Thursday, December 20, 2007

Photos and such

So, for those of you that were following the prior posts about the adventure race, Sari and her team ended up in 2nd place. Though they would have been super psyched on first, they were happy to finish as well as they did. There was a little welcome home get together when she returned, and I of course forgot the camera. A picture of her poor feet would have been great! They were incredibly swollen, blistered, and bruised. But, she was back on her skis today and in regular shoes.

Anyway, here are some photos of our friends and home.


Our great friends, BJ and Tracy. Mike and BJ are "choss twins". We went out for pizza a couple nights ago.




And here we are across the table being goofy.



Tonight, I went to Carbondale for a little ladie's Christmas dinner. Above are Lindsay, Jess, and Sari.


Me, T, and Jen.




Look at my beautiful new earrings! Katie Menghini sent them to me and I am so happy!



Here are some pics of our condo (for you Monica and Reese!):

The kitchen and loft above.



My teeny kitchen with an eclectic mix of colors.



Our bedroom, in an unusual state of cleanliness.



Living room, with the great purple chair we found for free on the sidewalk.



The back of the living room, fireplace, and deck.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

more on Sari's race

Here are a few more photos of Sari's race. Team Nike did really well with the camels and was standing in first place this morning. But, the rest of the teams had a more difficult time. So difficult, in fact, that the race directors decided to nix all of the day's times and go back to the previous standings--which puts Nike back into second, but only by 3 minutes. To Nike's further disappointment, the directors decided to significantly shorten tomorrow's mountain biking leg. Biking is their strongest sport and they would most likely have made up significant time, cementing them in first place. Looks like they'll be vying for the win until the very end.



Sari adds a new talent to her repertoire--camel taming.


The teams were allowed to load up the camels with packs and water, but were not allowed to ride them.




Hiking through the dunes with their pack animal.


To see what Ian and Juniper are doing while she's gone, check out her blog on my link list.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Races!

Mike and I did a snowshoe race this weekend at the local ski area. Great fun! I had never run on snowshoes before, but ended up taking 4th in women and 2nd in my age group (under 45). Mike won the race last year, but the competition was better this year. He ended up in 4th overall, and 3rd in men (yes, a woman actually beat him! She was in my age group--a real stud). I was really psyched! Of course, we forgot the camera and have no pictures as evidence.

Also, one of my best buddies, Sari (see in the post below), is in Abu Dhabi for an adventure race right now. She races for Nike and her team is currently in 2nd place--just where they want to be right now. They are stronger in the events of the days ahead then the team that is ahead of them. The race is 6 days long and involves sea kayaking, desert running, running with a camel, rope work, mountain biking, and (best of all) inline skating. I've never seen Sari's rollerblading skills, but I'm sure she'll pull through. You can keep track of her progress on the race website if you're interested (click HERE). At the bottom of the race website homepage, there is a link to GPS tracking. While they are racing, you can actually watch their progress on the course. Abu Dhabi is 11 hours later than here. Below are some photos of the race.



Go Sari!!



Sari is the only female on her 4 person team and sometimes gets "towed" by the guys. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the tether between Sari and her teammate.



Yesterday, they ran 87K through the desert like you see above. Here, Sari is charging ahead!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

One good alternative...

One idea for an alternative Christmas this year is a gift through Heifer International. Mike and I have done this the past few years for our families, and they have really appreciated it. What you do is "buy" something sustainable for a family in a third world country in honor of whomever you please--friends, family, coworkers. Then, Heifer distributes the gifts you paid for. They give cows (for milk), chickens (for eggs), rabbits (for breeding and protein), bees, sheep, goats, books, etc. They have a catalog that outlines everything they offer. This is a very reputable company that donates all over the planet. Just an idea . . .

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Babies...and some Christmas Cheer

A friend of mine, Carrie Godes, had a new baby a couple weeks ago. Her name is Addison Mae and she was just a little peanut (5# 11oz)! Sorry, I don't have any pics of Carrie at the moment, but will try to get some up later.



Here is a shot of me holding Addi and Sari holding her daughter, Juniper.



Juniper is 5 months old and weighed about 4 # 10 oz when she was born. You can see how much she has grown when she's next to Addi!




Some thoughts on Christmas:


This card with the meditating Santa was inside Adbusters. The inside read:

On Christmas, may your heart be light,

Yet brimming up with glee -

A joy too great to be contained

By boxes 'neath the tree.




In case you can't read the words, it says,
"And you thought that carrying your Christmas shopping was a burden".

Adbusters is definitely a super left wing mag, but they have great things to say about avoiding materialism and consumerism over the holidays. I appreciated this little snippet, it's worth your time:


The Buy Nothing Christmas Challenge!

Dreading the holiday season?
The to-do lists, the lineups and the sales hype? This year, rediscover how folks made merry before the advent of the big-box store. Try tackling our three degrees of Buy Nothing Christmas--three ways to embark on life-long project to bring a bit of authenticity back to the world's greatest religious tradition.

