Saturday, September 29, 2012


No no it is not me who is hiding.

I need to thank all of you who left kind comments for me on my last post.   I appreciate all of them and all of you and I think I am one lucky gal to have nice folks like you guys who follow me here and you are so kind to me always.   I thank all of you who shared personal experiences with me...for your emails.  I thank you with all my heart. Seriously.

Do you guys allow anonymous comments on your blogs?  I used to but I blocked it a few months ago because I kept getting some nasty ones and really I don't need that. Nobody does.  I am not talking about people who just disagree with what the blogger discusses on their posts..that is OK...but about people who are just trying to be mean just because they can and they are hiding behind a computer.  I'd get people writing to me about my races..telling me they thought it was not true I dry heave all the time and that I was using this as an "excuse" for my slower times.  Yes because it is what we all want to write about...puking during our races...right.... I got the occasional "you don't look like a runner, you are too tall." BS comment as well and my personal favorite: comments about how poor my English grammar is.....guess they missed the FRENCH part of my profile description.

I also think some people who know me personally in my real life come here to read but don't tell me they do - and that is OK I guess since  the blog is public - but  comment under anonymous and not in a nice way.  That I don't like.  It is creepy also.  Bill would be the first to say that some of my in-laws are hmm..well I don't have a nice word to describe them...let's just say they have issues.  Let me give you an boys are 8 and 6 1/2 yrs old.  My mother in law has never seen Jonathan who is the youngest and the last time she saw Will he was 11 months old.  This is by her choice.  Not ours.  And here's the best part: we have no clue why.  We tried to find out over the years.  There was no big fight. Nothing.  So see....issues.  I do still see the anonymous comments via emails like I see all the spam ones...(I get a ton of those as well...all about meds....)

I just don't get why people comment under anonymous...and cannot own what they have to say.  Why hide like this?

So to you condescending anonymous who commented today and who "likes me very much"...really...if you want to comment here you will have to reveal yourself if you want to keep jugging me. 

Don't worry I will not write every day about my family situation.  I shared it because well this is my blog and I don't want to pretend like everything is great because it is not.  I wrote only about how I feel about it.  This is not Bill's blog or a family blog. 


10 miles solo today.  Last long run before Long Beach.
It went OK.  I lost a lot of salt though and I did take 3 salt tablets.  (Still an oven over here)
I am not sure what to do about this. 
1. Should I take more tablets?
2. Did I get a crusty face because I took the tablets?

I did not get the chills like I sometimes do when I DON'T take salt so that is a +.

I felt the pain in my groin at around mile 6.  It is not sharp but it is still there...
This week I was not good at doing my PT program that I now do at home.

I am happy that I was able to get two 10 miler before Long Beach, it will help me mentally I am sure.  I think that because I am still not pain free...I will have to take some walking breaks during the half marathon.  It does help a little just like the PT said.  What is not good is to hurts a lot to start again.

Jonathan had his 3rd soccer game today.  I do love going to the games.  So fun to see a field full of little kids being active..AYSO is a fantastic program, I highly recommend it.

Check out the double fists and the tongue sticking out!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dark Week

So it has been a rough week around here.
I feel like I am in a nightmare and I cannot wake up.
Like I am drowning and I forgot how to swim.
Like I am lost in a jungle.
Scared and Lost. so tired.

Monday I went to get my kids at 3 pm like always.
When I turned the corner of our cul-de-sac I saw Bill's red car parked in the driveway.
Right away I knew.
I knew that whatever was waiting for me inside was not going to be good.
And it was not.
I thought at best he has the flu and at worst someone died.
I came inside and he was talking to someone on the phone.
It was clear it was not the flu.
He ended the call and he came to hug me and said "I am sorry".   
I saw his face and I thought he came home to tell me someone in MY family died.

I wish he had the sent the kids upstairs....but they were standing there.....when this came out of his mouth:  "I lost my job".

My legs felt like Jello.  I sent the kids upstairs right away.  I was in complete shock.

After 9 years and working like a DOG for this company, it took his boss 3 minutes to inform him that they decided to let him go.

If you were reading my blog last summer  you might remember that he was working crazy hours (18-21 hours per day), he worked on almost all Holidays and in the last 3 years he managed to make it to the end of the year without taking all his 3 weeks paid vacation.  Last summer I thought the plan should be to look for something else while he still had a job. But it was hard to do that when he was home 3-4 hrs per day on a good day. 
Things got better after several stressful months.  I wanted to be supportive and not the nagging wife so I trusted that his decision to stay and not look for other opportunities was what was best.  He said he was blindsided.  I have to believe him. 

This reminds me of a professional coach getting fired because the team is on a loosing streak.  They always fire the coach.  It's never the players.  When the team does well, it is always because the players are playing great and it is never because the coach is doing a good job at coaching them.  He was the coach.  His boss is in New Jersey and he offered very little help during the crises.

I am going through a bunch of feelings..none of them are good. 
I would say I am in the angry and scared phase now.  I don't know how to handle this
I have cried a lot.  I have yelled a few times.  Cried some more. 
I have not slept more than maybe 2 hours each night. 
I worry.
I worry about my family, my kids, my marriage...everything...finances of course, health insurance, Christmas coming up....will we have to move if an opportunity present itself in another state...I worry.

