Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Magic

Today's Topic
Have you ever experienced the runner’s high? Read this interesting story from the NY Times and let me know about your own euphoric experiences out running.

Stage Re-Cap
Stage 2
Description of today’s course and weather

And a recap from my student, Jeff Arricale, who is doing great!
Today was Stage 2 - 23 miles. The terrain was much easier than yesterday. No sand dunes but much hotter 120 degrees most of the day. It's a struggle in the heat. Completed today's stage in 7 hours 40 minutes. Walked a lot and focused on proper amounts of water, electrolytes and staying healthy since I had an issue yesterday with my stomach. It's very beautiful outside. Tomorrow's stage is 25 miles with lots of sand dunes. Lots of people in camp are beat up. One fellow dropped out with severe diarrhea. A total of 8 dropped out yesterday, but all Dreamchasers are still in.

Have learned that the doctors treat any ailment with salt pills. If you're depressed "take a salt pill", if you have blisters "take a salt pill". The salt pill will obviously cure all ills. The people here are amazing.

Ran today with a gentleman from the Canadian Judo Olympic development team. Met a woman who has climbed all seven summits and she is not even 30. Goal is to beat the 72 year old great grandmother. So far I am 2 for 2. It's very humbling getting my *## kicked everyday. There is an ABC film crew following my every move. Trying to have some fun with it, though very weird. My feet are full of blisters, back hurts from the pack, and it feels like I'm in a microwave oven - hot. Just trying to drink, eat, maintain nutrition and make it to next point.
Thought I'd share a few of the comments darbaroud has posted from talk around the bivouac. I love all the SKIRT talk! I love my Athleta skirts!!! These are quotes from students whom I coach:

Fashion: American runner Marianne Demarco (482) caused much sensation on the bivouac: she was wearing a skirt! A sweet old style white tennis skirt, if you must know…

Correction: Leigh Corbin (479) took offence that our website introduced Marianne Demarco (482) as the only skirted runner. Please note that Corbin is also wearing a skirt, and so is Peggy Gaudet (490). Unlike Marianne, Corbin and Peggy both opted for the little black number though.

On her own?: Georgia Stansell (534), from Alaska, left her native snow to meet the challenge of the Moroccan dunes. A rather drastic change of scenery for this brave runner who most of all wanted to know if she was the first representative of Alaska to explore the area. It’s most likely.

And Greg Ryan is profiled.

Featured Competitor Blog

Meagan McGrath is part of the Dreamchaser contingent - she hails from Canada. She has a great website, including some audio posts that she made before the race started.

Featured MdS Veterans

A Dreamchaser MDS Veteran who Just Completed TWO Marathons this Past Weekend – Winning One & Placing Third in the Other...

It has been my privilege to coach Mike Wardian in the past, to attend his wedding, and now to watch him continue to achieve amazing things. I asked Mike about his MDS experience and he told me his favorite day of the MDS was running the 50 miler on my birthday. He said, “Could not have chosen a better way to spend my birthday then being out in the sand and heat and running, so cool.”

Take a moment to read how Mike won the National Marathon in Washington, D.C., on Saturday and placed third in the Knoxville Marathon the next day. Read here.

Stage Two Memories from MDS 2007

Elizabeth Smith
was so sweet to share with us her memories from last year. Especially pay attention to her final sentences…the competitors draw much strength from e-mail deliveries each night.

I found Day 2 of Marathon des Sables (which I did last year - 2007) to be the most challenging -- maybe not physically but certainly mentally.

The motto of my tent (**Tent #61**) was NEVER QUIT and I kept repeating those two simple words. Yet still, as we headed up the massive climb about halfway through (it was probably about 12:30 pm at this point), I just became nauseated, dizzy and just downright sick. My tent-mate and friend Leslie Martin stopped as she was going past me and waited for Doc Trotter to come to check my vitals and in the end, he gave me anti-nausea medicine and Leslie and I carried on together - she in her flip-flops as her shoes became unbearable and me in my out of body state.

Leslie was such an enormous help to me and the whole of Tent #61 knows I never would have completed that day without her. She stood behind me as we made the climb (and had to hold onto a rope) in case I started to fall backwards.

