Monday, December 27, 2010

Random thoughts

What a busy fun filled few days I've had.  Here are some photos from my sister-in-law's annual Christmas Eve party.

On Christmas morning we headed back to my sister-in-laws for gifts and breakfast; I think everyone had a great time and was happy with their gifts.  That afternoon we went to see Gulliver's Travels (so so movie) and then had Chinese Food to dinner; my husband is Jewish so we "blend" holiday traditions.  We laughed about it and look forward to next year.

On Sunday, I participated in a Pacific Northwest Operation Jack run in Tigard, Oregon.  This was also my run for Katye's 12k of Christmas virtual run.  First off, I SUCK at pictures at races; please forgive me and I forgot my "virtual bib".  The course was a loop,  just shy of a mile and open for 6 hours; everyone was asked to run a minimum of 6.1 miles in honor of Sam's 61st marathon, a couple of folks did 30+ miles.  These folks are my heroes.  The conditions were terrible; it was 39 degrees, pouring and windy for the entire morning.  Going into the event I decided I would shoot for half marathon distance, I started out by myself (it was a very small event) and I gutted out the first 7 laps.  I was seriously thinking about stopping but I met two great gals & we kept each other company and got through my 15 laps (about 14.25 miles).  It was the slowest miles I have done in months; I probably shouldn't be too hard on myself my training has been terrible.

I was reminded this morning that Boston is in 111 days; I must get serious about my training.  Here's my plan for the next two weeks, it is fairly ambitious I hope I am up to it:

Monday -  6 miles
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday  - 6 - 8 miles
Thursday - 6 - 7 miles. Warm up 2 miles.  Run 2 x 1 mile @ 8:25. 2 minute jog rest between the miles. Then 2 x 200, hard.  2 miles cool down. 
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 6 miles
Sunday - 10 - 12 miles
I'm going to work on 2011 goals and a race schedule this week; stay tuned and have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Terrific Tuesday

I'm working to get things sorted out and back to some sort of normal existence.  I'm adjusting to the whole grandparent idea and I know it will be awesome to be a grandma.  Here's a photo of the parents to be, they are very excited and looking forward to becoming parents:

I'm also keeping my perspective on the flood; it is an opportunity to do a little remodeling, get some fresh paint, do a little purging, etc.  Here are some photos, it's hard to get a perspective of the water in the dark but you will get an idea:

This is our family room, looking from the kitchen

This is another view of the family room

One bathroom, minus the tile.  We're still waiting to find out if the tub has to go

The view down the hall

What is left of the "Duck" room

You can now pass between the kids rooms, would have been cool when they were little :-)

The front of the house as the water was subsiding

The strength of the water pouring through the yard

The water was about 3 feet deep at the peak of the flooding; that is our mailbox

Another view of the Cul de Sac

I'm working to get back on track with working out; I went for a 4-mile really fun run last night to look at Christmas lights and then to dinner with friends.

On the 26th I will be participating in an event to support Operation Jack; it is 6 hour event, run a minimum of a 10k or as many miles as you can get in within a 6 hour window.  I had been hoping to do 15-18 miles but I don't think I'm quite ready.  My new goal is 13.1 but you never know what the day may hold.  I'm really stepping out of my comfort zone for this event as non of my normal running buddies will be there; I sure hope to make some new friends and I know I am supporting an awesome cause.

Take care everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pure and utter chaos

I am behind reading blogs, I am behind with holiday tasks, I am behind with work and my exercise routine is in the toilet and I may be getting sick........Right now I either need to laugh or I will cry........

To back-up.....I have been traveling a lot for work and it has taken its' toll on me in many, many ways.  I generally really love to travel for work because that is the "fun" part of my job; working with customers, doing system implementations and integrations. etc.  My normal time in the office is necessary, challenging but not the part of my job I like the best.  I was in Chicago two weeks ago and Reno last week.   I'll be heading back to Chicago in early January, Orlando near the end of January, Washington DC and New York in February - my husband HATES it so that makes it that much harder.  As many of you know it can be difficult to maintain an exercise regimen on the road; my training is in the toilet and Boston is looming on the horizon.

Kick in the gut #1:

My step-son's girlfriend is pregnant; I haven't even met her.  Meg has been through this situation and I hope I can muster all the support and courage that she did.  This is not something ANY of our kids are ready for; we're heartsick, but will be as supportive as we can. I can't even begin to process all of the emotions I am feeling right now.

