Learning Experience – but First Place anyway

27 06 2011



When Susan Randall called me last night after her 1:42:24 personal record 20K, I thanked her for pushing me into the Stadium Stampede. A 42:50 is far from a PB for me. In fact, it is slower than my training walks around the park. Also, I felt like I was passed by absolutely the entire field of runners. And there were no fast racewalk women there.

“Lis! First mean FIRST! Who care time??” Admonished a laughing Susan.

Yeah, I guess you are right. And it was ugly!

This was the first year the Stampede was a money race for the USATF, so instead of a little race for locals to help St.  Joseph’s Hospital that has a great group of lung challenged folks who come out for the Huff & Puff mile race, there were fast runners and minor confusion.

Trapper Shaw came to see his first race. He watched Susan train, so he knew what racewalking was. When awards came through, he couldn’t understand why Michael Blanchard was second because he was the first racewalker he saw – and as an avid video game player, Trap was able to tease out what he was looking for in a sea of runners. He still thinks we are crazy, but he had a great time!

I forgot my watch, and we went back for it. Knew I forgot to lay something out.  I also didn’t wear the cooling neckerchief that I wear in long races to keep me cool. I didn’t think I needed it.

I ran into a lot of folks. This is my first race back and it was a kick to see folks. I realized that no matter what I did, I am coming back.

I tucked myself behind Michael in tie sea of runners. They started us with them instead of lining up as the separation line between runners and walkers. The announcer explained the difference between walking and competitive racewalking.

I am still a follower, and that is why I tucked behind Michael. I asked him where the fast racewalk women were. He hadn’t seen anyone.

Race started and guess who started out entirely too fast up the hill around Bronco Stadium. More disturbing was realizing that my mouth felt so dry that I felt like I had been sucking on cotton – not spending my morning hydrating!

Yeah, Denver has been stupid hot. I have never handled heat well. This October Baby likes Spring and Autumn/Fall. I have to get used to it. I table grabbed a bottle of water from the finish line and sipped it through the entire race.

I couldn’t breathe. I told myself to let the entire field go because I was there for my own reasons. I needed to see where I stand.

It was good to get heavily passed. I pulled my head back to the business at hand – breathing! My lungs hurt and I was starting to cough up science experiments – and I wasn’t even a kilometer down!

The course switched last year, and it was actually better for me. The long front side downhill became a back side uphill, but the cracks in the sidewalk weren’t going to get me! The problem for me, however, was more elemental: heat and breathing.

I was trying something new – using a bandana for sweat collection and not wearing a hat. Michelle Evans (my hair goddess) cut my hair to the shortest length since I was in kindergarten in an effort to keep me cool and not look like a complete post-race mess!  It worked, but I was really surprised how the heat kept sapping me.

My legs and back felt pretty good. Legs were probably bored at plodding along so slowly, but when breathing is a problem and hacking fits hit about every 400 meters maximum,  you have to deal with the weakest link in the chain!

I never stopped hacking. I yakked at 4km. I was hacking up to the point and couldn’t stop. I stepped off course and tried to get the crap out of my throat and lungs. I would have to say I spent at least three minutes off course hacking. Who cares? The only time that counts is the official time.

My feet weren’t rolling along as easily as I would have liked,  but I already know there are a lot of weaknesses that will take time to strengthen. I am most concerned about not being able to breathe and the mucus overload. Just have to work with that. I did have focus issues, but when you have stop-and-start little kids, oblivious people under headphones, and stroller pushing people, you do have to keep defensive – especially when things aren’t right in your own race.

Where do I stand? I know I have a lot of work to do and I am thankful for friends reminding me I am still in the first steps of coming back.

First means first, Lizzy
And you know you were legal the whole way!


P90 Day 2 – consider my butt kicked!

3 02 2011

I know that I am out of shape, but this really got me going. Well – after I finished the workout, I got to thinking about how far I have to go and how good I will feel when I meet my first goal:

Mastering these two routines.

I am taking the weekend off only because I have a training walk masquerading as a race. I will be leaving the snow of Denver for California. I will miss my dog, do my homework, and get back at it!

2010 …. WHEEEEEE!!!!

4 01 2010



Mike Mc & Lizzy - 5 p.m. and freezing!


 New decade … New resolutions …   

I’ll figure that out later.  


Resolution Run 5K: 

6p – 12/31/09 

2009 was a rough year for a lot of us, but the door is now closed on it.  How I closed the door was doing the Resolution Run with my dear bud Mike McB.  I’ve not seen Mike much this year, so we decided to do this race together.  It is only a couple of week before Disney, and after 2009 injuries, I didn’t want to risk slipping in the ice around Washington Park.  Mike wanted to get the dark, icy, and cold 5k done in 1:00:00 … yeah an HOUR.  Try again!  I probably would have frozen!    

 I was trying out some new warm weather pants I picked up at the Performance bike shop … review will come soon.  I don’t think I’ve ever worn so many layers: heavy jog bra, “find your happy pace” race shirt, two Disney long-sleeved race shirts, zipper shirt, AND jacket!!  

.  I came up with an idea to keep him from leaning over on the side where he’s toting from … he has to build it!  was requredMike slipped slightly at the beginning and we think his air became disconnected when we were in a knot of people.  Mike toted his air on what looks like a modified luggage cart.  Only one cannister


All Done ... Slightly Frozen!


I started out with a local film camera trained on my rear end!!! My “shorts” say “Life Energy Intelligence”.  I  cheered  on those around us.  Only the first 100 people are timed, so if you are slower than a 7:35 minute mile … you better make your  own  fun!!We got across the icy mess of a  finish line in 00:52:34.   Mike did great!!! 


I will keep up with my posts …. promise … but my laptop keyboard is driving me nuts! Next Race: Walt Disney World Goofy!  

EOW 5K 00:36:43

16 08 2009

coin2201.jpg image by erpedenPotts, of the wonderful Pott’s Trotters, has a race series called the End Of Watch Memorial Series. It is a fundraiser for those memorial benches of fallen Aurora, Colorado police officers. It’s a good hearted effort. Sometimes the families of the officers are doing the event listed under run, racewalk, or fitness walk and the whole thing is very low keyed. It is timed, but not chipped, and the route is a smidge hilly through the local neighborhood – but begins and ends at the Aurora Police Department.

There were changes this year, and fortunately Marianne M. (fresh off her 5, 10, 20 K wins in Finland) was doing some warming up to tell me what happened. Usually, the event takes place in the munipal building right at the front of the police department. This year, they’ve moved Potts to a courtyard on the side and I think it works out a lot better. The start now has a downhill slope and out of the parking lot … of course that means when you’re trying to finish, you’re going back up-hill at the end. Ok – Bolder Boulder!

