Monday, November 26, 2018

Grand Canyon Adventure

Team SooPage Completes R2R2R, Gets Citation, Terrorizes Everyone at Phantom Ranch.......
I know you've all been waiting for the Rest.......of......the here it is. I've been thinking of our recent adventure pretty much nonstop since the minute we returned to the South Rim. In fact, we've been plotting and planning the sequel, researching lodging, airfares, equipment for next time. This is how Team Soopage rolls.
So, when I last left you we had hiked into Phantom Ranch, approximately 38 miles into our journey, at 1:30 in the morning, and we were both extremely tired. I was very, very cold, and Bill was very unsure if he could make the 9.5 mile trek up Bright Angel in our weakened state.
We needed to make a good choice about how to approach the rest of this challenge and make it back to the South Rim safe and sound. We decided to rest for a while and try to get me warned up.
Bill, being an Eagle Scout, and a completely awesome human, was uber prepared with all sorts of gear. He had enough medical supplies to perform minor surgery or treat a rattlesnake bite in the canyon. He had purchased emergency sleeping bags to keep us warm in the event of an emergency where we could not hike and had to wait to be rescued.
We weren't quite there yet, but this seemed the right time to use them. We found some benches to get us off the ground, and we hopped inside. I tried curling up to maximize body heat, but I was still cold....not as cold, but cold. I was tired enough that I initially fell asleep for an hour or so. But then I was cold, so I woke up.......I'd try different positions but the hard bench and stiff legs kind of limited my options.
After what seemed like an eternity of trying to sleep, Bill asked if I was asleep and I said no. It was only 3:30......over 3 hours until light, and 5 hours until the Canteen would be open to offer warmth and coffee. I could probably hike after this short break, and even better at daylight, but I was so cold that I thought I'd never be warm again.
Flashback to Spartathlon 2 years ago. I had a horrible hike up and down a certain mountain, which crushed my spirit and made me exceedingly cold from all the starting and stopping. I left Nestani, about mile 105, well ahead of the time cutoffs, and if I could just maintain about a 13-14 minute mile I could finish within the time limits.
I could not get the cold or the feeling of complete defeat out of my mind, and the body follows the mind. I pulled the plug at mile 111 and turned in my chip, DNF. Looking back on that, I physically could have kept going, but I could not get my mind back into a good place.
Back to Phantom Ranch and our plight at 3:30 a.m. We saw a few lights on, so Bill tried to talk with someone in the kitchen about us maybe finding a nice, warm spot on their floor, and a resident employee too.......but they said no and directed us to the ranger station.
I get it..........they cannot offer every cold, tired hiker a warm spot to crash if they exceed their limits and get cold and stiff. But, we are special...........we are prepared hikers.......we are strong runners, we are Team SooPage............yeah......same answer......NO.....go tot he Ranger Station.
So, Bill summoned the Ranger, and he asked for our IDs....which we produced. He asked us some questions about our planned hike, where we were headed, why we were stuck here, etc etc. I was visibly shivering, so he did put a blanker over me.....yayyy!!
He was not pleased with us one bit. He surmised that we were the typical out of shape, unprepared tourist who decided to hike the Grand Canyon on a whim. I know he was just doing his job, because they get a lot of unprepared tourists stranded down there, but we really had prepared. Sometimes, I just get cold and I cannot explain it, but it's very hard for me to get warm again.
He wrote us two $80 citations for not having a camping permit. We told him that we had not intended to camp, but he told us that now we had become campers and we were unprepared for our current situation. We had some discussion about the weather and Bill showed him that we had the weather forecast on his phone, which seemed to calm him a bit, but he still gave us tickets.
Then he went back inside his nice, warm house for what seemed to be an eternity. I was hoping he was making out the pullout couch for us................but when he finally did reappear he gave us our citations, along with two sleeping bags, blankets and thermarest pads. He directed us to a campsite labeled "Stock," or where the mules go. So basically we would be sleeping on mule dung.
