Sunday, July 30, 2017

Full Moon 50K - 2017 Redemption At Last

Tools to get me through this hateful race! Seriously the race isn't hateful but I sure have had a love/hate relationship with it more like a hate/hate relationship with it but a love for the people involved both organizing and running in the race.

2011 - Last Place Finisher suffer fest with Andi Stracner in 8:51.24
2016 - Last Place Finisher in the most awful 9:16.54
2010 & 2015 DNF
This year best finish of this race with Eddy Light in 8:47.44

This year was different because we had a good plan and executed it as close to perfect as we could.

To simply line up on the starting line was hard for me because of the difficulty of this run for me.  It is known as a fast, fun, easier 25K - 50K because it is not on a trail, it is not technical surface it is forest service roads.  The challenge for me is the heat, humidity and the hills.

The plan was to go out at a walk, to walk as fast as we could maintaining an aerobic heart rate then run what we could, the downhills and flats on the way back.  We both have been known to go out too fast then say at the next starting line that we wouldn't go out too fast as we go out too fast yet again.  So this time we did not go out too fast.

My plan was to have a drink of water at least every 10 minutes and eat every 20 minutes.  For the most part that worked out as planned.  I was drinking 20 oz of water between each aid station.

We walked out with George Peterka.  He has run many 100's and has much knowledge to share and he did!  We peppered him with questions and listened.  He walked the whole 31 miles and as we went out together we soon couldn't keep up and keep our heart rate down.  That man can walk!

Lisa Gunnoe, George Peterka, Eddy Light - Photo Credit Arkansas Outside

Photo Credit Arkansas Outside - Thank you Joe

The first aid station is run by Jeff Beason and friends.  Jeff is a great friend, he and his wife Chris Beason were a very important part of my 100 mile finish in 2015.  He is an ultra-runner and he knows what we need.  He took very good care of us!  Thank you Jeff.

1st Aid Station  Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos

 1st Aid Station Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos
The 25K Turn Around Aid Station is the second aid station on the course.  Elaine Gimblet and friends runs this one year after year.  This is the way Elaine celebrates her birthday!  By giving her heart and soul to this race for this night.  Elaine was a pacer for my AT100 finish in 2015.  She too was a very big part of that finish.
25K Turnaround Aid Station - Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos

25K Turnaround Aid Station - Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos
Out in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night if you come upon a table with a cooler of ice and water jugs it may mean that some crazies are running around in the woods all night long.
This is about half way between the second and the third aid station.  Its nice to know that its there if we need it.  We did use the ice!

Un-manned water stop, it was dark when we got there.  Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos 
The 50K turn around aid station was also in the dark when we got there at about 11:25 or something like that.  This crazy crew of awesome sure took care of us.  I didn't have to do anything but point and grunt.  They re-iced everything, filled my ice bandanna, refilled my water bottles and helped me remember to throw away my wrappers.  We would run 31 miles without help, but what makes it a beautiful thing is the people who give such a large part of themselves to help others achieve a goal.
Thank you #EnjoyIt Gang!

 50K Turn Around Aid Station Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos
Ultra Running is a progressive dinner in the woods where you get to the next course by running there.

 50K Turn Around Aid Station Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos
By the time we see this little oasis in the hellish heat we know with guts we can make the finish line.  Every step from here on in is cutting into that last half and its easy to wrap the mind around that even with the upcoming monster hills.

My view of the 50K Turn Around Aid Station
Running a 50K is hard work and it shows on the body by the time one gets to that finish line.  Hot, humid, wet, chafed, hungry, tired, groggy, sore feet, and knowing we will do it again.

A hot 50K Finish!  Eddy Light & Lisa Gunnoe

Monday, July 17, 2017

Never say Try

I'm enlisted in the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy.  Why hypnosis, well, we all spend much of our day in different kinds of trances so I don't have a problem with that, it is a natural human state.  Hypnosis is about words, communication on purpose.  Who couldn't use more of that.

So one of the lessons taught is about something called Power Language, certain words not to use because of their weakening of our purpose, thinking, acting.
One of these words is Try.

Try means failure.  If one tries to make it to church on time that means they will be late.  If your friend is going to try to make it over to help you load a moving truck you just know they aren't going to come over and help.  Try is a cop-out without saying no.

