Caren Ware's Blog

August 30, 2010

Sleepless in Seattle

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 9:34 am



Seattle has a great downtown.  In between the duties of timing an event we choose no sleep over seeing the city. I decided to show my staff how to eat their way through a city.  And I concluded Seattle is one of my favorite places to do that. I didn’t have to travel a hemisphere away.  Seattle has a picturesque skyline that was fun to view the Space Needle.  After a fast paced day darting in and out of shops and soaking in the personalities of every vendor at the farmer’s market, we dined to the setting sun at the Sky City restaurant atop the Space Needle. The restaurant rotates 360 degrees and you are treated to a rotational view of Seattle while comforting over a fine meal and rememising. We found a store that specialized in hundreds of popcorn flavors.  Check out  May I recommend the rocky road popcorn!  To die for. At the  fish market the fish monger let us play with his crabs.  You can order fresh catch and have it shipped  to your doorstep.  check out .  You would be the hit of any bar-b-que!  There was also a shop that sold assortments of cheesecake cupcakes, and another that sold pastas or ,  and one with spices , and another with teas, and  a jelly and jam booth, and cookies that look like cow droppings .  But it was the eccentrics ‘jamming’ in the streets that caught most of our conversation.  Best of all an azspergers dude that played the piano so fast, furiously, and constant his fingers were bandaged and bleeding, but he was made top play that piano and NO ONE was going to talk him out of it.

Seattle, coffee is not the only BEST you have.  Everything seemed fresh and refreshing.  Got an A rating from me.  I even ran the downtown area.  I have to say that turned into interval training as the run turned was regulated by the stop lights on every block.  So I turned it into a game. I sprinted each block and only get to rest as long as the light took.  Downtown actually has some hills.  Got challenging.

August 29, 2010

Seattle’s BEST at coffee…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 9:15 am

I couldn’t be happier than finding that downtown Seattle is laced with coffee shops and fresh baked goods.  Huge sticky buns and cinnamon rolls.  They have a chain  called the Specialty Cafe & Bakery that waffs of cinnamon and dough and coffee grounds.  But right across the street is Seattle’s BEST coffee and dotted on every corner is the KING of coffee marketing…STARBUCKS.  The original Starbucks is almost hidden in the farmer’s market.  We had to go.  

The Original STARBUCKS

A little Starbuck’s trivia.  The original logo was decided to be too breasty and was conservatized to a lady with flowing hair around her.  Artsy.  

Heres the final answer logo.

This New Orleans based tourist was tall enough to hold the sign


This logo looks like???

August 28, 2010

Made of IRON!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 8:57 am

These boys were obvious SWIMMERS.

I really enjoy timing these IRONKID events because they are classy, well done venues done in great outdoor locations encouraging kids to put some pedal to the medal, dare to wade into water, and run their hearts out.  The kids are endorphoned over the chance to TRI.  This particular girl stood out to me.  I could tell she was focused, trained, and enjoying the chance to compete.  I could tell the family was very about being an active family.  I jumped out of the chutes to meet them.  Lindsey Bradley is a straight A 13 year old that runs cross country and track and uses the huge hill outside of her home to train on.  Her dad was an avid cyclist and her brother holds national titles in ‘practical pistol’.  Now that is an unusual discipline.  The father and son participate in active shooting competitions.  They didn’t even need to tell me that their daughter holds records in the 800, 1500, and cross country.  Determination written into her character told me that.  And they didn’t need to tell me that they were proud and supportive of her.  That was obvious in how they surrounded her throughout the competition.  In fact, all the parents did.  Especially in the junior divisions.  I think the parents ran further than the kids trying to snap pictures and yell from every angle of the course. Definitely this TRI series was giving kids the chance to be MADE OF IRON.A Made of IRON family. The Bradleys.

I took the chance to run along the lake at the event.  The Pacific Northwest is so made for that.  Crisp air, pluffy clouds, green grass, wind whipping through your hair, people walking dogs, riding mountain bikes, all driving…hey..OUTBACK Subarus!  And the blackberries are ripe for the picking on any trail or path you run.  (Ps.  the Achilles is really hurting me)

August 27, 2010

No reason for ALARM

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 8:35 am

I want to tell you about my childhood and the why of why I don’t communicate well.  Why I don’t know myself well.  I want to tell you about lunch with my dad.  And the book I read on narcissism called Trapped in the Mirror.  I want to tell you some stories that will help you understand me.  And why lion roar anger throws me overboard. 