We decided to put our sleeping pads on the concrete picnic pad, and our gear went into the bear boxes......good thing the bears should hopefully be hibernating. I took off my shoes and settled into my mummy bag with blanket on top and I was a lot warmer. I curled up as much as I could, and it was actually nice, for sleeping on a slab of concrete.
I did take a few opportunities to look up at the amazing array of stars, unlike anything we can see in a populated area. It was so quite and peaceful and beautiful, and I eventually fell asleep. It was not deep, quality, bed sleep, but average minus cold, hard camping sleep.
I did not wake up again until first light. i tossed and turned for a while until I heard people moving about the ranch. I wondered how darn stiff my legs and back would be, and how long it would take us to hike out. At least we'd hike out in the light.
We finally got up, cleaned up our camp, and went to the nice, warm Canteen for coffee and bagel. The warmth was heavenly, and I started to feel human again. We both felt better in the legs than expected, and after making amends with everyone we had woken up, changing clothing, and filling water, we were ready to head out and finish this hike.
We met a young guy who was there filming and pacing an ultra runner who was attempting to break the PR for the R2R2R run. She would be coming through in the next hour or so and shse was moving on pace. We decided to head up the shorter and steeper South Kaibob Trail so we could cheer her on, shorten our journey and experience the dramatic views on this trail by daylight.
We left Phantom Ranch at Noon with picture perfect weather. Our legs felt pretty good and we were in great spirits. We were going to complete our R2R2R journey. It would be slower than we had planned, but we were safe and ambulatory and happy.
About a mile up the trail, Ida Nilsson, the Swedish runner seeking the record, passed us like we were standing still. She was running up the 10-22% grade and she had run nearly the entire way. We had thought we would run some ftohe "flat" parts, but because of our pack weight, general fatigue and desire not to sprain an ankle, we had walked the whole way and traded speed for caution.
We cheered Ida on and continued up the steep but beautiful trail. We were making great time. What a difference a few hours of sleep and some sunshine makes. We stopped several times to rest and take photos, and the scenery was dramatic.
There were views of the Colorado River, all the way up to the North Rim, and it was cool to see where we had been. As we climbed the switchbacks unfolded beneath us, and we were proud of our progress. Poles make it so much easier both downhill and uphill. I will definitely invest in some poles to help me on future hikes. They give me better balance and a better sense of confidence where it is steep and uneven.
I was increasingly ecstatic as we got closer and closer to the finish. Bill was tracking the altitude on his Garmin, and I knew we were within about 500 feet to the top. I was ready to get there, so I picked up my pace and didn't take a break until the top. 4:00 p.m.....I arrived at the South Kaibob Trailhead......and it had taken me only 4 hours to traverse this very steep 7.5 miles. I realize this is slow, but we made it!
Bill arrived just a few minutes later, and we snapped a few photos and embraced. The shuttle bus arrived, and we were seated and warm, on the way back to our car.
And, just like that our adventure was complete. WE did it...........we completed the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim hike in 35 hours.24 if you take away our 11 hours at Phantom Ranch. It's not a time to be proud of, but we gave it our all, and it sure was a big adventure to remember forever.
I was proud of our preparation, strategy, teamwork, and smart decisions to ensure our safe return. Mother Nature is beautiful and amazing, but also unforgiving and powerful. We decide to respect the effects of the hike on our weary bodies and take a rest. We possibly could have kept going and made it back faster, but it could have been an unnecessary and fatal risk.
We completed our trip with an easy walk along the South Rim along the Hermits Rest route the next day. We enjoyed views of the Bright Angel Trail, Colorado River, and panoramic canyon views with shuttle stops every mile or so and a nice, warm bus.
We are already plotting our return assault next year.
I wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend! i hope you all find your own adventures and way to push your limits.
Thank you to my parents for instilling in me a love of the great outdoors, and thank you especially to Bill Page for sharing these adventures. I love you!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Running in Tennessee, so much fun