It was nice to see folks. Turned out I was missed at the Georgetown race and that made me smile. This was my first race using the FastTwitch shoes, ortotics, and nearly 2 months of chiropractic on my knee. Seeing first Mariann then Michael Blanchard, I knew that the highest finish I could make would be 3rd overall … and when I saw the wonderful gentleman Darryl, I knew if I could hold 4th, I’d be happy! Bob Carlson was bopping around – kicking it at 80+. I figured he’d spot us at the beginning and end but not out on the course … and it appears I was right.

The beginning of the EOW series has a memorial to the fallen officer our fees are going to. Doves are let fly and it’s a very pretty rememberance. Runners start 2 minutes ahead of the walkers. Racewalkers start toward the front and fitness walkers just float along in the rear. Ok, so how are we told apart? It’s on the application and Bob pretty much knows the handful of us who were competing racewalking. I’ve only done a couple of her races where there were obviously jog/walkers who signed up for the “soft option” of “walker”, but they were carefully moved.

It was nice to talk with Darryl, Michael and Marianne. I’m still on the shoe hunt, so I’m asking a lot of questions.  I warmed up the legs a little and definitely did warm up exercises. Since I’m not really one to warm up the legs for anything under a 10K, I have to remind myself that I race better when I do! I train better also!

When we took off, I deliberately put myself behind Michael … I didn’t want to be on that toe line – to give them their flying start – but didn’t want to be behind others. I started off with a jump and by the time we turned the first corner, I knew I was solidly in 4th. I had kept up with the three front folks just long enough to put some room between me and the rest of the walkers. As I watched the speedy three take off, I let them. I didn’t feel like I even wanted to try to keep up. Good first step for me — actually walking my own race! Yippeeee!!!

The first kilometer to mile was clunky. There’s no other way to put it. I am not very smooth right now. I feel like I’ve got tired with a flat spot on them. I think if I got in the habit of warming up more, I’d have the clunks worked out before the race starts. I already knew the first mile was geting the kinks out, so no problem here.

I mentioned that the course goes up through a neighborhood … it does. It’s kind of a rolling hill course. You start off going down the street to the neighborhood and then roll up through that neighborhood with associated flats here and there, but for the most part you’re going up. I’m not sure exactly where I was, but I kind of wanted to stop for a sec. It made no sense as I wasn’t tired etc. My legs felt fine but I felt low energy. Ok – need to eat good food and more of it. Simple as that. Also, I need to make my training more fun so that when my head says “aww hell, Shep, this doesn’t matter …” I am able to put that aside and keep plugging onward and upward (in this case).  The bummer is after the water stop (roughly mile 1 and change), you turn a corner and go directly up to where the turn around is. The kids at the water stop were standing right in the course line which would have pushed me out into the street to go around them. I was, as I say, by myself, so I let them know I was going directly through. Not many people had passed me at this point, but I was really warm. I got about 1/2  a cup of water down my back with the majority splashing the back of my calves. I couldn’t quite see where the turn around cone was, but I was being passed by runners coming down. I didn’t really recognize many. As I got closer to the turn around, I saw the three racewalkers ahead of me. Michael came down first, followed by a very intent Mariann. Darryl looking like a dapper man in his Bing Crosby-esque blue fishing cap, came down – smiled at me, slapped hands and said “There she is! Looking great!” Was nice.

I probably mentioned in a long ago post that Darryl was one of the first people I met at a competition. It was a Pott’s Trotters race, and it was cold. My very first one for her – so I have to say it was maybe December. I’d gotten very used to starting at the back of the runners as a too-fast-for-normal-walk-groups-but-too-slow-to-be-mixed-in-with-runners person. I didn’t fully get that the Racewalkers are actually started 2 minutes off of the runners. As I took off, I heard Potts SCREAMING “LIZZY!!! LIZZY!!!” and I had no clue what it was all about. I heard go and I went. It turned out she was trying to get me to come back. Darryl was wearing a long pair of pants and that blue hat … and just glided on past the struggling-at-mile-1 me saying “You’re doing fine Racewalker!” First person to ever call me one. Of course, he effortlessly glided right on past like smoke. After the race was over, he met up with me at the finish. It appeared his beloved wife hadn’t come to the race. He talked with me about post race stretching, catching my breath, recovery, water and cheering other people on. Just an amazing guy. I never forgot him. Then I didn’t see him and, I’ll be honest, I thought he’d died. Nope – I even got to meet his wife at this race. Having Darryl there made me feel like I truly was “coming back”.

I was searching for the turn around … I saw a bunch of cones by a police car and aimed for them until the copper pointed out the YELLOW cone to go around. Oy! I watched my knees as I tightly turned around it and headded back down the hill. I saw Darryl’s wife and said “go to the yellow cone!” After the race was through, she said she didn’t get what I was saying until she saw it and it helped! One would think I would have jammed the downhill. Strangely, I didn’t. Not sure why … I just thought it was more important to try to keep some sort of even pace. I probably made up some time, but my legs were feeling a little heavy. Gulp of water because I realized my mouth was dry and headding off into the last bit of the race.

The bummer on this race is the knowledge that probably much every mile is uphill. I came off the long hill and turned right onto the roadway leading back up to the police station. I just told my legs to “spin your wheels” and I motored up the hill. I was really warm. I guess I don’t handle warm all that well. I was also sweating a lot. Going up the hill. Roll the tootsies. My “big” and “second” toe on my right foot have been giving me trouble and they were acting up. I’m wondering if it’s got to do with the orthotics or what. I was paying attention to how my feet were feeling in the FastTwitch shoes. They’re pretty yum.

I was, as I say, all alone. There wasn’t a huge turn out, which is really sad for Potts, so I just had to keep myself motivated. I laughed knowing that the rest of the course was going to be up-hill and said “Well, Lizzy, you’re at the Bolder Boulder with fewer people around!” As anticipated, Bob was under a tree just before the end. He called out my time, which was nice and said “Second Female, Fourth Overall” I barely heard him, but it was appreciated. I knew exactly where I was. I just have to get used to calling numbers etc at me. I only passed one gal, who was a jog/walker, from the running group, so I knew everyone was done. I came around the corner and saw the START sign … a friend of mine from the Rocky Mountain Road Runners was there yelling “COME ON LIZZY!!! You’re almost done.” I have no clue how good/bad/indifferent I looked, but I knew I wanted to be done because I really was hot. My buddy doing the music knew that I’ve been off for the majority of the year with injuries and this was my first race back for me. He put on Heart of Rock and Roll the minute I came around the corner … past the Chick-fil-let cow (kind of surreal by the way) and I laughed. (If you don’t know, Huey Lewis and the News were from Marin County – Mill Valley, the town next to where I grew up.) Arms do your pull, legs roll it up the hill … keep it legal please … because just off to the left of the clock was a tall gentleman in a blue fisherman’s cap … Darryl. 

