Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Having Fun

First I have to say I am really loving running again.  Last week I finally got back up over 80 miles and I am hoping for the same this week.  I love when my legs get to a point in training when they just love the miles.  Now onto my real post :):

Last year I was lucky enough to connect with Run Like a Mother (a 5k race for women on Mother's Day).  They needed local runners to train women who wanted to run the 5K.  I met with the runners once or twice a week and absolutely loved the experience.  There is nothing like helping others get their running legs and see how proud they are on race day.  It really is an awesome experience.  I am pretty sure the trainers get more out of it than the new runners.  I liked it so much that I signed up to do it again this year.

 AND then... a group of my friends wanted to get into running.  Yay!!! So I set up a weekly running session for my buddies around the lake.  We have now been meeting once a week for 3 months and it is so much fun.  These weekly sessions have really helped me get my mojo back.  I think I needed to turn my running energy elsewhere and this training others has really helped me.

So if you are having trouble finding your mojo I recommend turning your running energy elsewhere. A new experience can be just what you need.

Happy Running!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Things are Looking Up

After months of feeling off I am finally feeling like myself again, yay!!!!  Sometime last summer I picked up a staph infection, that stuff is nasty and it was misdiagnosed by two doctors.  I went through multiple rounds of antibiotics and now I think I am finally rid of it and I am feeling better.  Wahoooo!!!!!  I now wonder if that played a role in my issues at Heartland, who knows. 

For months I would head out to run and just feel horrible, like I was running in sand, I couldn't make my legs move.  It was a huge struggle to get 50 miles/wk in and my long runs were short.  I was starting to think maybe it wasn't the medicine maybe I was just out of shape and had lost my will to run and then...THIS WEEK MY LEGS CAME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so relieved.  I feel so happy.  I am not in my usual shape but I am in doing ok.  I got in 21.5 yesterday and felt great, Monday I ran 13 and then went to crossfit for 200 air squats, 100 box jumps and 50 Dead lifts.  I am me again.  Emotionally I feel like a ton of bricks have been taken off my back.  It is so hard to not feel right and not know why. 

Because I am somewhat out of shape I am not going to run Boston on Monday.  I don't think I am ready to run a marathon and then an ultra 5 days later.  I do still plan to do the Jack Bristow 50miler, I won't be going to defend my title, that is unrealistic at this point but I know after this week that I can finish it.  I can run 50 miles no doubt.  Oh MAN it feels so good to say that. 

Happy Running All

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crossfit Round 2

A little over a year ago...

Wait a second...maybe I should address my absence from the blog?  There is no good excuse.  I just sort of lost my drive after Heartland but since then I have done the Goofy (a 1/2 and full marathon back to back) and have continued running I just haven't been putting in my normal miles.

So, a little over a year ago I tried Crossfit.  I really did enjoy the intensity of the workouts but, I just got too many injuries, too fast, to stick with it.  Since then, I have been missing the workouts and the hardcore nature of the box (crossfit gym).  Well, I found a solution.  A new box.  A different set of coaches.  A different way of doing things.  While I liked the other box it was a bad fit for me, they were really into competing.  My intention was always to use crossfit as a means to cross train.  I am now at a box that is really into proper technique, has scaled work outs posted (love that) and has some intense warm up sessions.  I think I have found a great fit for me.  There is a lesson to be learned here.  I think I thought all box's would be the same but they aren't. You might have to look around a bit to find one that works for you. 

I have only been back for 3 sessions but I am so excited.  This also gives me a little break from running and right now I desperately need a little break.  I have lost a little bit of drive for miles. I think shaking it up a little will really help me.  I can't shake it up too much because I have a ridiculous racing schedule coming up but, well... it is what it is.  I will run what I can and enjoy some intense cross training and let the cards fall where they may.  If this year is a bust for ultras then I have to be ok with that. I have been keeping my mileage between 50-70 per week which isn't bad but certainly isn't enough.   I will be back training like a maniac soon I am sure but for now, those 30 milers back to back to back are sidelined.

Happy Running All

Monday, October 15, 2012

Heartland Race Recap

First off the pictures are all over the place sorry I am not the best at using Blogger.

Heartland, ughhhhh, well I went in thinking I could really do well here. I was so full of hope and probably too cocky.  I went in thinking if I didn't go for it sometime I would never know what I was capable of doing.  I thought Heartland was a safe place to go for it, I did pretty well last time so why not go all out there?  Well here is my tale of why not.

