Wednesday, December 14, 2011

XC Season Begins!

 The Spartan XC season opened with the TCPS practice meet in Tupelo.  It was a HOT, DUSTY day for a cross country meet, and the races began mid afternoon!  For those who are not familiar with Mississippi in August, racing in the mid-afternoon is brutal!  The Spartan runners did a great job, and showed up competitive.  There were several 2011 season opening surprises, and two of them involved Duleys.  Sarah and Hannah showed up and competed for the JV team!  Also, Andrew Snyder, Clay Johnson, Nathan Baggett, and Kendra Sanders were a few others we all took note of.                          




Our first race of the 2011BMC season was the Memphis Twilight on September 3. This meet has many races beginning early in the evening, and the college races finish up the evening... around 9:00pm!  The start was so crowded, it was difficult for both teams to get out and establish position. However, there were constant opportunities for passing and moving up throughout the race.  Freshman Latifa Swims from JZ George High School finished first for the Toppers. She had a great first college race! The second BMC finisher in the women's race was also a freshman- Kelsea Hendrix from Alcorn Central High School.
In the men's race, junior Austin Epting finished first for the Toppers, running an incredible race. RIGHT behind him was senior Nathan Young, who showed great improvement from last year. The BMC freshmen men also stepped up and helped out the team. Riley Bennet and Brian McDonnieal were the first freshmen Toppers across the finish line, followed by Jose Valle.

After arriving back to campus past midnight, several team members grabbed a few short hours of sleep (and some didn't sleep at all)! The next morning... or in the middle of the night, depending on your viewpoint... 5 runners had volunteered to help work the Tupelo Marathon. You see, runners will do crazy things for a good t-shirt!  The race start was at 5:00AM!
Hannah and Sarah spent the night with friends and met me at the race.  They worked the water stop at mile 3 with the BMC runners and then came back to the finish area to pass out medals and set up refreshments while I ran in the 14.2 mile race.  It was a cool morning and a fun race.  Esther Sanders and I ran together and visited with each other and other random runners passing by.  Jimmy took off and left us (quite by accident- the race started in the pitch dark), so our training group was incomplete!

When I finished the 14.2 distance, I received my cool medal that is a 1/2 of a skull and cross bones... The race director argues, "If you don't run the full distance, you don't get the full medal!" After getting my legs back under me, we all went to the 23 mile marker to man the water station for the full marathon runners. 
 By the end, everyone was a little delirious... and hungry! This resulted in runners snacking on GU, water fights, and lots of laughter.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More fun, random running camp pictures

The swimming pool wasn't ready, so we had some slip 'n slide fun to cool off one afternoon!

I think my Toppers had almost as much fun as my Spartans! (above: Hunter, Beth, Richard, Stephanie). (below: Martha, Leslie, Julie, Hannah, Olivia, Stephanie, Sarah, Danielle, Mercy, Noelle, Catherine, and AnnaBeth)

At the race on Saturday, one of the obstacles was a cattle gate across the trail... In fact, we had three. This was easy for the big people who could vault over, and it was easy for the little people who could go through the cracks, but it was not so easy for those in the middle who had to climb over!

The weather was perfect, and we were so thankful to NOT have a monsoon on our trails the night before the race!

Meanwhile, the fire truck was getting the mud pit nice and muddy!

For people to have fun... Like this!

Thankfully, they stayed around to clean us off... Like this!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chicken Killin'

Our meat birds were finally big enough to slaughter. We took them to the farm of some friends, so that we could butcher them in a sanitary, expedient fashion. I was so busy gutting chickens and cutting breasts that I forgot to take any pictures! Regardless, I had 44 chickens in my freezer by 1:00pm on the fourth of July!

Last week, Scott and the kids were able to go back and help our friends butcher their chickens! This time, he remembered to take pictures. If you've seen one dead chicken, you've seen another, so I thought would just post pictures from that day...because I know everyone wants to know how organic yard chickens are slaughtered....

First, they are shoved head first into these stainless cones. Their throats are cut and they are allowed to hang there and bleed out for a while.

