Friday, December 31, 2010


There she is: 2010 Training, all in one chart.  Not sure if it seems more or less impressive all simmered down into one chart.  My goal this year, thanks to another Running Mom, Heather, was to run 2010 miles in 2010.  I hit that goal in October and then did the math and realized I would have to put in some serious miles to hit 3000 miles and I just wasn't up for it.  So, of course that is now next years goal.  I would love to hit 3000 miles in 2011, run well over 100 miles some weeks and see if I can hit 400 miles in a month.  My goals as you can see are mostly centered around mileage and not time, I think that is due to the fact I am still in the infancy of my Ultra running.  I still need to work on my base before I get to wrapped around the axle about speed.  Next year my only plans so far are to run Rock Raccoon (50miler not 100) and take some time off to heal this foot up.  Beyond that I am considering a ton of races.  I have a friend Anna running a 50 miler in May, I would like to run VT 100, maybe try Heartland again, maybe try Javelina, see what the local CT races are and of course run as many races with friends as I can. Now that you can see I have zero idea what I am doing next year lets recap 2010.
Cathy and I

Cindy and I
My buddy Bethany asked what we were most proud of in 2010.  You would think running wise it would be my 100 milers but, it isn't.  I honestly was way more proud of Cathy and Cindy and getting to run their first marathons with them.  I am beyond proud that a Master Chief I used to work with just posted on my FB wall that he is inspired by me, he has run 3 x 1/2 marathons this year.  I am most proud of inspiring others to run.  That just makes my day, makes my year in fact.  It makes my heart happy. 

Rocky Crew
The Bling
As for my running I am really proud to have finished Rocky last February, I had no idea what I was getting into.  I read later that due to weather they had the lowest percentage of runners finish that year, something like 60% didn't make it to the finish line and that number is way higher for first time 100 milers.  At the time I didn't know that it was rare for someone to actually finish the first 100 mile race they attempted.  Ignorance is bliss.  If you don't know you are expected to fail the only option is success, right???? :)

Boston cheering squad
Boston was an awesome experience.  I highly recommend running it if you get the chance.  The streets were lined for 26.2 miles, it was the craziest thing I have ever seen. 
LR crew.  Oh do I owe them.

Lone Ranger, what should I say about this race?  It was a great learning experience.  And....OMG it SUCKED!!! Holy frick'in cow.  How do you bruise the bottoms of your f'ing feet.  And running 24hrs is from some form of hell.  It was miserable, not sure I ever want to do that again....ummmmm...wellllll.....I have this problem.  You know what I hate even more than bruised feet, GI issues for 16-24miles, sweltering heat and pavement?  I don't like leaving things on a bad note.  There is this sick part of my head that wants to run it again so I can do better.  OMG, sometimes I want to kick my own a$$.  Why would I even consider this?  Someone have me committed if I sign up for LR again, please. 

Heartland, Spirit of the Prairie 100 miler, was one awesome race.  From start to finish it just went well.  I couldn't have done it without the awesome crew there.  The crew got together with past crews, all successes and failures were noted and they were ready to go.  We weren't going to make the same mistakes twice.  Thank goodness the crews for all the races were so amazing and really paid attention to what worked and didn't so they could pass it on.  This race rocked.  I made some mistakes but overall it went really well.  I am 50% sure I am going back in 2011, I want to win.  Second place rocked but, 1st now that would would be 1st in a 100 mile race.  So might have to revisit that one.

2010 was really an amazing year for me.  Thank you so much to all of you who crewed for me or let me run with you.  I am a lucky girl, I know that, I am thankful.  Here is to a wonderful 2011. 
Doug, Chloe and I.  I am one lucky girl.

Happy Running my Friends!

Favorite Mantras/Quotes
Relentless Forward Motion (got this from some ultra running blog)
Shoot for the Moon if you miss you will land among the stars (close to a B. Littrell quote, my Dad used to say it all the time)
Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never ever give up (Dean K.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wooot Wooot Running Loot

We celebrate Christmas a little differently at our house.  It almost never lands on the 25th.  Christmas for us is about family and since Doug is a pilot he is almost never home on the 25th.  We celebrate Christmas on the day nearest the 25th without going over (it would be cruel to expect kids to wait until after the 25th not so bad if it comes early) that Doug has off.  This year Doug had the 22nd and 23rd off so, that meant Christmas was the 23rd.  Christmas was great, all of the kids were here and Chloe finally understands the whole Santa Claus thing.  How can you not be excited with a toddler in the house.  They get so excited for Christmas morning. Even the older kids seemed to feed off her excitement. 

This year Christmas seemed less stressful.  It seemed almost easy.  I was stressed out leading up to it and the graduation party (we had a party for Caitlin on the 22nd with over 30 people, she graduated from Cornell with a degree in EE, now that is impressive) but once everything started to fall into place it seemed to go rather smoothly.  Maybe things were less stressful because now there is a routine at the holidays, or because I got in a few runs, or because I had everything planned out, or because we kept everything as simple as we could, or maybe the combination of all of those things.  The thing is: Christmas was FUN!!!!  I had missed Christmas of old for sometime now but, this year it was back and I just loved it and everyone that was there to share in it. 

So onto the loot already!  I scored some seriously awesome running gear.  New tights, winter gloves, a new insanely awesome Camelbak, and a gazillion pairs of running socks (yipppeee get to throw out the ones with holes) oh and there was more but I don't want to nauseate any of you, :).  One of the best presents was a set of coupons I received from Caitlin.  She is a thinker.  I already said the kid is smart but, to come up with this, I would say it was brilliant.  What is one of the best gifts you can give a running mom?  A mom who's husband travels a ton. A mom who is obsessed with running.  A mom who doesn't like to leave her kid with many folks.  A mom who likes to run hours on end.  What is this gift?  See below for the golden present.
Can you read that?  Good for 1 run Babysitter.  She made 5 of these Golden Tickets and wrapped them up for me. 

I feel more relaxed just reading the tickets.  Oh I plan to use them all in the next week and a half.  Chloe is out of school so I don't have my usual few mornings to get out and run.  Hello sanity! Thank you Caitlin.  Oh and this wasn't to make light of any of my other running gifts I just thought this one was insanely clever and thoughtful.  Pass it on if you know a mom who runs.  I bet she would kiss you if you gave her one of these tickets. 

Merry Christmas all and Happy Running!