I’m not going to lie – I fixated on that damn clock out of the corner of my left eye all the way up the hill from the moment I could read the numbers. I was bound and determined to be back under 40 minutes. That really hurt in June! Ok – so I wasn’t feeling well, screw it! It hurt because I’d not been that slow in a while … at least in a race! 😉 I crossed knowing there wasn’t a 4 within the first 3 digits of the clock: 00:00:00 … so in the hours or first spot on minutes … So – seeing my friend there and getting in under 40 minutes. Very happy indeed!

I did come in a “distant” fourth, but I’m just fine with that. I kept motoring on. It did remind me a lot of earlier 5k’s. I know I can do the distance, but it was hard for me to smooth out.

So, next race: Virginia Beach Rock and Roll 1/2. Going out to have fun and see where I am racing 13.1 miles in these new FastTwitch shoes.

Stadium Stampede 40:18 … for a 5k … with a bright lining

22 06 2009

I really didn’t want to do this race. I didn’t want to do it not because of anything more severe than being rather pissed off with myself. Since I have held myself to rather high standards – impossibly high standards at times  – I just didn’t want to further embarrass myself after the disaster of See Jane Run. I’m very serious about how I was feeling, and even wrote DMcG to use that nightmare as my ground zero to build the next schedule from.

I’ve had a lot of things on my mind and my most frustrating, as you can easily imagine, has been that I’m just not seeming to get over this damn knee thing and it’s affecting everything … because I’m letting it. That and other stupid stresses that I simply have problems accepting because they make not only  my life more difficult but are only short-term fixes … I know a lot about short-term fixes … with my walking, let’s face it, I’ve been short-term fixing myself for the past year.

I have spent a lot of time talking with Jack and Jake (friends who study sports psychology and interst in nutrition etc) … and it’s been rough some of the things that I’ve found out … and hidden behind, but I’m really done with it. Determining “mind virus’ ” and wiring, rewriting and restarting … fine and niffy … but that doesn’t stop the freaking pain that crawls up my leg at very inopportune times and the feeling like I’ve got a mountain of rocks building between my shoulders.

So – a bit of a chat with Da Coach … surprising him by promising that I’ll try another long judged race mid-kicking myself patter … he’s chosen October … ok … let’s get me there … dumping everything out of my schedule pushing toward my September –> January races … ok – that took care of “taking action” on myself …

However, I did say I’d do the Stadium Stampede even though I didn’t want to.

The thing is I get to see Lynn and Mike Mc as they are a part of Huff & Puff (the race is for St. Joseph’s Hospital). KristEn B. came out of Wyoming for her first ‘real’ 5k in years. When I got up, I realized that wearing black would be a huge mistake and, for some reason, I tossed my little rescue inhaler in my tinsy gig bag.

The course for the Stadium race goes up and around the Invesco football stadium, down to the bike path, one way out, over a bridge, back on the other side of the Platte (?) river, little up to the stadium, around the warning track of the stadium, up over the speed bump to the finish line and you’re done. It was fun last year, but I was in better shape … kinda … ignoring pain more.

Problems started when putting the chip on my shoe. There was only one zip tie and, honestly, I didn’t toss my spares in my tiny gig bag. Didn’t think of it. I ended up lacing the thing into my shoe thinking “I hope I have no problems at the end.” I saw friends and it was noticed I wasn’t wearing my usual water belt. It was hot, but I could use the water from the aid stations if necessary. I was going to just have fun and leave it there.

KristEn and I wandered about together as I explained, more or less, how the race worked. She knew I’d be there at the end cheering her in, so there was no problem. Since they were starting walkers and runners at the same time, I wiggled my way in right behind Darla and Becky. I’d seen Bob in the beginning so I didn’t think I needed to have my bib marked again for spotting … but fortunately Becky noticed that the spot had fallen off and the girls pointed out where I could get another …

Um … two problems and the race hadn’t even started … Relax … have fun … your friends are going to be in front of you … you’re here because you paid for it and to shake things out.

Yeah … right.

No matter what I told myself, KristEn said that I get this slightly glassy hard eyed look when I need to get to the line. She’s seen it at both the stair climbs and said it was probably there at the Gorilla Run, but I’m in full mask! I didn’t think about it … but I guess she’s right.

I’d not really warmed up well at all and that mountain between my shoulders hurt. But I was NOT going to stress it …

Race starts with that up-hill around the Invesco Field. Last year, the runners and walkers started separately, so I wasn’t surrounded by a bunch of fast runners. Becky and I waved at Darla’s back and got going. I started feeling a strange feeling in my chest and told Becky to get in front of me. I spent the first 1/3 of the race staring at her back then didn’t see her until an hour or so after the end.

Going up and around, I was getting strangely winded. It bothered me and I looked at my watch (which I’ve turned off the pacing beeping to pay more attention to what I’m doing) and I was starting out too fast. Ok … slow down …

A couple of kilometers in (yeah, I’ve got the watch set to ‘mark’ kilometers — whatever you think about Garmin’s, I do just about everything solo, so I need some sort of guidepost.) I was really not feeling right. Legs were behaving, shoulders loosening up, but I felt like I was either stomping down hard on my right (the bad one) or not being able to lift up the left properly … I’ve been complaining about this feeling since mid October, but even after seeing a chiropractor for a bit, it didn’t seem like it was getting better.

The real problem happened when I got a huge lung full of cottonwood tree fuzzies. OH MY GOSH! That blew my mind and I kept walking, but was hacking. Ok – so this is the third thing, right? I knew I had to keep moving forward because … uh … my inhaler thingie … it was in Mike Mc’s truck.

QUIT GLARING AT THIS POST!!! I’ve already been soundly reprimanded! I just don’t think about carrying it because although I’ve had “near” attacks, I’ve been able to get myself together. Also, when I was living with the asthma attacks previously, the only thing that truly worked to get me calmed down and breathing were the Asthmacort (sp) cortisone inhalers and I really don’t want to go down that road again …. anyway, I can’t get a ‘script for it.

One of the many things Jack, Jake and I have been working on when my head starts to take me down the road of mentally beating myself up for no particularly good reason are incantations. Yeah – an old thing, but it’s what we used to do when I was skating or we were all running and cycling. It really is just self talk to break the pattern of whatever is going on. There’s a simple one that I have been using when I’m stuck on a treadmill because it’s to freaking hot out or I just need to force myself to do some miles — which I always feel better after doing, but with the other distractions, I literally … uh … forget!

