Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Going Global!

Overwhelmed. Grateful. Emotional.


YOU and the power of social media have spread word about the virtual run for Sherry across the world. I am not exaggerating, even though I’ve been known to do that on a very rare occasion.

Every single time I think about people running across these United States and in Tokyo, Puerto Rico, Turkey (to name a few distant spots) where runners will unite in Sherry’s name, I get tears in my eyes and goose bumps from head to toe. Out of something tragic and horrific has come this powerful force of goodness and positive energy. We will make the earth move a bit on February 11 as we lace up our shoes and GO for Sherry.

Countless blogs have spread the story, and I have visited them all (I hope!). Runner’s World posted an article I wrote on their Other Voices blog today. The Sidney Herald will post the story about the virtual run tomorrow. I have talked to a few reporters who will report on the run on the local news in several Montana towns.

A run will happen in Sidney, Montana, Sherry’s home town, on February 11 and more information can be found HERE about this. A fitness center in Williston, North Dakota, (the town where the two suspects are being held) is holding a huge run and giving out Sherry’s running bibs.

We are just getting started. We still have about ten days to spread the word. Please remember that you do not need to RUN this thing. Walk, bike, rollerblade, skip backwards, do cartwheels - it really doesn’t matter. Just print out your bib, pin it on and get out there to honor Sherry. You can be like Bart Yasso who will be wearing his bib at the Donna 26.2 in Jacksonville!

For information about the run and to print your bib, go HERE.

A Facebook page for the run/walk has been set up HERE.

Thank you, thank you for all of your generous donations (see button on the right sidebar). If you would like, you can visit any Wells Fargo Bank to make a donation. Just go in and say you want to donate to the “Sherry Arnold Donation Fund.” It is just that easy. I have been in contact with Sherry’s husband and he expresses his extreme gratitude as well.

If you’re doing the virtual run, leave a comment telling me where.

If you are going with a group, leave that info as well in case someone who reads this wants to join you.


For those in the Denver/Boulder/Longmont area, we’ll be meeting at Coot Lake (west side of the Boulder Reservoir, behind IBM on 63rd St) because that way we don’t have to worry about paying to park. Bring friends, family members, your pet pig, whoever! I’d like to start with a moment of silence for Sherry and her family, then start the run/walk together. Feel free to  go as far as you’d like and to fart if you want. We’ll start by making our way around the Reservoir heading south. More to come as the day gets closer.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Virtual Run for Sherry Arnold- February 11, 2012

On January 7, 2012, my cousin Sherry, age 43, left her house in the small town of Sidney, Montana at 6:30 a.m. for an early morning run. She didn’t always run in the morning because as a teacher, it was often difficult to fit in runs before she headed to Sidney High School to teach math. January 7 was a Saturday, however, and Sherry had a bit more time to spare. After her run she planned to meet her sister, Rhonda, and head out to their parent’s ranch a few miles outside of town. Her husband, Gary, had gone for a walk at 5:30 a.m. and when he returned home he could tell that Sherry had already left for her run because of the toothpaste splatters in the sink and a light that was on in the kitchen.

Sherry often ran within the town limits and January 7 was no exception. When Sherry did not come home later that morning, however, her husband began to worry. He called the police and a search ensued. By 3:00 p.m. hundreds of volunteers were searching for Sherry and only one clue had been found, Sherry’s right Brook’s running shoe.

My aunt called to tell me that “something bad had happened in Montana.” As the details unfolded, a weight sat in the pit of my stomach. I hoped for the best, but feared the worst. Please find her. Please bring her home.

For several days there was no sign of Sherry. On the seventh day, a tip was received on the FBI’s tip line that led to the arrest of two men, one in North Dakota and one in South Dakota. One of the men confessed to killing Sherry. She had been abducted at 6:40 a.m., only about a mile from her house.

Sherry’s body has not yet been found.

Sherry’s traumatic and heinous death has shocked, angered and saddened her small community. On a much larger scale, it has also rocked the running world from coast to coast and abroad. How could something so random, violent and senseless happen to someone so giving, someone loved by so many?

We have so many emotions. As mothers, runners, and teachers,  we fear it could have been us. Our hearts break for her students, her family, her community. We feel things we don’t know how to express and we cry for someone who we have never met. We hope she did not suffer and we hope that she found peace in her final moments. The human connection often feels deepest during tragedy. These past three weeks this connection has been alive, pulsing and powerful. The goodness has poured out of each and every one of you, demonstrating that good overpowers evil.

Many of you have told me that you have dedicated your runs and races to Sherry. I have talked about wanting to do a planned virtual run in her honor. Her family has given me their blessing and Races 2 Remember has so generously donated their time to creating a running bib for Sherry.


The virtual run will be on Saturday, February 11 at 9 a.m. MST.

  • Mark your calendars
  • Print out a running bib and pin it to your shirt
  • Gather your friends, your running club members, your families
  • If it’s wet where you are, “laminate” your bib with postage tape and punch holes in it
  • If that time doesn’t work, go when you can
  • GO. Run as far and as long as you want. Walk, hike, cycle, rollerblade if you don’t want to or can’t run.
  • Please share this on your blogs, Facebooks and Twitters
  • Keep it simple. Just run with Sherry on your minds and hearts. 

Click HERE to print the bib

If it feels right, please blog about your run and let me know. I’m going to post links to those posts so her family and friends can read them. If you take pictures, send them to be at beth@shutupandrun.net so that I can post them here.

My goal is to get the MOST love, momentum and energy moving in honor of Sherry. This run symbolizes the beginning if healing and honors a woman who was courageous, strong and loved by so many.

For those of us in the Denver/Boulder/Longmont area I will be organizing a group run at the Boulder Reservoir that morning. I hope we can get a huge clan together and make the earth MOVE!! Stay tuned.

You may have noticed a “donate” button on my side bar. If it is within your means, please consider a donation to Sherry’s family. The funds will go to Sherry’s children, Holly and Jason.

A version of this post and information about the virtual run will appear on the Runner’s World Other Voices blog later this week.

A Facebook page has been set up for this event HERE.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring about Sherry and her family and for running in her honor.


The Time I Stabbed Myself

The last 24 hours have proven how careless and klutzy I really am. I can’t believe I haven’t already dismembered or impaled myself.