I don't do well when I am not control. 
And I am so not in control of this. 
I cannot BE Bill.

He has been home all week and the silence is heavy. 
I am guilty of being in shut down mode.
I don't know how to "snap out of it". 
I need more time I guess.
This is not a vacation, he should not be home, I cannot be happy that he is because he is not supposed to be here.  He is supposed to be at work. 
I know that part of him is relieved to be out of that place.  I get it.  I do.  But that makes me angry at the same time, it would be different if he had quit. 
I also know that ZERO part of him wants to be at home right now.

This is hard. Now I know we are not the first people that his has happened to.  I know people are in worst situations.  I know all that. 

But this is not other people's blog it is mine and Monday morning everything was fine and at 3 pm it was not anymore.

The only time during my days that I have found some peace and was able to shut my brain off and not cry was when I went running.
But there's not enough miles to make this better.

running 1 hour
worrying 23 hours

You guys all have a good weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Do you Podcast?

I ran 10 miles yesterday.
First double digit run since June 2nd.
I have ran 10+ milers many times now and I don't know why but I was nervous for this one just like it was my first 10 miles run.
I had all these crazy thoughts...
  • I won't be able to do it. 
  • I will have to call for a pick up. 
  • I will walk half of it. 
  • I will cut it to 8.
I was thinking all this knowing it was all nuts...but there I was still thinking like that.
Drove me completely crazy for 2 days.

So Sunday morning came and I was meeting my running buddies at 6:45.  I was already humid outside..I thought "crap like I need that.." 

So it went OK.  I had company for 8 miles out of the 10.  (they were doing 8 for this week and I was doing 10)  I think it would have been much much harder to do this one solo I was so happy that I did not run this alone. 

I did the 10 miles and I am happy. 

 It was not fast but that's OK.  I had to dig deep at around mile 6...that is when the pain started.  It was not sharp but it was there.  It is so annoying.  At times it is all I could think about. 

It was hot and humid and I was happy I had salt tablets so I took 2 of those and I also had one honey stinger waffle. 

I lost a lot of salt during that run even if I took 2 salt tablets.   I will carry some for Long Beach for sure.  I am hoping it will be cooler by then but right now the heat is brutal.
I NEED this Long Beach to be better than my last one.  Report here.  Last year was a nightmare.

I got 2 more weeks before the race.  This weekend I am planning on doing another 10 miler.  I want to stay closer to 13  and keep my legs used to going longer.

Like I said before Long Beach is not a "goal race" for me.  I don't want to say it will be a "training run" though.  A race is a race so I want to do well.  I have another half 2 weeks after LB and then in November I have Big Sur.

I never thought that coming back from an injury would be so hard.  It is HARD.  It is frustrating.  It sucks. boo hoo hoo.

I started listening to podcasts for my runs.  I LOVE it.  I don't know why I never tried that before. I have only listened to Another Mother Radio for now but I am almost done with all their podcasts.  I love them all.  I feel like they are talking to me and I found them very entertaining.  I don't think about the miles or the pain.  It is working good for me.

Do you listen to podcasts when you run?
I would love to know about the ones you like the best.

Soccer season has started.  I am the team mom for both our teams once again.  I don't know why I  always say yes to that.   Some people have no clue and are just so rude to parents who volunteer.  They think we work for them or something.

Will scored the first goal of his game and he also got the MVP medal.

Jonathan had a game right after then it was 101 degrees and we were all melting...

Look at the "arm action" !

Friday, September 21, 2012

And the Endorphine Warrior Traning Bracelet goes to.....

Lucky 6 is

Congratulation Sandy!!!
Please email me

Thank you to everyone who entered the Giveaway and thank you to Endorphine Warrior!

Good luck to everyone who is racing this weekend...!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Peace of Mind for 365 more days

Today I got the results of my latest scan and I am happy to report that my tumor did not grow.  I asked the good Doc to say it was gone...he said I was "demanding"...

It is still there but It is the same size.  I can deal with that.  That is good news.  I do this again in one year.   I thank you all for your kind comments for me and for my buddy Mark who is fighting a REAL war.  I got an email from him yesterday and he is in good spirit but he said this was hard. When stuff like this happens and life decides to puts bumps in the road for my family or my friends back home, I feel so so far away.  I am almost always homesick and situations like this ones are hard to deal with.  I feel like I am not helping and I would want to help of course.


So I got Long Beach Half Marathon coming up.  16 days,  I am a little worried.  I did a 9 miler on Sunday.  It was not pain free.  It was not easy.  This was the longest run I have had since June.  I covered more miles during Hood to Coast but not in one single run.  My breathing was good and other than my groin my legs were OK.  It is so frustrating.  Sunday I have 10 miles on the schedule.  I hope it will go OK.  The pain comes if I go faster and if I don't keep the steps short.

This week I did two 5 miles run and one 3 miler.  It went OK.  Today was the better one of the 3 so I am happy with that.   I think running 3 days in a row for now is the limit...on the 4th day I need to rest the groin.  Last week I rested 2 days before my 9 miles run and it did not change anything...I was not feeling better so this week I am not doing that.  I am hoping it will not be too hot.  I have struggled lately because of the heat.  This morning I had the chills and it was in the 90s ...not good.

I have been using my Tiger Tail every morning and before going to bed also.  It helps a lot.
Maggie has made some attempts of stealing it....