PS I am currently waiting for Caitlin to show up so I can use my first ticket, wooot wooot!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Time

Chloe and I did our nails in a red and green motif.  I love "girl time" with Chloe.  Woooot wooot! She is one amazing kid.
The holidays are a stressful time of year for most of us.  There is so much to get done and so many people to see and in the end you just want everyone to be happy and enjoy the holidays. Somehow that overwhelming desire to create this wonderful experience also becomes stressful.  Well this year to combat the stress I said I was going to drop my training plan and that has helped a ton.  Not worrying how to get in 20-30 mile runs has really allowed me to chill out but here is the thing...I need the running. 

I NEED running like humans need air, like fish need water, like mountain goats need mountains, like belly buttons need bellys, what??? Never mind.  You get my point. I need to run.  Running helps me think things through and helps me destress.  Running is my zen.  I need a good run to feel like I am me.  So this year I am working hard to make sure I take "me" time and get out for some runs.  For instance I had everything ready for Caitlin's (stepdaughter) Graduation Party so that I could go for a run this AM.  I have already lined up a movie date for Chloe with her older siblings so I can get another run in later this week.  These breaks are just what I need to remain sane during the holidays.  I love a good run.  I feel like I come to life and am filled with joy so, to give up running during the most stressful time of year is really quite nuts. 

Merry Christmas all of you out there.  Hope you find a little "me" time and squeeze in a run. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bahahahahah Revised Training Plan

Anyone notice the problem with my post from Friday?  I said I was going to take it easy, chill out on the training plan and not worry so much about running through the holidays.  Ummmmm..... my mileage this week says I was full of bologna.  66 miles and I might just grab a few more tonight.  Ahhhhhh!!!!! Am I not able to chill out on a goal?

Funny you should ask that...I was running along this week and one of the podcasts was on the Enneagram 9pt Personality Test.  It is supposedly more accurate and more useful that old Myers Briggs Test.  I don't know which is more accurate I haven't done enough research to understand them both fully but, what I do know is I was running along listening to the descriptions of the personality types and was FLOORED by how accurately they described me when they went over a 3: The Achiever (I got the following information from the The Enneagram Institute site).

Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.

Basic Fear: Of being worthless

Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile

Enneagram Three with a Two-Wing: "The Charmer"

Enneagram Three with a Four-Wing: "The Professional"

Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.

The Meaning of the Arrows (in brief)
When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), driven Threes suddenly become disengaged and apathetic at Nine. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), vain, deceitful Threes become more cooperative and committed to others, like healthy Sixes.

This description is a bit different than the one they read on the podcast.  On the podcast they really went over the positive and negative attributes of each of the 9 types and boy did I relate all around to the 3.  I am nothing if not goal oriented.  I love love love to feel needed and worthwhile but, I had never thought of it that way.  And so on and so on... You should really check out the site, it is pretty fun to figure out what you are and what your spouse is and see if you two are compatible, lol.  Actually they go over trouble spots and things that the other personality type is looking for in his/her spouse, quite interesting.  Don't worry folks, Doug and I are highly compatible, wooot wooot!

So on my run today I was again thinking about these personality types and wondering how many ultra runners would fall in just a few of the categories.  It would be interesting to see.  It takes a certain personality and sick sick person to what to run 100 miles, lol.  Some of the really good ultra runners can even find time to run over 200 miles a week, now that is dedication.  Again I find myself wondering if the majority of the elite runners would fall under the same personality type.  Hummmmmm.... what do you want to bet I ponder this for many more hours while running. 

I think part of the reason I have trouble laying off a training schedule even when I am going nuts is due to my being a 3, an achiever.  That whole workaholic trait fits me like a glove.  I think I honestly might not know how to relax, it is almost harder to relax than to work hard, wait, it IS definitely harder for me to chill out than it is for me to just work work work.  Ahhhhh!!!! I don't think that is the most positive of traits.  I guess it all depends but, DANG! Well what can you do?  Maybe you can't fight your inner being.  Wait, that can't be true if it were we would never grow and become better people.  Maybe now that I have seen my personality written in plain old black and white I have an opportunity to work on some things.  Don't hold your breaths that I will suddenly become a laid back person that doesn't care if her house is a mess but, maybe just maybe I could figure out how to become slightly more relaxed about things.  It is something to work on.

If you go to the Enneagram site I would love to know what type you think you are. 

Happy Holidays Folks and Happy Running!!!!

On that note: I never heard from Craft Jogger and even sent her a PM so what I did was generate another number/name.  Anne, you are the winner.  Let me know what Sport Belt you want and I will let Donna know.  Congrats and enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Revised Training

I was in a bit of a Running Funk.  I think I just got overwhelmed with life and training on top of that was making me crazy.  Last week when Doug and I were in CT looking for a home for our up coming move I had an Epiphany, I don't have to train like a maniac all the time. Duhhhh!!! I know most of you are now thinking ...ummmm Tara that should have been obvious.  Sometimes I just don't have an "off" switch, especially when it comes to things I am passionate about.  I love running and I love the feeling of pushing myself but lets face it moms out there, the holidays are ridiculously busy.  And of course there is other stuff going on like... A MOVE!  So like I said I had an epiphany I could chill out and just run for the pure joy of running.  That is right I could just run and not worry about mileage.  And that is what I am doing.  Since last week I have just run when I can fit it in. I have scrapped my Rocky Training plan and am just running whatever distance feels good that day.  I have to say I have run 10 miles each day for the past 4 days so my training hasn't fallen off that terribly either.  I think I just needed to give myself permission to not train hard.  To let myself be ok with running a race knowing that I might be able to do better had I trained harder but that I didn't have time for that at this point in my life.  Family comes first and if running is making me crazy rather than relieving stress something needs to change.  I am officially throttling back for now and we will see what January brings. 

On a housing note: We did find a great house in CT and plan to move in February if all goes well.  I think I will still make Rocky but am pretty sure I won't make the Austin Marathon (total bummer was going to get to run with Theresa again). 

And the winner of the belt is (you should hear drum roll here):  Crafty Jogger
Please send me a note with your Name, Address and which belt you want and I will let Donna know.  Congrats, you are getting one awesome belt.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tallygear - Giveaway

NOTE: The Giveaway just got better, you can pick any belt you want from the Tallygear site if you win.  Wahhhoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!  Thank you Donna.

My Nephew Joe with is Tummietote pump pack on.  Come on, you have to admit he is one cute kid.