Last night my mom and dad had us over for Thanksgiving dinner. No, my mom does not have Alzheimer's, and, yes,  it was déjà vu from a few months ago. My mom is a practical type and since turkeys are so cheap in November she always stores one away for later. We stuffed our pie holes with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and spinach salad (my lame contribution). After dinner I was carving some more turkey to bring home when it happened. I somehow stabbed myself in the stomach with the two-pronged meat fork. Honestly I still don’t know how I did it. It took some real skill to one moment be carving at the turkey’s breast and the next moment be pulling the meat fork out of my abdomen (TWSS?). 

It could have been worse, like I could have impaled myself on the fork. I showed Ken the marks and he asked if I had gotten bitten by some kind of bug. Yeah, the dumb-as-shit-careless-bug maybe.

Here is an up close view of my scaly stomach. It may not look so bad, but keep in mind the fork went through 2 layers of clothes. It hurt like a mother. It wasn’t so much the level of injury, but the fact that it happened at all.


If that wasn’t enough: this morning I went for a ten mile trail run at Picture Rock with Lisa, Leigh, Sarah, Ken. Perfect day, warm temps, great company and scenery. On the way down I was so caught up talking to Leigh (I’m sure I was telling her some epic fart story) when it happened. I fell flat on my face. It was one of those slow motion moments when you feel yourself falling, you know it will be bad and you do your best to minimize the damage. I slammed my left shoulder onto the trail then hit my chin on a rock. I sprawled myself out on the trail hoping someone had brought a portable stretcher or neck brace. Ken helped me up, dusted me off and didn’t even laugh. At least not to my face. I know they all huddled behind me and snickered. Ken did say he was glad I did not hit my teeth again because we are not spending any more money on fixing my front teeth.


What I’ve learned about falls on the trail is that you tend to feel them much more about 24 hours later. I’m guessing my shoulder will be screaming at my tomorrow and there will be a fine bruise and goose egg on my chin.  I will have the sweetest double chin west of the Mississippi.


Try not to focus on the nose hairs

I can just add these things to my long list random injuries I have sustained like the time I cut my ear while shaving my legs (make perfect sense that I held the razor in my hand while rinsing shampoo out of my hair and caught my ear lobe). Or the time I jumped out of a moving car because I knew if we stopped the car it would stall. Or the time the vacuum cleaner fell on me while I was cleaning the stairs and almost knocked me out.

These will be good stories to tell my grandchildren. By that time the tales will have morphed into, “I remember the time I stabbed myself with a pitchfork and severed my spleen. I was in the hospital for 39 days. Right after that I fell while trail running and had to be airlifted out by the National Guard. Brad Pitt was the pilot.”

I know I am not the only careless and clumsy one out there.

What’s an injury you got because you weren’t playing close enough attention or are just a plain klutz?


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yoga Got Punched in the Face

When I first saw this article, “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body,” I was totally peeved. Like pissed peeved. Seems that no matter what healthy choice someone makes, someone else is there to crap on it. In my stubborn way, I thought “I’m not giving this article any of my precious time. After all, I have an episode of Dance Moms to watch (don’t do it, it’s really bad) and the guinea pig’s nails need trimming” (yes, I do this regularly because my ten year old freaks out if I let them get too long so that they start to curl).

I did, however, change my mind about reading this article after visiting the PT this week. This was my first date with this particular PT. I now have a major girl crush, but we didn’t even get to first base. I told her that my piriformis (“left ass cheek” is what I wanted to say but I was trying to behave on our first date) was giving me trouble still. I told her that I every time I ramped up my speed or distance it got irritated. I told her that active release work with Matt had really helped, but I believed there was a root cause that kept my going back to left ass cheek pain, which is a country I hate to visit.

She did a full assessment, asked with what type of activities I have pain (running, driving, sitting at computer) and told me she thought it was related to my sciatic nerve, the nerve running from our lower back, through our asses and down our legs. Makes sense. This nerve can get compressed by the piriformis or can become irritated if we have disc issues in our lower backs.

She told me how to sit right in my car (erect like a penis) and in my office chair (erect again). I admitted that some yoga poses (forward fold especially) irritated the symptoms and she said that doing those moves was not helpful for my condition. WHAT? Yoga not helpful? But I thought yoga was a freaking cure all. If your child has pneumonia, take him to yoga. If you need to cure constipation, yoga is your thing. If you are addicted to meth, go to one session of yoga and you are better. Anyone who goes to yoga is suddenly enlightened and free of trouble and turmoil. It’s a place to experience healing, not harm.


Me becoming enlightened

So, back to the article. Despite the provocative title, some things do make sense. The type of people practicing yoga has changed drastically. The original practitioners of yoga squatted down and sat cross legged all day. People like me, on the other hand, sit in chairs or behind steering wheels a lot of the day. When we come into our studio it’s a bit of a shock to our systems. The article contends that some yoga poses are just too risky for the masses. Most injuries related to yoga occur in the lower back, followed by the shoulder, the knee and the neck.

I believe that if yoga is giving me pain, it is MY fault, not yoga’s fault. Yoga is steeped in years and years of tradition and yoga instructors are always careful to tell you to listen to your body and not do anything that causes discomfort. I am sure there are instructors who are not this way and push students too hard. Yet in my seven years of taking yoga, I have never been taught by someone like that. At some point it is up to me to know the risks. The instructor is there as a guide, not a micromanager of the 20 people in his/her class.

The problem is that in our day and age people are so type-A and competitive, that they forget to listen to the warning signs. Yoga is place where scaling back and being conservative is sometimes the way to go. It is not a competition and ego has no place in the yoga studio. There are so many benefits to yoga including increased strength, balance, and flexibility, but it is a complex practice to be respected and studied.

As one criticism of this article pointed out, the title could have been “Running Wrecks Your Body” or “Basketball Wrecks Your Body” because every activity has inherent risks. Yet, yoga wrecking your body is just provocative enough to gain major attention.

I would NEVER say that people should stop practicing yoga. I don’t believe that. I will say that if you are compromised in certain areas, yoga may not be doing you any favors. Be sure to thoroughly research the poses you do and identify which are risky for your body type and condition.

No way am I giving up my yoga practice, but I will modify to better meet my needs. I have done some research and now know which poses are beneficial for my condition and which are not. As with many things, more is not better (not true for ice cream or massages).

If you practice yoga, what are your thoughts?


Friday, January 27, 2012

New Item to Try

I made my way through Costco today sampling the bratwurst, the oatmeal, the pizza and the Fage yogurt. At no other time in my life do I mix the most random and god-awful foods like I do when I go to Costco. I wouldn’t even dream of it or my colon would combust all over the place (like it doesn’t already).

This is Esther giving out small penises. I passed on those not wanting to eat penises in public.