For Long Beach I will do the best I can THAT day.  Last year, that race was a disaster, I ended up admitted to the cardiac unit after the race.  The goal is to go home after the race this year!   I am going for my 2nd Beach Cities Challenge and LB is the first race for me. 
I know what I don't want to do:  End up in the hospital and make my injury worst.
I want to run even splits...not fall apart.
I think that the next 2 long runs will show what I am ready to do come race day.  I am planning on doing 10 miles Sunday and another 10 the following Sunday.

I have stopped going to the PT.  I decided to continue at home for now.  The only difference is that I am not getting the massages.  I bought a fitness ball and I have the straps so no excuses.

Last Day to enter my GIVEAWAY!  Go here if you have not entered yet!

I have been thinking of starting a small in home business...not sure how to do that exactly..but several friends have advised me to give it a shut so I think I will do it.  More on that soon. 
It will have to do with things like that....

Monday, September 17, 2012

The waiting game

Did you enter my Giveaway?
Yes? GOOD and Good Luck to you!
No? Unless you were on the AfterNUUN Delight HTC team you must go here and enter...

Today was scan day.
If you have been with me for a while you know what it means so sorry for the repeat....

The short story for those who don't know:
  • I have a tumor in my left kidney.
  • Dr. found it looking for something else almost 3 yrs ago.
  • I cannot have a biopsy on it because it could burst and spread cells and if those cells are the bad kind well it would mean trouble for me.
  • The only way of knowing for sure would be to have a surgery.
  • Tumor is small and so we decided to put surgery on hold and just "keep an eye on it".
  • Every 6 mos I get a scan to measure the tumor.
  • If it grows it would not be a good sign. Cancer cells grow.
  • It has not grown.
  • If it grows I am going under the knife..I am clear on that.  I would not wait.
  • When I found out about the tumor I went in full panic mode.  All I could think about was the C word. 
  • Not knowing if it is malignant or benign is the hardest part. 
  • I choose to believe it is benign. 
  • I usually don't think about it too much now.
  • Except on scan days and for the 3 days I wait for the results.
So I am there today.  I had my scan.  Now I wait until Thursday afternoon.
So far I have only got good results.  Here's to hoping it stays that way.

Now I am well aware that MANY people are way worst than me
This is nothing.  I am not fighting anything.
I also know that I could be walking around and not know I have that thing inside my body. 
I cannot pretend like I don't know though..because well I am a mom and that would be irresponsible. 

So I am nervous  for 3 days...BIG WOOP.

I got a call from Quebec Friday. 
The kind of call that I don't want to get.
One of my dear friend was diagnosed with lymphoma.  He is the nicest guy.  Everyone likes him.  He has 3 kids.  THIS is hard.  THIS is pain.  THIS is war.  THIS is devastating.  THIS is not fair.  THIS is making me really mad and so worried. 

So I wait while HE GETS CHEMO this week.....

Life is a B sometimes...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet Giveaway !!!

See the one in the middle?
How would you like to have one just like that?
Warrior Training Bracelets are made to wear while running, working out or all day long.  They are available in many sizes to fit both women and men.  I wear mine every day now.
I was so happy when I learned that  Endorphin Warrior was one of the very generous sponsors  of  Team Nuun Hood to Coast Relay.  We each received a Warrior Training Bracelet with the word of our choice on it; Persevere, Unbreakable, Focus, Strength, Breathe or  my choice: Believe.

It was easy to make that choice.   Believe that I can do more than I think.  Believe that dreaming big can lead to magical moments like this one:

(Favorite Race Picture!)


Huge thank you to Eric at Endorphin Warriors for offering this Giveaway!
To enter you must :
1.  Go to the Endorphin Warrior website and let me know in a comment what keyword  you like best.

2. Follow this blog

Leave a comment for each please.


3. Like Endorphin Warrior on Facebook

4. follow Endorphin Warrior on Twitter and tweet : "I want to win the @EndorphnWarrior bracelet giveaway from @carotabi" with link to this post.

5. Follow me on Twitter here.  Leave your twitter handle in the comment please.

6. I just got a new IPad..and I am looking for good Apps!  So tell me one you like.

Leave a comment for each please.

Good luck!
Winner will be announced on Friday September 21 st.
** I received one bracelet for myself and one to giveaway.  I was not paid for this post.

Friday, September 14, 2012

10 Running-Related Personal Questions

Sarah and Dimity of Another Mother Runner posted a fun set of questions for running bloggers/moms to answer.  Of course I wanted to participate! 

I have not yet mentioned that I actually had the pleasure to meet them both when I got back from Hood to Coast.  They were over at the Disney Half Marathon Expo and I drove there to go meet them.   If you have followed me from the start..from before my first half marathon, you know that their first book (THE yellow book) and their Facebook Page was a HUGE part of me having the courage to register for that race.

I am so happy I got to meet them in person!  I had a great time talking to them...I did my best to help with sales when they had potential customers stopping by.   They are both so nice and I like them even more than I did before meeting them! 
Only those 2 can make me look "short" !! ha ha!!

Those of you moms (and dads)  should consider yourselves tagged for this!

