Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Giving Back... AKA... Complete Self-fulfillment! - White Rock Classic 50K - Feb 3, 2018

I would rather stay at home and order in groceries, never leaving the house but to go run a trail.  Unfortunately humans are wired for connection, so this isn't the recipe for the best life I can author.  So that means moving out of my comfort zone is a must to write each chapter of that best life.

With finding AURA, with being scared to death of Chrissy at my first contact with her warning runners not to F with her volunteers, with Lou Patyton and Alston Jennings helping me finish my first playdate with you all, back in the day when the Catsmaker started and ended at Electronic Tower, I found a home.
Running, exercise and even socializing became a bit more manageable, even something to look forward to, imagine that!

Fast forward a few years, I found myself volunteering at the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station for the Arkansas Traveller 100, then Co-Captain of the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station with my husband, then having my hand in putting on a run.

This run desperately needed new RD's or it would have gone into the ash heap of history as some AURA runs have.  Many of the run directors put years, heart and soul into a run.  Life moves forward for us all, they find they can no longer, or no longer with joy host a run.  It is time to move on and help someone else step up and embrace the experience.  It was my turn.

PoDog & Lisa Gunnoe - RD's of the White Rock Classic 50K Photo 2017
Doing this alone doesn't fit into my life.  My husband, Chris, helps keep me from overextending myself, he did that here too.  To have his support in working with this run I had to partner with someone as RD's.  PoDog is the perfect RD partner.  I do the pre-run day organizing, volunteers, Forest Service, Emergency Rescue, etc.  PoDog does the shopping, transport of supplies, and the heavy lifting come race day.

This year was our 5th year working together for this run.  The first year I called him up a week before the run and told him I wouldn't be there.  My daughter was getting married at a county court-house in Maryland on the same day as this run, so he was on his own.  He didn't disown me then and hasn't since.

During the four years I have been out there on race day I have seen a wide array of experiences that keep my love of humanity alive and well.  It has been my great pleasure to see first timers who really didn't think they could but were willing to take the chance, chance everything by toeing up to the starting line.  It has been inspiring to hear the stores of those runners who are so ready to stop  and just roll up in a ball and wait till someone picks them up, but they don't.  They keep putting one foot in front of the other until they cross the finish line.  Finish lines change lives and it changes theirs and I am privileged enough to share that story with them.  They then go home empowered to handle the messiness that is life.  If they can keep going on the trail till they cross the finish line they have the guts to face whatever that thing is in their life that is currently keeping them up at night.

The stories of the aid station volunteers move me to a place of deep compassion and gratitude.  Those volunteers give everything for that day, it is COLD as crazy out there and windy too.  They stay out there and help every runner.  Some volunteers have mostly hung up their running shoes, they are out there to give back to something that gave them so much.  Some are taking a break from running to rest and recover before they dive back in.  Some have never run a step and plan to keep it that way but they are in love with the welcoming family that Arkansas provides "out there".  They show guts and grit and kindness and compassion in showing up to freeze to death to help others complete their goals.

For me, hosting this event isn't about running.  You all have taught me that running isn't about running.  Its about finding the best in life and seizing hold, riding it out and hanging on to see where it goes.  There are bumps, bruises, tears, sweat, cuss words, food, lots of food, hugs, high fives, friends, connections that matter along the way.  I wouldn't change a thing.

Thank you for letting me be selfish in getting so much more out of this than I could possibly put in.  When it comes to gratitude and hunting out the very best things in my life, trail running and AURA has been easy to identify as one of those greatest blessings.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Running in 2018

Time To Stop Goofing And Set A Goal

December was loaded up with family drama.  While sitting in Chris's office I told him I wasn't as over DNA as I thought I was.  He told me I wasn't over DNF.  I started crying, I knew he had scored a direct hit with his observant insight. 

I have been goofing since not finishing the Arkansas Traveller 2017 edition.  My mileage went from in the 200's a month to barely reaching 100 miles per month. 

On that day I opened my 2018 training log book and laid out a plan for the Ouachita Trail 50 on April 21, 2018.  The training plan I follow is a 24 week plan, there is only 16 weeks left till the OT50.  I'm going to jump in where I am using heart rate training to keep from overdoing training. 

Some goals for 2018

A road marathon - I have entered Team LOCO Marathon in Conway AR 20 Jan 2018.  Lets get this one out of the way!

Get enough miles to be in the high mileage club with my trail running club Arkansas Ultra Running Association, 300 miles in finished series runs are needed for this accomplishment. 