Kick in the gut #2:

Our home flooded last Thursday night; luckily we have flood insurance.  We live adjacent to a "small" creek and it rained close to 2 inches in a little more than an hour; the creek just couldn't contain the volume of water.  Parts of our home had 6 inches of standing water; other parts 2-4 inches.  The entire first floor of our home is basically uninhabitable right now.  We're STILL waiting for the insurance adjuster so come out, so we can't move things out, clean-up and try to settle in.  We may be able to get displacement assistance, but it is not usually covered with flood insurance claims; it is covered with home owner's claims - isn't that weird?  This flood could have been much, much worse; thankfully our family and pets are safe and sound, no one was injured.  On a positive note, I had been wanting to replace the flooring in my bonus room; I will get to now :-)  Unfortunately, we also will have to replace our less than one year old hardwood floors; along with four bedrooms of carpet; three tiled bathroom floors and I'm sure many more things that we don't even know about yet.

Both of these priceless little items happened during my business trip to Reno so my husband had to deal with most of it himself; he is a saint.

I had been registered for a half marathon yesterday; even though my life was in shambles and my training less than stellar I decided it would be good for me to go run the half.  It turns out it was a great decision; I took it really easy, saw a million friends and got out of the house & away from reality for a few hours.  I treated this a a long, slow weekend run and it felt really good to get a few miles in.  Isn't this logo and medal cute?  Don't you just love my race number too......

Have an awesome day everyone!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Black Knight's Virtual race report

What a great Thanksgiving weekend; we had a wonderful turkey dinner with family, friends and all the trimmings and I got to run in two very fun events.

The Black Knight has sponsored a Virtual Race and announced to his faithful follows that they should enter and submit a report for consideration of an award and the honor (I hope) of being inducted into the INFAMOUS Black Knight's Army...I humbly submit TWO races for consideration of this prestigious award.

On Thanksgiving Day we headed out to gather with 1200 other faithfuls to participate in the Give and Gobble Turkey Trot; I choose the 10k option and here is photographic evidence of my participation.  This event was a fund raiser for one of the local Food Banks and it was great to see so many people out enjoying the spectacular day and helping those less fortunate.  I ran with my friend Mark and we took it really easy and just had fun; it was actually a pretty tough course with more than a few hills. 

I think the hat makes the entire outfit!

Saturday evening brought the Winter Wonderland 6 mile run; this was a great event and although there is no photographic evidence to support that I donned the appropriate clothing (which I did), there is evidence that I participated and took home 3rd Place in the Women's Masters category!  This event also offered 2 & 4 mile options; it included a kids bike parade and was held at Portland International Raceway.  The only bummer was for the 6 mile course I had to run three laps of the course.  The really cool thing was that they have a spectacular display of Christmas lights and I got to enjoy them on each lap.  When there aren't crazy runners on the course it is open to cars to drive through and enjoy the holiday light display!

1. Susan Hawkings Portland, OR 6259 F 49 00:41:54 00:06:59 1 / 20 10 / 201 2 / 142 00:43:08 00:07:12 00:01:14
2. Nicole Deering Portland, OR 6172 F 42 00:45:55 00:07:40 1 / 18 21 / 201 7 / 142 00:46:40 00:07:47 00:00:46
3. Kathleen Rafish Portland, OR 6032 F 49 00:49:23 00:08:14 2 / 20 33 / 201 12 / 142 00:50:00 00:08:20 00:00:37
4. Kristin Nagel Troutdale, OR 6052 F 42 00:49:29 00:08:15 2 / 18 35 / 201 13 / 142 00:49:48 00:08:18 00:00:20
5. Molly Williams Portland, OR 6083 F 43 00:50:09 00:08:22 3 / 18 43 / 201 18 / 142 00:52:20 00:08:44 00:02:11
6. Lisa Pronovost Milwaukie, OR 6022 F 48 00:50:25 00:08:25 3 / 20 48 / 201 21 / 142 00:50:44 00:08:28 00:00:20
7. Becky Owston Portland, OR 6120 F 44 00:51:02 00:08:31 4 / 18 52 / 201 22 / 142 00:51:50 00:08:39 00:00:49
8. Kathryn Crary Portland, OR 6234 F 42 00:51:04 00:08:31 5 / 18 55 / 201 24 / 142 00:52:00 00:08:40 00:00:56
9. Kimberly Bessette-Martinez Portland, OR 6096 F 46 00:52:42 00:08:47 4 / 20 61 / 201 28 / 142 00:52:54 00:08:49 00:00:13
10. Brenda Kerr Gresham, OR 6191 F 58 00:53:26 00:08:55 1 / 5 64 / 201 30 / 142 00:54:13 00:09:03 00:00:47

It was an honor to participate in these events and submit them for The Black Knights consideration.  I am no longer a "Virtual Race" virgin......

