Mileage Recap 22 – 30 September

Last week was fun.  It took me off my regular training for the marathon but that’s alright.   A few niggles here and there, but feeling pretty good.  I have ended the month  of September completing 95.41 miles.  Happily have 10,513.96 miles remaining.  Hope you are reaching all of your goals, running and otherwise.  A very happy day to you.

Schedule is as follows:

Sunday – 22 Sept – Rest

Monday – Too much motorcycle riding on Sunday 🙂

Tuesday – Yoga 1:15 hrs

Wednesday – 8 miles

Thursday – 5

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 3.1  Warrior Dash!

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 5.02

Warrior Dash Race Recap – The Best People are Muddy!

Warrior Dash = Team Building!

First a special thank you to Danielle and Seth Beckham for all the support and wonderful photos they took!

Warrior Dash Arch

Warrior Dash Arch

This should say it all

In case you didn’t already know

Finally, after six months of planning and plotting I and a group of fellow work-mates completed the Warrior Dash Missouri on Sept 28, 2013.  I really enjoyed myself and I think the team did too!  I had wanted to do an obstacle race for some time but the opportunity never really presented itself.  It’s always better to do these races with a group than by yourself and obviously much more fun.

Still Clean

Before the mud!

Rachel and Darren

Happy Anniversary!

Danielle and Seth

Happy Anniversary!



Bryan Lee


Attempting Warrior Dash Sign

Attempting the Warrior Dash Sign


Stealing Diane’s water

The girls

Danielle, me and Diane

Photo Bomb

The 5 K course was out in Old Monroe, MO in the middle of a large area that they used for skeet etc and who know what else.  I was a little apprehensive but when we arrived there was an overall positive vibe and everyone was very friendly.  That worry quickly turned to excitement and I was glad to see it in my teammates as well.

We had t-shirts made that said:

TEAm on the front which stands for where we work – Transportation Engineering Agency then the “M” made the word team.  Super nice!  Then we all drew another persons name and came up with nicknames to go on the back.  My favorite was Bryan Hall’s “Runs with Two Beers”.  Just classic.


Waiting to start.

Our heat began at 1000.  They herded us into a waiting area like you see above.  It was a good time chatting with others before the race.

Were off

And we’re off!

Finally, the clock counted down and fire came out of the Viking helmet  to start us off.  The first 1.2 miles was rolling trail.  A nice run to get you warmed up before you reached your first obstacle.  I want to say there were 10 obstacles of varying difficulty.

Favorite obstacle was the mud mounds!  This was insane and not easy!  What made it great you had to depend on your team and others.  There was no getting over this obstacle without the help of your fellow-man or woman!


Mud Mounds – from Warrior Dash site!

The picture doesn’t do it justice.  The trenches are filled with water and there were no ropes to help pull you over not one but four mounds.  This was the third obstacle and it was physically tiring.  See the link below from the Warrior Dash Website to give you a better mental picture of the obstacle.

Mud Mounds

My least favorite obstacle was chained up.  It looks fairly simple but it was nerve-racking coming down the other side.


Warrior Dash photo chained up

See chained up here.

Last Big obstacle

Almost finished!

Finishing as a team

Jumping over fire


Here comes the TEAm!

Our last obstacle – muddy mayhem!



We do this for fun Mud Muddy shot Getting muddy Bryan and Mike Muddy

This is a race for all ages, young and old.  I highly recommend it for families or work team building.  It’s hard enough for you to succeed and have a great time.

Well Deserved beer

Well deserved beer!

The spoils of war



Pontification of mud and lite beer

Team work

TEAm work!

Now we got it right

True warriors – now we got it right!

Girls shot

Girls shot

Happy anniversary

Now that’s an anniversary to remember!

Bryan Hall

Did I just do that?

Group Turkey leg

After the mud

I'm Hungry

I’m always hungry

More Turkey

Corn and turkey legs – hey!


No one escapes the mud – no one!


Some of the best people you’ll ever meet get muddy!

          I hope your week was filled with more positives than negatives – stay muddy my friends.

Laurel Close

Muddy me – Sept 28, 2013 Warrior Dash

Digging Deep

This is a hard week.  I’m tired and need a little bit of motivation.  I missed Monday’s run because I rode my motorcycle for four hours on Sunday.  My body was physically whipped.  So, I listened and took a break.  I want to stay focused, but I also know when to say, okay I need a break and not to take myself too seriously.

This brings me to Tuesday.  Went to yoga class.  Drive up to the studio and notice there aren’t any cars in the lot.  Not a good sign.  Hmmm, maybe class was cancelled.  Then a car rolls up and the other yoga teacher gets out.  I feel bad because I don’t remember her name, but I will remember her…no doubt.  This was the first time I’ve ever really interacted with this new teacher.  I’m excited because – hey I’ll learn some new things.  I go to “my” place and wait.  About 10 minutes pass and I realize I’m the only student.  Here is an equation for you..

Only student does not equal easy class

Guess what…she’s a runner too – that equals hip opening exercises – one on one style!

I have earned the honor of the tightest hips – meaning I do not like to bend certain ways.  Fast forward to Wednesday.  Apparently my hips were very, very angry.  Very angry.  This eight mile run will go down as the worst run ever!  I think someone strapped two concrete blocks to my feet when I wasn’t looking.  I couldn’t believe how heavy my legs felt.  Then the right hip and hamstring were howling.  The whole run was a conversation with my inner running self “Awww come on you can do it…just put your mind to it” ~ eh, be quiet.

