Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Red Bull Really Does Have Wings

Recently I ran a race with a dear friend of mine Cathy. I was so inspired by how hard she pushed herself that I found myself once again totally gung ho about running. When I got home I immediately got to work on a training plan for the Lone Ranger 24. I know, I know I have Boston in a few weeks. But here is the thing, while I would love to PR at Boston and that is my plan, a PR will still land me in about 16,000th place, and I am not exaggerating here. So lets call a duck a duck, I am not a fast marathoner, I am middle of the road, could I be faster with some speed work, sure, am I going to win marathons, uhmmmmm, not in this life time. So I have two goals: 1. To PR at Boston (and I am allowing myself one week of taper to try and do so) 2. To go over 100 miles at the 24hr race. I think both goals are totally doable. But, I won't be crying if I don't get the PR, I will however be completely bummed if I don't see a 1 - 0 - 0 after my name at the Lone Ranger.

So back to the training plan. I came up with a plan that would have me running more miles than I did for Rocky, running more back to back long runs and pushing myself to the outer limits of my running abilities. My legs would not have been so sore after Rocky if they were in shape for that race so, I have to train more and harder this time around. The other key thing I have to do is work on nutrition. I need to find a good source of protein, I plan to try peanuts and beef jerky next week and will get back to you on that. I also need to find an extremely high source of caffeine or some other stimulant. I bonked as you all recall in the last race, it was so hard to stay awake at mile 83, that I didn't. The girls said I was sleep walking. So I have to find a way to wire myself through the night.

This week I tried Mountain Dew and Red Bull. The Mountain Dew was good and once it was super flat didn't bother my stomach but the Red Bull, holy cow. That stuff had me flying higher than a kite. I took a couple swigs of it and 10 minutes later looked down at Garmin to see I was running sub 9mm pace and it didn't even hurt. Yay, Red Bull. Think I found a new way to completely wire myself. Next time I use it I will let it go flat overnight, after a few hours of being open this AM it was still quite fizzy. But I really liked the way it worked.

I also tried Carb Boom chews this week. All I have to say about them is: AWESOME. All natural and dang they pack a great punch. Those and Honey Stingers are definitely my top choices for chews.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Anna the owner and writer of picked me to be her inspirational runner for March and April. She wrote an article about me for her monthly enzine. Here is the link if you are interested: I was super honored. Thank you Anna for making me feel like a Rock Star. Now I better get out there and train harder so I live up to her kind words :).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Modesto - Recap

Oh I wish I was better at this blogging thing. I wanted to start writing above the first picture. Oh well.

This journey really began on Friday. It worked out that Doug's flight from Korea would get in just in time for me to catch my flight to see Cathy so, I went to the race without Chloe. We handed Chloe off at the airport and had a quick smooch and I was off. I got into Fresno around 10pm CA time which is Midnight in TX. Rented a car and headed 2hrs north for Cathy's house. I was super zonked but the funny thing was, as soon as I got to her house and found Cathy and Emily (her second to oldest daughter) waiting up I was totally rejuvenated. We ended up talking for almost 2hrs at which point I really had to call it a night :). The next morning Cathy, Emily and I headed to the Expo, it was great. It wasn't a big expo, in fact it was a Modesto sized Expo. It was small but, it was so much fun to go with Cathy. I got to meet the rest of her girls there, it was great. The night before the race we set up all of our gear and set our alarms for super early just in case there were parking issues or what not. We got there with no trouble and hung out in the car for a bit. It was only 40 degrees outside so we had to stay warm until the start of the race. We hit the Port a Potty's a few times (this will be a theme throughout the day :)) and then went to the start. The top picture is of Cathy at the starting line. Doesn't she look Happy.