1. Best run ever: That is easy: Leg 1 of Hood to Coast.  It was a real "Pinch me" moment.  Coming down Mount Hood was like running in Paradise.  Most Beautiful course I have been on.  I felt so happy and grateful for the chance to be there.  It was not my best run in terms of how well I ran: I was running injured and I threw up at mile 4.   For me it was the best of my short running life.  It will be hard to top that.

2. Three words that describe my running: Saved My Life.

3. My go-to running outfit is: Lululemon black tank top, Sports Skirt Cover up running skirt, Lululemon running socks, a white hat, Brooks Ghost 4 shoes and sunglasses.

4. Quirky habit while running: Dry Heaves....? Does that count...

5. Morning, midday, evening: Morning!

6. I won’t run outside when it’s: Over 90 degrees or during Santa Ana winds storm (it can get pretty bad)

7. Worst injury—and how I got over it: Adductor Tendinopathy and I cannot say I am over it after this week.  I am doing PT.  I have been slacking on the PT lately and I am now "paying" for it.  I got better and then got carried away and now have to take a step back again.  It has been frustrating.

8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: Well twice...First when I crossed the Finish Line of my First Half Marathon, (that was 01-23-11) and when I made the NUUN team to run HTC 2012 (that was 04-24-12).

9. Next race is:  Long Beach Half Marathon on October 7.  I won't be "Race Ready" for this one because I am still injured.  The one I want to be ready for is Big Sur Half Marathon in November.

10. Potential running goal for 2013: Hmmm it was the big one....a marathon.  Now because of this injury who refuses to leave me ...I am not sure.  I wanted to do a March marathon.  I would need at least 16 weeks because it is my first one.  I don't want to go into this injured, I am pretty sure that is not the way to go.   I would not want to do a fall marathon because the higher mileage part would end up falling during the heat season here.  I have to think about this and see how fast I heal and go back to running pain free.   So this is on hold for now.

Other goal....Go back to Oregon for HTC 2013 and revisit leg 13.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

[Not so] Awesome 80s Run Race Recap

Well I really hate to say this but I ran the most poorly planned race of all the races I have participated in so far when I got back from Hood to Coast, on September 1st. 

It was the "Awesome 80s Run" and I ran the 10K.  It was a huge mess.

First let me start by saying that I was not ready to race anything so soon after HTC; my legs were still very sore and I was tired but I signed up and it was close to home so I went.

The race was at the Rose Bowl.  I have done many races there and usually the start is at 7 or 7:30 am.  This one: 9 am! In the summer, in Southern California.  I don't understand that.  They had a 5K and a 10K at this party event.  When I got there it was already pretty hot.   It was very crowded, lots of people dressed up in neon colors and wearing things that were way too tight...and people on roller blades..with a bib...hmmmm was hoping they would not line up with the runners...

I had a bad feeling right from the start. 
They had the 5K runners go first.  Makes no sense to me when you have a 10K to do that.  That start was a ZOO.  No order.  Nobody to make the usual announcements  "walkers in the back" "line up on this side of the street" "cross the blue mat" etc.... The start was not "moving"...they made people wait and wait and wait between "pretend waves". 

The Race Director kept blaming the city of Pasadena for the delays.  People were standing in the middle of the street where the start AND the finish line were.  Well.....what do you think  happened ....the first 5K winner  showed up BEFORE all the 5K runners had time to start. RD started to panic a little..telling people to move out of the was a joke. 
9 am came and it was supposed to be my start...well there were still many 5K runners who had not started yet.....and it was getting really in over 90 degrees hot. 

See here all the people waiting...those were all 5K people
and this was taken when the winner was coming....

I was getting a little annoyed with this chaos.  I told Bill I would just go with the next wave of 5K runners and do the 2 loops and be done with this joke of a race.  The race director came to the mic again and said something like "10K runners, please be patient...bare with me, I know it is hot, I am hot too under my costume (was dressed like MJackson)!" What? Is this a joke....he was telling us who were about to run that poor him was hot too...I am sorry but I thought this was ridiculous.  "My hands are tied it is the city's fault" Blah blah blah.

Well the 10K ended up starting nearly 40 minutes LATE.  People had been waiting for a long time in the sun and the heat.  I drank almost all my NUUN before starting the race.

It was all a joke.  Super Loud music.  The RD introducing his wife on the stage..."Look at her she just had a baby!" Well that is great and all but meanwhile we are all waiting to start a race.  To me this was just a party not a race.  I expected costumes and music but also a race!

So I ran the 10K.  Kind of.  I did not care anymore by the time I finally started.  It was super hot and they had no water for the 10K runners.  The 5K runners took all they had.  Also nobody was there to direct the 10K runners after the first loop, some did not know where to go.

Jonathan chased after me and I stopped to to give him and Will a high 5!

On the last one...Bill was telling me he thought I took a wrong turn...I went back on my steps to make sure...nobody was there to help the runners.

On the water topic:   Here's what I think.  For a 10K in the summer in SoCal, that starts at freaking 9 am, it is reasonable to expect one water station WITH water. 
The course goes around a golf course and many runners (including me) went off the course during the second loop to get water there.  This is NOT OK.  They also had no water at the finish.  They had nothing there..  some people were not feeling well at all at the end.