Digging way down deep…completed but very hard.

Happy miles to you.


Mileage Recap 15 – 21 Sept

Moving right along with marathon training.  I did it!  This weeks long run was 14 miles.  I’ll be brutally honest – I didn’t want to run Saturday.  The body felt fine, but I just wasn’t into it.  I laid in bed until about 6:00 am and finally trudged out of the house around 7:30 am.  It was a nice cool morning.  I love when the weather isn’t too hot or cold.  Fall is the best time to run.  There is a crispness to the air, leaves are beginning to litter the ground and excitement that the holidays are right around the corner is building.  This is my favorite time of the year.

I started my run out with my Aunt Patty heavy on my mind.  This is probably why I was dreading this run.  I feared the mental chatter would be at its peak and that this run would be brutal and undisciplined.  I let the tightness in my shoulders sink down and proceeded to glide along.  Mind over matter.  What’s done is done, there is no changing the past and I know in my heart that she wouldn’t want me to dwell.  So I won’t.

As I made my way down this familiar path I found my footing with little complaints.  The only pain was in my feet.  Funny how running pain seems to migrate from one part of the body to the next.  Just strange.  I’m happy to say the first 4 miles I kept the pace in the 9 minute range and the remainder in the 10 minute range – not bad I think?  Seemed consistent and that’s good.

I could have done without the bloated possum road kill that stunk to high heaven, but what can you do?  Hold your breath and move on…yes it stunk that bad:)

I did see a pack of Kool cigarettes.  Yeah that’s cool with a “K” baby not “C”…woot woot!

Around mile 13.55 a song by Fleetwood Mac streamed across my iPod, Storm sung by Stevie Nicks.  It’s one of my favorite songs.  It’s a passionate song and it drug me back to thinking about my Aunt. All of-a-sudden it was hard to breathe.  Thank goodness the run was almost over.  Running is mental, no doubt about it.

Call someone special today – don’t miss out on the chance to tell them you care.  Life is short.

I have thankfully completed 28.03 miles for the week ~ 10,535.08 remaining.

Sunday = Rest

Monday = 4.01 miles

Tuesday = kettle bell work out and 1:15 hrs of yoga

Wednesday = 6.02 miles

Thursday = 4 miles

Friday = Rest

Saturday = 14 miles!

Sending Flowers to the Living

What is your favorite flower?



Mine is the tulip. It’s a simple flower and easily identifiable.  Not too elegant; too much or too little ~ simple leaves, and comes in a variety of colors.  You can add it to any arrangement or let it stand alone. Strong and powerful it is quite beautiful.  I love the black ones.  I planted some last year that bloomed this Spring and they were beautiful.  They really look black ~ interesting flower.  Not a whole lot to think about with this flower.  You can look at it and appreciate it without having sensory overload.  It’s simple and beautiful, my favorite flower.  Maybe one day I’ll visit Holland and see them in the fields.

I got off of work early today to get a jump on the weekend and frankly to have some time for myself.  I have one of those jobs where sometimes you just can’t seem to get ahead, always busy.  I work in a secure area which means cellphones aren’t allowed in the workspace.  At the end of the work day it’s the same routine. I unlock my phone from the lock box and check my messages.  Today I noticed there was a message from my Aunt Patty. A little background information, Aunt Patty is my mother’s younger sister. I’ve had an off and on again relationship with her over the years. I’ve never lived close to her, she in California and me…well all over,  but I have visited her when I could. Only in the last couple of years have we become closer. She has fought cancer on and off. She went through a bought about a year ago, completed the treatment and came out on top. My last visit with her was last April 2012. We had a great time together.  Laughed like sisters, went to wineries and just enjoyed each others company.  I was older and there was so much more to appreciate now.  We’re both bad at keeping in touch and sometimes would go months without speaking. Over these last few months I’ve been busy. Work, kid and life. Excuses.  I didn’t call. Excuses.  I would think about calling her from time to time, but then there would always be some reason why I didn’t.  Some excuse or reason not to pick up the phone and say a simple hello how are you doing.

As I listened to the recorded message on my iPhone it was her son’s voice I heard not hers. Instantly I knew. I knew. I think I’ve known for a while, but didn’t act on that feeling.  I knew I blew it before the message finished. “Laurel I just wanted to let you know that Mom isn’t doing well, if you could call me when you get this message I would appreciate it”.  Blew it, in a major way.  So busy, I just couldn’t find the time.

I called her number and my Uncle answers.  Bottom line she’s got one to two weeks left.  She isn’t conscious and is in hospice .  I hate that word.  I asked what the plan was,  “there is no plan.  She is only awake for a couple of hours a day.  If you want to come say your goodbyes than okay, but she might not be aware”.  A hard blow,  a hard reality, a hard lesson to learn and some bitter medicine to swallow.  I was not there I wasn’t present.  I was busy.  I own it.

Laurel and Aunt Patty

Aunt Patty and me in San Francisco

Natural Bridge

A picture from our trip up the coast


The beach we visited

She never stopped telling me she loved me.  I’m very sorry to see her go so soon. I will remember all the good times and the difficult times will be forgiven.

My favorite flower is the tulip.  Today I will send flowers to the living.  A friend of mine who is fighting breast cancer and having reconstructive surgery today.  Tomorrow I will run the longest I have ever run at one time and I will reflect, on living.

The meaning of tulip is: perfect love.