Novice: Rise Above It.
Start with yourself. Forget the heaps of presents: eat, drink , and cheerfully excuse yourself from the annual festival of avarice. Limit your giving to hugs and belly laughs. Then let everyone know that you mean business by giving "holiday Gift-Exemption Vouchers", just one way of saying that you care enough to let your loved ones off the gift giving hook.



Intermediate: Keep it in the Family.
This year, why not gather your friends and family to challenge them to do things differently? With the simplest of plans you can create a new rhythm, purpose, and meaning for the holidays. And if a Buy Nothing Christmas is too extreme for Grandma and the kids, maybe try a Buy Less Christmas. Or a $100 Christmas. Or a Regifting Christmas. Or a Slow Down Christmas. Whatever you decide, 'tis the season to reclaim our celebration from the grip of commercial forces.


Advanced: Take it to the Streets.
Spread both joy and sane holiday alternatives by taking Buy Nothing Christmas to your local malls and commercial districts. Gather together a group of Zenta Clauses to offer stressed out shoppers free soup, coffee, a place to rest their feet. and (most importantly) a few friendly tips for gearing down over the holidays. Or, don a Jesus mask, throw on an old bedsheet, and do the slow-motion Jesus walk for the entertainment of the crowds. It's an absurd yet non-confrontational action that poses one all-important question for the season: "What would Jesus buy?"

For more ideas from Adbusters, check out Adbusters.org/BND

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The daily grind...

As most of you know, I'm surviving nursing school right now. And, truthfully, it's kind of a drag. I've always been a very positive person, but I've been having a hard time maintaining that during the Monday-Friday grind. I feel like I've been too busy to be a good friend, I've felt lonely and out of touch. My daily runs are my sanity (I guess some things never change!), and weekends with my sweetie are necessary for renewal. Things are changing (in the right direction), and there is light at the end of this nursing school tunnel. The hospital in which I've been working as a secretary for the past three years is pretty fantastic. In fact, my boss has decided to start training and orienting me as a nurse now, a semester before graduation. That is a pretty exciting thing for me--I've wanted to work in women's health from the beginning, and I get to start in the Birthing Center! So, May 3rd is graduation...just 8 short years after starting college, I will receive my Associates Degree (please sense the sarcasm there). That's a little sad, but I wouldn't trade my world-hopping adventures for anything--I probably learned more from them than I would have in the classroom.



Mike and I managed to get two backcountry skiing days in this weekend, despite the fact that I worked the night shift Saturday. We went to William's Peak this afternoon--it's very close to the local ski area, about 10 miles from our house. If we push it, we can get a run in house-to-house in 2 hours. Here's a little something from today:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fun Saturday in the Mountains

Mike and I spent a fun day skinning up our local ski area (only the very bottom is open right now) and were rewarded with some fresh powder.

Going up.



Looking down from the top. We live in the valley below, about 10 miles from where this shot was taken. The clouds were beautiful today.



Freshies!



After skiing, we collected some firewood. This is Mike's new favorite past time. We bought a chainsaw this year and it has really been worth it. We have yet to turn the heat on and are trying to see how long we can last with just the fire place.



Happiness is a man playing outside in the snow...

Since we live in a condo, we have gotten creative on where to stow our firewood. There is also a big pile on the deck, and Mike's '79 pickup is full to the brim.



We finished the day reading...ahhh.

And I tried to make cookies...What's wrong with this picture??? (Mike still ate 'em)

Monday, November 26, 2007

First Ski Day of the Season!

We spent Thanksgiving in Jackson with my parents, the CO Nuttings, and a few friends from SLC. Great times had by all! We were able to do some skiing on Teton Pass on Thanksgiving day and here are a couple pics.


Katie rips it in Glory Bowl.



Mike and I on top of Mt. Glory.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Disco Inferno, Baby!!

Mike and I met up with our good friends BJ and Tracy for a weekend in Zion National Park. It was their first big wall experience, and we picked a doosie! Disco Inferno, for those of you that know Zion, is just to climber's right of Desert Shield and is on the shield itself. It is definitely a true Zion route, with lots of sand and scariness. Anyway, here are a few pics. I had a suggestion for fewer "mountain climbing" pictures and more of friends, etc. They are on the way, I swear! I think thus far, the only time we've remembered our camera is on trips.



Happy climber! This is me jugging the third pitch. You can see the Virgin River below.




BJ and Tracy cozy up on their portaledge. Don't worry, mom, we can't roll out of bed whilst asleep--we have multiple safety points tying us to the rock.




We actually brought a 12pack with us and didn't finish it. So, we left a present at the bivy for the next party. There is actually an old stove converted into a BBQ hanging from a drilled ice screw on this ledge (that is what the beer is sitting on) about 500 feet off the ground. It is a tradition to bring some charcoal and burgers up there. Unfortunately, we forgot that detail until we were already up, but our beans and rice was delish.




BJ, Tracy, me, and Mike after our climb, back on the ground. We went pretty much up the middle of the shield-shaped buttress behind us.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jackson

I went to Jackson to my folks' house for the weekend. Reese, her mom Monica, and her twin boys came down from Bozeman to meet me there. We have been friends for our entire lives and it was truly wonderful to spend a few days together.


