This was at least a runnable amount of snow but it was frozen solid making footing very unevening and often ankle turning.  I saw many runners who must have not wore screws or cleats of some kind stumble and fall.

After about 45+ minutes of running we came to our first 'real' stream crossing.  I could hear the runners yelling as they hit the cold water so I knew we were getting close long before we got there.

I was not sure I wanted to go into the water!  BUT after I did it I was amazed at how good it felt on my feet.  The water didn't make me cold at all and my feet and toes didn't seem to mind being wet.
This was one of two serious water crossings and the first of many times my feet would be soaking wet.

The trails continued to be a mix of snow, ice, mud, water and some runnable sections for the next 6+ miles.  This is a view back at the aid stattion at mile 11~.  There were so many amazing volunteers helping at aid stations, flagging road crossings and keeping us all encouraged along the way. 
After this point there were aid stations about every 4-/+ miles along the way well stocked with all kinds of goodies!  I even drank a little bit of regular soda at one station!

When I left this aid station I finally started running on my own.  Prior to this point I had been afraid of being alone on the trail as the pack had thinned out.  Worrying that I might get lost by missing one of the blue blazes that marked the way.

The next aid station was about mile15+ at that point each runner had to decide if they were going for the 50k or running the marathon.  The choice came easily I was feeling so great at this point!  The extra distance was ran around a beautiful lake.  I knew from the course discription that there were bathrooms at the park/playground somewhere near the lake and I knew I would have to use them!  Ahh, mother nature.  
The bathroom detour cost me about 10 minutes and the distraction of getting toasty warm in the bathhouse and then having to go back out in the cold.
But it put a smile on my face!

The trails had many large trees down blocking the path.  Some had been cut allowing us to run through them others we had to climb over or bushwack to get around.

The hills on the course were challenging over such a distance but the scenery helped to keep my mind off the burning in my legs.  This race was so amazing.  The trails were breathtaking! 

As challengening as the course was in places there were also places like this one that were open and sunning and finally for a brief moment running was easy!

Every so often along the race there were signs like this one about Goldfish to encourage us along the way.
Gotta love volunteers!

With about 4 miles to go, I had fallen in with another runner. We traded leading several times. We chatted when the trial would allow us to be close enough to hear one another since we rarely could be side by side. As the other runner took the lead and we chatted we missed a turn. We stayed on the trail BUT the course didn't. There was one other runner ahead of us who we quickly caught up to since she was having to bushwack her way through the trail. We talked about how there were no "ribbons" tied to trees and the trail hadn't been opened only to find out that we had gone the wrong way, slopped through extra water and mud, fought loads of thorns and created extra distance but we now back on the course!

And finally there was my family cheering for me as  I can to the finish strech after what turned out to be 33+ miles!  I felt amazing!  Still with a smile on my face.

At the finish!  My first Ultra completed! 
There was a great BBQ picnic after the race for runners and family. 

I am so proud of my accomplishment.  I just can't explain the feeling of joy having just spent those hours playing my the woods, getting covered with mud and splashing through the creek a few times.
Thank you feet for carrying me through.

The day was not over after the race.  Our family was headed farther south to see a few houses on Sunday so that meant about 2 hours in a car before I got to finally get a shower.  Gross!  But I didn't want the day or the high to end!

Thanks for all the encouragement and support leading up to my lastest adventure. 
I honestly thought about many of you along my journey and I can't wait to take you along for the next one.