But instead I am getting vehicle DMV tags updated and buying a car off the lot to replace the Pruis .  The car I just finished paying off got had been totaled in…you guessed it, an accident, opps, while I was in the land down under. So maybe un-coincidentally  I am choosing to buy a Subaru OUTBACK.  Outback seems to theme and fit this year, and this vehicle is made for my snow potential mountain and the extra gear I end up hauling.  A safe, sound personal vehicle to get my daughter to school and me out of lugging a huge truck through LA. Maybe the ‘accident’ rate will diminish.

And, by the way, I have to catch a flight to Seattle for the timing of another Ironkid’s race. It is 111 degrees in San Bernardino.  I slept through the alarm.  Talk about alarmed. I might miss the flight is how I will leave today’s blog.

Keys to a new car...and PAYMENTS!

August 24, 2010

Unwritten. My theme song for the fall.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 7:11 pm

 I am going to take this experience in the Outback and give it the energy of this song.  It’s a kick off!  PUNT. I am unwritten with a pen in my hand. It is a  good place to be.

More Than a Hallelujah. Song for my day.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 7:08 pm

Lyrics cry from my heart more than my own words sometimes.  This is  my song for today.

  Song by Amy Grant.  Better than a Hallelujah.

August 23, 2010

I Duck taped my feet to the pedals.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:41 pm

When I was timing events in the French Polynesian islands, I was also trying to train for triathlons.  I needed to cross train on a bike and was offered one to borrow. The Tahitians proudly delivered what they billed as the best bike on Moorea.  Through the Tahitian to French to English translation they never caught on that I really needed clip on pedals, the pulling of up and down, to get a cycle workout.  I accepted the thoughtful gift from the broad-shouldered, dark-skinned beauty of a man anyway.  He was smiling.  Always smiling.  The entire island smiled.  A free and easy smile.  No pretense here.  “Why would anyone need to pedal fast through life anyway?”, his smile said.

So I devised a plan.  I got duck tape out of our timing supplies and had the local boys steady me on the bike while others wound the grey tape over and over until my shoes became one with the pedals.  Proud of my inventiveness I had them shove me off on my journey of no choice pedaling around the entire island.  It was 35 miles. I wouldn’t be able to stop.  I had a return landing plan to glide up to this same parking lot that had a coconut tree planted in the center. I would gently lean in to it to stop.  The boys promised to be there in wait of unwrapping my feet.  I knew they would.  These same boys so leisurely squat  and wait for a bus that passes only three times a day, or for a sunset, or a cyclone, or a cousin to come back fishing from the reef. They were delighted with this new found fun and a funny lady that would tape her feet to the pedals of a bike.  I could hear their giggles long after I pedaled away. 

Volcanic mountains. Waves breaking way out on the reef. Little islands out in the lagoon called atolls. Canoes pulled up on shores. Lush landscape, and flowers, flowers, and more flowers.  I pedaled past what I esteem as one of the loveliest places on earth.  The rewards  around every bend made the steamy heat durable.  Kind of.  I was oiled with sweat. Drinking from the water bottle took careful  dexterity.  Pedal slow enough, but not fall over while unscrewing the cap with my teeth with only one hand on the handle bars.  Phew.

About 10 miles into the ride I hit my first squall.  I saw the rain coming and knew it would be welcomed.  Squalls pass through every day, all day long and douse the heat for a teasing moment, sprinkler to the tropics.  I shake my wet hair and yahoo as it drenched me.  I didn’t realize the challenge this rain would bring.  The huge land crabs also live for the fresh rain.  They pick up their front claws and race on their hind legs to the black pavement to suck up the pools of water that fill up in the asphalt rivets.  Oh, my stars.  Hundreds of them filled the road.  Their uniform response to my approaching rubber tires was to stand up and fight.  An army of land crabs were faced in my direction and valiantly going to duel with this mighty metal beast clambering toward them.  No brain waves in these crustaceans.  They didn’t consider moving out-of-the-way.

So I had no choice, glued to my bike, but to dodge them by the hundreds.  If I ran over even one of their spiked shelled backs the tires would pop and I would be hiking a bike around an island long into the night.  Zip. Swerve. Dodge. Obscenity.  Opps.  Not their fault.  They are just dumb crabs.  I hit three more squalls each with its brigade of crabs on the road.  I promise it was more intense than any video game you have ever sat through.  Fast twitch.  Adept reflex.  Twist. Turn. Don’t go off the road.  And then I did.  Right into a ditch.  Me, the bike, and my feet tapped to the pedals. 