I was reading my sister's blog (which by the way is hilarious despite the fact it deals with the day in and day out of a serious illness) a while back and she was raving about a tummietote.  Apparently if you have a kid with diabetes and he has to wear a pump and continuous glucometer this tote is the way to go.  It has been life saver for her.  Joe her son used to run around like a maniac with his pump pack (the fanny pack that housed his insulin pump) bouncing all over the place.  It had to be uncomfortable but, the kid didn't know any better.  Then Reyna (my crazy sister, read her blog you will see, we both got hit with a crazy stick when we were little) found the tummietote by Tallygear and Joe and she have been in heaven ever since.  The owner of Tallygear this sweet woman Donna sent Reyna some headbands and a few belts to try out herself.  Reyna loved loved LOVED the headbands, she really is quite the accessory maven. Somehow Reyna and Donna spoke about my running and Donna said she had a new belt she wanted to make for runners.  This led to Donna sending me some belts to run with.  And here it is:  The new Tallygear Sport:
This is my Tallygear Sport.  It has three pockets but only one has Velcro.  Originally all the pockets had Velcro but I found that really hard to get into when I was running. 

As you can see you can wear it low over your hips if you like and it doesn't bounce. When I have worn this I have received man compliments on how cute it is.  Love it, gear that is functional and cute. 

And onto the Giveaway: Donna generously agreed to make an extra Tallygear Sport  for you all.  Wahhhoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!   If you would like to be entered to win the Tallygear Tote all you have to do is:
1. Be a follower of my blog
2. Visit the Tallgear site and let me know what you like (Tallygear)
3. Get 3 extra entries by posting the giveaway on your blog or on FB or any other social networking site. 

I will draw a name and post it on the 17th (Friday) so if you want to enter do so by midnight on the 16th.

This is no longer the belt and headband being given away.  Donna the owner of Tallygear said she will send you the belt of your choosing.  Wahhhoooooooooooo!!!! Now you can pick from the awesome designs. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

White Rock 2010

This post is going to be chalk full of pictures and movies. 

 I had the wonderful opportunity to run with my bestfriend Cindy in her first marathon.  We had such a great time and she did AWESOME!! And when I say awesome, I mean she kicked some serious a$$.  I was so impressed with her.

I picked Cindy up at 0515 because we were worried about traffic (there were many notices that came out from the race saying parking would be an issue).  As we left Cindy's house she asked if we could pop into Chick Filet for some sort of fried breakfast item.  I asked if she was messing with me and she assured me she wasn't.  I asked if she usually ate greasy food before her runs and she said she didn't.  I think it was the incredulous look on my face, Cindy decided against the greasy food. OMG that girl makes me laugh.  So we headed to Fair Park, we had no problem getting there or finding parking and, thanks to Cindy's eagle eye we landed ourselves some "Rock Star" parking (close to the front).  Eventually we decided on our attire and headed out.  We met up with another Running Mom: Morgan.  Morgan was running the 1/2 marathon and as luck would have it was planning on running our pace so, we were able to run together for the first 5 miles or so.
Cindy, Morgan and I before the start.

The start was an absolute mess.  It was ridiculously cold and it took our corral almost an hour to get to the starting line.  I know you think I must have made a typo but I assure you nothing is wrong with my typing.  It took 1hr to get to the starting line.  Brrrrrrr...and...Errrrrrrr....... Once we got there we were off and really motivated to run.

Can you see the crowd?  There were over 20,000 runners this year.
 We ran the first 5 miles with Morgan.  We settled into a nice pace and just cruised along.  Cindy had to use the restroom around mile 5 and so Morgan continued on and we stopped for a very brief moment (I adore Cindy so no more will be said on this subject). 

Cindy and I around the 1/2
 Cindy was doing awesome at the 1/2 way mark and we actually cranked down the pace just a bit.  I was super impressed.  I was also amazed at the amount of food one little woman could eat during a marathon.  I think she ate: a granola bar, two sleeves of chews, an Oreo, a snickers, a gazillion orange slices, and there has to be more I am forgetting.  She stayed on top of her nutrition and hydration and it paid off.

She didn't show any signs of slowing down until the last 6 miles and dang if she didn't keep herself going.  She wouldn't even let herself stop for water at the last few aid stations because she was worried she wouldn't want to run again.  She just powered on through.  Somewhere in the last 6 miles we really got on the negative splits and cranked the pace down even more.  I don't recall anyone passing us during the second half of the race, we just cruised on by people as she picked it up.  She ran the perfect first marathon.  Negative splits.  Killed her goal.  Had a great time.  Left NOTHING on the course.  Her time was 4:22.  Man oh man we were both overcome at the finish line, I was so proud of her it brought tears to my eyes and she was so happy she was crying, it was an AWESOME moment.  It was truly an honor to get to experience this race with Cindy. 

Check out the videos if you want to see more of the race. 
Cindy heading for the finish

Cindy getting her first marathon finishers medal

Cindy and I with our medals

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Scored

Grandpa Art, Chloe, Dylan, and Grandma Meg at the center of the UT campus.  Trying to teach Chloe how to do the Long Horns sign.
On Friday after Thanksgiving I drove down to Austin.  Dylan (my youngest stepson) had to go back to school (UT) and, I wanted to meet up with my in-laws who would be passing through and, see my oldest stepson (Ryan).  As you can see it was a win win from the get go and it got even better because I managed to workout a meet up with Bethany (crew from Rocky and Lone Ranger), wooot wooot. The title of this is "I Scored" because, I feel like I won the lottery getting 3 hrs to chat with Dylan.  Any of you who are parents/stepparents of young adults know it isn't easy to get time to talk with them.  They are always on the go and it never fails that when they do call it is an emergency situation and that gobbles up the conversation time.  So, to get 3 whole hours to just talk with Dylan was a major SCORE! He is one amazing kid.  He is in his first year at UT and he is just thriving in the college environment.  I had the best time listening to him and his ideas on things.  Here is where running comes in.  We did for a brief second talk about running.  We were talking about ultras.  He was shocked there needed to be a lottery for a 100 mile race, after all how could there be that many people who were nuts enough to run one, bahahahaha.  To top that off  I was explaining the Grand Slam (4 Historic/Bad Ass 100 milers back to back to back to back, over the summer) and he said "can you do that" and I said "well you can do anything you set your mind to, right" and that point I got the "ummmmmmmmmm.....(insert long pause).....yahhhhhh (insert thought of my step mom is totally off her rocker)."   OMG that cracked me up.  By the way I told him that was going in my blog.  We made it to Austin and got to spend a wonderful day with the in-laws and with Ryan.

Then the icing on the cake: I drove to Bethany's house (she lives just outside of Austin and when she heard we were driving down she graciously invited us over to stay the night), Chloe and I stayed the night and the next morning Chloe and CAB (Bethany's son) had an all morning play date.  It was so great to get to hang out with Bethany.  She is one amazing person.  Somehow I always find it fun to hang out with other runners.  When you get to hang out with another Running Mom it is super special and when it is another runner, who is a mom who is also ex-military it is extra extra special.  Suffice it to say we had a great time. Oh and as running goes, she is I think 1/2 way through her pregnancy and still running, I am super impressed. 

