Monthly Archives: September 2016

No Cost or Low Cost Christmas Presents for Runners


no cost christmas presents for runners

Runners love to receive running oriented gifts and we are easy to please. It could become a bit pricey to buy, so here are my top no cost or  low cost presents for runners.

You can give a runner a gift that will not send you to the mall or decimate your credit card.  Here are a few no money or low money  gifts for the runners in your life:

Bib– Frame a bib for your runner. Yes, go plunder their stuff. Runners keep bibs. I just found the bib from my first 50K!   Put it in a frame you have laying around, and voila! I guarantee your runner will be pleased.

Quilt-this would also involve plundering their stuff, and you might need their permission ahead of time. One thing runners do have are race T-shirts.  This would involve a bit of time, but you could come up with a great present with just your time (and maybe a bit of fabric) involved!

Running quilt low cost Christmas Present for a runner

Picture: this would involve you going to a race and getting out along the course and snapping some pictures. Take a bunch of pictures, find the best one, enlarge and print it, and give it to your runner.  Maybe frame it with the bib?

Pace-offer to pace a runner.  Think creatively. I am not talking about just pacing in a race.  Is your runner training for a marathon or an ultra? Sometimes they have long runs to get in. Offer to join them for a long run. Not a long distance runner? That’s fine. Offer to join them for their last five miles of their 20 mile run. Or three miles in the middle.  Often this is very helpful for the runner and makes their miles go by faster.  Is your runner friend working up to a new distance?  Offer to run their race with them, whether it’s a 5K or a 1/2 marathon.

Crew-not a runner? That’s okay too.  You could give the gift of transporting a runner to a race. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to drive yourself home after a marathon?  Just relax and let someone else do the driving?

There is also crewing in the ultra context.   CREW can mean:  “Cranky runner endless waiting”.  Crewing could also involve crewing in the ultra respect, aka meeting your runner around the course and providing aid to them, in the form of special food and their gear. Does your runner have a 50K/50 mile/100 mile run in the future? Are you available to crew for the runner? Maybe you could make that your non-money gift to the runner in your life for Christmas.

Even if you don’t have a bunch of cash, these are a few ways to make your runner smile on Christmas morning!

Are you thinking about Christmas presents yet?

Weekend of Awesomeness

It’s been a  tulmultuous  weekend of emotions so far this weekend, but it  has also been awesome.

Trail Marking

First was trail marking on Friday for our club’s 12th annual ultra, the Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic. Due to some construction, we had to reroute over a bridge, whereas the runners (and myself) got to see Lanternmans Mill from a great new view:

Lantermans Mill

Volunteering at the Race

Seeing our two twelve time finishers, Ron Ross and TJ Hawk-they have raced every YUTC we have put on.  We are always honored that they reserve our weekend in September and come out to Mill Creek Park.

Twelve Finishes at YUTC

New FKT on the AT

Coach Karl got it done. He set the new fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail, 45 days 22 hours 38 minutes.

Photo by Red Bull

Photo by Red Bull

My  Dog TIno

He’s not feeling well today.  We are pretty sure he is in renal failure. He has an appointment at the vet on Tuesday but we’re not sure he’ll make it until Tuesday.  This might be near the end for him. He’s been our miracle pup. He had parvo as a puppy, survived two rounds of cancer.  He’s awesome.


TinoEnjoy your day.  You never know if you will celebrate with the same loved ones in the following year!


Project 50 Colonoscopy Time!


One of the rewards on turning fifty is getting the Age Fifty Colonoscopy.


WHY are we Half Cententarians  doing this?

From the CDC:

Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer.1 The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for colorectal cancer using high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years.1

A grape-like growth, or polyp, in the colon or rectum is common in adults and usually harmless. But some polyps—known as adenomas—may eventually turn into cancer. Doctors can spot and remove polyps during a colonoscopy, which uses a flexible, lighted tube to examine the colon and rectum. If the test doesn’t find adenomas or cancer and you don’t have risk factors for the disease, your chance of developing it is low for the next ten years. That’s because the test misses very few adenomas, and colorectal cancer grows slowly.

My Journey

I have to say, my prep was very easy. The medication-in my case, the magnesium citrate, worked well.  I didn’t have any cramping, just lots of time sitting on the toilet. I did play my Candy Crush Saga game quite a bit as I sat there.

There seemed to be more prep involved for the colonoscopy than my knee surgery in April, but this was a bit more invasive than just making a hole in my knee.  The nurses have trouble putting the IV in my arm and I told them I was feeling faint.  So they just lowered me down in the trolley and switched to my other arm.  My doctor asked if I wanted to be totally “out’ for the procedure and I said YES!  Next thing I knew, I was back in recovery room and eating a Subway sandwich 30 minutes later.


Ready for my Close Up!