I will run at least 2 - 50 milers.
If training allows still respecting family life finish a 100 miles in an official run.
Become a running coach
2018 miles run or walked in 2018

I gave up my 2x a month massages to save for something else.  I will develop a consistent yoga and rolling habit to make up for what I'm missing out on with those monthly massages.

Keep your eyes on where you are going.  You won't reach the finish lines learning from the journey if you are looking back to where you have been or if you are looking down.   Keep your eyes on the target.  

One Word for 2018

Sylamore Trail near Mountain View, AR

One Word

In 2016 I heard about a concept: One Word
I first heard or read about it from a book by Jon Gordan, Dan Britton, Jimmy Page
One Word That Will Change Your Life

Another source, not related to this book, that I discovered about a month ago is located at:

The idea is you pick one word, not two, not a phrase, one word and use it to guide you throughout the year.  At the beginning of the next year you pick another word for the upcoming year.

My word for last year was: Relationship

I have spent most my life as an anxious introvert.  When the phone rings I don't answer, when I see someone at a store that I know, I duck and dodge so they don't see me and I won't have to talk.
In 2017 Relationship helped me answer the phone, own my destructive crap that hurt people I love, accept some damage can't be fixed with some relationships, get reconnected with my church, put home life over running life.

Did it all go rosy, oh come on this is life, of course it didn't!  Life is messy.
I have two people I love dearly that do not want a relationship with me.  This hurts to no end, but owning my crap and giving them space will be the way to heal this relationship.

I learned to let go of destructive relationships.  Now this was a surprise for me.  All DNA relationships aren't necessary to a good life, as a matter of fact it may be necessary to a good life to end those relationships.  This may be something I have to accept in the two relationships mentioned above.  Maybe they see me as destructive and their path to a life well lived is ending that relationship with me.  Its mine to own, my emotions are my responsibility.

2017 was a painful but good year of so much learned and more growth happening.

On to 2018

My one word for 2018

Definition of accept

transitive verb
1to receive (something offered) willingly 
  • accept a gift
to be able or designed to take or hold (something applied or added) 
2to give admittance or approval to 
  • accept her as one of the group

3to endure without protest or reaction 

4to make a favorable response to 
  • accept an offer
to agree to undertake (a responsibility) 
5to assume an obligation to pay; also to take in payment 
  • we don't accept personal checks
to receive (a legislative report) officiallyintransitive verb
:to receive favorably something offered usually used with of
  • a heart more disposed to accept of his
  •  —Jane Austen
What will I do today to accept the lessons learned about relationships in 2017?
What will I do to accept the lessons this day will bring?

What will I do today to have a magnificent day living, learning, accepting, and ending the day liking myself and my day, having fun and loving life along the way?

Onward! Photo Taken on the Appalachian Trail in Smoky Mountain National Park
So Accept as my one word lasted a week.  I couldn't even remember it when trying to think of it. 
Listening to the Brain Software Hypnosis Podcast, Mike Mandel mentioned his and invited anyone to share or steal it.... Onward!, this one resonated with me so Onward! it is!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunset Lake 6/12/24 Hour WT

7:30 PM Start time.  That is kind of crazy, who would sign up for that?  Well 24 people had some reason to get them out at night on Black Friday.

The 24 hour run starts at 7:30PM On Black Friday, with the 6 & 12 hour runs starting at 7:30 AM the next day.  I don't know why I keep signing up for the 24 hour run.  Have I mentioned hating pavement? round and round a 1.015 mile loop changing directions every 3 hours.  Why?  I don't know and I don't plan on examining it that closely either.  Who knows, next year may find me at the 24 hour run yet again.

This was one of the many lovely views all night long.

My minimum goal was 50 miles.  My first 50 miles was on this very course.  My first 100K was on this very course.  Then the next three years I was either goofing or injured.  This year focus was needed, focus has been a problem for awhile now.

Another of the many lovely views
Around mile 20 my stomach got upset.  I took a break and slept for a few hours.  After 8 more miles I was dry heaving behind trees.  So I went and slept for 4 more hours.  This is not the way to get big miles!  After this second nap things started going better.  I was able to keep a bit down.  I was able to keep moving, mostly walking but moving.

Sunshine and blue skies

For about an hour, with math not working, I thought maybe 100K... when math started making sense again it was no way.  I could have gone on for another few hours after getting 50 miles, but I achieved my minimum goal overcoming challenges to do so. I'm happy with that. 

