Caren Ware's Blog

March 17, 2014

The FACES of the Porter’s of Kilimanjaro

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,hiking,Marathon Running,trail running,traveling — Caren Ware @ 10:24 am

I would rather you read the faces of the porter’s before we climbed the mountain than read my feeble words to describe them. These faces had no names. Just men lined up to do a job. Men hopeful they would not be cut because they did not have the required clothing or equipment. Men that knew what they were getting into. Men that knew they were about to go into a battle with physical demands. Men that knew this was their one way to be fed.
They were my Hispanic boys orphaned in Southern Mexico, who would run half the night collecting cows just to get a sip of milk and chunk of cheese. I was determined to get to know these faces. Trek with me and let these faces became names, and stories, and laughter and sharing. They will become people who have to do what they can do to eat, to bring something home. They have children, and wives, and elder parents. They have determination. They are strong. They, right now, have no other opportunity, but what Kilimanjaro treks bring. IMG_4479








March 7, 2014

A flight, a landing, and a drive from Arusha to Moshi

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,Marathon Running,traveling — Caren Ware @ 7:03 am


IMG_4354A flight, a landing. Grabbed the bags right out of the side compartment from the airplane. I was looking out the windows, listening to the pilots speak easy in Swahili, and reading a few pages over the shoulder of the gal next to me. She was reading, Second Chance, a book about a gal in mid life who ran a marathon on every continent. I read with her the first few pages how she missed the start of her first international marathon with her boyfriend. They thought they had casually given themselves enough time, but had the wrong start time. They jumped in as the runners ran past. My third continent marathon was quite the same way. I flew to Japan to find that my registration had not been processed. After half a day of trying to request my way in, I got escorted to a military building and got a military answer. “NO” was stamped on my request. In a land where there are more people than opportunities, people queued a often having to accept they did not get into…the movie, or get the latest game after waiting in line, or even get into the marathon. There were 335,000 Japanese that applied to run in the Tokyo marathon that could only host 30,000. But for us foreigners, they allowed 3,000 entrants. My registration had been FEDEX in time, but reached the desk of the processor on a Japanese holiday thus coming to the headquarters a day after the deadline. I will have to confess someday what only any race timer would do to run after coming all that way. To be honest, my only interest in running any marathon is its a means to get to a place and look around from the inside out. I have to admit I felt overwhelmed in Toyota in that endless ,spotless, tidy, very populated maze of cement. It was a very foreign place to me. I would feel less lost in the jungle of the Amazon or the vast Alaska range than standing on the Landing seeing an ocean of endless man made. I was awed and eeried. I never thought I would find a casting of lots in Japan . Such, to me, all the people seemed so uniform. But Japan ended up being a surprise chapter in itself as I home stayed a few days with what we would term a ‘hoarder” .
Bounce, air pocket, and I was jarred back to where I was. I WAS flying over the Serengeti into the clouds of a volcanic looking region. All of a sudden I was interested in what was below me. This land had character I was interested to meet.
After we landed and grabbed luggage, Kathy Loper Events had a van arranged to escort us to Moshi, via Arusha. A picture is worth a thousand words so I snapped so your eyes can see.IMG_4356





March 5, 2014

What’s for lunch?

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,Marathon Running,traveling — Caren Ware @ 9:21 pm






January 25, 2014

Talk about GO GIRLS

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,hiking,mountain biking — Caren Ware @ 9:21 am

Laying foundations for your girls. The Whitley’s literally bounced into our lives. They moved in our mountain side, built a studio in their basement, and started dancing, and dancing, and dancing. They were gymnast, ice skaters, acrobats. And Miss Bobbie was an unrelenting, passionate, and intuiative- all about their welfare- instructor… and we benefited. We had an active, determined young gal and they had a perfect place for her to pour that into. And it layered a friendship for a lifetime. Laying foundations for my girl, inside and out! A gift that keeps giving. The “Girls” are all grown up! One of my treasures, to be friends with… Miss Bobbie and the Whitley’s. Love it that they lived outside the box, that they instructed with fervor and intensity, and that they never gave up the dream or theme, knowing it would pay off as phenomenal. I like sharing that kind of out of the box with you. They made “FITNESS” a family home, a family lifestyle, and a living.
Fitness has been a huge part of the journey. God has been the other. Zeal the fuel. I will celebrate our boys and the.1




















IMAG3479 great men they are becoming, but here’s a tribute to our girls. This is life’s most blessed journey. I am about to go run unrelenting miles in Africa and trek to the top of a 19,000 mountain, but parenting the inner heart and the moments of growth in our kids are the treasures. And,watching who they have become is summiting its own kind of mountain top. My hands are held high and I peer over the vast expanse below that will be their futures. It IS one of life’s greatest PEAK experiences.