Next, they go into the scalder (left) and plucker (right).

When they come through the little window to us, they look more like
a grocery store chicken... Especially after little Hallel cuts off their feet.

The people in the gutting line get footless chickens out of the ice buckets and go to work. This. Is. Gross. Guts. Are. Warm. Yuck.

After they are gutted, they are put into another ice bath to await packaging.

Finally, it's time to go cool off in the creek or channel while the grown ups finish up!

If you are cringing with disgust... Trust me...this is much more humane and sanitary than what the Tyson and Sanderson chickens experience!! (and they are oh so much more tasty!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

running camp

This year BMC hosted our second cross country camp for runners in grades 6-12. Last year we got our feet wet with a day camp, but this year we took the plunge and had an overnight camp that culminated in a mud/obstacle 5K race!

Eighty-two runners from four states came to learn about different aspects of cross country, train, and have fun! Area professionals spoke about the importance of team, stretching, preventing injuries, and ADVENTURE! Kenneth Williams, everyone's favorite speaker, came and talked about the amazing things a person can do when a certain level of fitness is maintained. Good encouragement to stay active... Look out, Mt. Kilimanjaro!
We kept everyone very busy running, strength training, going to meetings, doing activities... whew, I'm tired just remembering it all! On Friday night the groups performed lip sync acts for each other... It was funny to see my Spartan girls jamming to "9-5" and "The Big Bad Wolf."

On Saturday morning, I rose early. TOO EARLY, in fact, because I couldn't sleep; I just knew I was forgetting something major. After making much needed coffee and gathering supplies, I headed out to the course. The Blue Mountain Fire Department came and hosed down our mud pit. Not just a little water. Thousands of gallons of water were expended into our finish stretch of mud. Mwahahahaha....
Runners were instructed to "NOT GET INJURED!" during the race, so the three fastest had a little fun on the course... The other runners were having fun, but it was a little more work. These guys make it look easy! Luke Hatcher, running in the middle, will be signing to run for BMC in 2012!
Hannah and Sarah did a great job at camp, and Hannah (above) was working hard during the race. Scott ran the race with Josh (below), who was determined to complete the 5K despite a lack of training... what Duley can resist cattle gates, hay bales, culverts, and a mud pit, right? Will had to be a spectator due to some random face swelling issues... he was disappointed, but the doctor felt like he better take it easy for a few days. :(

When runners started coming to the finish, things got messy. (Haha, of COURSE they did- it was a mud race!!) We had flagged off the mud pit so that runners had to crawl under the flagging to get to the finish line...
Sarah was the first Duley to cross the finish line, and the determination is evident in her expression. Hannah was next, and just as tired! Not quite as tired as my friend Dorothy (below), however... She decided to pause for just a second before getting across the finish! Josh managed to cross the finish line faster than the last time he ran a 5K without obstacles.
When Scott came through the finish line with Josh, he decided to share the mud love with me... but I didn't mind!When runners were done with the race, the fire department was on hand to hose off the muddy runners. This was a very welcome shower for most muddy people!
Finally, while the awards were being tabulated, the BMC runners raced through the mud pit.Seriously, you didn't think they just crawled through the mud pit and that was all? No way, a mud fight was definitely in order! These guys had been working hard all week, and it was time to relieve a little stress!
Mr. Coach Duley had to show the East Union freshmen that he is still the boss (above), and Derek had a seat right on top of Nathan (below).
What a motley crew...
BUT, I think I'll keep them... GO TOPPERS!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fast old ladies

It happened. I had another birthday. Yes, they come every year, but this was an important one. To me, far more painful than 30, or 40, or even 50.
I'm now 35.

When I started running at the age of 12 or 13, it didn't take long to learn about the BEASTLY female age group at 5k races... not the competitive high school runners, not the college age girls... But the 35-39 year old ladies.

Also known as the fast old lady age group.

This was not a title of derision... It was a title given after being schooled by these old ladies, race after race. And, believe me, they were OLD.

