Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas through a childs eyes

Christmas through the eyes of a child was so wonderful. We had such a great weekend. It was quiet, relaxing and full of just the right people:)

Christmas Eve we went to church with our friend Barb Lindquist and her husband Loren..Barb waddled into church, pregnant with twins. The service was so beautiful. My 3.5 year old eyes were full of joy the entire time. When it came time to light the candle and sing silent night she sat on my lap and we held the candle together..(of course she thought it was all hers:) At the end of the song and time to blow out the candle she whispered...Happy Birthday Jesus!! Barb and I both about fell off our chairs.

Christmas morning with the house full of Santa was the best..Annabella has been talking about a doll house for 6 months and when she stood at the top of the stairs to look down she saw the doll house. She ran down and was jumping up and down saying...thank you Santa, thank you Santa...

Jay and I both just watched with such joy and so much emotion..Now mind you our 15 month old only wanted to rip everything apart until she came across a doll that was for her, she hugged it and knew it was for her. The little smile that lite up her face is something I will always remember.

It is Thursday morning, cold and snowing here. Last night our friend Barb had her twins..2 boys! Everyone is doing great..we can't wait to see them all.

Today is our friend Mikes Birthday and he is going to do a long run up what we call the hill:) I will go with him and start my training is the day, my leg feels good. I have been faithful to stay off of it and let it heal. Its amazing when you stay off exercise for the most part how sore you get doing nothing:):)

Our friend Greg is her visiting for a few days, drove all the way from Calif....what a joy to see him.

Wanda is doing better with each passing day and is over the moon with thanks for the love and support of see our small acts of kindness has helped with a miracle..the miracle of Christmas..thanks to you all.

Below is a beautiful Christmas story that was sent to me..its worth reading.

Have a Happy New Year and many 2007 bring you all the love and blessings you deserve...
Dreamchasers is going to have some wonderful new things going on and I hope that it will mean somewhere, someday I will see each of you in person..
Live each day to the fullest. Get the most from each hour, each day, and each age of your life. Then you can look forward with confidence, and back without regrets.
Be yourself- but be your best self. Dare to be different and follow your own star.
And don’t be afraid to be happy. Enjoy what is beautiful. Love with all your heart and soul. Believe that those you love, love you.
Forget what you have done for your friends, and remember what they have done for you. Disregard what the world owes you, and concentrate on what you owe the world.
When you are faced with a decision, make that decision as wisely as possible-then forget it. The moment of absolute certainly never arrives.
And above all, remember that God helps those who help themselves. Act as if everything depended upon you, and pray as if everything depended upon God.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all of you!!!!

My kids are so excited about Santa coming and celebrating the birth of Christ..Annabella wants to bake him a cake and we will:)

The things kids say during this time of the year, well all year are just so special. While sitting on Santas lap Annabella told him that he did not need to make any more toys. She had gone through all of hers and had 2 big bags and 1 box full of toys for him to give to all the kids. She went on to tell him that she would love a baby doll for her little sissy so she did not have to keep sharing hers and that she has been a very good girl and hopes he is building her doll house! You just want to eat these moments up don't you???

It will be a white Christmas here in the Tetons, great for snowshoe hikes and runs, I cant wait!

I leave you with this:

...Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right..Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. Phil 4:8

...And Christ became a human being and lived here on earth amoung us and was full of loving forgiveness and truth. John 1:14

For Dec. 24th!! For us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulder...
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Is. 9:6

Merry Christmas!!! ....Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today..a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10

Have a safe holiday where ever you are and let us all remember the miracles and magic that this holiday brings and the good, the bad and the ugly things that happen in our life are really blessings..even if we can't see them.

Love to you all,

Tha Batchens!!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Neera Cleanse Report!!!

Today is the final day of my 7-day cleanse. I feel terrific! The first three days were the toughest. I had a lot of stomach growling and had a difficult time being around food. Each day after that has gotten progressively better. I cut way back on my exercise (working out every other day at a much lighter pace than normal). I’m not sure how much weight I lost (guessing around 10 lbs) – I did not do this to lose weight. My system feels clean and I feel very fresh. I drank about 5 quarts of the “mixture” per day and another 1.5 quarts of water. I suggest getting two cans of the tree syrup (I went thru both cans). I’m sleeping better than ever and the people I see on a daily basis say that I look great. I highly recommend the cleanse for anyone who wants to recharge their system. It’s a system shock, but well worth it. I definitely intend to do this every year. Three people in my office and my wife are seriously thinking of starting the cleanse after Jan 1. I should have done this years ago!



Thanks to you all for you for others!

Wanda is on the mend, it will take time. She is one amazing woman. Below are updates on Danelle. The climbers Chris and Charlie are still missing.

Have a safe wonderful day.

The following information about Danelle was distributed today on the Denver Trail Runners list. The Rocky Mountain News article by Brian Metzler is the most informative. The Aspen article mentions a fund for her medical expenses. Todd Holmes, a very good CO ultrarunner who was involved with Danelle’s rescue and who wrote the first account of Danelle’s accident wrote me in an email this morning, “Danelle said she has some kind of insurance, but it isn't very good.” (The Denver Post article adheres to the usual Post standard of sub-lame.)

Danelle Ballengee was seriously injured, and had an amazing rescuelast week.Danelle slipped on ice, fell 60', breaking her pelvis, while runningthe Amasa Back trail, in Moab, She was rescued two days later, whenher dog (and running companion) led the rescuers to her. There arenumerous stories on the web including:,1299,DRMN_15_5223711,00.html

Danelle is a multi-sport endurance athlete. She is one of the top adventure racers in the world; has won the Pikes Peak multiple times;over 100 snowshoe races; Mt Taylor Quadrathlon 10 times; on and offroad summer and winter triathlons, former mountain runner of the year,and much more. She has put on races (I'm Crazy Events) that many of you have, including the Swift Skedaddle snowshoe races, and Mt Evans Ascent run. She is vice-President of the All American Trail RunningAssociation, and is on the board of the United States Snowshoe Association. She grew up in Evergreen, and now splits her time between Dillon and Moab.

