Chasing down a Wildcat!

It was another whirlwind week at the Camberg household; cross-country, gymnastics, flag football, tackle football, etc! I had a midweek meltdown with my online class. I love taking Sports Nutrition but the online work was brutal this week. I had an online quiz to take for a chapter and it was 110 questions. I wanted to get it done Thursday night because I was going to be in Tucson for the meet Friday and we had a busy weekend. The quiz listed 110 questions and timed to allow 4 hours. It took me 3 hours and 10 minutes. I had an extremely sore neck (thanks to Katherine for bringing me warm pads for my neck), was starving and totally cranky when I finished. I had steam coming off my head and was applying all my effort. I hit enter upon completion and my score 85%! Yuck, I can’t believe I did not get an A. Josh commented that he had never seen me work so hard. This sent me into a panic about if I can really handle 12 credits, running on cross-country team along with my regular life that was pretty busy already. By Friday am I had a better perspective and created a plan to conquer it all.

I was very excited to head to Tucson to race with the UofA Wildcats in the Dave Murray Invitational. I am an ASU alumni so placing in front of a Wildcat would give me great pleasure. My goal was to go out harder than last week and hang on as long as I could with the front pack. I was hoping for a time around 18:30 since the course was only 3 miles. I also wanted to be 1st jr college finisher.

Its not about how we do, its about how we look!

The course was grassy rolling hills in a golf course. I was hoping the adductor would not bother me during or after the race. Our team was excited at the start line and ready to race! The gun went off and I burst onto the course to chase down the leaders. It was about half mile in to the race and the lead girls were about 50 yds ahead of me and I was running around 535 pace. There was a nice headwind and I was wishing I could be up closer to the pack instead of by myself fighting the wind. First mile was 555. Around the 1.5 mile mark I passed a couple Grand Canyon Univ. girls hoping not to see them again. Our boys team was out cheering on the course, “yelling go Mom”. I found myself in the similar position as the last race no one close enough in front of me to catch and no one running right behind me. Fatigue set in by the 2 mile mark and I did my best to stay focused on closing the gap to catch a U of A runner (not knowing there were 2 behind me). I was not able to catch her but definitely got close, another 1/2 mile and I probably would have caught her.

Beginning of the race in front of 2 UofA girls.

My time was 19:01 but given the course (hills and wind) I was very happy with the result. I went through the finishing chute and turned around to see who was behind me; 2 girls in U of A uniforms. Yes I had beat 2 Wildcats! I walked over to the girls to congratulate them. I really wanted to say “Great race and by the way I am 42 with 2 kids”.

Me and Bekah after the race, she took 1 minute off her time from last week! Smokin fast.

Our girls team ran strong and we finished 3rd team, and 1st Jr College. I felt great with no pain anywhere, YEAH. Another highlight was meeting Team USA Olympic Marathoner Abdi Abdirahman. I spoke to him briefly and told him I watched him race in Houston at the Trials.

Me with USA Olympic Marathoner Abdi Abdirahman

Here is a link to an article recapping our race:

Planning to hit it hard this week, next race is Sept 28. My mom gave me this cool picture this summer, made by Isabel Bloom.

It says “and when I started running I started dreaming”

Special guest at cross country practice today

We had a very special guest at cross country practice today, Lauren Fleshman. She is in town for a few days so I invited her to come to our practice. Despite all the time we have spent together this year Lauren and I have never run together (someone is always injured) so it was such a treat to run with her today!! Can’t wait to see what she does in the future. Here are some pictures we took at practice.

Kerry and Lauren finally running together!

post workout girls with Lauren

post workout boys with Lauren, showing off muscles!

Little Q&A with Lauren

boys preworkout wiith Lauren Fleshman

Amanda and Lauren Fleshman

Amanda and Lauren Fleshman

Eduardo with Lauren, hoping her speed will rub off on him


A fun morning. Off to Tucson on Friday to race.





1st cross country race completed

I am 3 weeks into school and much busier than I thought we would be. The kid schedules are busier than they have ever been Katherine 3x week gymnastics, choir and Josh flag football team and tackle football team. The mom taxi starts everyday about 250pm and does not end until almost 9pm most weekdays. I am loving all my classes and acquiring knowledge. My alarm clock is set for 415-430am so I figure I am falling short about 2hrs sleep per day. It is fair to say that I think I have bitten off more than I can chew, so do I want to do anything about it?? My decision is to become a master of efficiency, I know my friends are laughing because I have always been very efficient. I am sure there is a few minutes here and there that can be utilized better.

Two weeks ago in training I had decided it was time to run my workouts with the guys so I could push myself a bit more. The 1st workout I chose to run solely with the guys we had a hill circuit over at Kiwanis Park. It is not super hilly but there is one steep hill that we ran up that day. There was a total of 10 repeats totaling 5.5 miles of hill and sprinting work. I felt great! The next morning I did my usual 8 mile run. Later that day my right adductor starting hurting. Ugh, I thought this chapter was over. I decided it must have been that hill workout. I could panic or just adjust my training for the week as needed. I was able to do all the mileage but just cut out speed and hills for the remainder of the week. Also a good reminder to keep up with my strength and conditioning exercises.

This past week of training I just left out the hill workouts but was able to do all the distance and speed. I ran 6 days (which included race day) for the 1st time. I successfully did my exercises each day squeezing them in between classes, mom taxi time, early in the am or before bed. The way I look at it if I can’t make time for my exercises I should not be running. I followed up with Dr Ball this week for a bit of a tune up. He was not concerned about the adductor just wants me to stick with my exercises and ease back into the hills.