Joanne (super running buddy from CT, pacer #1) and I flew in on Thursday.  Stayed in Wichita and waited for Anne (Running Mom, pacer #2) to come in on Friday morning.  We all drove up to Cassoday together and met with Tracey (Master Crew Chief) and Danielle (Running Mom, crew).  We grabbed my packet hung out for the meeting and then drove to El Dorado (closest town with a hotel).  We ate (thank you Tracey for the homemade GF pasta) and got all the gear laid out.

At the pre race meeting they went over some crazy weather they were expecting.  I was trying not to let the weather get to me.  What could I do about torrential downpours, hail, lightening or tornadoes? Nothing. So why worry.  On race morning Tracey, Danielle and I went to the start.  It was almost warm and not raining yet so I took off in my skirt.  You may not know this about skirts but in the rain they get heavy.  See the skirt length at the start, check it out later in the race, it was knee length and growing by the second, lol. 

Well I think the picture says it all about the weather

About 1/2 way through the first section the sky opened up and dropped loads of water on us.  I am talking drenched us.  It was crazy but sort of fun.  I think I may be nuts.  I came into Lapland and saw the crew and boy did that make me feel good.  My nutrition was on course, my fluids were good but I wasn't taking Enduralytes because I didn't think I needed them with my drink and the weather (not hot).  I think this was mistake number 1.

Uncle Ronnie and I trudging along.  He was trying to block the wind for me.

Not sure where this is but somewhere in KS :)

 After Lapland I saw the crew again at Teterville and Ridgeline.  I was feeling good the entire way.  I met some awesome folks.  Lent a guy my phone so he could call for a new ipod.  Saw a snake or two and I was eating and drinking.  Calories seemed good and fluids were in check.  I was getting tired of wet feet but it wasn't so bad either.
I look so cheery at the start

 By mile 42.5 at Matfield Green when I saw the crew and picked up Joanne for pacing I was feeling loopy.  I knew when I left Ridgeline something was up so I took my first Enduralyte of the day and something for my headache.  Alert Alert Alert!!!!! Don't you wish your head sent off alarms like that or your crew could see the red flags waving as you ran into an aid station? I had a headache (I never get headaches) and I was disoriented.  Duhhhhhhh!!!! How did I not know I was in serious need of salt.  Anyway, no alarms or bells went off so I trudged on like a ding dong.  I went out with Joanne.  We picked up the pace, having a pacer will do that to you.  We hit the turn around (50 miles just in case that isn't obvious) at 9 hrs.  Once again, how was that not an ALARM!! Come on, 50 miles in 9hrs.  I was in over my head.  If I had slowed down right then and there I might have salvaged this thing but instead I did the opposite.  I cranked it.  Dropped the pace into the 9-10mm range and dug deep.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! What was I thinking?  Joanne and I saw Uncle Ronnie and that was great.  I love that I have a 72yr old uncle who is willing to come out and run with me.  He is amazing.  Seeing him only made me go faster.  Clearly I am nuts.  By the time we hit Matfield Green again (mile 58ish) my stomach was D.O.N.E. done, as in done.  That was it for food staying down.  Uncle Ronnie and I headed out for Ridgeline and I slowly fell apart.  By the time I got to Ridgeline I was a mess.  I had never felt that bad at that point in a race and I didn't know what to do.  We changed my clothes and I chilled for a bit while I tried to eat and then I headed out with Anne.  She BTW did the next 18 miles with me and they were horrible (pace wise), she kept my spirits up and kept me moving. She was the BOMB!! When we reached Teterville, I was a more of a mess than before.  By this time I had figured out that eating anything was trouble and I was just going down hill.  I stopped and tried to recoup and Anne and I headed out again but, by 1.5 miles out of the aid station we were both thinking we should turn back for help.  We somehow decided to press on, the pace got slower, my digestive track got worse and we just kept walking.  It was brutal.  I was with it but couldn't really walk straight or stand up without help, I was a total wreck.  By the half way point of the 8 mile leg we both knew it was over for me.  For a bit we thought if I could get to Lapland we could get help and I could move on but we soon saw the writing on the wall, I had let myself get too deep in the hole.  So at 82 miles I dropped.  Tracey picked us up and we headed home. 

This wasn't the journey or outcome I planned but I have to say I had a great time with the crew and I learned a lot and once again I have been taught a lesson on patience.  A 100 miles takes patience and resilience.  I need to work on pace, go out easy and see what happens and I have to stay on top of my stomach.  Big lesson learned and a great weekend.

 Thanks so much to the crew.  I am in awe of all of them.  They all worked so hard.  I am a lucky gal to have such great friends. 

Until the next adventure...Happy Running!!