It was easy to spot them. Different from the aerobics queen and health club runners, these ladies had grit, a glint in their eyes, and saggy knees... And very often really cool outfits. (Much better than my 5k t-shirt from the previous weekend!). Inevitably, they would pass me in the last half mile or so, looking strong. At the finish, while I was crying or crumpling, they would nonchalantly stand around and talk to everyone... Because they seemed to know everyone.

Somehow or another, it has happened. I have gotten old. I don't think people even use the phrase "schooled" these days. My knees are definitely saggy. And now...

I AM a fast old lady... Maybe not so fast, but definitely in their category!

And to top it all off, I have strained my Achilles or lower calf. It seems that when you are in the fast old lady group, it is not a good idea to run 18 miles and weed eat for three hours one day, and then clean someone's house for 6 hours and try to go on a 6 mile run the next day. The injury description says "common in middle aged people."

The trainer is hopeful that we can get it well in time for the marathon. In the meantime, I get this cool kinesiotape on my leg. I'm thinking I might just get the outline tattooed on... It looks pretty cool. A friend of mine said, "it's kinda tribal, but the colors make it femine..." Maybe when I join the masters age group!

Sarah's quilt

I am going to allow my mother-in-law, Kay to narrate this post with an email she sent me during the week!

"She's completed the center of the sudoku quilt. Hannah is familiar with the routine. Yesterday we purchased, washed, and cut fabric. We went to Bright Hopes Quilt shop in Mandeville. Everyone there was charmed with Sarah- remembered her from applique society last year. She was very clear about her fabric choices. She picked her focus fabric immediately and built her pile from there. We also sewed some yesterday. Today she finished piecing the center of the quilt. Three borders to come, then we will put it on the long arm. Wait until you see the backing fabric. It's totally sixties tie-dyed. Sarah is a careful and precise sewer. She is always alert to when things start to go awry and stops sewing immediately to ask what's up. Of course, there was the time she sewed perfectly for several minutes without bobbin thread. Hannah can relate...

We also went to the beach this morning. Got there right after nine am and left a little after eleven when all the "tourists" started crowding the beach."

Here is the quilt before the borders....

Here is the completed top- ready to begin long arm university!

Summer fun!

We have had a busy summer, but there's always time for fun!

Especially some good, country fun, like playing in the hog feed barrel!

A friend of ours in town, Shelley Trout, has been diagnosed with breast, bone, and brain cancer. The town put on a fundraiser called "Night out with the Trouts." Hannah was at Nana's making her quilt, but Sarah and the boys participated in the 1 mile run. Sarah ran 6:45, Will ran 8:53, and Josh ran 10:41. Afterward, we stayed until dark-thirty and watched Megamind on the blow up screen.

It was a lot of fun! By that time it was reasonably cool, and we had snacks and drinks from the concession stand. (above: Christine, Will, Brayden, Avelee, Sarah. Seated: Josh, Scott, Savannah)

Several people from our church came, and we enjoyed the evening together! (above: Elizabeth and Hannah there was a great turn out, and over $30,000 was raised!

The boys went to basketball camp at BMC this June, and they learned some great skills... They also learned that they need to practice! Since camp, they have enjoyed shooting hoops in the gym when we go to the school for weight room duty.

Below: Josh, Men's Coach JD Parker, and Will

Will made a friend during the week, and they are hoping to attend some Topper basketball games together this winter!

During the week of basketball camp, we had a special visitor. Grace Orrick, Sarah's friend from when we lived in Kentucky, came to stay a few days. She would ride to Kentucky with Hannah and Scott in a few days.

My sister came one day to order her school curriculum and visit, and she brought tie-dye stuff! So fun!

We went swimming at the Autry's one day, and the kids had a great time practicing dives and tricks.





And all together now...

The next week Scott went to spend his "man week" with Jim Orrick and Josh Bullock in Kentucky. Hannah went with him to spend the week with her friend in Louisville, Drew.

While they were gone, we stayed busy around the house and then took Sarah to Kay's for her turn at quilting camp!