Friday, July 29, 2016

Sufferfest from Hell - Full Moon 50K

Sometimes the car makes the quietest office.  No dogs, no horses, no cell phone signal, no interruptions, just work getting done.
I decided to leave early for the Full Moon 50K in order to take advantage of a good parking spot and a quiet "office".
By the time I was in Cabot, outward bound, I remembered the forgotten head lamp, ugh!  We needed to replace one so no big deal.  Picking one up on the way is okay, I have plenty of time.  
After sitting in the car for an hour getting some office work done, I remembered what other important item that was forgotten, my trail shoes!  This is a big OH NO!
I had on my feet 4 year old Altra Intuition road shoes.  There isn't much sole between the foot and the road on that pair of shoes.  No reason to panic.  A girl with a pocket knife can do almost anything right?!
With materials gathered round, construction of insoles was underway.  A gallon plastic water bottle would be cut to make rock plates, some cardboard for more padding on the insole.  Chrissy Ferguson saw me messing with my feet and offered me a pair of her extra commercially manufactured insoles, what a lifesaver that turned out to be!  That is what trail runners do, save each other from their stupid!
Karen Hays suggested, and then shared some lamb's wool to put between my toes to help prevent blisters.

This is a 50K with no drop bags, etc.  I tend to get worried, anxious and over-pack.  This trip was no different.  Worried, anxious and over-packed was how I started this race.  Attached to my Ultimate Direction hydration pack was an extra little carry case for a blister kit, extra fuel, extra socks, etc.
This added weight turned out to be a problem later on.

Eddy Light, my training partner, and I decided to just see how it would play out.  We figured a pace of 17:25 was needed to finish in 9 hours.  Eddy had been training like a beast and I have been eating clean so we really didn't know what to expect.

We made a dumb ass mistake, we went out too fast.  We talked about it as we were laying down 15 minute miles knowing we should slow down.  Eddy had tapered and I had been eating clean, as mentioned, maybe we could do this at this pace.  Not!

By the time we reached the 15K turn around Eddy had enough fun for his money,  He told me he was turning around to do the 25K.  Oh I wanted to join him so bad!  It didn't take long before I really wished to have turned back.  The chatter in my head was that I could turn around now and still get a finish for the 25K.  I said that to myself at miles 10, 11, 12....

It took some mighty doing to keep going.  Upon reaching the turn around I had decided to be done.  I walked into that aid station crying, sweating and just hating life.  Rich Brown talked me off the ledge getting my head and heart in a better place.  He relieved me of the extra pack full of the extra weight I didn't need to be carrying as well.

Tums, ginger ale, Mt Dew and orange wedges became the fuel for body and soul.  I couldn't wait to get to the next aid station so I could get Tums, ginger ale, Mt Dew and orange wedges, in that order.

I made it to the 25K turn around, inbound, in time, no cut-off this year.  You can read what happened last year here.

Before reaching the last aid station I saw light heading my direction.  It had to be Jeff Beason, an aid station volunteer and fellow Team RWB member, heading this way to find the stragglers, me.  It is so great to know someone is waiting, looking for you, going out to find you.  Feeling the love is part of the reason to be out there.

I did not make the 9 hour limit.  It took 9 hours 16 minutes to finish that thing.   I crossed the finish line crying like a baby.  This wasn't harder than the Traveller 2015, but it sure was more emotional.  Something like this leaves one full of doubts and fears.  I have to constantly remind myself this is July, I'm more fit, stronger, than I was last year at this time.

I have to work harder.  I have to cross-train consistently.  I can be so much stronger by October 1.

What is needed:

Consistent meditation
Consistent cross-training
More heat training

The training is mine to do.  The fellow travelers are there to help me through.

Hill Repeats

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Night Run!

This is Our Weekend, This is My Life - Team Red, White & Blue

Team RWB

Our regional director visit, Glad you got to meet so many Eagles Garrett! 

Add caption

People from our running group in Searcy!  woohoo! 

Firecracker 5K July 4, 2016

These guys fire me up!  A night spent breaking bread and talking about the things that matter most is a good way to recharge.

Eagle Charge Conway AR July 3, 2016 - thank you Jackie, Brent, Sandy!  you guys rock!

Annette IS running in AR.  What a great ambassador and friend! 

November 2012 while listening to Trail Runner Nation Podcast I heard about a "new" organization whose purpose is to Enrich veterans' lives by reconnecting them to their communities through physical fitness and social activities.  What caught my attention about Team RWB was the sleeves rolled up, get in there and actually work, instead of just talking about it attitude and actions.
We, the Central Arkansas leadership team, have been working hard and long to get a program that looked and felt like it was making a difference.  It is not a place we can say, "we are there", we will never "be there", but one relationship at a time we are making a difference.  People, one person at a time, are making connections, relationships and getting healthier in the process.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Navy 10 Nautical Miler - Sunday 5, 2017

Soon after that the wheelchair participants were off, then the rest of us.  My plan was the normal 1/2 mile run 1 minute walk.  That minute never came.  About the time it was time to walk someone would thank me for running with Old Glory.  I couldn't stop running.  At other times people would ask me if they could carry the flag.  Of course I let them.  If someone was near me and having a hard time I asked them if they wanted to carry Our Nations Colors, they always did.  They said it helped them run strong.  One guy took off with it, 10 minute mileing!  WHAT!!!  Guy, your blowing my plan!  So mid race I got a little 2 mile tempo run in there.   