Here is Cathy at mile 4, our first Port a Potty stop, we hit every single one which was every two miles from here until the end of the race. I could be wrong but at first I think she needed them and later on I think she went in there so she could get a break and get away from me. Not good. Maybe I push too hard? It was right around here that Cathy began to make me think their was a kink in our plan. She said her legs hurt and so did her foot. Uh Oh, that didn't seem good for so early in the race. She kept on keeping on and then the 1/2 marathoners who had hit their turn around point began blazing by us heading back. Mentally you can see how that would be hard. At around mile 6 I called in reinforcements. And man did the Running Moms deliver. They began sending tons of messages to her via my phone. I would read them to her and she would instantly light up, it was great. I am telling you I belong to the best group of runners ever. I had called in reinforcements because I didn't know if someone could really hit the wall at mile 6 in a marathon. I tried all sorts of things to keep Cathy's mind off of the race and maybe make her laugh, some of them put a smile on her face, most made her say "oh my gosh" and I think the Chariots of Fire Ballet made her laugh, but then so were the spectators. Cathy got over the wall at around mile 19 and was so dang happy, it was awesome. She hit another wall a few miles later but she just kept going. Ok she might have had a hand in her back so she couldn't really stop but she did keep on keep'in on. The race was so hard for her, it was truly impressive to see how hard someone would work to achieve a goal. She went all out and she did it.

Here we are with less than a mile to go. I know I know, check out those biceps. I think next time if her legs get tired I am going to suggest she try running on her hands. With those arms it has to be possible. Hey, I think there is some guy who has done the whole marathon that way. I know there is one who has juggled the whole way. Hummmm, something to consider. Oh and yes I did say "next time." Cathy is already plotting her next marathon.

Here is Mama Cathy with all of her girls. They met us at the end of the race, ran out to meet her and ran her almost across the line, it was awesome. They even wore pink for her (it is her favorite color).
I learned a lot from this race. I was really blown away that after running only 2.5 yrs an almost 50 yr old woman could do a marathon. I felt like she had to work harder than I have ever made myself work in a race, she pushed through boundaries and walls that would have made most of us quit. Cathy went from running a 5K a year or so ago to running a marathon. She proves that if you want anything bad enough you can go out there and do it. I left her house truly inspired to run harder and push myself more. Cathy is truly an inspiration and it was awesome to run her first marathon with her. Hope we get to do another next year.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quick Toe Nail Report

I know you are all dying to know how many nails I lost from doing the 100 miler. Well so far none. Nope not kidding. But...there is one toenail that is completely black. It is still fully attached but it is black so, have to assume it will pop off at some point. I think the Blister Shield and Injinji's really helped me. And actually if I could somehow prevent my longest toe from banging the front of my shoe when running on trails I don't think I would loose any toe nails but, not sure how you do that. Can't get bigger shoes or they will slip. I am already wearing running shoes a whole size larger than my normal shoe size and don't have any issues when running on normal surfaces but, dang trails over 50-100 miles really mess with my nails. Oh well. I will just keep painting my nails and no one will know the difference.

Oh and on a side note: Had an awesome 10.5 mile run today. I think my legs are really coming back. I was able to do some hill work this week and then a nice negative split run today. Oh how I have missed my legs, it is so nice to be getting them back. And they came back quicker this time so, I think I am getting in better Ultra shape. Wahooooo.

I have painted my nails a super nice blue for my race with Cathy. So next stop: Modesto. I will take lots of pictures and maybe even a video or two. Happy Running All.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Next up: Modesto Marathon, Sunday March 21st. Running Date: Mama Cathy or as some know her Cathy Crisp. Yep, just a short note to say: YIPPEEE YAHOOO!!! I get to run Cathy's first marathon with her next weekend. I am so excited. Cathy has been working on a run/walk plan that she can do for 26.2 miles and has agreed to let me tag along on her journey. You never get to have a virginal run twice but, you can sort of relive your first by going along with someone else on theirs. I am so excited. Oh did I say that already. I will report back on how it went next week. Go Cathy Go!!!! You can do this. I know 26.2 miles can seem scary your first time but, you can do this and I will try and think of 26 miles worth of things to say. Oh that could be hard so if any of you have recommendations send them my way. :) Happy Running everyone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


A few months ago I read the blog of one of my running hero's and she had posted on 10 people who inspired her. That got me thinking about who had inspired me. I was thinking along the athletic lines and along the lines of people that I had actually met and known. I quickly realized that my list was created largely of rowers. I know now I have most of you confused. I am a runner writing a blog about running, right? Well in college I took a hiatus from running and tried rowing. I have to say I met the most amazing athletes and people during my interlude as a rower. So here we go, the rowers who really inspired me to be a better athlete and in one case person.

