Monday, November 29, 2010

In My Corner

I ate Thanksgiving dinner. And didn't feel out of control or stuffed afterward.
I completed every workout on my training plan last week. This was a huge undertaking, coming back from a stress fracture.
I registered for a race in February. Have never signed up this far in advance. Puts a lot of pressure on me.
I enjoyed extra time spent with my husband this weekend.
I saw God at work in my life.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting my house, breaker was weak and my dryer wasn't getting hot.

Whitney: Yay! Our dryer is fixed. No more crispy towels.(I've been line drying them.)
Nate: Yes, it's been like a towel and exfoliator in one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm baaaaack

Got new trail shoes, new cold weather tights, all Nate's old cold weather baseball shirts and my very own headlamp. I can't run whenever and wherever I want. I'm so excited.

Monday, November 22, 2010

In My Corner...

I watched the most exciting football game I think I've ever seen. Heights didn't lead in the game until 24 seconds left in the 4th quarter. They are going to state. GO FALCONS!!!
I ran ten miles in the 2010 Wichita Turkey Trot. Third year in a row. Not bad considering I didn't run for 6 of the last 8 weeks because of a stress fracture. Ran with the biggest grin, because I got to run. People thought I was so friendly...
I endured a really bad day. Prayed for guidance and peace and to hold my tongue. God answered, and turned a bad situation completely around, better than I thought possible.
I made fudge. And shared this time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Bumped for Nate again...
Nate: I might take fire sciences this semester.
Me: I didn't know you were interested in being a fireman.
Nate: I'd be a good fireman.
Me: I think so too.
Nate: I'd be safer running into a burning building than I would be working in an office.
Me: really?
Nate: yeah, if I worked in an office I would commit suicide.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Game

I was thinking last week that if life is a game, I'm on the bench. With no hope of getting in the game. Just don't have the right skills for the game. Then I got to thinking that if life is a game, maybe I'm playing the wrong one. If life is a baseball game and I'm playing volleyball, I'm dressed wrong, playing by the wrong rules, and I'm short a few players on my team. My Bible study today talked about David and when the Amalekites took all the women and children away, didn't kill any of them, and David prayed and asked God if he should chase them and God told him to chase them and catch them, he would have success. David did have success, got all of the women and children that belonged to the men of his army back. Not without a fight. God had promised him success. But it was still a battle. It was a win. It was a tough, hard win. It was not a big win, but it was a win. Do you ever feel like you need a win? I do.
I decided that I have to focus on what I know, not on what I feel. I also decided I don't want to play the game anymore. Trying to decide if I would be a better coach, referee, sportscaster or cheerleader. Or maybe groundskeeper.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tar Baby Relationships

Do you remember the story of Tar Baby and Brer Rabbit? The Fox played a trick on Brer Rabbit and made a cute baby doll out of tar and stuck it on the side of the road. Brer Rabbit tried to talk to him and he didn't answer, so he hit him. And stuck to him. So he hit him with the other hand. And stuck. Jumped up to kick him, feet stuck. Head butted him, and by this time he is completely stuck and covered in tar.
I have relationships like this. We really don't communicate, but we are stuck together. Our lives are intertwined and there is no getting out of it. In my case, there is more than one, and some is family and some are just peripheral people that will always be somehow in my life, no matter what. A friend of mine once said it this way, some relationships will never be right this side of Heaven. Much more eloquent then my tar baby analogy. Stuck in relationships that are falling apart.
I would love right here to give great advice and talk all peace and love and hallelujah we're all brothers and sisters in Christ, but it happened all through the Bible. Abraham and Lot and their herdsman had to split up because they fought over land. Joseph's brothers threw him in a pit and sold him into slavery. Paul and Barnabas separated on a missionary journey. My husband has relationships like this also. So we just deal the best we can, love with Christ's love because humanly it's not possible and wait for Christ to fix them in the everafter.

I could go on with fox throwing Brer Rabbit in the briar patch, tie that into Joseph being sold into slavery, etc. but I just don't want to work that hard.

In My Corner...