If you'd like to send a card, the address is:

Danelle Ballengee
c/o SICU Pavilion A
Denver Health Medical Center
777 Bannock St
Denver CO 80204

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Missing Climbers

Good morning!

More prayers are needed, they are working..people are being healed:)

Below is an email sent to me from a very good friend.. The power of prayer and the power of acts of kindness if growing and growing even through my blog. I feel more blessings with each passing day just from so many of you that have been and are willing to step out and do something. God Bless you all.

Each request is sent on to Sister Marybeth and trust me the request goes straight to the top and people all over the World come together in prayer. This is what Sister Marybeth had to say to me this morning:

*Take time to be holy, Speak often with the Lord, Abide in him always, and feed on his Word. Make friends of God's children, Help those who are weak and in need, Forgetting in nothing, His Blessing to seek.

If any of you have a prayer request you just email it to me and I will see that she gets it!


My good friend Chris is missing in China with her partner Charlie Fowler. I know you have an extensive list of clients and thought perhaps you could circulate this link for donations. I have made myself available to head over and join in search.

Thanks in advance.


**Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Guess what? I am working out again:) Only on the spin bike, rowing machine and versa feels good.
No running until next week to test out my IT band. Packing is training right?

Have a wonderful day and thanks to each of you for what you do for others!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In your next workout: Pray!

Below are 2 articles about 2 of the best endurance athletes in our sports. The first article is about Marc who passed away on Dec. 10th while running a marathon in Arizona. The second article is about Danelle who suffered a bad fall while running. Prayers do work. I ask that we all do our next workout in memory of Marc and pray for him, his family and friends during this time and also send Danelle healing energy.

Life is so precious.

Thank you,

Subject: [BoulderTrailRunners] Danelle Ballengee...

In case you haven't heard, Danelle was seriously injured in a fall
while running on the Amasa Back trail in Moab this past week. She
apparently fell about 60 feet, breaking her pelvis, amoung other
things, in several places. Unable to move, she lay there for 2 days
before anyone noticed she was gone. Her dog, who was running with
her, ran 5 or 6 miles to the road and waited for help. When her
neighbor noticed she hadn't been seen for a few day, they called
Search and Rescue. SAR found the dog, who then led them to Danelle.
(Amazing!) Besides the pelvis, she was suffering from severe
frostbite of the toes.

I spoke breifly with her mother this afternoon while on her way to
the hospital. She said her toes are slowly getting a little better
and they may be ok, but she is due for surgery on her broken pelvis
(broken in at least 5 places) today at the Denver Health Trauma
Center (the old Denver General hospital). Her mother said she will
have a very long road to recovery, but, thanks to her dog, she is
still alive!

Sorry, I don't have a room number, and don't know any more details
that that. Let's all keep her in our thoughts and wish her a speedy
recovery, and especially be grateful she is still with us!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

FREE Gift Subscription from Women's Adventure magazine

Hello Everyone,

Here's an offer to buy one, get one free. It's a really cool magazine and we know how we have to support our women in sports...for our sake, for our daughter's sake and beyond!

Click here ( for the details about this subscription deal.

Might be a nice holiday gift and you don't even have to wrap it!

Happy Feet!


Friday, December 15, 2006

December 2006 Newsletter

Hello Everyone!

Have you received the first (of what we hope to be many) Dreamchaser newsletters? The newsletter gives some ideas about incorporating Dreamchaser products and services as part of your holiday shopping list - check it out:

If you didn't receive and would like to, please send my friend and Dreamchaser colleague, Colleen Woods, an e-mail at

Happy Holidays!!!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Send a Get Well card to Wanda!

If you are writing holiday cards this year and have an extra, could you send a card to my brother's friend Wanda? She's home now, but her recovery is far from complete. It would be so great for her to have some holiday cheer in the form of cards from around the country (or globe!?!)

Thanks for keeping Wanda in your thoughts!!!

Here's an adress to send Wanda a card:



Help if you can!

Hi friends!

Please read this letter that my brother Michael wrote to The North Face. If anyone has a contact at TNF would they please respond to this post.
Thank you in advance.
Have a wonderful day