The last 10k of that race (as we entered sundown) were probably the most beautiful of the entire race. I've never seen something so beautiful in my life and imagine I may never again. The undulating sand dunes started to change colour as the sun began to set and Leslie and I were breathless with the view. Never mind her feet/ankles from the stress - she powered on with unending optimism and in my case, took me along for the ride.

After we got back to the tent, MDS veteran Toby (who is doing the race this year, too) told me that all you have to do is get through the first 3 days and the rest is easy (yes, that means he says 80k day is easy). Well, he was right. After I finished Day 3, I knew I'd never quit but based on my experience, Day 2 was the toughest so if you haven't sent your friends and family a note today -- do it! They could really use your support!

(And yeah for 2007's TENT 61 - see their happy faces below!)

Featured Dreamchaser Adventure

Registration for the 2008 Grand Teton Races is OPEN

Now in its fourth year, the Grand Teton Races will take place on Labor Day weekend, August 30-31, in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Alta, Wyoming. The family and crew-friendly races consist of three distances: Trail Marathon and 50 & 100 Ultramarathons. There is also a kids fun run for the little ones. Register early before it's full. Jay and I would love to see you there!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

MDS Stage 1 Results

WOW! What an amazing first day they all had at MDS. I understand they started out climbing some big time sand dunes and it was very hot! One of my students has his satellite phone with him in case of an emergency and he called his wife with an update and she sent this email to me:

Day 1: Hardest run of my life…only 19 miles but incredibly tall sand dunes. It took me 6 1/2 hours…2 women in our group are in 10th and 11th place …1 man in our group is in 29th place out of 809 competitors (THIS IS OUR BOY TED!) Several competitors dropped out (SAD BUT IT HAPPENS). Tomorrow is longer over 20 miles but flat with few sand dunes, thus easier (IT WILL BE A MUCH BETTER DAY FOR ALL OF THEM:) Please keep emails coming.

The Dreamchasers are kicking butt! Here are just a few high lights from today and I will continue to do so more and more each day. I will go through all of my own personal coaching students and tell you a bit about them, but this is for another day!

First I have to brag about my husband Jay who has very little time to train! He came in 126th place today!

Young Ted who has only run one 50 mile race in Feb. was 28th overall today...

Jeff Grant who is Ted’s tentmate in 81st place!

My good friend Chloë from Canada who is running with her husband is in the top 10 for the women!!!

Our own Michele Jensen is close behind her and is also in the top 10 for the women!!

Kay who lives in Thailand and is celebrating her 50th birthday had a great day

Lara and Elizabeth (twins) came in together and are walking the entire course!!!

We are off to one amazing start!


Click here for the complete results from the first stage.

Happy Sunday!

MDS Race Director Patrick Bauer has yelled into his megaphone, "Trois...deux...un...allez!" and they were off…ready to start their desert adventures this morning.

As for Stage 1, it looks like they started running right away into some beautiful sand dunes! The course looks a bit challenging for the first day but not too bad :) Should be fun!
Here is the road book to follow along.

This years MDS promises to be a tough one: not only is it the longest ever but it also kicks off with Morocco’s highest dunes - a 31.6 kilometres long first heat that could do much damage. Not enough to demoralize the competitors, only too happy to be facing the enemy at last. Old hands mix with newcomers who get to discover the special atmospher of the caravan, bringing together 32 nationalities and people coming from all walks of life, from policeman to baker, and psychiatrist to former football coach.

Me & My Dad
Many of you are asking and wondering why I am not in Morocco running the MDS this year.
(Photo of me and my Dad after I finished my very first marathon)

It was decided that I would stay behind this year due to a very ill father who has been in and out of the hospital and who is looking at having another surgery. I have been spending a great deal of time helping care for him at the hospital and at his home along with my other siblings. It became very clear to me that I did not need to be out of the country at this time. It has also become very hard for me to leave my two little children ages 2 and 5 for this amount of time, I miss them way too much! Next year the entire family will go over and we even hope to get grandma and grandpa to go to!!!