Years ago I had a teacher instructing me to do something I didn't know how to do.  I couldn't do it.  I kept saying "I'm trying" and the comeback was "don't try, do".  I was ready to punch this instructor in the face and anyone else I have ever heard say this statement "don't try, do".  I almost didn't listen to Mike Mandel's presentation because this saying would just tick me off.... but we learn when we get outside of our comfort zone so listen I did.

So we don't say try.  Now what happens when I go to get a very particular workout in and it doesn't go as planned: didn't I try?  Didn't I fail?  No.  If I think about it and learn from it I'm better prepared to do it the next time.

I still slip up and say "try" once in awhile.  It will work its way out of my language.

Here is a few more videos about power language.
Never ask "Why" or "what is wrong?":  Ask "What do you want?"

Identify Target State:

"Ask how questions.  What's wrong is way less important than how do we fix this?"  - Mike Mandel

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July Already

On a mid-week training run Jeff Beason mentioned that it was 3 months to the Traveller.  I sure don't feel ready.  I sure don't feel confident.  I sure don't feel like I'm doing this right.

I've been making it out to the woods several times a week.  My times are much slower than last year.  I weigh less than last year.

I wonder if it is normal to expect each training cycle to be what the other was.  Maybe I'm selling the experience short by such considering.

I am grateful for:  Friends to run with

Night Runs:

Training Partners:

Noticing The Little Things:

I am doing the work.  Doing the work and being grateful for the little things will get me to the starting line in fine fashion.

By the numbers:

424 miles in this training session out of 1,037 miles so far this year
10x out in the woods
30,423 feet of climb
2,100 squats
1710 push-ups
40 miles mowing  with a push mower 11 of those miles dragging a tire (heat training)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Night Runs

Night Runs! 

Heat training is necessary, but so is running more miles.  Long runs have been done at night.  With joy not so many by myself.  We have been meeting out in the woods for long runs.  Friends make suffering better, the night makes it a bit less miserable.

I am getting plenty of heat training in.  I have been using a push mower to mow the lawn during the hottest part of the day for at least an hour every day, sometimes more.  Sometimes it is other yard work, but it is work and it is outside during the hottest part of the day.   

June 9, 2017 Full Moon run

Suffering is more fun together! 

Full Moon Night Run 9 June 2017

June 16 Night Run We ran the pink part

Jeff saw a bear, we wanted to see....

Critter hunt, watching beetles carting off scat

Timber Rattler

Friday, June 2, 2017

Brain Training

Brain Training

How we talk to ourselves:

I have been struggling with a lot of self-doubt, which is counterproductive to meeting goals, even setting goals.
Recently I started listening to a new podcast about hypnosis. Why hypnosis? Because the language we use affects every part of our life and hypnosis is communicating with ourselves and others on purpose. Where am I going with this?
Last night during my bike ride I decided to use a technique the podcast host teaches, "pretend, then pretend you aren't pretending".
What if I pretend, then pretend I'm not pretending that if I work like I believe it, eat like I believe it, speak as if I believe it, then even though this goal is scaring me to death I can achieve it.
So when we hit upon something things fall in line to teach us more, as in this podcast episode.
Mike & Chris talk about the power of "as if".
If someone is more likely to read rather than listen, there is a transcript at the bottom of the page.
As If is powerful if used.

Mike Mandel Hypnosis

Chris Thompson - Mike Mandel

Take a Breath:

That "lizard or monkey" brain serves us well.  Breathing, hunger, reproduction, these all are controlled by this animal part of the human brain.  This part of the brain, the Amygdala is where our fight/flight/freeze response resides.  It is a very normal human response to feel the anxiety that comes with this part of the brain being triggered.  It takes practice, but so does anything worth achieving, but we can move our responses from this fight/flight/freeze response to the thinking part of our brain, the Cortex.  How do we do this, it can be as simple as taking a breath, a long, slow deep breath, inhale, exhale, there that feels better.

This idea has been introduced to me through reading and podcast listening.  As I practice this skill I find myself introduced to deeper ideas taking this skill to the next level.

What does this have to do with migrating adventures?  Anything can happen out there.  Being able to think and act instead of instinctively react can be race saving, in some extreme cases even life saving.

So we went out too fast, our stomach has turned and we can't take in nutrition, we took a hard fall and something isn't feeling right, a vital piece of gear has failed...... The first reaction or the first attempted reaction is panic!  Monkey brain, or lizard brain.

