Archive for March, 2011

REALITY!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2011 by Kel

Every once in a while I stray from my normal blog entry topic but only when I feel it is a worthwhile read. I never discuss political views, I never air dirty laundry, but I do love this speech that Bill Gates gave. I was raised to respect others, to understand the value of a dollar, to work hard for what I want in life, to pay my gift forward and inspire others to help them reach their goals. I had great role models in my parents and sisters and  I thank God I grew up not having things handed to me on a silver platter.

#5 below is my favorite because my sister and I would get up at the “butt crack” of dawn at the age of 13 to clean a restaurant which included scraping shrimp guts and grease off the floor. Carrie and I saved up $9,000 by the time we were seniors in highschool (and that was over 20 years ago!). To all those parents out there that prepare their children for the real world and ensure they volunteer at a young age to show them the value of humanity I thank you. To my parents and sisters I look at you every day as my heroes and inspiration. Hope you enjoy the read.

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about eleven (11) things they did not and will not learn in school.
 
He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.
 Rule 1 : Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.

Rule 6 : If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were: So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room..

Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. *This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. *Do that on your own time.

Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one..

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Te Haerenga (the journey)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2011 by Kel

I struggle with this race report as it is hard to put in words what I experienced running the Tarawera 100K. I was not sure what to expect nor was I sure how my body would react to 62 miles of running with 10,000 feet of climbing on ever-changing terrain. What I went through in that 13 hours was well beyond my imagination and far surpassed what I dreamed it would be like. As this was a long day and I can’t do justice in describing the stunning scenery, the amazing athletes, volunteers and spectators, the pain or the loneliness I experienced I thought I would provide some highlights:

  • The first 2.5 miles boasted around 700 feet of climbing which meant 25-30 min of walking and the entire time having the quads, hams and calves burning. The run went from physical to mental right from the start.
  • The comradary or the runners was inspiring. Many times I would run miles behind someone and just embraced the company even if it was just listening to our feet making their way through the trails. I had a great conversation with a young lady, Mary, who is in law school and was doing her first trail run and ran 18.5K as part of a relay team. One day she is going to do the 100K no doubt. I met a man, Tony, who asked me my name and as we leapfrogged each other he would scream, “Go Kellie!”  There was a wonderful lady, Kate, that was running the 100K and her cheer crew “100K8” would cheer me on often yelling, “GO USA” or “GO KELLIE!”  A lady I ran with for quite a while that was doing the relay was also part of the “100K8” cheer squad and at the end came running to find me as they knew I got lost (more on that later) then bolted to the finish to hug me when I finished. A lady snapped a picture of me crossing the finish and came over to me and said she saw I did not have anyone with me so she took a picture then handed me her business card so she could forward it to me. How could you not love ultra trail running. The people are amazing.  
  • There is no way to explain the beauty around ever corner you turned but much of the first 60K you had to keep your eyes down so you did not wind up on the ground. I remember several times looking up and thinking I was running through a framed picture or a post card and wished my Dad was there to capture the moments with his amazing eye for photography. Below are some pictures I found on flikr of the course I put in a slide show (if you hover over you can advance the photos manually).

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  • The 60K finish was at Tarawera Falls. I remember running and hearing this amazing sound of rushing water and at this point I had hit 6,600 feet of climbing and my legs were in need of some inspiration. I turn a corner and look to the right and I swear my smile was from ear to ear! The picture does not even come close to showing how tall the waterfall is but it was majestic!

  • The Aid Stations were the BOMB! I run slow enough in these runs that I can eat anything so I tried a little of everything! My favorite were sticky buns! I know you are all shocked I did not say M&Ms but I did not really see anything that looked like them! I also loved the array of lollies (their version of our gummy candy). The one thing I can tell you is the jelly beans in NZ are not like in the US. I spent 10 min running while picking them out of my teeth 🙂

  • The last 40K (25 miles or so) was all on fire roads (dirt and pebbles) and I was alone 24.8 of these miles. This is a lot of time to think, reflect, remember those important in your life, talk to yourself in a way you never imagined and find out how mentally and physically strong or weak you are. This is why I love ultra trail running. This is why I do it. I thought about my Grammy who passed 20 years ago from cancer. I thought about my Grandpa Jones who went to every one of our soccer games and track meets in school. I imagined my sisters were pacing me the last 30K and talking to me to get me though some of the tough areas like walking up a steep hill of soft sand for 15-20 min at mile 50. I thought about my little friend Katelyn who is 10 and does triathlons and running races and calls me her hero. I could not let her down. When I had to go to the bathroom I would laugh hearing my Dad telling me at Ultraman that I would have a much better time if I did not pee so much 🙂
  • The sun started to go down and I had 1K left. I made the mistake of taking a wrong turn as the sun was setting and by the time I realized I was heading the wrong way it was dark. I made my way back and with limited visibility I made another wrong turn and saw a few volunteers walking a dog who pointed me towards the trail again. That last 1K took me 22 min 🙂
  • I crossed the small little finish line with a huge smile in the dark and felt oddly wonderful. Paul the race director popped on the microphone and asked me if Florida was the same as NZ and if it was harder or easier. All I could say was, “It is not even remotely the same and my quads are shredded!”  He just replied, “That’s what I like to hear!”  It was the hardest thing I have ever done physically or mentally. But one of the most rewarding.

I felt at home in NZ. It is a place I can see myself living. It is Heaven on Earth. I felt the aroha (compassion, tenderness, sustaining love) of the people. E noho rā for now. I will be back on the South Island January 2013 for Challenge Wanaka.