Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


If you draw a timeline of your life -- from birth to, say, 85 years old -- a dot at age 45 is only halfway down the journey.  There's a lot of life still to live.  A lot of things to start and a lot of things to finish on the second half of that timeline.   A lot of time to... BECOME. 

Which is why I love this:
My dear friend Liz Eaton** designed this bracelet.  She found the quote on my blog a few days ago and whipped this up for me in her spare time.  (With three kids under four her time is, indeed, precious).

I like that this bracelet reminds me to try every day to become a better person.   I like that it reminds me to to try harder and make time for the things I think are important in life. 

So what is it that you want to become?  It's never too late.   A one-hundred-year-old man just finished a marathon in India.  My father became a competitive cyclist at at 70.  Diana Nyad attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida.  She was 62.  

It's time to seize the day, friends.  It's time to take the first step.  Decide today what YOU you want to be.  'Cause there is a lot of life to live.  And excuses just aren't gonna fly with me. 

Ready.  Set.  Go!

**Liz is a professional jewelry designer with a degree in metal arts.  Check out her etsy shop here and browse through her amazing collection.  And if you have a mantra of your own, let her know.  She does custom stuff as well. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall In Love

Fall has hit it's peak in the Utah mountains last week.  The trees were on fire and the Aspen leaves covered the ground with their golden petals.  From a distance the mountains looked as if they were covered in a wooly orange and brown blanket.  But inside the trees, the trails were thick with golden sunlight and soft with cushions of leaves.  I felt like Dorothy following the path of the yellow brick road....  
Can't stop smiling on the Mid Mountain Trail  
Abandoned Mine 
Breaking through the dense trails to spectacular views
Spiro Mine Trail -- There are mines throughout the mountains in Park City

Alpine Loop
More from Alpine Loop
I got lucky to hit the foliage in such a glowing and magnificent state.  It won't last long.  Winter is coming.  But for today, I was thankful to witness God's artistic handiwork.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

R2R(2R) In Review

If a picture's worth a thousand words, let me sum up my experience this weekend with this:

I mean, really.  Take a minute.   

This shot is a view of the starting point for our Rim to Rim hike last weekend.  The Bright Angel Trailhead weaves its way from the South Rim, (think high desert, touristy and spectacular views), down the canyon, past campgrounds, the mighty Colorado River, and Phantom Ranch, and up to the North Rim, with majestic pines, aspens and oaks. It's 24 miles from one starting point to the other, and there are just as many ways to hike this amazing trail.

Our adventure was a culmination of planning and preparation by a friend in Utah, who had organized a posse of 20.  Some were hiking from North to South on Friday only to turn around and hike back to the North Rim the next day.  Others were starting from South and going to North on Saturday, bringing fresh legs and happy attitudes to join their weary friends. The beauty of this plan meant there were options for everyone to drive or hike depending on how they felt, as there were cars at both ends of the canyon.

To finish the hike in a respectable hour, we left at 5 a.m. with layers and headlamps.  The darkness below us was dotted with tiny moving lights of other hikers who had left even earlier than us.  And so it began.  Down, down, down, we went.  By first light, we hit Indian Gardens campground where campers were just waking.  We then pushed further along until we hit the expansive and mighty Colorado River.  The water was churning and frothing a river of chocolate, reminding us of the power that this river possessed.  

We crossed the canyon on the first of several suspension bridges that spanned the mighty water.  And as the trail bottomed out, we picked up our pace to a run, taking advantage of the flatter terrain.  About 10 miles into our journey we reached Phantom Ranch.  Here is where North hikers cross paths with South hikers for a sit, a stretch, a bite to eat, or a glass of "Lemmy" lemonade (delicious).  There were many groups and individuals passing through, including a group wearing R2R TonyFest 2011 t-shirts.  Had we miss Tony Robbins along our journey?  A quick foot dip into the icy off stream and we were off.  

A few more miles of slightly uphill terrain led us to Cottonwood rest area, or the last of our low-heart-rate miles.  From here on out it would be uphill climbing for the next several hours. And here is where we learned a few things about hiking R2R.

Hiking Poles:  Yes!  We all agreed that the poles helped engage the arms for momentum and took pressure off the knees.  Unless you are going to run more than you walk in the canyon, poles are worth it.

GPS:  Unnecessary.  My 310XT lost satellite frequently when I was in the depths of the canyon, giving me the wrong mileage while I was on the trail.  When I was actually at mile 18, my Garmin was reading 22, which put a mental funk in my spirits.  I kept thinking we were close to being done and it WAS NOT SO.  *At this point is it mentally taxing to ask those coming the other way how far it was to the top.  Nobody has any accurate gauge and it only messes with your mind when people give you the wrong information.