So, by the time I got home at 2:00 p.m. I needed a small, healthy lunch to balance out the disgusting sample consumption. I’m not going to lie – I have a tough time with lunch. I work from home, so I always eat-in. I’m forever trying to find the “right” lunch food – satisfying yet not to heavy.

Today I found the perfect score at Costco. This is a new item. So new that the cashier had to stop for about five minutes to study the package -  kind of like my role model Kristin Wiig does on the SNL Target skit. I wanted to scream at her that this was not show and tell, but I have impulse control.

Try not to get a boner like the cashier when I show you this. Here is the new item:


If you are all about New York Strip you are rolling your eyes. But, for those of us who can’t stomach a lot of meat or rich food, we have to find our options.

You take a chance when you buy something like this. Yes, I am risk taker. The last time I bought vegetable soufflés at Costco they were so hideous I actually returned them. You can return anything at Costco including stained sheets and soiled underwear. Not sure about used condoms though.

This risk totally panned out. One of my favorite lunches is to take a veggie or bean burger and put it on a spinach salad. I add in other veggies, maybe some cheese and top it with Annie’s Goddess dressing, my favorite.

Today I just did the spinach, spinach/chickpea patty and dressing because I just needed a little something.



Yes, it is spinach on spinach. Kind of weird – like putting ketchup on a tomato. But, I am a lover of spinach. Raw, in spinach pies, creamed up in a casserole, sautéed with a touch of garlic and parmesan cheese. It is a total staple in my life. In fact I never eat lettuce. Only spinach. I figure if you’re doing leaves, why not do the one that carries the most nutritional punch? Kale is good too. Basically the darker the green, the more nutritional value it will have.

Let me tell you about these patties. The inside mixture is spinach and seasonings like garlic, cumin and coriander, giving it a taste somewhat like falafel. The outside of the patty is a chick pea crust. Very tasty indeed. Perfect for a quick and healthy lunch. Low in fat and calories, 5 g of protein, 350 mg of sodium. For a pre-packaged item, that’s not too bad. It would also be really good wrapped up with avocado and hummus in a tortilla.


Price is $9.99 for 12 tasty patties.

On my next run I’m going to bring one of these instead of a gel. Just kidding.

On a different note, Laura at Running 4 the Reason is holding an auction to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with Team in Training (TIT). She is running the Rock ‘n Roll San Diego Marathon in June. Laura’s got tons of cool items she is auctioning including headphones, a Polar watch, compression gear and jewelry. Best of all is a prize pack that includes an SUAR tech shirt. Hop on over to Laura’s blog and do some bidding! It’s for a great cause.

What’s your favorite quick and healthy lunch? I need ideas.

What’s the most pathetic thing you’ve ever returned? I once returned a coffee maker. The box had dog crap on it because I had thrown it away, then changed my mind about keeping it. I’m going to hell.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Get a Battery Life

You've heard the expression: “You learn something new everyday.” You don’t even have to try to learn something new. If you are halfway conscious it will happen . Yesterday I learned that there is someone on the Biggest Loser who cries more than last season’s Bonnie. It is Gail. Oh, and real quick, another thing I learned is that there is a woman in the UK with two vaginas. They really know how to do it up right over there across the pond.

The major, main, big thing I learned today happened when I called Garmin technical assistance. I have the Forerunner 205 and purchased it almost three years go. I have loved it so much I don’t let it out of my sight.


Lately I've been getting a low battery signal after only 90 minutes of use when the watch is fully charged. The watch supposedly has an 8 battery life. WTF?

Today I talked to HeyZeus*, Forerunner Expert (FE). He told me that every year, the Forerunner loses 25% of its battery charge! Are you f’ing kidding me? That means after three years you are down to a battery life of only 2 hours. Since I always run for 8 hours at a time,this is not acceptable. Seriously, if this really is true, shouldn’t this info be known to customers when they buy the damn watch?

HeyZeus suggested letting the battery drain twice, then recharging 100%. We’ll see.

FE offered to send me a refurbished 205 for only $69, once I send them my old one.  I think it sucks that you pay $130 for a watch and are lucky if it lasts for three years. And, it’s not even a watch you wear all day, everyday. That is unless you’re a complete running nerd and wear your Garmin as your regular watch. If that is the case, I know you are just trying to get attention and have people ask you in the grocery store if you are a runner.

I asked which Garmin the FE, himself, would recommend in my price range (up to $175). He recommended the 410. That’s all fine and good, but the cheapest one I can find is at Buy.com for $219 plus shipping.

So, no mater what I'm going to be shelling out some money for a new Garmin. Crap.

Did you know this fact about a Garmin’s battery life? Does it make you want to punch someone in the face?

Ever try the 410?

Did you learn anything new today?


*Not his real name. Can’t remember what it really was.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It Probably Won’t Make Your Heart Stop

I want you to rest easy because a study in the New England Journal of Medicine has just determined that “marathoners have a low risk of heart stoppages.” No shit. I could have told you that without doing a long study on it. I mean, look at how rarely someone drops dead on a marathon course. Basically, your odds are 259,000 to 1. I’ll take it compared to the risk of dying from laying on the couch eating potato chips and drinking Milwaukee’s Best like this crazy cat (although that sounds fun).

This pussy needs a life

It seems that most cardiac arrests on the course are due to clogged arteries or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a mostly inherited condition in which a thick heart muscle interferes with pumping. (I am tempted to say TWSS about the thick muscle and pumping stuff, but that might be tasteless). Most people who die this way had no clue about their condition beforehand.

What does this tell us?

  • Dying from cardiac problems while running a marathon is more likely than winning the lottery (120,000 million to 1), getting struck by lightening (2.6 million to 1) or dying from a flesh eating bacteria (1 million to 1).
  • Dying from cardiac problems while running a marathon is less likely than dying from a snake bite or bee sting (100,000 to 1). {source}
  • If you are putting off running a marathon or running at all because you think you will have a cardiac arrest, your excuse is now crap based on the research.
  • Ask your doctor if your arteries are clogged or if your heart muscle is thick before you pass GO or collect $200.
  • In the words of Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, president of the American Heart Association, states “running a marathon, if you are so inclined is a reasonably safe proposition.”

Now it’s your turn. When you boil it all down taking into account injuries and other health risks, are marathons good for you or too risky for the body?

Here’s my take if anyone cares – training and running marathons is a lifestyle. It encourages activity, getting outside, healthful eating, connecting with fellow runners and relieving stress. Any activity you do will have inherent risks, even playing golf or solitaire (c’mon work with me). In my mind, the benefits far, far outweigh the risks.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SUAR Does 11 Randoms

Jason from CETR tagged me to do this random business, so here goes. 

Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

Random Things About Me:

  1. I love how a fart sounds in the bath tub. I think the whole house can hear it.
  2. I ran a marathon before I ran a half marathon.
  3. I am never confident before races.
  4. I was named after “Beth” from Little Women (I don’t think SUAR was a character in that book)
  5. I used to have underwear with the days of the week on them.
  6. One time I got kicked out of a sex shop for throwing an unmentionable across the room.*
  7. I met Ken in the backseat of a car.
  8. I love Altoids, but rarely want the whole thing. I spit them out all over my car.
  9. I once jumped the turnstile of a metro stop in Paris and almost got arrested. Too much kir royal, peut etre?*
  10. I drink about one soda a year
  11. Since moving to Colorado my eyes are always bloodshot. It’s not the medical marijuana. It’s the dry air. Or that’s what I'm telling you.

*Occurred over 20 years ago. I’m much more mature now.

 Jason’s Questions to Me:
  1. Which do you prefer: Vanilla or Chocolate Cake? Lemon
  2. Which would you do:  Jump out of a plane or Bungee jump off a bridge?  Already jumped out of a plane. I’m done.
  3. One week, all expense paid vacation:  Where do you go? Greece
  4. Favorite Celebrity? Will Smith
  5. What did you eat for breakfast today? Banana, peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  6. Do you pass gas in front of your significant other? Duh. Then I give him a Dutch oven.
  7. Nickname? Skank
  8. Favorite Vegetable? Long, curved cucumber
  9. Favorite Commercial Of All Time?  All of the commercials during election time
  10. Do you still write checks?  Only for meth.
  11. Are you working in the field in which you obtained your college degree in? No. I didn’t get a degree in blogging.

My Questions for you unlucky tagged people:

  1. In five words or less, tell me your most embarrassing moment (example - mine would be boyfriend, toilet, overflow).
  2. What’s one habit you need to break?
  3. What’s your favorite book of all time?
  4. Have you ever cheated on a test or a partner (don’t need to tell me which one)?
  5. If you weren’t doing your current job, what would be your profession?
  6. Do you think Bob Harper is gay?
  7. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  8. Would you be able to run further or faster?
  9. What food gives you gas?
  10. Ever done a cleanse or had a colonic?
  11. What’s your dream marathon?

People Tagged (sorry if you’ve been tagged already, “toughski shitski” as my dad used to say. Do it again):

  1. Carole Sharpeless
  2. Own Your Backbone
  3. Run With Jill
  4. Taking It On
  5. Running Through Phoenix
  6. Runninghood
  7. Keith’s Odyssey
  8. Kate
  9. How I Complicated My Life Today
  10. I Run for Chocolate
  11. Pensive Pumpkin

There. Done. Did you learn anything about me? I know – between the bath tub farting and sex shop games you probably are very envious of my varied and amazing life. Let me know when your post is up so I can be sure to check it out. I really want to read your answers to #1 & #4.


Oh, Ship!

Being the opposite of how I was feeling last night when I wrote this post, this day could not have started out better. I think I just needed to get some things off of my chest. And, yes, grief is not a straight line. It’s more like an obstacle course over high mountains and low riverbeds.

This morning, after feeding the kids French toast and getting them out the door, I had this text exchange with Sam who, in all of his adolescent glory, fails to remember things like permission slips, where he put his iPod and what time I’ll pick him up.

Sam: Did I leave my order forms on the counter?
Me: Yes (not for a second offering to bring it to school because I am mean)
Sam: Ship!

I guess “ship” falls in the category of “fudge” or “heck.” Where you almost cuss, but don’t. Kind of like, “I ship my pants!” when you don’t really mean you sent your pants via UPS.

Sam tends to misplace all kinds of crap and blames it on me. How did the mom become the scapegoat anyway? I mean I carry you for nine months with your ass wedged under my right rib, and I push you into the world, a watermelon through a straw. I let you suckle at my breasts for another nine months, only stopping because you got teeth and started crunching down on my tender nipple like it was beef jerky. Now I am to blame for everything.


Yes, this is yours truly. Don’t vomit. Sam actually came out looking like that. Not kidding.

Honestly and at the risk of sounding annoying, Sam is about the best teenager (with dementia) any parent could hope for.

After the text exchange, I picked up Joie and we head to the foothills for a 7.5 mile trail run. It was over cast, pretty nipply and lightly snowing. In my mind, this is perfect running weather. We had never done this trail before and quickly found ourselves unable to talk due to heavy breathing (yes, Joie is that attractive). We scaled boulders. Yes, as in very large rocks (3 feet wide in some places). Sometimes it was tough to see where the trail was. Over the first two miles we gained about 700 feet. For those of you who don’t know what that means, get on your treadmill and set the incline at 8%. Then glue a few rocks to the belt and go for two miles. Voila!

Once we reached the top, we cruised for a bit and were afforded the most amazing views of the Continental Divide. We only saw one runner and a gaggle of hard core girl mountain bikers. These are not my pictures (obviously because my pictures suck), but this gives you an idea of this trail. Just pretend that it is cloudy, gray and snowing. These are taken on the Bitterbrush Trail where we were (Lyons, CO):

Yes, this is part of the trail.

Trail Photo

You all need to come out here and do this run. It is one of my favorite trail runs to date. Second only to my run with Dean, because I need to remind of you that anytime I can. Yes, that happened over a year ago, but is their a statute of limitations on bragging and name dropping?

This run sealed the deal that Joie and I are signing up for the Turkey Track Trail Marathon in June. It begins in the small town of Pagosa Springs, CO (southwest part of the state, elevation 7,000 feet). It is actually 26.33 miles, so I’m calling it my first ultra and you can’t stop me. That last .13 miles is going to be hell.

I’ve never done a trail marathon and cannot wait. I think the best part about it will be getting to train in this ugly shit-hole landscape called Colorado. Plus, after the marathon the website states there is a “killer party at Pagosa Brewing.” Colorado microbrews after spending the day running the trails? Perfection.

Three things healed me today. 1) Being out in the beauty and grace of nature, 2) running, and 3) being with a dear friend who loves me. Then I went to the grocery store in my running tights and showed the greater public my almost-45-year-old drooping ass and crotch creases (aka “the toe”).

What is your next big, “A” race? Have you signed up for it yet? What are you waiting for?

Ever done a trail marathon or ultra race on trails?

