Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Rant.

a home schooled High School age girl and I work out on the 2 mile asphalt loop at Bear Creek Park in Houston almost every Monday morning. We have always left our water bottles sitting under one of the benches near the tennis courts and no one has ever disturbed them. We are also aware of the men in orange suits who do a very good job of cleaning up the trash that seems to be everywhere on Monday mornings.

Yesterday, April 25, we were extending our distance to 4 times around the loop, so we both had electrolyte supplement and some nutritional product with our water bottles, so that we could stop at each loop and hydrate properly. At the conclusion of the 4th loop of a very intense workout, we approached the bench where we left our water bottles and they were gone.

I asked a couple of other park patrons and they said the men in orange suits had been cleaning in the area. I jogged over to the van and asked their supervisor if they had put our personal belongings in the garbage. One of the bottles was stainless steel that I had paid about $30 for. He was not very interested in helping me, however, one of the orange suited men who was seated in one of the back seats of the van handed my stainless steel bottle to him and he returned it to me. Whan I inquired about the full bottle of Gatorade, my friend's plastic water bottle, and my Hammer Nutrition Products red and clear plastic bottle, they merely shrugged and suggested I could dig through the trash if I was inclined to do so. I was not aware that these men were allowed to keep anything they find at the park, and isn't it ironic that the bottle they chose to keep was the most expensive one.

This park is always fairly crowded with walkers, runners and cyclists, and I have never felt the need to lock my bottles in the car. I never expected that men who are doing forced community service would be the ones to force my hand in this matter. I intend to continue to use the facilities at the park, it is lovely. But from now on, my friend and I will be forced to return to the vehicle to hydrate.

Now for a personal observation.  Before I started the Paleo diet, and until I became very settled in to the lifestyle, I would NEVER have approached this van, or said anything to anyone about my belongings being stolen.  I would have just gone home PISSED OFF.  Of course, I am still pissed, but at least I got my Kleen Kanteen back.  I will just have to place another order from Hammer Nutrition and get another Hammer bottle.

As for the workout?  It was amazing... first thing Monday morning, I went to the gym and did a full body weight routine at 6am.  Yes, I said 6am.  When I was done, I drove to the park to racewalk with my friend.  She is amazing, and we had an awesome speedy racewalking workout!  8 miles, average pace 12:14!  It breaks down like this: Mile 1 - 12:20; Mile 2 - 12:00; Mile 3 - 12:09; Mile 4 - 12:16; Mile 5 - 12:24; Mile 6 - 12:24; Mile 7 - 12:25; Mile 8 - 11:47.  It's nice to still have something in the tank at the end of a long walk!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday's weight workout:
leg raises: 2 sets, 15 reps
leg press: 3 sets, 15 reps, 90#
Lat pull down: 3 sets, 12 reps, 50#
Chest Fly: 2 sets, 12 reps, 30#
Dumbell lateral raise: 3 sets, 12 reps, 8#
dumbell curl: 3 sets, 12 reps, 10#
tricep push down: 3 sets, 12 reps, 20#
calf raises: 5 sets, 15 reps, 10#
toe pulls (shins): 3 sets each leg, 15 reps, 10#
Lunges: 3 sets, 12 reps
back extensions: 3 sets, 15 reps
I talked to the trainer and upped the weight on some of the exercises a little (still concentrating on form and muscle isolation) and added the shin exercise.  My calf muscles are already highly developed, so needed the shin exercise to balance things out.  The shins are very important for balance in my long distance walking.

Monday was a good food day... lunch was an egg scramble made from last night's grass fed beef patty, the coconot oil soaked veggies, two eggs and some salsa. 
Dinner: Salmon salad made with celery, purple onion, chopped dill pickles, chopped green olives, boiled eggs, spicy mustard, olive oil, black pepper and garlic and herb seasoning... all on top of a huge bed of spring greens and doused with a little more olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
When I snack, I choose come good quality beef jerky, or about 7 walnut halves, or a little high quality 90% chocolate. 