Camelback or Hand Held Water Bottles:  Both.  Our group had all levels of participants.  The fast and the furious took only gels in their pockets and water bottles in each hand.  One bottle was for liquids and was refilled at water stations along the way.  The other was filled with pre-measured amounts of Perpetuem sports drink to add to the other bottle as necessary.  This strategy worked for most of the hike until the last stretch of the climb, where one fellow hiker ran out of water and had to be saved by his friend who was wearing a Camelback.  And as for Camelbacks, we agreed that the best hydration systems were the ones that had mesh pockets on the front of the pack, where bars and nutrition were easily accessible.  It was a pain to take off your pack every time you needed something to eat.   

Nutrition:  Our group used only sports bars, gels, blocks and drinks to get us through the day.  We did not stop for sandwiches or food at Phantom Ranch.  This seemed to work well, though I would advise taking extra gels for the uphill section of the hike as this was a quick and easy way to ingest calories. AND, more than one of us smelled the citrus scent of a hiker who had stopped along the way to peel and eat an orange.  Believe me when I say that biting into an orange has never sounded so sweet.  I will be packing fruit next time I go.

Run vs. Hike:  Both.  It was fun to speed our way through the canyon.  And it was nice to finish the hike in the mid-afternoon, leaving time to shower and have a hearty dinner at the Jacob's Lake Inn that night.  But on the flip-side, it would be very fun to mosey -- take your time, breathe in the canyon air, spend the night at a campground or at Phantom Ranch.  I would suggest making your first attempt at R2R with an experienced hiker.  Our friend, or King of the Canyon as we called him, was an experienced Rim To Rimmer.  He gave us all the information we needed to know before we started the adventure, including nutrition and hydration requirements, packing lists, hike suggestions and routes and final meeting and hotel reservations.  

Up, up, up we went.  Just when you couldn't step one more foot forward, you'd turn and see another switchback and a tiny hiker way in the distance inching his way  up an even higher spot on the trail.  Hour after hour, the trail narrowed the and rugged scenery began change.  Amid towering forest pine trees bold blasts of color awakened the senses -- red, orange and yellow oak trees splashed across the mountainsides.  Aspens and evergreens clung to the edges of last mile of the trail.  What an extreme change from the high desert sagebrush on the South Rim to the cool temperatures and pines of the North.  

Around the last bend, our friends greeted each other with high fives and shouts of joy.  We had conquered the canyon -- some of us twice.  And walking like a cripple the following day was worth every ounce of energy it took to make it out of that spectacularly grand canyon.  There's a reason it's been named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.  This place is special.  It has a deeply spiritual and peaceful atmosphere around it.  It challenges the human spirit and leaves us wanting more.  This is not a one-and-done hike.  We will return and conquer you again.  

But for today, I'm just gonna try and make it down the stairs in my house.  
Our trusy leader Brandon, aka King of the Canyon

The beginning
Regroup and refuel
Never ending uphill

And... no photos at the end.  My arms were too tired to hold up a camera.  Imagine many happy hikers with sweat on their brows and smiles on their faces, ready for a hot shower a hot meal and hot slice of Jacob's Lake apple pie.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A New Look

So how do you like the new look of Lorie's Dream Big?  What's your vote, ya-way or no-way?  I'm liking it and have to thank the very talented Adam Record for his artistic touch in sprucing things up for the fall season.

In other news, I just returned from the magnificent Grand Canyon, where 20 pals and I hiked rim to rim, (and some went for a third rim) this weekend.  More details to come, but I'm telling you now, this hike should be on your Bucket List.  It is an amazing, spiritual, spectacular, dazzing spot on the map.  I will never be the same.

Stay tuned for tomorrow....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gorilla Athletes -- Do This!

Even if you're not an athlete with Gorilla Multisport, this article provides some great advice for everyone.  Keep a journal or take note of what works or what doesn't in your training.  Make your past work for your future.  Thank you for this article:  

What Your Coach Really Wants to Know...

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you use TrainingPeaks or some other piece of software to track your workouts. You may even have a coach that is looking at the information. But let’s be honest, when you fill in all that information (or decide not to) are you being honest with yourself? And with your coach? While each coach will likely request slightly different information depending on your goals and their methodology (and they should let you know up front what they want to see), there are some basic things that you should record. If you are your own coach, this is just as important so you have information when you review your workout history.