Have a great week!

Friday, November 19, 2010


For the entire month of November I have been doing a daily Facebook status update starting with:

Today I am thankful for

I wish I could say it was an original idea, but alas I stole it from one of my Facebook friends.  It's been an interesting exercise and while I do know that I have many, many things to be thankful for it is surprising that sometimes I really need to think about it.  I want it to be somewhat meaningful, thought provoking and fun.  Amanda at Run to the Finish Daily does a daily Gratitude Journal, go check it out.  I know I need to spend more time expressing gratitude.

I'm sitting here tonight eating croutons out of the bag, making turkey soup from the carcass of the turkey I cooked for today's office potluck, trying to rebuild one of the kids laptops, reading blogs and stalking people on Facebook - what an exciting Friday night!  My husband has been out of town all week and he flies in later tonight so I will be trekking to the airport in a few hours.

I have 13-14 miles on tap for tomorrow morning; it is predicted to be about 38 degrees and raining tomorrow morning; oh boy!  But, it gets better; we'll be heading to Corvallis (about 80 miles South) for the Oregon State versus USC Football game, which starts at 5:00 p.m. another cold and wet outdoor activity. 

On Wednesday evening I was fortunate to get the opportunity to hear Dean Karnazes speak; wow, what an inspiring individual and pretty much a total freak of nature in terms of what his body allows him to do.  The next two items on his agenda are:

1.  Running across the entire US on trails
2.  Running a race (I forget if it was a marathon) in all 204 (two hundred and four) COUNTRIES

Can you believe it?  I read his Ultramaraton Man book quite some time ago and would highly recommend it.  Now I'm not quite a cool as Beth who actually got to run with Dean in Colorado, but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening anyway :-)  If he comes to your area take the time and listen to him speak; he really is remarkable.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Check out the Black Night Army's virtual race

I'm so excited.....I'm going to participate in my first virtual race and it's INTERNATIONAL.....

If you don't already follow The Black Night go check Stefano out now; I am really loving his Italian escapades.

Here are the details:

1. Wear something black (shoes, socks, pants, shirt or whatever you want);
2. Run 10 km in the period Nov. 8 – Nov. 28 (the 10 km can be part of a longer distance);
3. Let Stefano know I sent you before Nov. 29th if you ran and if you wore something of black or if you mentioned it on your blog;
He will announce the winners in his Friday post (December 3rd) and will mail the gifts as soon as possible. The awards are 2 black long sleeves shirts random and 1 shirt for the less fast time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My pity party is over

After I pissed and moaned a while about my lack of motivation and the loss of my running mojo, I changed my clothes and went out for a run!  I had an hour to kill before yoga on Monday so I took a nice 5.5 mile loop around the area I work; got back in time for yoga and felt like a million bucks - yeah for me!  This was the first evening where it really felt like winter was on the way; thank heavens I had left a jacket and pair of gloves in my trunk (probably from last winter).

For the past week I ended up with 30.5 miles, two yoga sessions & two boot camp sessions and I feel so much better.  We all know it can be difficult to get out the door for a run or to hit the gym, but we never regret it once we're pumping some iron or hitting the streets.  Since we all know how good we feel when we exercise why is it ever a problem to get out there and do it?

I'm working on my 2011 race calendar and trying to pull together a Boston training schedule; I can't wait to see what 2011 brings!

I will leave you with this silly picture of my kids - have an awesome weekend!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Where has my motivation gone?

I'm having a heck of a time getting back into a solid running routine, it's been more than a month since St. George but my mileage is virtually non-existent.  I'm getting in maybe two runs per week and that is only if I can find someone to run with; I haven't been out by myself in weeks.

Am I still recovering?
Is the weather getting to me (RAIN)?
Do I just need a break?
Do I need to sign up for something?

I have some fun events coming up, a Turkey Trot and a Holiday Lights run between now and the end of the month.  I know I will have a blast at these events and I can do the distance in my sleep; read between the lines UNTRAINED.

I'm signed up for a half in the middle of December; I hope I find my motivation by then.

I think I need a virtual "kick in the butt" or some kind, thoughtful words of motivation.......

You know, I never regret the run (or workout) once I am out the door; it is just so hard sometimes to get out the door - does anyone else ever feel like this?