On Facebook..they got a lot of complains about the logistic of this race and the lack of water.  The responses from the race director were not professional in my opinion.  Some have said he deleted negative posts...that he blocked people from the FB race page.  This is not OK. He is taking everything very personal and it looks like he forgets that we, the runners, are his customers, that we pay for the races.  He does have a lot of loyal fans....they came to his rescue on facebook and things got pretty nasty there.   I ended up "un-liking" the page.

I do think the guy means well.  I also think he should be a party planner not a race director.  He has good ideas but his focus is on all the stuff around the races...the medals, costumes, music...etc and it is not on the actual race.  His group was behind the Hollywood Half Marathon and this race had some issues as well.  I thought..let's give him another many did...but nothing changed.  I think those events are great for the walkers because they have a fun vibes ,but for the folks who want to do well in their races I would say to not waste your money.  I know I won't anymore. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hood to Coast 2012 - Conclusion

Thank you all for reading and commenting on my previous HTC posts.  This experience was very special for me and I wanted to share as much as I could on my blog. 

Once all 6 of us completed our final legs of the the relay, we were free to go eat and/or head to the condos where we were going to stay before going to Seaside to wait for Kelsey, our 12th and final runner.

We were all tired, happy, somewhat stinky and hungry.  Not sure about the order...!
We went to Fort George Brewery in Astoria.  They have several kinds of beers there and it was hard to resist.  I am not supposed to drink beer, makes me really sick but I almost cheated...I mean I had just ran Hood to Coast!  I needed to celebrate but I decided not to because I did not want to miss the Finish Line events!  It was nice to relax a bit.  Mason had a few words for us and Mason; if you are reading this...Thank you for what you said about me.  It meant a lot to me. Really.

We ended up not having time to shower before going to the beach where the finish line was.
We just had time to get our bags in a room and put on our team jacket.  Again NUUN had spoiled us and we were staying right on the beach just a short walk from the Finish line.
We wanted to be there in time to see Kelsey arrive!

To get to Seaside and see everyone on the beach was a great feeling.  I remember seeing it in the movie and now I was THERE! Another pinch me moment for sure.

htc2012-caroline htc2012-caroline

We found a good spot by the finish line to wait for Kelsey.  We had an idea around what time she should arrived.  That time went by and then another 15 min and another...and we started to wonder what happened...(I was getting cold and wishing I had shower).  We kept looking for pink sparkles and nothing....

This is me with Harmony waiting for Kelsey to make that turn...


After a while we finally got word that a bunch of runners had made a wrong turn and that is why they were so late.  Poor Kelsey..I was worried about how she was feeling..knowing we were all waiting and not knowing if we knew that she ended up adding many miles to that last leg.  I knew she had to be so tired and also probably very emotional. And she was.

Finally we saw her! 
She is one tough young gal
She was smiling and crying all at once.  I can only image the emotions she was feeling.

It was time to actually cross the finish line as a team!  We ran through it all 12 of us!  And we got this:


We also took the official Team Night picture.  I bought that one also (with my ind. one you can see on the leg 1 post). 

Back Row: Emily, Sarah, me, Robyn, Megan, Katie and Mason.  Front Row: Harmony, Vanessa, Susan, Kelsey, Shanna and Lauren.

We finished 4th in the Open Women div. and 372 out of 1038 teams overall.

We had the chance to be invited to the NIKE tent for the festivities on the beach.



Back Row: Susan, Lauren, Robyn, Vanessa and me all from my van!
Front Row: Laura, Molly, Sarah, Laura and Kelly.

By then I was so cold that I could not feel any of my toes anymore.  I also had to get my stuff ready because I was in the first van to leave for Seattle in the morning.  Wake up call was 3:15 am!  I wanted to stay longer but I really needed to take a shower and warm up. 
I did not want to leave without saying goodbye to my teammates and also I needed to find Mason to thank him one last time.  He managed to make me cry.  AGAIN. (good tears of course) . Thank you for believing in ME.


I was sad to leave everyone.  I was leaving with new friends and full of memories from this adventure.  I felt proud to be a Hood to Coast Finisher.  I felt so grateful to everyone who made this possible.


I do have a lot of people to thank for this extraordinary experience.

First of course is NUUN; Mason, Caitlin, Kim, Cassey and everyone else at NUUN who worked hard to make this possible.  We could not have been treated better..they thought of EVERYTHING and MORE.  Thank you for this great opportunity. 

My job is to raise my kids.  I had never left them before.  It would not have been possible for me to go to HTC without the TOTAL support of my husband Bill.  He has a very demanding job and he took 3 days off to take care of our kids while I was gone.  He was very supportive of me being on the NUUN team.  I am so lucky that he gets how important running is to me and what it meant to run HTC.

Also need to thank the members of Team Afternuun Delight Team NIGHT Van 1, THE best team ever no question.  Susan, Vanessa, Lauren, Shanna, Robyn and Mason, I am so lucky to have shared this experience with you.  You were all so kind and supporting and I learned from all of you.   I thank you all with all my heart.

I need to thank all the sponsors.  I have mentioned several already in previous posts.
I think I have not mentioned these 2 yet:   GoSportID and Endorphin Warrior.

On my way back I had a 2.5 hours layover in Phoenix and my Arizona friend came to see me at the great is that? Thank you EMZ for coming to see me and for all yout txt during the relay!!!! I was so happy to see her!  (She is making me look short with ther 14" heels)

When I arrived home, Bill and the kids were at the airport to pick me up and as I was coming down the escalator I could see the boys were holding this sign:

Isn't that the best?  I think so.  Made me cry...of course.