The Awesome Crew!!! Anne, Joanne, Tracey and Danielle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It is Racing Week

This year I decided for my 100 I would head back to Heartland.  Why?  For a couple of reasons: 1. Tracey lives close and she is an amazing crew chief so that means no worries for me while running 2. It was the only place that I have truly enjoyed a 100 miler (they have all hurt but this one I felt free and like I was flying for the majority of it)  3. I don't feel like I did my best last time, I know I can do better.

 Training for 100's is hard for me.  I am always trying to squeeze in runs here and there and sometimes I am not sure if my training is on track because my runs are all over the place.  One year I might be able to string together 30 miles day after day and, the next year it just doesn't work out that way.  That being said I was able to hit over 100 miles a week for a couple of weeks at the end of this training so, I think I am in a good spot but who knows. Really...who knows??? It is so hard to train for 100.  I feel like I am shooting in  the dark and hoping for the best. But I LOVE it!! Love the battle of 100 miles, the challenge, there is literally nothing like it. 

  I keep wondering if the difference between me and a better runner is all mental.  If I just ran harder and chose to go into my pain cave and hunker down if I could do even better.  Is that what the guys that are breaking 20hrs doing?  Are they enduring the pain for longer or are they better runners or did they train better?  Maybe it is a little of all three.  There is only one of those I can work on at this point in the game and it is the pain so here is the plan...Last time I ran a 21:39 which is a 13mm pace, in April I ran a 9:30mm pace at my 50miler, I want to break 20 hrs so that involves running faster than a 12mm pace.  So...I go out at a 10mm and hold on for as long as possible, I try and make crew stops as quick as possible.  I run hard for as long as possible and most of all when I hit that wall at mile 80-95 I DO NOT, DO NOT let myself walk for more than a few minutes at a stretch, I force my legs to keep running.  I CAN DO BETTER!!! I know I can.  It is time to put on my big girl pants and see what I am made of.  Fingers crossed this goes well.

Happy Running

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thoughts while Mowing

Heartland is only 3wks away.  I am getting excited and nervous.  I am super psyched about the group of ladies coming out to help me.  Should be a ton of fun. 

Doug recently had hand surgery so that means that mowing is my job for now.  The lower lot is nuts.  It isn't level, it gets super water logged and the grass is crazy so, mowing it is always a chore but, this time it had gone for a month or more without being mowed.  I should also add that our lawn mower is a pathetic piece of machinery.  It runs inconsistent at best.  So mowing the lower lot is a challenge.  If I go too fast the mower stalls, when I hit a patch of uneven earth I have to run at the mower full force to get it to move, when I hit a patch of thick grass I have to do some sort of back and forth maneuver.  Needless to say it is probably quite entertaining to watch me struggle for an hr on this little plot of land but, you all know me, I got it done. 

As I was mowing, I was frustrated, by the mower, the land, the grass, etc...  Then it struck me.  This mowing was just like an ultra.  If I went too fast I blew up the mower.  It was just like 100 miles.  100 miles take patience, it takes an attitude of flexibility, it takes a belief in oneself.  This little plot of land reminded me of just what the race will take and that if I believe in myself anything is possible.

Love a good life lesson.  It took me 2hrs to get all of the yards mowed, ughhhhhh!!! But hey if anyone is interested in what the yard can teach you please come on by and I will set you up with a yard and a supremely crappy mower :). 

Happy Running All


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Badwater - Crew/Pacer

I know I have neglected the blog for awhile now.  I am sorry.  Summer was super busy  and something had to give and, well ...running wins out over blogging any day, lol.  So, what did I do with my summer you ask?  I know you are dying to ask because the Title of this Post has one of the most coveted words in all of ultra land in it...duh duh duh...Badwater.  Yep, I scored a spot to crew/pace someone at Badwater.  Wahoooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! Now that is an opportunity no one could pass up especially an ultra runner whos dream race is Badwater.  Are you wondering who I crewed for?  I have like, two ultra friends and both swear never to do anything as stupid as Badwater, in fact both have said they won't even pace when I get in some day, lol.  So then who would ask me to do such a thing?  It all goes back to a fate full race called Lone Ranger, my first 24hr run, the one where I hosed my metatarsal for life, well apparently it was my luckiest race because I met a lady, Ethel, we ran together for a lap (8miles) and of all things discussed our desire to one day get into Badwater.  When Ethel got in I was psyched for her but didn't think anything more of it.  Well in May I got an email from Ethel asking if I was interested in being on her Crew.  WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!  I felt like I had won the lottery.  Duh!!! Of course I was interested.  I was even willing to drop VT100 so I could do Badwater.  And so began the journey.
The first part of the journey was preparation.  Even if you are just pacing you need to get ready for the heat. Thankfully the owner of the local running shop (Mark at Kilometers) had a great idea.  He said he would hook me up with his treadmill and some heaters.  His treadmill is surrounded on three sides by walls and then we blasted 1 to 2 heaters into the space and that is how i would run...for hours..seriously sweaty hours.  Ok it was gross and a tiny bit odd running in someones running store as people milled about looking for shoes but hey most runners understand crazy, they even embrace it so I am sure the scene was totally normal, right???
Next we all headed to Vegas to meet up with Ethel and her awesome wife Kerry.  Then we headed out in our two white vans, into the desert.  A tiny bit odd heading out with folks you don't know for an epic journey but we quickly got to know each other. 
Heading into Death Valley (From L to R: Lisa, me, Tammy, Jan, Ethel, Kerry, Rosie).