Photo © Lisa Gunnoe

Photo © Lisa Gunnoe - I know this is a reptile not a lizard

What is needed is that breath..... breath in deeply.... slowly exhale..... now think of all the things you have practiced in training, think of solutions to this challenge.  That pause can prevent a catastrophic mistake.

Practice the things that can go wrong:
Long before the big dance practice those things that can go wrong.
- Go on a bonk run - run without eating first and without carrying any fuel, this is a long run (always carry water)
- Go on a long run with wet feet, keep your feet watered down, do what you have to to prevent blisters in the worst of conditions.  See how I take care of my feet here.
- Heat train - do that yard work in the heat of the day, do hot yoga, sit in a sauna.  This practice will help you perform better if race day happens to be hot.   This also increases blood plasma so it will help some for altitude training for us low landers.
- What happens when your stomach sours.  Can you keep going?  Don't stop that training run when your stomach revolts, just keep going.
- Within safety and reason read blog posts, race reports, etc and see what can go wrong, build practicing coping with those things into your training, when it happens on race day you have somewhere to go when you take that breath.  Your human brain will take you away from the lizard brain to these solutions you have practiced.

No Complaining - No Cussing:
Now this one is for me.  When I talk about my no cussing, no complaining training I'm not mandating or suggesting others do this, it just works for me.
If I can shift my brain and thinking from the negative to solutions or a positive song, mantra, positive thinking, gratitude thinking, it can keep me out of negative places in my thinking that slow me down and maybe even threaten my finish line.  I practice this all summer.

Find Something Beautiful:

Photo © Lisa Gunnoe - view from Mt Nebo, AR

Photo © Lisa Gunnoe
I like to carry my adventure camera with me.  I know no matter how bad that run may go, no matter how bad it may get I can come home with something beautiful.  For me this increases the fun factor and my yearning to be out there.

Friends - Find Your Tribe:
I need to work on this one.  I spend way too much of my time training solo.  I end up bouncing off burnout and I forget to have fun.  This year has been about finding my tribe.  Thanks to Trish Hogan here in Searcy we are building a tribe to mimic that of Conway - Team Loco.  We call it Run Searcy Loco and we welcome all paces and all intentions as in running or walking, fitness or race goals.
It has been glorious though it has been on pavement.  This will keep the fun factor in running as it makes me faster and stronger.

Track workout with Run Searcy Loco
These are a few of the things I am doing to get ready for my redemption AT100 October 7-8, 2017

Run Happy!
If you have any suggestions to be added to this brain training plan please let me know.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Run More - 2017 AT100 Finish Line in 29 Hours or Less

Training Starts Now!

Catsmacker tomorrow is the closing "party" for the AURA UTS Series.  This was the first AURA run I participated in way back in 2009.  This was the first time I met these crazy trail runners and found my forever family, a place I finally belonged.  Over the years I have run some full runs, some half runs so called Kitty Run, and even missed some.  It holds a special place in my heart and even though the date changes from year to year, it is my AURA anniversary.  I look forward to the hugs, laughs, maybe tears, sweat and rainy run tomorrow with friends old and new.
This year The Catsmacker is 22ish miles long with the Kitty Tickler option of 12ish miles.  80 - 90% chance of rain with thunderstorms with temperatures in the mid-70's.  Spring/summer rain runs are a favorite for me.  Its so amazing to be out there, wet, warm, amazingly at peace and happy.

I'm still not running.  Yesterday was the first morning run for Run Searcy Loco, a running group to try mimicking Conway's Loco running group.  We laid down three miles with a run/walk.  I was okay, my foot was okay.   

Mandy, Eddy, Kara, Lisa

Later in the afternoon I took Mikey  to the wildlife refuge for a walk.  We hadn't been out there in two months and Mikey sure was missing walks/runs with Mama.  Well, with all the rain of late, flooding rain, days of 24 hours of rain, not much out there was accessible.   We got two miles in.  My mistake was to wear my Chacos with no ankle brace.  I was "just" walking.  Well, that mistake may have set healing back a bit.  It was a bit more sore for the rest of the day.

Flooded Road in Bald Knob Wildlife Refuge
So on to the plan:
Yoga 2x a week
Strength training 2x a week
Heat Training - Mow the lawn in the hottest part of the day as needed (push mower)
Run more in the morning
Use the evening "runs" as a hiking fast practice
Eat smartly - use Faster EFT to control behavior
Meditate daily at least 5 minutes
Push-ups for negativity and cussing

20 weeks + 3 days till the Traveller.  This foot will slow my mileage down.  I will be stronger when I can run.