Amy Fuller Kearney (Picture above. Taken off the UCLA website): She was my rowing coach at UCSB during my second year on the team. That year she had just come back from winning a Silver Medal at the Barcelona Olympics. I remember the first time I met her thinking: Holy Crap I am meeting a real life Olympian. She was pretty laid back and liked to laugh and was hard core when it came to workouts. She pushed us to limits I didn't even know I had. She was a big girl. A Heavy Weight Olympian size girl that had the world record for 2K on the erg so, when I say big I mean big. And yet to this day I am still irritated by one thing, this will crack you all up. Let me back up. When I went out for the crew team a year earlier the coach had assumed I wanted to be a coxswain because I was so short, wrong, I wanted to row. He didn't give me much hope for making a boat but said I could row if I wanted to. Then he said every workout would be taken into account when he was deciding who got to row in which boat and in which race. Duh duh duh, I was in. Half of our workouts were running because we couldn't make it to the lake. I knew instantly that if I kicked every ones butt in every running workout he would have to put me in a boat, I ran my butt off, and he put me in a boat. So by the time Amy came along I was known to be a pretty decent runner. She took us to the stadium to torture us for a while and as I zipped up and down the stairs suddenly this larger than life woman went by me. I went back down and began my next interval, she beat me again. She kept beating me by one step every single interval. She was laughing and taunting me. It was infuriating and yet I so respected her for it. She was amazing she knew just how to push us and she was just amazing athletically. I still am not sure I have ever met such a superior athlete. She knew how to push herself beyond all normal physical limits. She knew how to push us. She was a true machine.

Sarah Jones (picture above, taken from the site it is linked to): Sarah joined my rowing team my junior year, I think? She was amazing. I had never met a girl who was as strong as she was and she was hard core when it came to working out which of course I admired. I was just so impressed with how hard she worked for her goals and how hard she could push herself. It seemed like there were no limits when it came to Sarah. She was truly amazing. To top it off she was a super nice girl. I still to this day think of her when I am doing a really hard workout or race. She would just keep on pushing until she achieved her goal and that sort of spirit has always inspired me to do the same.

Suzi Walther (seen above, she is the tall one, I am the short one): She is the rower who not only inspired me athletically but also changed my life. I met Suzi my freshman year. We rowed on a lightweight boat together, she was a senior in college at the time. We went to Nationals together in a 4 that summer and had a great time. She kept on rowing after college and eventually rowed for the US National team. I don't even know where to begin with Suzi, I have so many stories to tell of how she inspired me and changed me.
The first year I knew her, we were novice rowers (1st year rowers) but the varsity coach saw that some of us Novice Lightweights were proving to be pretty good so he wanted to borrow us for his big race at the end of the year. If you win that race you get a spot at Nationals. So some of us rowed for the Varsity, then for the Novice boat and then for the Novice Open weight boat (they really worked a few of us). That Varsity boat did indeed win and so we had our spot at Nationals. Here is where it go interesting. The Varsity Coach thought it was only fare to let the varsity girls fill that boat for nationals and since the Novices had many more years to row we would stay home but, Suzi had other ideas. She stood up for us and fought the fight to get us our spot in the boat. She wouldn't let it go until they let us have a chance to race for our seats. One morning after the end of the season all the lightweights headed up to the lake and we had a good old fashioned seat race for our spots. She got us our chance and we weren't going to let her down. One by one we raced for our seats and one by one we won our spot on the team. We kicked some booty and were on our way to Nationals. I guess the point of the story is this: Suzi taught me to stand up for not only myself but for what I believed in. Over the years I watched in amazement as she just kept fighting and persevering as a rower. She is truly an amazing person. If ever I have gone through a rough time in life she has always been there not propping me up with meaningless statements but with thought provoking ideas on where I was and where I was headed. She didn't give me fish she taught me to go fishing. She is truly an inspiring individual.
I feel like I have left out so many inspirational rowers but, at some point you have to decide how much runners want to read about rowing :). My Novice year I met some ladies that became life long friends. They were the most amazing group of women. They all inspired me in one way or another. Our Coxswain that year, Brooke Barrington would write me the most inspirational notes you could imagine. As I was looking for a picture of Suzi, I reread some of Brooke's notes and was blown away by what an old soul she was. She had words of wisdom well beyond her years. I ran my first marathon with Brooke, who by the way is now a model for the Title Nine catalog. Point here is that all of the woman I met my novice year really made a difference in who I am now as an athlete and person. Thank you to all of them. I plan to write some other posts about runners who inspired me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crisis Averted - I think

