Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Herren Project

In October of last year I became a member of The Herren Project RUNS.  I learned of The Herren Project through a friend of mine, Pam Rickard.  Pam is the organizer of the fundraising and running campaign. She has also been sober for 10 years. 

(Please click on the link above for information regarding The Herren Project)

I have dedicated  my 2016 running season to raising funds for The Herren Project.

It’s interesting: through running, especially ultrarunning, I have met so many other addicts. We share more than one common bond.  We share joy in sobriety. Oh, such joy.

I have this strong nudging inside of me, drawing me toward this project where I can combine my sobriety, faith and running.  I want to help others who are struggling with addiction.  At times it is difficult when I am nudged out of my comfort zone. Talking about my faith, addiction and running doesn’t always come easy…stepping out isn’t something that comes naturally for me.  I know that when I am led out of my comfort zone the end result is always joy, gratitude and grace. Always.

A few days ago I realized that I will celebrate a number of milestones on September 9. I will have been sober for 20 years.  TWENTY YEARS!! I will be finishing my 4th Superior 100 finish and my 20th 100 mile finish. Great cause for celebration!

OK, The Herren Project. I’ll tell you about it.

  The Herren Project provides:

  • Treatment Navigation (for individuals and families...many of the families we've helped are actually running with us!)
  • Mentoring and Recovery Coaching after treatment is completed; scholarships to clinics and camps for kids
  • Preventative Education, and support of more than 400 student-led Project Purple sites across the country.
  • Scholarships when a need is demonstrated. assistance to many in taking the first steps toward recovery and a life of sobriety through treatment navigation, educational programs and mentoring resources.

I created one post on  my FaceBook page  a few months ago about The Herren Project and received $420 in donations!! I thank you so very,  very much. YOU can donate to this project via my link, here:

We can make a difference together!  I just know it.Thank you.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Psycho Wyco 50K

Psycho Wyco is a fabulous race held in Kansas City, Kansas. Surprisingly, it is in the woods with  lots of roots, rocks, river crossings and hills. All hills. It’s awesome.  It is not what I think of when I think of Kansas!

I ran Psycho Wyco a few years ago, when it was a cold year, there was no reprieve from the Minnesota winter. This year was a whole different climate!

Maria and I were running a long run at Elm Creek a few weeks ago when I asked her if she’d like to go out to run PW again. She thought about it for a week and then let me know that she and Doug were up for it. Yippee!! I had travel companions!

We left Apple Valley around 8AM. Kansas is about 6 hours away. They decided Doug would drive the van so that we would have more room. I was very thankful; as we rode across Iowa, in 60 mile per hour winds, we saw 9 semi trucks that had blown over into the ditches. It was scary stuff. Doug drove us through to safety!

Maria had planned a few stops along the way. We took a detour into Kansas City Missouri for Christopher Elbow Chocolates. Oh man, it was fabulous. We each spent $80 on high end wonderful chocolate. I binged. It wasn’t pretty. It is all gone now. I even gave Troy the last pieces.

We traveled on to Kansas and stopped at Cupini’s Italian Deli, a counter that served up Italian staples.  Guy from DDD, FoodNetwork had visited and gave it a rave review. It was very good.

Before hitting the hotel we swung by the race start. Oh my gosh, green grass, some budding going on in the trees, the smell of spring. It was 70 degrees!  WOW.  As we were checking out the area we saw Minnesota friends: Ed and Andrew Sandor and Dan LaPlant with his girlfriend, Jamie, who WON the women’s race and broke the record. Yeah, way to run!

We headed over to check into the room where race packet pickup was. The sweatshirt is great, all of the bling was awesome. We received  a trucker hat and cool medal for finishing.

Saturday morning at 500 it was already 45 degrees. Fabulous!! I had on a skirt and a short sleeved top, really!  I had just purchased a pair of Altra trail and a pair of Altra road shoes from Kurt at Twin Cities Running Company . I was going to try out the trail shoes right from the box. I placed a pair of my tried and true Inov-8s in a drop bag in case they didn’t work out. They did work out!  I wore them for the whole race without a problem.