Kristen come out to give hugs!  Oh she gives good hugs!  

Heidi Strock completed her first 50K! woohoo!  

Its ugly but it is done!

Shoes - Hoka Bondi 4
Socks - Drymax
Ultimate Direction hydration pack with no bladder, using it as a vest with a bottle in the front

Tim Ferris
Tim Ferris Tribe of Mentors
Dr Jordan B Peterson - my current fan girl crush, I'm in love with his brain!
Trail Runner Nation Podcast
Ultra Runner Podcast
Dave Ramsey Show
Dr Laura Show Podcast
October General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Rabbi Daniel Lapin Podcast
Know Fear - Tony Blauer
Cleared Hot - Andy Stumpf
Training for Ultra Podcast
Art of Charm
Barbell Shrugged
Blunt Force Truth
The Way I heard It - Mike Rowe

See this is what happens when you have to stay awake for 24 hours.... and I didn't... LOL

Guess I'm just a bit of a podcast junkie!  LOL 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Diet - Lifestyle Makeover

My thoughts on first organized run on a Keto diet and using #KetoOS#KetoMax #PruVit
So I did have stomach trouble and I don’t know why.
In the midst of this transition, which is a challenge for the body, and running an ultra is challenging to the body, and a painful tendon issue, and going light on pain killers because of transitioning to Keto and not knowing the stresses in my body before it is transitioned over and not wanting to add the stressors of pain killers to that.
I never bonked even though I couldn’t eat. I left the course to sleep to stop the dry heaving, not for bonking.
I never was hungry even though I couldn’t eat.
I did keep my heart rate low (180 - age = 129 bpm or less, so as to not need carbs and this get hungry or bonk)
This morning - wee hours of the day I did not wake in the early morning and raid the refrigerator. I didn’t need to, so that means I slept better.
I didn’t wake up starving today.
I walk like I did not just take 21 hours to move 54 (51 officially on the course), aka I can move just fine.
I am very very tired! I’m not completely smashed.
I can’t wait to see what Running feels like in a month/in six months!
51.77 miles for me, Heidi did her first 50K!  Woohoo Congratulations Heidi! 

Beware of junky sentences, my brain isn’t working this morning!

To give PruVit Ketones a try go here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Pacing Ozark Trail 100 - Nov 4-5, 2017

A few days after DNFing the Arkansas Traveller 100 Kimmy Riley asked me to pacer her for the Ozark Trail 100 in MO in November.  She attempted last year and missed a cut off so she was going back to make things right. 
I would be meeting her at mile 65.4 at Hazel Creek Aid Station to pace her from there to the finish line.  I was so nervous.  I was so worried that I can't move fast enough to get Kimmy to the finish line on time.  I talked to a few friends to get the low down on the race, the course, pacing, etc, they assured me it would be fine.  So its time for another adventure.

We, me and Alston Jennings, saw Kimmy at the aid station at mile 40.  She looked good, she was maintaining a very good pace and was in good spirits as a quick smile lit her face when she saw the aid station and her crew there to cheer her on.

Kimmy got to Hazel Creek Aid Station about 12:30ish AM or about. 
We headed out a few minutes later. 
There was a full moon up that night, our head lamps were almost unnecessary.  We did manage to miss a steep left turn and fixed our mistake within a 1/4 mile.  This turned out to be a good thing because it made me hyper aware of finding that next trail marking. 
I didn't get any night time images.  

One can run most of a 100 miler without seeing another person outside of the aid stations.  When a race goes like this seeing signs of life are kind of comforting.  These signs do that.  They are reminders that people are out there and the next aid stations just isn't that far away.

Kimmy is a beast!  She was having cramping difficulties in her quads so she had been walking for 10 miles when she got to Hazel Creek Aid Station, we walked the rest of the way, she walked 46 miles! I never want to walk 36 miles again in one shot in my life!  LOL That is rougher than running/walking it.  

All but about 3 miles of this 100.9 mile run are on the Ozark Trail in MO.  The finish line is located at the Bass River Resort in Steelville, MO.  We spent many miles following the above trail markings.

With our wet/warm autumn we didn't have our normal autumn color.  It came later to AR and MO.  It was a treat to see the forest in all its autumn splendor while out on the trail

No sight is more beautiful than the next aid station! 

Proof of finish line!  It was so great to see these signs.  

One mile to go! 

Kimmy earned this seat! 

Well earned!  