I said good bye to a very dear friend who is moving away.
I ate fudge. Like a whole pan of fudge, by myself.
I felt sick. (see above)
I ran 3.5 miles in one run. (6.5 for the week, again, see above)
I scored a cool black dress at Target for $4.58 and a new pair of hot pink Nike running shorts at the thrift store for $3.98.
I slept for 13 hours straight, last weekend finally caught up with me.
I registered for the 2011 Turkey Trot. May actually come in last place, but I'm running it anyway.
I read Runners World, Ultra Running magazine, more of Anna Karenina, portions of several books at Barnes & Noble (one of my happy places).

Friday, November 12, 2010


I got to run this week. Stress fracture is all better,(weird tingly pain in two toes know, but nothing to keep me from running) and I started out low mileage like I was told. 1 mile twice this week and two miles once. It's hard stopping at that point, but I've been able to. Legs have felt great, breathing was good, except I do need to get back on the exercise induced asthma medicine for longer runs. I did these runs indoor on treadmills or the running track at the Y, and I'm really anxious to get back outside. It's chilly, but that don't bother me.
Steve is in his words, 80% back. Swelling is almost gone from his legs,I have no idea how many milligrams of salt he took, but it was a lot. Knee pain is almost gone, he walks and moves like normal not like a guy who ran 88 miles 5 days ago. We are working on a year long training plan for him (us?) and I have a pretty good race schedule lined out for him, all Kansas runs pretty much, and all trails. Get some additional trail running experience in longer distances and different terrains and paths and maybe attach the Ozark Trail 100 again in November.
Any way, life is settling back into normalcy for us,of course, change in inevitable, and we are looking at some major changes coming up in other areas of our lives. But running seems to keep us sane and fairly level, not to mention the fact that we love doing it and continue to meet great people because of this sport. Happy weekend to everyone, I'm going to enjoy mine!

Conversations with Whitney

Bumped for Nate this week. Upon our return from Missouri.

Me: I see you survived the weekend on your own.
Nate: I foraged for nuts and berries.
Me: Who ate the ramen? I see the pan on the stove.
Nate: I foraged for nuts and berries and ramen.
Me: ahhh
Nate: (quite proudly) and I cleaned my room and hung my towel after I showered.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ozark Trail 100 (aka The Steve 88) race report - crew view

The weekend started out really great. We got to Bass River Resort in plenty of time and were headed to the pre-race meeting and spaghetti dinner (runners know what I mean). Found out my camera didn't need new batteries, my camera needed replaced. Thank goodness for the droid. I mentioned Steve's water bottles to him, and his face was priceless. He forgot his water bottles. The town of Steelville, MO does have a grocery store, but does not sell insulated water bottles with handles. I got out medical tape and a tube sock and Paul, Aerospace Engineer, triathlete, rock climber, marathonner and pace runner (and he's single ladies) came up with this. Worked like a charm. Jed had the extra yellow one. Crisis averted.
Race morning we were up at 2:30 (2:00 for me) to get Steve to the bus for the starting line. I decided I wanted to go to the starting line so we jumped in behind the bus to follow them. Ozark roads with names like CR 2336 and Route 8 and Junction T had me confused. It was 26 degrees at the starting line, and dark like only a moonless night miles from civilization can be (the stars were incredible, though). This is Steve at the starting line.
I left Steve and headed to the first crew accessible aid station at mile 17.6. I knew once I got there I would have to wait for him, so I left my coat and hat and gloves on and pulled two fleece blankets over me and took a nap. I love naps. Then I headed to the aid station to wait for my runner. I got to meet a lot of runner's crews, some really nice people. And hear all kinds of stories. Steve eventually showed up and took off his running tights and changed shirts to running clothes suitable for 60 degree weather. He said he was feeling good and left his flashlight and headlamp and took off. I watched several runners come in with their legs and knees bloodied and dirty which told me how difficult the trail was.

