Thursday, July 29, 2010

Week 2 - Post LR

This will be a hodge podge of stuff I have been thinking about.  A catch all for the week.   

First off I have found my next big race.  My original plan was to take a 1/2 yr off from running anything longer than 50 miles after Lone Ranger but, alas I don't think I will make it more than 3 months.  Well that is sort of close to 6 months, it is half way, :).  Before Lone Ranger I kept thinking after the race I would just take time off and heal mentally and physically.  After Lone Ranger I asked my Running Mamas where they wanted to go next to crew and Tracey came up with Heartland.  Heartland is 100 mile out and back course in Kansas on the first weekend in October.  I did mull it over for a while.  I asked Doug what he thought.  He of course said to go for it and I was already trained up for that distance so it would be silly not to.  Come on you have to love the guy.  I asked Pea (Cathy to the rest of you) and I could hear her yelling from California she was so excited.  So I guess that answered that.  If Pea and Doug thought it was a good idea and I could find care for Chloe, had time to train and had an awesome group of Mamas who were ready and willing to go then what was I waiting for?  I signed up.  We (the mamas and I) are on our way to Kansas in October.  Wooot wooot. 

So now that I have a race to train for I sort of need to get back on my feet a little sooner than I had originally planned.  I gave myself 6 days totally off.  Then last Sunday I ran 7 miles pushing Chloe.  The first 2 miles were really rough, dang my legs were tight.  The last few miles on the other hand I was able to hit 7:45 pace pushing Chloe so I was psyched.  I took Monday off and then ran with Cindy on Tuesday.  We ran just over 7 miles and I got in some resistance training pushing her boys.  Wednesdays run was really hard, only got in 5 miles and then Thursday I got in 8.  I was really hoping for a 10 miler this week but it just wasn't to be.  My legs are tight and feel heavy but I don't feel any injuries.  So I think they might just need a few weeks to get back into it.  I plan to hit just over 30 miles this week and go for around 50 next week.  Hopefully by the end of August I can get in some 100+ mile weeks. 

On a totally different note: It looks like our house sold.  We are supposed to close next week and now Doug and I plan to rent here in Dallas for around 6mnths while we find a house and he gets transferred up to NYC (LGA, JFK, EWR he is responsible for all of those airports once he gets based up there).  So needless to say with Doug ready to head off to Korea for the month, closing on the house, moving to an apartment and life going on here, things are nuts.  If you see a woman running down the street screaming, it is just me letting off some steam, no need to call the police. 

I think that sums up what is going on here.  Have a great week everyone and Happy Running.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lone Ranger RR

Lone Ranger Race Report

This is going to be a long one so if you just want the short and sweet details here the are. I finished 7th for females, 25th overall, ran 84.5 miles in 17hrs officially, 92miles in a few more hrs unofficially, and, in my mind, had an awesome race.

Ok, for those of you who are hardcore and want details: I dropped Chloe off at my sister’s house in VT and then drove down to Philadelphia. I arrived around 3pm on Friday, met up with Anna and Bethany, and we headed off to packet pickup. We quickly realized that the pickup was a bit of a disorganized mess. You see each of the Lone Rangers had to get their medical stats taken and there were multiple lines for each station. Some lines weren’t moving at all some had no one in them. Some people taken temperatures were doing so with a thermometer that didn’t seem to work and the guy operating the scale was asking the athletes what weight sounded good to them. I obviously opted for the lowest weight possible since that would help me out with any weigh ins the next day. In the end it all worked out. When we got back to the hotel, Bethany’s dad made us dinner while Anna and I went through my gear the first time. Yes, I said first time--I was so nervous I went through it about three times overall. I just had to make sure everyone knew where everything was and what I wanted done with what. Since I am a Type A, anal, control freak leaving all of my running gear in the hands of others is really, really hard. It makes me way more comfortable to go over where and what everything is and know we are all on the same page. Jill arrived and we all had a wonderful dinner. We were really lucky to have Bethany’s parents with us--they were such a big help and I think her dad even made the wonder broth, which I will talk about later. After dinner we went over my gear again and I went to bed, while the girls headed out to get some supplies.

