Caren Ware's Blog

March 26, 2014

Let me catch MY BREATH!

Filed under: hiking,traveling,Uncategorized,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 12:25 am

IMG_4845There is wisdom in the choices to settle on camps. There are two days hovering at 12,000 to 13,500 before the base camp of 15,500. Things change here. The temperatures, the severity of storm patterns, and how your body handles the thin air. I discovered two scary things at this base camp. One, I had been thinking I was putting purifying tablets in my drinking water and they ended up being pills that make the water ‘taste’ good. They were in the same size and shade bottle as purifying tablets. Everyone got a good laugh and said if I was going to get sick I would have by than. Luckily, all other drinking water I had put in my bottles had come from the boiled hot water they were serving. I had done that to be doubly safe. Good thing. But days after the return to the states, my ingestion was to rebel at some amoebas I ingested. I would have to take the travel pills and antibiotics to combat my untreated water sips. I lost some more precious pounds in the battle of getting through that huge mistake. Be forewarned to read the fine print on the tablet bottles! There are ones that purify, and ones that make the water taste good.
And “pole, pole”. This is something my hyped energy level does not naturally do. So I would forget. Like a ferret, I would see a group come into camp and I would have to bounce up and meet them. Try doing that at 15, 500 feet. Bound, bound, fast step and, ugggghhh. I can’t greet you. In fact, I can’t even talk to you. Gasp. Gasp. Gurgle. Bend over and near collapse, like I had just run an Olympic 400 meter all out race. Embarrassing. Humbling. I took off to my tent once and had a near full blown panic attack because I couldn’t catch my breath. Joel, the guide walked by and gently squeezed my arm. “Pole, pole, dear.”
So summit round up just prior to midnight required headlamps and packs and very layered clothing. I forgot the neck buff and went ‘running’ back to my tent to get it and ‘running’ back up to the group to get going on our 4,000 foot ascent. And than, I realized I was being drowned without any water. I could not breath. I could not get air just as if I was under water. I started to panic, which induced my very rare athlete’s asthma. Seriously?! Was I really having an asthma attack or just a panic attack. Both, I decided. Because I couldn’t catch my breath from running I was starting to panic. I threw my pack off and put my head on my knees and commanded my body to calm down. It took a few minutes. And those few minutes I thought, what if this does not let up and I am not able to climb this beast of a mountain after all…the travel, the expense, the time, the tales. I am sure it has happened to the fit and best of them. I am sharing this, just so you know not to ‘run’ around a mountain above 15,000 feet. And if you do, try not to panic when you do fall short of breath. It makes it worse.

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

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.

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

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 21, 2013

Caren Ware will attempt to run 26.2 miles in Antartica. March 7, 2013

IMAG2476Living a year in Jackson definitely is adding a  winter experience.  I am getting ready to run my THIRD REMOTE CONTINENT marathon… in Antarctica. Not hard to simualte  when this winter has dipped as low as -28. Negative temperatures can turn into negative situations real fast.  They warrant caution and  preparation.  They are teaching me to include an avalanche shovel,  emergency sleeping bag,  and extra gloves, wool, and down jackets stashed in the truck and put into emergency packs whenever going ‘backcountry’.  And they are showing me that freeze framed beauty is so contrast to the summer beauty of wild flowers, meadow grasses, and waterfalls. Up here, in winter the animals are furry.  Thousands of elk have made their winter migration.  They know digging through the snow will lead to grass .   The big horn sheep are herded up on their winter bluffs. And moose and buffalo are instantly spotted, dark on a white scape , unable to hide from their hoof printed trails left in the soft snow.  The lakes are frozen and steam rises from the few rivers still flowing. The Teton Range stands like a stunning bride dressed in its white gown.  I wanted to see what a winter looked like.  More than that, I needed to FEEL what a winter was like.

My quest to run a remote marathon with remote people on every continent would have to pardon the remote people for one continent….Antarctica.  There are only two marathon opportunities on the most remote of remote places.  There are only 100 slots for each of these two.  Due to the popularity to do all 7 continents as a bucket list of life to dos, making the waiting list now takes three to four years.  Buzz back to the origin of my blog and see that I put that permit in 4 years ago.  It has just come up as ‘my turn’ to be running in Antarctica on March 7, 2013.  I will share with you the training I have found here amoung a region of mountain athletes.