The next aid station was at mile 43.5 and before that aid station I had to meet up with the rest of the crew (Patrick, Joni, Jed and Paul) and get Paul to the aid station to run 25 miles with Steve. We had heard of the Bixby General Store at the prerace meeting, and decided to meet there, because we didn't know of anything else. The Bixby General Store is smaller than a QuikTrip, selling everything from gas, auto supplies and hard liquor to milk and cereal. It also had a restaurant in it. I got the best cheeseburger and fries I have ever eaten. Unfortunately I couldn't eat it all and had to pass up the homemade pie. When the rest of the crew got there, they had meatloaf sandwiches, (they looked so awesome) and pie. Of course, they were running, not staying in the car. We all left Bixby and went to aid station to wait for our runner. We got to see several runners come in and leave. This was the first aid station where we saw runners in distress.
Steve came in and got his running tights and jacket, lamp, gloves and pace runner Paul for the next 25 miles and was ready to run again. He was tired, but this leg was not as technically difficult as the first 17.6 had been.
The next crew aid station was at 68.5 miles and had a 3:00 a.m. cut off. Jed (marathonner, triathlete and ultra runner) and I head over there for his turn to pace Steve and Patrick and Joni went for a nap before she paced Steve. Jed and I parked at the campground and as it was getting dark and I only had two short naps under my belt for the day I made a pallet on the ground next to my car, huddled under two fleece blankets and napped until I heard the shouts "runner"... at the aid station. Jed was up from his nap in the car and so we started to get things together for Steve. And we waited, and waited.... eventually I was so cold we went back to the car and ran the heater and seat warmers to get the cold out of our bones.
There was a point I started getting worried about Steve. I expected him around 11:00 and he wasn't there. I checked with race officials and they told me what time he had checked out of the last aid station so I recalculated when he should be there and set myself to wait again. And he didn't show when I expected him. I stood at the juncture where the trail ran into the campground/aid station and stared into pitch black, looking for the bobbing light that signified head lamps. The runners kept trickling in, and eventually the lights were Paul and Steve. I didn't recognize them till Paul was passed me and Steve was next to me. Steve was cold and his legs were dead. The back of his right knee was hurting pretty bad. He was fine, just really tired and dead. It was also 24 hours since he'd gotten out of bed. We got some soup in Steve, some dry shoes food, repacked his belt pack with GU and S Caps and tried to move him along. We ended up telling him he was within the hour of cutoff time and he might want that hour on the trail, not on the aid station. And him and Jed were off. Paul and I packed the car and headed to the next aid station at mile 81.5. I got Paul's report that the first 12 of the 25 went great, but that was where Steve started to struggle. He said it was a blast running (in the dark on treacherous trails) and it was an experience of a lifetime. He also said that for a while something was tracking them in the brush next the trail. Since we had been warned of feral hogs, that was a little disconcerting.
We got to the 81.5 mile aid station and took another nap. Jed and Steve rolled in later than I was expecting, but since I was asleep I wasn't worried. Until I talked to Steve. He was in pain. Legs were definitely starting to fail and the back of his knee was hurting worse. Again, his great crew stepped in with soup, potatoes and dry socks and we repacked his belt pack and Joni and Steve took off. I didn't want to let him go. If he had shown any signs of defeat at that point, any indication of quitting, I would have not only encouraged it, but probably forced the issue. Since he didn't, I hugged him, prayed for him, and let him go. Jed told me that they came to a creek and Steve looked for a way around it, but there wasn't want. Jed carried him across the creek. One pacer willing to fight feral pigs and another one that will carry you. How great is that? He also said Steve got a little cranky with him, but he told him to keep it up, he'd run faster.
From here we headed to aid station 95.
We had an idea of what time to expect him, so we were all there hanging out and waiting. I was very concerned for Steve.

