Monday, July 21, 2008

feelin' the love of 45:18

Here I sit, feet propped up, gleaming buckle up on the mantle, and teacup at my elbow. 
The 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon was everything I had hoped and dreamed it would be. I had three goals: 1) Finish under 48 hours.  2) Have love and harmony happening in the crew vans. 3) Have lots of fun on this mega classic adventure.  Okay, I will admit to reducing this list to only one goal on my way to the start Monday morning. 
It simply became, "Don't embarrass myself or my crew."  
We accomplished all three of my goals in grand style. I can't emphasize enough how important it was to me that our little Badwater Family of 7 come away from this shared time together completely supported and empowered by one another. If we had failed in that respect, this shiny buckle would be a constant reproach and a reminder that the team did not flourish. I loved the hilarity, silliness, seriousness, attention to detail, creativity, and willingness my crew embodied. Because of their care, I finished this race in better shape than I have finished any of my other 100's. Wow! My husband couldn't believe I was going up and down the stairs in our home without that awkward post-race "hobble and grab the handrails with a groan" I usually display. Yeah!!! 
Thank you, Anthony, Eddie, Meredith, Mike, Paul, and Peggy.
It was a privilege to follow in the footsteps of the Badwater Greats. Though I am and always will be a climber first, I love 100's because of the character they reveal to each individual who submits to the layers of personal challenge they present.
A special thank you to Lisa Smith-Batchen & Denise Jones. I am feelin' the love, girls! 

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's Christmas in summer!

Nike ACG sent me a HUGE box of running shoes!
And Drymax has sent me lots of their awesome socks!
My feet are in heaven. The shoes I will be running in are white with a canary yellow swoosh. Talk about happy feet.......There are also some stylish camo/ultra light weight beauties in there, too. Hope I can find a happy yellow skirt to complete the fashion statement.  :  )
I am also excited to torture my Drymax socks on the Badwater course. These socks are extremely durable and have been keeping my feet drier than they have ever been. The company is even sending some for my lucky crew. 
Honestly, it is wonderful to have their support for this adventure. Thank you so  very much.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

food is good!

I have just finished reading three excellent books about food.
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters
It seems to be a straight forward subject. Until you consider what big business and big government have done to our food supply. We have wandered far from the time when we could pick up a stick of simple unadulterated butter. Now that stick labeled "butter" can contain plenty of things that aren't even listed on the ingredients.  We feed ruminants grain! They evolved to digest grass. No wonder our cows get sick and need antibiotics.  It seems I shop for what isn't in a food.
In the late 80's, I invested in a remarkable company, Seeds of Change. Lost every penny of my investment. Yet, it was very satisfying to make the effort to protect the diversity of our food. Each of us actively participate in the drama unfolding around this mass experiment with the integrity of our bodies. Choose your food carefully. Keep in mind the long term potential of each purchase. Time for a glass of organic beer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Life is a Shared Experiment

I am very fortunate to have extraordinary friends who give so freely of themselves and their hard won knowledge! This morning, I spent some time on the phone going over Badwater fashion tips with Lisa Smith-Batchen. We chatted about shirts, pants, skirts, compression shorts, socks, hats, packs, bottles, food strategy, mojo and being a girl in the middle of the desert in July. It is so wonderful to share the fun and worry of preparing for this amazing event. Isn't it true that each foray into the unknown is so much richer when it is shared? 

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs

On April 1st, I was notified that my name was not selected in the Nike Women's Marathon Lottery. This is the second year in a row that I have been denied entry into the race. Ironically, within the same notice, I was informed that I could still enter the race through the Team In Training Program.
For 2007 & 2008, Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race has also returned my race entry check.
I don't race. I am a participant. However, that doesn't make these rejections easy to tolerate. With WS 100, I know I will get to run in 2009. It is their "third time you are in" policy. As long as I qualify, I get to run in 2009. Yippie! It gives an average Jane like me access to the extraordinary. I am less forgiving of the Nike Women's Marathon. They are holding the event hostage to a corporate fundraising machine. Now, before I get tons of hate email, think about this.
When did charitable giving become a mandate? That is what it is if its the only way to gain entry. I have nothing against helping others. I most often give anonymously. It is a great joy to help others. Yet, I completely reject the idea that participation in an event be limited or severely restricted to those who fundraise for the sponsored cause.
That brings me to Badwater. When I applied, I wanted to honor the race by also fundraising for its charity, Challenged Athletes Foundation. Badwater Ultramarathon doesn't require fundraising of its runners. It does offer encouragement and support. This month I have been fortunate to have some very frank conversations with potential sponsors. It brings to mind Aesop's fable of The Goose Who Laid The Golden Eggs. What I have learned is this. The unending solicitations that businesses are subjected to aren't sustainable. How can we help the organizations doing the work we believe in? I donate my time and my own money. I share with others my interest in a particular cause. But I won't ask others to give money in my name so that I can enter a race.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Crewing A Badwater Runner

 I put this short video together to give folks an idea of how to approach crewing a runner on the move in Death Valley. It isn't perfect but I hope it is useful.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Some beautiful things.

"Some beautiful things are more impressive when left imperfect than when too highly finished." -Francois de La Rochefoucauld

I finished my adventure on Mt. Langley's summit. It was a lovely day amongst the alpine flowers, trees, rocks, marmots, and clouds.
It felt good to be hiking. To discover another 14er. I am still obsessing about Mt. Williamson. Time to let it go. Time to go home.
Strange to feel the familiar difference inside.
Start: 8:48 am
Summit: 2:17 pm
Car to car: 10 hrs 8 mins

Thank you to everyone who encouraged, believed, funded, sponsored, strategized, drove, climbed, and supported my dream.
It has been such fun!