Dear Sirs,My dear friend Wanda has always been an avid outdoor sports enthusiast. Andher favorite outdoor clothing has always been North Face. On her birthdaythis year, 8/02, she received what was to become her favorite outdoorapparel item, a NF "Seven Summits" down vest. She was wearing that vest,under her NF "Alpine Jacket" when she was struck and literally run over by apick-up truck while walking her dog on Nov. 21st. The driver of the truckfailed to slow down or stop at a four- way stop sign and ran over both Wandaand her dog in the middle of a crosswalk. Both Wanda and "Rielee" passedunder the truck. With her feet toward the curb and her upper body under thetruck, the front tire ran over and crushed Wanda's pelvis, the rear tire ranover her chest and broke four ribs in her back, her collar bone, left wristand hand. Additionally, the transfer case under the truck slammed into theside of her face and head and smashed her head to the pavement; I will notdescribe the graphic result of this impact.Both Rielee and God saved her life that cold evening. Because Reilee (alarge, 85 lb. field Golden Retriever) was on a leash, and he must havesensed the danger and impact, he pulled hard at Wanda's arm, jerking awayfrom the fast approaching truck and thereby dragging her to the pavement asthe truck hit. Because she was jerked flat to the ground as the truck hit,and stretched out as Rielee pulled, her life was spared. During her 18 daysin the hospital every Dr. has commented on the miracle of her survival: nonewould venture a guess at the odds her blessing. Wanda went home on Sat., Dec. 9th, in a wheelchair, with a walker. Sheis/was a wonderful, very active single Mom of a 14 year old daughter, fulltime sole income earner to support her small home, and an angel in everylife that she touches. God spared her life on Nov. 21st because he knewthis world is a better place while she is here in it.After the uninsured, illegal immigrant ran over my dear friend, theEMT's at the scene had to literally cut the leash that had tangled aroundWanda's arm, as well as cut off all of the clothing that she wore. Her NFvest and jacket, along with the sweater and sweat pants that she waswearing, were sheared up the front and back, into two pieces so they couldbe removed at the scene to access the damage to her body.Now, why am I telling you this? It's because I'm trying to reach out to anyand all people that I think can help to boost Wanda's spirits and aid in herrecovery...which will be long and painful to say the least. Now that she ishome and faced with the world of reality and financial responsibility, sheis sad and depressed, especially given her inability to do what gives her somuch joy during the Holiday season; help and give to others. All of herhard earned saving will go to pay medical bills and she has a very real riskof loosing her home due to income that will be lost.It's because of the very special person that she is that I am asking othersto help her; its Christmas and while she would certainly never ask fora gift for herself, Id like to help make it a special one for her, oneshe will remember because just a little of all the positive energy sheput out into the world came back to bless her. Therefore, I am asking if North Face would help me, and many others, to sendsome positive energy Wanda's way: by replacing the vest or jacket that wasdestroyed due to this accident. Your small effort would provide a hugeblessing into the life of a very special, very needy person that suffered atragic lose, through no fault of her own. Please help me help a dear friendthis Christmas.To verify the facts of this story and to confirm that I am not pulling yourleg, or trying to personally profit from this tragedy, please use thefollowing resources:Accident date: 11/21/06Location: Lake Forest, ILContact LF Police: (847) 243-2601Accident Report # 06 12733Reporting Officer: Nagle If North Face would consider my request and be willing to be a ChristmasAngel in the life of someone who really is in physical and spiritual needthis Holiday season, please contact me @ 708 227-4669.Thanks for your time and efforts,Respectfully,Michael Smith

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New 50 Mile PR by 2.5 hours!!!!

Good morning,

I love this race report from Larry who this past weekend ran the Sunmart 50 mile race. I have been working with Larry for about 1 year. Last year he ran this race in 11:17, this year he ran it in 8:45!!!! The women he ran with at mile 49, Anita I coached for a very long time. She has improved and gotten so very strong.. I am so proud of her to!

Larry you rock:)
It was an amazing weekend of race results: still waiting for many to come in!
Richard ran the Sunmart 50k for training for MDS..go Richard
Ann ran her first marathon in Las Vegas with 4:26..the goal was 4:30:) this is my cousin!
Mike had a new PR in the marathon by 25 min. with a time of 3:33:):)
Liz and Patrice ran a 50 mile race in London..there story is an amazing one so I hope they hurry and get it out to us all!!!
Finlay ran Dallas marathon in 4 hours while talking on his phone!
Todd ran Dallas marathon with NO training in a time of 3;25...crazy man we call him:)

Day 2 of my cleanse..I feel good!