Spitting out cottonwood fluffies, having a guy trip over the chunk of sidewalk that bit me last year and grab on to my shoulder to keep from landing on his face, and having a small child – no fooling – stop dead ahead of me AGAIN … I let my mind click in to my couple of incantations and thought “just finish this pup and cheer in your friends, Lizzy!” Leg felt ok … incantation … still feeling like I’m a limping water buffalo … stronger incantation … shoulders feeling good … incantation … smiling … 😉

Feet kept propelling me along. Even though I felt like I was lopsided, I think my form was pretty good. I was able to relax a bit as I was starting to be able to breathe a bit better and I felt like I’d picked up speed. No land speed records this race … just getting through uninjured. Ok … I’m down with that.

4 kilometers down … incantation …

Deep breath in and it went NOWHERE. I felt like the brick that I’d been toting with my legs had come to rest on my chest. Oh CRAP! What is going on here? Keep calm … inhaler in Mike’s truck … since this is part of a hospital, there’s probably good med at the end … end this series of bad races with a trip to the med tent … Ok … just finish … you’ll be fine.

Up the little hill to the stadium … I knew *exactly* where I was going … fixate on that … across the street … mind the railroad tracks … CRAP! Another guy didn’t mind his feet and nearly took me out … hit the cop instead … He was Ok … I guess I’m getting back to being me on the race — yelled to make sure he was OK … he said he just wanted to catch up to me! 😉 Just try Runner Boy … I know where my finish line is and I want there … uh now.

Runner Boy caught up to me as I was hugging the edge going into the stadium. You go through the back driveway, around the field – or straight across if you see the line – and then up through the other driveway, hard right and you’re done. I hacked and smiled as he said “Caught you!” I smiled again … hacked … and said “Try again” and somehow sped up. I knew I was FAR slower than any other 5k I’ve done in a very long time, but I was really happy that my leg was feeling ok. I was very concerned about the fact that I was finding it harder and harder to breathe …

Yes, Sports Fans, I was headding head first into my first full blown asthma attack in a number of years and not exactly happy about it! 

I passed a gal who had been jog/walking ahead of me for most of the race at the last few feet of the race. That push that I just do as a matter of course probably started to put me over the edge. I quickly scanned to see if I could spot Becky and just gasped for air and hacked. Ok – I could handle this … Just keep standing …

The kid who was to clip off the chip just stared at my foot. I started hacking and said “Could you please untie it?” Very stupid look on his face as he said “Uh – why?” I felt my heart rate just jump – and I usually have it pretty high when I race so that says something and the ability to breathe became less and less. I found myself folding over toward the ground. If there had been 100’s of people – or even 10 coming in with me, I could understand he needed to get to the next person, but I was in distress. My Fathers’ Genes came through as I said “FINE – I’LL GET IT!” as I ripped the thing out of my shoelaces … hacking “OK – WHERE IS MED???” With an even more stupid look than before “Uh … I donno.” He pointed me over to his friend and I gripped his arm so hard I probably drew blood, but I was starting to have my vision tunnel. He pointed to an ambulance. So Bambi here – one shoe untied – started to stumble over.

When I got there, it was empty. I couldn’t believe it — third time I’ve gotten to an ambulance and it’s been unmanned … I guess God thinks I can handle things. I kicked off my shoes so I didn’t trip and remembered the Huff & Puff area where my friends filled up their oxygen tanks. If I could get there, I’d be closer to the inhaler and maybe someone could keep an eye on me while I tried to get my lungs together.

I started over and two women spotted me. One worked for the event who had seen me hula-hooping previously and the other had come in about 5 minutes before me. I was starting to recover, but was looking at my heart rate which was still entirely too high … damn HRM watches! I think it was because I was truly scared more than the attack itself. Once over at Huff & Puff, a wonderful gal – I have forgotten her name, but she had a knee brace – took charge of me. She gave me the Evil Eye when I said my inhaler was in Mike’s truck and after an issue with finding a pure air tank for me (which would have been too strange), she had a rescue inhaler and had to practically force  me to take puffs and hold them as deeply as I could.
I know that I got moving before I probably should, but I wanted to get my inhaler in my pocket and little bag out of Mike’s truck. I also wanted to scream, but didn’t have the air to do it. I felt weak, light headed and frustrated because my leg had behaved more or less, I’d behaved by taking it slowly, and now my lungs took this time not to behave. CRAP IN A BASKET! I was not interested in feeling sorry for myself, I just wanted to go hide and beat my head against one of the supports of the freeway! But – I couldn’t do that … I had friends still out on the course and I wanted to cheer them in.
I got back under the covering of the Huff & Puff booth, showed the nice Nurse Lady that I had my inhaler and even took a deeeeeeeep hit off it smiling and she laughed. I also saw my friend Mike Blanchard and wanted to see how he’d done. As Darla commented as the race started – many of us were walking wounded. Michael had a problem with his back, but I knew that wouldn’t get in his way (it didn’t. He won the thing like Darla did for the women). He said “Lis – you’ve got to check out these Massage folks!” His animation was what I needed and I wandered into the expo area with him. I said I’d had the first asthma attack in a long time, and like he did when he said “DNF is better than DQ if you’re injured!” he reminded me that with all the water, this was a nasty year for allergies and the cottonwood trees got him too. I don’t usually think about allergies because what I’m allergic to you rarely find being a complication in a race.
Splut, splut, squish! We walked across the sopping wet grass to the Exercise/Chiropractic/Chair Massage folks … it wasn’t Colorado School of Massage where people were starting to gather. Mike left me in their capable hands and wandered away.
I stood, squishing into the mud wearing my socks, in front of Dr. Joshua Doktor — Seriously, Dr. Dr. – who towered over me by at least 6 inches … which is saying something as I wasn’t sinking that badly into the mud! I’m used to the “sales pitches” that happen at expos … heck, I’ve hawked friends’ businesses or places I’ve worked for over the years … but there was something different here. We started talking, and I seriously got the feeling that this wasn’t just another chiropractor who was trying to grow his practice with athletes, but someone who actually understood athletes and the mindset. That’s been a problem with me and doctors … I’m not interested in fluff & buff, meds, short-term fixes, or maintenance for forever. I’m a lot more proactive than most patients and am willing to do the work necessary and go through the pain because I want to be FIXED thanque-very-much!
I took his card and said I’d think about it as my turn with the chair massage happened. The poor gal tried to get in to my shoulder and asked if they’d done the electro-check on my neck … nope. Well, Dr. Dr. was free when I was done as was the machine … OOOHHHHH machines, programs, gadgets, data! … and he explained what he was doing. After the first reading, his comment made me think there was something a bit amiss, but I was far more concerned not with the long black lines but the short red one.
Dr. Dr. – “Have you had a car accident?”
Lizzy – “Yup. 20 years ago last May.”
Dr. Dr. – “Nothing more recent?”
Lizzy – “uh … just stress.”
Dr. Dr. – “ummm…” (calling his partner over)
Lizzy – “Uh … when do you want to see me?”
Dr. Dr. – “Um … Tomorrow morning.”
Lizzy – “Should I bring my shoes?”
Dr. Dr. – “Yup.”
We laughed. I told him I was concerned about the red line and he said “You’re little red line is ‘good’ the big long black ones are the problem!”
So … It’s appearing that why I went to this race was to have a few things kicked in to gear …
1. Carry the damn inhaler … short race, long race … I’m under a lot of stress while off-loading the crap of my past and moving forward AND there’s a boatload of crap in the air … carry the damn inhaler!
2. It’s time to get things properly repaired. Standing in front of him, Dr. Dr. noticed things that surprised me. He and his partner are interested in athletes … normal people too, but athletes who are interested in being the best they can be … and since they’re growing their practice, they’ve got the right attitude … not the stuffy doctor one.
So – the race was slow. I felt like a lumbering ox. I checked off another of my fears – panic and asthma attack of sorts at a race. I got to hang out with Becky and Darla for a bit. Becky and I frequented the Coors tent (regular and diet … what the heck, free) However, I was bummed that I didn’t get to see Lynn, Mike or KristEn come in – but KristEn knew there had to be something off because I would have been there … so it’s great to have friends … and now I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
I guess this means that any way I look at it … I win.
PS: KristEn and I finally got a chance to hang out. It was good to be around someone since I still didn’t feel right and was hacking here and there. We went to Brooklyn’s, which is probably the only place down there. Actually, not too bad … still covered in Cottonwood tree fuzzies through the open door. One of the barflies was trying to hook one or the other of us up with the bartender – a nice guy, but I’ve gone out with bartender/proprietors and I’m in the market to get me where I want to be, thanks! As we were the last two cars out of the parking lot, there was a question that we wouldn’t get out. I took the lead and we got out just fine … Thanks KristEn!