Didn't do well in the sleep department.  Emily came home from work, really sick.  I took her to the emergency room... they of course, did not find anything wrong (at least they did a ct scan of her abdomen to rule out appendicitis) and sent her home with pain meds.  We didn't get home until 5am (writing this Tuesday morning), and I could not sleep past 9.  Not in a hurry to get to work today, but must go in.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Long Walk ;)

So, I got a little of a late start for my long walk this morning. I really planned to go out at 8am, and didn't get started until 8:30.  Not too bad, but as the day wore on and it began to get hot outside, the wind blew harder and harder.  I looked at the historical weather for the area and gusts were reported to be between 28 and 35mph with sustained winds of 20mph.  Almost as bad as the winds at Bataan, but with higher humidity.

I ended up walking 15.1 miles at an average 14:25 per mile pace.  Not too shabby, but I didn't count time spent stopped (stopped the Garmin when I was not moving).  I am finding that I need to take in more calories during my long walks since I have converted to Paleo.  When I first started marathon walking, I was trying to stay at about 100-150 calories per hour.  I am only walking most of the time, so that seemed like enough.  After all, your digestive system can only process so much while your body is on the move.  I had a serious bonk when I did a recent 20 mile training walk, so upped the calories per hour at Bataan for the marathon.  I guess that slipped from my consciousness today, and I only brought enough Perpetuem, Hammer Gel and a Larabar so the total added up to 600 calories.  That did not equal 200 calories per hour.  Need more gels for sure, and a full flask of Perpetuem.

After I got home from the park where I walk, I was kind of dead to the world.  I drank my Hammer Recoverite mixed with some Fage Total Greek Yogurt and a little pineapple juice.  YUM!!!  The only time I will drink calories is after a hard effort.

Friday, April 8, 2011


So far I have been able to stick with the Paleo diet with no problems. My family still eats junk food, so I am surrounded by it, but not tempted to eat it because I feel so much better without it.

Things that have changed since I gave up grains and only eat meat and eggs, fat, lots of veggies, and a little full fat dairy:

psoriasis is gone
not as gassy any more
seasonal allergies are improving
arthritis is not as bad (knees all better)
oxygen uptake much more efficient (working heart rate is lower)
sleeping better
ability to focus has improved
looking much better in my clothes!

I truly believe I have the Paleo diet to thank for all these changes!

A Little Wigged Out...

...to quote a good friend.  I have recently signed up for the Hog's Hunt 50k at Huntsville State Park on April 16.  I am not sure I am ready for prime time (50k) and the big question is whether or not I will occupy LAST place. ;)  Not that it bothers me to come in last place, because I have never been, nor will I ever be FAST.  I just like to be sure I can finish whatever race I enter within the time limit.  Paul Stone, the race director, is a very cool guy.  The last time I did one of his races and was in danger of missing the cutoff due to a hip problem, I was told that anyone who comes out in these 80+ degree temps with accompanying high humidity to do 50k will be counted in the results, even if they do finish late.  I just do not like to be that person who keeps the volunteers waiting.

My friends from Houston Trail Runners Extreme will be manning one of the aid stations.  They have been warned... I may be one of the last people they see before they wrap things up for the day...

Anyway... I am leaving the house early today so that I can come home from work early and get in about 6 miles on the treadmill before dinner.  I hope to do about 15 miles on Sunday. 

An interesting note on the strength training: I am not as sore as I thought I would be.  The trainer will be in the gym on Monday when I go in for my workout... so I am going to ask him if we can add a few more items to the workout list, and up the weight just a little.  BABY STEPS... need to strengthen this back, not injure it.

Now, the new workout schedule:
Sunday - LSD
Monday - Tempo in the morning, Strength Training in the afternoon
Tuesday - Day off
Wednesday - Hill workout or Intervals
Thursday - Strength training
Friday - EZ walk
Saturday - ? might be a cycling day... need something fun here!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Blogging is Fun!

Today's strength training workout:

leg raises: 2 sets, 15 reps
leg press: 3 sets, 15 reps, 90#
Lat pull down: 3 sets, 15 reps, 40#
Chest Fly: 3 sets, 15 reps, 20#
Dumbell lateral raise: 3 sets, 15 reps, 5#
dumbell curl: 3 sets, 15 reps, 8#
tricep push down: 3 sets, 15 reps, 10#
calf raises: 5 sets, 15 reps, body weight
back extensions: 3 sets, 15 reps

decided to stay with the trainer's recommendations for a couple of weeks. The need to make sure I don't injure my back is stronger than the need to prove how strong I am.

On another note... I am really learning to LOVE cooking again.  There are so many different ways to prepare a Paleo meal, and you would just have to be LAZY to say you can't come up with anything new to eat.

