It's official kids - my training partner has come out. Donna's doin' the Transylvania Epic (TSE) ! Her and Brett helped mark one of the stages last year and said the atmosphere at the base camp was really cool. I watched last year's race unfold via the Internet and was SO wishing I could do it. This year, we both decided to just buck up and do it! The plan is, if I end up being the only Master 50+ female and they eliminate the category (which is what the fine print says if 5 girls aren't entered), we'll be a duo rather than in open women. Donna and I met about 9 or 10 years ago and rode our first race together at the 12 Hours of Ole Bull Midnight Madness in 2002 on Team "Dirtpuff Girlz." Many years later, we're still annoying the hell out of each other with riding, skiing, racing an adventure race or two in a season, hitting the BSM (Broad Street Market), and talking about one of our favorite topics - food. Yup, we even think the same thoughts on food. Donna inspires me to eat more healthy and try to keep my weight in check. She, of course, is the thin sexy one of the two of us. I was blessed with a cheesy butt, grey thin hair, and a flat chest. But opposites always attract, right? Thinking through the years, we've had many "firsts." We rode the first Ironcross together -- circa 2003. We rode on our Cannondale mountain bikes and lugged those monsters up Wigwam. When we did a training ride for the Ironcross, I'll never forget her standing at the bottom of Wigwam looking up and saying, "Brett - I don't think I can do this." And Brett was saying under his breath, "Oh buck up and do it." But instead, he said, "sure you can honey, just grab your bike and start climbing." I had my first mud race with D -- Blue Marsh. One to remember, for sure. My first 24-hour race was Seven-Springs and guess who was on my team? Yup...Donna. Along with Roxanne Morgan and I think Teresa Spitler. As much as I hated riding in the mud at 3:00 a.m., I went back for a couple more through the years -- always on a team with Donna. We did a couple of the Goals Adventure races which were all memorable - F____ was typically the word of the day. Donna had her first garden last year and I sure hope I was partly responsible for that. I'm sure there's more firsts -- just can't recall them all. Training for something like the TSE is much, much more fun with a training partner. There's nothing like a little encouragement from your friend to endure many, many training hours in preparation for the big week. And we're both extremely fortunate to have such wonderful, supportive hubbies. I think it was a tough pill to swallow for both of them (costs...training time, etc), but both are now totally receptive of us doing it. Heck, I think Brett is even training with Donna and while Rick isn't training with me, he totally accepts me putting in the training time. He knows what this thing involves and is on-board with what I need to do to get 'er dun. He even scheduled his vacation so he can be there with us. Thank you hubby! There is nothing like good friends - thank you friend, Miss Donna!