Tuesday, June 29, 2010


First up in Tara news: My team gear arrived for Team Aquaphor and so did a myriad of samples.  One of the products was a soap/shampoo/shaving cream for men.  It is great.  I did share with Doug don't worry folks.  I have tried our two of the tops and they will work great for running but the team shorts are going to be tough for an ultra, think I can squeak out a 1/2 maybe full marathon in them but, anything beyond that will be chafe city.  Oh and speaking of chaffing; the quote on the Aquaphor stuff is: At 10 miles it isn't the other people rubbing you the wrong way.  LOL.  I LOVE that saying.  So any how I am super psyched to belong to this new team.  Wooo hoooo. 

Last week was my last hard week of training, now it is taper city.  I have to really try hard not to run hard or long during the next few weeks.  I truly feel this is the best training has gone so far and I feel great.  Oh dang I hope I can break the 100 mile mark.  That is my one and only goal for the race.  I don't care how I do it, if I have to walk, crawl, sleep, eat, not eat, etc... I just want to crack 100 miles. 

I am starting to put my race gear together.  After 3 years of running my pack into the ground the bite valve gave out on me and once I replaced that the bag gave out so, I am off to REI tomorrow to get that replaced before the race.  I am also starting to stock up on the food I like to run with, I don't want to take chances that I can't find it in VT or PA, would rather just have it and take it there myself.  I know that is silly but, I just want to have as many things planned out as possible so I can focus on the goal not the obstacles.  Eyes on the Prize as Jenni would tell me.

I am currently only down 1/2 of a toenail so looking good going into the race.  I think there is a 50/50 chance I can come out of the race with the toenails I take into it, lol.  Not to worry will paint them just in case so you won't see any black and blue marks, ha ha.  Doug thinks I am nuts for painting toenails that are going to fall off but I say a girls got to do what a girls got to do. 
A huge shout out to my buddy Paula who is now officially an Ironman, super impressive.  Also WS 100 was this past weekend and I got to track my buddy Cindy live, it was amazing.  She is the woman I talked about meeting at my first ultra.  She ran WS 100 as her first 100 mile race in around 28 hrs, now that is impressive.  Happy Running All! It is raining around here this week so it is the best running.  As Cindy (running partner) would say God has his sprinklers turned on for us.  Love that. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Junk Miles? Do they Really Exist?

Last week went awesome.  Got in 103 miles, my legs weren't sore and no aches or pains.  I have one more hard week of training and then the taper begins.  This week I am supposed to run 100 miles just like last week but, might try for a little more if the legs are feeling good.

Of course all of this running has given me way too much time to think about tons of things.  One of the things I have been contemplating is all of the contradictory information that is out there about running Ultras and training for them.  The thing is, what works for one person may not work at all for the next person.  I totally get that.  But, for a newbie trying to break into the sport it is pretty frustrating to get two totally different answers to the same question by two really experienced runners. 

I have been contemplating once again the term "Junk Miles."  Some Ultra Runners say it is quality not quantity that matters in your training while others will say any amount of time on your feet is important.  Ummmmm.  So as I was running along last week I think I figured it out.  First off: I think that training plans vary so widely at this distance because it really comes down to what your body can handle and all of our bodies react drastically different to the distances we are talking about in the Ultra world.  One person may be able to crank out back to back 200 mile weeks and the next runner won't be able to crack 100 miles a week without getting an over use injury.  It ain't easy figuring out what sort of body you have, it is sort of trial and error.  You bump up the miles and see how your body reacts, if it goes ok you try some more and so on.  Secondly: I think the reason there is this Junk Miles term is because as runners get better and figure out how much they can handle mileage wise while training, they have to figure out how to maximise those miles.  Meaning once you are up to your threshold, be it 100 miles or 200 and can do them comfortably you have to begin to really work with in those limits.  And especially if your threshold is lower like 100 you have to really figure out how to make each of those miles work for you.  But, for the newbie just getting out there and finding the threshold is important and time on your feet is crucial.  You have to figure out how to even get your body to finish 100 miles.  So I am beginning to think that this Junk Miles/Quantity/Quality stuff is all about the level you are at, how long you have been running these things and how well you know your body and your training.  You have to get up to your threshold before you can get too nuts about every run being a quality run.  Well and I am not sure if every run can be a quality run anyway.  Don't we all have those days where it is all we can do to get our shoes on and get out the door?  I can't be the only one that struggles just to make myself put one foot in front of the other some days.  So on those days it is just about getting those miles in for me.  For now I am saying every mile counts for the mile it is.  It is a mile more you put on your feet and legs and there isn't such a thing as Junk Miles, they all count towards the goal.  I don't really like the idea of putting some of the miles in a discounted category.  If you get out there and get it done, you got it done. 