Big Dog's Backyard Ultra not so short race report.......I was a small, but proud dog in this epic race.........
The task is seemingly "only" 4.166 miles per hour, every hour on the hour, until you can't. Shoot, that's just about a 14 minute pace......I should be able to do that forever, right? Last person standing wins.
Well, not exactly.....because you also have to budget time between loops to eat, drink, stretch, roll, sit down, attend to chafing, blisters, bathroom issues. Really it would seem ideal to have 5-7 extra minutes....and even more on loops where you plan to change shoes or clothing, or eat something more than a few bites of a protein bar.
I was pretty sure I could go at least 100 miles, and hopefully as much as 125......until I toured the course. The 12 daylight hours are done on a trail, and the night hours are on a road.
Well, everyone knows how bad I am on trails. I was born with a visual impairment causing me to never be able to see in 3D....which I should be able to overcome with practice and a strong mind. My bad eyes have caused a lot of stumbles through the years on just plain old pavement.....nothing too serious......a sprained ankle, 2 sets of knee stitches, road rash, and lots of scars and bruises.
But, these little accidents have caused built up fear. What if I have an accident, and I really hurt myself badly.......causing a more debilitating injury that would really affect my ability to work and live? So, I run very timidly in the dark, on trails, and on roads foreign to me.
I love being outdoors running or hiking on trails............but I run very cautiously. That's fine for a Sunday afternoon, but not ideal for a race. I'm competitive, and in a race I want to compete, but fear of falling holds me back. So, I shy away from trail races, and don't practice trails. I use my vision as an excuse, but it is a choice.
I love my ultra family, and especially everyone I have met at the Lazarus Lake races in recent years, so I could not resist signing up for this race. I knew there would be a trail, but I underestimated how difficult it would be.
After touring the trail course, I nearly decided not to even start the race. The trail was full of rocky sections, ups and downs, lots of tricky terrain that would take me precious time to navigate. I was afraid I'd not even finish one loop. I was also afraid that I'd be so erratic in my pacing that I'd aggravate the smooth trail runners on the course.
I "whined" to a few others about my fate, but they all encouraged me to just give it my best. Our pre-race meal was fairly somber, as I was truly afraid.......of failing, of falling, of being DFL, and of giving up.
As our preparation continued before bed, I decided I'd just stay to the back of the pack and find some consistent runners to follow. I'd take it one lap at a time. First I'd try to make it a few laps, and then I'd focus on making it 6 laps (halfway to the road), and by then I'd have learned the trail better, and I had a better chance of making it all 12 laps.
If I could make the road, I could make it to the 24 hour 100 miles, and that would be a huge accomplishment for me......certainly better than a DNS.
It was raining when we woke would be wet, slippery, and muddy. My running glasses would fog up, and I'd be able to see even less. Also, in overcast conditions, any pseudo depth perception I get from sun and shadows is gone.
You know the people who believe the earth is flat? Well, I believe it is round, but to me everything looks flat. I still see beauty in the world every day, but I cannot truly see the difference between being at a beautiful mountain, or a photo of that mountain.
When we got there, I sat in the car in silence. I didn't want to get out, and I surely didn't want to race. Bill set up the rest of our camp and I tried to get my mind in a good place. I put a few bottles of drinks and snacks in my little area by the start corral, peeled down to my race clothing and off we went.
It was starting to get light, but the trail was still pretty dark. I didn't bring a drink or light on this lap, because I wanted my hands free, and my mind focused completely on each careful step. The trail was slow going, and it seemed like everyone passed me. It was slippery, but I focused on looking just a few feet ahead, looking for a good place to put my foot, every single step.
It started to get light the second half of the first loop, so I was able to go a bit faster, and finish the first loop in around 53 minutes. I sat down in my chair to drink and snack. loop down, 11 to go.
I started to get in a better groove for a few laps.........I'd run the first .40 which was road and groomed gravel.......very quickly, getting almost to the front of the pack. Then a few of the really fast people would pass me, but I'd try to stay with them, and watch their feet for proper placement of mine. I trusted their good eyes and trail judgment over mine, and it was working.
