Thursday, December 29, 2016

Blown Away and Very Happy For It - My First LuLaRue Experience - I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

 First we need to talk about direct marketing.  It is a beautiful thing.  How does it work?  The company, instead of having middle men and advertising has a system set up for consultants, advocates, etc.  This allows people to make a bit extra income part time, at home.  The big factor one needs to realize is that in direct marketing one isn't selling the items, they are selling the opportunity. Then thing two is to not be a jack hat to those who say no thank you to the opportunity.  Good grief, just be nice.  Its bad customer service to bully anyone who isn't interested.

I was so timid about direct marketing in general that I would appologize and explain over and over again that I was a customer friendly and "no thank you" friendly wellness advocate with DoTERRA Essential Oils .  A woman who was interested in oils helped me learn to knock it off.  Direct marketing is just one more way to move products that solve problems.  Sara has some absolutely fabulous heath, diet, nutrition products that are useful to fuel anyone including the endurance athlete. Visit Sara Pilgrim's Isagenix site.

Now on to LuLaRoe.  I don't know when Kim Seemiller, our daughter, tried her first article of clothing by LuLaRoe, but after that first wearing she was hooked, the leggings are the most magnificent, wear, comfort, design, fit.  What more could a girl want.  Visit her here.

She invested in LuLaRoe starting her own business.  I still wasn't interested.  I'm not a leggings kind of girl.  I wear t-shirts and short, or t-shirts and jeans.  I don't wear t-shirt type dresses.  Nope I'm not that kind of girl.  Kim invested in this.  I saw her excitement and was very excited for her.  I pray for her success and send anyone interested her way.  I support her 100%.  Well LuLaRoe has t-shirts and workout capris so I could support Kim personally.  At least that.

 We visited Kim over Christmas.  She had a few racks of inventory, leggings, skirts, tops, cover-ups, dresses.  I was more than willing to try some things on.
To say I have body image issues would be an understatement.  Trying on clothes is a traumatic experience to be done only when absolutely necessary.   It would help if I indulged in adult beverages before, during or after trying on clothing, but me not being a partaker, would go for a run and a cry after the most unpleasant event of clothing shopping.

I trust Kim.  I saw the time and effort she was putting into learning her trade while she was visiting us in November.  So I put myself in her loving hands.  Oh my, was my mind blown away!


The cut of the pieces of clothing are woman friendly.  The fabrics feel fabulous, its oh so much more than "just t-shirt fabric".  I tried on skirts, tops, dresses and ...  wait for it.... leggings!
I had fun!  what, wait, what!  Yes, I had fun.  I felt pretty.  I still feel pretty days afterwards.  I have never had a shopping experience that was so pleasant, fun, respectful of a woman and her normal body issues.

I would highly recommend LuLaRoe for every woman!  Sure, some will say "no thank you".  The sizing is a bit different than the rest of the fashion market/industry.  When you can I would highly recommend going to an in person show that first time to try on and see how these pieces fit you.

I'm still grinning on the inside.  I love it that there is clothing hanging in my closet that I look fabulous in and they feel great!  Thank you to Kim and LuLaRoe for the best clothing shopping experience of my life!
Kim Seemiller
lularoekimseemiller@gmail.com
facebook.com/lularoekimseemiller

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

LoVit Trail Marathon - 4 Dec 2016

A week before the LoVit Trail  Marathon, an ugh escaped my mind and lips while looking at a the forecast for this day.  Rain, wind, cold was on the menu.  OH NO!

I asked Chrissy how one determines if they are being wimpy, sandbagging it, or determine not running it is the best course of action.  She told me if I'm not gonna have fun, that is the determining factor.  Yes, I need that reminder that this is supposed to be fun.  


I remembered the Athens Big Fork Trail Marathon last year.  I ran the 17 mile fun run.
Run Report Here.
It was cold!  We got snowed on!  I had a stinking blast!!  So the decision was to run this the same way, have fun and take pictures.  


With race director's blessing I started an hour and a half early.  This race is HARD, lots of rugged climbs, so I wanted to be sure and have the time to complete the full marathon.  


Photo Sara Pilgrim - Meeting Sara at the aid station
Long before I got to the turn around aid station those that started at the official start time caught up to me.  It was fabulous to have Sara catch me.  She sure is so supportive and she gives great hugs! 


Hickory Nut Aid Station (turn around)
Aid station volunteers give so much.  We are moving, we are seeing the sights doing what we love.  They are in one place for hour upon hour no matter how wet, windy and cold.  They are the reason we can do what we do.  