I have not been doing much training at all but doing a small amount when I can, in the garage on my spin bike, rowing machine and versa climber!!! My secret weapons :):)

Message I received from Patrice Clapacs, who did MDS in 2007:
Hi Lisa...So jealous of everyone out there about to start out on the most amazing adventure of a lifetime. It was absolutely one of the most amazing experiences of my life and gave me the most cherished new friends. I can thank you for getting me there and getting me to the finish! Hopefully my photo won’t scare anyone off but here’s my memory…

My feet after just the first 2 days. The day after the long stage I woke up to go see the Doc Trotters medical staff and as I was leaving the tent I kicked the tent stake with my pinky toe and it was the first time I cried. (but not the last! I had many tears of laughter and joy) Definitely NOT something I am looking forward to next year.

You are all amazing and are in for the time of your lives over the next week! Best of luck to all !!!

Let the party begin!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sending E-Mails to MDS Competitors

Hi All!

Marathon des Sables begins tomorrow, on Sunday morning. I will continue to be doing daily updates on my blog and look forward to your comments. You can send all of the MDS competitors emails starting tomorrow and the emails get delivered to them at the end of each day.

This is the link to send the e-mails:

The e-mail service is in operation from March 29th to April 4th.

It is so nice to get these emails and it really helps each runner feel the love!!!

Here are the Dreamchasers race numbers:

Laurie Andrews 465
Ted Archer 466
Jeff Arricale 467
Jay Batchen 469
Kay Bellor 470
Mary Betts 471
Jeffrey Brandner 472
Van Bryant 473
Marc Caldecourt 474
Andrew Cohen 475
Damon Goerke 476
Stephen Jackson 477
Leigh Corbin 479
Aaron Davison 481
Marianne Demarco 482
Francis Dodd 483
Marc Duplain 484
Martin Edwards 485
Mike Ehredt 486
Ashley Ellenor 487
Jeffrey Fortman 488
Adwin Gallant 489
Peggy Gaudet 490
Paul Gladwell 491
Jeff Grant 493
Fleur Grose 494
Andrew Hackett 495
Jason Hogue 497
Chris Hornell 498
Jeffrey Hunt 499
Michele Jensen 500
Edward Kelly 502
Danny Kendall 503
Robert Kent 504
Joshua Kennedy 505
James Laing 506
Chole Lanthier Brandner 507
Michael Le Roux 508
Suzanne Lucas 509
Toby Luxford 510
Martin Mack 511
Terry Madl 512
Kira Matukaitis 513
Sandy McCallum 514
Meagan Mcgrath 515
Cliff Mckinley 516
Karen Meades 517
Morgan Murri 519
Rebecca Oliver 521
Stuart Paterson 522
Vincent Robert 523
Arthur Glen Russell 525
Gregory Ryan 526
Brendan Sainsbury 527
Markus Schar 528
Antony Shaw 529
Alan Silcock 530
David Simon 531
Mark Simon 532
Andrea Lynn Sloan 533
Georgia Stansell 534
Keith Sullivan 535
Patrick Tomada 536
George Velasco 537
Steve Ward 538
James Whelan 540
Stephen Wolk 541
Elizabeth Zaitzeff 542
Lara Zaitzeff 543

Find Your Own Adventure while following MDS

Hope you are all enjoying the Blog coverage of the Marathon des Sables…and hope you are inspired by the efforts of your friends & family to choose your own adventure.

E-mail me at and I can help you see which adventure is right for you. I’d love to hear from you and help you find your dream and chase it down!

Some things to consider (the photo above is from Mt incredible place to visit!) Click on these three options to learn more about how we at Dreamchasers can make these adventures happen for you:

Climb Mt Kilimanjaro, run the Mt Kili Marathon or go on safari
Attending a Dreamchasers Camp
Running the Grand Teton Races

And now for a few laughs…here you go:

George Carlin's Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. 'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. 'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life ... . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone. But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60. You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.' Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!' May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them.'