January 24, 2014

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes…

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,hiking,Marathon Running — Caren Ware @ 8:12 am




Hyped out today. I drove carts for the pros this morning at the PGA Farmer’s open, Torrey Pines, La Jolla. And than I ran for one hour and a half with girlfriends along the beach in Dana Point. I jabbered the entire way… down the stairs, Salt Creek beach, up the stairs, across the bluff, down to Dana point harbor, up PCH, back up the bike path, back along the sandy shoreline. They probably wanted to PUNCH me instead of the clock. Thanks, gals, for putting up with me, my adrenaline, and the hills. Kilimanjaro or bust. The project is probably going to do both to me!! Things are taking a financial and logistical toll…a book’s worth.

One of the gals I ran with is a producer and has a new start up show. Check out her It is where reality meets talk show for Boomer Babies. Main topic…thriving at 50 and menopause. Now, there’s something to talk about!

And, Okay. I’ve learned something about a sport I had no idea. Golf gawkers walk an average of 6 to 9 miles to watch one round of an 18 hole golf course. Wonder what the caddies do? Keegan’s caddie Pepsi has calves. When I asked him what workouts and sports he does, he cocked his head, flashed a sun tanned smile and said, “I walk. I carry clubs”. Said as he sipped off his water bottle containing, you guessed it, Pepsi. The PGA Humana Challenge in Palm Springs did a superb job offering opportunities to learn about ‘FIT’ choices and offered ‘FIT’ things to do.

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June 6, 2013

Running all over the place!

How’s this for hill repeats!  Bryce Canyon is 8300 feet.  Touched the valley floor than did 44, 72, and 94 second sprints back up till I reached the top.  This is  travel and training at 100 percent.b4 b5 b7 b9 IMAG0002_COVER IMAG0664 IMAG0665 IMAG0673 IMAG0684

April 29, 2013

The seas were man, the weather was woman. The DRAKE PASSAGE.

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,Marathon Running,traveling — Caren Ware @ 10:19 pm

IMG_0766IMG_0772We were ushered to the boat where they took our passports….hmmm, wonder why?  But they quickly assigned bunks, and allowed us to ‘move on and move in’.  IMG_1404To my delight, it wasn’t a rusty, old Russian cargo ship. The Akademik VAVILOU was a white, well-built vessel suited for scientific research.  A Russian captain and his crew sailed the ship.  One Ocean Expeditions ,, operates the ship, and One Ocean crew enlightened us through lectures and film, tending the bar, bridge, and reception. They would be the faithful leaders on kayak and Zodiac excursions for the 100 marathoners. 41 Russian crew members lived in the belly of this ship, manning the engines, unlashing the moorings, hoisting the gang way, and serving in the galley. To my other delight, we were given cuisine meals by meticulous chefs and attentive servers despite the weather.  It was almost routine to hear glass breaking when hit by a rogue wave, but atmospheric to the care they were giving to cruise in style despite the demanding elements beating against the ship’s thick metal sides. In due time, we would pit our legs, lungs, and determination against those elements. But for now, we were learning to make ship life cozy.  The life vest drill on deck and seeing that the life boats were covered craft were reminders of where we were going and that it and the temperatures were to be respected. But we felt safe nestled in our solid, cozy, floating cocoon.IMG_0791

Runners and expedition crew from all walks of life and ages engaged in sharing; snatching nuggets of what the whole world is in need of… acceptance, allowance of immerging personalities, human love, mutual respect, and pure fun and friendship. Within days we were family.  We were the ship. And THIS became the priceless point of the journey.  The expedition company One Ocean Expeditions sums it.  It’s all one ocean.  Even the human race.  The journey would be about the people. It would be about the place and the animal life and the weathers.  And the sunsets, and the hues, and the sometimes angry seas, but other times moody, and at times sexy.  The seas seemed man, but the weather seemed woman.  We were out of the bay and into the DRAKE PASSAGE.IMG_0798


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

January 27, 2013

A soft pedal. Hush ride. You can hear the woods.

Filed under: fitness,hiking,Marathon Running,mountain biking,road biking — Caren Ware @ 8:52 pm

fattirepicScott and Jay’s FAT BIKE SNOW SUMMIT was a huge success.  It was classic outdoorsmen and women bonding.  A lodge, good food, fun company, and a smart chance for the national forest service, land commissioners, and such to come see the bikes in action and go for some demo rides.  A snow storm made the ride softly challenging, but nothing when compared to the slide show that Jay and his wife presented on their RIDE to Nome on FAT BIKES.  They, and a handful of hearty others rode the challenge to make the Iditarod Route with the  Sled dogs…but human propelled.   Can I clamor about my -28 when they biked for days upon days in -40 to -50? IMAG0001IMAG0097IMAG0089

Island Park has a BIG SPRING.  It is big.  An entire river comes right out of the ground at a temperature of 52 degrees as the water filters from Yellowstone.  The trout love it and so do the fisherman in this area…and the muskrats.  Got to watch them forage in crystal clear waters, using their tails as rudders.  Cute critters.IMAG0097IMAG0107IMAG0110IMAG0112IMAG0117IMAG0128IMAG0121IMAG0132

Snowmobilers were very curious. They kept asking us where our motors were as we rode!

The summit hosted a 25k race/ride.  Itz ABOUT TIME brought out a self contained timing unit and timed away.  If they were willing to pedal in these conditions, we were willing to TIME THEM!

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