Going to Antartica to run is a commitment.  It takes almost a month to travel to and from and involves a lot of days out at sea in seas known only as the roaring forties.  Waves.  Wind. Cold. Anything can happen on that one day we get to disembark and RUN 26.2 miles on a huge slab of ice.  And it takes some hefty coins.  Luckily, I started paying for it four years ago.  But in those four years, an additonal 2,800 to go was tacked on.

So I am training in Jackson, Wyoming. Try running in this!!! I have been experimenting with what I would need in Antarctica.  Good thing.  Though I had a Patagonia down hoodie sweater, a Northface Windstopper zip up, and an Arcteryx shell jacket as outer layers, I ran in -2 with a cotton jog bra and cotton panties.  About 6 miles into a twelve mile run I started to crunch.  My sweat was freezing the under garments to my body! Wow. Really. These were not the idea places to invite potential frost bite.  I now own Icebreaker wool briefs and bras.  This is a New Zealand wool from high mountain sheep that does not itch…kinda.   I also added Smartwood socks to my collection. Another respectable wool product company that  doesn’t itch.  Kinda.

Try this for a combination training goal…to run this remotest of remote Antarctica marathon and than return and hit the track and be trained for the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Track & Field to be held in Brazil, October of 2013.  Follow the blog to see how I will possibly make that happen.  But for now, blog along as I get ready for Antarctica.  Im testing out clothing in these pictures. It is -15 degrees. My fingers and face are questioning my choice to do this.  Watch the video below and get an idea of the terrain I will be running on.IMAG2481

December 5, 2012



Thanksgiving Day is the biggest results timing day of the year.   Teton Valley had a Turkey Chase on the weekend and Jackson, Wyoming had a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  I had the immense privilege to get to work with the Teton County/ Jackson Parks & Recreation and Jill Harkness and crew. They put a lot of pre prep to making this a festive event for the entire community.  The crowd was treated to a sunny day and unseasonable higher temperatures than normal for this time of year. Two years ago it had to be cancelled when temperatures fell to minus 20 degrees.  The day prior to this year’s race it was snowing. Today, and so much a reason to be thankful for, it was sunny.  But for me, I was most thankful, thankful for this year was Itz About Time’s new Techy, Nick.  He is the BEST.  He comes from a background in successful cinema filming, producing feature films, and now operates a high action video company.  Check out  He, and his identical twin brother, have  put the successful rigors of Hollywood aside to enjoy this region, and we are blessed to have the  talent. Check out our new website.  Participants were delighted to be ‘officially’ timed with RFID chip timing.  Their almost standard comment was, “It’s about time we got professional timing.”  Get it.  The MC did, and the pun for the morning was…IT’S ABOUT TIME we got timing with ITz ABOUT TIME.  Gotta love it.About-us-Nick-1024x731

October 18, 2012

Overcome your Obstacles. The Tough Towner

Filed under: A Runner's Story,fitness,trail running,traveling,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 9:49 pm

There are great options of road cycling, mountain biking, trail running, and road mileage with a backdrop from Heaven itself in this corner of Wyoming and Idaho. An outdoor Eden in my opinion.

This time of year, a new sport called cyclocross stages many races up here.  I’ll have to explain that to you.  But this Saturday, October 20th there will be a new event in the town of Jackson called the TOUGH TOWNER.  This is being staged by Tim Walthers, who operates Grand Dynamics.  Grand Dynamics works with companies in building positive personal, goal setting, confidence, and greater communication through an outdoor setting and activities.  The Tough Towner is a way for Tim and his staff to give to the community that beauty of letting yourself try something new and challenging, and the reward that accomplishing that brings.  They build obstacles all through town and hand out shirts that say ‘overcome your obstacles”.  This will be the first staged one ever.  You can contact them to bring one of these to your town.  Check out the mascot.  If the elephant can do the course, so can you!

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