It’s dark and I can “smell the barn”. It’s been a very long day on the trail and I’m ready for it to be over. I finally see the finish line and sprint to the end. One of the race volunteers asks for my timing chip, but I just point down to my leg unable to speak a word. If they want it they’re going to have to remove it themselves. There’s no way I can bend down and remove the chip for them. I’m given a finishers medal. The nice afghan finishers blankets are no longer available. I give them my mailing address so they can send one to me. The post-race barbeque has closed up shop. Nothing to eat for this famished runner. The finish line party that was occurring a few hours ago when I was going out for my last loop has diminished to a handfull of people clapping as each runner finishes. I wander back to the club tent in the darkness to have a seat, but I can’t find the tent. The tent has been dismantled and taken away. All that’s left is my chair and drop bag in the spot it’s been in for the entire day. I sit down, lean forward, put my elbows on my knees, and the palms on each cheek of my face. My first 50-miler is complete. It took me eleven hours and fifteen minutes. Climbing Mount Rainier four months earlier was much easier than Sunmart. It’s a cold, dark morning. The humidity hangs in the air as we gather at the starting line next to Lake Raven at Huntsville State Park. It was one year ago that I ran this race and this time it’s a different feeling. I’m going to finish before dark. I will get to enjoy the post-race barbeque. And there’s still going to be afghan blankets at the finish line—I promised my 5-year old son, Harrison, I’d bring him one home from the race. He uses the blanket I got last year almost daily. He gets out of bed in the morning and wraps himself in it. He knows his daddy got it for running 50 miles last year. And he knows I’m going back to do it again this year. His special request was to get him another one. My goal for this race was vengeance for Palo Duro six weeks earlier. I wanted to break nine hours at that race, but it didn’t happen. Yes, it was a huge goal, but I believed I had it in me. I’ve got more experience now and the understanding of what it takes to get to that goal. I never planned on running Sunmart, but I needed to get under nine hours for fifty miles. When I set a goal, I do everything possible to attain it, unless it negatively impacts one crucial thing—family. If any goal in my life were to have a negative impact to my family, then reaching the goal would be pointless. It would hold no meaning except selfishness. My primary goal was to break nine hours. I didn’t have an BHAG (“big hairy ass goal”) at the start of the race, but I derived one late in the race. After the playing of the national anthem, the starting horn sounded and off we went. The first half mile is on an asphalt road before we encounter the single-track. This is helpful in spreading out the runners and avoiding a bottleneck entering the trail. I keep track of my heart rate and hold back. If I go out too fast early in the race I will surely pay for it later. Patience is key. The race is a 12.5 mile loop course through the thick pine woods of east Texas. The course makes a complete circle around a small, serene lake. Although there are 5 aid stations on the course, I only use the one located near the mid-way point. I use it only to fill my bottles with water. I’m carrying my own drink mix. Only stopping at this aid station minimizes lost clock time. I wan’t going to to anything to jeopardize my goal. The first loop is uneventful and I complete it in 2 hours 4 minutes. I stop by my drop bag, refill my bottles with the help of a friend who is not running today, but is an accomplished ultra runner, and off I go for the next loop. The second loop is uneventful. There are several of us that have been running the same pace, since the beginning. We trade positions as some stop at aid stations and others for nature breaks. I continue to keep my effort in check and power walk any up hill sections. Others pass me, albeit slowly, while I’m walking. I consider these walking sections as banking energy that I’ll need later in the race. I’m closely approaching what I estimate as the 20-mile mark. This is where I plan on increasing the effort. I patiently wait until the opportune moment and then pick up the pace. I immediately pass all the runners I’ve been hanging out with for 20 miles. A few are suprised and wondering what I’m doing. I hear the comments behind me as I continue down the trail. It feels good to run at this greater effort level. It feels like a more natural pace. The last mile into the start/finish is an out and back—one mile each way. It allows me to gauge if I have lost or gained on those ahead of me. For now, it appears everyone is in about the same spot as the first loop. One interesting thing happend on my way in to the start/finish, though. A runner goes flying past me. It was Greg Crowther, the eventual winner in 5:37, finishing his third loop. That was humbling. I finish the second loop in 2 hours 8 minutes. Again, a friend helps fill my water bottles. Off I go for the third loop. I monitor more runners during the first mile out to see how much ground I’ve gained on the runners I passed earlier. Around mile 30, my old nemesis comes back. It’s my gut and it’s not feeling good. I do my best to sustain my pace. I’ve been here before, but know my experience at Palo Duro will be invaluable in managing the problem. I continue on and hold my pace. I’ve been consistently passing runners since mile twenty. I’m confident I’m not overdoing the pace since I was conservative at the beginning of the race. It’s during these miles that the demons typically pay me a visit. Luckily, I was left alone with my thoughts. While some thoughts were negative, I quickly absconded them, and focused on visualizing crossing the finish line and getting an afghan blanket for my son. During the one mile out-and-back, I assess my position. I’ve gained significant ground on several runners. I finish the third loop in 2 hours 12 minutes. My ad hoc crew person quickly fills only one of my bottles. The other one is almost full and I plan on only drinking 3 bottles on the last loop. I don’t think my stomach can tolerate more that 60 ounces for the remainder of the race. I change into a short-sleeve shirt. It’s still in the 40’s, but feels warm to me. Off I go for my final good-bye loop. I keep up the pace on the out-and-back because I want to ensure as many runners that I’ve already passed don’t see me during this mile. I’m not racing, per se, but it’s my way of motivating myself in keeping up the pace. I do some quick calculations in my head and realize I’ve got to run the last loop under 2 hours 36 minutes to meet my goal. I start thinking how great it would be if I could set a 2.5 hour PR over last year. I was too tired mentally to calculate what finishing time that would be, but I would just run and let it sort itself out. I get to the first aid station and am desperate to get my gut better. I toss my Sharkies in the trash can and assess what’s available at the aid station. Before this moment, I was using only one aid station on the course for the entire race and that was just for water. The selection of food was mind boggling. I settled for a few pieces of potato, a fig newton, and a few jellybeans. I stop at the next aid station and grab only purple jellybeans. Next aid station, more jellybeans and some M&Ms. I finally make it to the mid-point aid station and get a refill on one of my bottles and grab more grape jellybeans. My gut feels much better and I run/walk with a guy I know from the local running club. He’s going to PR and I tell him that I will too. We start discussing if we’re going to break nine hours and he seems doubtful. This was a reality check. I picked up the pace and passed more runners. I arrive at the final aid station and need a boost. With hands on my knees bent over, I ask for a Coke. I don’t normally drink caffeine, but I’m craving it. They’re all out. The aid station volunteer is apologetic, but I told him no need to apologize for somthing he can’t control. I thanked him for helping everyone out, grab a few grape jellybeans and off I go with less than three miles to go. I’m walking all the uphills. Just a note: The uphills are not anything significant. But if it “looked” like an uphill, I was power walking it. I continue to pass runners. Then, I hear someone quickly approaching. It is a woman I passed on the second loop. I comment to her on how strong she looks. We strike up a converstaion and I pull in behind her. She is going to be my rabbit—i’m going to stay close behind her. I find out she’s completed Badwater, Leadville, and many other 100’s. She’s running all the uphills and I do the same. I tell her we’re almost to mile forty-nine. She comments that we have a chance to finish in 8:45. I look at my watch and it reads “8:37”. “That’s a tall order”, I thought. Off we go on the final mile. The only real hills on the course exist during this mile and we run them all and pass more runners along the way. A half mile from the finish, the course flattens out and I tell her I’m going to pick up the pace. Off I go and she give me words of encouragement as I run toward the finish. I ran the last mile in under eight minutes and finish with 8:45. A race volunteer removes my timing chip without hesitation. I immediately walk over to a table and grab my son’s afghan blanket. I’m given a finishers medal. I look for the woman, Anita Fromm, that helped me finish so strong. I wanted to thank her and give her a hug, but I couldn’t find her. I get to experience the post-race barbeque. I walk back to my chair in the sunshine that has finally broken through the clouds. The club tents are still there and my chair and drop bag are amongst many. What a difference one year makes.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Super Neera Cleanse for 14 days!

