Thursday, August 11, 2011

Playing with my camera...

So, I just signed up for a class to learn to use PSE 8.. I am excited. I know I can do better with my picture taking.. but also know that PSE can help me fix some of my problems I do have.. :)

Here are some pics I have been taking playing with my new lens and polarized lens cap. ;)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cascade Lakes Relay. Check.

Cascade Lakes Relay. Done. Check Check. The hardest thing I have ever done physically. Hands down. Give me childbirth any day. Well, atleast I prefer childbirth over the 3rd leg. That one hurt. Every step.

A few months back I joined a team from Kyle's work doing this relay. 216.2 miles, 12 people, over 36 hours. Each person runs 3 legs. I signed on. Legs 4, 16, and 28.

So, we arrived at Diamond Lake Lodge the night before (after a bit of a delay, but I won't dwell on that..) and instantly I was amazed at how BEEAUUUTiful it was there. I mean, wowza. I was ready to set up camp and stay there. Instead, my friend and I used some sweet talking to get us a free boat for an hour and we cruised the lake with another team member.

The next morning, it was rise and shine and head to the start line....

The course covered over 200 miles in the cascades and was amazing. It was fun, exhausting, frustrating and exhilarating. Here is my friend getting ready to run her leg.. I run right after her... :)

I ran my first leg, which was 7.1 miles on soft gravel, completely unassisted (no vans following or meeting with water) at about noon on day one. Hot and dry. The race guide stated there would be several water stations since it was unassisted and in the heat of day. They meant one. not several. ugh. Anyway, the leg got off to a rocky start when we did not get to the start line and ready before our runner arrive.... which means instead of getting to use the bathroom and get ready, i had to RACE to the start line and then run with a full bladder. I guess this was ok since there was not enough water on the leg, and my body needed to reabsorb the liquid. :) hahaha.
Either way, i finished.

In between legs we "rested" on the grass at Silver Lake.....

We couldn't sleep, so I taught a friend how to play Flux.

Then my next leg was at 1am. 6.7 miles in the dark in the middle of no where. i cannot tell you want the scenery was, as I could not see it. At first, the idea of running in the dark scared me.. but in truth, it was amazing. AND, there was a sign.... the moon was barely visible, so provided no light, but the stars were bright, huge, and amazing. it seemed we were so high we could almost touch them. And, right in my running path was the big dipper. it seemed I was running towards it my whole leg. (for those of you who do not know why this is important to me, go check out the Alaska state flag).

Ok, so finally we finish our night legs and about 5 am finds us trying to get 2 hours sleep in the La Pine high School gym..... then it was up and time for our last leg. uh. really?

Exhausted but determined, I began my 3rd leg at about noon on Saturday (yes, my birthday...). Much to my delight, Kyle and the girls had showed up to cheer me on.... this leg, was 6.1 miles and 500 foot elevation gain. argh. Every step was an effort. I must say, it was the worst 6 miles I have ever run. I could not find a good stride that did not hurt... and I could not get into a rhythm. Instead, I just kept going. it was not fast, was not pretty... but I did cross that finish line.

..then we had to wait for all our legs to finish so we could cross the final finish line as a team... I have to say, for me, this was bittersweet as we did not really finish as a team. In order to finish on time, we had to cut out 3 legs of the run. Whats done is done, but in the end, it sorta leaves me a bit sad. I have my medal and shirt, and know I finished my legs.. but as a team, we did not finish.

Hmm... will i have to repeat to fix this????

Thursday, August 4, 2011

36 years later...

Happy Birthday to Me!! 36 years. You know, it is funny, after my 21st Birthday, it seems I have not really paid much attention to the number. Often, when I am asked my age, I have to think about it, because it really does not matter much. I was not the person who stressed about turning 30 or 35.. (will 40 cause me to pause??)..... and each year seems to bring such new adventures that I do not dwell on the number, rather the journey.

36. That is a lot of years and days and minutes, and where has it all gone??? I can start to list all the "standout" memories if you will.... but it seems boring and unnecessary... Rather, I am going to spend some time thinking about what I am thankful for and what areas of my life I am not living in the way I would like. For example, patience. Ahh.. that sweet word. In this year, I plan to work on demonstrating more patience..... God. I also plan to talk to God more, and let Him continue to give me the strength and guidance as I approach each new day. Family. I love my family. I want to show them each day that they are important.

I do not know what this year will bring.. but I know with my family, God and friends at my side, it will be filled with laughter, love and blessings....