Just thought this was cool.  All of the white vehicles ready to go for the race.

We checked into Stove Pipe Wells we realized the rooms didn't have microwaves so we cooked our food on the dash. Really!
The next day was mostly about preparation, pre race meetings and check in and hanging out.  Part of the crew went to Badwater while Ethel and Kerry got checked in.  Rosie and I took the opportunity to run the road from Badwater towards Furnace Creek.  It was hot but so dang cool.  After that we went to the pre race picture and Rosie and I were able to grab photos with Dean K and Pam Reed.  Dean was so dang nice, he took the time to not only take pictures but talk with us and seemed super down to earth and just into the sport.
Dean K and I

Me, Pam Reed and Rosie

We headed back to Stove Pipe Wells and began to get the crew van ready for the following day.  All vans have to be marked and we needed to organize all of the gear that would go inside for the next two days.  We also went over with Ethel her race plan, what she preferred in the way of being dealt with if her mood sank, what foods she wanted, what things she liked and didn't, etc... And then we went to sleep. 

I was on for the second shift on day one.  So we headed out after noon to switch out pacing and crew duties with the 1st crew.  Our first turn over was rocky and to be honest I was so excited to run with Ethel I just started pacing.  In hind sight I should have stuck around and listened to the turn over and helped my crew get us up and going.  I got to run quite a ways with Ethel on the first day and did tons of miles with her over the course of the 43 hrs.  The first day was hot.  The ice bandannas were melting ever mile, yes every mile.  But we just kept plugging along.  I got in some great speed work sprinting to the van to let them know her needs, grabbing stuff and then racing back to her.  I knew she was dreading the hike up Towns Pass (she said it was like a blow dryer in the face for all 20 miles and her friend from last year had said it was soul sucking).  Well it lived up to the hype.  20 miles of going up.  From mile 40-60 you just climb and you climb with the heat in your face.  I tried to keep her sprayed down but there was little else I could do for her.  At mile 50 we stopped and we looked at her feet.  She had a blister.  I did my best to take care of it.  I was so thankful at that moment for the time I had spent reading up on blister care.  I had read every article on the Badwater site and many others just in case I had to take care of her feet.  Amazingly Ethel did about 100 miles of the race with one of her feet badly blistered and the other mildly blistered.  I thought that was amazing and seriously hard core.  She was super consistent in her pace and just kept on plugging along.  At the top of Towns Pass we massaged her legs and attempted to take care of the new blisters that had formed. 

On the second day we met her in the wee hrs of the morning.  She was just getting over being sick and we had another climb.  So we headed up the next pass.  On this climb we were leap frogging with Marshal Ulrich and his crew and that was pretty cool.  His video guy walked with us for a bit and chatted.  Right around the 100 mile mark I switched out with Jan so she could hit that mile marker with Ethel.  Ethel decided she needed another stop after 100 and she lay down and got a massage.  After that she powered through to the finish.


Heading up to Father Crowley.

We met back up with Ethel as she was beginning the climb up Mt Whitney.  I was insanely lucky to get to do most of the Mt Whitney portion with her.  She was a machine.  Was making some serious time but she kept telling me that she would be slowing soon.  Well she knew what she was talking about the climb goes from nothing too bad to a seriously steep hill about half way up.  Holy crap that sucked the last bit of life out of all the runners.  They just did what they had to do to keep their feet moving and to get to the finish line.  Ethel did an amazing job.  She was incredible and I am so lucky to have gotten this opportunity.
So is this still my dream race?  YES!! Now more than ever.  It was out of this world.  I really hope I can get in one day.