Kimmy's crew, Me, Lisa Gunnoe, Kimmy Riley, Alston Jennings

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How Not To Finish A 100 Miler

Traveller 2/Lisa 1

I have to get this written down before I forget the lessons.
Over-hydration - use rock salt before vomiting
Blisters - going back to the drawing board, starting with wide sized shoes

Chris Beason, Jackie Stone, me, Kevin King

My plan was to use the same race management techniques I used at Do-Wacka-Do 50 Miler.  That day was hot, this race would be hot.  This race has shade, that one didn't.  It should work out right?  Right!

I purposefully don't use the GPS watch as it will stress me out to be checking my pace all the time and I would.  Using perceived exertion doesn't work either as the excitement is too great and I have a hard time gauging actual exertion.  I discovered a way to keep things chill when they need to be chill.  I only breath through my mouth.  As long as I can breath through my nose only I'm not going out too hard.  It worked well.  That first 16 miles went as planned and on schedule. 
I was only in the Sylvia aid station 4 minutes and out. 

Jackie Stone helping me get through the aid station quickly

Between Cross-roads and Pumpkin Patch at about mile 20 I realized I had been drinking too much water, over-hydrated, and my stomach was telling me about it.  I know that a good upchuck can lead to a good stomach reset so that is what I did.  Almost immediately things started feeling better.  
I did spend another 3 minutes at Pumpkin Patch taking an alka seltzer and getting an ice bandana ready, it was starting to get warm.

My stomach still wasn't right, but it was getting better.  It took me a full hour to go the 2 miles between Pumpkin Patch and Electronic Tower aid station!  I didn't drink any, I did rinse my mouth out every 10 minutes.  With ginger ale in my tummy and ice bandana refreshed it was off to the Rocky Gap aid station 4 and some odd miles away.  Again I just sipped and washed my mouth out instead of drinking.  
At Rocky Gap the volunteers were like the very best pit crew!  They had me in and out in 2 minutes with ice in my hat, my bandana, 3 cups of ginger ale on the rocks and an alka seltzer.  I was starting to feel better so after that first climb I was able to run and I did, every downhill as fast as I could because I knew I was behind schedule.

Lake Winona Aid Station:
35 minutes.... that is how long it took to fix my feet to get back out there.
After Do-Wacka and all those blisters after I spent the summer working out the blister problem I invested in the book Fixing Your Feet - the 6th edition by John Vonhof. 
I had spent the last month figuring things out and though I had it down, well I didn't.  Both big toes were blistered along with the inside of both heels. 
At least, thanks to the book, I knew how to fix them and I had the supplies, it did take time though.

My amazing crew sent me off with some pain killer and a warning about the miles and time I had left.  I ran every downhill, run walked the flats, run the undulations, it just wasn't enough.  I could have overcome one problem either the over-hydration or the blisters, but both together was just too much.  I got to Powerline outbound 15 minutes after the cut off.  I hugged PT as he cut my armband off. 

Finishing is winning.  What happens when you don't finish?  How can you still "win"?

Now I define a different win:
Feel true joy as I go back to the aid station and help runners achieve their dreams.
Maintain a good attitude.
Have grace for myself. The same grace I would give to any runner who didn’t achieve a goal they had worked so hard to achieve.

I did those things.  I went back to the aid station, napped, helped other runners.
I went to the finish line for Chrissy's finish.  I enjoyed and cheered other runners finishing this beast.  I did maintain a good attitude.  I noticed many non-finishers at the finish line this year, feeling true joy for those who crossed the finish line.  

I’m truly grateful for my pacers and crew, they gave their full
love and attention to me for the weekend.  I don't have the words to express my gratitude. ❤️       to 
The temperature highs on Saturday were 91 degrees.  I think that is the hottest Traveller ever.  Kevin W. Griffin put together the following chart showing temperatures and finishing rates over the past few years.

Chart by Kevin W Griffin
I'm committed to pacing Chris Beason next year so it will mean a year of not training for the Traveller.  It kind of feels unreal now to not have that as a goal for 2018.  It will be a fabulous to give back to Chris who as given me three years! 

Good luck Chris, get training!  LOL

P. S. 12 Oct 2017 Thursday
My brother, Rich, called me last night and we talked for a bit.  I was whining and complaining that I had so many negative thoughts and how the energy to shut them off may have been energy used to make my legs go faster.  He reminded me that that is normal.  I did have a plan and executed that plan to shut those negative thoughts off.  That is a win, not a loss!
Thank you Rich, that helps a lot!