*Aakkkk* Post Stair Climb … 56 Floors; 1096 Stairs … and I hit every one of those blighters!

22 02 2009

 Photos to come –

Anyway – so let’s just count up the posts here, on facebook, and in letters to friends where I stated in no uncertain terms that I was not going to do the Run the Republic Stair-Climb …

I pulled out after the 5k because I was having problems with the bloody hell 5k and really need to be glued together before the 20k next month. It wasn’t easy to do, and Coach Dave knew that … but he knew I’d made the right decision. He was right behind me … probably doing a goofy happy dance thinking “She’s finally getting her brain on straight!!! Yippy SKIP!!!” Of course, my head was saying “Crap! February is SUCKING!!! Wasting $140 or so in race fees and not doing anything but reading terrible books for class! This SUCKS!!!!” My body was reminding me … “Lizzy … there are 5 reasons why you’re going to pull out … and several races to do this year …”

1. post Disney pain.
2. not able to train decently.
3. post Disney pain.
4. convo with El Diablo … I mean El Coach-0h … agreeing I need to be healthy this year.
5. post Disney complications …

Um … yeah right.

I made the decision to actually go ahead with the original plan really right before the event. I’d already done the fundraising, was going to be number 18, and had friends there. I was going to try to see if I could be the oxygen stop for the folks on my team who really WERE carrying oxygen with CoPD, but I never found the time to do it.

Jackie and I were talking at one of the times we were at the gym and everything was feeling pretty good … I’d done no real training for the thing because my personal rehab for the legs has been far more important. I did a relatively heavy workout with Marty – my trainer at the Englewood Recreation Center – where he happily added some spice to my routine. (It appears he likes having a client as goofy as he is …) Saturday morning, I had some issues with the quads, but whatever.

I got up this morning not exactly in “race form”. I’d eaten a bit last night but gotten violently ill. It’s not that I’m sick … it’s got to be the stress of things that are so far out of my control but have a lot of affect on me. I pulled together a pair of longish capris, a comfy jog bra thing and one of my more favorite tech shirts that isn’t comfortable to race in … a white shirt that reads “Find Your Happy Pace”. Shoes – I did remember to wear the “regular” running shoes and the big thing was trying out that Nathan pack.

Bedecked in a blue bathrobe in my hallway at the “ass crack of dawn” was my buddy Jackie. Bless her heart how she’s as nuts as I am … probably moreso! I was running maybe 10 minutes behind, but I keep forgetting that she’s one of the handful of folks who runs nearly directly on time — but she got to see my new artwork for the Lizzy Races Bathroom (will post photo later) and we were off.

The thing about the stairclimb is that after you’ve done it once … like any race … you kinda know what you’re in for. You know the course … stair after stair after STAIR of cement … I want to say 10 up to the door –> 10 up to the landing –> 10 up to the door –> 10 up to the landing … repeat until you want to die. Every so often the door is open with little bathroom Dixie Cups filled with water and a potential potty break. Between those open doors are a lot of closed ones with numbers on them!!

We are chipped at both ends and are popped in the building at 15 second increments. The “elite” stair climbers … yes there are Elite Stair Climbers … start at 8 a.m. and are done literally minutes later. Starting at 8:15 are the front part of the Groups. Team CoPD+ started at 8:30ish.

Lynn is amazing … Lou, her husband, is amazing … the team is amazing.

Jackie and I got there just giggling. I had told myself that I could bail if I need to and I was having a massage after … at Massage Envy … with Jackie as the therapist! It was already a little full at the 7:30 a.m. that we wandered in the door. I immediatly realized that my new Polar is a bit more of a pain than my easy to use Garmin … but then again, I think the Garmin was a bit of a pain at the beginning too! I just needed the stopwatch function and it kept yalping that it couldn’t find the foot-pod or the heart rate monitor strap. No DUH – they’re in the bathroom at home, silly watch! Then I noticed it was 2 hours ahead … I couldn’t care less what time it was in New York! I had it set for Mountain etc … I was still futzing with it all the way to the moment I started! Jackie was futzing with her i-Pod so I think it must have been a bad day to be a bit of technology.

KristEn’s mom trekked down from Wyoming with her and it was great fun explaining chips and numbers to her. KristEn is a vet now …. kinda! She had been teasing me that she was going to handcuff me to her to make me do the stairclimb … however since I’m not one to be on the “receiving end” of handcuffs … anyway – she came in around 48 minutes … so I’m NOT the one she would have wanted to be handcuffed to anyway. Of course, silly enough to say, she … like Jackie … like anyone who really knows me … when it’s a race … I race.