My results were pretty standard. I have some diverticuli, so it is recommended I increase my fiber. Ha! I have a pretty high fiber diet already, so I will continue on my standard diet.

Other than walking a bit slow out of the hospital, I’ve recovered very well (I’m writing this same day as the procedure.)

Make sure you get this important check up folks. It’s a very important test for cancer that you only need every ten  years after age fifty!

Make that appointment today! Happy Birthday!


Meghan Hicks Finishes Nolan’s 14!!

Meghan Hicks finished Nolan’s 14, trailhead to trailhead this past weekend.  She is the first female to do so.

What is Nolan’s 14?

Nolan’s 14 is a challenge run over the 14 mountain summits over 14,000 ft. in Colorado’s Sawatch Range, from Mt. Massive to Mt. Shavano in either direction.  The term is credited to Jim Nolan, a mountaineer, that 14 peaks could be summitted in ‘about’ 100 miles.    Anyone can go out for the attempt on the 14 Peaks of the Sawatch Range-very few have actually finished the TH to TH attempt.

No females have made 14 summits until 2015.  Missy Gosney and Anna Frost  are the first women to complete 14 summits in under  60 hours on Aug. 16-18, 2015.  They stopped their journey at the top of Mt Shavanno at 57.55  and had a party with their friends before climbing down off the mountain.

There are no rules of Nolan’s 14

There are some loose rules.  You can go either direction.  You can pick whatever route you like. No pacers, no mechanical aid. Official cut off is 60 hours for a finish.

Meghan’s Finish

Meghan Hicks finishes her Nolan’s 14 adventure trailhead-to-trailhead in 59:36. She’s the first woman to go under 60 hours for the trailhead-to-trailhead. She also set the women’s FKT to the 14th summit when she reached the top in 57:18, besting Frost and Gosney’s 57.55 summit.

Meghan Hicks Finishing Nolan's 14

Photo courtesy of Powell.

I don’t know Meghan Hicks. I know OF Meghan. She’s senior edition of   I know she’s completed Hardrock in 2015 and 2016.  She’s  won Marathon de Sables.  Meghan seems a very under the radar super star.   I don’t know if she has any sponsors-or even wants-sponsors. I think it’s cool that a female runner is going out there and KILLING IT on her own terms.

Stalking her on Ultrasignup, I can understand how she was able to finish Nolan’s 14.   She won the Marathon de Sables in 2013.  She  finished Tor des Geants, a 330 km (205 mile)  in 2014, writing  a great race report about it!  Really, go read this race report!  Not only is Meghan an accomplished runner, she is a gifted writer.

The Nolan’s 14 Challenge has been around since the 1990’s.  There is about about a 15% finish rate, according to Matt Mahoney’s web site.  Only in the past two years did female runners get past that 12th summit and make it to 14th summit-over 14,000 feet, don’t forget that! under sixty hours.

Big Congratulations to Meghan and her Nolan’s 14 Finish!

Ziplining with Dad on his 79th Birthday

Ziplining at The Wilds


A Project 50 goal was to go ziplining. I thought my dad would enjoy it.  What can one get a 79 year old man? Experiences.  I’ve been more interested in experiences lately than *stuff*.

The Wilds Zipline Tour

There is a cool place called The Wilds which is only one hour from me.  This is where I experienced my very first trail race back in 2006. I’ve actually never gone on any tours there. My father and I signed up for the zipline, while my mother and husband went on the open air safari ride.

Our tour guides were Dan and Jake. They were very responsible yet funny.  They explained at each tower what we were zipping next. ziplining guide  They were very conscious of safety-mainly this is a concern when braking, you can’t fall out of these super harnesses you are in!  Yes, we are going across that lake!

Our tour was just four people plus our guides.  A tour can take up to nine people at a time.  Your experience will take longer, as nine people have to be clipped in and sent, then caught and unclipped at the other end.  Our tour went a little quicker.

Ziplining at The Wilds

Outside the Comfort Zone..a little

I am not exactly afraid of heights but wasn’t that comfortable on the first one or two towers.  Zipping was fine, once you step off the platform, you GO! Zip! By the time you are looking around, you are about at the next tower and time to brake!  I got more comfortable standing on the towers as the tour progressed.  There is a total of ten zip lines, and then you rapel off the last tower.
we came from there!

I think I got a bit more comfortable about halfway through the tour.  I got the idea of braking better and getting back up on each tower.  It was fun!

Dad ziplining

My dad had a great time too! He is a very active 79 year old, just finished softball season.  There is no reason to let age deter you from experiencing some new activities.  I could have bought him a new wrench for his birthday but I think both of us had a much better time together hanging out in the trees.

Dad and Daughter safely down!

Happy Birthday Dad!

P.S. He mentioned jumping out of an airplane…