I ate breakfast and was ready to roll. We drove to the start, arriving about an hour beforehand. Of course I hadn’t pooped in two days due to the change in my schedule. Ugh. I tried not to worry about it because we were going to be in the woods anyway so it wasn’t like I was running Twin Cities Marathon and wouldn’t be able to find a bathroom upon the way. I stuffed some toilet paper into my pocket.

I was so excited. This was all about fun, no fast time, no out of breath business, I was going to keep my heart rate low-140 per MAF training. I’d walk when the rate increased too much. I was just happy to be out in the woods for the day. I was glad we were going to be driving home after the race, I’d have a whole day at home and wouldn’t miss out on church. Yeah!

The race is a 10Mile, beginning at 9 AM and the 50K and 20 Mile beginning at 8 AM. I started with a light Patagonia Hoodini which I had just purchased. I watched someone steal my last one at Superior 100 right after I finished in 2014. Yup. Nice, hu? I was too tired to run this person down and ask for it back.

I began in the back of the pack, running with a hand held. I didn’t need a pack, there was an aid station every 4 miles and back to the start/finish to my drop bag every 10 miles. After 1 mile I tied my jacket around my waist. It was going to be a delightful day!

The creek crossings weren’t very deep-the cool water felt good on my feet. The hills were as steep as I remembered but the footing was SO good!  The trails weren’t muddy, they weren’t frozen, they were soft and fabulous. All I did was smile.

My heart rate hovered between 140-145 most of the time. Climbing hills brought it up to 160 but it quickly recovered back to the 140 area. I felt like I could run forever. I had no pain, I didn’t want the race to end, I was enjoying every step.

I came into the first loop and refilled my bottle, grabbed some foot potion for chaffing. My chubby thighs were causing some friction.  I was good to go!

The second loop was awesome. I ran with Doug for a while. He was running the 20 miler. I fell into a line behind him. We just enjoyed the sun. I didn’t feel the need for music, I was thinking about how grateful I was for being able to do this. I really believed I was done running last year at this time. I just couldn’t recover from my foot surgery. It was a long recovery. I was just so pleased to be right where I was. I gave thanks to God and had conversations with Him during the whole race.

Eventually I passed Doug and took a detour for a potty break. Thank goodness!! I finally went. I was so excited, as I done I yelled out to Doug “I finally went”!  My poop looked like a crocodile poop. Seriously massive. My gut was relieved!

I ran along, finishing up the second loop. I felt so great. The sun was warm, I was in good health and high spirits. I didn’t stop smiling.

The third loop was my best. I was able to pick up KTIS from Minneapolis and just sang to the songs, worshiping the whole way. It was amazing. I wasn’t ready to stop.  I came upon the Sandor’s. They had been ahead of me the whole time. I didn’t want to sneak up and pass them in the final miles. I yelled out “you better move!  You don’t want me to pass you now”. They looked back and Andrew asked how it was that I was able to catch them. He said I came out of nowhere. I was on fire, I felt like I was flying. They hoofed it, I didn’t have to pass them. I wanted to run more. I came into the finish at 750, feeling blessed.  Maria was there to take a finish photo and an awesome medal was put around my neck, a hat in my hand. It was awesome.

We visited for a few minutes at the finish and then headed for home. We stopped at Chipotle to refuel, at Target for Starbucks and at every other rest area on the way home. Doug is a great driver. He doesn’t mind stopping a zillion times along the way for us. We walked around, stretched, peed, drank and ate. We had so much fun. I LOVE road tripping with Doug and Maria.  Can’t wait to plan the next one!

We rolled into Apple Valley about 1230, I then headed for home and arrived at 130. I unpacked and slept hard.

What a great trip and race! Oh, and I entered Superior 100 today . Oh yeah. My favorite 100.