Fit & Healthy
How it all started . . .
So how did a self-proclaimed non-runner find herself registered as number 67 for one of the toughest endurance races in the world, the Himalayan 100? After riding the cancer rollercoaster and successfully kicked its butt, I discovered that I can and want to do so much more than I ever thought possible. . .
Day 1 – February 26, 2009 at the White Rock Boathouse in Dallas and 28 Pounds Heavier than Today
The journey to fitness and health started in February 2009. After making a serious committment to getting in shape, I was referred by Sam Leake of Lone Star Row to sport/wellness physiologist, Darvin McBrayer. With extensive metabolic on an indoor rowing machine, and general fitness testing, he showed me how you can use science to tailor a fitness program unique to your own body’s aerobic and anaerobic processes. Rowing faithfully to the metabolic based guidelines I dropped from 145 to 132 lbs in less than 3 months!
DAY OF CHANGE: Being more lean brought an unexpected find as in May 2009 – drying after a shower… I discovered a small lump in my breast that I probably would not have felt if I had not lost body fat I had in February. Note: I had just had a “clear” mammogram in December 2008. And on June 9th, 2009 at 8:30am my doctor called to tell me the biopsy came back as cancer. At that moment my life changed forever.
My fitness training ceased as two lumpectomies and radiation treatment took its toll. Times were tough but family, friends and luck kept me together for the duration. Finally I was given permission to resume exercise by Fall 2009. Rowing was my ticket to a new me… but my exercise guy introduced me to a “winter” fitness concept: NORDIC WALKING. This is a very simple activity, walking with a type of ski pole – made for land. Discovering Nordic Power Walking has been a true revelation. I never knew that one can achieve exceptional fitness results with this low trauma impact sport.
Endurance & Adventure Racing Keeps Me Fit!
Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race – October 2010
I was searching for the ultimate physical and emotional challenge that I realistically could train for and complete. After researching many endurance events all over the world, I found the Himalayan 100 Stage Race. There was an instant connection and the more I read about the event the more I knew that it was the place I wanted to be on October 23, 2010!
I received and e-mail from Mr Pandey, the race director (check out their website www.Himalayan.com with the following description:
The Primitive Trail of the World: A Journey of Rediscovery
During the Race, views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga (4 out of 5 of the world’s highest peaks) are visible. Regardless of your level of ability – whether a 10K, marathon, or ultramarathon runner – you can run at your own pace. There are no age limits or stage cutoff times. Five daily stages of 24 – 20 – 26 – 13 – 17 miles (Oct. 23 – 30, 2010) are designed for middle distance runners. Alternating running and walking, you can easily take in mountain views, catch a glimpse of national Park wildlife, and chat with villagers at fully stocked aid stations every few miles. This event was first held in 1991.
There are thousands of mountain trails in the world. But the Himalayan Stage Race trail is a primitive and characteristic trail regarded by runners and walkers as it offers an opportunity to experience the culture, heritage of thousands of years, religion, peculiar customs and traditions besides the thrilling adventure enjoyment.
Himalayan 100 results: I came 47 out of 63! Total time 35 hours and 28 minutes!
El Misti Volcano, Arequipa, Peru – May 2011
The mountain I had a score to settle with! It took almost 2 years to be back and this time I stood on the summit at 19,100 feet (5,800 meters) instead of seeign it from the window of the intensive care after I was told I had a heart attack and that half of my heart had died!
Here is the link to the whole story . . . and, in the end, it was a heart virus, pericarditis.
The GORE-TEX® TransRockies Run course runs from Buena Vista to Beaver Creek, through the heart of the White River and San Isabel National Forests. The course includes a mix of singletrack and forest road with nearly 25,000 feet of elevation gain, reaching altitudes of over 12,500 ft. Six stages. Six days. Six reasons.
Everyone comes to an endurance race for his or her own personal reasons. For some it will be the pursuit of a new and truly authentic experience, some will be looking to set a new benchmark for their life, and some will simply show up for some amazing, outrageous fun. What they all can count on is that the GORE-TEX® TransRockies Run will set the stage, and stages, for them to pursue their goals.
I finished in 41 hours and cherish my medal and finisher shirt and I will keep the memory close . . . click here for my TransRockies story.
New York City Marathon – November 2011
I ran for Team Hole in the Wall. They enable terminally ill kids to attend summer camp while continuing to receive medical care at camp. 215 charity runners raised more than $880,000! You can still make a small donation and we can share in the joy of knowing that we are helping to create memories that will last a lifetime for a child with a serious illness. Click on the “Good Causes” link above to learn more and consider a donation. Your support means the world to them! Thank you, Henda Salmeron
Kalahari Augrabies Extreme 155 Mile Marathon – October 2012
South-Africa’s “Big Daddy”! The South African Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon, a unique race filled with adventure and determination, will once again be held in the beautiful and contrasting landscape of the Northern Cape’s “Green Kalahari”.
The Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon is a self-sufficiency run held over six legs in seven days with set distances for each day, ranging from 28km to 75km. Participants must carry all their supplies, clothes and compulsory safety/survival equipment for the duration of the event. Overnight shelter in camps, and water, which is strictly controlled and distributed during the race, is supplied. The event goes way beyond merely covering 250 kilometers in extreme conditions; it is a challenge to get past what normal people would regard as crazy, and achieve one’s personal goals.
Race results: I did not finish and withdrew from the race on Day 2 when it was 122 degrees in the shade.
Grand To Grand 170 Mile Self Supported Race – September 2013
It is the first stage race to start from the awe inspiring north rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and finish on the summit of the Grand Staircase, one of the world’s most iconic geological formations. The course takes you through a high desert landscape of sand dunes, red rock canyons, buttes, mesas and hoodoos. You will navigate compelling slot canyons and experience the remotest part of continental America in the way of the earliest settlers, Navajo and Paiute Indian tribes. This is where Montezuma’s gold is still reputed to be buried.
Observe nature up close in an environment rich in flora and wildlife – from unusual and threatened cacti to big horn sheep to the endangered California Condor, the largest bird in America.
Challenge yourself in the company of an international group of participants who are all eager to complete a world-class course, one which has been experienced by few adventurers.
Race Results: I completed the race!