Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grande Cache, Alberta - Day 1

Adam is currently running The Canadian Death Race, a 125K race that passes over three mountain summits. He is currently about half-way done and says it is the toughest trail race that he has ever run!

I, on the other hand, well.... I just am enjoying waiting on my man! It's pretty exciting when he finally pulls into an aid station!

Montana Day 2 - Iceberg Lake

On our second full day in Montana, we woke up pretty early to head with a ranger out to Iceberg Lake (10 mile round trip hike). This was an outstanding hike in the Many Glacier region and the lake at the end was breathtaking! We saw one glacier, two mountain goats and one bear and lots of Columbian squirrels as we were hiking.

Montana Day 1 - St. Mary & St. Elizabeth Falls

We arrived in Montana in the evening after a full day's drive, but were pleasantly surprised that it stayed light quite late! We woke up the next day at a leisurely pace and then hike St. Mary and St. Virginia Falls.

Wyoming with Jadon & Audrey

Our northern-bound (think: cool weather!) road trip has been a great success so far! We are so grateful that our Crown Vic with almost 300K miles has been really faithful to us.

Our first stop was in Kemmerer, WY to visit Jadon and Audrey Ross. We took a great hike in the hill country surrounding this awesome town. The altitude was new to me, but the views were super rewarding!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One Year Anniversary!

I know that one year of marriage is just a small step in the journey of lifelong love, but it still seems so significant! We celebrated fairly simply with a nice home-cooked meal and a re-watch of our wedding day video, but we are anticipating our upcoming vacation in the northern country where we will have time to really re-engage and properly celebrate one year of marriage!

Go Cabin B!

One of the huge highlights of my summer was counseling senior high campers at Camp Quaker Haven in June. Abby Hutson and I had such an awesome cabin and we loved the girls in our cabin so much! I think the pictures attest to some of the incredible group bonding that took place!

Camp Quaker Haven - Guys Cabins!

Adam counseled both senior and junior high camps this year at Camp Quaker Haven! I thought the very most awesome thing was that my little brother Caleb was able to fly out from New York to be in Adam's junior high camp cabin!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Our house is still awaiting many little changes (and some big ones, like new windows), but progress is definitely being made and we are so excited! This week Hannah and Jacob came to work with us on our floors.

We redid all of the hardwood flooring and then put flooring in the dining room. We did some more demolition work and installed quarter-round throughout the whole house. It was quite an incredible task and I was so blessed to work with Hannah and Jacob - they actually made it quite fun!

Hopefully before too long we can put up more pictures that show even more progress! (Also, we have to show off Kenny Smith's custom kitchen, which is such a gift to us and maybe some pictures can be unveiled soon!)

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Saltshaker Sinaloa 2011

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This summer has held many pretty big events for us - graduations in New York, camp counseling, housework, and a two week trip to Siete Ejidos, Mexico. It's been over a week since we've gotten back from Mexico, but I finally have a little window of time to sort through pictures.

Living in Mexico for two weeks was definitely an awesome new experience for me. When Adam and I were dating, I had once asked him (since his last name is Monaghan) if he was Irish. He said that he didn't know, but that he sure felt Mexican. Adam has always had a great love for the people of Mexico and has always wanted me to meet his Mexican family.

So this summer the two of us went to Siete Ejidos, Sinaloa with a team of people from different Friends churches in the mid-west. Siete Ejidos is a very small village surrounded by farm land where there is a small Friends Church. We simply lived among the people of this village for two weeks and ate with them, visited with them, experienced the roller coaster of life with them (hot, hot heat and then torrential rains), and just encouraged each other in our hope to live life more tangibly in the Kingdom of God.

I was amazed by the tremendous hospitality that was offered so generously to us during our visit. Adam and I both already miss our family in Siete Ejidos and hope that there will eventually be more opportunities to continue to build relationship with our friends there.

Lunar Trek 2011

I have always loved this race and still do. I participated in the first ever Lunar Trek in 2008 and finished the 40 miler. See Lunar Trek 2008 Report. I finished the 100K in 2009, the first time they offered that distance, on a year when a slight cool front rolled in around day break, providing a mid morning temperature of no more than low 80s and clouds. See Lunar Trek 2009 Report. I had to miss it in 2010 due to the date conflict. I was back in 2011, excited to finish the 100K again, a good long training run before next weekend’s Canadian Death Race in Northern Alberta, Canada and other fall races coming up.

Two of Sarah’s siblings were in town this week from New York, helping work on our house. Kind of at the last minute they all three decided to go with me up to Scandia, KS. We hit a bad thunderstorm near Concordia on the way. The clouds and storms were looking ominous before the start. When they got there they sat up a tent and, after I started running, they slept in the tent all night long, waking up just a few minutes before I finished the 40 miles.

Due to the thunderstorm and especially the lightning, the start was delayed about an hour and 20 minutes. When we first took off there was still plenty of awesome and scary lightning but it didn’t seem to be striking the ground anywhere close, mostly off to the east. I only heard one more rumble of thunder and felt a couple rain drops. Once the storm passed and winds died down, the stifling heat and humidity returned and the night was basically what was to be expected, with the exception of the mud. Yuck! About 6 of the 20 mile course was covered in mud, some of it with standing water and pretty gross.

My knees were really achy miles 5 – 15 and I didn’t like that but was running with a pack of people I know and was enjoying the talking and sharing stories. The legs felt better miles 25 – 35 than they did the first 25 which is weird but true. Mosquitoes were horrible in a couple places with no wind and standing water. I took the gravel and covered my legs with it to try to subside the itching. Didn’t really work. But some more rain that came in and running through the muddy standing water seemed to do the trick. We were running a solid 12 minute mile pace through 30. Around mile 30 I started feeling really nauseous. Couple times I thought I was going to through up. I think it was the mixture of the gels I was taking (approx 1 every 30-35 min) and the heat and who knows what else. I was running for the longest time with Laurie from Lawrence, who I’ve known through ultrarunning for several years now, and she had to stop for a couple minutes so I took the chance to walk one whole mile and down another gel and more water and electrolytes and within a few minutes I was feeling better. A mile or so down the road it was Laurie’s turn to feel awful and it took a while for that to go away. Eventually, we were both feeling fine or normal for the mileage but our pace had slowed a bit though was not terrible.

I decided not to carry a headlamp or a light of any kind because the other two years I carried one and never needed it/turned it on. Opps, that was dumb! I needed it a lot in the areas of mud, so I stuck close to people who had one, which was fine, but meant I needed to go their pace to be able to see. I’ll probably carry one again next year – and not use it.

Due to the delay of the start of the race by an hour and half, we got back to the school, with the end of 40 miles a little after 7:00 am which meant if I would have gone back out for the final 22 it would have taken 5+ hours and I would’ve finished afternoon or worse, in the heat. It was actually a pretty easy decision to stop at 40. Only 3 of the 15 starters finished the 100K. One of them is my friend Terry Rider and he finished around 3:00 pm and it was 106 degrees. (Terry is actually the only person in Lunar Trek history to finish all 3 100Ks!) I felt better and better about not going back out as I was riding back to Wichita, getting home before noon to take a nap!

I was pleased with the 40 miles and was only minimally sore the next day. I had fun running with my Lawrence Trailhawk friends and am excited for the upcoming fall races.

Lunar Trek race directors are incredibly friendly and hospitable and the whole thing is just one of my many favorites. I can’t wait to go back next year on Friday night, July, 27th and conquer the 100K once again. I might need someone to go with me and drive home… :)