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

And another update from the Sahara :)

So how did yesterday go? My student Jeff Grant uses this neat service that allowed him to send text messages to his Blog throughout the bus ride journey and from the bivouac yesterday (and thanks so much to Becky for keeping Jeff’s Blog updated!) Here is a bit of stream of consciousness from Jeff over the course of yesterday:

After a long drive on a rough and very twisty road, we just stopped for lunch - not at any of the several oasises we passed, but in the sun.

After 8 hours, just left the road. Driving on dirt toward the big dunes we'll run over on Sunday.
We're at the bivouac getting settled, it all seems surreal. We can see big dunes from camp. Watching beautiful stars over the Sahara. G'nite from Tent 77 in Maroc.

Last SMS updates in the A.M. before we check our non-race gear.

Just finished dinner in the desert. We're all ready for some sleep (in the Berber tents tonight). Admin checks tomorrow - 1 more day to go!

And I also came across a great Blog that highlights the efforts of Markus Schär and Joshua Kennedy-White, two MDS runners who are part of our US-Canadian-Australian Dreamchaser group…I love Markus’s description of his MDS motivation:

If an event requires a compulsory snakebite kit, flares, survival blanket and an insurance for funeral expenses, you know you are up to something serious ... Marathon des Sables 2008, here I come!

Fortunately for us, Markus's wife Uli (who explains that she only runs in cases of emergency :) updated their Blog

Joshua and Markus have dedicated their race to “The Fred Hollows Foundation, a non-government organisation whose vision is of a world where no-one is needlessly blind and of a land where Indigenous people enjoy the same health outcomes as all Australians” I wish them the best in this effort to help such a worthy cause!

Today they go through the admin check and continue to study their road maps. Here is a great description of the course on the darbaroud site…sounds like a very worthy challenge!

Tomorrow, the race begins!!!

Sleep well everyone…


Friday, March 28, 2008

March 28th Update


This is a card that I was sent from my friends Todd and Helene and I think it is so beautiful that I want to share it with all of you. It is so fitting for all those running the Marathon des Sables (nearly 900 people!), or for those of you running any other race or just the fact that we believe in all of you!

I believe in the things that are important to you and in the way you choose to live your life...I believe that you can accomplish anything you set out to do, that you have many talents and the wisdom to use them well...I believe that you have what it took to overcome obstacles and to grow from every experience life brings your way...I believe in your courage, your compassion, your integrity, and your strength. I believe in your goodness...
Photo: me with Todd during the Badwater Double (2006). update from the Sahara :)

They are on the 5-8 hour bus ride right now to the starting line and they were given the road map book and the distances of each day. Here is what they are looking at! Keep in mind they have 2 days to complete day four! Distances are as follows

Day 1 (Sunday) – 31.6k (19.6 miles)
Day 2 (Monday) - 38k (23.6 miles)
Day 3 (Tuesday) - 40.5k (25.2 miles)
Day 4 (Wednesday & into Thursday) – 75.5k (46.9 miles)
Day 5 (Thursday) - rest day (because not everyone finishes Day 4 on Day 4)
Day 6 (Friday) - 42.2k (26.2 miles)
Day 7 (Saturday) - 17.5k (10.9 miles)

Total distance = 245.3k (152.4 miles)

Jeff has his Blackberry and sent this note to me! Jeff has done so much to prepare for this race and I want to share his story with you. He has a beautiful wife, Jessie, and four amazing children: 6-year-old son, Jake, and sisters, Emma, 4, Sami, 2, and 8-month-old daughter, Gracie. Jeff’s MDS fundraising efforts are particularly in honor of supporting research and resources that will help Jake and Gracie who have children's interstitial lung disease. Read this great article about Jeff.

And then read Jeff’s comical blackberry note from the bus:
"We just stopped for lunch and got off the bus. what a bus ride through the mountains. I have flip flops on and I stepped on a scorpion, scared the pants off of me. It is amazing that the race has not even started yet and people already STINK!!!!"

Well, as you can see...the adventure begins!

One more thing…part of the challenge of MdS is braving the heat of the day and the relative cold that can come in the evenings. On average, daytime temps for the race range from 40C-50C (104F – 122F) and the overnight temps can be from 0C-5C (32F–41F). But word is that this year – 2008 – could prove to be the hottest MDS yet.