There was so much beauty to see, appreciate and dance with out on the trail.

Photo by Steve Griffin - Trail/Run/Rain = smile
Steve has a camera with him on his runs.  He likes documenting the event through pictures.  Thank you Steve.  He brings out the smile in us all. 

By the time this comes into sight I was so completely ready to be done. 
A wordy dird escaped my lips upon coming upon this.  Oh I was ready to be done.  I forgot we detoured off the main road to this path in the last mile of the race.  Oh well..... if one runs 26 miles, finishing it up on a paved path should be doable.  LOL

Yes I will be back!
Yes I will start early.
Yes I will race myself, my time, my effort.
Yes I will have fun.


6/12/24 Hours at Sunset Park - Benton, AR

Shopping and peopling just aren't ever on my list of favorites.  So the weekend after Thanksgiving

I think this graffiti gets refreshed every year.  The first year Andi Stracner and I made up a new story for this couple with each lap we made.  It helped the night go by.  

I love the look of the little lake as morning comes on

The week leading up to this event was spent fighting off and losing the fight to a cold.  So it was an easy choice to drop from the 24 hour to the 12 hour event.

The plan was to walk for 12 hours.  I knew a strenuous effort would not be good or me.  A trail run a few weeks before showed me that my calf was not ready for such craziness.  So this run would be about moving, that is all.

That is all I did too.  Maybe walking 80% of this run got me though 50K, then a drive home.  I didn't suffer prolonged cold or ill effects from this effort.

The first rule of running is to run in order to run another day.  That one I succeeded with.

Three Lessons Learned in 2016

Three Lessons Learned in 2016

I'm scared - So What! Do it anyway!
Any great athlete, any brave hero has one thing in common.  They do what they do scared.  Being scared is a human experience, do that scary thing anyway. 
This year my scariest things were training for and lining up on the starting line of the Arkansas Traveller 100 again with the goal of finishing within the 30 hour time limit.
Applying for a leadership fellowship position with Team RWB, being accepted, immersing myself in the leadership experiences provided by the fellowship is the second scary thing.
When being paralyzed by fear I think of those heroes, military, police, firefighters, other first responders.  I'll bet when they run into that chaos they are scared too.  They do it anyway.  Focusing on this helps increase bravery.
Find that thing that scares the tar out of you, go for it!  Learn from the experience (see lesson three) It is life changing.  

Eagle Leader Academy March 2016 - Eagle Leader Fellows and Chapter Captains from across the country




Sometimes being brave is just showing up.
How do you beat the heat of an AR summer? why you go to Daytona Beach FL, that is how.  And we did.  Fifteen Eagles and seven leaders came together for a weekend long leadership and triathlon camp, Eagle style.
Jon was an attendee.  Jon is blind having this happen as a middle aged adult.  
This was his second time really getting out since he started accepting this twist of life.  Swimming, biking, running (walking for him) was all done with a guide, a pilot, a man he had never met before.  I'm in awe of Jon.  Just showing up is braver than anything I have ever been called to endure.

Jon and his guide


Failure is a good thing, it means you are trying.  Re-evaluate and fail forward. 
Apparently in the military they have something called the After Action Report.  From my study the best way to evaluate the results of a project is to do so immediately.  Some say the project isn't complete until the AAR (After Action Report) is filled out, by people at each step of the project.  This is to be done as soon as possible after the project is completed while everything is fresh on the minds of those involved.
So what does this have to do with declaring failure a good thing?  
Failure is proof that we are doing.  One way to guarantee no failure is to do nothing.  The gift of failure is possible by evaluation and then learning.
Within the first day after an event some great questions to have for your AAR would be:
What went right?  
What did I learn?
What would I do differently?
What was my favorite moments?
Notice we aren't asking; What went wrong?  It is important to turn failures into lessons.  The questions we ask ourselves helps us find the lessons.
Failure is a teacher, one of the very best in life.  If we are failing while doing the same exact thing time after time, we know from experience that failure will continue.  Is we change just one thing, perform, evaluate, learn, improve.
Give it a try after your next event and see what you think.

Start of AT100 with Chris and Kyle - I DNFed this year

Off to finish the AT100 in under 30 hours - I DNFed
On the caption of these photos I include information that I did not finish the Arkansas Traveller 100 2016 edition because it goes along with the lessons learned from failure.  Reviewing information will mean less mistakes next year.  Smart training, smart planning, smart execution and a bit of luck, I will finish in under 30 hours in 2017

Bonus lesson:  if it's not fun, figure it out or move on!  These things we do, volunteer, hobbies, physical fitness, we do so enrich our lives.  Laughing, hugs and high fives increase the quality of life eminences!  Their has to be a fun factor or we won't come back for more.