Last night, I prepared pan fried turkey breast cutlets, with some stir fried veggies on the side. I ate the leftover turkey with a huge salad topped with avocado slices for lunch today. 

I went to the gym after work, which is a 45 minute drive from my work.  Did my workout, then drove home (about 15 minutes) and cooked a delicious meal for supper.

Squash with Tomatoes

.■1 zucchini cut into chunks
■1 yellow squash cut into chunks
■1/2 onion sliced
■several baby bella mushrooms sliced
■1 can diced no salt tomatoes
■black pepper
■2tsp minced garlic
■italian seasoning to taste

sautee all veggies with seasoning in a good amount of olive oil, when tender crisp add garlic and cook for about another minute, then pour in canned tomatoes and about a half can of water. simmer until most liquid is gone.

I served this over a large pan fried cod filet (wild caught Alaskan).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life's a Challenge

So, my hubby has not been feeling well since I got back from my trip to New Mexico.  I have been a good lil wifey and have been cooking dinner every evening, trying to get him to eat a little more veggies, and a lot less bread.  So far, so good.  Fingers crossed that he will start feeling better so I can get on with the training I need to do for FANS 24 Hour and a possible Centurion walk.  For those of you who don't know... A Centurion is someone who has walked 100 or more miles in 24 hours or less at a judged event.  The judges only look for lifting (running), and are not concerned about the bent knee rule of Olympic racewalking.

I took the whole week off of training after Bataan, which seemed like a good idea.  Rest is as important, if not more important as training.  My plan was to walk 20 miles on Sunday, but 10.75 miles seemed like enough, so I stopped there.  I had an appointment with a gym owner to discuss some personal training, so that I can feel obligated to get some strength training done.  The great deal: $110 for 3 months of membership with no extra charge for helping me with a program to build strength without hurting my back (which tends to be problematic). 

Rusty walked me through a short series of exercises, which will be my starting point.  Leg raises, leg presses, lunges, lat pull downs, chest flys, lat raises, curls, and back extensions.  These are all at beginning weight, which will increase as needed.  The thing that Rusty stressed is proper form, nd isolation of the specific muscles the exercise is intended to work, which I agree with totally.  I found I like working out at a gym better than doing it at home.  I LIKE the way I look in the mirror!  That's totally new to me.

Monday's workout (remember, I am a beginner... so don't make fun of the amount I am lifting ;))
Leg raises on incline bench: 2 sets - 12 reps
Leg press: 3 sets - 12 reps - 90#
Lunges: 3 sets - 11 reps
Lat pull down: 3 sets - 12 reps - 40#
Chest Flys: 3 sets - 12 reps - 20#
Lat Raises: 3 sets - 15 reps - 5#
Dumbell curls: 3 sets - 15 reps - 8#
Standing calf raise: 3 sets - 15 reps - body weight

Still being a good girl and following the Paleo diet, but I think I have eaten a little too much fruit the past week... Time to go ketogenic for a couple of weeks...  All for now.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 2, March 27, 2011 Bataan!!!

We arrived at White Sands early enough to not have the worry of waiting in a long line of cars and were able to park very close to the starting area! That is a good thing; we could wait in the car while the wind gusted to at least 40mph and blew sand everywhere! Mellody named the wind Bob and Bob really blew that day! Bob blew so hard he seemed to move the rental car, and he forced the trees to bend over! Bob was however, good enough to blow a trash bag my way so I could wrap up in it in order to block some of the wind. LOL Bagpipes played for morning entertainment as we waited for the beginning of the opening ceremony. The three of us tried to stick together in the crowd and ended up near the front for the opening ceremony which began at 6:35am. The ceremony was very moving, as the role was called. First the survivors responded “here”, followed by the role call of all the survivors who have died since the last memorial march in 2010. No one answered. One of the survivors stood throughout the ceremony. He was wearing is full dress uniform with all his medals. What an impressive sight he was, and when the battle poem was recited, several cried out with a resounding YEAH! Then it was time for the fly over, courtesy of Holloman Air Force Base. The cannon sounded, and the group of Wounded Warriors started the march. 
 We had expected a wave start, but were warned during the opening ceremony that there were just too many of us to enforce corrals, so people just mingled and got into the starting chute when they were ready. No problems with all us civilians mixed in with all the military personnel! They seemed to be having as much fun as we all were!