I was cranking out 48-50 minute laps.......but I was working really hard. The talented trail runners seem to float over the course smoothly like ballerinas, as I staggered up and down like Frankenstein. I always picked up my feet just a bit extra to make sure I'd clear each obstacle. This would eat up my legs sooner rather than later.
I had plenty of time to sit down, massage my legs, eat, drink and refocus my plan for the next lap. I needed to slow down a bit, so I went out more slowly for a few laps, ending up closer to the mid pack, but still following the feet of people who are better trail runners. I had a few near slips, but I was feeling pretty encouraged.
Now I started to count down the miles until the road......just 3 more laps. I was getting tired, but surely I could finish just 12.5 more miles before a 12 hour "rest" on the road.
Lap legs felt like lead weights, so I went out slower, and settled in with the midpack. My mind was also tired, so I just followed the pace and run/walk patterns of these runners, knowing that we'd make it back in time. Single digits until the nice, dark, cool easy road.....I was going to get there.
Lap 11.....I went out even slower........I walked a little bit more......I slid further back, but was still on pace to finish the lap. The shadows on the trail were growing as we got closer to dusk, and I second guessed my steps just a bit more. I felt a bit cold during my walking breaks, and the cold of the night wore heavy on my mind. I still made it into camp with a few minutes to rest.
Just 4.166 miles and I would be rewarded with nice, smooth road, slipper-like Ultra Boosts to caress my weary feets, a brand new set of warm, dry clothes, and soup! Success was within my grasp.
I went out slower still, with the very last runners.....but they had all been running consistent 57-58 minute loops the whole day, so I just had to stay with them.
Ultras are unpredictable.....a rock was in my shoe. I tried to shake it loose, to a better spot, but it would not budge. I had to stop at the timing table, take off my shoe, get the rock out, and put my shoe back on. This seems like a simple task, but when you are tired, and have tight legs, it takes forever.
Still I scampered out into the woods, catching the back of the pack. i stayed with them, relying on the power of many lights together, as we ran in near darkness. My legs were not fluid at all, and my footsteps were slow and awkward.
Two fo the guys went ahead, and I was at the very back with Bell Buckle resident Ben, the next door neighbor of Laz. We talked and ran and worked together. The splits on my watch were not coming fast enough, and I knew I had to run as fast as I could, as often as I could without risking a fall.
At some point just before the 3 mile mark Ben was going faster than I could go without stumbling, but I did not give up. I ran the smooth sections, even the uphills, gasping for breath. I was going to make this cutoff!
I came up upon someone walking with a tree branch, and another gal had fallen and limped with a sprain. She encouraged me on and I kept going. The last mile has some very runnable parts, but some significant steps up and down, requiring nearly a complete stop to survey the step and carefully place my feet.
I was less than 1/2 a mile away now and I did not dare look at my watch. I knew it would be close. The harsh terrain continued, and I knew I was close.....probably 250 meters away.....I could hear the clamour of people, and see the lights of camp through the trees. .
Then I heard the sound that I didn't want to hear.......a whistle.......just one whistle.........which means only a minute left to cover over 200 meters.......but could I be mistaken? Maybe it was really 2 or 3 whistles.
I kept going as fast as I could without falling. It wasn't over until I knew for sure. But then I heard the countdown to the start of the next lap......5-4-3-2-1......and the race was going on without me.
I missed the cutoff: my race was over. I stopped in my tracks and started to cry. The last 200 meters might as well have been 200 miles. I walked slowly into camp, and everyone congratulated me on a hard fought effort.
I cried a little, as they took my timing chip, and Bill wrapped me in a warm blanket.
Of course I am disappointed that I didn't get to keep going. I went further than I thought I could, and I never gave up. I also got to practice my trail running, and run 50 miles in beautiful weather with some of the best ultra runners in the world, who also happen to be really amazing people.
Now we are home, resting comfortably in bed, watching the hourly updates come in as the field has been reduced to only 10 tough athletes.
This was a great way to close out this year's ultra season. My heart is full, and I feel so grateful to have found my tribe.
Team Soo-Page is over and out until Strolling Jim!
Image may contain: Regina Sooey, Terrie Wurzbacher and Bill Page, people smiling, people standing, tree, shorts, outdoor and nature