If you have a teen, what change are you seeing? Dream child or demon? Sam is dreamy thus far. Time will tell. I was a pretty ornery teenager, so karma might be a bitch.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Pink Heart

A reader, Jana, sent me a poignant email tonight.  She remembered that I had commented about Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers. Jana had read a part of this book that reminded her of me and of Sherry.

You might have noticed that for the past couple of days I have written posts not specific to my cousin, Sherry. I think I just needed a break. As you can imagine, she is never for a moment far from my mind, as I know she is not far from yours.

Jana was referring to a chapter called “Pink Heart.” It talks about how when someone is hurting, you feel their pain even if you are not directly connected to them. It is that pure bond we share just by being human that does not allow us to simply disengage (which would certainly be the easier route) when tragedy strikes. I know you have all felt the pain of what happened to Sherry. I can tell by your comments how her story has made an imprint on your hearts.

You may recall a post a did a couple of days ago about how Sherry’s death made me think about my own mortality and the type of legacy I wish to leave behind. Kristin so eloquently tackles this subject:

I want my normal life to sparkle with the allure of the ordinary and speak to me, just the way it is.  Or if there are some changes to be made, I want to be motivated to incorporate them as I go along.  If I want to travel and explore, I want it to be because my heart is ticking, not because my clock is. I want to be brave enough to say the important things like "I'm sorry, please forgive me," and "I love you, please help me love you well."  I want my heart to be tidy.  

Why is it then, knowing what we know and thinking deeply the way we do, that we all need a wake up call?

A wake up call. Sherry brought this to us in so many ways. Maybe we are more careful when we run. Maybe we hug our babies or husband a bit closer. Maybe we truly grasp the impermanence of life and aren’t willing to let another wasteful moment go by.

Sherry’s death has impacted me in all of these ways.  I am also infinitely sad and regretful for future moments I will never spend with her. I looked forward to hearing about her first marathon.I hoped our family would take another trip up north to Sidney, and Sherry and I would actually run together, something we never did in the past (I was late to the running scene). I just assumed there would be more chances. I just assumed.

My grief is wound up in the loss of this woman and the tragic unfolding of the ugliness and violence that surrounded such a peaceful person’s death. Yet, my grief is also about her family – her children who won’t have their mom present for high school graduations, when they walk down the aisle or when their babies breathe their first breaths. For her sister who was her best friend. For her husband who now goes to sleep at night with his side of the bed cold and empty, reminding him of what is not to be. For her parents who should never, ever, have to experience the death of their youngest child – most especially not in such a senseless, evil and disgusting manner.


Montana Jogger's Presumed Death Still a Mystery












Let’s not sugar coat it. It was as heinous, awful and evil as it gets. I hate those men. I hate them. I see their pictures and look into their eyes and am filled repulsion. My life will not be consumed by anger. No way. They will not have that affect on me. But at this moment, what they did fills me with rage. And I hate them for taking her from us. For hurting her. For hurting every single person who knew her and loved her.

And, I hate that evil is exists. I don’t want to accept it. I’ve always been so innocent and trusting, and now I’m not. It lurks in the dark corners. It is the noise the wakes me up at 1:00 a.m.. It is any car slowing down to ask for directions. It is headlights too close to my rear bumper when I’m driving alone at night.

Yet, when I get scared or lose faith, I turn to the light. The light of all that is good, kind, giving and loving. It is out there, exposing the dark corners. I know it and I trust in it.

Sherry’s body is still not found. I know she is dead because that is what I’ve been told. A tiny bit still holds out for a miracle that I know will not happen.

Rest in peace Sherry. I love you. I wish I had known you even better. And, I’m sorry.

How has what happened to Sherry affected you personally?


Let’s Make It Simple

Today I will take a rest day. Today I will go to get my left ass cheek (LAC)  massaged by the almighty Matt who knows how to make it all better. Today I will not make things harder than they need to be. Spending more time on things does not necessarily produce better results. In many instances, it can be classified as “spinning your wheels.” I am the queen of the spin.

This is what I’ve discovered about myself: I often put things off because I make them more complicated than is warranted. Instead of making a grocery list of basic items for simple meals, I think I have to come up with some new and fancy menu plan. Instead of answering an email I received with a basic “thank you” or “no, thank you,” I think I need to write a novel explaining why or why not I want or don’t want to do something.

I think many of us do this with exercise. Instead of just heading out for 30 minutes of moving our bodies, we think we have to have a plan or run a certain pace or exercise every stinking day. Not the case. Keeping it basic and simple is the key to success. One thing at a time leads to big things over time.

When we over-think, we self sabotage. When we over-think, we tend to forget to keep it simple. I am convinced many aspects of life do not have to be as involved as we make them out to be. In order to keep it more simple, it’s time to let go of some elements of perfectionism.

Ever had a five ingredient meal? Sometimes those are way better than the complex 20 item recipes full of hard to find stuff like marinated bull testicles.

Last night’s dinner- Easy Chicken Tacos:

6 chicken thighs
1 can green chilis
1 can pinto or cannellini beans
2 T taco seasoning

Dump in crock pot for six hours. Shred chicken, mash beans. Serve in multi grain taco shells. Watch family devour.

Simple. Basic. Authentic. The anti-fancy.

This is not my photo.-> I would never use a cloth napkin or a sprig of cilantro. Or a lime on the side. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

What’s something you make harder than it has to be? (TWSS)

What’s your favoritist (it is a word) go-to quick dinner? Feel free to share recipe.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best Invention

A bunch of us met outside of Boulder for a trail run this morning.  It was so windy and cold that I  cried tears of despair when I had to get out of the car.  There are few things I hate worse than being cold. Okay, maybe when people imitate characters from Monty Python – that’s worse than being cold. Fortunately, no one has ever imitated characters from Monty Python while I was cold. That would be  simply cruel.

I should have just brought my camper like this guy did because then I could just roll out of bed, put away my joint and banjo, and step onto the trail.


I forgot how much I love to run with a bigger group. I am usually either by myself or with one other person. There is always someone running your pace and always someone to talk to. I like to run ahead so I am the winner. Yes I am that person.


The only drawback to being with a big group is that it’s a bit awkward if you have to excuse yourself off the trail to take a leak or crap. It’s not like there is any secretive way to do that. Fortunately, the poop gods did not visit me today.

Let’s play “Where’s Bambi?” We saw some deer, but do you see some deer?


We got to the top and did a loop around. The views are amazing, even on a dreary day like today:


The miles flew by as we chatted away. We all finished up and I was introduced to the best invention since the goldfish carrying case:

funny gadgets gifts

Charmin To Go toilet tissues. The guy behind me likes them too:


Hello, lover. Where have you been all of my life?