On Saturday morning we got up in time to go down and enjoy the hotel breakfast and then head to the race course. Bethany and I tried with all our might to get the tent set up and did but never could figure out the top thingy that my sister sent with it. We met some awesome folks from a Delaware Trail Running group and got a few moments to relax. Of course thanks to Bethany Saros I had the song “Racing Day” from the Backyardigans stuck in my head. She is another member of our Running Moms Group and she had posted the song on my Face Book page and me being not the brightest bulb in the drawer actually played the song. It was playing on an endless loop in my head driving me to the brink of insanity. I was certain that this could only cause me to go totally bonkers during the first lap so I did what anyone would do and put on my iPod and blasted the Black Eyed Peas, lol. We headed over to the starting line around 9:55 and …

Lap 1: And we were off. I got a few feet into the race and realized I had forgotten to pull up my compression sleeves, so pulled over and did so. I was surprised to find that not many people talk in these races, they seemed to mostly like listening to their music so I followed suit. I put on my iPod and let the music carry me along. The first lap was nice--it was my first time to see the course and I was running with people the whole way. At around mile 5 in the loop (8.4 mile loop is what we were running) I saw another lady from Team Aquaphor and I sped up and caught her so I could talk to her for a while. It turns out Ethel is a super experienced ultra runner--she was really nice, down to earth and passed on as much knowledge as she could in our few short miles together. She was great. Unfortunately her plan was to run a lap then walk one and keep doing that all day/night so we didn’t get to run together again. As I came into the start/finish area, Bethany was waiting for me. She took my pack and filled it while I ran to the restroom before taking off again. I think it was this lap that Bethany had to track me down on a bike to give me some Enduralytes. You see I sort of raced through the aid area and didn’t give my crew a chance to fill all of my gear. Poor Bethany had this stunned look as we both frantically exchanged gear and information and I took off. Possibly I should slow down next time. Sorry B.

Lap 2: The first few laps all seem the same in my head. Nothing exciting happened. Came around the bend to finish the lap and saw the whole crew and they had signs and were cheering me on. It was awesome. I threw them the pack, ran to the restroom, grabbed my pack and a new iPod, and was out of there.

Lap 3: This lap is where things started to go south with my stomach. I made it through the lap with a few stops along the way. The girls had a great new system. Before I got to the chute one of them would take my pack and another would hand me an Ensure. Then I ran through the chute went to the restroom and met them at our tree (yes we now had our very own tree, ok it was just where we met up every lap but it seemed like our tree). Once I met back up with the crew at the tree I let them know something was wrong with my stomach.

Lap 4: OMG stomach issues! Those severe cramping issues you get--you know what I am talking about, right? It was hard to stand up straight, much less run. I just stopped as often as I needed to and drank as much as I could. This lap sucked. Got some medicine at the end and that seemed to fix things.

Lap 5: YAY. Hooray, hooray. Bethany ran with me. At the start of lap 4, she had run up alongside me and said that Thuy (a pacer from Philly) wasn’t going to make it for the 5th lap and was I ok running by myself? I said yes I would do it but dang I felt like crying. My stomach was killing me and I was sick, sick, sick, sick of listening to music. So needless to say when I came around and she was ready to run, I was over the moon. I handed off my pack and switched to a handheld waterbottle. I think we started off running, and then switched to a 4min/1min run/walk ratio. That seemed to work. About halfway through the lap I pointed to a lady and said, “You know who that is, that is Laura Yasso.” Next thing you know, Laura said hi to me. What?? Yes, to me, she said hi and that Thelma (from the first lap) and told her to talk with me. She ran with us for a few miles and they were absolutely amazing. She was the nicest lady.