Happy Monday!
Below is note from Cathy who just did the cleanse for 14 good for her:)
There are so many articles out in the past few days on cleanses like this one..The great, the good, the bad and the ugly. They do change your life.

Well I started again and had to stop again but today is the day! Why has it been so hard for me this time when I did my best to motivate you all:) Being home with 2 little ones alone while Jay was gone and trying to pack just made it very difficult. The first 2 days if you have to cook for other people..and we were making Christmas cookies for Santa, is very difficult. Now Jay will be a great help with the cooking and I can keep my mind clear.
Colleen is on day 3 and others are starting today...Its not to late to order your cleanse..If you want it this time around you will have to go through me to order it.
Have a wonderful day

I did the Neera Cleanse for 14 days and Lisa asked me to write about my experience for her blog. My goals for the cleanse were to lose weight and give my digestive system a break. I lost 10 pounds and had no solid food for 14 days so I think both goals were accomplished. Since stopping the cleanse, I've found that a relatively small amount of food makes me very full. Other possible effects of the cleanse: my skin looks a little clearer, I had some leg cramps on Day 14 and the next night. I tried to do a 48 hour fast a couple years ago and had to stop after 36 hours. As they say in the book, this is not a fast. My energy levels were normal except for the last three days. Even on hard days I was never hungry like I had been during the fast.I originally planned to do nine days, but decided to try another day and then another, then it just seemed easier to finish out the week than stop. In retrospect, I really think 9-11 days is a good length. My energy level has declined noticeably each day since Day 11 and I had an easy training week.As far as the cleanse, Day 3 was the hardest. I was very hungry and had low energy. Much of the day I felt like I would not be able to continue. On Day 5 I started getting bored with the liquid diet and wanted solid food. That lasted through Day 7. Every 3rd Day seemed harder than the others and Day 9 was also not a great day. Most days after Day 9, I was less hungry than I had been the first 9 days. On Day 10 I wasn't very hungry and didn't drink much, but in the evening I was hungry and didn't drink and had a really bad night. I followed the book for the most part with a few exceptions. I only drank the Neera tea the first two nights. It seemed unnecessary in addition to the morning salt water, and I figured it gave my system more of a break at night. I tried to limit the amount of fresh squeezed orange juice to one orange a day, a few days I mixed it with the juice of one grapefruit. I didn't have orange/grapefruit juice everyday. I drank a lot of peppermint tea. I also drank a lot of Guayaki chocolate flavor mate tea which probably does not qualify as herbal tea. I mixed some rice syrup in the drink for some of my workouts. I did this mainly because I knew the amount of syrup in two cans was not going to get me through nine days, and I was trying to stretch it out. After a few long/hard workouts early in the cleanse, I had about a tablespoon of soy protein powder in orange juice to give me 10-15g of protein. I averaged around 9 drinks a day, but on days when I trained more than 2 hours I drank more; maybe 15-20oz per hour. Around Day 9 I ran out of Neera syrup and started using Grade B maple syrup with a little molasses. Molasses provides some of the same nutrients palm syrup does, and it makes the taste similar to the Neera. Over the two weeks I went through 2 cans of Neera Syrup, almost 2 qts of Grade B Maple Syrup, about 12oz of molasses, 8 oz of rice syrup and around 80 lemons and limes.I am going off the cleanse as described in the book. Today is Day 2 of that and I have to say that I felt terrible during my workout, but ok the rest of the day. I guess I won't know for sure if it was a success until a few weeks have passed.Another great benefit of the cleanse: Now I know how to make lemonade!! :)Good wishes to everyone doing the cleanse!-Cathy

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I truly believe

We should never give up on our hopes and dreams. The path may be rocky and twisted, but the world is waiting for that special contribution each of us was born to make. What it takes is the courage to follow those whispers of wisdom that guide us from the inside. When I listen to that, I expect nothing less than miracle. -Marilyn J. Kondwani-

Hi Lisa,

I’m off to pick Wanda up at the hospital and take her home!!! She hasn’t been outside for 17 days and we have a cloudless sunny day to welcome her arrival home. Not one inch of snow has melted since it fell and she’ll arrive home to a white winter wonderland. We have the house all decorated!

While Wanda’s survival is a true miracle, her ability to heal and the degree of her recovery has also been miraculous. Please thank Sister MB and all those that you reached out to for prayer, and tell them that God certainly listened to their prayers and blessed us all with His mercy; for the world is a much better place while Wanda is here in it, and she is only here now because of a true miracle and the grace of God.

Love to all!

Michael (my brother)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Desert Races - Great Challenge to think about!

A desert stage race in our back yard. If you are thinking about running the MDS and want a practice run or you are not able to travel to the MDS, this is the race for you!!!

For the fourth consecutive year, Gemini Adventures will hold Desert R.A.T.S. (Race Across the Sand) June 17-23, 2007. The race traverses Kokopelli's trail from western Colorado to Moab, UT (148 miles) over six days. While the format is similar to MDS, it's a great introduction to desert stage racing, as race management transports sleeping gear and its cost and proximity make it quite attainable.