1) Your data! If you use one of the hundred different data capturing devices on the market (HR monitor, GPS, power meter), upload the data. While summary information can be helpful, the actual data file is going to be the most useful for your coach, especially with the data analysis functionality of TrainingPeaks and software like WKO+. It should be as easy as the click of a button to get your data uploaded. If you don’t use “high-tech gadgets” you should at least be using a watch.

2) How you felt during the workout. There are many different ways to capture this (Rate of Perceived Exertion, either on a 1-10 or 6-20 scale), or you can be more creative with your choice of terms- “legs felt like they could go for hours.” Or “really struggled with the last interval - legs felt very heavy.”  It’s best to avoid the overused phrase “workout was good” and the more information you can provide, the better. It’s fine to say a workout didn’t go well because you stayed up too late the night before (honesty!). Also, if you are doing intervals, rate each interval and recovery interval. This information along with any data you uploaded will help your coach see how you are responding to the training. Then they can make appropriate adjustments.

3) Your nutrition/hydration for the workout. This information will help you and/or your coach nail your nutrition and hydration plan. This information is helpful to interpret #1 and #2. If you didn’t drink anything and your power dropped off in your last interval, perhaps it was dehydration. Or they see your average speed and heart rate dropped off the last 40 minutes of a long ride but you had your last gel 90 minutes before the end of the ride. In TrainingPeaks you can track your meals along with the time of day it was consumed. If you aren’t tracking your meals that way, you can just write the information in the Post-Activity comments.

4) Any modifications you made to the workout and why. If you miss a workout, cut something short, extend it out, or change what was planned, tell your coach. And more importantly, tell them why! It can be as simple as “I was tired so I slept in,” or “one of my kids was sick so I couldn’t get to the pool.” Workouts are in a training plan for a reason, so when you deviate, your coach needs to know why. Even if you are your own coach, track this information, as it will help you realize your actual training commitment and other obligations that can interfere.

Be honest with yourself and your coach. Don’t be shy, as coaches are people too and understand that life happens. Err on the side of too much information - they’ll let you know when it’s too much. The above information will help you and your coach piece together what works and what doesn’t in your training so that you can move towards your performance goals as quickly as possible! Because that’s why you track your workouts, right?

Friday, October 7, 2011

N.O.W. Moments: How Many Have You Had?

Phil Keoghan, host of
The Amazing Race
Phil Keoghan's book No Opportunity Wasted, makes you want to bungee jump and sail around the world.  I love this excerpt, which is his mantra in life, as well.  

What is a N.O.W. moment?  Think of it as an immortal memory.  Something you did that stays with you.  It makes you smile when you remember it, and you tend to tell others about it years later.  It was a singular experience in your life.  It needn't have been a momentous accomplishment.  A friend recalls discovering a golf driving range in the Caribbean that faced out toward a beautiful ocean horizon.  At sunset, he got himself a tropical drink in a plastic cup and spent the next glorious half-hour sipping his drink and driving golf balls into the golden setting sun.

That's a "N.O.W. moment," and he made it happen by being alert to the possibilities.  Occasionally, such moments are handed to us by fate (the birth of a child, for example).  But those are relatively rare.  If you want more N.O.W. moments, you must shape and create them, using ordinary moments as your clay.

So let's take stock:  How many immortal moments in your life can you think of?  Jot them down on a piece of paper.  Take some time to think about this.  Mull it over, and ask your friends and family if necessary.  When you've exhausted your memory, see how many moments you have written down.  And ask yourself:  Am I content with the number of N.O.W. moments I've had?  If you've come up with, say, 10 moments, that doesn't seem too bad -- except when you consider how many minutes you've lived in, say, the past 25 years (to be exact that would be 13,148,640 minutes).  So: Ten great moments out of 13 million - are you really happy with that ratio?  Don't you think you can do better?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Phoenix Marathon!

Okay runners, great ready for the premiere race in the Valley of the Sun, during the BEST time to of the year to be in Arizona -- the new, the great, the Phoenix Marathon!!!
A few months ago, I was asked to be part of a committee that was brainstorming on how to make an "I-want-to-do-that" race in Arizona.  Our criteria would be such: 

First: a Saturday event.  
Second: a fast, downhill Boston certified course.  
Third: it would be the best of the best when it came to volunteers, swag, organization and general race coolness.  

Not to be forgotten, it would benefit a charity near and dear to our hearts, Arizona Brain Food. 