Lap 6: Met up with Thuy. Now Thuy isn’t a part of our Running Mom group--she is just this super nice lady who was willing to run with a crazy lady she had never met. No kidding--I asked my Aquaphor Team mates if any of them could help out with a lap or two and one of them asked some other ladies who asked some other ladies who ended up being Thuy. So the first time she met any of us was right there at the race and these two laps would be her longest run to date—ever--in her life. I was in awe. So there she was, shook her hand and we took off. By took off I mean the girl was trying to kill me. She took off at a 9 min mile pace and I had to let her know that wasn’t exactly my pace, lol. Ok I had to slow her down the entire two laps…that girl can run. I did convince her to let me walk a few times. We had a good time, she was super easy to talk to and super upbeat.

Lap 7: Thuy tried to kill me again but was not successful, lol.

Lap 8: Jill was up and I was tired. I had to change out some clothes because I was actually cold. It was in the 80s but I had run all day in intense heat and was soaked through. I changed out my top half of clothing, got stuck trying to put on my bra, finally was able to struggle into it, grabbed some food and a 5hr energy drink, and Jill and I were off. All of those fast laps caught up with me. I was tired. Poor Jill, she tried to keep my spirits up but all I could do was concentrate on moving and it was tough. She told me countless stories and she prodded me endlessly to keep running.

Lap 9: Anna. Oh Anna. You and your lovely watch. How I love thee.

Ode to a beeping Watch

Oh watch how I love thee

Your beeps are so lovely

They keep me running

They keep me walking

They chime in the most wonderful way

Oh watch you make my day

Ummmmmm, yahhh, I came up with a few versions of this poem while running with Anna and Bethany. Anna put her watch on a schedule to beep every 3 min then 1.5, so I ran 3 walked 1.5. I am telling you that was the best, best, best thing I have ever heard. I just listened to the beeps and moved along. I didn’t complain, I didn’t fight it; I just followed the beeps and listened to Anna’s stories. That lap rocked.

Lap 10: Bethany was up again. We had the beeps messed up at first but after a mile or so we got on schedule and we just trucked along. It was a great lap.

Lap 11: Poor Bethany was up yet again and this is where I fell apart. I knew I wasn’t feeling right around the first mile in this lap because something was wrong with my feet. They hurt and by hurt I mean it was hard to run because landing on them was becoming so painful. We tried shuffling but that was making my knee hurt. We muddled through. Bethany tried to talk to me but she could tell I was a mess and couldn’t think of much to say to someone who was concentrating so hard on each step. By mile 4 I told her I had to stop at the Aid station for medical help with my feet and I think she knew something was very wrong. We stopped and they said nothing was wrong, no blisters or anything. I don’t know if they couldn’t tell my feet were super swollen or what but dang they were so swollen and bruised at this point it was excruciating for them to just get my stupid socks off. Gosh dang that hurt. We got my socks back on, laced up my sneaks, and we were off. We walked another mile and I told Bethany I needed to get better help. I really couldn’t walk anymore. We checked off the course at around mile 5.1, Jill drove us to the medical tent. The doc and podiatrist came over and checked out my feet and said I had an Extreme Severe Overuse Injury. LOL. Somehow that sounded funny. So I asked, “If I ice them can I go back out?” The doc looked at me like I was smoking dope. He asked me if I was banging my head into a wall and it hurt, would I keep doing it. Hummmmm. This somehow was a tough question for me to answer. So the long and short is that the doc said something about stress fractures and breakdown of some sort of bone tissue and we decided to ice my feet and try again. We snuck out of the tent, checked back on the course, and tried again. A mile later I knew I could go no further.

In the end, it was an awesome race. I feel like so many things went right. I am super happy with my performance and can’t wait to get out there and do another ultra. I can’t thank the girls enough--they totally saved my bacon. Bethany, Jill, and Anna did such an amazing job. This race went a million times better than Rocky so I would say we are moving in the right direction. Wooot wooot

Monday, July 12, 2010

Meet Bethany

Meet Bethany.  She was part of the Rocky Crew and is coming back for more, lol.  She is the Crew Captain for this race.

