Caren Ware's Blog

February 27, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 9:39 am

URGENT ALERT!  The email read.  “We just received a report this morning from the owner of One Ocean Expeditions that the Akademik Ioffe was damaged by an iceberg. The ship will return to port in Ushuaia on March 3 to assess the damage. It is unlikely that the necessary equipment is available to safely decide if the ship is seaworthy for the Antarctica Marathon expedition. The Russian owners of the ship want to bring it back to Europe for a more complete inspection and repair. We do not want to have everyone depart on this trip only to find that the voyage must be canceled which is likely. Thus, we must cancel this trip due to the ship being unsuitable for mechanical reasons.”  The email goes on to spell out an alternate option to get on a ship the end of March.

SERIOUSLY!!! Operation Antarctica just turned into operation re-route, re-plan, un-do, re-do…and all at a cost of ticket changes, eating ones that could not.  I am in Maui mid- March to time an event, and staging THE RABBIT RUN for So Cal to have the funnest, longest, running Easter Egg Hunt.  My past month has been filled with egg orders, candy, shirts, the scheduling of the Easter Bunny, photographers, course design, flyer distribution, eblasts.  All the time ,running frozen miles in Jackson, packing wool, down, and gortex.  Reading up on and buying seasick wrist bans.  And most disconcerting, not filling my plate with gameful employment.  The biggest risk of adventure is parting the time for an once in a lifetime excursion. Adventure does not pay bills.  So you have to part with that too.   Proceeds from PRIME TIME is paying for my kids in college and little else.  Jackson, Wyoming, to be discovered, has two huge gaps in business and employment opportunities.  Their fall lasts from September to December and their spring causes everyone local to almost vacate because nothing happens in melt off mood…March, April, May…except the best to me…track & field.  I will be coaching Jackson High School track while getting prepped for all the summer adventure races and staging a triathlon festival weekend in Mid-August called TRI THE WEST during their melt off.  Where in this hustle is the writing of the script about the Belmont Boys, or the book on time… ?  Now, there’s a question.

But for right now, the biggest question is to adjust…and react..and replan how to accomplish the set goal of running a marathon in Antarctica. I just spent 10 hours on the line to Expedia and Lan Airlines trying to capture the cheapest way to re-route flights.  There is none.  I almost had to repurchase all the flights.  And now, plan out the connections and plans for the events.  Those 10 hours were some of the most frustrating hours, getting a pool of phone service answerers that spoke indiscernible english and kept telling me that they were unable to process changes in their system.  Finally, at 2am, I got a gal in the Philipines to feel sorry for my plight and worked the flights and actually called me on her personal cell phone to get enough information to change flights. I thank her however she is for processing the unprocessable.

Here’s irony.  I will now be hovering in So Cal at temperatures warranting shorts, and doing an event on an island that warrants bikinis…and than tackling Antarctica.  Thus, now the new adventure. Can you imagine what Marathon Tours is scrambling to have to do to re schedule us all?  I was told that Kathy Loper Events has come up with the WHITE CONTINENT MARATHON. , smart business move to find a way to fly across the Drake Passage, give our fast paced society a bucket list way to check off two continents in one sweep and get back to work in time.  I am being reminded by many of you that the expedition spirit of Antarctica will be lost in that.  That this SLOW BOAT option will be ,and glean, what it is meant to be…an adventure, not a task master check off list. So, slow boat is made slower by waiting for a boat, but lets see what transpires. Boat it is.  Now, lets see if I can keep up the high mileage for another month. 


February 16, 2013

Antarctica or BUST.

Filed under: A Runner's Story,Marathon Running,traveling,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 11:03 pm

It’s expensive to travel to Antarctica. There is no cheap, easy way.  You fly to Buenos Aires, take a commuter plane to Ushuala, take a Russian Crew ship across the Drake Passage and back.  My permit to go was upssubmitted 4 years ago and, luckily, required a deposit and periodic payments.  But inflation has made this trip increase by $2800 from its original cost.  I had to get creative with this unexpected increase.  I put applications in for seasonal help.  When I saw UPS trucks with driver helpers I went to the UPS office to inquire as to why I had not heard anything on my application.  They sheepishly said,” ummm, hemmmm, hawwww…um, your app says you are a 50 year old female that weights 132 pounds.  You would have to be able to lift boxes sometimes weighing over 100 lbs and you would have to be running from door step to door step. ”  I returned,” and the point is?”.  I have been paying to work out and train and do crossfit.  I welcomed the challenge and chance to do something that physical and that outdoors.  As we were discussing this, a worker came in with a twisted ankle.  The manager looked at his mounting pile of constant Christmas boxes and said, “You are on.  Starting now.”  And I was.  I, and a young guy from Jackson, got the reputation for being the first truck back…despite the co workers loading the load with labels upside down and purposely not filling the gas tank just to slow us down. He would roll through the ranch roads and I would sprint down the long driveways, dodging the chasing dogs biting at my heels,  and toss that pile of ordered Santa on each porch for miles and miles…in the snow, sleet, ice, and fog.  Now, there’s a story to tell your grandkids.  My short career in the brown suit was cut shorter when I slipped on ice running through a parking lot while not on duty.  I broke my pinkie and ring finger…and only than, could I not pick up the 50 plus pound boxes.  All this shared to let you know that adventuring goes beyond fortitude.  It takes planning, and just plain hard work.

Redneck Nascar…the cutter races.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:38 pm

This is what Wyoming Ranchers do to entertain themselves in the winter.  I was thoroughly entertained by them being so thoroughly entertained.  I have been spending the winter getting aquainted to nordic races, fat tire snow bikes, but NOW THIS IS RACING!cutterrace3 IMAG0258 IMAG0259 IMAG0263 IMAG0267 IMAG0268 IMAG0271 IMAG0272

February 7, 2013

Watch both videos. And really, no excuses. Stallone (Rocky) my inspiration since 16.