In the end we did 8 miles in 1:30 with about 1,000 feet elevation gain. I am so fast that pictures of me are always blurry. Either that or my phone camera bites.


We stopped for hot coffee on the way home. If you don’t have a Vic’s in your town, I am very sorry:


At home I whipped up a plate of French toast bigger than my head:


If you don’t trail run or have never done it, you are missing out. You just are. It is completely and totally different than running on the road, bike path, etc. You have to focus constantly so you don’t fall on  your ass. You dodge rocks, roots, horse poop, snow, fallen trees. You climb until your heart is beating out of your chest. No cars, no noise except for the wind through the trees and the roar of the occasional mountain lion. The whole landscape is your bathroom. These are the very reasons I want my next marathon to be on the trails. I was just kidding about the mountain lion, although that did happen to me once.

An update: I am working out details for the virtual run for Sherry. Stay tuned. If you missed it, People Magazine did an article on Sherry this past week.


Do you trail run? Which do you prefer – roads or trails? I’m not sure. I love the trails, but I also love some of my go-to road runs. Dirt back roads are another favorite for me.

What’s your favorite post-workout food? I love donuts, but my French toast rocks the house.

Do you prefer to run solo, with one other person, or in a bigger group? I like all three. There is a time and place for each.

What’s the best invention there ever was? The remote control fart machine or Charmin To Go.


PS: Check out the latest Refuel video from the finish line at the Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas race. You would never guess from my annoying, perky voice that I was about to either puke or crap my pants.

Friday, January 20, 2012

On the Bleachers

If you are in Colorado and the wind woke you up last night, raise your hand. It was outrageous and loud enough to stir me out a Blue Moon beer-induced sleep. I don’t know about you, but when I wake in the middle of the night, there is no turning over and going back to snoozeville like when I was ten years old. My mind starts racing, running marathons of god- knows-what all over the place.

When I woke up last night at about 3:30 a.m., I was thinking about Sherry, like it seems I always am these days. I had read some news reports before bed (never a good idea). One eerie detail really stuck with me. Sherry left her house at 6:30 a.m. to go for a run. At 6:40 a.m. she was kidnapped by two men who had reportedly driven into town after driving all night from Colorado. It seems they were just looking for trouble and Sherry was in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time. It’s almost like being struck by lightening.

Ten minutes. She got about a mile from her house when she was abducted. Ugh.

Impossibly, one week ago we found out Sherry was dead. She and her sister, Rhonda, were going to go out to their parent’s ranch after she got back from her run. How many times have you made plans to do something “after your run?”

The loss of Sherry has made me think deeply about the mark I want to make in my own life.  I ask myself if I am living in such a way that people will speak of me how I wish they would speak of me after I take my last breath. They probably won’t be talking about how fast I ran a marathon or if my abs resembled a six pack. They will most likely be talking about my approach to life and relationships. I can only hope I give them something good to say.

Some of Sherry’s students remember her in this article. She made a difference for so many people.

It is funny how death makes us think about life and how well or not-well we are living it. It also gives us an up front and personal perspective on how temporary things are. It screams at us to STOP WAITING. Life is today and it may not be tomorrow.

Everyday I read a passage from the Book of Awakening, and today’s message rang so true:

The further I wake into this life, I realize the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is both in the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. It is on the porch as well as on top of the mountain. Joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.

Be where we are.

If being where we are is on the bleachers that hurt our asses, so be it. We need to not pine for things to be different, because as we do that we lose sight of the beauty of the present moment. We all think the grass is greener. Maybe it is, but likely it isn’t. Take a look around. You have it pretty good, don’t you? I do.

How do you want to be remembered? Are you living your life that way?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

It Goes On

Despite what you may have read in the news, Sherry’s body has not been found. We wait. 

I am finding out that in the midst of loss and tragedy, there are still fantastic things. I don’t think we need to feel guilty about finding enjoyment when tragedy strikes. The nature of life is that it goes on. We also go on with it whether we want to or not.  We move in and out of grief just as surely as we breathe. Emotions can fluctuate on a dime, and can be triggered by the littlest and most random of things. I think there is so much beauty and goodness to behold. It is fuzzier and harder to find than usual, but I know it is still there.

Fantastic #1: Ken. It’s his 46th birthday today. I should send his parents a thank you note for creating him just for me. Okay, not just for me. But, for everyone who enjoys how hilarious he is, how kind he is, what an amazing dad he is, and how he puts the toilet seat down every.single.time.



Boulder 70.3 - August 2011

Fantastic #2: Yesterday, I got this anonymous note in the mail. No return address, no signature.


It says:

I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I found this cash this morning on the sidewalk while out running. Thought it a sign you should have it for whatever you decide to do in your cousin’s memory. Sending prayers your way.”

So thank you, whoever you are. I love people.

Fantastic #3: Last night I learned that Trader Joes is coming to Boulder. Just two weeks ago, I couldn’t take it any more and emailed Trader Joes asking why the hell they are not in Colorado.  I got this response:

“While we don't have any immediate plans to open stores in Colorado (LIAR), there are certainly customer demands for a location in your home state (NO DUH).  I hope this helps, and with enough customer outcry, Colorado might make the list...you never know.”

Clearly, Trader Joes has their shit together. After they got my email with my “outcry,” they secured a spot in Colorado and figured it out. Quick turn around for sure. I clearly make things happen.

Fantastic #4: Lindsey left this comment on my blog, which actually made me LOL and I HATE that term. But I did LOL. I did not LMFAO, but I did LOL. And no, I was not RATFLMAO either, but I did LOL. For some reason farts and fabric stores in the same sentence strikes me as very, very funny.

“I thought about you last night - a friend and I were in Joann fabrics and someone was walking around (I SWEAR she was following us!) crop dusting us the whole time. Thanks, lady.”

Fantastic #5: Dolvett

So, you see, in the darkness there are moments of light found in celebrations, notes from strangers, farts, shopping, and Dolvett. I’ve always said that and it’s true. Some of you may think that’s crass or inappropriate. I don’t mean to be. It’s just how I feel.

By the way, although I can’t respond to everyone, I read every single comment you leave and every single email you send. Every single one. Your outpouring of kindness has made me feel less alone, less crazy and more comforted. Thank you.

What kind of fantastic are you seeing despite tough times?


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All Day, Everyday

Today I hit the gym wanting to get in a few treadmill miles before yoga. I found myself unexpectedly running very hard and very fast, at least for me. Grief does weird things. All this pent up sadness, anger and frustration needs somewhere to go.

