Monday, June 15, 2009

Sawtooth Relay

What happens when you take 6 women (2 of whom are in their 40s, and 3 of whom are in their 50s) who love to run, put them in a van together with less than 2 hours of sleep at 12:45 AM, gather 2 reflective vests, 2 headlamps, a clipboard, string, a pencil, 2 Garmins, a cooler full of food and Vitamin water, and head out to Stanley from Sun Valley with the intention of running back the way you just came in 9 hours and 13 minutes???


Not crazy. Wrong answer.

It's called the Sawtooth Relay.

And WE DID IT!!! We definitely rocked that race and are proud of it!

You see, it works like this. Gather 6 friends who don't care about each other's post run smells. Ride to Sun Valley Friday afternoon (while still smelling nice and fresh) and enjoy each other's company carbo loading at Smokey Mountain Pizza. Go to the local grocery store and pick up lots of replenishing foods for our post run snacks. Oranges, Triscuits, cheese, chocolate, bananas, Power Bars, Luna Bars, Clif Bars, and more chocolate. Determine that it's time to go back to the condo and try to get some sleep before we awaken at 12:45 AM to load into Kris' van and drive to the start in Stanley. First, however, coffee is needed for Kelli, Claudia, and Joni. Drive to 6 locations at 7:30 at night and find nothing open to satisfy the need of caffeine.

***Hmmm... note to self: A good business opportunity for someone in Sun Valley - Some COFFEE place that stays open past 5:00 PM!!! Duh.

Find coffee and drive to condo to get ready for bed. Arrange 3 different changes of running clothes in bags and slip into comfy sleeping bag only to remain awake for the entire "sleeping" time until 20 minutes before the alarm goes off. Wake up - hey wait, I'm already up. Physically get up and put dry contacts in. Pray that they don't get too foggy so I can drive for an hour and a half to Stanley. Arrive at the start line. Put vest on, head lamp on, number on, gloves on, head warmer on, and leave at 3:00 AM after having said a prayer that no mountain lions or bears are up like me and ready for a snack! I leave to start my run and I am grateful that the moon is almost full and the sky is mostly clear. I am surprisingly calm and feel that my prayers are being answered! Yay! The river is to my left and the forest is to my right. There are very few cars on the road: only the ones who are stopping to offer water to their runner. My girls stop at mile 2 and I gratefully accept water from them knowing that I need some human communication! Then they drive off to mile 4 while I continue to run and listen to my breathing and for the wildlife around me. Nothing but the smell of a skunk and 55 minutes after 3:00 I am finished with leg number one and I am handing off the bracelet to runner 2 - Keziah. I receive hugs, praise, and a warm van to retreat into the back seat. Awww... I love endorphins!!!

This cycle continues with each runner and it is like a huge cheering contest as we encourage each other on and show our support for this cool event we've gotten ourselves into.

We love "Sweet's Sanitation" portapotties. Yeah, that was the name of the company! I know!

The rain started around the time I was ready for my second leg. The backside - yes, downhill - of Galena Summit. It was a little more difficult to run after I'd been sitting in a car for 5 hours, and we had a lot of elevation up on that thar mountain! I dug deep and kept trying to visualize the backside of Robie Creek, which is harder by far according to me!!! I tried to listen to Lindsay's ipod but Kelly Clarkson and the Spice Girls just didn't do it for me so I took out the earbuds and enjoyed listening to my own breathing...heehee... Handing off to our next runner was AWESOME! I was finished and could now enjoy cheering and eating and encouraging and laughing with my team.

Ahhh...Warm and dry at last!!!

When it was all said and done our team finished in 9 hours and 13 minutes. We felt pretty good about ourselves and the fact that we finished so well for the Women's Master's Division! I think the part I liked the most was the comraderie that we felt being together in a van for 9 hours striving for a common goal. Ahhh, Teamwork is a beautiful thing and I know I definitely want to do this race again next year.

Kukimbia Kumamas Rule the Hill!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A girl after my own heart!

Saturday, June 6 was a busy one in our household: Bill and Payton were on a boy scout campout, Kris and Kourtni were at a basketball tournament, Alyssa had to work, and Lindsay had signed herself up for the annual Capital Classic race. Hmmmm.... no family around to cheer her on! No friends who signed up with her! Rain, rain, rain!