As you can see I did indeed Score one awesome two day trip.  Wooot Wooot!  What a great way to finish up the Holiday Weekend. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is starting their Thanksgiving off "right" with a little Turkey Trot :).  I will get in at least a 5k later but it will most likely have to be on the treadmill. 

I know I have been MIA for a week now, sorry.  I had a horrible week of training and was super busy.  I think we all have those weeks where we are just not enjoying our runs and our legs and body are beat but, all is better now.  Funny how the best cure for a running funk is running.  I am back on track now and super excited for the White Rock Marathon next week.  I love getting to run someones first marathon with them.  Cindy is going to do great. 

Happy Thanksgiving All!  I am super thankful for my family, my health and my families health and this on line community of runners who always make me feel like I am not alone in my crazy ventures.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


That is right folks I have now gone over to the dark side, the crazy side, well the maniacal side.  I have submitted my races and been accepted to the Marathon Maniacs.  Meet Maniac #3082.  I sadly only qualify for the level second from the bottom: Silver.  It took 8 marathons/ultras in 365 days to get that but, as always I have my eyes set on higher levels already.  Anyone know where I can run 3 marathons in 2 days (that will move me right on up)?  And no 100 mile races don't count for anything but one single marathon in this crazy a$$ club. lol.  So seriously if anyone knows where I can find 3 marathons located close together at varying times of the day within one weekend, please let me know. 

I know what you are thinking...Did Tara really need something to make her even more crazy?  Some other running related goal that would drive her to run even more?  And well...while  the sane person might say: NO.  I did just get into a club that has Maniac in the title, so clearly I am not sane.  Thus, the answer for me is: YES.  Wooot wooot.  I am now in a group with a bunch of other nut jobs who love to run arguably more than I do.  This is AWESOME!!!

On that note: Happy Running everyone.  Hope your week of training is going well. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And the Winner IS.....

The proud new owner of an awesome Headsweats purple and white hat, a Headsweats Head Band, and some Aquaphor is: Christine Rockey from South Carolina.  Yay!!!! I entered all of your entries onto an excel sheet, there were 62 entries and then used a random number generator and came up with the number 15 and there was Christine's name.  It is  so much fun to give stuff away.  I will have to see if I can figure out how to do it more often. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ft Worth Marathon

 Sunday I ran the Ft Worth Marathon.  The marathon has an early start for those folks walking the marathon, the marathon start, a 20 mile start and a 1/2 marathon start.  Somehow it still has the feel of a small hometown race.  People are super friendly and the runners do a lot of running together supporting each other and talking.  I ran it last year and liked the feel of it so much I came back this year for more. 

Sunday was a cold morning, the temperature at the starting line was only around 40 degrees.  Yowsa.  I had on tights and tons of tops to pick up my packet.  I watched the Walkers take off at 0630 and they brought tears to my eyes.  They all gathered and when they found out there was no National Anthem to be played they sang it.  I am not kidding, these folks stood together in 40 degree weather and sang the National Anthem.  You already know you are going to meet great people when the race begins like that.  Fast forward an hour, I meet Ruth, a nice mother of two who is looking to crack the 4hr mark.  We are chatting and I decide at the last minute with her urging to change to my skirt, so I dash to the car, change quickly, dash back and find Ruth.  I tell her I would be happy to run with her the first half and pace her (my race plan had me running negative splits so I was totally down with running her pace the first half and then cracking the whip the second half).  So off we went.  As it turns out Ruth didn't need a pacer to keep her on a pace she needed someone with a leash to slow her down, lol.  Every time someone would run by us she would take off.  I would call her back and we would revisit her goals and race plan.  I did have an awesome time talking with her.  We ran and chatted and around mile 5 we were really getting thirsty (I had decided in all my wisdom not to take a handheld water bottle or camelbak to this race, I figured I would go light and just drink at every aid station, kicked myself for that decision for like 8 miles :)).  We had gone by 2 water stops in the first 3 miles and now it had been 2 miles and nothing. No Water.  I had a bad feeling about this.  We ran by a man who said there wasn't water on the course until mile 12, he happened to be standing next to a water fountain, so the pack (yes there was a group of us now running along chatting) stopped and took turns drinking.  Even with the slurp from the water fountain my mouth felt dry as the Sierra.  I felt like I had cotton mouth and how was I going to eat a ShotBlock if I couldn't wash it down.  This meant no food or water for the next almost 7 miles, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I did what any good ultra runner would do, I channeled my inner Anton Krupicka (Elite Ultra Runner who often heads out for multi hour runs with no food or water).  I thought if he can go for 20-30 miles with nothing I am sure I can make it 8.  Right???? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! At this point Ruth asked me to leave her, she thought maybe she could slow down if I wasn't running with her and so I headed off.  I quickly met up with Michael.  He was 18yrs old and running his second marathon.  His goal was also to break 4hrs (Ruth's goal as well).  He had only trained up to 7 miles during his HS Cross Country season.  I told him he was either crazy or just a really good runner or possibly some combination of the two.  He said he would let me know at the finish line. We had a great run together.  We were both hurting for water when a nice man pulled over and started handing out bottles of water to the runners at mile 10.87.  Yes, that is right, I know the exact mile where the guy gave me water, it meant A LOT to me.  That might have been the best water I have ever had, lol.  After that point in the race there was water every 2 miles.  On our way into the turn around we saw Michael's Dad and they did an awesome father son high five as we passed.  Michael was having some issues and so we stayed at our 8:37 pace for quite a while, as we went by mile markers I would do the math and let him know what his finish time would be if he stayed on pace.  He was pretty excited but said he was struggling to hang on.  He was such a sweet kid.  At mile 19 he dropped off.  I ran on up passed his dad and let him know Michael was a little ways back and was struggling.  And then I did my best to drop the hammer, I was close to breaking 3:40 but I would have to seriously kick my own A$$ to get the job done.  I wasn't quite sure what my legs could do.  I had run about 50 miles last week in training leading up to the race and was only a month out from Heartland.  I just didn't know if I pushed how much they would give me.  But, I went and went hard. I spent the last 6 miles of the race pushing as hard as I could to break 3:40.  I would run by a mile marker and redo the math, it was going to be close.  I ran up the last hill rounded the corner to the stadium and saw on the clock 3:40 click on the clock and my spirits dropped.  I ran it in but my time was 3:40:12 (unofficial).  Boooooo!