It must be Monday :-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday

Yeah, I love Fridays and I love fun, innovative ideas to stay fit!  Go check out the latest challenge that Amanda has put together; I'm signed up - care to join me?

That's all for now; enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's official!

Dear Kathleen Rafish,

This is to notify you that your entry into the 115th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18, 2011 has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate.

You can verify your acceptance into the field by searching the 115th Boston Marathon Entrants database on the B.A.A. web site. Additionally, a Confirmation of Acceptance card will be mailed to you via US Postal Service mail.

In early April 2011, an official Number Pick-up Card and Welcome Booklet regarding the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and related race week activities will be mailed to you via US Postal Service first class mail. If you do not receive your Number Pick-up Card (required to claim number) and brochure by April 9, please contact our Registration Office at Registration related inquiries may also be directed to 508-435-6905.

Note that bib numbers will not be distributed on Race Day. Your travel arrangements should take into account picking up your number at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston on Friday, April 15 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., or Saturday, April 16 or Sunday, April 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m

Get the best hotel rates by using the Official Lodging form from Marathon Tours and Travel. For more information, email or call 617-242-7845.

JetBlue is proud to be the official airline of the Boston Marathon. When you book your flight to the 2011 Boston Marathon, make sure you fly with JetBlue Airways. You'll receive $10 off each way! Learn more here.

For additional tourist information, please visit

We look forward to seeing you in April! Best of luck in your training!


Boston Athletic Association

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Race recaps

I didn't let too much grass grow under my feet after St. George....since October 2nd I've run two 5k's and one 1/2 marathon and to make it even better - I PR'd in all three events!  I'm thrilled because my training since St. George has been less than impressive to say the least.

On October 16 I participated in a very small 5k, put on by a local gym and my former running coach; the secret to placing in your age group is running small races.  I don't recall the last 5k that I ran, it's been that long.  I have been so focused on running half and full marathons I never even considered shorter events.  I was the third female finisher; this earned me a medal and a pair of shoes.  My time was 24:30, a 7:46 pace; I came in 13th overall (I told you it was a small race).  The gym also has a Boot Camp program and they had set-up an obstacle course in the parking lot, I had never done anything like this so I gave it a try - wow, it was hard but really, really fun.  Their goal of sucking new people in to the program was met, I signed up for a month trial of the Boot Camp.

On the 17th I ran in an all women's half marathon; I had to get on a plane to Chicago at 1:30 that afternoon and the race didn't start until 9:00 a.m.  That meant my number one goal was to finish in less than 2 hours so I could have time to quickly clean-up & hit the airport.  It was a spectacular morning, 37 degrees at the start but crystal clear; a perfect day!  I ran with two friends and we thought we would start at an 8:30 pace and slow down if necessary.  My half PR was 1:55 and I was two weeks post marathon; I thought 8:30's would be a reach but I was just running for run that morning.  To my unbelievable surprise, I finished in 1:51 which is an 8:31 pace; a 4 minute PR.  I was astounded; we had a fabulous run and it felt EASY.  My new half goal is going to be 1:49; I'm running another half on December 12th and I think I will go for it!

Here we are post race, what a great group of ladies

I had to hustle off to the airport and didn't get to enjoy any of the marvelous post race festivities; chocolate, massages, etc.  Women's races are the bomb!

This past Saturday I ran in another small 5k (not quite as small as the first) and again was the 3rd female to finish; another PR 24:11  This was after being out of town for a week and not running one inch during this time.  I feel like I had more in me; my confidence is really improving, it was an area I needed to work on.

I need to get into a manageable schedule for running and cross training; it's been hard to get a handle on since St. George - any suggestions?

Have an awesome week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

St. George and the ensuing vacation, in photos

Near, very near the finish

We were so happy to be done; like the tiara? Check out the medal, they were some sort of polished local stone and they were very cool; each one was unique

The marathon logo, pretty cool

Bryce Canyon

Wind and rain at Bryce

Coming down one of the trails in Zion



More from Bryce

Bryce was AMAZING, I have never seen anything like it

Prickly Pear Margarita; very yummy!

On the way home, through Las Vegas

This is out of order (Whoops) - the clothes behind us were picked up on the first 6 miles of the marathon course by volunteers and brought to the finish line for pick up.  Everything left at the end of the day donated to charity

Bryce Canyon

The Mormon Temple In St. George

Vicki and I on "Walters Wiggles" in Zion

On the trail in Zion, we live in a beautiful country

The Navajo Loop in Bryce

At Scouts Landing in Zion

Going down the Navajo Loop in Bryce

Friday, October 8, 2010

St. George Marathon Race Report (minus the photos)

I'm back to civilization, back to work and fully rested as I haven't run since the marathon (October 2nd). 