Yesterday my stomach was in knots and I was gassy as hell – probably stress related. I had contractors doing work in our house and even though I know they let their share of farts (one guy even had his crack hanging out), my gas was off the charts and they are probably still talking about it.

I miss writing like I normally do – those funny, irreverent, crude posts. The ones where my greatest concern was who farted in yoga or that the dog was licking himself too much. Yet, I simply don’t have it in me right now. I know it will slowly return, but at this moment, and for the past ten days, I’m just feeling the weight of what happened with my cousin, Sherry. It sits with me all day, everyday.

As you know, the FBI has been slow to release any details. Bit by horrible bit they are emerging. I don’t want to know. And, yet I desperately need to know. Sometimes I want to punch someone in the face. Sometimes I want a hug. Sometimes I want to drink wine and watch bad TV. Sometimes a laugh feels so good. My biggest relief comes with sleep or when my body is moving.  My workouts have been daily and intense. Pent up sadness and anger give me energy. Looking ahead gives me energy too. I want to smash my running and triathlon goals this year.

Let me ramble some more. What happened to Sherry has scared me more than I like to admit. As much as I tell myself this was a random crime and she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s difficult to not look at the world differently. Evil lurks where I did not see it before. As I have said in previous posts, good still wins the fight. But, evil is out there and I’ve never been so aware of that as I am now.

Her body has not been found.  A body is needed for closure for the family. If Sherry cannot come home in aliveness, may her physical body at least come home. I believe the process of healing can then begin.

I can’t express how touched I was that so many of you want to do a virtual run for Sherry. This is going to happen. However, the feedback I get from the immediate family is that it is too soon. It feels like too much to have something nationwide like this run occur just yet. So, PLEASE, do not lose your momentum. Please sit tight and join me in the (hopefully) not too distant future in a run for Sherry.

When the time is right for a run, my thought is to have a printable running bib that each person can pin on when they go out for their virtual run. That way we can collectively run on the same day with the same memento on our bodies. I am working on a design for this, but if you are especially talented at this sort of thing, let me know. I have some crazy gifts, but graphic design is not one of them. I could use some help. I want to keep it simple and sincere. Contact me if you can help.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sherry Arnold: A True Light

I don’t know when we might head to Montana. Sherry’s body has not been found, yet she has been confirmed dead. This is all  very confusing and heartbreaking for a family who just wants some closure.

Grief and sadness weigh me down. I’m so tired.

I won’t focus on the evil parts of this story. I will say there are two malicious, heinous men who did this and thousands upon thousands of loving and good people who have reached out in support. It’s not even a close contest. The good continues to outweigh the evil by a long shot. That’s where I will put my attention.

Ken and I ran a quiet 8 miles today. We didn’t talk about Sherry, but I know we both thought about her. Such an event changes how you see things, how you feel about people. Priorities get very clear very fast when something like this happens.

During the run, I rolled my ankle once, spit on myself twice and squatted in a gaggle of trees (gaggles are geese, but what’s a bunch of trees?). Ken remarked that there is never a dull moment when running with me because I tend to have a lot of issues. So, sue me. I have a lot of issues. The run helped to clear my head and to give me some peace. There is just something about the wind on your face, your feet on the road and your elevated heartbeat that makes it all okay for just a bit.

I am fine-tuning the details of a virtual run for Sherry, but I want the immediate family’s blessing before I move forward, so stay tuned.

As is the case for all of you, Sherry’s been on my mind non-stop. I wonder about her final moments and am devastated by what might have occurred. It haunts me day and night. I try to gather up memories that I have of her. Sherry and I met when I was ten and she was nine, but then went years without seeing each other. We re-united as adults. 

My earliest memory of Sherry is from when my family embarked on an adventure we called “Our West Trip.” It was a month spent on the road in our yellow Toyota wagon with no air conditioning and no seatbelts (or none that we had to wear anyway). We drove from Maryland, and one of our goals was to visit “the ranch” in Sidney, Montana. This ranch was owned by my Uncle Gary’s brother and sister in law, Sherry’s dad and mom. Gary was new to our family, having just married my aunt Lizzy.I didn’t know any of these ranch people and I hoped they were okay.

Being mostly a suburban girl, I had no clue what the hell “a ranch” was. I was used to going to the mall and getting Now ‘n Laters at the convenience store. Rural to me was hanging out on the wooded bike path behind our house and catching minnows in the creek.

I quickly learned that “the ranch” was a place where you collected eggs, had steak and pancakes for breakfast and drove out to far away pastures to check on the cows. Sherry and her sister went to school in a one room school house. For me, it was like being in a foreign country. I loved every minute of it. And, I had a really bad haircut:


In a second Sherry and I were friends. Our vastly different upbringings made no difference. It took us no time to get silly. In my ten years I had never met someone I could laugh with like I did with Sherry on that trip. If we lived closer, we would have been inseparable. I’m sure farts were involved because I think she loved those too. Fart sisters.

Here’s Sherry in a sporty yellow shirt looking very interested in her new baby cousin. That’s my mom with the Dorothy Hamill haircut. Damn, hair was bad in the 70s:


Sherry was so pretty and funny. I admired her tom-boyish strength, the way she moved around that ranch with such comfort and confidence. I remember being so jealous of her because she really was all that.

After we left the ranch, Sherry and I were pen pals. She used to say “Gee” a lot in sentences she would write to me (“Gee, it was fun to meet you”), so I started doing that too. I’m sure my suburban friends thought I had lost my mind. I wanted to be like Sherry because she was just that cool. Strong, capable, funny, compassionate. A true light.

That light is not out. It continues to live through those who loved her. She made her mark in this world and it remains alive through her students, her children and anyone who knew her. She is physically gone, but she is very much still here.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  ~From a headstone in Ireland


Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Day Later

I woke up today reliving the sadness of Sherry, as I’m sure most of  you did too.  I know many people are angry right now about what happened to Sherry. I am still in a profound and deep place of sadness. The kind of sadness where your heart is so heavy you can actually feel the weight of it in your gut.

Sherry Arnold 062505

Taken at my cousin Anna’s wedding in 2004

There is comfort in small things. A warm fire. A hug from my mom, Sam, Ken or Emma. Phone calls from family. Your kind emails and comments. The beautiful sunrise this morning over the snow covered mountains.

I got chills re-reading an email I got from Sherry a year ago. She and I connected a lot about running. She had had a bone removed in her leg due to cancer, and had started running after that. She had completed a half marathon and was going to train for a full. She really liked to push herself, as do I. We had this in common. She ended this email by telling me, “Be careful out there. You never know what is coming.”