I had a feeling my quads were going to be a bit of a problem and after floor 6 they were … but WORSE than that were the folks wearing PERFUME or flowery body lotion … There is nearly no air flow in this and please remember that Denver Starts Out at a mile high and we just go up from there. Hold on – a story:

On Monday, I was at the Englewood Recreation Center trying to do my track work-out indoors. I’m still working out indoors these days. Jackie came with me (swearing I was trying to kill her) and we did part of the pre-track exercises. I didn’t have a lot of time, but that’s the beauty of this indoor thing. Anyway – there were a few folks on the track and I’d eyeballed them because, quite literally, I see little to nothing when I’m picking up my paws and doing a track work out. I actually like them (‘cept when I see mile repeats on my schedule) so I’m looking forward to getting outside again. First lap … fine … a little overheating with the glass and all that … rest lap – caught up with Jax and she asked me if I smelled something like entirely too much patchooli perfume. I remembered smelling something but since I tend to breathe out of my mouth, I taste it too. I hoped it was passing and started on lap two … and I got CREAMED with this patchooli smell. I mean it made a Grateful Dead concert seem like nothing! I couldn’t breathe and slipped a bit on the wood. I tried one more set and instead of the stench being a cloud … it was all the way around the track. I caught up with Jackie and said “That’s it. I can’t breathe!” I could only taste pachooli, smell it and in small doses Pachooli is fine … but oh my God!

Back to the race.

I visualized myself as a turtle — slow and steady – but a turtle with arms that would use the hand rails! Quads started talking before I was in there and I was giving them the Mile 15 “Ok – look, Guys, I need you to keep going to the finish…” chat. I hit door 4 and got a mouthful of warm sickly flowers. Oh no … please … medicinal taste … yup … someone in front of me had squirted on their perfume and it was taking over the area. This is just WRONG! The gal was on the landing of door 5 looking like she was going to die. I felt like if I had to breathe her evil perfume, I might and bopped on by. 

I kept it pretty easy and even. Since I really didn’t have many people around me like I did last year, I was able to use both of the hand rails. If you’re passing someone, you pass on the outside. I hit every stair and kept close to the inside rail. Sure I could have maybe done the skip a stair thing, but that would have been more pressure on my quads and knees … and I didn’t want to cause them any more problems.

It’s hot in that cement, stair-lined cave. I was really happy that I had the Nathan Woman’s Pack. It’s more like a vest with an oval that fits easily in the middle of my back. Pockets in the front, a nice little zip pouch in the back and the holder for the mouthpiece can be either on the waist or looped on the shoulder. The best part of it is that the bite piece actually pulls up so it can be pushed down and locked or pulled out and bitten. Even when it’s not ‘locked’ it’s not leaking water. Ok – cool.

Had to stop at floor 10. I was having some problems breathing. I do have asthma. I just don’t aknowledge it! I don’t have a perscription for inhailers … nor did I have an inhailer. Not exactly brillient, but that’s me. I was also starting to loosen up all the Winter Crud in my lungs and wanting to hack. I did notice that the water stops finally had bags hanging at the walls or boxes for the cups for the subsequent couple of floors … perfect to spit in.

Door 16 and I thought I was going to die. Double whammy of flowers. One more medicinal than the other. My guess was that there were two gals just up ahead someplace. In the corner of floor 17 were two gals and they just looked at me pulling myself up. I’m not kidding, one was handing the other her hand cream “It smells lovely doesn’t it. It makes me feel better.” I glared, hacked, spit in the box and put as much distance between me and these two as I could.

I love scents. My relaxers are the Citrus ones. I love roses and flowers … especially when they’re in a pretty vase or in a garden … but NOT IN A STAIRWELL WITHOUT MOVING AIR!

I want to say it was around floor 18 when my hands got really cold. I’d been using the bannister. No shame in that … Mom used to tell me to hold the bannister before her klutz of a 2nd daughter went ass-over-tea-kettle rolling to the bottom. We were getting near the one place where there was air forced through. I remember I’d stopped several times before this last year and I was doing better this. It wasn’t easier, I was just more consistent (aww crap – I used that word).

Floor 21 and I had to stop. I was hacking pretty badly and feeling a smidge concerned. I had how many floors left? The funny thing is when I need to get my brain back onto the task at hand in a race, I start figuring out roughly my pace. I suck at it, but I do it anyway. This time I was thinking about how we start the race from the basement so there are less floors at the top … and I can never remember exactly how many less. I looked at my watch and figured I’d really buggared up hitting the “start” button because I couldn’t be moving that easily.

Floor 25 and it wasn’t just women’s perfume but some really cheap, overly gaky men’s rubbish! I mean I was looking for some overly furry dude in a really loud lounge lizard suit … and there he was by the door of 26 with a couple of gals in equally aeromatic stuff. I got past them quickly but the odor caught up to me when I had to stop at 28 because I really felt terrible. AEEIIII!!!!! and I was off again.

34 is a great floor because you know you’re more than 1/2 way done. I don’t remember if it’s there or on 28 where you walk over from one stairwell to the other, but skinny cheerleaders with black and white pom-poms were there directing us. It was nice and they were fun. The sad thing prior to that were the people at the water stops weren’t cheering at all. If you’re bored, get off your rumpus room and give this a shot!

Coming out of 36 there was another nasty hit of men’s cologne … oh please! The really sad thing was it was the overdone stuff that this guy – who works out between 3:45 and 4:30 M/Th/F at the gym – uses. He’s just disgusting because I swear he slathers more on before he goes on the treadmill. Of course the Coach-O-Rama would say “Well – at least he gets you on the track where you can truly pick up speed …” but I like the treadmill for the hills! That aside. I have NO CLUE where this odor was coming from. I’d passed a lot of folks and the only thing I could think of was maybe the ‘water’ stop?

40 found me with my head against the coolness of the wall. I’d had a headache going in but I was well hydrated. I just wanted to finish. It wasn’t terrible, I just don’t like the hacking feeling. I didn’t feel clastrophoic … I just knew that it was getting to the point where I was going to start hacking and not be able to stop.

In this event, people in terrific shape hack and spit like camels. The hardest part is once you’re at the top, there is very little room and you’re in a tight space with a lot of folks and nobody thinks to turn up the air so there is air movement. They also push to have teams have their pictures taken up at the top. I love the team photo because Jackie and I have a reason to jump up on the window ledge and stick our butts out over Denver.

Floor 50 … ok … we’re almost done … then it was 53 … and I was. Yeah 53 … it’s because we start in the basement! I keep forgetting. I got caught in a line leading to the mat and I looked at my watch … 16:18 … that can’t be right … I wanted 20 minutes and I did 16. No … I must have buggared up hitting the start … I don’t know about that but I do know I buggared up hitting the stop. For all I know, the watch STILL thinks I’m out there!

A guy named Chris flew up there and I never did see him again. I did remember the break room at the end of the hall and made a bee line to it after I got some water and a tissue. I needed to hack. I came out about a minute or two later and saw Jackie. It was too hot again and I went back into the break room and hacked. I finally got sick with the only thing in my stomach – a couple of raisins and red power-aid. I’m glad I remembered the power-aid was red or I would have completely freaked out spitting red into the sink!