Stay tuned!

Photo: Tonight, MDS competitors start to sleep in tents. It's truth discover who in your tent snores!! :)

PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS: Are you checking in because your boyfriend, cousin, crazy co-worker is doing MDS? If so, please post and let me know your out there. Tell me the things your friend has done to get ready for the race and how you have helped. Tell me what you have planned for their return. Or just stop and say hi!

TELEVISION COVERAGE: Various TV crews will be present this year filming the MDS. Here is a link describing the coverage. If anyone know someone at ABC in the US, I would love to learn what day/time they are planning on showing coverage fo the event. And if anyone catches coverage and can tape it, I would be so grateful!

Please e-mail me at

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Marathon des Sables: March 27th Update

Hello Everyone,

You may still be getting e-mails today from your friends and family members who are participating in MDS, but they soon will be away from computers and immersed in the magic – and the challenges – of the race.

Today, most will have run 30-40 minutes...and then tomorrow, Friday morning, the group has an 8 hour bus ride to the race site.

Jay (my husband) ran with the 3rd place runner from last year with a group of Dreamchasers. Jay said it is an amazing group and so many very fit people full of excitement! Laurie Andrews is such a magical place!

Let me share with you what the runners are saying already...enjoy!

Happy Feet!


FROM TED ARCHER (from yesterday):
Lisa and anyone interested in the pre-race experience . . . We've arrived in Ouarzazate, Morocco, a town of a few thousand people out in the desert. I wrote some friends that it is a mix between Las Vegas (the dry heat, dust, sand, and rocks with new construction everywhere) and the third-world feel of Mexico. We are all quite excited--but nervous. This morning Jay Batchen walked us through a pack tutorial, with many of us frantically getting rid of items in order to get down to a smaller weight. Marianne seems to be the winner, with a 15-pound pack; mine is just a hair under 22 pounds, which seems to be about average. Two more days in Ouarzazate, and then off to the first Bivouac! - Ted Archer

This is an edited dispatch Robert sent to family and friends, posted by National Post © 2008 Canwest Interactive, a division of Canwest Publishing Inc. It's a great read!

Robert’s Update

Bunny, as everyone calls Miss M, is always helping us find the humor in at all. Read her Blog.

Leigh has some great updates on her Blog. I am so proud of Leigh for doing this race...she just planned her daughter's wedding and she still managed to sew her very own gaitors. Leigh, you will do beautifully out in the desert!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dreamchasers Are Already Grabbing Headlines

As everyone makes their way to the race, the pre-race coverage is starting to build on the website. How great it was to visit the website today and see the efforts of these Dreamchasers featured on the homepage.

To read their complete stories, here are the links:

Jeff Grant - ING Chances for Children

Paul Gladwell & Martin Edwards - Cancer Centre for St. Vincent's

Markus Schar and Joshua Kennedy White - Run 4 Vision

You can also read about Paul, Martin, Jeff and many other Dreamchasers who are running for a purpose on our website:

About the Dreamchasers Who Compete at MdS: Running for a Purpose

What kind of people run the MDS???

For those of you wondering who and what kind of people run a race like the Marathon des Sables in the next 2 weeks you will get a really good idea:)

Bottom line is this: people from all walks of life. People of all shapes and sizes!!

This year Dreamchaser's has over 80 running in the 23rd year of the MDS. Two sisters (twins) from NYC both lawyers who will walk the entire race. Kay from Thailand who took this challenge on because I put the carrot in front of her to do something adventurous for her 50th Birthday.
The stories will all unfold in the next 2 weeks.

On Monday most going over to run the MDS boarded a plane to Ouarzazate, Morocco, they are all there safe and sound. The weather in Ouarzazate is going to be high 80 this week. Once the runners reach the desert it could get as hot as 110-120!!!!

Below is an overview of the race!

The Marathon Des Sables (or MDS) is a 145 mile, seven-day stage race conceived and organized by Frenchman Patrick Bauer and Atlantide Organisation Internationale.