Thursday, May 18, 2017



April wasn't a normal April in our world.  Kim was injured multiple times in work related car wrecks.  After many years of pain and almost a year off work she finally got back surgery approved.  She had her surgery April 2, 2017.  I flew out on the 7th of April to spend two weeks helping her recover.  Her husband, Gregg, had to go back to work at that time.
Always choose a window seat

Spending time with Kim in Maryland
It makes all the teen drama, all the heartache of parenting worth it to have this kind of friendship with adult children.  Life is so good, and so very worth the struggle.

One of the urban run routes in Maryland
 Priority while in Maryland wasn't running or my training schedule.  It was doing any lifting, twisting, turning, cleaning, etc Kim would need done.  I did get all my miles in, they were urban miles, not my favorite, but some of the views were spectacular!

Ouachita Trail 50K

Four days before the OT50 I returned home.
Training for 50 miles just wasn't possible this year even though I was entered in that distance.  I did have a solid 50K training base going on.  So once again, .....
I felt good, confident, happy on the starting line.  I excicuted a perfect pace going out to Pinnacle Mountain before our climb up said mountain.
Thank you Arkansas Outside for being at the top of Pinnacle Mountain to document the climb!
Making up Pinnacle stinks, but it is a stink I volunteer for so no complaining allowed.  Coming down the other side once again, as last year, I sprained my left foot as it rolled off the side of a rock &^%$!!!  Not again!  Last year I was able to run it out last year and had a PR on this course.  I immediately knew it was in worse shape than last year but talked myself into going on so I could qualify for High Miles (300 miles) for the Arkansas Ultra Running Association UTS Series
and to earn that new race medal.  It was just too easy to listen to the wrong voice and make the wrong choice.  So I went on, not dropping as would have been the wise choice.

I met and had the pleasure of sharing some race miles with Mark Goodson

I met Mark Goodson shortly after descending Pinnacle Mountain.
We ran for about 7 - 8 miles together.  Well, we hobbled.  He too was nursing an injury.  We hobbled up hill and during the super technical parts and ran or something akin to running on the flats and smoother downhills.  At that time Mark was starting to feel better and it was time for him to speed up and get on down the trail.
Mark is entered in the Arkansas Traveller 100 as his first 100 mile race.  Happy training Mark!

I knew I should have stopped when I got down from Pinnacle Mountain.  I knew I should have stopped at the first aid station.  I knew I should have stopped at the turn around.  By that time it really didn't matter if I stopped or not.  I went on and on and on.

Walking/hobbling/jogging the smoother places was done until I hit pavement.  There was no running on pavement.  Even fast hiking hurt like crazy.  So walking was in order.

When I got to the last aid station at East Pinnacle Tom Avery was there waiting for me.  He had asked Chrissy if he could go out and run me in.  The thoughtfulness still leaves me speechless!  Kimberly Stoneman was also at the same aid station, so the three of us walked it in talking.  It was a great time and a grand way to suffer through those last miles.  

A surprise aid station!  Tom Avery joined me for the last 6 miles.

The finish line with Chrissy Ferguson the OT50 Race Director
Possible partial tear of the Peroneus Brevis Tendon

This is the second time I have injured this same foot in the exact same way.  As I write this, 18 May 2017, its almost four weeks since this injury.  There is a small bump at the point of injury.  It is still a bit sore.  I'm not running.  I am back to walking, hiking, stair stepper, cycling.  When I can run again I will be in better shape than when the injury occurred.

Exactly right there is where it hurts

Team RWB Central Arkansas one day Trail Running 101 Clinic at Pinnacle Mountain State Park  with Fleet Feet Easy Runner 
 April 29, 2017, Saturday we, Team RWB Central Arkansas teamed up with Fleet Feet Easy Runner to put on a single day beginning trail running clinic.  We focus on the questions a new runner or a seasoned runner new to trails would have.  We do this every year.  What a treat it is to see the spark start in a new runner's eye after a few runs on the trail! 

Blessed Mama got to hug her son and her daughter in the same month!
 Daniel got a few days of leave and came home for a visit.

That is a wrap for April