Finally the day after I came back home...these were delivered

From NUUN.
To let me know how sorry they were about what happened during my 2nd leg.  (story of that HERE).  Made my Day.

In case you missed it.....I am so very grateful that I got to be a part of this
I really am. 
I cannot help but wish I get to do it again...(Leg 13 and your demons:  I'd love to come back for you)

Thank you to all of you who have read my HTC journey and commented and have supported me. 

Coming up..... 
A Giveaway (the price is in one of the pics from this post)
I ran a race since I came back and it was the worst race I have ever done so recap of that coming your way....
I met some pretty great people since I got back also.....
and I have been running also...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Leg 25 {Power Arch for all!}: Hood to Coast 2012

I ran my last leg of the relay on Saturday morning. 
I think it was around 9 am.
After spending several hours in the van in a pretty uncomfortable position and getting very little sleep,  I got out of the van and my legs felt sore and heavy.  I was now feeling the pain from the severe downhill of leg 1 in my quads...aouchy.  
I was also still dealing with GI/intestine problems and I really wanted coffee!

One thing that was perfect: The weather!
See:  damp chilly morning...I LOVE that.

HTC2012 Caroline

Yes I am ready.....No I swear... I am...really

HTC2012 Caroline

No sparkly skirt for that leg, the reason is simple; it was too big.  It moved a lot during the 2 previous legs and it was a little annoying..other than that I liked it OK for this kind of occasion.  It won't be my choice of outfit for the Long Beach Half Marathon but for HTC it was great.   This was the last van exchange so we got to see people from the other teams.

I spent most of the time I had either in line for the porta potty or walking around to try to loosen my legs...but that did not do much.  It hurt just walking so I knew running would not be pain free.  Could not make up my mind on what to wear...long sleeves? short sleeves? no sleeves...?  Always best to be cold over being no sleeves! I lined up at the exchange station and waited {with Tricia who was waiting for Lindsay} for Kelsey, our runner 12.

HTC2012 Caroline

HTC2012 Caroline

I was happy that I still had a leg to run and that leg 13 (see previous post) was not my last memory of my Hood to Coast experience.  I wanted to go out and just enjoy Oregon and the nature and just BE in the moment.
I remember thinking "This is IT, you have waited since April 24 for this crazy ride and it is almost over....take it all IN"

Kelsey arrived and handed the stick to me one last time.

HTC2012 Caroline

Leg 25 is all rolling hills.  Beautiful all the way.  I am so lucky.  I loved that leg.  Before the first mile, my $%$^ groin, who had been pretty quiet all along...even during the crazy downhill, decided that it was done with the running.   And I mean DONE.  Sharp pain and all.  Each step I felt it just like I did in Fontana.  I DID not CARE. I had told myself before leaving for HTC that if I had to rest for 2 weeks after it is over than so be it, I'll do that but there was no way in hell that I was not going to run my 3 legs.  I think I had been pretty lucky with the groin situation up until then.  

For the first time my team stopped to cheer me on while I was on the course.  (it was not allowed for Leg 1 and second one was at night).  I could see them from far and I got really emotional.  It meant a lot to me that they stopped.


And I got a Power Arch a la Dead Jocks!!!!! I LOVED it!!!


As I got closer to the end I was smiling and crying at the same time.  My stomach on the other hand was clear on what it was doing : The Revolution.  I went in dry heaves mode shortly before I got to the exchange....not again...seriously....

htc2012-caroline htc2012-caroline

I needed a moment before joining my team.  Vanessa waited for me to make sure I was OK.  That girl is just so so nice. 
Mason was there also.  As soon as I got to him I thanked him for picking me on this team and for everything they did for us.  I told him I was so grateful to have been a part of this.  I also apologized for being the slowest one.  I was really overwhelmed in that moment and   
he was very supportive and kind.  Made me cry.  I won't repeat all that he said but in short...that the pace was not what was important and that he knew I clearly had given all I had and that he could not ask for more. 
And I did.  I can say for sure 100% that I left all I had on the road. 
Do I wish I had more to give...well yes of course.  Don't we all? 
I felt happy and proud
Thank you NUUN.

(I am left handed...this shows how overwhelmed I was....!)

I had completed my Hood to Coast!  We still had 5 more legs to go.  We stopped for everyone to cheer them on and played "Call me Maybe" super loud as we passed our runners. 

We mastered the art of the Power Arch! (Dead Jocks got nothing on us now!!)


Thank you for reading.
I got one more post....the conclusion...

Before I go...I do want to thank all of you who have read and commented on these HTC posts.  Thank you for your support on my last post.  I got emails and comments and several asked if NUUN did anything regarding what happened during my 2nd leg.  The answer to that really is I don't know (They did send beautiful flowers to my house when I got back home).  If they talked with HTC people, they did not share it with me.  I don't think that it is NUUN's responsibility to do anything.  I am an adult.  I contacted Hood to Coast once I got back and told them (again) what happened.  I received an email from them today and they said they would work on this issue for the future.  On their website I read that they have bike patrol security during the night for legs 9 to 12.   13 needs to be on that list.  Also several people said I was brave...I do thank you for that but really I wasn't...Brave are the people who are serving for their country..people fighting cancer like our teammate Harmony's husband and many others....people who went back in the towers...almost 11 ago. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Night Shift: Leg 13: Hood to Coast 2012

So where was I....