I stopped to shake a few Bataan survivors’ hands on the way to the starting line. They are a proud group of men, totally deserving of this event to commemorate their suffering, and remember all the lives lost in service to our country. We were now out on the marathon course. The first part was relatively flat, though at a higher elevation than I am used to. We started out on the road for about the first mile before our turn off into the desert. This desert section was rolling and sandy, with little or no elevation gain. I started out running this section until I reached a team or group walking abreast, took a breather while following them, then ran to the next group of congestion, all the while trying to stay up wind of the blowing sand. I do not usually carry my camera with me during marathons, but really wanted to have photos from this one. I took several photos during this first section. I was making pretty good time under the conditions, averaging a 14:17 mile through mile 6. Then we turned out onto the road, preparing for the climb. I really expected the gaiters I was wearing to be a lot more effective at keeping the sand and rocks out of my shoes, but no luck. I had to stop here at the aid station and dump the debris out of my shoes, and needed a quick potty stop. There was a short climb out of the main base property, across highway 70, and then up the mountain into a 40mph headwind. Mellody caught up to me, (she took a lot more time shaking Bataan survivors’ hands than I did) and we made the climb together. I tried to take a picture of us with my camera and it would not open any more. Methinks me got sand in my camera.  I was amazed that the elevation did not bother me as much this time as it had at ET. I attribute this to Paleo. Of course, my big mistake that morning was not bringing any protein along for breakfast, (should have brought the turkey jerky or the buffalo jerky along) and the continental breakfast they were serving was all pastries, so no breakfast was presenting sort of an issue for me. I was fueling with my Hammer Perpetuem and Hammer Gel, eating a few oranges, taking my Endurolytes and alternating drinking Heed with water.

I had to stop at the next turn off into the desert to mix another bottle of Perpetuem, and it was still very windy, so I took a lot longer at this stop than I wanted to and Mellody took off ahead of me. It is all good when we do the same race, we can walk together, but we do our own race. I just enjoyed visiting with the soldiers, and took off when my fuel was mixed. We were still steadily climbing, and I was feeling strong… just slow. At this point, I already knew I was not going to break any land speed records, so decided just to enjoy the event. I had heard tales of an aid stop at mile 14 (the top of the climb) that would be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and cold sodas. I was glad that I tucked a $10 into my fuel belt, because I was totally out of gas. I walked up to the table and told the guy I would pay the whole $10 for a couple of meat patties. “I’m hungry, and all I need is some BEEF!” That got a good laugh and $5 in change. My maniac friend Nina was sitting down finishing her hamburger, so I joined her. Those were the two best hamburger patties I had ever eaten. Now as it is time to rejoin the marathon, I came upon a young man with a picture of a Bataan survivor on his t-shirt. When I asked if that was his grandpa, he told me no, it was his great, great uncle. The young man must have only been about 14 years old, and he was not the youngest marcher I saw that day. I thanked him for being so tough!
The course began to head around the mountain with lots of rolling terrain along the way. I was still running a little on the down hill sections, mainly because it was easier to run down than to try and walk, risking slipping as some of the downs were pretty steep. I found out later from my other friend Deb (she is a nurse practitioner and stopped to render aid more than once during the race) that one soldier had fallen somewhere in this section, breaking his leg. The view from this side of the mountain was amazing! We could see the Organ Mountains, named such because the vertical rocks on the mountain peaks look like a pipe organ! White Sands Missile Range was also visible off in the distance (at +/-4500 feet), and far below the +/- 5,500 feet we were now motoring at. A border patrol officer was stationed at one of these high points on the course, I guess his job was to make sure all the people out there had race numbers attached to their uniforms.

The course then headed back to the road, and a steep downhill. I racewalked down the whole hill, averaging a 12:30 pace at this point, which was still pretty good, coming up on 20 miles of this really tough course. My racewalking form provoked a little teasing, which I took with a grin, inviting the soldiers to “Walk this Way!” HMMM, only 10k to go, and the infamous sand pit was still to come. As I made my way through the sand pit, which seemed more like the consistency of cat litter, I came upon two soldiers who were having serious muscle cramping issues. I had enough Endurolytes for me and maybe a couple of extras, but I gave each of them 4. I really hope it helped these two guys make it to the finish! I am sure I will never know, but it was the right thing to do at the time. I thought I would be ok with what I had left and I did still have some Heed. One more time, I had to sit down and dump the rocks out of my shoes, and this time I turned my socks inside out. I was told to get up off my ass because there were only 2 miles to go. I got up and caught the sergeant who had ordered me to get up… let him know I was passing him now. LOL I kept playing tag with a couple of other soldiers and one kept threatening to jump on my back so I could carry he and his pack to the finish. I said, come on, jump on – we will go down together!