I hung out after the race and got a great massage.  You know, for a little bit I let the time (3:40) really get to me.  Thinking of all the things I could have done different to break 3:40 but, now as I sit here reflecting on the race, I feel pretty dang good about it.  The goal for the race was to get in some speedwork, to have a long run where I really pushed my legs and I did that.  I also got to run with some great folks and I ran negative splits the whole way.  It was a great run.  I think sometimes I get caught up on the number and forget the journey. 

This morning I did some post race foam rolling and Chloe did her best to help me out.  LOL!!

Happy Running Everyone and don't forget you have one more day to enter the Head Sweats Giveaway.
Post race foam rolling.  It definately helps to work out knots if you have a willing toddler to sit on your lap.

More foam rolling and yes those are compression socks on, those things are miracle workers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Give Away

WAHOOOOO!!!! Headsweats from  previous post has given me a hat to give away to you all.  The hats are great.  Super comfortable and great at wicking sweat.  There will be a random drawing to see who wins the hat and a few bonus items (not telling but you will like them trust me) one week from today (November 17th).  All you have to do to enter is one or more of the following, the more you do the more entries you get:
1. Become a follower of my blog
2. Friend Head Sweats on FB
3. Share this Give Away with friends via your Social Media network (FB, Daily Mile, Blog, etc.)

Winner will be picked via a random number generator on November 17th.  Wahooo, Happy Holidays early everyone!!!

Head Sweats

My New Love
Once again I was listening to The Marathon Show.  What?  I told you I am now in love with listening to podcasts.  I have listened to every Marathon Show and Endurance Planet (now off the air for an undetermined amount of time and maybe forever, booooo)  made and most of The Parent Experiment shows.  I have A LOT of time on my hands, lol.  50-100 mile training weeks leave you with a ton of listening time and well if I am not listening to something, I am thinking and, as you can guess that isn't always good.  No one wants to contemplate anything for that length of time.  So, podcasts it is. 

Long Bill
Back to The Marathon Show. I was listening as Joe (the host of The Marathon Show) was interviewing the owner of Head Sweats.  I then expressed interest in a hat they made with a longer bill.  I was thinking the bill might be great for running in the blazing Texas sun.  I might not have to pull my hat down so low over my eyes.  I also wanted to know if they made arm bands because, as you all know I wear a hideous and bulky sweat band under my Garmin.  Don't even get me going on the need for a sweat band and my Garmin.  That topic can send me into a tizzy.  Anyhow the owner said they aren't making arm bands but he would send me a hat with a 1inch longer bill.  When the package arrived from Head Sweats it was like Christmas. Don't ask me how the guy knew I loved red but along with the long billed hat (which is white) he sent me a red hat (love love love it).  As you might guess the sun is no longer blazing in TX (it is just toasting) so I can't try out the long billed hat for that but, I did take it out in the rain and you know what?  That sucker keeps rain off your face, it was awesome running with the longer bill in the rain.  It even kept Doug's glasses drier than normal.  Yes, Head Sweats generously sent us two long billed hats so we both got to try them out.  What a great hat for running in the rain.  The other feature I really like is the lining that keeps the sweat from dripping down your face it is super soft and it works great. What a great hat. Woot Wooot!

I heard from other runners that their visors are the bomb diggity so that is what I am going to try out next.  I have been dying to try out a visor for ages but just never got around to purchasing one but, if it fits as well as the hats do then I am in.  I saw a coupon code for Head Sweats on The Marathon Shows FB page so, if you do decide to get one definitely head there first so you can get $5 off.

Training: Well I am back into the thick of things.  I have a marathon this weekend but have no idea what to expect of my legs.  They are a bit tired so we will have to see what they can do in this state.  I do plan to run the marathon hard. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Hustle

We headed out at 0600 on Halloween morning like I am sure all families do...What? Everyone doesn't make running costumes and go race on Halloween?  Odd.  They should it is tons of fun.  Ok, fun is a relative term but, dang we had a great time.  Chloe wanted to be a Lady Bug for Halloween which meant Doug and I had to be bugs to fit into her theme.  You can already see who runs this joint.
  There we were ready to race...THE BUG FAMILY! Not kidding the other racers began calling us that after Chloe's race by the end of the 5K they were cursing that name (that story to come).  First up Chloe ran her 1K.  I am telling you that kid can run.  She switches between looks of pure joy and looks of sheer determination.  Her course had her going down hill and then up a big hill and then down to the finish.  She didn't pass many folks on the down hills but she powered right on by a ton of kids and a few adults (I am not kidding) on the up hill.  She is only 2.  It blows my mind that a 2 yr old can run that hard or would want to. This race was really well run and geared towards kids, every kid was given a medal at the end of the 1K and boy did that make her day. 

Chloe and Doug powering up the first up hill

Chloe and I getting ready to pass a couple of ladies.

The Bug Family with their medals.  We had a great time.
After the 1K we had to make our way quickly to the back of the 5K start.  We had already decided we would run as a family.  We headed out at the back of the pack and immediately turned onto a sidewalk and a sidewalk going can imagine the passing nightmare.  So I began making a hole for Doug and Chloe, I would run in front of them and politely tell people I was on their left or right and that a stroller was coming behind me.  This actually worked really well.  However...duh duh duh...apparently unbeknown  to me I was whacking those folks who so nicely moved out of the way with my wing as I passed.  Oh bugger.  I didn't know that.  Doug apparently thought it was hilarious so he wasn't about to tell me about it (until after the race).  After about 3/4 of a mile we were out of the crowd and ready to motor.  Doug let me help push Chloe for a bit but did most of the pushing.  We ran pretty hard and got a ton of comments on our costumes.  It was really fun.  We figured one of us might have placed so we hung around after the race for a bit.  Doug went over and checked the results and WAAAHOOOOO we both got 1st in our age groups.  What a great way to start off Halloween. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holy EarBuds Batman

First of all, I have a terrible time with earbuds (head phones that fit in your ears) apparently along with my abnormally small head I have small ears and thus the stupid things fall out.  So a normal run goes something like this...running along...running...feel bud coming out...swing arm up to nudge bud back in, this somehow dislodges the other side, nudge it in....running...feel bud coming out...repeat for 20-100 miles.  It drives me nuts and forget about just wearing one bud.  If I put just one bud in and the other down my shirt the bugger constantly falls out. ERRRRRR!
I was listening to The Marathon Show and Joe (the host) was interviewing the owner of Snuggbuds.  The owner was talking about the sound quality and other stuff and then all of the sudden...dah dah dah...he said something like: you know women have smaller ear canals so the buds come with different size buds that are rubbery so that they will fit in anyone's ear.  Oh the guy had me at small ear canal but, then he went on to talk about the fact they cover the cord in material so that it doesn't get tangled up.  WHAT!!! I am not messing with you folks the cord is completely covered in a black material and doesn't tangle.  Nuts.  I tell you.  Nuts.  So there I am looking at the guys website and all of the sudden ... Joe (the host) says will you give the ladies on chat a pair and the guy says YES.  WOOOT WOOOOT!!!!!!