Name: Bethany

You are a Running Mom so we already know you ROCK! So tell us what running accomplishment you are most proud of.

Hmm, that’s tough. I think I’m most proud of the general fact that I am a runner. I swam and played soccer in high school, but I hated running and didn’t feel like my body was made for it. Even after I joined the Army, and I “had” to run, I didn’t feel like I was good at it, and it almost always hurt, at least a little, no matter how short or slow I was running. But during my second deployment, I picked up a copy of Runners World and also started working out with a friend who is an amazing runner and before I knew it, I was hooked. I still don’t feel like my body is made for huge distances or amazing speed or anything, but I trained for and completed a marathon and become something I never thought I could be.

What do you most look forward to in this race?

Helping Tara break 100 miles—I'll feel almost as good when she’s finished as she does

When do you think you are going to do an Ultra?

Never! My goal is to get to the point where I can comfortably pace someone for 20 miles. I would rather help someone else complete an ultra than do one myself. I just don’t think my body is made for that kind of mileage.

What/When is you next race?

Hopefully the RnR Philly half in September, depending on our trial schedule. Otherwise, the Hutto 5K (town I live in)

Anything else we should know about you?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Meet Jill

Meet Jill.  Running Mom extraordinaire.  I recently sent out a set of questions to the pacers/crew.  I will be introducing them one by one over the following days.  Thank you Jill for everything you are about to put up with. :)

Name: Jill LaRoche Wikel

You are a Running Mom so we already know you ROCK! So tell us what running accomplishment you are most proud of.

My super speedy Memorial Day 5k in which I finally came under 30 minutes! Never, ever thought I would actually have a 29:something time, though I did dream and hope that this turtle trotter would do it. My first half (Philadelphia, November 2008) will forever be a very proud moment, too. I framed my race bib & medal from that one.

What do you most look forward to in this race?

Seeing Tara reach her goal. I just know it is going to be a special, amazing thing to be part of, as she runs 100+miles in 24 hours. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

I also can’t wait to meet Tara in person after “knowing” her through Running Mom posts and Facebook and her blog for so long.

And on the selfish side of things, running two laps with Tara will be my longest daily mileage ever, so I’m looking forward to logging 16 miles in my training log.

When do you think you are going to do an Ultra?

Goodness, I don’t know! I thought about this question a lot on my run this morning, and in the crazy heat wave, the humidity, the sun…well, 3 miles felt like an accomplishment! I never thought I would run 13 miles and I did. And I never would have expected ever, ever to run a marathon, and I know I will. We’ll see how 26 miles feels and count up from there.

What/When is you next race?

Harrisburg Marathon, November 14, 2010

Anything else we should know about you?

I love meeting up with the Running Moms from around the country – each time I do, I find that these ladies are just as cool in person as they are virtually. Without them, I wouldn’t push myself as long, far, hard as I have for running. And my whole life – not just the running piece – would be lonelier without them.

The idea of running 26.2 miles scares me. I’m afraid of injury, or training so much I get to that “I hate running” point, or of not finishing the marathon in the 6 hours required. I don’t push myself enough when running because of my fears…and one of the things I’ve learned from Tara is to just go for it, to not let the what-ifs rule your dreams for yourself.

Oh, and I’m a wifeministermomredsoxfangohersheybears!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


You know what this means. It is race time. It is time to get pumped up. It is time to fully and truly believe in myself and my crew. I am so excited for this race. I want to see what I am made of. I want to see just how far I can push myself. I want to see if all of this training will pay off. I want to see if the new nutrition plan will work. I want to see how many toenails I will lose. I want to see if an ice bath after twenty four hours really takes the edge off.