So there I was splat on my back in a grassy ditch straddling a bike unable to reach the tape and get my feet released from their shackle.  This is definitely not the first time I have had to say, “how the heck did I get in this position?”  I think it’s called being in a pickle.  I am not sure why.   Another squall came and with great laughter filled the ditch with muddy gunk as I squirmed to get the bike back underneath my butt.  I had to fully roll over in the mud and drag myself by my hands up the embankment lashed to the bike.  Then I had to paw up a banana tree to get the bike in an angle I could shove off again. 

There was no way to communicate my adventures to the boys squatting in the parking lot when I finally circumvented the island, but I am sure they came up with their own story.  They laughed from their depths like only islanders can as they yanked and pulled until the tape finally released my shoes and I popped off the pedals.  They stood back and gleefully surveyed their muddy, scraped funny lady that had duck taped her feet to the pedals so she could ride faster around the island.  I know the boys wanted to say, “Sure seeed to have taken her a long time, longer than when we do it not taped”.  They marveled at my inefficiency while trying to be.

I tape myself to the pedals a lot…in life.

August 22, 2010

Oklahoma…where the…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 2:16 pm

The Lopez family drove 9 hours from Texas

The MAY family uses triathlons for homeschool P.E. curriculumThe Lopez family drove 9 straight hours from Texas

Oklahoma…where what? What’s the song?  We had wind whipping through the range, but not enough of it to hinder the 102 degree humidified Midwest temperatures. Not much got to happen in Oklahoma save us timing a gem of a race series.

The Iron Kids is a great chance to introduce youth to the thrill of three sports coming together through strategized transitions.  It was rather touching to watch how involved the families were in coaching, cheering,  and participating in the event.  It  was a kick to see kids in triathlon suits with aerodynamic helmets, super bikes, and cool shades.  The determined looks of their faces…priceless.  The Ironman Company stages these Ironkids events all over the nation.  Check out

August 21, 2010

Being back…

Filed under: A Runner's Story,Marathon Running,track and field,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 4:49 pm

Can I admit it is tough being back.  The life pile I left is still here. What was I expecting?  Seems larger.  Pounce. It is not celebrating I went to the Australian Outback.  It has a personality and it says, “I could care less.  Deal with me.” Take that.  Double whammy for daring to be gone; being gutsy enough to go.  I dove through the piled up mail. There’s an IRS notice that says my $2500 stipend pay for head coaching a high school track team (which factored out to about .50 per hour.  It was definitely not about the money ,but about using track to impact teenage lives) back in 2008 was being levied a pleasure fee of 25 percent.  There is a county notice that property tax will be accessed a $309 fee to help the county’s budget.  There’s a threat that if not paid in 10 days, a warrant will be out for my failure to appear in court for a red light photo ticket I know nothing about.  I have only partially paid for the lawyer’s scraped sports car and the fender bender I did in the new Toyota Tundra truck has thrown the alignment off and the vehicle is shimmying at over 50 mph.  The tires are shot.  My son’s truck’s tires are really shot and the shocks are gone. The truck repairs came to a whopping $1900. A main computer shut down.  And we were down one vehicle as one of my staff totaled a company car while I was gone.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc…

Funny how I can plow into handling business problems, but relational?! In Eat, Love, Pray the writer brought up that one of her social worker, psychiatry friends took on dealing with refugees that came from Cambodia.  They had gone through severe torture, witnessed death, and suffered beyond human compression.  The counselor was apprehensive as to how to counsel them on this.  She was taken back when the conversations, hurts, and concerns of her new refugees were centered on broken relationships…this guy ran off with this girl, why didn’t this young lover still like her. Those kinds of concerns. The need for special people in their lives was deeper than any physical torture they had been put through.  It boiled down to this primal concern of how we relate and are related to.

So all the piled up business stuff was huge and knot producing, but my heart lingered on the relational.

As far as work and life in California.  I liked intensity and diversity.  And yet, I wanted to collapse on a sunny island somewhere and stop racing all together.  End of pondering.

A few of my key staff and I had to jump on a plane and get to Oklahoma City to time an Iron kid’s race .

August 14, 2010

Is this a Kiwi?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 8:57 pm

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