Yesterday I come home to find my new pair of Snuggbuds.  Oh they are lovely.

This morning I head out on my run with my new buds in.  At first I am listening to a podcast (The Parent Experiment, I am all out of Marathon Shows and Endurance Planet Podcast, wahhhhh).  The podcast sounds fine, nothing to write home about and then it happens...BUM BUM BUM...BUM BUM BUM...Beyonce's "Single Lady" comes on and, dang I can almost feel the beat in my soul it is so clear.  Then it gets better.  All of you who follow my blog know where I am going with this.  Yes, folks the Black Eyed Peas hit my ear canal and shoot straight through my brain and down to my heart.  And so I did what anyone would do if they had the Black Eyed Peas piping straight to their soul.  I first began singing...I GOT A FEELING...THAT TONIGHT'S GONNA BE A GOOD NIGHT...and then well ..Tonight's the NIGHT LETS LIVE IT know that part.  I am in the middle of a median when that hits.  No problem.  I stop and yes, I start dancing, I just have myself one big ole party on that median.  I jump around like a fool and sing out loud and wear the biggest grin.  I am sure I got some funny looks but couldn't say for sure because I was focused on my one person dance party.  And who cares probably made those peoples day.  Maybe they will go home and head out on a run.  I am telling you the sound clarity from these buds blew my mind.  They nearly popped my heart.  I wanted to run so fast that I almost made myself puke on my beloved mountain bike trails.  I just ran like I was flying, with music piping in so loud and clear that I felt like it was inside me.  Dang that was an awesome run. 

So a huge THANK YOU!!! to Snuggbuds.  The earbuds are the best I have ever had, ok I didn't even know that sound quality could be that good.  Yowsa.  And finally for a visual aid for you followers out there.  I tried to reenact my dancing once I got home.  This just in: If you order Snuggbuds and enter the promotion code: THEMARATHONSHOW you will save 15%.

Monday, October 25, 2010


My running friend Heather began her latest blog post with this quote:

 "It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit". - George Sheehan

The quote really got me thinking...isn't that just about the most spot on thing you have ever read about running and running ultras in particular?  I mean who cares about the other people out there, they aren't your competition, your mind and body are?  You have to conquer the voice in your head that tells you turn around with the 50 milers or force yourself to eat or drink when all you want to do is hurl.  You are in competition with yourself and that is both the sad and beautiful truth of it.  Someone, ok a million people have asked why run an ultra.  These are the same people that make a quip like..."I only run when being chased." I always say to them because, at the end of that race you know deep down what you are made of.  There is no faking your way through 100 miles.  Either you trained for it and are willing to suffer or you aren't.  That leads me to another thing I have been pondering lately: Training.
People ask how you train for 100 miles and really the wackiness of it is, I have only made it to 100 miles in a week for my training.  Yes in training it takes me a whole week to get in the miles I try to run in one day.  I know it doesn't seem right.  The answer to how you train is different for each runner but, for moms it is super complicated.  Especially for moms who have husbands who are out of town a huge portion of each month.  I find that many days I am just running in every free moment I can find.  I drop Chloe off at school and need to do errands and get in a run so, there I am running down the road with packages in my arms, heading to the Post Office, or carrying books to the library, or hitting the Red Box 5 miles from her school to return a movie.  You have to get creative when it comes to high mileage weeks.  I know I am not the only girl up at 2 or 3am starting a run before the house wakes up.  For many moms the weekends aren't time for long runs they are the short run days because, those are the days we have no breaks from parenting and therefore no personal time to get in a jumbo run.  You just have to take advantage of every second and be willing to go to some places a little stinky.  So what does my training look like now?  Now that I am no longer training for a 100miler.  Well...
I promised myself I wouldn't sign up for anything over 50 miles until next spring.  And I am sticking to that.  But ...dun dun dun... Marny and Cathy (see crew from Rocky post) decided they wanted to do the Rocky Raccoon this year (the 50 miler) and well I have been itching to run a 50 all out.  Of course I immediately signed up.  I get to do a girls weekend with the Running Moms and run a 50, who would say no to that? I am not totally nuts, this was a no brainer.  I have been a little slow to really hit my mileage again following Heartland but now I have a strong Training Plan that begins next Monday.  I want to train  hard so that I can really see what I can do on a 50.  My first and only 50 mile race was a 9:02 and  I would really like to beat that time.  I have been coming through the 50 mile mark on my 100's at around 10hrs so I think it is doable but, it is going to require a little ass kicking to get there.  And so...let the kicking begin. 
Happy Running Everyone.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Heather's Blog

A Running Mom friend of mine wrote the nicest blog about me.  Check out Heather's Blog if you are interested.  She writes really well so somehow she was able to articulate what I am about way better than I ever could.  Thank you Heather.

Friday, October 15, 2010


As most of you know my goal with this blog was to relay my running tales and let other runners know what worked or didn't work for me.  I wanted more than anything to inspire others to get out there and run.  I am a firm believer in: You can do absolutely ANYTHING you put your mind to.  Along the way I have received messages that I inspired someone to get out there and run a certain distance or try something but, some of my favorite messages are the ones that say that I have inspired someone to TRY.  Or made someone believe that they could do anything, WOOOT WOOOT!!

That in mind this has been a huge week for me.  I ran a great race and had a ton of support and tons of messages about how I inspired someone or touched them and dang that made me proud and happy.  Then this morning I wake up and find a message on FB from another PTA mom who said she wrote a blog post about me.  Her post pretty much hits home as to what I would love for people to get out of my blog.  Dang Holly made my day.  AND THEN...I get home from my run and on FB there is a post from Joe Taricani host of The Marathon Show and he has put me in his new promo video.  The icing on the cake is what he has to say about me is that he bets a few years ago I didn't think I would be running ultras and yet here I am today finishing a 100 miler in 21hrs.  He is right.  Every runner, every person, can do absolutely anything they put their mind to.  The possibilities are really only limited by our minds and what we believe we can do.  I am so dang psyched.  What a great week.  If you get a chance check out the Marathon Show podcasts, they are great, they have everyone on from Bart Yasso to Ordinary Joe Schmo's like you or me.  Thanks to everyone for all of the FB, Blogger and CM love.  You all have really put me over the moon.  Help....someone lasso me in, :).  I am a lucky girl to have so much support, I know it and I appreciate it more than silly words could express.