Next Wednesday I am headed to Vermont. Chloe and I will hang out at my sisters house for a few days, then on Friday I will rent a car, head down to NJ to pick up Anna (pacer) and continue onto Philly to check in for the race. I think the reason this twenty four hour race appeals to me so much is because it is on a circuit that goes around boat houses. It somehow seems the perfect combination of the only two sports I have ever loved. In college rowing was everything to me and ironically enough my ability to run got me on the team. Now as this epic run approaches I will get to use rowing to get me through. What I mean by that is I find boats on the water just about the most peaceful thing to watch. The way all of the people work in unison. The sound of the oars moving. I just love watching people row. So somehow circling boathouses while I run seems like the perfect place for this journey to begin.

As the race draws near, I am nervous and excited. The following are a few of my favorite race tunes. The Black Eyed Peas are the perfect prerace tune for me and middle race if I need some inspiration. The song makes me want to jump up and down, pump my fist and go for it. The other songs, well.... You can ask why, but honestly there is no explaining my oddball taste in music. Sometimes when a song comes on, all I can do is laugh and the fact that it makes me laugh makes it the perfect song. Sometimes a song comes on and all I want to do is stop and dance (no I can't dance) and that makes it a good running song. Sometimes a song comes on and all I want to do is bust out singing--which also makes it the perfect running song. Yes, I often sing while running. You have been warned. LOL.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taper Week

Oh where to begin??? Last week was my first of three taper weeks.  It was hard to taper.  I actually like the time off but, somehow I always find myself running much faster because all the runs are shorter and I think that really defeats the point of the taper.  I did a race on Saturday with my buddy Cindy.  Doesn't she look peppy.  She is like that all the time.  I am telling you, I have never in my life seen a game of hopscotch look so graceful and fun as when I saw her demonstrate for the kids how to play.  Ok back to the Race.  It was only a 5K and well I sort of hard my heart on running a fast time but alas, my legs felt like cement.  It was kind of a bummer.  I won for my age group (see cool eagles head trophy below) and did ok over all but it wasn't the time I was hoping for.  I guess if I really want to do well at 5K's I should train for them and not ultras, lol.  Duhhhhhhhh. 

So onto the race at hand.  Phili.  The countdown is on.  Can you believe in a week I will be headed to my sisters house in VT?  I can't.  I don't feel nervous yet, although I do have multiple lists going and a bin of things to pack.  Which reminds me, need to remember to steal Doug's Garmin when he gets home.  Oh and charge my ipod.  So like I said, totally not nervous, lol.  I feel like training went well for this one but, sometimes the unknown is scary.  And sometimes what you know about a race is scary too.  For instance I know this is going to hurt like nobodies business.  I can still feel how bad the last few miles of Rocky hurt, the gut wrenching pain I felt  taking a step down even the slightest hill.  I can still remember wondering why so many people were talking in the woods and realizing it was me wheezing.  I can still remember being bone tired.  And so you are wondering why am I doing this race?  I love to push myself, I am super excited to prove I can do better.  I know I can crack 100 miles in 24hrs but it is going to hurt.  Scott Jurek's  in his Race Report from the 24hr World Championships quotes another ultra runner;  James Shapiro as saying this of 24hr racing “seemed like the perfect tool to pry me open and see what I am made of.”  Now that is what I am talking about.  I think it is time to get out the crow bars and see what I am made of.  I am super excited.  I have a few awesome RunningMoms going with me to help pace and crew for me.  I will see if I can get pictures of them and introduce them this next week.  One is a repeat offender, lol.  Thanks to Bethany for coming back for round two of my craziness. Ok off to make lists and get work done.  Happy Running All!

p.s. I have been reading a lot of running blogs lately and it strikes me that many ultra athletes write really well.  So I want to say that I will work on writing better for all of you but, I can't say it because honestly when push comes to shove I would rather be running or playing with Chloe and it doesn't come naturally to me.  Thank you for reading my blog and my apologies for the trillion  grammatical (spell check just caught that I spelled grammatical wrong, lol) ooopsies.