As a primer for this, or any warm weather event you're training for, the Desert R.A.T.S. Spring Desert Ultra Trail Running Festival, April 19-22, is a good option. Choose from races between 5 and 50 miles (all on the Kokopelli's trail network) or stay for the whole festival. For just $100, you can attend three seminar sessions that Lisa Smith-Batchen will be leading, compete in back to back races on Saturday and Sunday, attend the awards ceremony, featuring guest speaker Marshall Ulrich, and, of course, get a great shirt. The seminar content will cover everything you need to know to prepare for desert running and stage races - including what to eat, what to pack and how to train.

For more information, contact Reid Delman at 303-249-1112 or or visit

Make sure you tell Reid that Lisa sent you :)

I hope to see you all in the desert!!!:):)

Christmas with Grandma

Love this!

Happy Holidays
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visither on the day my big nrother dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," he jeered. "Even dummies know that!" My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true. Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm.Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go." "Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous, cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buysomething for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. Thestore seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs.Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas presentfor someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes," I replied shyly. "It's .... for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it -- Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. Thatnight, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Amazing people!

Good morning! It is a bright sunny morning here in the Tetons..I know the ski resorts must be praying for snow and I hope for there sake it does snow but for selfish old me I love the sunny bright days:):)

One of my best friends from grade school has just finished her last round of chemo (breast cancer). Her spirit and attitude have been so amazing let alone her humor. Below is a email she sent out..#5 sent me off balling!
So now for 5 reasons why chemo is great:

1. You can take all the cash you saved on hair color and cuts, and buy something you really want. And not another wig.

2. No need to shave, anywhere. It is clear and smooth.

3. Finally you can beat your family in the amount of time to get ready for the day, just shower, and shake the wig and poof out the door.

4. Spiritually, the Lord holds me closer than ever before and allows me to see his purpose more often.

5. Lastly, the determination to make a difference in all the dimensions of my life. Exercise, diet, less stress, more relaxing, by focusing on God above rather than the things here on earth. Chemo laid my life down so that I might pick it up again in a new and healthy way.

Next is an update email from a client who is new to ultra running but is doing very well and was selected for Western States 100! Cyrus has decided to run WS with a purpose, assisting families with autistic children.
I hope you will all follow his goal to help raise money and join in on the efforts.

Hello Lisa and Jay,

had a great and very tough trail marathon this past Saturday. The hilliest course I have run so far (even more so than the 50 miler) and had to adjust mentally on what my gameplan was to be. I went from a 5 hour goal to sticking with our plan of pw big hills, run the rest and keep steady pace. I ran the first 6.5 miles in 67 minutes and knew that I would not be able to keep up the pace (not enough hill work) so patiently attacked the uphills and tried to monitor my nutrition and fluid intake. Had only 3.5 hours of sleep and drove thru the early morning to arrive at the race just before the start. My son, Ari, who has had some recent seizures had another one early Friday morning at school. We went to the school with the paramedics, then to the hospital and were sent home within 2 hours. Was struggling whether to run the next day, and was reassured by the doctors that he was fine and if anything happened again (very very doubtful) he would be in good hands. So with mixed emotions I made my way south to Bloomington Indiana.

Very muddy, many stream crossings and over 3,800 feet of ascent and descent. The hills were tough, the mud was at every corner. I fortunately purchased a pair of gaiters which kept the mud and debris out of my shoes. I took no spills and ran a faster 2nd half (2:50 v. 3:26).

The hot cocoa at mile 19 got me kick started to the finish. I ran the last 7 miles in with a young man named Rob. We kept our minds busy with what type of soup (potato, vegetable or chicken noodle) was awaiting us at the finish, it was vegetable and very yummy. We must have passed over 10 people with no one passing us (either a sign of our finishing kick or a reflection that everyone else had already finished the race). I believe in the former. I felt good with my race execution and flexibility, not getting caught up in time and focusing on race strategy, especially with the extreme hills ( I know, nothing compared to what I will encounter at Western States) and my lack of hill work.

I was thinking during the entire race about my son and what steps we need to take to figure out his seizures and autism. A run thru the woods seemed so simple in comparison. Actually, I believe my attraction to endurance events is that this is a race and process that I can control, manage and conquer. My son's situation requires a little bit more delicate and subtle approach, which I am getting better at.

On the way home I heard your voicemail informing me that I got in the Western States race. I am so excited about the opportunity and challenge. I know that I have 6 months of training to get in the best shape of my life. I am looking forward to the process and interested in what rigorous training you will have me do. I plan on kicking off my 501(c)(3) assisting families with autistic children by raising funds with my WS100 race. Cannot think of any better cause to help me get thru the 24 hours of running, walking and praying this upcoming June. I initially wanted to finish under 30 hours to become an " official finisher", but have been constantly thinking about doing it under 24 hours and getting the coveted "buckle". I know that today "buckling" is not possible, but with your assistance over the next 6 months, anything is achievable. I think my body can handle the stress, the question will be whether my mind can get me thru the rough patches.

Thank you Lisa for being so encouraging in your words and your deeds. Running a 50 miler was a crazy dream last May and now 6 months later, I am getting ready to run 100 miles thru the Sierras. Lisa, looking forward to meeting you and Jay in person (maybe at the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Texas) and game planning about WS100.