You Belong as part of The Marathon Show

I had to post this.  Joe actually talks about me and Heartland.  I was pretty psyched.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Heartland Spirit of the Prairie - Race Report

I always have a tough time starting these reports. I have so much to say. This time I think I will start with a bit of a conclusion, I know that is backwards but I think it is important. I have thought about the race a lot the past few days; I am on a runners high. I finished 2nd for women, 10th overall and I crushed my PR by over 6hrs. I ran 100 miles in under 22hrs. Yes, I DID IT!!!! I feel like I have conquered a beast. I seriously feel like yelling from the roof tops. But here is my conclusion: I couldn’t have done it without my amazing crew. I can’t thank them enough. We worked like a team the entire day and it worked. This is a long one so, buckle up folks.

We (the girls and I) all converged on Cassoday KS on Friday for the prerace meeting. Then we headed out for dinner and to the hotel to go over gear. By 9 pm I was out like a light. I slept hard and soundly. 0430 came early as you would expect. All of the girls wanted to go to the start so we were all up early, we loaded the cars and headed back to Cassoday (it is so small there isn’t a hotel there and literally you can throw a rock from the sign that says you are entering town to the sign that says you are leaving town). I got checked in and we stood around trying to stay warm before the start. At 0600 I was off. The next Aid Station wasn’t for 8.5 miles and I wouldn’t see the crew again for 17miles.
Before the race.  I think Tracey has a better picture.  Will post her pics next week.

I ran this first 17 easy. I didn’t push it. I tried to keep in mind that patience would make or break this race for me. I was determined to run a smarter race this time around. I talked to a few other runners; one guy had attempted four 100milers and had yet to complete one. As we came to the first Aid Station I stopped filled my bottle with my electrolyte drink and headed on out. I was so proud of myself for stopping it was ridiculous. The next section was quite difficult, it was super hilly and the terrain was loose rock in a rutty road. I found myself continuously searching for the best place to run. I began walking the uphill’s at this point (this was something I did for the rest of the race; I used the uphill’s to rest and take a walk break). As I neared the 17 mile Aid Station where I would meet the crew I knew I wanted to change shoes , my metatarsal (which had been a bit off since Lone Ranger) was just a little aggravated by the rocks so I wanted to get my New Balance shoes on so I could change socks to ones with more padding. I ran up to the girls, they were all there cheering me on. Tracey took my pack. I talked to Marny about my shoes and the fact I thought I should put on my compression sleeves (I have to say one thing that really made me feel confident all day was being able to talk to Marny about every decision, I listened to everything she told me and we discussed gear changes, she really made a huge difference in my race), I think it was Cindy who stuck a half a banana in my pack, lol (that slimed me later but I ate it), Teresa frantically repacked chews and real food into my pack. Marny and I agreed I would change my socks, my shoes and add compression sleeves. I threw my pack back on and I was off.

The next leg was 9 miles. I just cruised along listening to my iPod. I must have gone through a million episodes of The Marathon Show. It was on this leg that I realized some of the farmers were not so happy to see runners on their roads. Some were nice and drove slowly by and others blasted by me, spraying me and other runners with gravel and dust. When I ran up to the girls I handed off my pack, Marny and I decided no changes needed to be made, I was right on with my caloric intake and my fluids. The girls were fast so I was out of their quickly.

The next leg was 11 miles. It was really pretty. I ran along. About halfway through I came to a manned Aid Station where the guy recording runners said “#90, Hi Tara” and somehow hearing my name put the biggest smile on my face. There were no issues this leg. I was still eating. I thought I might be getting a hot spot on the ball of my foot (later we checked and I was wrong) but no real issues. This time as I came to the Aid Station I saw my crew coming out to meet me. Marny, Cindy and Teresa ran in with me, it was so awesome to see them out there. It may have only been a ¼ of a mile but dang it made my spirits leap to see them and hear their cheers. By this time Cindy was handing me her special juice every time I saw her (red grapes and ginger) I think it probably really contributed if not was the sole reason for my lack of stomach issues (thank you Cindy). I was still gulping Ensure at every Aid Station and girls were filling my hand held with electrolytes. This system really seemed to work. Also I think the fact I slowed down and really talked to the crew at every aid station really helped. It was this stop where Marny said before she saw me again I better have two packets of some sort of food like substance consumed. And I was off to the prettiest section of the course.

The next 6miles were gorgeous. I just loved the rolling hills and the cows out in the fields. I ate like crazy to get my two packets of food consumed and I drank a ton. I also started chasing “wingman” at this point. Why Wingman you ask? The guy would stretch out his arms at the top of hills and he looked like he was flying. I realized somewhere before this point that I was slowly but surely passing folks, no one had passed me but I just kept picking folks off one at a time. That was a super morale booster. I was super excited to get to the next Aid Station because there I would pick up my first pacer. Again the girls met me out on the course; it was so great to see them. I honestly can’t put in words how my spirits lifted every time I saw them and I was having a great time. It was just seeing them made my day. We ran in, talked about feet, food, water, etc… I dumped rocks from my shoes, we checked my feet, I got my hand held refilled and some food and Uncle Ronnie and I were off.

Dang it was fun to get to run with my Uncle Ronnie. He is a really nice guy and super talkative. After a mile or so he asked me if I wanted to run down Wingman. I told him I had been chasing the guy for miles now and had decided to be patient; no race would be won or lost at mile 45. Eventually we did catch up with Wingman (his real name is Claude) funny enough he knew my name. Apparently he was buddies with a girl who knew Cindy, small world. As Uncle Ronnie and I ran along he asked how my eating was going and made sure I was drinking. There was just about a mile downhill to the turnaround. Lone Pine and yes there was one tree there. We each drank some Mountain Dew, we declined the hamburgers being offered and refilled my handheld with the electrolytes (it was a pretty hot day, near 90 so I had to stay on top of my electrolytes) and we were off to chug back up that dang hill. You know in an out and back course if you go 1 mile down you have to go 1 mile back up, boy that was a bugger. I asked Uncle Ronnie what time it was, he didn’t know so, he did what any awesome pacer would do, he flagged down the next car that passed us (insane that there was a car passing us out where we were) got the time. It was 1550 or close to it. I told him if I could just keep this up I should be able to break 24 hrs and for the first time that day I really began to believe this might be my day. Also on the way out to the turnaround I began to count the people that went by, I soon realized I wasn’t in the back of the race, or the middle, I was near the top, I was the 4th or 5th woman and not that many guys were ahead of me either. This sort of lit a fire under my you know what. I felt awesome. My legs felt great, my feet didn’t hurt, no stomach issues but, I couldn’t let myself get too excited after all it wasn’t until almost 90 miles in both of my last two races that I fell apart. That knowledge haunted me all day and all night. I ran wondering if/when I would again fall apart. It wasn’t like I let the negative take hold it was more like that knowledge made me be patient, made me slow down, made me be careful so that I could power on through mile 90 and through to the finish. Uncle Ronnie said “You were like a horse going back to the barn, boy you just took off.” I think that says it all, lol.