I walked back up this trail (I was looking for Steve, and I needed a port a john and there wasn't one and the only convenience store in the Ozarks was too hard to find) and did something I haven't done ever and peed in the woods. Twice this weekend. I hiked a little further to get a feel for the trail and headed back out. As I was getting close to the aid station I saw Joni and Jed coming in after me, Steve had made it to the aid station at mile 88 and pulled himself. It was not mental, he had decided if he couldn't stand up out of the chair by himself at the aid station he was done. Joni, being another phenomenal pace runner (and triathlete and marathonner herself) did her job and tried with everything she had to convince him to continue, but he was done. As in poke him with a fork done.
I got to the car where he was waiting and I could see it too, he didn't have it in him to go on. Not mentally, he could've beat that. But the physical toll it had taken on him was evident. There were runners who have run other 100 mile races and they said this was the hardest they had run. The hills were crazy insane, the trail was covered with leaves and under the leaves there were rocks and roots, and I almost fell twice just walking. There were 88 registered runners and last I heard, less than 40 still on the trail. I'm waiting for them to post results to see how many finished.
Of course Steve really wanted to finish, but was at peace with stopping. He said when we were leaving the aid station that he would never attempt the Ozark Trail 100 again, or even a 100. But after food (three times) and two catnaps in the car, he and Jed were talking strategy for building his own training plan and how to build on this experience and which races to run to gain more experience running shorter and/or easier ultra's so he can go back and beat the Ozark Trail 100. I expected this.
While we didn't know Jed and Paul before this run, Jed is my new BFF as I subjected him to hours of girl talk because, well, he was captive in my car. (It is okay to feel very sorry for him). He has a beautiful family and we will consider him a friend for life. Paul managed to avoid my girl talk, but he is planning to run some training runs with Steve. I may show up at the same ultra Paul is planning to run and try it myself. And Joni and Patrick, friends from Newspring, we just love all these guys. They were awesome crew members. They looked out for Steve, the runner, and made his goal their goal and worked hard to get him there. (I on the other hand looked out for Steve, the man I love and I didn't want to see him hurting. It's a good thing they were there.)
I would crew for anyone that needed someone, and be a pace runner in this kind of endeavor. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, even with the peeing in the woods, sleeping under the stars, 40 hours living in my car on diet coke and pb crackers (other than the cheeseburger). The people were interesting and fun. It was a friendly and positive environment. I'm looking forward to a chance to be the runner, not the crew.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: I don't know why teachers can't just do their jobs.
Me: Their job is too teach you. What are they doing?
Whitney: They don't teach, they just give homework.
Me: That's part of their job.
Whitney: They should teach during class.
Me: What do they do during class?
Whitney: Talk.
Me: About what?
Whitney: I don't know. Who listens?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's like looking through mud

2 Corinthians 4:7 "We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves."
We have these treasures in earthen vessels…
This verse fascinates me. An earthen vessel, clay jar, whatever you call it, basically it’s mud. Have you ever tried to look through mud? It’s impossible. So our treasure is inside mud.
Do you ever judge someone on their outside? The way they are dressed, skin color, the look on their face, the way they behave just one time? I’m not talking about the negative, either. We can see someone on a good day and think they are a positive happy person, when in reality that’s the only time they’ve smiled this decade. Think someone is classy or elegant or a freak based on the way they are dressed? I met this head on the last two weeks. Nate’s two friends that died on consecutive Saturdays. If you put pictures side by side, one was an Abercrombie wearing eagle scout card carrying Christian clean cut white boy. One was a rap music loving baseball hat baggy pants gold chain wearing black boy. One got shot being robbed at a convenience store by a gang member. One died in a drunk driving accident when he tried to make a turn going 90 miles an hour. Nate’s commentary? White boy drunk driving, he could’ve seen it coming. He was known as a partier, Nate was surprised to hear he was a Christian. Black boy loved rap music shot in parking lot? One of the greatest kids Nate knew. Totally not the kind of kid to be in a place where that happened, it was accidental wrong place, wrong time. Nate admired him.

So as I was chewing on the fact that our treasure is hidden in clay vessels, I wondered how everyone sees it. Do we pour it out? I think we pour out our love, our time, our talents, but I had another thought on this. Our “treasure” is being refined. Zechariah 13:9 says "I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold." The worthless, unnecessary junk is being burned up, leaving behind what is valuable. Isaiah 48:10 says "I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering". So as our earthen vessel is fired in the furnace of suffering, we are being stripped of the stuff that doesn’t matter in our lives. How does the world see that? As our vessels are cracked and broken, the precious metal shines through. When we have chunks taken out of our shell, the beauty of what God has done in our lives is allowed to shine through. It is when we are at our most vulnerable the beauty is most visible. So when you are in the furnace of suffering, we are being made beautiful.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Big Weekend

This is why I proofread. I just typed three paragraphs, and when I read them back, I deleted them. That's the kind of day I'm having.

Steve's hundred mile run is this weekend, we leave Friday for Missouri, will let you all know how he does.