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

2703 Boquette Ave.

Beautifully updated and meticulously maintained, stately home on large corner lot. Mature shade trees, fenced private yard & natural light abound. Lrg covered front porch welcomes you into soaring foyer. Beautiful wood floors throughout home. Wonderful floor plan for entertaining-multiple living areas. Updated kitchen w/granite counters, stainless appliances, custom white cabinets, pass through to family room. Lrg dining room overlooks wooden deck & park-like yard. Bonus room/flex space perfect for home office, hobby or game room. 15 x 24 family room fits any large gathering. Refinished red oak floors upstairs. Lrg master w/2 closets, updated en suite bath. 3 large 2ndary bedrooms, updated hall bath. Newer roof, water heater, HVAC, hardi-board siding. Quiet, yet convenient community.

Friday, July 20, 2018

A little note on my Vol State Race for Marathon High

First of many posts and reflections on Vol State 2018. Full race reportto be written over next few weeks.
This is kind of a summary of the race/running part of it. There is a lot of human stuff to write about too, but I'm too emotionally drained to really be in touch with those reflections at this moment.
The first 2 days......I love love loved the whole thing..........being out there on the open road, just you, and the trees with nothing to do but run and eat.....what could be better? No work to attend do, no phone ringing..........oh except it was ringing, and I got offers on two of my listings..but that's a whole other story.
Legs and stomach cooperating, and the miles flew by as I stayed with the front of pack folks comfortably. Had a quick car nap at about 38 miles in and our car bed, car shower, and other camping gadgets were working famously. I felt clean, rested and ready to run all night in cooler temps.
I decided somewhere in Day 2 to change to a cute running skirt, rather than tried and tested comp shorts.....because it was a light color, not black, and shorter, so I'd be cooler of course. ....boy was this stupid, because the chafing was horrific.
Then, instead of putting on run goo and going back to the compression shorts, I stupidly switched to some very light shorts gym shorts that I usually use to just hang around after runs......why would I ever think these would be good to run in at Mile 150 of the longest run of my life........?
Day 3 brought on a whole new level of suffering. More horrible chafing on the legs and arms and rotten stomach made for a death march in hot sun to Columbia. I even borrowed a page from Dallas Smith and cut the liner out of said gym shorts, to no avail....the damage was done.
Maybe I just wasn't cut out for multi-day racing. Maybe I should stick to 50's and 100's..........heck, maybe I should hang it up and just go back to marathons................that's just crazy talk.
Shower, ice bath, foot care, dinner and sleep and I felt like a new person, even left the hotel early because I was so eager to get back on the road. running great. I felt so good that I scoffed when I took a tourist shot at the Bench of Despair. No despair here, just picture perfect endurance............ until about mile 207.....when stomach issues hit again, so another death march to Shelbyville stopping nearly every mile to go potty.
Again, a shower and slightly longer day of sleep helped and I ran well nearly 28 miles to Manchester.
Only 22 more to Monteagle where I'd probably feel so great that I would barely need to stop before I made the final 40 mile push.......ha.......little did I know then how completely ridiculous this statement was.
Legs felt great, and blisters under control.The stomach issues started earlier each day. I ran ok, but slower from Manchester to Pelham, but my stomach was slowing me down.
By the time I got up the huge climb to Monteagle, it was hot and sunny, and we were both making bad decisions. Should we go .7 off course for a clean hotel, nap and shower, or plod on? We went the wrong way for about .2, but that's a lot of extra walking in the heat.
After a road side shower, short nap, food, we plodded on, but I was reduced to a hobble due to my stomach. I was starting to develop blisters on tops of toes, but it did not affect my running/walking that much. Honestly, walking was worse than running to my feet, but I could not run because of my stomach.
I arrived at the top of the hill in Jasper, and I was pisssed.......dangit, I'm a runner, not a walker........these legs are made to run. I sprinted 9's the next 4 miles downhill and my stomach magically felt better. I was able to run/walk decently until Mile 300 Kimball!
Only 13.5 left! These miles surely would fly by and I'd be finished by midnight. It was time to feel horrible again.The longest half marathon of my life was about to happen.
The highway out of Kimball felt like a haunted house. From the cicadas, tree frogs, scary plants by the side of the road that looked alive, super loud and fast cars and trucks.
We made it to a place called New Hope and crossed over a bridge......this was where we were to notify the staff of our approach, so the last 10 miles were surely flat and easy..........not.
So many steep freaking hills, as I plodded on. Now both shins were throbbing, my stomach pains increased with every step, and I was certain I would die. What if my stomach pains were, instead of ultra tummy, in fact a terminal illness?
It was probably my liver..............yes, I am sure I have liver disease, or liver cancer or stomach cancer, caused by all those years of wine, and now these 4 days of way too much race food, Ibuprofen, Tums, chips, candy........
If I was gonna die, I'd rather hurry home and die in my bed, see my dog, and friends and family one last time. I begged Bill to just pull the plug and take me back to our hotel in Kimball.
But, Bill Page, my soulmate and true love knows me too well to let me quit....and have to listen to how me whine about it for the next year......and have to come back and crew me again so I can finish. He's way smarter than that!
And so we continued on, me staggering up the road and Bill following me urging me onward, offering food and fluids. 8 miles left! More up, up, up.......and then a right turn........
Now it's really going up, straight up........who puts a mountain at the end of a 314 mile race........I am sure there are flat ways to enter Georgia. This stupid......I'm done with these longer races.......going back to focus on 5ks now.......gonna finally get that sub 20, maybe even a marathon PR.....since I am obviously not cut out for multi days.
Oh yay........we are entering Alabama.....but still going uphill. I nearly lost my balance a few times, and I often felt dizzy.......because I probably was dying of some strange GI disease. I could see sky, so we were almost to the top. But dangit, where is Georgia? About 5 miles away!!!
I continued to bargain with Bill about quitting, but his response was merely.......we have 5 days to rest in the car, so you only have to cover 1 mile a day........which flavor of Tailwinds do you want next.
And this went on for a few more hours, as we navigated the last 5 miles of this brutal race just footsteps at a time, with lots of crying, whining and lying down in between.
Two guys moving along much better than me passed me like I was standing still. They had been 5 miles behind me just a few hours was like the Spartathlon Mountain all over again.
They encouraged me, moving along in a spirited fashion.....and they had neither a crew, nor a mobile bedroom/bathroom like me. If I quit now I really am a wuss...........ok, let's do this!!!
Finally, the gates of the farm. It was surreal and foggy, and probably very beautiful if you are not dying. I staggered onwards through fields on a dirt road, past carefully lined up trees and plants.
I was going to finish!!!!! We entered the finishing area and I was guided to an uneven outcropping above a steep drop-off.I bent over and touched the rock as my finish was was proclaimed to have occurred.
I was a lot less enthusiastic about finishing than I am now, and I'm sure I sounded like a jerk as I complained about those last 8 miles. In such a depleted state, there is no way to control what we say or do, we are so raw and stripped down.
We stayed at the finish for just a few moments, because it was time to finally rest, and hopefully postpone my impending death by stomach disease for just a little while longer.
I have not fully absorbed this whole Vol State experience and how it has changed and will change me going forward. I am proud that I achieved my goal and finished what I feel is the hardest thing I have ever done in 4 days, 20 hours, 27 minutes and 24 seconds. Full report to come at some later time (no, this is not the full story, but i know it is long).
I am also so humbled by all of your texts, messages, and posts of encouragement over the last 5 days. I am so lucky to have a great community of people on my side who accept me for who I am, and believe in me more than I do sometimes.
I am also very grateful to be raising money for Marathon High on this journey. Thank you for all who have supported me and this fabulous free running program for teens.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Regina Runs Tennessee for Teens