I had just finished my first leg..(you can read about it here.)

For the next few hours I cheered for my teammates and took a LOT of pictures of them every chance I got.  I am so happy I decided to bring my "good" camera. 

Here's a few shots of Team Night van 1 runners on leg 2-3-4-5.

We headed to the first VAN Exchange where van 2 would take over the running duties.   At those Van exchanges we had a chance to see the other AFTERNUUN DELIGHT teams.

This is me with Marjorie...(she wrote about 345 posts on HTC and you can find them all here.)

HTC2012 Caroline

Once our runner 6, The truth teller par excellence also known as Robyn, was done we had some free time until I would have to run again.  During van exchanges teams usually choose to eat or sleep.  My next leg would be around 11 pm so we went looking for a place to eat.  I knew I would probably not be able to eat anything where we would end up going and that is OK..all I really needed and wanted was a coffee....1 to stay alert and 2 well..because I was dealing with a bad case of constipation and I was a little concerned about cramping during my next leg...and because I need to eat and/or have coffee about 3 hours before running or else I am in trouble.  I had decided to wait and see what kind of restaurant we would end up at to see if maybe I would get lucky with chicken soup or salad...Mason, who was our driver, was always nice to ask the next runner what they needed and I  just asked for coffee.  I had brought some of my own food in case I did not find anything to eat during the relay.  While we were driving around town looking for a place to eat I realized that we were already 3 hrs before my leg..I decided to eat some nuts-cranberries and a couple of waffle stingers and not wait any longer.  We got to a pizza place and while my teammates grab some food I decided to use the "real" restrooms to get ready for my second leg and brush my teeth!  I was still hoping to get some coffee before running.  We left the restaurant to go find a Starbucks...and guess what....They were out of plain regular coffee!!!!!!!!! I am not kidding.  They could make espresso drinks but no reg coffee so we waited for them to make some!  By then it was too late for me to drink some without getting in trouble later so I only had a couple sips.

We drove to the next exchange to wait for Team Night runner 12 (Kelsey).  I was ready with my reflecting vest and 1 knuckle light.  I bought a Road Noise vest for HTC.  Those come with speakers and that is allowed during HTC so I plugged the music on for this leg only.

This is me while I was waiting (with a cameo from Robyn).

So I was a little nervous about running in the dark. It would be a first for me.  I lined up at the exchange and waited for Kelsey.  Leg 13 is in the class EASY for the Relay.  It is about 4.25 miles long.  It is in Portland.  The first 0.5 mile is nice.  We crossed Willamette River on Hawthorne Bridge. Plenty of lights and I thought this is going to be great!

Well it did not last.... coming off the bridge one volunteer said "stay on the side walk" I thanked him and did just that but it did not take long for me to see that I was going the wrong way..Luckily I saw some flashlights on another path right below some stairs near where I was.  Runners!  So I went down the stairs and followed the others.  It was not that  dark there, we were still close to the bridge.  I passed several homeless people who were sitting or laying down on the path and I could smell their pot.   By then I was alone on the course.  Nobody to pass ahead of me and nobody was passing me either. 

I tried not to think about that too much. I do remember thinking that it would be so easy for someone to attack a runner there.

Then I saw a group of people walking ahead of me.  There were maybe 8 or 9 of them walking next to each other leaving no space for me to pass.  Hmmm....I got worried for a minute...they appeared to be drunk and they were loud...but when I reached must have heard my music and he turned around and....they made a power arch for me!   I thought that was pretty cool and I was happy that I worried for nothing.  Not long after, I saw lights in the pitch dark, it was a volunteer who looked like he was sleeping standing up.   He pointed the direction to take with a light and said nothing. 

There, the course goes in a kind of creepy part of town: old industrial areas, train tracks, and scary warehouses on the edge of Portland.  Very dark.  Bushes. No house. Nobody.  I think I passed some oil company at some point.  I don't remember.  I know I was not liking being there alone.  I remember turning around many times to see if I could see other runners coming.  Instead of seeing the runners I was hoping to see....I saw 2 men coming out of the bushes.  Homeless guys...they were very dirty and smelling so bad...pot-alcohol-body odor smell.   The worst smell...I can still remember it.  They were both high and very drunk.  I could see it in their of them had turquoise blue eyes and they were really red.  They put themselves in the path and prevented me from passing.  I tried to step to the right, they moved to the right...did the same thing to the left and they moved again.  This was not going well. I was freaking out inside.  I could feel my heartbeat going up.  I did not know what to do.  I did not scream because I was afraid of what they would do.  I said "Please let me pass".  Nothing.  For once in the relay I was hoping for a road kill.  They had not touch me and I needed to get the hell out of there.  They were not talking just making weird noises and breathing really loud.  They were disgusting.  Again I begged them to let me pass "Please I have 2 kids...just let me pass".  Again Nothing.  I almost said something like "You better let me pass others are right behind me" but then I thought they WILL grab me and take me out of the path.  I was carrying my handheld bottle and I remembered I always keep a few dollars in the small pocket.  I took the money I had out.  Two $5.  Thank God American dollars all look the same.  In the dark like that it was impossible to tell if I had a $5 or a $20 dollars bill.  I said "If I give you this will you let me pass" ?  The one with the blue eyes snatched the money out of my hands and they went off the path back towards the bushes. 