Filed under: A Runner's Story,Marathon Running,traveling,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 9:34 pm

Why run? Why try doing the unthinkable. The unstoppable. The improbable? Why not.

It’s not because I have something to prove.  It’s because we have something God given in us to live for. Inspire to. Grasp after. Just try.

I am reading “The Coolest Race on Earth” by John Hanc and getting a first hand account of what I am getting into in Antarctica.  His jacket cover reads, “Muddy, cold, hilly, the race is by all accounts horrible up and down a melted glacier twice, past curious penguins and hostile skuas, and finally to a bleak finish line.  Even the best runners take longer to run the Antarctica Marathon than any other.  Yet the allure of the marathon running combined with the fascinating reputation of the Last Continent has persuaded…” yes, me , “to brave a trip across the world’s most turbulent body of water, the Drake Passage, to a land of extinct volcanoes and craggy mountain peaks, lost explorers and isolated scientists, penguin rookeries and whale sightings, all for a chance to run a crazy 26.2 miles…” in what is known as the world’s most difficult marathon.  I am more afraid of the days at sea than what weather or conditions or arduous hills the continent will throw at us…us being 99 people who put in for a permit over three years ago and will all come to meet each other as we board the Russian crew ship at Ushuaia…fin del mundo.  The end of the world.


February 6, 2013

Lessons learned.

I learned a few things today in my second venture backcountry skiing.  It takes a lot of athleticism and conditioning to ‘skin’ your skis to the base of the Tetons… than even more than that to punch your way up a mountain.  Our destination was a place they coined “25 SHORT”.  The ski line to come down is 25 feet short of 10,000 feet.  It was my first real day of relying on my self and my new equipment.  I dropped my water bladder and it spilled out.  Had I been on a long haul back country venture I would have had to boiled down snow for new water.  I also learned that lakes freeze so solid you can cross them, but they develop a ‘lake’ layer just under the last layer of ice that you can crash through to and get wet enough to be in trouble back here.  The reward of a day out in the backcountry is the backcountry.  It can be serene, quiet, peaceful, stirring.  It can be dangerous.  As the temps rise so does the chance for mountain sides of snow to slide.  Experience tells you to stay on lines near the trees.

When I finally got to the highest point on ’25 Short”  it was time to convert the nordic set up to downhill, and the chance to SKI the mountain and its virgin snow.  I pulled the skins off the skis, twisted the binding to lock in and stepped in.  I went to do the same with the other ski…and it wasn’t there.  I looked all around my feet, bewildered.   A track lead down, down the steep slope and into a ravine. I had knocked my ski off its perch and it quietly took the thrill ride down without me.   There is no way to ski in thick powder on one ski. I had to straddle my lone ski and toboggan down to my lost ski.  So much for all the physical outlay to get to the top of a mountain…to be reduced to sliding and IMAG0217 IMAG0216 IMAG0218 IMAG0220 IMAG0222 IMAG0225 IMAG0226 IMAG0231tobogganing, and tumbling down.  At least I was able to retrieve the ski and appreciate that the protocol is to turn the skis upside down on slopes so the bindings act as a brake and it doesn’t slide.  I still can feel that stunned , and very stupid feeling when I looked down and that ski was gone!


What color is run?

IMAG0200IMAG0202IMAG0209A week has gone by and I am back to another LONG run.  21 miles today.  I  literally RAN into a moose this week on one of my 8 mile runs along a frozen creek on a snowed over bike path.   I came around a corner and startled this, huger than a horse ,female.  She never expected a crazed runner to be out in her winter territory. She stomped her hooves and puffed her sides.  No question she was disturbed. These are not good signs.  I did a dance around a bush with this frothing, oversized, very funky, but very mad  beast.  I had to plunge over a wood fence and into someone’s backyard.  Only in Jackson!

But yeah Jackson.  I run by deer and elk today…and cows and horses.  All with their extra winter coats…and me with mine.

And, yeah Jackson, it is the workout capital.  There are private gyms, yoga, and Pilates on every other street corner.  I am thankful for the solid options.  What I am not telling you about is that divorce is a tsunami.  It is a huge wave that careens through lives and obliterates, leaving a wake of emotional, financial, and relational debris.  Not only have I been training and restrengthening.  I am thankful to take the time to pick through some of the aftermath.  It has not been easy.  This runs with me and keeps me company more than I would like.

The temperatures have risen to reasonable.  Days have been between 20 to 40 degrees.  We are having what I called ‘sparkle’ days.  At least the hands and face can bear being bare in these temperatures… for a short amount of time. And the snow is pristine white.  And the skies are deep, deep blue.  And the afternoons  are pink, pink, purple.  And the hues harden into bold, solid, hard sunsets.  I run all through the valleys and tackle a 2 mile hill that ascends nearly 2000 feet.  They say we will be having to run up two glaciers in Antarctica.  There is the classiest of restuarants called the Grannary at Spring Creek Ranch that I KNOW has the best perched view in our nation.   That was my 11 mile turn around point.  It was one of the prettiest runs and rewards with a sunset.  By the way, I learned The Grannary has live Jazz, incredible musicians on Friday nights.  And it was the most rewarding place to watch the SUPERBOWL.  A fireplace, a vaulted glass view of the TETON Mountains and the game playing in the corner TVIMAG0196.  First time in 20 years I was not timing a race on this ‘national’ holiday. IMAG0206IMAG0179IMAG0197IMAG0185

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