Hugs and high fives,
Lisa

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sweet Spot 50K Russellville AR


31 Miles Will Hurt, Should Hurt



The annual Bona Dea 50K came to a close when the Bona Dea governing body, maybe the city of Russellville, stopped issuing permits for any race.  Tom Aspel and PoDog found a very nice alternative taking us back to trails vs paved bike path.  That is always nice.

Saturday, November 12, 2016
Russellville, AR
8:00am start

Race #4 of the 2016 - 2017 AURA Ultra Trail Series
  • The race is on the Ouita Coal Company Mtn. Bike Trail at Illinois Bayou Park.
  • The trail is a 7.1 mile single track lollipop shaped loop with 316 feet of ascent and descent.
  • We will run 1.8 miles out to the loops. Then do four 7.1 mile loops. Then run back to the start makes 32 miles.
  • There will be 1 aid station and 1 water drop on each loop. No drop bags.
  • Directions: Just off I-40 Exit 78. This is one exit west of Hwy 7 in Russellville. Take Exit 78, Hwy 64 east, towards Russellville and the parking lot is on the left just before you start crossing the lake. See Map. The sign says Illinois Bayou Park.
  • Race directors: Tom Aspel and PoDog Vogler.


The race started at 8:00 AM.  I had to make it home then to a reception that night so with permission I started at 6:00 AM.  Its weird being on one of these runs, that isn't a hundred, and needing a headlamp.
I had completed the first lap and was into the second when the first runner from the normal start passed me.  The runners continued passing me as the miles went by.
Their wasn't hills to climb, their was lots of little ups and downs, bumpidy bump bump.
Their wasn't many rocks or roots either, but that random one, or that random stump sure did take it's toll on the runners.


As the day warmed up, not too warm, it was nice to see the deep blue sky and feel the warm sun.  This summer has been so danged hot, with that heat hanging around for most of the fall.   This day was a true treat without melting heat.

The main aid station was very well stocked with anything the heart could desire!   Halloween candy, cheese puffs, baked goods galore.  


Unmanned water stops are very appreciated too.  A quick refill and off we go. 


Someone turned that smile into a frown.  I was looking forward to seeing the smile to help me smile, but after about 27 or so miles, I guess this is more real.  


Some of the views that make the soul happy.


I finished, in 8:21.58.
I'm glad I went.
I'm in a funk, so going was hard.  The funk, like a bonk, will pass.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Oh The Pain! Fixing The Blisters and Chafing


After finishing the Ouachita Trail 50K in April Bob Marston talked to me about challenges I faced during the Arkansas Traveller 100.
My feet!


Karen Hayes recommended Lambs Wool to me to to use around my toes to prevent blisters.  I have major blister problems most of the time.
I use Injinji Sock Liners, so the traditional way of wrapping the toes with lambs wool won't work.
This is the procedure I use to keep my feet snug and blister free for miles and miles.



Supplies:  Lambs wool, scissors, lube of choice, bandages, Injinji sock liners, Drymax socks
My big toe is a big problem!  I have the least problems with Hoka One One shoes.  But... that leaves me with what I call the Hoka blister on my big toe.  So it gets special attention.  Before applying the wool I apply the lube to help keep the wool in place while I pull on the Injinji sock liners.

Lube, then wool

secure this extra padding on the big toe with a large bandage
sometimes paper tape is needed around the bandage to make sure it stays in place for 40 miles +

Lube each toe

cutting the wool the proper size to fit, make a cap for each toe, place over the end of toe

Carefully slip on Injinji sock liner not dislodging the wool covering each toe


Blister problems on the heel, no problem, same procedure. Lube, wool, sock.


pull on Drymax sock over Injinji sock liner
For the lube I use for feet:
1/3 petroleum jelly
1/3 baby diaper rash ointment
1/3 aloe jell
5 drops DoTERRA Lavender Essential Oil

During the Arkansas Traveller 100 - 2016  I didn't wrap my big toe in this method.  I paid for it.

I did have to add a layer of wool at Lake Silvia between the two socks, under the ball of  my feet and under my heels.  All went well after that.  So last year, taking my shoes off 5 or 6 times and spending over an hour on messing with my feet.  This year, 9 minutes, that is all I spent on my feet.  Those big toes are nasty, but I think I could have gone the whole race without messing with my feet again.  I DNF at mile 48 with a sprained or torn calf muscle.  Race recap here.