Back at the Aid Station I picked up my second pacer Teresa. She was awesome. It was still day light so we just got to have a nice 6 mile run down a country road. It was this stretch where I caught “Pinky” (the lady ahead of me who was wearing pink) then she caught me, and then I caught her and so on and so on. It was a little frustrating because I wanted to get myself into 3rd place. Pinky and I did talk a little and she said that at her last race she had to walk the last 20 miles and she just didn’t want to have to do that again, I told her I totally understood because I didn’t want a repeat of my last 20 from Rocky. Teresa was great fun to run with, she gave me a few Marny stories and we went over gear changes for the next Aid Station.

At the next Aid Station I picked up Marny. Wooot wooot, I got to run with Marny, I had been looking forward to this all day. We headed out and soon it was night. We passed Pinky and of course she passed us, we didn’t see her again. We ran and talked and I had a great time. I was still walking the uphills and running everything else. This system actually worked for the entire race. I am still in awe of Marny for doing this stretch with me; it was 11 miles long, she had a busted knee and both feet have plantar fasciitis. I am not sure “Thank You” covers how I feel about her help and support at this race. I think towards the later part of our leg we really had a nice pace going, it felt great. We worked out the clothing changes that needed to happen at the next Aid Station as well as the rest of my race plan.

As we ran into the Aid Station we found Tracey at her car along the road. I began to change all of my clothes. Marny went to get me coffee. Tracey got the broth ready. Once I had on tights, new bra, new shirt and an additional light, Teresa and I were off. Teresa was awesome on this leg. It was 9 miles long and she began what I like to refer to as “the coffee broth dance” as soon as we would start walking up a hill she would do this little jingle asking which I wanted. Not if I wanted either but basically choose one and get going. It was just the right amount of toughness needed. There were a few creepy parts on this section but we powered through. Towards the end of this leg we passed Pinky. I went nuts in my head. Holy S.H.I.T. I was now in 2nd place with around 20 miles to go and Pinky was walking. I could do this, I could, I knew I could.

At the previous Aid Station I had realized stopping to change clothes and what not was getting harder for me, it was hard for me to get going again, so I told Teresa, I was going to go right on through the Aid Station, her and Marny would fill my pack with whatever they thought I needed and have Cindy bring it to me. As we came to the Aid Station Cindy was in the PortaPotty. Marny yelled “is that you, omg you are early, CINDY!!!!!!!” I am not sure what happened next I just kept going knowing Teresa would get it all worked out. Cindy ran up to me, I told her I needed my pack, she ran back, and then back to me, then the sisters sprinted out with the pack and we were officially off. It was a dark night. There was no moon that made this rocky section a ton harder. Cindy and I worked up and down hills full of rocks, doing our best to keep our footing. Cindy being Cindy, yes my personal pep squad, had a speaker taped to herself, unfortunately somehow her iphone didn’t cooperate so there was no music. She then began reading FB messages. OMG did that buoy my spirits. I wasn’t low; I was just tired and still hadn’t made it past 90 miles. We didn’t know how far we were because we didn’t have a gps going and that was really frustrating for me, I really was focused on mileage and now couldn’t figure out where we were in the last 17 miles. But we just kept trucking on. I can’t thank Cindy enough for doing this leg of the race with me. She definitely got stuck with the worst section footing wise as well as you can imagine what I am like after running for 18hrs with no sleep. I am focused, no expression, pretty much no talking, just a walking machine but, she stuck by me and carried me through. When I would get tired she would say out of the blue “relentless forward motion Tara” and I would say it back to her and keep going. We finally came to an Aid Station. I handed them my handheld and asked for caffeine as I almost fell over, somehow I could walk and run at this point but couldn’t stand up. A truck pulled up and asked if I was “Tara Tosta” I said yes and how did he know my name and the dude said he knew things and left. Now that was weird. I asked the Aid Station Volunteer how far to the finish, she said 8.5 miles; I teared up and said I wanted to kiss her. She laughed. I cried and left the Aid Station Cindy caught up to me with some broth and bacon. I started crying and babbling that I had done it. I had these few moments where I almost completely lost it, I had made it past the 90 mile mark and my feet and legs were fine and I was going to make it to the finish. I knew it. I pulled it together and ate my bacon and drank my broth. Relentless Forward Motion, we kept moving. And then the F’ing Mirage appeared. You could see the lights leading to the finish line off and on for the last 8 miles, so it looked so close and yet so far and we still didn’t know mileage so it was really frustrating but, we did know I would bust 24hrs and most likely get 2nd. We just kept moving and every time I saw the lights I had hope that I could stop soon and then I would triangulate off the road and the lights and realize my leg of the triangle was pretty f’ing long still. Then we would go on down the road and I would think we were close and retriagulate and my hopes would be dashed again and on and on this went for the next 2 hrs. But we did it. Relentless Forward Motion. We ran when I could, we walked if I had to but we never stopped. We NEVER STOPPED!!!!!!!!!!!! And then it happened Cindy spotted a stop sign and an arrow; soon we were headed to Cassoday. And not too soon after that I saw the finish line. I was choking back tears, god I was happy. I am not sure I have ever felt that level of accomplishment. I could hear the cow bell at the finish line, I could see the crew waiting for me and I ran, yes, I ran across that line. I had done it. I had finished a 100 miler in less than 24 hrs.
Marny, Teresa and Tracey waiting at the finish

I couldn’t have done any of this without the crew. They were phenomenal. I didn’t talk about Tracey much but she was our logistics maven, she got everyone from Aid Station to Aid Station she was always there working out gear and food issues, she was incredible. She was an awesome Crew Chief. Thank You, Mama!

Patience paid a huge role in this race as did the crew. I ended up not having one blister at the end of the race and am already ready to run again. I didn’t have to stop once during the race to rest; I used the hills to rest while walking up them. Really this race went as smoothly as a 100 miler could go. I am super proud and appreciative of everyone’s efforts.
Gettting the Buckle.  No Prize for 2nd.  Guess I better work on getting 1st, lol.

Happy Running All!!!