While the event can be very demanding if you are racing, the daily time cut-offs are generous enough to allow someone to power-walk the entire 145 miles.

Consequently, it is not necessary to be an elite runner to take part in the Marathon Des Sables.
During the event, competitors run on foot through some of the most beautiful, remote sections of the Moroccan Sahara while carrying a backpack with essential gear, food, sleeping bag and clothing for the week.

The race organizers provide water (generally 9 liters per day) and a traditional, two-sided Berber tent each night for sleeping during the seven days of racing.

There are six stages over the seven days, with the first three daily stages set around 20 miles each. The fourth stage is around 50 miles; the fifth stage is always a full marathon of 26.2 miles, and the sixth (and last) stage is from 9-12 miles.

Runners are typically given 40 hours to complete the 50 mile stage, with most finishing the stage in one day. This essentially provides most people with a rest day in between the 50 mile stage and the Marathon stage. Each year brings a new course, which is not revealed until two days before the race.

The terrain at the MDS is not all giant sand dunes. In fact, most of the course is run over salt flats, dried up river beds, rocky desert plains, and ancient, dried up lakes. And, it is not uncommon for the course to wander through a remote desert village. The course is usually well marked and all competitors receive a "Road Book" which provides an official course description for each stage.

Temperatures can be extreme, with possible daytime highs reaching 125°F and night-time lows of 38°F. Additionally, the occasional sandstorm can add to the mix. Thus, competitors should be prepared for anything.


There is a full-time staff of professionally trained doctors that follows the race, however, each competitor is required to carry at all times a snake bite kit, emergency blanket, signal mirror and distress flare. The Medical Team is highly trained and is fully equipped to treat heat-related illnesses, blisters and other medical emergencies that might arrive over the course of the seven days. Should the need arise for serious medical treatment during the event, the Race Organization can utilize their helicopter to assist with an emergency evacuation.

I hope you will DANCE..all who will run the MDS sure are:)

Don't put things off that you really want to do...take action. Either find a way or make one!!!

This was written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend. The last line says it all.

Dear Bertha,

I'm reading more and dusting less.

I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.

I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure.

I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market.

My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries.

I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary.

If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I'm not sure what others would've done had they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted.

I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles.

I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I'm guessing; I'll never know. It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited.

Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days.

Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them.

I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special.

Every moment is a gift from God!

Run, walk..what ever it takes....enjoy your journey and your adventure and don't put it off for another day!


Monday, March 24, 2008

2 amazing videos of 2 great runners!!

Here' This first video is about the 101-yr-old marathon man who is running the London marathon. Inspiring to say the least!


**Next is friend and Dreamchaser Mike Wardian!!!

Reference: Wardian-Video-3/21/08-NBC4-National Marathon

The video that aired last night on NBC 4: +++

**Get ready to start following my play by play action of the 23rd running of the Marathon des Sables this week. Most all of the Dreamchasers are boarding a plane today in NYC (all 80 of them)...they are in for one wonderful adventure!!!!

Have a great day

Thursday, March 20, 2008

101 year old man to run marathon

You have got to read this article about a 101 year old man who is going to run the London marathon!!!!

He looks so young.
This is really amazing don't you agree!!!

Many of you have asked me where have I been the past few weeks!!! Well: my father was put back in the hospital and I have been back with him for just over 2 weeks. It has been a really long painful road for my father and for all of us but the wonderful news is that we brought him home last week and he is getting better and better each day!!! We even had him out in his took they a very long time to figure out where and what the health problems were coming from and most was due to a staff infection from the open heart operation.
I can tell you this: if you ever have a loved one in the hospital make sure you have someone with them 24/7 to over see what is going on medically. The best possible place for anyone is to get them home and care for them at home.
We are so thankful to all of you for the continued prayers, love and support. My father is a walking miracle for just 3 weeks ago they called all of us and told us we needed to get there ASAP that he was really failing...well, today he is home. Thank you God.