Lube for other delicate areas:
1/4 petroleum jelly
1/4 baby diaper rash ointment
1/4 aloe jell
1/4 intimate silicone lube of choice, I used this, Wet Platinum 
5 drops of DoTERRA Lavender Essential Oil

Many times when I'm alone I have to apply lube around my body under the bra strap.  I have found a kitchen spatula does the trick in reaching those hard to reach places behind my back.

Other:
Last year my hydration pack ate my back up.  I was bleeding by the time I got to the finish line!
It was a bit extreme, and in the heat it didn't help, but no chafing!

I purchased a Nike short sleeved compression shirt one size too small (medium instead of a large)
Lube
compression
bra
wool under the strap around my body,
Make sure there are several gaps in the wool as it shrinks as it gets wet and dries, so it needs to be able to do that without constricting your chest.  I didn't understand this and had to cut it in several places during the race.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Learning How to Be Strong Through The Storms

Reading these words this morning has changed my day:

How is that?  Emily Quallen participated in the Arkansas Traveller 100, 2026 Edition.  Emily shares her experience in training and then her experiences with God out on the trail.  She has reminded me to invite Him not only into my runs, but also into my day.  I pray, I often think about, talk to God.  I don't specifically INVITE Him to be with me.  

I publish it here with Emily's permission.  She doesn't have a blog, she published it as a note on her Facebook page.

Thank you Emily for the reminder!  How often does the scriptures use the word "remember" in one of its forms?  We are so easy to forget.  God has reminded me using his lovely daughter Emily.