Lindsay is not easily deterred when it comes to a race. The weather didn't affect her. No friends in the race didn't affect her. She was in true form and ran the race quickly by herself. Alyssa managed to get some time away to drop her off and pick her up so she had a way there and back.

I am grateful for sisterly love.

Hey, it's all worth the cute shirt!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mountain Lions, Snakes, and Bears, OH, MY!!!

I'm not the world's best tent camper. Or overnight hiker. Or day hiker. Sure, I'll hike up Table Rock - heck, I'm close to civilization up there! But, please don't even talk to me about taking necessities in a pack on my back and climbing up high mountainous trails with bears and mountain lions lurking around each wooded turn of the trail. Nope, I'll stay close to where all the humans are, thank you very much.

So, needless to say, I have two reasons to start worrying about mountain lions, snakes, and bears, oh, my!

Reason #1: The Sawtooth Relay
A couple of my teaching/running buddies and I thought we should tackle the race from Stanley, Idaho, to Sun Valley. Easy enough: take 6 ladies, run 2 legs of about 5 miles a piece, enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the Sawtooth Mountains, ride in a van for the duration of time you're not running, play loud music to psyche us up, and basically just really enjoy the company and the experience.
Ummm, not too sure that this will be the case. You see, our team, The Kukimbia Kumamas, has a start time of 3:00.


And guess who's runner #1?

So, to recap:
I'm runner #1, starting my leg at 3:00 AM, on a dark mountain road, with who knows what kind of critters lurking on the dark sides of the road as I, all by myself, run 5.6 miles to where I hand off to runner #2.
AAAAAAHAHHHHH, I really don't like mountain lion, snakes, or bears at 3:00 in the morning on a dark mountain road!!!
Bill told me he would bring his motorcycle up and ride next to me while I run in case one of the said mentioned critters decides they want to make a 3 AM snack of me...
Isn't he the nicest husband? He doesn't want his wife to be alone on that scary mountain road.
I love him!

Reason #2: 4th year level leader at girls' camp
I love girls' camp. I loved it when I got to go to it as a girl and now that I'm an adult, I have loved going to it as the Young Women's President. Cabins to sleep in, food prepared by the camp director, swimming pool to swim in, a lodge relax in, etc... Yep, girls' camp is great - or so I thought until I found out the other night that I was needed to be in charge of the level 4 girls. No problem, I said. You have to go on an overnight hike with all the girls, she said. But I don't like to hike or camp or mountain lions or bears or snakes, I said. Laughter on the other end of the phone. No laughter on my end. More laughter on the other end. Seriously, I don't like those things, I said. That's ok, you'll have some other leaders with you, she said.

Hmmmm. Looks like I have a couple of things to worry about this summer.

Maybe Bill can ride up the mountain trail on his motorcycle, too?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Houston, we have a GRADUATE!

Yeah, this pretty much sums up the feelings of our oldest daughter right now!

What a night for Alyssa and for our family: Grandma Virchow, Drake, and Morgan all came up to spend a few days with us celebrating.
Jeff surprised us by delivering Grandma Ball to the Taco Bell Arena after a trip to Idaho Falls to pick her up! (What a NICE guy!) He brought Tresa to the graduation, too! Since she is his wife!
Bill got strep throat during the afternoon and was completely bed ridden with body aches, head aches, swollen glands, and complete misery. He was able to make it to see his darling daughter walk across the stage but left a short time after she received her diploma.
(That is why you will see no pictures of Dad with his family... maybe we can "stage" another graduation photo op at a later date when he can remain upright for longer than 5 minutes...)
Tons of picture taking with Alyssa and her cute friends!
A trip to Flatbread (closed). A trip to Lucky 13 (closed). Finally a late night graduation dinner at the local IHOP for a delicious meal of omellettes, stuffed french toast, and pancakes..yummm
A newly liberated daughter off to an all-night party of air brushed tattoos, yucky Boondocks pizza, hypnotists, and a final good bye to many of her classmates.

What a night.
For those of you who have young children, a word or two of advice:
The next 7 to 10 years will absolutely fly by. Seriously. It will fly and you will find yourself wondering who this beautiful (or handsome) young woman (or man) is that was just barely born and just barely started Kindergarten.
Yep, you'll wonder where all those years went. You'll wonder who sped up the clock and who morphed your baby into a smart, intelligent, contributing member of society.
It flies by and you'll definitely wonder what the heck happened.

I know I do.