We went back into the finishing area to see if others had made it in. I decided to go to the end of the “chute” to make sure our three Air Toters got across. Holly was bound and determined to beat Lynn and she did … but it was a good thing she totes her own air! She looked like she was going to pass out coming through the doorway. I started yelling at her to come my direction … “Over HERE …” they let me through when I said “She’s one of mine.” The last place I wanted Holly to go was in the main area because it was extremely crowded and hot. I wanted to get her to the relative peace of the break room so she could try to glue herself back together. I pointed her in the right direction and asked for one of the medals for her … I found out later she gives her stair climb medals to a friend with lupus and he’s just keeping alive with them. She hacked and tried to come out of the post-race fog. A few other team-mates came to the break room where she was being tended to by the paramedics. She didn’t really need them.

Mike Mc. looks terrific and is going to be going to the Boston Marathon. I’d not seen him since he got his trach and I thought it might freak me out … but you know the snaking tubing going to his nose freaks me out more so with that gone the world is a better place. He did ask me to turn down his oxygen and I inadvertently knocked the supply tube off the tank. Yeah – I stopped the air for one of my best friends at the top of a damn building in Denver! Realizing something was wrong, he used one of the oxygen/pulse meters and said “Lizzy – can you turn the air back up?” It was then that I realized the frozen rubber tube was disconnected. Holly (the expert as she has to deal with this) and I (the friend who felt terrible) got the tube back on and Mike back on his air! PFEW!!! Two of the guys who are inventors or marketers (not sure which) were there and I said under no uncertain terms that a locking mechanism that is easy to move but locking none-the-less was necessary and gave them a couple of ideas. They were hip to it.

RESPECT ... we're nuts!

RESPECT ... we're nuts!

We got our group photo and it was time to go downstairs … by elevator. Jackie, Holly and I are sticking our tushies out at Denver and everyone is probably looking grand. Mom Blume came in around 20 minutes before KristEn (daughter) and did really well. The rest of the team simply rocked. You know, I wouldn’t miss this for the world … even with my bitching and moaning. It’s a really hard event on my lungs. My legs … ok … another lesson learned … get the quads and such stronger. I know I can *do* the event. For the feets – those “regular” running shoes rock.

Jax and I wandered a little before we left. I saw a place to get photos taken and what the heck … it didn’t cost. They were playing Aretha Franklin’s Respect and we were dancing and goofing in the booth. After two photos, Jackie said we had to switch places before the last two. We’re nuts!! We had to get out of there, however. Jackie had to get me home and chill before her job at the Denver Tech Center Massage Envy … her first client was at 1 … someone named Lis Shepard. Wonder who that is! An hour and a half massage later and chatting with my buddy Scott who owns the place and I felt better. I’d hacked through the whole thing … and I’ve got this nasty headache … I’m still pounding water … but I’m in one piece …

Had a great time … enjoyed myself … and after over a month of post race blues … including my head not liking my Disney times … yeah I *KNOW* I did the half right before the full and was injured … that’s all logic … I got close to my PR in the 5k at the top of the month and I really did quite well in this event.

What’s next — The 20k in Huntington Beach.  Until then … I’ve got to catch up on homework with huge projects due on Tuesday and Wednesday … and I’ve not started either … Sigh!

Visitation of a Mom-mee & Denver Gorilla Run 5.7K @ 0:44:30

31 10 2008

You know – It’s nice when your Mom comes to visit in the middle of a year that can be categorized as “OH CRAP!!” followed by one of the following statements:

“The race is … this weekend?”
“Oh my … uh … better make travel arrangments.”
“I’m flying out at what hour again?”
“Um … are you free to Bailey sit?”
“Injury, smingery … there’s a finish line to get to.”
“You’re flying in … when? … Tomorrow … ooh … uh?”

The last one, of course, was directed at my Mom! The house is a complete and total disaster as I’m going through absolutely everyting while I’m writing this book I’ve been working on. Fortunately, this year has been so chaotic and strange that it didn’t bother her that her younger daughter was finally trying to get some control of things.

Mom’s a good egg … stays at a local hotel (which just *happens* to have a Starbucks located conveniently between my house and ‘hers’) and uses my computer (complete with trac ball located on the left) for her business e-mails. She came out to watch her younger nutcase racewalk the Denver Gorilla Run for the second time.

The thing about my Mom is that she’s got a pretty awesome sense of humor and wanting to make the world a better place. This event is for the mountain gorillas. Jackie and I did it last year. She’s always pink (the baby gorilla I’m holding is part of her costume) for Breast Cancer. I usually take on the rest of the cancers. Mom was a pediatric oncology nurse, so I tend to have a soft spot for kids. Last year, I raced for St. Jude Hospital during the Bolder Boulder and San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. This year, I added it to my gorilla. Once a really good photo comes in, I’ll send it along to the hospital as I think the kids will get a kick out of it.

Last year there were just over 300 of us. This year there were over 700 representing 25 states. Denver was the largest gorilla run to date. First go, you pay in excess of $100 and get the gorilla costume. After that, you’re a returning gorilla. People go completely nuts with their costumes. I got the purple tutu last year (and it was fun to get through SFO security). This year was a bit harried.

Friday, when Mom was checking her e-mail, and wanting to toss my trac ball as far as she could until she got the hang of it, I was up in the attic looking for my skin. I’d put the body (which has a rubbarized chest) in one box and the head was missing (which has a rubbarized face). “Hey Mom – I can’t find my head!” Just what every parent would like to hear coming from the attic of their daughter’s apartment! It turned out it was in the box with my fairy wand, reindeer ears, bunny ears, cat ears … you get the point. Mom was needing a smidge bit of help with the computer and over her shoulders were these black furry arms! 🙂 giggle!

I got the costume put together and all was right with the world. We met up with some friends over at … I’m NOT going to say the name of the place as I’ve got it wrong in my head — NY Pizza is the largest part of the sign. It is fairly small and comfortable. Had a great time swapping stories. Great group: Scott & Q from the running club, Val from pilates … she’s also a Rocky Mountain Road Runner and has been in that pack of fast runners with Scott & Q, Joan from the museum and Jackie from just about everything else!

The race starts outside of the Wyncoop Brewery – owned/formerly owned by Denver Mayor John Higgenlooper (sp). We got there seriously early as I still needed to check in and we wanted to find parking. Thank GOD Mom is who she is as we were in that parking lot helping people with their costumes from around 8:45 to start time! Jackie’s mom came out as did Lynn & Lou. KristEn came out of Wyoming.

The thing about this event (www.denvergorillarun.org) is that people seriously go to town creating costumes. I was in “slammed” mode, so I only added a pink feather boa from Jackie and added the white flower. My gorilla is the Cute Girl gorilla … and does curtsey for photos, at bystanders and as a thanks to the cops holding traffic back. “Sane” is not a word to describe me, hu?