I leave you today with this:

"YOU make a living by what you GET, YOU make a LIFE by what you GIVE"

Have a blessed day

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Help if you can

Dear friends and family,

This letter just came to me from our friend Ben who is an amazing young man. Ben ran the MDS with us 2 years ago. Please read this letter and if you can help please do. It is a good time of the year to think and help others and reflect on how much we all have.
Happy Holidays

Hey guys,If you remember, I have been sponsoring a girl from the Phillippines since I graduated in 2003. The typhoon they had there says there are possibly thirty children that have died, out of about 36,000 (!). I´m not sure at this time what has happened and to who, but please try to give a few dollars to their rescue efforts at their website on the email below. BEN PENNINGTON---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Children International < >Date: Dec 5, 2006 2:32 PMSubject: Sponsored Children Lost to Devastating Philippines TyphoonTo:

Dear Ben,
A tragic event has struck the Philippines…Typhoon Durian ripped through the island country four days ago and more than 30 sponsored children are still unaccounted for and are feared dead. Durian was the fourth major typhoon to hit the country in the last few months and, according to staff who were there, one of the worst in decades. Thick mud, boulders and walls of debris swallowed entire communities, destroying homes and lives; many of the families living there were already struggling just to survive each day. When Mary Rose, a staff member in Tabaco, was finally able to contact us, she said sponsorship communities "took a direct hit and…suffered massive damage. The streets are littered with debris and a lot of families have lost their homes." Because many parts of the Albay province where Children International sponsors more than 36,000 children are still inaccessible and remain without electricity or phone service, I'm sorry to say that we have no more specific information at this time. Even though conditions are complicating local efforts, our staff are working tirelessly to complete a census of sponsored families and will provide us with that information as soon as they can. What we know for sure is that many of the families ravaged by Durian have nothing left. Their homes and in many cases, their loved ones were swept away…their lives forever changed by this catastrophic event. It's especially heartbreaking to think this is how so many sponsored families will spend their holidays…mourning their losses and slowly trying to put the pieces of their broken lives back together. And though the pledges of aid from around the world are a good start, these families need all the help they can get…and all the help we can give them. That's why we have to do what we can now. Not just for recovery efforts, but in helping sponsored families rebuild. Each of us can do something to help the families in the Philippines right now…by giving generously to our recovery and rebuilding efforts! While Children International is not a relief agency, I believe we are obligated to do all we can to help sponsored families when their lives are devastated by tragedy. With that in mind, our board of directors has already authorized the release of emergency funds…unfortunately, even with this extra funding, we can't cover all the expenses, which could run into the millions of dollars. That's why I'm asking you to make a contribution right now. Anything you can give will make a difference in our relief and rebuilding efforts. Families need immediate necessities, including food, water, medicine, clothing and shelter. Then they'll need help with putting their lives and their homes back together. In their time of need, we must be by their sides helping them pick up the pieces. And with your help, we will. So please, give what you can…$20, $200 or $2,000, or more if you can, and help sponsored families make a new start. With thanks, Jim CookPresidentP.S. We will send you more information about this tragedy in a few days. In the meantime, you can go to our website at or call us at 1-800-888-3089 for the latest updates or to make a donation to the Philippines Emergency Fund.
All contents © 2006 by Children International,2000 East Red Bridge Road, Kansas City, MO 64131800-888-3089 /

Good articles to share!

Below are 2 good articles that I think are worth reading!

The first one is why it is so important to get your children the flu shot and then 2nd one is about nutrition during endurance events.

And I leave you today with a beautiful quote!

People say what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. – Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Great women doing great things!

Our Jacquline Florine who crewed for me during the Badwater double and who just ran her first 100 mile race last month is featured in this article!!! You rock Miss Jackie. We are all so proud of you for all that you do to make this world a better place..

The article below is wonderful to. I won't tell you what it's about just read it!

We have sold our house! While I was gone visiting my father we got a full price offer on our house, which does not happen very often. Needless to say we have to be moved out by Jan. 5th!
At first I felt a bit sad about having to move in the winter but I have a great attitude about it all.
My IT band is still to painful to run on and my plan was to take the month of Dec. off from training anyway. You see God always has the best plan, we just cant see it. I will spin on the bike some and swim but no running. This leaves me with time to clean out all the closets and rooms.
The past few days have been a joy giving things away to others that can use what we are not.
I keep hearing, you can sell that, you can sell that and get good money for it.
I have been given so much in my life, it feels good to clean out and give, give and give. It wont hurt to give all of the things we are not using away it will cleanse the soul and make you feel happy! If you live near us, stop by..I am sure I have something to give to you to.

Have a great day

** you might wonder where we are going to move to??? we are going to rent a house for the winter until we figure that out. One day and one step at a time.

Monday, December 04, 2006

JFK update

Good morning! Below is a wonderful story of Joe's JFK race! Joe is the one who does all of his training pushing his 3 son's in a stroller:)
Most say they don't have time to train having 1-2 kids..but Joe does it with 3 triplets and set a NEW PB by several minutes.
Joe you rock and you give us all no excuse:)

Have a great day

JFK – 2006
Joe Galioto’s Summary

Last Saturday (11/18/06) I ran the JFK 50 Mile Ultra-marathon, which was held in Hagerstown, Maryland. It was the 44th running of this race, which started when President JFK challenged the military to run 50 miles in less than 14 hours, thereby making it the longest running ultramarathon in the US. It was the 6th consecutive time for me so there weren't any real surprises with what to expect, though some unexpected events occurred which presented their own challenges. But before I get into my race, let me provide some detail about the course.

The course starts off on a well paved road that travels 2.5 miles and climbs up 500 feet to meet the Appalachian Trail. The next 13 miles (except for two miles of paved road between 3.5 and 5.5 miles) follow this rolling and sometimes very rocky section of the famous North-South footpath. At approximately 14.5 miles the course goes down a series of steep switchbacks that then crosses under Rt. 340 and connects with the C&O Canal towpath. The Canal section is 26.3 miles of almost totally flat unpaved dirt surface that is free of all automotive traffic. The route leaves the C&O Canal towpath at Dam #4 and proceeds to follow gently rolling paved country roads the last 8.4 miles to the uphill finish – there really is no mercy.