Emily Quallen finishing the Arkansas Traveller 100, Oct 1 - 2, 2016


Arkansas Traveller 100 Mile Race Recap
E CHAUVIN QUALLEN·SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2016
Logistics This was by far the most challenging mental aspect of the race. By the time we were done working everything out, I was praying for the run to begin if not for the simple fact that logistics would then be completely handed off to my amazing crew captain, Tori Plunkett. For someone who is a natural planner, this was a first for me to have most things be organized while in another state. My amazing friends at the Arkansas Wilderness Ministry spent hours gathering pacers, crew members, supplies, and a whole lot of patience for what was to come. I finally landed at the Little Rock airport the Thursday before the race, and we spent a majority of the remaining time buying food, meeting pacers and crew members, getting briefed on the race, and working out mile by mile logistics for personal needs. In total, between myself and Missy, the other runner representing the Arkansas Wilderness Ministry, we had two crew shifts to cover the 30 or so hours of running, and 6 different pacers to get us each through miles 48 to 100. Prior to arriving, I had easily spent hundreds of dollars, if not more, on flights, nutrition and hydration gear, shoes, clothing, and of course groceries for the 7 months of training. To balance 75 mile weeks with being a full-time student, a member of Army ROTC, a volunteer at a local ministry, and an occasional lab technician had been taxing to say the least. I was ready to be done and to have some semblance of a social life back.
Physical Aspects The longest training run I had ever done prior to this race was 50 miles. Yes people, 50 miles. Training for an ultra is not about getting close to the actual distance (depending on the race) as much as it’s about time on your feet, and learning how to run tired. Dog tired. I would attend events like weddings that went well into the night and then go run 27 miles alone in the dark. I would wake up Saturday and run ten miles up and down one mountain, ten up and down another, then get up Sunday and run 30 more. I would finish lab and homework on Wednesdays and cover my bed in running gear so that I would be reminded to go run a half marathon before I could sleep. I turned down many things and many people to spend hours alone with the road or the trail or the snow and God. He always has been and always will be my most constant running partner, without whom I would not be able to do what I do. I invite Him on every run, always, and He has never let me down. He was the one who gave me the strength. He was the one who allowed me to train on minimal sleep, while simultaneously working out with the Army, and still trying to get in climbing sessions and hiking with my friends. During the actual race, it was clear that all of those hours of mountain running (my most masochistic run being up and down a mountain four times to equal 44 miles of up and down), long nights on the road, and early mornings had paid off. I was having fun. In fact, the first 50 miles felt like nothing. I was amazed, and relieved. I picked up my first pacer at mile 48 and we continued to make good time until I dropped her off at mile 68. My next pacer would take me up and over Smith mountain which rises up to a whopping 1400 feet (which is actually quite a bit for starting at sea level) and would be the toughest part of the 12,000 feet of elevation gain offered by the course. That’s when things began to get tough. I had neglected to pop any of my blisters, because I was afraid that if I took my shoes off I wouldn’t get them back on (your feet swell horrendously over the course of 100 miles) and I thought I could tough it out until the end. By the time I picked up my next pacer at mile 84, I was seriously hurting. I was still the 4th place female, and was actually on track for an amazing time, but I knew that it would drop from there. At mile 70 I pulled my hamstring, and it had swelled up so tight that my stride was half it’s normal length. The flashlight in the back of my running vest had also chafed my back until it was bloody, requiring some improvisation on the part of the medical team. I hadn’t noticed it likely because your body goes into survival mode after the first ten hours or so (for me typically), making you much less aware of injuries and illness, sometimes dangerously so. My stomach and kidneys were still functioning well, so that was a huge plus, but it was time to go slow. My last pacer, Amanda, and I shuffled off into the night, climbing up yet another of the rocky forest service roads that never seemed to flatten out. When we hit mile 90, I thought I would be relieved. Instead, I was a mess, physically and mentally. Amanda was a huge blessing and as I began to fall apart, she read the entire book of Ephesians and some of Philippians to me on the trail. I honestly don’t know that I would have kept going without her; everything literally hurt that much. Ultimately, we shuffled very slowly into the sunrise, and eventually across the finish line. I have never been in so much pain for so long, nor did I realize that I had the capacity to get through it. As I crossed the finish line in 28 hours and ten minutes, two hours under the finishing cutoff, one of the race directors came up and congratulated me. “You’re a different person now”, he said. And he was right.
Spiritual Aspects In the past, running was always an escape for me. Now, it is a way to connect with the God that gave me the precious ability to do it in the first place. There is a great quote by Eric Liddell that says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast! And when I run I feel His pleasure”. I may not be terribly fast, but I feel the most connected to God when I know that He is running right beside me, blowing the wind through my hair, and the air into my lungs. When I run I am not running away from life, but near to Him. It is because of this spiritual connection with running that I try to make a point to use it for His glory. My first ever 50-miler was a fundraiser for Officers’ Christian Fellowship, a national fellowship organization for military officers of all branches. This particular run was a fundraiser for the Arkansas Wilderness Ministry, a women’s backpacking ministry started by a dear friend of mine, Tori Plunkett. That being said, I also speculated that God had an additional, more personal purpose behind the race. And boy was I right. As the race progressed, I began seeking more earnestly why God was having me run it. At mile 61, He finally answered. I had hit the turnaround and was on my way back toward the finish, 39 miles away. It was getting dark, which was a welcome change from the heat of the sun. We had been running for about 14 hours or so (give or take). I asked God yet again why He was having me run the race, and this is what I heard: ‘if by suffering through this, you gain even an ounce of understanding of how much I suffered for you, then it will be worth it. Then you will know that you can trust me’. At first I didn’t quite understand. The concept made sense, but I had yet to suffer. In fact, I felt great! But when the suffering came, it was relentless. I remember crying out to God at mile 90, begging Him to take the pain away, any of it. He was silent, and I wept. He never intended to take it away. This was my chance, albeit not nearly comparable to the cross, to begin to understand just how much He loved me, just how much He had sacrificed for me, despite my sins. The pain grew, and with the encouragement of my last pacer, I kept moving forward. Every step was excruciating. Every rock I hit moved the skin on the bottom of my feet, not all of which was even still intact. My hamstring was noticeably swollen and getting tighter, but with the desire to truly understand as much as I could about the One who had saved me in so many ways, I kept moving. By the time I crossed the finish line, all I could do was take the few steps to a nearby lawn chair and then I was unable to stand for several hours. It would take another 24 or so before I could even put all of my weight on my feet (for about one minute at a time). I still cannot believe that I finished, and I readily credit it to God, my crew, my pacers, and some serious stubbornness. I still cannot begin to imagine the suffering that Jesus endured on the cross, but knowing for certain that it was significantly more than what I experience from 0600 on October 1st to 1000 on October 2nd, I do know that my God is a God I can trust. My God is a God of love. My God is a God of mercy. My God is more selfless than I could ever be, and I am so unworthy of the love He gives me anyways. After finishing, I wondered why He chose 28 hours as my time, when He could have extended the suffering even to the 30-hour cutoff. It was then that I turned to Matthew 28. This chapter of the bible describes Jesus rising from the dead, for He did not simply suffer to die. My God is alive. And because of Him, so am I.