Much of this course is on base.  There wasn't many spectators or crowds about, for me that is great!  The smaller race is great too, kinda like them less crowded.

It was very hard not taking walk breaks.  I kept the negative chatter out of my head.  Chrissy running every step of the 15K UP Mount Magazine the day before really inspired me!   This course is rather flat, if she can run up hill that distance, I can run a flatter race!  10 Nautical Miles = 11.5 miles.  

Much of this course is shaded.  This is a reason to be glad.  It was getting hot by the time I could see the finish line!  After crossing the finish line in 2 hours 14 minutes they handed me my well earned medal and a towel that had been soaking in ice water.  Oh that was glorious!  

Very often I'm at a road race without many people I know.  Being there with so many AR people meant visiting afterwards.  I hung out for awhile.  All the food was sandwiches and pizza so nothing I could eat.  

I drove home and was at my front door by noon.  Next up, a nap and a large meal!  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mount Magazine 15K - June 4, 2016

Chrissy mentioned doing this race.  She had a goal of running every step of the 9 miles up the mountain.  Hills are scary, but hills make us strong.  So I said yes to this race, my first time.

We start at the high school in Havana, AR.  There is about a mile of dirt road, then turn onto pavement heading toward the mountain.  There is about two more miles of rolling road, no climb yet.  About at mile three, the first aid station, the climb begins.

I'm having iPod problems.  I have the voice over completely shut down, but it will go wacko bird on me and start voicing everything on my iPod.  So I said a wordy dird, yanked out the headphones, stopped at the aid station, did 10 push-ups for the cuss word, then headed up the mountain.

This is the summer of living bravely, so that means hills must be attacked bravely.  I have a plan for hills, if they aren't too steep to require walking.  I walk 30 steps, run 30 steps, repeat.  That is what I did, every step, never missing a repeat.  It felt great to stick with the plan and do it so well.
2.:13. 45 was my finish time with a pace of 14:31 minutes per mile.

Many of the runners turn around and run back down the mountain.
Chrissy was very tired from her effort and with a race the next weekend decided not to run down the mountain.  I set off to run till she got her car and picked me up.  I got a good 5 miles downhill running in after the 15K.

Sunday, June 5, 2016 is a race in Memphis.  Time to drive home, sleep, repeat. 

Catsmacker - Finishing off a high mileage weekend

Summer Running

One of my goals to prepare for the Traveller is go get supper high mileage weekends in, in May, June, July.  Ease off on the high mileage weekends after that, still hitting every mile in my workout plan.
That high mileage goal over four days, 100 miles.

The first of these weekends was going to be from Wednesday May 25 - Saturday May 28.  These days were chosen because Chris would be on the road and this would have the least impact on our family.

Wednesday, dodging storms 20 miles (should have toughed out 25).
Thursday, dodging storms 20 miles (should have toughed out 25)
Friday, started late, Chris coming home early, only got in 12 miles.
Saturday, Catsmacker then a few extra miles for a total of 76 miles.

After gutting out hills over the last two weekends, these runs were about race pace.  This means walking hills and just being steady!

It gets hot out there!  I'm not speedy!  So I like to start early so I can get done and there will still be people at the finish line area!  Its more fun that way.
Eddy and I started at 6AM with the run started at 7AM.  Tee and Wess decided to start early too.  We all go to the top of North Fork Pinnacle in the Ouachita National Forest and very near the Ouachita Trail.

Our goal was to maintain an ultra "race pace" throughout the whole run.

These forest service roads are either uphill or uphill, with a few downhills sprinkled in for the fun of it.  Hardly as step is flat so it makes a great training stage.  

At the 9.5 mile aid station ice was a treat to behold.  We were still working very hard to maintain pace.  The weather was starting to warm up as well.  At this location we move off the road to a trail that takes us to the top of Flat Side Pinnacle

It was joyful to make this climb to see this view!  This is one of my favorite spots in the Ouachita National Forest!

After going back to the aid station we knew even though we were only half way through the run, we were on the home stretch as most of the hills were behind us.

The rest of the run was just gutting it out on "go".

By the time we came off of Brown's Creek Road the weather was getting hot.  This last stretch of the run is on pavement.  The heat was radiating off the road.
"no complaining, this is heat training, no complaining"

Our finishing time was 5:34.19 for an average pace of 15:55 per mile.
With 1.5 miles on Sunday, the day after, the weekly mileage was 88 miles.
I'll take that.