During all of this I have really done NO training, a few 1 hour walks.
Tues. I went to the track and did 3x 1 mile at 7:15 pace:) How is the world I was able to pull this idea but to say for me..less is better. I am very sore but running hard felt good for the mind, body and soul!
I am back in many ways and I am more thankful and more at peace than ever.

A big hug and much love

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You are what you eat???

It seems funny to me each time I get an email with the question what should I eat the night before my race or before my big event.

The answer is very simple.

The optimal combination of food and nutrition for an athlete really varies from one sport to the other depending on whether it's a weight lifting sport, an endurance sport, or a team sport.
If you want to compete, you need to be mindful or your eating habits. This mean making conscious decisions to eat a variety of foods that will ensure you adequate iron stores for muscles, enough carbohydrates for energy, optimal levels of antioxidants, whole grains, lean protein, and omega-3 and monounsaturated fatty acids. The foods you choose should optimize your ability to recover, to maintain a strong immune system, and to support your training!

I hear this all the time: :What I eat the night before my race or game is the most important part of my race and strategy." Wrong!!!

If a solid nutrition base hasn't been established throughout your training, what you eat the night before a race or event will have very little impact on your performance.

Living a healthy lifestyle is the key to good performance.

Here are suggestions that I give to my students for pre-race meals..but these are also meal suggestions for the other 6 days of the week:)

Morning: oatmeal with honey and a banana, or toast with peanut butter and yogurt. 1 bottle of sports drink and water.

Snacks: raw veggies or handfuls or raw almonds

Lunch: lean fish, chicken or tofu! raw of steamed broccoli, brown rice, wheat bread or wheat pasta.

Snack: apple with peanut butter

Dinner..very much the same as lunch but also a large dark green salad with tons of raw veggies.
Desert...bowl of fresh fruit!


94% Fat-Free Popcorn

(6 cups popped)
110 calories
2.5 grams fat
4 grams protein
5 grams fiber
410 milligrams sodium


(1.5 ounces)
167 calories
1.5 grams fat
3 grams protein
1 gram fiber
881 milligrams sodium

I mix the 2 of these together with a handful of raw almonds and have it to snack on all the time:)


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Running MdS for a Purpose: BECKY OLIVER

For what charity or cause are you running the 2008 Marathon des Sables?

I am supporting the Butterfly Foundation, a community based charitable organisation that supports eating disorder sufferers and their carers through direct financial relief, advocacy and lobbying, awareness campaigns, health promotion and early intervention work and professional training in primary and secondary schools.

Why did you decide to run with a purpose?

The cost of treating sufferers of an eating disorder is extremely costly with fees running into hundreds of thousands over a period of years, meaning many sufferers go untreated as they can not afford the access to treatment that they need. The Butterfly Foundation works towards helping these individuals.

How can people contribute?

Please visit:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Running MdS for a Purpose: JEFF GRANT

For what charity or cause are you running the 2008 Marathon des Sables?
I'm running to support ING Chances for Children. It's an ING Group and UNICEF corporate program that aims to give 120,000 children access to education in 2008. According to UNICEF, more than 115 million children in the world do not have access to education. This program advocates quality basic education for all children — girls and boys — with an emphasis on gender equality and eliminating disparities of all kinds.

Why did you decide to run with a purpose?

I'm proud to work in a corporate culture that values giving back to the world. My employer is based in the Netherlands, I work in Switzerland, and we have offices in dozens of countries. My job puts me in touch with people from all corners of the world on a daily basis. Through my work I've been fortunate enough to experience the immense power, benefit, and fulfillment that global collaboration brings. It's inspiring to see what can be accomplished when people from all parts of the world with different cultures, languages, and backgrounds join together in a positive spirit. I'm hopeful that the ingredients of this athletic pursuit, ING's Chances for Children program and my global network will come together in a perfect recipe to raise awareness and funds to provide education to impoverished children.

My secondary aim is to inspire others by showing how it is possible to make a lifestyle transformation as I did 12 years ago when I lost 65 pounds and shed an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle and set a new course for health and fitness.

How can people contribute?

Please see my blog for more information, including the announcement within the coming weeks on the launch of a donation site with ING and UNICEF. More information on the ING Chances for Children program is available here:

What is the Marathon des Sables?