To get to the starting line, you have to walk/run a ½ mile from the high school where the pre-race briefing takes place, but the really cool thing is that there is no assigned starting line location. So, my friend and I walked right to the front where I chatted with Ian Torrence, Eric Clifton, David Horton and Serge England-Arbona (all ultra running legends) before the gun went off. Once the gun sounded, the elite took off at sub 6-minute pace and the rest of us wished each other luck and made small talk as we ran and/or walked that first 2.5 miles at our own comfortable pace - no one was trampled , pushed or shoved. And, we were cheered on by (my own count of) approximately 30 locals, families and friends.

My goal for this race was to set a PR, which would mean better than 10:15. Ideally, I wanted to break 10 hours, but realistically my training has been limited to a few long runs with the club, running intervals on my treadmill and pushing my boys in their stroller several times a week for 4 miles along the Columbia Trail. Nonetheless, I was confident as I had actually accumulated more miles in my legs than previous years, albeit they were achieved differently (i.e., fewer long runs).

So, when the starting gun went off, so did I. For that first 2.5 miles, which is so steep and is probably the equivalent of running up Philhower Road in Califon, I ran where I could and power-walked the steepest sections so that I could get onto the trail section as quickly as possible. I am a strong trail runner and wanted to use the trail to gain as much time as possible. However, since it is fairly narrow in most sections thereby making passing difficult without someone moving off the path, I figured that the sooner I reached it the better off I would be. I got there in around 27 minutes. I was happy with this and actually entered the trail ahead of several more runners who stopped to change clothes, use Porto-Sans, etc.

Once I hit the trail, which starts off downhill, I started to fly. The people around me were running a good pace and I stayed with them, running an approximate 8:30-9:00 minute mile pace. At around mile 9 I turned my ankle. I stopped, walked on it a bit, tighten my shoelaces, and then started to run again, albeit a little gingerly. After about a mile, it felt fine so I started to pick up my pace again. I caught up to the group that I had been running with and started to cruise again. Unfortunately, I turned my ankle again. This time it was worse and I actually fell down. The other runners whom I was running with stopped and helped me up, offered assistance and basically ensured I was fine before continuing on their own again. I was surprised that I turned the ankle again because the trail wasn't terrible in this section but I wasn't in extreme pain either so I continued. I always carry a few Advil with me and I planned to take one once I reached the next aid station and could refill my water bottle. As there was approximately 2+ miles of trail remaining and the precarious switchback section was just ahead, I decided to (mostly) walk the remaining trail. I stepped aside for everyone who wanted to pass and accepted that I would lose time here but it was better than hurting my ankle again and risk not finishing. Once off the trail, I was relieved and ready to continue the run. The Advil kept the swelling in check and – thankfully - it never bothered me again (A post-race visit to the doctor revealed a grade 1 ankle sprain - nothing torn, just some residual swelling and soreness).

The next section: 26.3 miles along the C&O Canal. This is a very picturesque place with the Potomac River on the left, trees, rocks and the occasional National Landmark (like Harpers Ferry) on the right. The only thing that took away from the beauty of this section, which is the equivalent of running along the Columbia Trail, was the stiff headwind. I immediately thought to myself, “I hope we don't have this wind for the full 26 miles.” I put my sunglasses on, as the wind was irritating, and just ran, and luckily, the wind died down after 7 miles or so.

My goal was to alternate a run/walk pattern of 8 minutes run and 2 minutes walk but after doing this a handful of times, I decided that my body wasn’t comfortable with this and switched to a ratio of 6 and 2. I held this pace for the entire canal. I didn’t encounter any problems during this section and basically enjoyed my run. I flipped-flopped pace with a few people and even caught up to a few that had passed me during that last section of the trail. I’m not really sure what pace I was running but it felt comfortable to me. The highlight was catching my friends, who had started 2 hours before me, at around mile 37 (note: the race has two starting times to accommodate slower runners). I didn’t expect to catch them so I was really excited when I saw them and started running a little faster. Mile 38 is always a highlight because the folks who maintain the Mile 38 Aid Station really go all out. They call themselves 38 Special and they have all sought of food available, including bagels, gummy bears, fruit, turkey sandwiches, potatoes and chicken noodle soup. I indulged in some soup, enjoying the saltiness of it.

When I reached the end of the Canal, I knew that I was really close to breaking 10 hours but the final 8+ miles were going to be tough. I continued to pass people and flipped-flopped pace with others who were in a similar run/walk pattern. I felt comfortable with no muscle soreness or other aches so I just continued to run my pace and pushed where I felt comfortable. With about a half mile left, you can see the finish line at the top of slight incline/hill and as I got closer, could hear all the people screaming – it’s really exciting and probably one of a handful of places on the course where people gather to cheer you on. I looked at the time-clock and realized that sub-10 was not to be, but I still set a PR by 11 minutes and beat last year’s time by 21 minutes. I smiled as I ran across the line in 10:04:25.

After chatting with some of the runners I finished with, I collected my clothing bag, had some food and then went back out to the finish line to cheer on my friends and the other finishers for the next two hours. There’s nothing more inspirational than watching a runner who’s been on the course for nearly 14 hours come across the line just before the cut-off.

All-in-all, I was very pleased with my race and I'm already thinking about next year. Click on the link below (you may need to copy and paste it into your browser) for photos of me on the course and crossing the finish line.

Friday, December 01, 2006

amazing quote to share

Happy Friday!!

This quote is wonderful!!!

I hope you all have a great weekend full of peace, love and joy!!!

"... Perhaps the genius of ultra-running is itssupreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships andsupercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and nofame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles andphilosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life thanlogic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And theyknow something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhapsbetter than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open withphysical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer acall from the deepest realms of their being -- a call that asks who they are..." ~David Blaikie