Regina's Story:

I have not always been athletic, and I have not always been a runner. I have also not always been the happy go lucky, confident, comfortable with who I am person you know today. Life can be hard, with many bumps in the road. 

At the age of 30 I discovered running, and I never looked back. I still had ups and downs in my life, but being a runner helped me look at these obstacles differently, and feel diferently about myself. Running and being active became a great tool for me to deal with stress, and express who I am. 

Once my business started to grow, I started to look for ways to give back, but I wanted to do more than write a check. I heard about Marathon High, so I asked about being a sponsor. I came to an All School Run, and I was so impressd with the teens running together, the encouraging atmosphere, the coaches working with them to cover a long distance. This is what I want to do.

Now I have been a coach at Douglas Anderson High School for 3 years, and I continue to sponsor and promote this amazing organization. Marathon High is the single most rewarding and important thing I've done outside of work in a long time.

Teenagers are amazing, smart, interesting, kind, thoughtful and many more wonderful adjectives that come to mind. But they have pressures coming at them from so many directions, with few good outlets to deal with this pressure.

Marathon High gives teens the gift of running, working towards a big goal together, reaching smaller goals along the way through commitment, perseverance, overcoming obstacles. We run together 3 times per week for 4 months, welcome all ability levels, and run a half marathon together at the end of each season.

I see so much growth in our students during the season and from year to year. I know we are making a positive difference for them. I also see a lot of magic happen for our coaches and parents.

Marathon High has inspired me immeasurably to work hard to help others, to be the best person I can be for my loved ones, to be a role model for our youth, and to run an honest business where I always try to do the right thing.

In July I will be running 314 miles across Tennessee as part of the Vol State Road Race. I will be running these miles in support of teens and Marathon High. Two of my students designed this awesome logo for me.

I am very grateful to be able to run far and spread the gift of a healthy active lifestyle, and a better feeling of self to as many teens in our area as possible. I hope you will help me spread the word and support teenagers.

Teenagers are really pretty awesome, and I feel if we lift them up that our future and theirs will be bright. Running does not solve all the problems in the world, but it sure does change a lot of things for the better.

Running Changes Everything! Running together, breaking limitations.

Follow the link below to donate:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Regina Runs Tennessee for Teens!!!

Regina RunsTennessee for Teens…….

