Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I Heart Pikes Peak

it glows in the morning

So I had this whole entry typed and was thinking that it was pretty good, but then I read through it and thought, "Oh. Yuck. Nevermind." So here's the do over, and it goes like this:

I forgot how much I love running Pikes Peak. So much so that I was thinking I would take next year off (which is now currently up for debate, and I'm in no rush to decide). But then I ran it, and, well, wow. This year was particularly good because I'd trained differently (harder in some ways, easier in others), and I felt better during the race. Even during the sleet, I was enjoying myself more. I breathed easier. I ate solid foods (who knew I could do that without negative repercussions?). I gained a new talent (eating goldfish crackers while running--it's okay if you're jealous, it's a pretty special talent). Everything was beautiful, as usual, but there was simply more breath left in me to enjoy it. The volunteers, race staff, and fellow runners were all very cheery and friendly. I can't count the number of hands extended my way to help me down the sixteen golden stairs when it was slippery. There's no way to number the smiles and words of encouragement exchanged. There is simply nothing more amusing and heartwarming than having all the volunteers at an aid station cheer for me because I took a lot of their snacks. (Seriously, these people were EXCITED about me stuffing my pocket full of goldfish. I'm not sure if they were really bored or if the lack of oxygen was getting to them.)

A special shout goes out to Jamie of LIW Cargo Colorado Art Gallery, who bought me lunch the next day, even though she barely knows me. We have a special connection: She sells pretty things, and I buy them. I stay to chat. She is funny and sweet and generous. She doesn't make a lot of money running LIW, but she always gives me a discount anyway. That kind of generosity is extraordinary, and I am grateful for her example. She doesn't know this page exists, but perhaps if you're in Manitou Springs sometime, you can stop in and tell her I sent you. Buy some art or jewelry, even if it's something small. I know it will bless her, and there's nothing I'd like better than to have her generosity repaid by many, many others.

Five members of my family came out this year: Mom, Dad, Aunt Gail, Aunt Donna, and Harvey. They deserve special recognition because they carted me to the starting line at 6:15am, cheered me in, and helped me get settled back in my hotel room when they could have been doing more exciting things. I heard they had a great time eating (and eating...and eating...and eating...), as well as sitting in the hot tub and enjoying a huge lodge. I'd say it worked out well for all of us.

Finally, I want to say thank you to all of you who supported and encouraged me throughout the summer and after the race, offering your encouragements and your congratulations. You rock! I am well aware that this is something that I choose to do, that is purely elective, and to have so many of you being so supportive of me is just amazing. Thank you.

It's not anything fancy, but I think that's all I've got to say. Until next year, that is...

Friday, August 26, 2005

It's a Boy!

Please join me in welcoming my nephew

nathanael

Nathanael Mark Begemann
8 lbs. 8 oz.
19 in. long

Happy Birthday, little man!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

And Now....Pictures!

For the official race photos (which I don't like, but maybe you'll have kinder eyes than me), click here. The one on the left is about a mile from the summit (pre-slushy river, but you can tell I'm cold by the hunch of my shoulders--I couldn't be bothered to get my jacket out yet because it wasn't sleeting hard enough...yet), the one in the middle is about two meters from the finish line, and the one on the right is about three miles into the race.

For my flickr set from the week, click here. There will be more added to this set as I process them this week.

Enjoy!

You Might Want To...

Check it out.

On that second link, you'll have to scroll down to the women's results and to my age category (25-29) to see my name.

The website says that the weather conditions at the summit were "nothing to complain about," but I beg to differ. Sleet, people, there was SLEET. And also a small stream which got enough water in my shoes to make them slosh.

I'll be back. Keep checking in.