To check out more details about the Marathon des Sables go to:

Marathon des Sables, or MDS as we call it,
is a 150 mile foot race through the Sahara Desert!!!
It is so hard to even believe that the 2008 MDS is going to happen in the next month!

Dreamchasers has many students from all over the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia! The 2009 MDS is selling out faster than this year did which goes to show what an amazing event this is to run.

It is so much more than a running race. It is a journey of a lifetime!
My good friend Cathy Tibbets said it well,
"I ran and walked 150 miles through the Sahara Desert, I know now I can do anything!!!"

This is the 23rd year of the MDS!!!

I personally have many coaching students running this year's race. People from all walks of life and people with many different kinds of goals. Some to just walk to the finish line each day and others run with hopes of placing in the top of the men's and women's race!

Ted who won the RR 50 mile:
I am pushing him to place in the top 15!

Michele, Laurie, Kira and Peggy are all capable of placing in the top 5 for the women!!! Michele and Laurie have both won the Grand Targhee 100! Laurie won the Desert Rats 150 mile stage race. Michele was 2nd at the Leadville 100. Kira was just 2nd at the RR 100 and Peggy is closing the cap with her amazing training :)

So many others to tell you about but I will leave you in suspense…so keep checking my blog for updates. We have several runners that are "running for a purpose" and you are going to read about many of them in the coming days. I hope this will motivate you too!

I will be following the race daily on this blog, with photos and updates…it is going to be one exciting year!

Some photos from the 2007 race,
courtesy of Elad Benjamin and Leslie Martin (thank you both!):

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Running MdS for a Purpose: M (MARIANNE) DeMARCO

For what charity or cause are you running the 2008 Marathon des Sables?

Inwood House -- a maternity residence for pregnant unwed teens who are homeless or in the New York City foster care system.

Why did you decide to run with a purpose?

If I'm going to lose my toenails, I might as well do it for a cause. Not only is Inwood House the only maternity residence for homeless teens that accepts HIV infected girls, it has been helping pregnant teens with nowhere to go since 1835 -- so I know it's not some fly-by-night operation. I also work there, so I can see first hand that it works. It really does change lives. Plus I raised money for Inwood House last year by running the North Pole Marathon, so I had to try and top that one.

How can people contribute?
Go to

M at the North Pole in 2007,
where she ran the North Pole Marathon
to raise money for Inwood House.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Fastest Way Up Hills: Zig Zag

A friend sent me this article on zig zagging hills, which is great. This is in my opinion the best way to get up a hill and even down a hill if you are trying to save your legs!

I would also like to say a big WAY TO GO TO our good friend and dreamchaser Mike Wardian.
Mike ran the 50k Championships this past weekend at Camuset State Park in a time of 2:55:05.
This was good enough for not only 1st place but also broke the course record that was 2:55:54 set in 1981 by Richard Holloway. Mike is running Western States this summer and it is going to be so fun to follow him! YEAH MIKE!

Zig Zag!

A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but on a steep slope, zigzagging is the fastest way to go, a new study confirms.On flat terrain, a straight line is typically still the best way to get from point A to point B.
But climbing up a steep hill is a whole different ballgame; the mechanics and energy costs of walking up a hill alter the way we negotiate the landscape.

"You would expect a similar process on any landscape, but when you have changes in elevation it makes things more complicated," said study author Marcos Llobera of the University of Washington.

"There is a point, or critical slope, where it becomes metabolically too costly to go straight ahead, so people move at an angle, cutting into the slope. Eventually they need to go back toward the direction they were originally headed and this creates zigzags.

The steeper the slope, the more important it is that you tackle it at the right angle."Llobera and co-author T.J. Sluckin of the University of Southampton in the U.K. developed a simple mathematical model showing that a zigzagging course is in fact the most efficient way to go up or down a steep slope.Most people don't need a model to tell them that though, they do it without even thinking."I think zigzagging is something people do intuitively," Llobera said. "People recognize that zigzagging, or switchbacks, help but they don’t realize why they came about."