I believe wholeheartedly that Running Changes Everything, and taking that first step back in 2001 transformed my life forever. I’ll post that whole story on my blog for those interested. Fast forward a few years, and I’m a healthy, happy, active professional surrounded by awesome friends, a career I love, and the most loving, caring man in my life. I have no regrets that I didn’t run in my younger years, but what if I had that outlet back then? 
Let’s face it, life is more complicated and stressful than it once was. Teens face many pressures to look, be, act and succeed. What if there was a healthy way to relieve stress and somehow ease the path of self-discovery? Then I found Marathon High! We challenge teens to commit and train for a half marathon. Together we prepare and face this goal while we grow, overcome obstacles, have fun and learn life’s lessons.
Marathon High is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and it inspires me every day to be the best I can.  I coach, sponsor, and fundraise, but  I wanted to challenge myself to do something out of my comfort zone.  I’m going to run 314 miles across Tennessee in a few weeks to raise money for Marathon High, and complete the Vol State Road Race. The training is very challenging, and a race this long is new and scary.
What will it feel like to run day after day? How will I deal with the heat? Will I be safe in the dark? What if I get injured or lost?  What if I can’t do it? I want to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to, and be a good role model for my teens! I am also doing this run as a fundraiser, and I am so humbled by the support I have received so far.
As you can tell, the real estate market has been crazy this year, so I’ve been sneaking in workouts between closings, showings, and meetings…..showering at the gym, or pouring water over my head by the car…….then racing off to the next thing!
We have had a few fun weekends away to unplug just a little. Bill and I both ran the Strolling Jim 42miler in Wartrace, Tennessee, for a little practice on the hills, and social time with some ultra legends. I raced hard, but just could not keep the fast pace of the early miles going later in the race, so had to settle for third female and a little slower than last year. We had a blast staying in Chattanooga and I did a nice recovery run around their beautiful riverfront area.
Last weekend we spent four beautiful days in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee, and I got in some much needed sleep, plus back to back training days on hills. The weather was beautiful and I tried to run all the way around the lake, but the hills beat up my legs, and I settled for just 51 miles. It was bike week, so we enjoyed seeing all the colorful bikes all over the place.
On the last day we managed a summit of Mt. Washington, at 6288 feet, the highest point in New Hampshire. This mountain is most famous for its unpredictable weather and high winds, the highest recorded wind speed on earth until just recently. It’s hard to believe many have died on this mere 9 mile round trip hike, with no technical climbing.
The hike was very visually demanding on me, because I have an impairment where I do not see in 3D, so I trip over rocks and uneven surfaces.  I have never let this limit my activities, so people often just think I am very clumsy. The last 1.5 miles were a boulder scramble to remember, but we made it in under four hours. It was particularly memorable to complete this hike with Bill, his brother and teenage daughter, plus their dog!
Just three more weeks of training, and I’ll be off to Dorena Landing, Missouri to take the ferry to the start of the 2018 Vol State Road Race. In the meantime, I’ll close over one million in sales in June, and prepare for a few more closings to take place in July.

Thank you for trusting me for your real estate needs.  I would be very appreciative if you would recommend me to your family, friends and co-workers. 

I hope everyone has a safe and fun Summer with family and friends!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Love and Loss, memories remain in my heart!