The short version in list form: 

  • No PR
  • No PW
  • Warmest start EVER for this race
  • High on marathon day - 93
The long(er) version.....

We flew into Vegas on Friday morning, rented a car and drove to St. George (about 2 hours). It was HOT, there was no getting around this fact.  We hit up the Expo right away, picked up our packets and checked out all the goodies.  The race shirt is awesome, I absolutely love it; it is a long sleeve dri-fit and has just the race logo on the front.  It is not full of advertising; in fact, if you didn't know what the race logo looked like you would never know what event the shirt was from.  A nice change from shirts that have way too many sponsors and graphics.

We checked into our hotel, which I would highly recommend, and went to see what the City had to keep in mind that I was in Southern Utah, in a town of less than 50,000.  Our first stop was the Mormon Temple and lightning did not strike me as we walked onto the grounds.  It is an older building and the grounds are very well kept.  I couldn't believe how much the Church influenced everything in the State; it is very different from what I am used to regarding the separation of Church and State.

We found a place to have all you can eat pasta for dinner and then walked from our hotel to check out the bus loading & finish areas.  The buses began loading at 4:00 a.m.  We decided we would try to catch the bus around 4:30 a.m.  The bus loading was smooth that early and we got to the start by about 5:15 a.m.

They had Gatorade, hot chocolate, water and coffee at the start; there were bon fires lit to keep the runners warm while we waited.  I didn't think it was that cold, but they normally have temps in the 30's at the start.  My only issue at the start was that the porta potties ran out of toilet paper very early and they didn't seem to get re-stocked.  I need to add that this is my only complaint about this event.

I was wearing two birthday tiaras; it was interesting how people responded to the tiaras.  Some wished me Happy Birthday, some called me Princess but largely I got weird looks - oh well, I really didn't care what anybody else thought.

My goal was 3:53 and my friend Vicki was shooting for 4:15 so we said our goodbyes and jumped in with the respective pace groups.  The first 7 miles were absolutely awesome, nice and easy downhill; I was already warm though and was having some GI distress.  There is a decent hill at mile 7 and this is also where we started running into the sun FOR THE ENTIRE REST of the race.  I hit the porta potty at the top of hill and hunkered down for gradual uphill until mile 14; I was pretty warm by this point and was realizing this course wasn't nearly as "easy" as I thought it would be.  I think I hit the porta potties 3 times :-(

I slowed down and at mile 11 Vicki came up behind me; I had lost the 3:50 pace group during my potty stop but was still ahead of the 4:00 group at this point.  Vicki's plan had been to get some time in the bank early and have reserves available as the miles grew and the temperatures went up.  We were really glad to see each other at this point and settled in together.  I was  pretty darn sure at this point that a PR wasn't in the cards. 

I don't have my splits with me right now, but the wheels kind of fell off on the hills and the heat was getting to me.  Vicki was really feeling the affects of the heat as well so we decided to walk the hills and run the flats & downhills and just get to the finish together.  This was the 20th marathon for each of us.

I dumped water over my head and down the back of my shirt at every aid station; I have never done this before.

The course was not a spectator friendly course at all; the road is closed and it is very difficult to get around so until about mile 22 or so there was hardly anyone on the course to cheer us on. When we got to town though the spectators were great; there was one neighborhood where the residents were handing out popsicles - a popsicle has never tasted so good. 

I finished in 4:24, this is pretty far off what I had hoped to do, but I'm o.k. with it.  My pace when I was running was decent, but the frequent walk breaks really dropped the average pace per mile.  I have never seen so many people walk on a marathon course; the heat took its' toll on many, many runners that day.

The medal is very cool; it is a polished stone and every one is different - a very unique memento from the event.

Photos will follow........

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 days, 21 hours and counting

That's how close my marathon is; it will be here before I know it.  I really felt like I was ready and then......I went to and saw this:

Oct 2

Mostly Sunny
HIGH 95°
LOW 66°

YUCK, with a 6:45 a.m. start it is going to warm for the entire 26.2 miles; at least they are mostly downhill miles.

Happy running this weekend.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

22-miler is in the books!

It is officially taper time; St. George is a mere 17 days away and I feel like I am ready, or at least as ready as I can be.

