Life Lessons And Church On Whidbey Island

I was lucky enough to join my friends from Nature’s Path at the Whidbey Island marathon event this weekend on Whidbey Island, an island beside Anacortes in Washington State. The very cool thing about this event is that it is “GREEN” to the core, which fits perfectly with the ideals of Nature’s Path as a company and makes me feel very good to be a part of it. It was fun to speak to a diverse group of runners, most of which were not at their first half or full marathon. However, the day I flew down to Whidbey I had to learn a life lesson courtesy of the universe, so that story first….

The super custom that got me in trouble.. even BOOTIES!!!!

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am afraid of bad energy and karma. I am actually a pretty spiritual person despite the fact you probably won’t find me in a church except during a wedding. I believe most things happen for a reason and therefore, it is very important to be a good person doing good things as much as you can. That said, sometimes the universe needs to teach us a lesson. Mine was a bit painful lesson but a good reminder nevertheless…

I received my box of custom outfits from Pactimo clothing this week. One word: SWEET! The stuff is so incredibly incredible all I can say is BRAVO to both Ryan Johnson at QBP for the design and to Karl and Teniqua at Pactimo for making it. WOW. I have a number of favorite items but one of the coolest pieces is the bra tops they made for me in red with world champion stripes. Badass.

Okay I ran into trouble when I got to the arm and leg warmers. I have never had custom arm and leg warmers. These ones have Nature’s Path and BMC on them. How freaking cool is that? For me, that is the height of custom awesomeness and I was seriously over the edge at that point. When I put them on I was feeling absolutely too cool. I was headed for disaster.

Friday after swim I had a mountain bike ride planned before I flew down to Seattle for the Whidbey event so I thought it would be a perfect time to try out my new women’s specific Shimano mountain bike shoe, the WM80, my new long sleeve jersey, my new bib shorts and my new custom super awesome leg warmers with Nature’s Path and BMC logos on them. When I threw a leg over my BMC Shiver I was looking so damn PRO in that stuff I was bursting. Bursting I tell ya!

So I roll out of the garage and start to pick up speed down the hill from our house towards this little piece of gravel trail that connects our street to another street between some houses when I notice a woman has parked her car in front of the trail. No problem, super cool pro Mel will ride around her car on someone’s lawn to reconnect with the trail. Only, since Mel was so darn cool and pro she figured she wouldn’t even brake and would try to take the right hand corner on tires pumped to 40 psi (a road ride the day before was the reason for this ridiculously high tire pressure). Sure enough, Mel hits the dirt hard. Her Shiver now has her fork on backward since I turned the bars around 360 degrees and horror of horrors, there are holes and blood stains on her new wicked super awesome custom legwarmers. 8 seconds of use.

Never love your STUFF that much. It is just stuff remember….and if you get too in love with it this will happen. I now had a bleeding hole in my elbow, bumps and scrapes everywhere, particularly in the knees and elbows areas and a lot of pain to carry around that whole ride to remind me that it is just material things and get over yourself already…

Okay back to the Whidbey trip. I arrived late Friday night so first thing Saturday I went to Fort Ebey State Park to engage in my weekly trip to church. Church for me involves some alone time running in the forest reconnecting with nature and thinking the kind of thoughts you have when you are alone in a breathtakingly beautiful environment living your life exactly as you choose to live it. Church is inspiration, reflection, refocus and refreshment. Reconnecting with nature does that for me. It grounds me and helps me to remember all of the things I think are truly important. I love it. Fort Ebey Park is fantastic with incredible views of the Olympic mountain range across the water, a bluff trail that winds along a high cliff above the ocean and a lot of old growth cedar forest with loamy soft gorgeous singletrack. Heaven – I think you must visit if you can.

So after my hour and forty five minutes of trotting in the woods I grabbed a shower, a coffee and some bananas and went to the race expo. When I got there I started eating Nature’s Path bars immediately. Whenever I go to Nature’s Path events I eat the whole time. Too funny. It was fun to hand out free Runner’s World and Bicycling magazines and hang out with my friends Maria and Melina from Nature’s Path. Nature’s Path is a privately owned company and really takes care of their people. You can tell, all the employees I have met are happy people. Good stuff.

I did a panel discussion with Dr. Sukhi Muker, an ultramarathon runner and chiropractor and Chuck Engle, who did 52 marathons under 3 hours in one year. If you can dream it you can do it, I tell you. It was fun and hopefully informative and inspiring for the participants. Just a sidebar, I have NEVER personally run a marathon. I certainly will someday soon though.

Here are the green highlights of the Whidbey Marathon, courtesy of Nature’s Path:

1. On site recycling and composting
2. All organic pasta dinner (the green salad was incredible with oranges, hazelnuts and feta)
3. Participant shirts made with bamboo and organic cotton
4. Finishers medallion made with 100% recycled glass sourced from locally (employing women who have been addicts or abused)
5. Use of recycled paper
6. Focus on carpooling for the event

In fact, if you make an effort to make your event more green, Nature’s Path will supply you with samples of their delicious products. In fact, they were sampling the new Organic Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch.. mmmm! Contact them through www.runnersworld-greenteam.com if you are interested.

So then I headed home to arrive in Victoria late at night. This morning I went for a beautiful ride in Victoria with Ross who was positively “dancing on the pedals” while I could feel the effects of a 1h45 run plus a day on my feet. I am so soft. Ross is also amazing given he gets better without training which bugs me to no end.

So Tuesday I am off for my annual Monterey pilgrimage for the Sea Otter Classic with my BMC friends. I will have to make my racing good so I don’t have to call it the Ocean Weasel again….

I will leave you with a pic of my little brother and his wife that I took in my place when they came over for coffee the other day. I am trying to not love that glass in our railing too much…

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