Ok crisis is a strong term and relative. But, I think once I explain you will see that this hat issue was a crisis :). I have a hat (see picture). I have had this hat since college. I got it for rowing on Lake Cachuma in the winter, you would be surprised how cold a 5am practice in the mountains above Santa Barbara can be. After college the hat transitioned to a running hat. It is wool and lined with fleece. It has flaps that keep my ears warm. It has a little pom pom that just makes me smile. I adore this hat. Recently it got me through the last 40 miles at Rocky. It is my go too cold weather hat. So I took it with me to Vermont two weeks ago. I used it for running and for playing in the snow. When I got home I realized it was a little funky. It had some stink on it. So I threw it in the wash. I didn't think about it. I just threw it in and since I didn't think about it, I of course transferred it from the washing machine to the dryer. I know I know. How could I? But, I am a mom of a toddler, I get distracted, I get absent minded, I mess up. Oh my poor hat. When it came out of the dryer it was so small it probably wouldn't have fit Chloe's noggin. So I did what any person would do: I sent out an SOS on Face Book. Thank goodness a Middle School buddy saw the post and looked up an answer for me. So tonight I washed my hat with conditioner and then stretched it with all my might. It currently fits but it is tight. It is drying in the shower. I think it might actually fit again. Oh please please Hat Gods let my Lucky Hat fit again. Don't take it from me this soon.
Side note: Are you wondering what other Face Bookers were wondering? Had I ever washed the hat before. I have owned it for 10yrs after all and I work out in it. The answer is: I am not sure. I can't remember but, I have to assume at some point I have washed it. In fact I think the reason the brim is a bit messed up is due to a wash. But, to be honest I can't remember. I know ewwwwwww. Super Gross. Sorry.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hockey Tape and Other Odds and Ends

Sorry I have been so bad about posting. I was in VT visiting my Sister and then went to NJ for Doug's Grandmother's 100yr Birthday Celebration. Now that is amazing. And now that I am back home my mother is visiting so, I have been busy :).

I have been trying to rebuild my miles but, dang it is tough. Not in a cardiovascular way but in an injury way. My foot is feeling much better but I think whatever is going on with my left knee doesn't like more miles at all. Ughhh. I did finally figure out the taping of my foot. I now tape over my sock with Hockey Tape. I know it is odd and please don't tell Doug that is where is Hockey Tape is going but, the stuff is super strong and flexible and over the sock keeps it from taking of a few layers of skin. The Hockey Tape works a million times better than the other tape I was using so my foot almost doesn't hurt at all when I run now. Now I need to figure out how I can use Hockey Tape to fix my knee. Maybe it will be my new Duct Tape. Just realized I have an odd relationship with tapes :).
On yesterday's run I was left wondering if I was still in VT. After all I was wearing the exact same clothes as I ran in in VT. Not kidding the temperature in Dallas and in Burlington was the exact same. The only difference was the lack of snow. Now that isn't right at all.
And finally to round up my post of randomness :). I just read Jamie Donaldson's Blog and do you know what? She broke both the course and women's record at her race this weekend. She ran 118 miles in something like 18hrs, is that unbelievable or what? I just can't get over how fast she is. Her blog is one of my favorites because I am always inspired and floored at how amazing she is. Check it out if you have time.