Thursday’s workout was 8 mile for girls and 10 for boys. I was planning on only doing the 8 miles but was chatting while running with the guys and forgot to turn around. It was a very hot humid morning and I was regretting the mistake the last 2miles. I also remembered that one of my classes we had a “lab”. We would be meeting at the MCC track at 9am to run or walk 1 mile and record our heart rate. I was having trouble cooling down after my am run and felt a bit nauseous. A sign I was overheated. I rushed home to take kids to school and put on fresh running clothes (same sweat though).

I met up with my class in the shade of the stadium. While we were waiting I was so tempted to drink my green juice since I was starving but was worried about projectile vomiting it once I started running. I was really preferring to walk but since my professor is always referring to me as the runner I figured I needed to run. We went through some dynamic warmup exercises and then he mentioned that the run was actually 1.5. Yikes I was already soaked through with sweat again and we were not even running yet. I cranked out a 618 pace and was pleased with that effort. I was now officially toasted! Instead of going to the library to do homework until my next class I rushed home for a much-needed shower and food. It takes a lot to get me overheated and today I was a victim to the heat and humidity. My bed was loudly calling my name but I had to drive back to campus for my next class. I was very proud I did not just crash in my bed.

Checkout the article in the Mesa Legend school paper about our cross-country team (I am mistaken for the team captain, it is really Taylor Stewart:

Saturday was our first race of the season; Artichoke invitational. It was hosted by Scottsdale Community College. Our coach stressed it was a low-key meet and not to worry about how we performed. Racing and low-key don’t really work together for me. I decided to give it my best effort and predicted to be around 620 pace. My hope was to hit pace and feel good doing it. Also I wanted to be the 1st junior college finisher, I had a tip that some lady Sun Devils from Arizona State University would be at the race too. I was happy for some extra competition to help push the pace and make me work harder.


On race morning I carpooled with teammate Bekah. I really like this girl and have taken her under my wing a bit offering encouragement and tips. I know she has a ton of potential and the right attitude to be successful this year. We arrived at SCC a few minutes early and found a place to put our things. I really wanted to checkout the course since I was not familiar with it and did not want to get lost. Our coach instructed us to see the course and then do our warmup. We wandered around the desert noting red and orange flags everywhere, it looked really confusing to me. We encountered someone with the race and he said he would be riding a lead bike. Ok not problem as long as I have someone to follow I am good to go. On the way back from our warmup another coach said “you girls better hurry up race is starting at 7am”. Oh crap our coach told us 730 start time. Our coach rode up on a bike to tell us to hurry and they were waiting for us. I told the girls to stay calm and use the restroom and get their racing flats. “only control what you can control” I did not want the stress of the start to affect the girls race.

We lined up on the football field and the air horn went off. No time to be nervous, I like that a lot. I ran hard the first 200 meters to gain a position near the front. I was behind a sea of Sun Devils, perfect spot for me. My main concern was going to hard and then crash/burn.

My first mile felt fast and awesome 6minutes flat. Ok a bit quick for me but I felt good. I decided to back off closer to the 620 pace because I did not think I could hold that 6 minute pace very long. There were some other runners in red and black (not sure which team) but I made it my goal to get past them. I had discussed race strategy with my friend Flash and he gave me some tips for handling the turns. He said to lean in a bit and get up on the balls of my feet and sprint around corners this would help me pass other competitors when cornering because often runners slow down a bit. I did not have too many runners around me on the corners but I practiced this anyway. There was about 1 mile to go and a runner up ahead that I just had to catch. I made the pass and then set my sights on the Sun Devils. It was going to be hard to catch them but I could at least close the gap. The last half mile my lungs were bursting!!!!!! Every part of my body was screaming to slow down. The next runner was still 100 yds ahead so I just kept pushing. I sprinted down the track to finish. I was really hoping my mom and daughter had arrived (since they were not coming until 730 and we started earlier). They just made it!

My Garmin clocked me at 19:59 for distance of 3.21 and avg pace of 614. I was happy with that result and pleased that nothing hurt. I achieved my goal of being 1st jr college women. I waited for my teammates so I could cheer them on as they finished. We placed 2nd as a team right after ASU.

MCC Lady Thunderbirds at Artichoke Invitational

Me and Katherine post race

I headed back on the course for my cooldown and to cheer on the guy’s team. We have some really promising guys on the team this year and expect them to do well at Nationals. Since we finished earlier than planned I decided to squelch some mom guilt and rush across town to Josh’s football game (I had told him I could not come). Aztecs had a bit of a rough game.  It was a very humid and buggy morning so we could not wait to get out of there and shower at home!

Once I got to the game I felt guilt about leaving the meet before the boys were finished. My teammate texted me that I had gotten 7th overall and she picked up my medal.

Post Aztec game

I arrived home about 10am so plenty of time to get Katherine to gymnastics. Her new leotard had arrived for competition season, we headed to the gym early to get it picked up. I could not wait to see the leotard either given the price was $$$. Well as you can see it certainly is blingy.

Competition Ready!

I was anxiously awaiting the results so I could analyze and strategize for next weeks race down in Tucson at the University of Arizona. I attended ASU many years ago and Uof A is a huge rival so I am just dying to pass a wildcat during the race or maybe fork me a devil.

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