I don't know how I remembered I had the money.  I cannot say I was calm during all this.  I was NOT calm.  I was very scared.  Maybe someone was watching over me...I don't know.  I am just happy I did not take the $ out before leaving for Hood to Coast.  I don't want to think about the "what if" too much.  I already did that plenty.  It is not good to do that.  I am fine.  Nothing happened to me.  

So I had to continue running after that.  Yeah.....can I tell you I had shaky heart rate was still pretty high also.   (It is a miracle that I did not puke during that leg.)   I got out of the worst part of this course and saw a runner walking in front of me.  I caught up to her.  First runner I was seeing since the bridge.  I had no clue how long I still had to go...I had lost the signal of my Garmin while I was stopped by those guys.  I saw some van passing.  I was hoping to see my van pass but I never saw them.  I assumed they just drove straight to the next exchange to allow Lauren to use the porta potty and get ready for her leg.
When I got close to the last train track and I heard the train...I did not want to have to stop for it so I tried to pick up the pace to get there in time and I did.  There I saw a HTC person.  I stopped to let him know what had happened to me and finished this leg from hell.

I gave the stick to Lauren.  It was finally OVER.  What a nightmare.  I almost lost it right there but I didn't.  I told Mason and the girls that were there what happened.  I was not feeling well at all, super shaky legs, I was light headed.  I thought I would pass out.  Robyn asked if I wanted to call the police.  I said no.  I did not really see what good that would do, those guys were probably gone, I had already told 2 HTC people hoping they would send some volunteers in that area to prevent this happening to another runner. We needed to get to the next exchange (I really wanted to sit down) so we got in the van and we left.  Then I lost it a little.  I had the ugly cry.  Did not last long but I could not hold that crap in any longer.  I wish I did not do that in the van.  Robyn was super nice...she sat next to me.  She put her hand on my back.  She was there.  Thank you Robyn.  I said a few words...I don't remember what...that it was scary...that I thought of my kids...something like that I probably was not making much sense...I don't know.  They let me get this out.  And that was it for the sharing with teammates and putting a downer on the team part. (At least I hope so for them)

Lauren was running and had no idea that my leg went bad.  Vanessa was next.  Mason offered to run with her but she decided she was OK and off she went like a champ.  We followed her and she killed her leg.   Then it was Shanna's turn.   She had not been feeling really well since her first leg but she decided to go out and run her leg anyway.  Mason put his running shoes on and went with her and Lauren got behind the wheel.  We stopped to get them water and as they passed Mason told Robyn (who was next to run) "Put the vest on and meet me in 2 miles"  We went ahead and I got out with Robyn to wait for them.  Shanna gave all she had.  She was not well at all.  Robyn just went with this and never complained.  Mason also ran the next leg with her.  Poor Shanna was curled up on the seat.  She finally fell asleep.   After Robyn and Mason finished their leg we had another van exchange.  The next leg for us would be my 3rd and final leg around 9 am on Saturday morning.

Most of us tried to catch some sleep  (Mason was still on duty and driving..)  I tried but got very little sleep.  I kept going back to what happened during my leg and could not shake their faces out of my head.  I was thinking about what I would say to Bill.   I did not want him to worry for no reason.  I thought it would be best to not say anything...(he does know now).  I was sharing a seat with Shanna and I also did not want to wake her up.  She needed to sleep more than me; she was not well and her next leg was the hardest one.   I ate a granola bar and some WASA toast.  We got to the exchange and had plenty of time before my leg.  It was cooler and humid.  I was tired and emotionally drained but I was looking forward to my last leg.  I knew nothing bad would happen and I wanted to end this fantastic experience on a high note!

So about leg 13.....
I am sure that running this one in the daylight is OK.  At night, it is creepy.  (Tricia, was also running this one at night and a rat scared the crap out of her and she fell and hurt her hip.)  I had time to think about what happened and I now think that I should have been smarter and run the OTHER way....towards people running behind me.  They were blocking the way AHEAD of me but I could have gone back to where I came from until I find someone.  Do I wish I would have seen my van during that leg? Yep.  But it would probably have not change anything.  Maybe I would have made them stop and not complete my leg.  In the end, I think it is best that I did finish it.  I am not the only one who had issues on the night shift.  Running at night is not what most of us are used to do, others got a little scared on their leg and one made a wrong turn.

If you ever run that leg at night, bring pepper spray and a phone.  Maybe a friend also.  That's what I would do next time.   Wait. time....?  Well you know what they say...Face your fearGet back on the horse.  I hope I will have a chance to do just that

I LOVED being a part of the AfterNUUN Delight team and I LOVED running Hood to Coast. I want to do it again and I would want to be runner 1 again.
It is by far the highlight of my short running life and one of the best experience of my whole life.

I was dreading writing this post. 
Revisiting this. 
What good would it do... but this is part of my Hood to Coast story and I cannot pretend it did not happen so there you have it. 
Stuff happens even in Paradise at Hood to Coast....

Thank you for reading...
Be safe on the road.

Coming up next my last leg and the Power Arch festival.

*** You can find all previous post on Hood to Coast under the tab Hood to Coast 2012.