The costume contest was fun. KristEn had a tall pink Marge Simpson wig on from Jackie and next year will have her costume together. Jackie had her black 40 DD bra on that usually has her iPod speakers in the styrofoam “boobies”. Jackie’s mom has a series of health issues, so we had to get her seated in one place. Lou, Lynn and Mom all hung out with her through the event.

The thing about my Mom is we’re a lot alike. She was trying to take photos (will post when I get them) of the costumes and floated around talking with just about every gorilla there! When KristEn, Jackie and I got off stage, we were off to the side talking with Gorllas Next Door (based on Hugh Heffner’s show). The guy in the group was a card. A mention was “Hey – where’s your mom?” Um … I did have to laugh because I realized she was all in black – but that blonde hair made her easy to spot … that and our trademark laugh!

We wandered with each other for a little before the race started. She was marveling at the costumes. “Ok Liz’ard … you are going to take it easy, right?” I said I was planning on it, but started to warm up my shins a little. No stretching, just  a little standing shin warm-up. “Yeah – I’m here for fun!” I think we both knew that probably as soon as I got going, all bets were off, but …

The course wanders out toward the running path along the Platte River. 700+ gorillas running/skating/cycling/scooting/walking w/one tutu & boa clad racewalker must be a sight. There was another event at the same time for diabetes. The really nice thing was that there were people out there who actually knew what it was that I was doing!

Last year, I remember feeling pretty sick wearing that head and trying to be able to see. My glasses are propped out on the outside and the only way to be timed is to be wearing the gorilla head and costume when the course monitors take photos! Seriously! At around mile 1, Jackie cut across me and, I found out later, she didn’t know she had. I figured we’d meet up again as she jogs and hops around. I got up to the place where we met last year – around mid-way – and I was doing fine. I carry my own Clif-Aid/Water Cocktail … especially due to my recent hydration issues. I just kept going. I thought I’d see KristEn’s Marge Simpson wig when I double backed on the folks behind me, but I didn’t.

From a race standpoint, I felt pretty good. I couldn’t see … much less hear … my watch so I was trucking along at a pace I could handle as I was overheating in a gorilla suit. As I got off the last bridge, I saw the Marge Simpson wig … and a couple of gorillas … sitting on the side. I cocked my head and was told it did look like “What the fuaaah?” KristEn and her friend started the race 20 minutes late and sat down to watch everyone come in. That’s this race. If you’re not worried about time or anything – you can go a few blocks, cheer folks, and come in when you want! It’s a true fundraiser.

I couldn’t see the finish line, but knew it was by the Icehouse sign. This guy who had been playing leapfrog with me kept saying “You’re doing great, Walker, but you need to pump your arms harder and higher. Move your feet farther apart …” Again … “What the fuaaah?” I wasn’t chaninging my walking style for some guy I’d never met. I kept doing what I was doing and told him “I like my form, but thanks!” AND BEAT HIM IN THE LAST 200 METERS!!!

Lynn had never seen me come across the line. Mom said she didn’t quite recognize me except when she saw the purple tutu. I could hear them, but my visuals were pretty bad and I was really overheating. I got across the line and RIPPED off the head. I got a great hug from the tall (and handsome) guy in rollar blades and a San Jose Shark’s costume. The “advice” giver came in and was in bad shape. “I couldn’t catch up to you in the end.” I smiled and said “I racewalk … not powerwalk.” I don’t know if it was Lynn or Mom who said “Lizzy racewalks 1/2 marathons and marathons and just finished one in 2:40.” I love my crew.

Of course, after slamming some post race go-go juice that was in the RMRR backpack Mom was toting & removing my race number, I was back out on the course looking for my team. I was surprised Jackie wasn’t right behind me, but I had a feeling she was waiting around for KristEn. I was cheering all the gorillas saying “AIM FOR THE ICE HOUSE SIGN!!!” As you can see of the post-race photo of the four of us, the start/finish sign was pretty bloody low!

I couldn’t believe how far back Jackie was. I walked pretty fast about a mile back and asked a walking can of Gorilla Brew where she was. “She’s about 1/4 mile back singing 100 bottles of beer on the wall.” Um … ok. She’s one to cheer everyone in so it didn’t surprise me at all. 

We did finally see each other and it was a real relief! “Where’s KristEn…” When I told her, she laughed, but she had been waiting. She could easily have finished this race in under an hour and next year it’s “Every gorilla for herself!” I grabbed her Gorilla Baby for a photo and ended up carrying it in.

We grabbed KristEn and did the last bit … Jackie is more of a jogger — and she wanted to run in. I’m an old sprinter, so what the heck! We got to a stop sign and I started to *run*. Lynn and Mom were, again, at that finish and I kept pushing the pace a little harder to get Jackie in. It was fun actually and I like running little bits here and there. I’d have to say it was a bit awkward running in a tutu, boa and carrying a pink gorilla baby … but whatever.

It appears that Lyn has already started figuring out how she’s going to modify her Gorilla to accommodate her oxygen tank … and KristEn will be coming out of Wyoming again.  What started out as Cancer Sux Gorilla Girls of Super Velvet (Jackie) and Wonder Zsa-Zsa (me) will be at least four! If Mom’s knee would hold up, I could see her coming out to play too! There was post race food, but Lyn and Mom said that there were announcements about what a zoo (pardon the pun) it was. Jackie and KristEn went up after Jackie dropped her mom off and said it was really packed. Mom and I took off.

One of the biggest concerns for Mom (and everyone else) was the fact that I’d gone through another spate of not eating. It’s been just a forgetful thing on this go around and I nearly passed out at the museum. As you can see, Mom’s pretty trim by nature and I’m the family Viking. No problem really – but we did have the “eating” discussion. Mom and I had our Thursday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and thought we’d never eat again as the portions were so huge. Friday night was dinner with friends at the pizza place where part of our portions were sent home. Saturday was a late lunch … all this gorilla wanted was corned beef – which kills me every time, but we went to the New York Deli where she had a rare roast beef sandwich. The funny thing is what happens post-Church. I pick her up after Church and it’s “where now?” Last year it was a trip to Bonnie Brae Ice Cream and a walk in the drizzle around the neighborhood there. This year it was helping a lady find her car in the parking lot and then going to Cherry Creek Maul … and realizing I was getting dehydrated and having a HUGE fresh squeezed lemonade.

Sunday came a little too fast. Mom and I didn’t do a ton of tourist things, but we did have a good time. Life was real – not manufactured. I’m hoping she comes out for next year’s Gorilla race … I know I’ll be there!

More photos when they arrive!

Next Race: RMRR 9 Mile Trophy Series