Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Elvis Live at the Las Vegas Marathon 2006!

Pictured is but one of the "Elvi" runners from this years LV marathon. Because I tripped while training on a downhill course, I chose to volunteer this year, working the info booth at the Expo and serving waters at mile 21. It gave me a different perspective.

At the info booth, I was surprised to discover a half marathoner who is actually blind and needed to know what to expect as far as directional markers. Turns out they were only visual and I suggested she ask another runner of her same pace to tell her when the point was reached. There are so many different stories and it is inspiring to realize how determination can conquer what seems to be a disability. From the participants in wheelchairs, those that that prevail over heart conditions and missing limbs or cancer to the "average" person, everyone has there own challenge and reason for wanting to go that formidable distance.

Reinforces the famous line "If you believe you can or you can't, either way, you're right". The overwhelming and powerful energy you can feel are thousands of people WHO BELIEVE THEY CAN. That is what keeps me running and is the reason that I intend keep going as long as I can still move. It is nothing short of a religious experience and seeps into other parts of ones life.

This is kind of serious stuff but ENTER THE "ELVI"! The beauty of them and the running showgirls and the other craziness is that it can also just be a ton of light hearted fun. We all need some light hearted fun and the LV marathon has no shortage!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My "layover" in Sin City

Las Vegas has always been a place I've avoided. I have associated it with smoking, heavy drinking and gambling. It pains me to imagine people putting their families at risk by gambling away their grocery money and since my mom died of smoking related causes, it's just not for me, I thought. When I was looking to take flight from California to be able to better live within my means, settling in Las Vegas didn't cross my mind. However, a dear friend changed all that with a phone call. She told me she had a neighbor selling and I should check it out. Someone asked the question "Does Disneyland impact your daily living in Orange County?" The answer was the same...for residents, it's most often a place you frequent when you have visitors. I made the move a year ago and have changed my attitude.

About 6 months before my Vegas condo purchase, I read in the OC Register about a training program for the OC marathon. I had always wanted to do a marathon and had tried years ago to train on my own but got injured and never did one. I signed up for Coach Bill Sumner's program, which taught me injury avoidance and offered group support, which made all the difference. My Vegas friend sent me an email about the Las Vegas marathon but since it was a full month before the OC event, I dismissed it. I was only up to 16 miles at the time and didn't see how it was possible. At the OC (actually Corona Del Mar High School) training site, a couple of runners were talking about their plans for the Vegas marathon. I asked them how they could manage it and they explained that our group's long run would be up to 20 miles by then and they just intended to walk the last 6, if they were too tired. These gals had had several marathons under their belt but I still had never done one.

I drove from OC to Vegas 2 weeks prior to the LV marathon and saw the giant digital billboard of the Mandalay Bay promoting the run. It was very inspiring but between flying trips, preparing the new place and keeping up with my daughter Jillz and our animal & plant menagerie, it didn't seem manageable. I went running while in Vegas and it was beautiful and the weather at that time was a lot like OC in late Nov, around 60 degrees F.

Fast forward to a few days before the event and I made plans for Jillz to come to Vegas to see our condo for the 1st time. I decided (while In OC) to enter the marathon with the attitude I could always drop out. I entered online @ I was up to 18 miles as my longest run. I drove to Vegas and was shocked that the temperture had dropped to 31 degrees with the winds. Dressed totally inappropriately, Jillz dropped me off at 5am. It was surreal. Coming down in the elevator of the Mandalay Bay were partyers just leaving the casino. Going up the elevator were scores of runners (some dressed as Elvis or showgirls). Who were the sanest? I'm still not sure. To my own disbelief, I finished with the help of the 2 OC runners (LS & CC) who passed me at about mile 22 and offered encouraging words which helped pulled me along. Anyone who has done that 1st marathon knows what an exhilarating, life changing experience it is for the mind although my body was somewhat numb from the cold!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

My Most Heartfelt Apology to Demi Moore

I have no delusions or desire to be anyone other than the real me but I would like to minimize the likelyhood of following the path of the author of "Diary of a Fired Flight Attendant". If I seem a little paranoid, there is a basis for it. That said, I have a compulsion to surge forward no matter what the outcome. My identity as Demi Kutcher came from an OC party celebrating last year's Oscar awards. The guests had to come as a celebrity and the invite was from . I wanted to respond with an email address that would fit the theme. Although my appearance is probably closer to that of Angelica Huston, her name was not available so i don't have to apologize to her. Pictured in this photo, the OC versions of "Demi, Angelina Jolie, Jon Stewart and Jill St John". Was a totally fun event even though I had arrived from Sydney a few hours before.

Jillz and riley red paper clip.jpg

Here is my daughter and her dog, Riley, sporting their their oneredpaperclip shirts. The dog has had his rabies shots but Jillz and I are rabid fans of oneredpaperclip and were delighted with the posting of her picture on the website.