Hoping for a good last week of hard core training.  Let the fun begin.  Happy Running All!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I got a Face Lift

Woooo hoooo, I GOT A FACE LIFT! Well ok I didn't get one personally but, check out this awesome new design for my blog.  I know what you are thinking, how did Tara do that? I didn't.  As most of you know I have 3 step kids who are all older (ages 23, 21, 18).  They are all super smart. Like not on the normal level of smart, above that somewhere.  I can't tell you how smart because when they are all home I only understand about 75% of the dinner conversation, lol.  The oldest two are getting degrees in Electrical Engineering from top Engineering schools.  One is at Cornell and the other UT.  The oldest, Caitlin, came home for spell this summer and said she had taken a Web Design course for fun, then she showed her Dad and I some of the things she had designed and I for one was blown away.  I asked her about the blog and she began talking gibberish, oh wait, she was talking in computer lingo but all I heard was gibberish, lol.  She must have noticed the glazed over look on my face because she quickly offered to make my blog look better herself.  How cool is that?  So now I have a super cool looking blog all thanks to marrying a guy with super smart kids who are nice enough to help out their stepmom :).  The picture is of Chloe and Caitlin this winter.  Somehow can't find a picture of them from this last visit, hmmmm.  Ok enjoy the new look.  Happy Running Everyone!

Friday, June 11, 2010


I was laughing at myself this week.  Running has some awesome benefits and a few downfalls.  The con I was thinking of this week as I put on my bathing suit was the horrendous tan line I get.  You can see it in this picture.  My upper thigh (not my best feature to begin with) is neon and the rest of my leg is a nice bronze.  Doesn't that seem like someone is playing a joke on me.  My calves aren't half bad, and yet they are my nicely tanned feature where as my thighs light up like the strip in Las Vegas.  They might as well have arrows that point to them saying: look at me, look at me. That is great lets draw all of the attention to those thighs.  Now the ironic part of this week is as I dropped Chloe off at school the other day.  The receptionist had her daughter with her (a young teenager).  When I came back by the desk they were obviously talking about me.  So the receptionist says: "my daughter thinks you have great calves, I told her you have to run 100 miles to get legs like that."  That compliment put a smile on my face but I was thinking dang don't tell her that, tell her it only takes 10 miles a week and step it up from there.  LOLOk to recap:
Horrible tan line. Might blind people at the pool.


Ahhh! On a training note, this is the end of my rest week.  Dang it has been nice.  My legs are finally back to feeling almost springy.  The only way to remedy this springiness is to shoot for back to back 100 mile weeks.  Come on last two weeks of hard core training.  Lets Go! Happy running all.  Will report on how my 100 mile weeks go.  Hopefully well. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

45 miles

A cool interview and spotlight on Dean K. I think it was on 20/20 last night but couldn't stay up to watch.  Oh how sad, lol.

Yesterday I woke up at 2am with the goal of running 50 miles by the time I needed to pick Chloe up from school.  I figured with everyone coming into town and the Graduation party I better get my running in early this week or I wouldn't get the chance to run and would be grumpy. :) So I woke up and headed out the door but, by mile 15 I was having issues.  I am not sure if it was the stress of this week, how tired and run down I am or all the miles from the previous weeks but dang I was beat.  I got in just shy of 18 and went home, checked on Doug and Chloe and drove over to Cindy's house.  We headed out for I think just over 7 miles and by the time I dropped her back at her house I was thinking: you know I have over 4hrs of running time left and only 25 miles to go to my goal and who cares if I come up short, I just need to keep going.  And so I did, I began running and when I was tired would walk and then ran and then walked and I got in 20 more miles.  So my 50 miler became a 45 miler which isn't the greatest but, I went through some ups and downs and worked through them.  I think it was probably a better training run than if it had gone smoothly.  Ok or I am just telling myself that. Anyhow I don't feel all that disappointed.  I am sort of proud I kept going when all I wanted to do was quit.  I have a few more miles to pound out this week and then a rest week next week.  Ahhhhhh rest week.  What to do with all that time?