Something terrible happened to her, this we know. Two men have been charged with aggravated kidnapping. One is 47 years old, and is in jail in North Dakota. The other is 22 years old and is in South Dakota.  These men are such low lifes I can’t even come up with a term evil enough to label them. Bastard, cowards – just doesn’t cut it.

One theory is that she was hit by a car and the men took her to cover up the accident. This is just speculation at this time. I pray that is confirmed as the truth rather than what the alternative story might be.


Mom, Ken, Me, Dad, Emma, Sam & Sherry in  2008.

What I ask if that if you run today or this weekend, think about her. Imagine her running and smiling in the sunshine, because this is what she loved to do. Imagine that she did not suffer. Imagine that her family finds some sort of peace.

I am thinking about planning a virtual run in her honor and maybe taking donations to give to her favorite cause, to her family or for a scholarship. If I do end up going to Sidney later this week, I thought about running there in her honor and that being the day of the virtual run. I will let you know.

Thank you for caring about Sherry. Thank you for being my virtual family.

YOU be careful out there,


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Saddest Day

Sherry is not coming home. We learned this this morning. More details and information will come from authorities later today.

Announcement HERE.

I wish so badly I did not have to write this. Until now, I really thought I might see her again.

I can’t express my gratitude to you all for your support of me, her family and community. For keeping her in your prayers and heart. I know she will forever be in mine.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Fifth Night

I wish I had something new to tell you all. I’ve got nothing. Sherry, my cousin, is still missing as much as she was missing yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. There are no new leads.  The search has been suspended, and the case is now in the hands of the FBI. Local authorities felt as though they had gone as far as they could with the information that they had. At least for now.

Don’t stop looking, please don’t stop looking.


Sherry with her daughter, Holly

You think life should stand still with such a tragedy. When the news talks about Beyoncé and Jay-Z, I’m screaming at the TV to tell Sherry’s story instead. But, such is life. It all just keeps moving on because that’s what it does.

I have to remember it’s okay to laugh and to have moments of peace, even in the midst of such despair. Last night, I ate a box chocolates in bed and rolled my eyes at how ridiculous The Bachelor is this season. I laughed my ass off as my friend Clair told me about this crazy chemo cream she puts on her face and how her neighbor asked if she had chicken pox. I loved the Bob vs. Dolvett cat fight in the gym on The Biggest Loser. This morning, I found fellow blogger and runner, Terzah, on my doorstep in the freezing wind and snow. She was stopping by to give me a Starbucks gift card just to let me know she was thinking of me.  I talked to my family and found some peace in the comfort that we can provide to one another.

Yes, the circumstances point to the abduction of Sherry. The abduction of a person who brought only good to this world as a mother, wife, daughter, cousin, niece, sister, teacher and friend. We don’t know why horrific things happen to good people.  But, they do happen.


Taken in 2008 on the ranch where Sherry grew up.

In the midst of the sorrow and grim reality before us, one bright light shines out to me. It is the light of goodness, the light of of peace, the light of hope. It is thousands of people, strangers to Sherry, praying for her safe return. It is the church service held last night in Sidney, Montana, sending out energy to bring her home and comforting those closest to her. It is the millions of tears shed for a mom, teacher, wife and runner who was out doing what she loved to do and never came back. It is every person who has reached out to me, to her family, to help in the search effort. It is the power of the goodness of humanity. And, the light of spirit, God, whatever you call it, moving through us and connecting us.


Sherry's disappearance has shaken me and you to the core. It symbolizes our worst fears. That we will suffer. That we will leave those we love too early. That we will suddenly and inexplicably vanish into thin air. Her story is relatable on so many levels, and I am convinced that is why, even if you did not know her personally, you care deeply about her and her loved ones.

I know for a fact that there is more goodness in this world than evil. What has happened to Sherry is evil. The response nationwide is pure goodness. That comforts me beyond words.


The view from Sherry’s family’s ranch

It’s getting dark again and that makes my heart hurt. As the sun sets on the fifth night that Sherry has been gone, I continue to hope. I have visions of her courageously fighting her way to safety. I will carry this until I have reason not to.

You are my community, my support system, my friends. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words, prayers and support. You have made me feel less alone. You are the goodness.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Waiting for Something. Anything.

I obviously don’t have it in me to write an upbeat or typical SUAR post. I will say that running, biking and yoga have been a tremendous and welcome distraction these past few days. It’s probably the only time when my mind rests a bit.

I go through the motions of working, tucking in the kids at night and grocery shopping, but I do it with distraction and a heavy heart. Yesterday I even drove by my own house, not realizing I’d passed it by. If you’ve ever had a crisis or a significant loss you know what I am talking about. You feel trapped underwater and plagued by continued thoughts of “How could this happen?” and “Why did this happen?”

Nothing new has been uncovered about my cousin, Sherry. The search has extended for ten miles outside of the town, but still nothing. The FBI has been called in. Sidney, Montana is very close to the border with North Dakota, so if she was abducted, it is possible she was taken over state lines.


The only piece of evidence found so far is her running shoe. It was found in a ditch off of a road called the “truck route,” a place Sherry ran often. It is a road that thousands of trucks and vehicles use to get to the nearby oil fields. As is reported on the news, “The FBI and local law enforcement are investigating the possibility that Arnold was abducted from the small town along the North Dakota border, which has been changing rapidly in recent years due to an oil boom.”

The recent oil boom has brought a new dynamic to this small town of 5,000. The population has grown and despite a bump in the economy for Sidney, the impact has not been positive overall, as many townspeople have reported.

This is where the shoe was found (Good Morning America video HERE):


The FBI spoke to Sherry’s parents last night and assured them: "They wouldn't give up until they had found something or found Sherry." Searchers have turned out in the thousands, checking ditches and barns and any other conceivable place she could be. This part of Eastern Montana is very rural and remote with wide open plains. Big sky country for sure.


A few years ago when we visited Sherry and her family, this picture was taken. It gives you an idea of the amazing and vast  landscape.


On this day, we all hiked up a one of the buttes in the Sidney area with Sherry’s family. You can not imagine a more welcoming or warm group of people. How could this happen?


I hope Sherry is not afraid. I know she is a faithful person who would seek comfort from God at this time. I hope she somehow feels the overwhelming love and support from her family, friends, students and community. We are just waiting for her safe return. I cannot thank you enough for sharing her story and for the love you have shown to me too.