I started to approach the finish area, and even at 7 hrs 25 minutes, there were lots of cheering spectators. I thought I would try to run across the finish line, since I had done a fair amount of running in this race. My legs simply said HELL NO, and both of my calf muscles locked up completely. I was very lucky not to fall on my face. Apparently, I needed more Endurolytes than I thought. ;) I grabbed the fence, stretched out those lead calf muscles, and proudly walked to the finish line! I had the key to the rental car, so walked straight to it and my Recoverite, pineapple juice and Fage Greek yogurt recovery shake. I was feeling fine, and looking for some of my friends who were also doing the race. I found Lori Sherwood and Susan Bell, her husband Britt and their friend Terri. We took some photos, and then I went to get some of the post race food. I asked for a hamburger patty, bratwurst and sauerkraut. No bread, still Paleo all the way. I could not eat it all and was hoping I would be able to eat a decent meal later… All I kept saying all day was fajitas for two, just for me!

I also had the good fortune to meet the parents of the young man who created the Bataan Memorial March as his ROTC project. It has grown into an awesome thing over the 22 years it has been held, and this young man should be very proud of himself.

Finally, Mellody found me and we went to watch more finishers coming in. We were beginning to worry about Deb, but she finished while we were looking the other way. Mellody had a great race, shaving time off her first Bataan march in 2007, and Deb shaved a lot of time off her first Bataan march in 2006. I was just happy to have finished! I have recently completed my first 100 mile race, and the difficulty level of this marathon is right up there with that, but the difficulties we faced here are NOTHING compared to what our military face EVERY DAY. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

We had our celebration meal of Mexican food, and all I could manage was a fajita salad with fresh sliced avocados, sliced tomatoes, sour cream and a roasted green chile on top!  It was delicious... and I did have flan for dessert, because if you climb a mountain in the desert, you deserve dessert!

I won't bore you with the details of the trip home... except to mention it was uneventful.  No accidents, no speeding tickets, no heavy duty border patrol activity.  I am happy to report we were not searched by the border patrol at the point of entry! Whew!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bataan Trip Day 2, March 26, 2011

I woke up reasonably early, got dressed and went down to breakfast at the hotel. They really don’t have a good selection of food for folks who don’t eat grains. There were more muffins, Danish, bread and waffles in one small place than I have seen in a while. My choice was hard boiled eggs. I happened to have some venison and buffalo jerky in my hotel room, so that went down well with the boiled eggs.

Then Emily and I headed to the El Paso Saddleblanket Co. I exited the freeway and moved to the right lane so that I could get into the parking lot. Traffic was stopped by a red light, and did not begin moving when the light turned green. The vehicle two cars in front of me was disabled and did not have on any emergency flashers. I decided to move into the next lane, and as I got beside the car that had been in front of me, she decided to go around also, and turned right into the passenger door of my rocket ship. The damage was not too serious and no one was injured, so I chose not to call the police, and only exchanged information with the other driver. I drove on to the store to do a little shopping.
I have wanted to purchase a special belt for my Across the Years 100 mile belt buckle, since that was my first 100 mile finish. Emily helped me find an awesome hand crafted python skin belt, and it was not too expensive! We loved the store; there were some very interesting items for sale, including coffins with a western flair. “Oh, bury me not… on the lone prairie.”

We didn’t have anything else interesting to do, so we stopped for an espresso at Starbucks. Oh, I would like to make an observation here: People in this part of the country are very friendly! Store clerks, baristas, hotel clerks and wait staff were all very nice and helpful.  But, at almost every place we stopped, someone approached us, asking for money.