On Saturday morning I did a 4-mile pace run and am happy with the results:

1-1/2 mile warm-up
Mile 1:  8:04
Mile 2:  8:14
Mile 3:  8:10
Mile 4:  8:12
1/2 mile cool down

I was supposed to stay in the 8:20 - 8:25 range, which is about 20 seconds faster than my goal pace; obviously I didn't do too well in that respect.  Maybe this means I am going to bust out an unbelievable marathon or maybe it means I need to work on my pacing......

On Sunday morning I was up & out the door bright and early to meet Vicki for our 22 miler; she mapped out a great course in the Wilsonville/Sherwood area, which is just a little South of Portland.  It is a beautiful, more "pastoral", area and a very nice change from the city.  Our friend Pat met us for the first 8-mile loop so we donned our safety vests & head lamps and headed out into the darkness; we enjoyed a nice and easy pace for this portion of the run.  This part of the course was relatively flat, but I knew the hills were coming.  We dropped Pat off at the car, grabbed our sunglasses, hit the restroom at Starbucks and took back off. 

The next 18 miles clicked by as we chatted and enjoyed the beautiful countryside; it was a spectacular morning in the Northwest and just a pleasure to be outside.  We climbed some pretty good hills and I found a nice little 12 acre piece of property, with a house, that could be mine for a mere 1.2 million :-)

We made it back to the cars (and Starbucks) with an average pace of 9:37 for the distance; we even ended up with negative splits, I don't think I have ever had negative splits on a long run before.  I was tired when I finished but knew I could have gone 26.2

It was intentional that I did my pace run on Saturday and my long run on Sunday; I was supposed to be fatigued for Sunday's run.  I was supposed to run on Monday, but I decided to take a rest day, I was tired and will run Tuesday instead. 

It is all coming together; we will see how I fare on race day.  I decided to run with the 3:50 pace group, my goal for St. George is 3:53.  I think it is a realistic goal.  Check out the elevation map of the course:

 There is a 2,600 foot elevation loss over the length of the race; I think it is going to be a good PR course for me.  I may not be able to walk on Sunday morning though; as this much downhill could take a toll on my knees and quads.

As an extra added bonus, the race is on my birthday - a birthday PR would be the best!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hood to Coast Race Report

Another Hood to Coast (HTC) has been completed; this was my 7th HTC and the 7th different leg I have run.  My long term goal for HTC is to run every leg; I would then honestly be able to say I've experienced the entire race.

Here are some stats:

Fastest Team Finish:                 17:24
Slowest Team Finish:                33:19
"Our" Team Finish:                   28:54

Our team (Van 1) started at Timberline Lodge at noon on Friday, August 27th; I was in Van 2 and we took over from Van 1 around 5:00 p.m. Friday afternoon in beautiful Sandy, Oregon.  I was running leg 10 so I had a while to wait for my first leg.  There are 6 runners per van so Van 1 runs legs 1-6, 13-18, and 25-30; this leaves Van 2 to run legs 7-12, 19-24 and 31-36.

Rea and I waiting at one of the exchanges during our first set of legs

Rob rocked the pink safety vest; his manhood remained intact
My goal for HTC was to run all my legs at an 8:30 pace; you could argue either that I failed or that I succeeded.  Here are the numbers:

Leg 10
6.18 miles
8:14 average pace

Leg 22
6.93 miles
8:20 average pace

Leg 34
4.11 miles
8:31 average pace

As you can see two of the three runs were less than an 8:30 pace, but one was very slightly over (8:31).  So, they were not all 8:30 or better, but the average was better than 8:30 :-)  I'm really mad at myself because on my third leg I walked a bit up one hill; had I not done this I would have gotten my sub-8:30's on all three legs.  I was really tired by this point and while this leg was the shortest of my legs, there were three hills; one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end.

If you've never run a relay, you can't appreciate how important porta potties become to you and how much you love the guys that keep them clean for you along the course

Post race at the beach, this guy ran dressed like this - you see it all at HTC!

I never saw these gals on the course, but they rocked it at the finish line.  By this time I had run 18+ miles, hadn't had any sleep and had consumed two beers; I was feeling no pain.  Obviously Andrew and Mark (from my team) enjoyed these ladies

Seaside, Oregon

A team mate of the dude in the earlier photo

Great music and cold beer; what more could you ask for?

This was taken at the last major exchange and is one of the "sleeping" areas; although not much sleeping happened here.
I can't wait for next year........happy running!