Here, Reese is holding Smith and I'm with Mason. The boys are 6 months old and precious as can be!! Check out those bright eyes.



The house is a little chilly and Mason ended up in my down jacket for a sleeping bag.

Look at that pouty lip--what a cutie.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mike is famous!


Check out my sexy man on the cover of Trail Runner! This is December's issue and will hit the stands in a week or two.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

High school newspaper

A few of the runners on Mike's cross country team are writers for their school newspaper and they asked me to write an essay about myself for the paper about ultrarunning. This is what I came up with and Mike said I should put it on my blog, so here it is:

A Day in the Life . . . of an Ultrarunner

Zig Ziglar once said, “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily.” That’s something to think about—and that is what I try to remember every day while striving to lead a passionate, motivated existence. Ever since I was old enough to comprehend it, my life has been an exciting adventure, and I have chosen to make it so every day. From showing up to school in a genuine Dolly Parton wig at age 10 (just to be goofy), to following my Dad up my first mountain at 14, to hitch-hiking solo on the other side of the globe at 19, to ripping the back seats out of my VW and calling it home at 20, to my climbing my first big wall (El Capitan) at 21, to marrying the man of my dreams at 22 . . . and to running my first ultramarathon at 24—my life has been intentionally passionate.
I was forced to begin running when I was 11 years old, “training” my Dad called it, “to keep up on the weekends”. We spent every weekend exploring (on foot) the amazing Montana scenery where I grew up, and my Dad was sick of waiting for me. So, I begrudgingly started running three times a week. Little did I know how it would shape my future. I continued to run through junior high and high school on the track and cross-country teams, and completed my first trail race on my 15th birthday. It was a tough 15 mile mountain run in which I was the youngest competitor by about 10 years, and I actually did okay. I think I realized then that I might have a talent in endurance, and started to feel inspired to run even when I didn’t have to. Yet, I never imagined I would be able to double that distance for a marathon. That race planted a seed in me that grew for almost 10 years before sprouting.
I have always had a true love for the mountains—trails, lakes, flowers, bears, all of it. When I discovered trail running, I realized I could cover long distances without carrying a backpack, and the soft path didn’t hurt my joints like the roads did. Trail running became what I called “my daily dose”, or my elixir for the challenges of life. One day in college, a girlfriend and I decided we wanted to try to run a marathon. So, we found a 26 mile long trail and went to run it. We spent the night in her Jeep at the trailhead, got up early the next morning, and ran our first “marathon” in almost 8 hours. (For those of you that don’t know, that is extremely slow.) We were at once both exhausted and elated upon finishing. Four years later, I competed in my first trail marathon as a race and finished in the top 10. At that race, there were two options for runners—one lap or two—but a lap meant 25 miles. I ran just one, which was a huge accomplishment for me, but my husband ran two for a total of 50 miles. I watched him walk the last 15 miles of the race in misery, vomit at the finish, and deal with head to toe muscle cramps—and thought that would be the last thing on earth I would try. That year, I ran a few more marathons and discovered that I just didn’t feel all that tired after finishing. 13 months after watching him suffer, I ran my first 50 miler in just over 10 hours. Working hard to ready myself for that race was not always easy. It was a process of deciding every day to live deliberately and strive to meet a goal. It was running in crappy weather, when I had a million things to do, and staying focused even when a 5 miler felt like it would never end. I made myself go out for a long run every single week, longer and longer each time until I could do about 30 miles. And it worked! I finished that race feeling great—not sick, not even completely exhausted, just proud. I never even took a day off, but was out running with friends the very next day. That race set the stage for what will probably be a life of ultrarunning (I have some big goals on the books for the coming year!).
In my opinion, everyone needs to find something they are passionate about in life. My passion just happens to be running, and lucky for me it keeps me in shape. Living passionately is not about wealth, a fairy tale existence, or having it easy. It is about enthusiastically setting goals and working through storms on the way without hesitation. It is about deciding every day to utilize talents you’ve been given and to learn, love, and grow. Each of us has the power to make our lives something great—we just have to get out there and do it!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Clyde Minaret

Mark, Katie, Mike, and I had the opportunity to climb the Clyde Minaret this summer. I guess you could say we had a mini-epic. We knew it would be a long day, but the route description we read did not really give us an idea of how long. We had the Peter Croft guide, and he happens to climb all this stuff without ropes. So, he has a somewhat skewed idea of how long these routes are. Anyway, we left camp by 4:30, drove to the trailhead, and started hiking by 5:30am. It's about 9 miles to the base on a good trail, and the climb itself is a Grade IV, about 1500 feet. The climbing was really really good and the summit was tiny, exposed, and fantastic. The problem came when we were on our way down and Katie and I saw some rappel slings in a sucker gully and we convinced the guys to follow us down it. Well...to make a long story shorter, the gully was really nasty and took us 4 hours to descend. The sun set just about the time we made it to the bottom, and we had a 9 mile hike ahead of us. With tired feet and hungry bellies, we arrived back to the car at 2:15am. It was a long day.


The Clyde and its reflection.




The very exposed summit ridge.




The summit register.



Christmas card photo? I think so!



Watching the sun go down while in the descent gully.