Next thing was to drive back to Las Cruces to wait for Mellody and Deb to arrive at the hotel. They were on the same flight, so were sharing the ride from the airport to the hotel. When they arrived, we got all settled in the room, and then headed back out to White Sands to check out the souvenirs. I had my certificate framed with the dog tag they give you instead of a medal. We really don’t deserve a medal for completing this memorial march. The sole purpose is to honor and remember. I also purchased a t-shirt, mug, magnet, tote bag and patch with the battle cry on them. I broke the mug, so went back inside to buy another one. They wrapped it very well so I would not break the second one, laughing all the while.  I was laughing too.

I really wanted to get my picture taken in front of the highway sign and the warning sign along the entrance of the missile range, so Mellody obliged.  

We also stopped so I could pose in front of the Bataan Memorial Highway sign...

 When we returned to the hotel, we decided to find a close place to eat our pre race meal. I am not carb loading anymore (except with sweet potatoes) so ate surf (lobster tail) and turf (rare petit sirloin) with grilled zucchini and steamed broccoli for dinner.

When we got back to the hotel, I met one of the Wounded Warriors, he is a Viet Nam vet, and had brought 30 of his comrades who were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan along to complete the march.

The three of us who were doing the march calculated that we should be on site at White Sands before 3am so as not to get caught up in a long line trying to get in. That meant we had to get to bed right after we ate and organized our things for the march. I had already done most of my organizing the night before, but I still have to obsess over the details. As usual, I donned the first layer of my race clothes so I can get ready faster in the morning. We went to bed really early, but considering we were getting up at 2am, there is no such thing as too early!

ok, that's day two of my weekend trip... more to come.  Race Day is next!

Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon, 3/27/2011 Part 1, The Trip

This race has been on my “To Do” list for a long time. It finally worked out this year because a couple of friends who I could share a hotel room with were also going.
The purpose of this event is to honor and remember what Filipino and American soldiers endured when they were surrendered to the Japanese in 1942. They were forcibly marched 60 miles (97 kilometers) with little or no food and or water and those to weak to continue the march were run over by trucks, bayoneted or shot to death. Their cry:
We’re the battling bastards of Bataan.
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam,
No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces,
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces
And nobody gives a damn.
Here is a link to an article from the Las Cruces Sun News that gives a more complete account of the atrocities that occurred: http://reta.nmsu.edu/bataan/curriculum/introduction/history.html.

Day 1, March 25, 2011
Initially, I was going to drive out to Las Cruces by myself, but it turned out that my daughter Emily came along for the trip. She slept most of the way, but at least I wasn’t by alone. We made it to San Antonio for morning rush hour which was rather unpleasant, but things got easy as we made it farther west. Once you pass through Kerrville Texas headed west, the speed limit is 80 mph! Of course there are many people who would stretch that limit. I am not one to do that because there are Sherriff’s department vehicles and Texas state troopers all over the place out there.

The closer we got to El Paso, the more police we saw. The Border Patrol was also extremely active… I wonder if it was because it was Friday. Maybe the drug smugglers are more active on the weekends. We made our way to our hotel, a La Quinta on the west side of El Paso, got checked in and found a place to eat dinner. Then it was time to drive out to White Sands Missile Range for in processing. As I was driving out to the base from Las Cruces, I started to wonder what the hell I have gotten myself into. The terrain out there is very unforgiving, high desert surrounded by mountains, one of which we were going to have to climb. I called my mom and told here it was a good thing my life insurance was paid up. LOL

The base security is very strict, but we had all our documents in order so were allowed to enter. We proceeded on to drive right past the turn off the main road, missing the sign for Bataan In Processing completely. We turned around and saw the sign for “Tank Crossing”. Oh my.

Emily had to wait for me in the lobby and I went through the line to pick up race materials for Deb, Mellody and I. I think I had a lucky number: 3030. It seemed lucky at the time anyway. The next stop was getting our finishing certificates printed. They are really nice! I was very fortunate to have the time to speak to 3 of the survivors from the original Bataan Death March and they were very gracious, autographing everyone’s certificates. It was an honor to meet them and to be able to thank them for their service to our country. The next stop was to pick up our t-shirts. I did not spend much time looking at souvenirs because Deb, Mellody and I were planning to come back to the base on Saturday.

Bataan Death March Survivors

Emily and I walked out and drove up to the Missile Museum which is close to the exit. There are numerous missile systems on display, and they encourage photographs. We were able to get some nice pictures, even though the wind was really gusty!

Then it was time to drive back to El Paso for a good night’s sleep.

More to come...