Maggie Forever in My Heart……That is what my new bracelet says. When I bought my first home on Ponce de Leon Avenue, it was the first time I had lived alone. I was not sure I was ready for a dog, with my chaotic work/life schedule, but Maggie found me, and I would never be the same. I was listing a pre-foreclosure home, and its occupants were having to get rid of her when they moved, and take her to the Humane Society.
Maggie had endless energy whenever I would visit this home, barking, jumping, wagging, smiling, showing me her toys, and her owners said she was already a good runner. I decided to take her home for a weekend to see how it was…….well, we all know how that goes….I now had a young, energetic dog. I was determined to “train” her, and not be one of “those people” who let their dogs rule the house……but within a day or two she was sleeping in my arms, having dinner with me on the couch, and basically being catered to in every way.
She was instantly my shadow, my best friend, and she was there for every up and down of life. Our running was awesome, even though she pulled for the first few miles. I was so amazed she would learn our routes through San Jose by heart. Maggie loved to play tag, hide and seek, keep away, catch (although she had horrible eye mouth coordination like her mom).
Also like her mom, she was hyper active, anxious at times, and expressive. I always knew what was on her mind…..if she was really sad or sick, or just “playing” me to get something she wanted.  She was a born networker, and quickly got to know all the neighborhood dogs, as well as my friends and running partners.
We often went on dates out to dinner, running errands, or play days at the dog park. Maggie consoled me with kisses and loving eyes when I had bad days. She was perfect in every way, and I never had a lonely day with her at my side. She patiently wore all the silly costumes I brought home for various holidays, posed next to real estate signs, and faithfully perched next to me while I worked.
Bella came into our lives much in the same way, and they became best friends. They squabbled over toys, treats, best spot on the bed, but they had each other’s back and mine. I learned to run with both of them, and I drove them like a sleigh on our favorite San Jose routes.
Both dogs started to age, and I knew that neither of them would live forever. They still displayed unparalleled enthusiasm when I arrived home, or before a car trip or walk. The runs and walks gradually became shorter and slower, but still so much fun. Bella has an endless stream of ailments, but Maggie was always perfectly healthy, smart, talented and above all, loving.
Maggie’s eye started to get worse, but so did mine. One of my favorite parts of every day, was settling down for sleep every night, with snuggles from both of them. Maggie was always at my feet, and Bella would wriggle up right between Bill and I.
Last Saturday, Maggie did not eat breakfast, but that was not unusual, as she had always been a little finicky about food. We settled down with a movie, and Maggie stayed on the floor. I brought her a treat, and she would not get off the floor. I tried to lift her up, but she just collapsed back down. The look in her eyes said it all…….something was very wrong.
We scooped her up in a blanket and rushed to the ER vet. Talk about sad places…..death and sickness were everywhere.  Maggie could not stand up, so they took her back immediately. After waiting for what seemed like forever, I saw the vet. I could not believe his words………..Maggie was bleeding internally from a mass on her spleen. We went over options, none of which sounded great. I visited with her, and she was so weak, barely showing any emotion other than tired.
I knew where we were headed, but I could not bear to make that decision just yet. I left her there to see if some miracle happened during the night, or for some clear direction of the best plan for my precious child. Was she in pain?  Was she scared?  Why didn’t I notice this sooner? Was I too focused on Bella’s health, so I neglected Maggie?
I slept fitfully and the vets called me twice during the night. They had to give Maggie blood, because she was still bleeding and very anemic. Then, they wanted to give her plasma, because she was not clotting. We rushed to the vet to see her, and I was about to make one of the toughest decisions of my life.
I knew countless friends who had lost dogs, and I always expressed my sympathies, but I never understood just how much it hurt, and how hard it was to go through that.  After all, it was only a pet, not a human being, so how could it compare with the loss of a friend or relative. Boy, was I wrong.
We were in a room with Maggie. She lay on the floor on a blanket, and I sat close, petting and talking to her. She acknowledged my presence, but barely showed any emotion or excitement. The look in her eyes was mostly tired, but also understanding, as if she was telling me it was ok to let her go. There was no fight there, no agenda to race ahead on a run, or steal Bella’s toys…..just acceptance.
I continued to caress her, telling her how much I loved her, and how she’s always be my first dog. I told her that Bella would miss her, and that we’d think of her every single day. The doctor came in to the room to ask us what we wanted to do.  I could barely get the words out, that I was ready to put her down, because it was a lie………I was not ready at all……..but I knew this was the best option for Maggie.
There were other tests and probes, and procedures we could do, on some outside chance, but really I would just be keeping her alive and causing her unnecessary pain and suffering…..just so I could take my time saying goodbye. It was time. I held Maggie in my arms, and the tears started to come. I started saying, “I love you Maggie, I will run with you again one day,” as I sobbed uncontrollably.
I was so scared when the vet came back in. I held her as he administered the two syringes of fluid. I thought it would be gruesome, but it was so peaceful. Maggie took a few more breaths, and smiled as she looked up at me in love. I repeated “I love you Maggie,” over and over again, as she went to sleep for the last time. I continued to hold her for what seemed to be forever, because I didn’t want to leave her. I finally gave her a final kiss on her sweet head, and told her I’d see her again one day.
I spent the rest of the next few days crying and reliving the weekend. I could not believe my grief, which is undoubtedly the most I have cried over any death ever, and more than I have cried in a long time.  My mind flooded with memories of Maggie, and our wonderful 11 years together. Every time I arrive home I expect to see Maggie in her familiar places.
We cannot control or avoid death. However, we can choose to make the most of every day with the people we love the most. My San Jose house is special to me, but my pets, husband, parents and friends who shared time with me there truly made it a home.

Grand Canyon Adventure

Team SooPage Completes R2R2R, Gets Citation, Terrorizes Everyone at Phantom Ranch....... I know you've all been waiting for the Rest....