Thanks to a very insightful and knowledgeable committee, The Phoenix Marathon was born.  The race is set to debut on March 3, 2012 at 7a.m. in the beautiful desert of Usery Mountain Park.  The first year will be comprised of a HALF MARATHON, a 10k and a fun run.  The full marathon will be ready for runners the following year in 2013 and will, of course, be a Boston Qualifier.  

Elevation Profile for full marathon

One invaluable element in organizing such a big event was to turn to the professionals who have put on some of our favorite marathons.  That included hiring the creator of the awesome Utah Valley Marathon, which has seen it's numbers grow from 240 runners five years ago, to a projected 7000 runners in 2012.  And he's supassed expectations as far as how spectacular this event is becoming.  

For now, mark it on your race calendars.   The website is and registration is OPEN!   I'll be posting more information and updates as I get them.  But you don't want to miss out on this inaugural race.  Start lacing up those kickers, get out and move.  You've got five months to train and its time to Dream BIG!!!  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Life Lesson Revisited: Look Ahead

I'm really loving hot yoga.  I mean really.  I find it's the perfect combo of strength training, balance, stretching and getting your heart rate up there to burn some post dinner chocolate chip cookies.

But here's where I get confused.  As the yogi starts speaking to her class in her deliciously soothing and magical voice, preparing the class to practice -- not perfect -- each pose, she also speaks of being PRESENT.  "Forget about the yesterdays, don't worry about what's going on next, just be in the NOW," she says.  Ah, that sounds so enticing, in theory.

However, I'm having issues with this "Being Present" idea.  Because the next day, when I mountain bike, I've got to switch that concept around and absolutely prepare for what's next.  I've got to navigate this turn to make sure I've got enough momentum to conquer that next hill.  I've got to keep my chin up, eyes ahead and anticipate what's next.

Clash of the mind!  Present ... planning?   Well, here's MY version of what I think is right - which is why I write a blog, don't ya think?

When I went riding with practically-pro mountain biker Sally a few weeks ago, I asked her how she rolls through the tough stuff.  Me, I freeze in panic when the trails become treacherous knots of sharp granite obstacles and steep uphill climbs.  "How do you do it," I asked?

"Look ahead," she said.  "Look through the turn.  Look past the rocks and don't focus so much on the hard stuff.  You will roll right over those rocks and your bike will handle things,"  said Sally.

And I just about doubled my riding abilities in one day.  I did not have to spastically swerve away from that sharp cactus leaning in toward my thigh or stressfully stare down the deep ridges that might catch my tires as I descended the switch backs of Usery.  When I saw them-- but looked past them -- my riding smoothed out and I was ... better.

The more I thought of this idea, the happier I was -- on my bike and in life.  It's nice to be present.  And it's helpful to let the distractions of humanity roll off your back every once in awhile.  But for me, it's MORE important to plan, to look ahead, and prepare for what's next.  It makes life easier.  You'll be ready for those gnarly twists that kids, jobs and reality hand to all of us.

Thank you, Sally.  You taught me well.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

So You Think You're A Bad A?

Triathletes.  We think were pretty awesome.  After all, we bike a bazillion miles a week, and that's after we swim one million laps in the pool.  We trail run and long run and speed run and then recover run.  It's all quite a spectacle of human ability.

So if you're thinking you're all that and a bag of chips, it's time to read this little book here:

Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini.  His story is incredible and I thought this reviewer said it best:  

From Laura Hillenbrand, the bestselling author of Seabiscuit, comes Unbroken, the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. In evocative, immediate descriptions, Hillenbrand unfurls the story of Louie Zamperini--a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time. You’ll cheer for the man who somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered, and you’ll want to share this book with everyone you know. --Juliet Disparte

When I saw the book on my husband's night stand I thought I would never pick it up.  I was NOT interested in another World War II story that would rehash the details of battles fought over the Pacific.  But I kept hearing how GREAT this book was.  And when I was told that it was about a RUNNER, I dove right in.  I'm not going to give anything way, but being stranded at sea on a inflatable raft for 48 day is only part of Louie's incredible journey.  Agressive sharks, fighter planes, prison camps -- I mean, how much can one guy endure?  

There aren't that many books that can keep me wanting more -- wishing I could stay awake all night with toothpicks holding my eyelids up.  But this one, well, it's right up there on the new favorites list.  I absolutely love Zamperini.  He is a true American hero.  If this book doesn't make you laugh, cry and inspire you to push through your trials and pains, nothing can.  And Lauren Hillenbrand is a masterful writer.  Kudos to her. 

Problem is, now I'm sad the story is over.  I need another gripping novel that will make my heart race and keep me wanting more.  

Any suggestions?

Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True