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