Before I go: Please pray for the family of Gary Williams, who suffered a heart attack during the marathon and did not survive. He was only 59. What a stunning loss for his family and friends.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Brilliance, People, It Is ALL RIGHT HERE

First of all (and this is unrelated, but I'm telling you anyway), I had the strangest dream this morning when I crashed back into bed, shoes on and everything, after dropping my young charges off at school. I was in some other city I'd never been to, perhaps New York, perhaps something foreign--who can say?--and my companions and I had gotten hungry late at night. We headed out and found this all-you-can-eat buffet around the corner, still open, just with the lights off in the buffet area. Which made it hard to, you know, see the food. I especially had difficulty locating the salad dressing. But no trouble finding the bacon, which was plentiful. After fumbling around trying to put salads together, we rounded the corner of the buffet and saw it: MECCA! (Otherwise known as the dessert area.) There were all these cakes and cookies that you could frost and decorate yourself, and I thought, "All my dreams, they are coming true here and now." (I didn't, of course, realize at the time that it was an actual dream I was in.) So I loaded up on sugar cookies, choosing two ghosts, a Pillsbury dough boy, and a teletubby, frosted in chocolate, and also a smallish cake, frosted in everything. Very tasty. So we walk towards a table to sit down, and one of the buffet employees says, "Oh, no, those desserts are only for the children. You're going to have to pay for an adult meal and a child's meal. Oh, and I see you have one of our teen items, you'll have to pay for a teen meal as well." And thus the argument began, many arguments actually, because there weren't any signs posted saying no cakes and cookies for adults, and I wasn't about to pay for three meals when I was getting just one. But the guy wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise, nor would the next dream buffet employee, or the one after that, and pretty soon all my companions were abandoning their food to go elsewhere, but I would not budge, people, because in that dream I could taste the cookies and they were delicious. I argued about it until I woke up and realized that, crap, that was just a dream and those delicious cookies don't even exist. I was heartbroken, obviously, so I pilfered two cookies from the supply that I'm taking on the weekend float trip just to make myself feel better. (Sorry, Titans.)

So anyway, about the brilliance. (I know, I know, just get ON with it, woman...)

Today I decided to take the MAX bus all by myself to the City Market to pick up some yarn I need to finish a project and also to maybe get some fresh fruit and a coffee. So I checked the bus schedule and noticed that I had just enough time to take my shortcut and get there as the next bus arrived. I jetted out of the house, hurried down the street, and realized as I was half a block away and the bus was rounding the corner that I had forgotten my dollar. Crap! So I hustled back up to my apartment, grabbed the money, and headed back down to the bus stop in time to catch the next bus (yes, speedy, I know). I had a lovely ride all the way there in air-conditioned comfort, exited the bus, purchased my yarn, picked up some grapes on the cheap, and stopped in at a coffee shop, where I got the medium-sized coffee and added enough half-and-half to drown a small child. I was congratulating myself as I ambled towards the bus stop, because I had completed my errands, grabbed a delicious cup of coffee, and would be arriving at the bus stop just in time to catch the next bus home. Except, oops, you can't take coffee on the bus, and here I had nearly a full cup, and not even the smallest size they offered either. Again: Crap! So I gulped down as much coffee as possible (a shame, because I'd pictured lingering over it) and sacrificed the rest to the 3rd and Grand garbage can. I entered the bus, grabbed my favorite seat (on the right, just behind the back doors, next to the windows--roomy), got set with my knitting and my ipod, and had a perfect ride home.

In fact, for your entertainment, I've taken a picture of what I look like on the bus. I'm not actually on the bus in the picture; it's really just me doing an impression of myself on the bus, but still. For your enjoyment, here I am, knitting what I was knitting, listening to the song on repeat that I was listening to, wearing what I was wearing, just, you know, in my office instead of on the bus.

doing an impression of myself on the bus

So YAY!, the end, success, right? Um, well, I'm not done yet.

I exited the bus at the Plaza, hiked back up to my place, and started rooting around for my keys. Which were not in my bag. I was about to dump everything out on the stairs in an effort to find them when I looked up and noticed my keys in my door, hanging where I'd left them when I hurried back down to the bus stop.

Like I said folks, the brilliance, it is ALL RIGHT HERE.

Enjoy your Thursday.