Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Beginnings

With 3 months till the Little Rock Marathon it is time to knock it off and get serious. 

Today 10 miles with a friend, LeAnn, really helped.  She doesn't take walk breaks, so I had to work for it on my PlyoX (p90x) legs.  Wow, but it was great to do it.

A text from Superman helped lift my spirits.  It helps to know I'm not in this alone.  Thank you Mark.

I'm participating in Marathon Talk's Jantastic.  I think it will help inspire me to run more.  Check it out.  Marathon Talk is a fabulous and informative running podcast.  Great listen.

What do you do to pick yourself up and keep running?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up.  I'm not running, life sucks.  I need some motivation, something, I don't know.  What if I can't find "it"?

Monday, December 10, 2012

LoVit Trail Marathon, Mount Ida, AR

This year was my 4th attempt to finish the full marathon, and I did it!!!  thanks to an hour early start, but I did it!

This course is beautiful, magical, dangerous, monstrous, heartbreaking and wonderful.  When one is so slow, when it takes one so many tries and so many years to finally make it to the finish, it sure makes for a love hate relationship.

This year the temperature was warm and the wind was calm.  What a great day to run.

This unmanned water drop is one of the best sights to behold when one is "out there".

After 2 races pounding the pavement, it was great to be back out in the woods on the trails.  This whole area is covered with quartz.  Its amazingly beautiful in the sunlight.  Its treacherously dangerous footing with the leaves covering up the rocks and roots.

During the last 3 miles of the race things got tough.  One stride my knee was okay, the next stride I was in huge amounts of pain.  I had to stop, rub out my muscles on that leg, walk/jog a few hundred yards then do it all again.  It made for slow going.  The finish line never looked so sweet! 

Sunset 6/12/24 Endurance Run

So what does a runner chick do on Black Friday?  Well, she runs that is what she does.

There were a few of us who thought this was the best way to spend the weekend.  We each had our individual goals for the race, some mileage, some longest time out there, some just to have fun with friends.

The Saline County Striders Running Club puts this race on each year.  And what a great job they do.  The dedication to this race is beyond words amazing. 

My goal was to run 100K.  Now there wasn't much running going on out there, more jogging and walking, jog/walk, jog/walk.  But finally 100K! 

I still can't wrap my mind around it all.  I think I'm still tired, 2 weeks later, from this adventure.  I'm not sure I want to go farther, but I have a feeling I will. 

It took me 12 hours to go 40 miles.  I was on the back side of the mile looped course when my body decided, at that moment, it was going to sleep.  WOW, what a fight to stay awake.  I fought through 2 more loops, than it was nap time.  I had a cot and blankets at the ready.  My plan was a 20 minute nap, 90 minutes later it was time to run again. 

In total it took 21 hours to go 62.93 miles.  It was way slower than I wanted, but I'm okay with that because with a summer of not running I feel blessed to just be moving.
I'm grateful, after 12 hours of moving, I still have it in myself to notice the beauty around.  The morning light off the leaves gave a renewed sense of hope for a new day, a new year, a new turn in life. 

Chris dropped me off before, and picked me up after the run.  I'm very grateful for his support.  I can't imagine doing it without him.  I hope I can give back to him enough to make this of value to him.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Scared and Remembering

My twin brother, from another mother (and father), Bruce Berkheimer, came in to Bike City today.
We were talking about my weekend adventure of running my first 100K.

I was telling Bruce how I had learned a few things about myself in the last few months.  At the AT100 aid station I learned I didn't have the mental fortitude to go back out in the cold, wind, miserable, rain as did the runners of that race.
This last weekend I learned that I wouldn't have gone on for 38 more miles.

Bruce grinned at me and reminded me that I felt the same way after my first 50K.  I was just as scared and overwhelmed, but just kept running.  In a few more years I would be ready for it.

Thank you dear brother!  I completely needed you to put it into context for me.

Bruce before his first marathon

My running brothers before their first marathon

Happy riding! running and just being :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunset 6/12/24 Hour Endurance Run

I have now moved forward for 62 miles, 100K.  This was my goal.

Race report to follow.  I can't get my brain around it yet.  All I know right now is what I'm not ready to do, not what I can do.  That kinda scares me. 

Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bona Dea 50K Russellville, AR 10 Nov 2012

A perfect day for running, it was raining leaves in the early autumn air

Oh pavement how I hate you!  This race is 9 laps on a paved bike path a wee bit over 3 miles around.

DFL in 7:45.50, almost an hour slower than 2 years ago.  

I'm weary of DFL's, been there done that way too much, but I'm okay with this.  I'm still coming back from a summer of not running, poor nutrition, wheat allergy reaction going on day 4, beat up by pavement, things are okay.

I didn't manage my pace well.  I got going to fast enjoying a conversation.  So to greet me at about mile 18 was Mr You Ran Too Fast Bonk.  I hate this during a marathon, during an ultra it just stinks!

My plan was to run 1/4 mile walk a minute then repeat  124 times.  I walked more than planned, forgot my sandwich on a few laps, filled my backpack with ice but no water so ran out of water on one lap.  

I walked most of the second to last lap with Nicholas.  My plan was to be so baddass and use my music for the last lap.  Last lap, grab music, take off, stop at the port-a-john, never see Nicholas again!  He dropped me.  I ran a bit to fast trying to catch up and then had trouble breathing after that.  I told Nicholas that I discovered too late, that his company was preferred to music.  Bummer for me!  

 The next race in our AURA series is also on pavement.

December will take us back to the trails! 

Nicholas, send me a link to your blog and I will link it here.  Thanks for some fabulous miles, and forgive me for deciding I wanted my music more than conversation.  

Pumpking Patch at the Arkansas Traveller 100, 6 -8 Oct 2011

My friends at the Jester Nation reminded me of the importance of volunteer race reports, so here goes:
Oct 2009 was my first experience with the Arkansas Traveller 100 and the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station (mile 22 outbound, mile 93 inbound). 
Chrissy Ferguson, one of the race directors, asked me if I would volunteer at the Pumpkin Patch, Kim Fischer was the aid station captain, I had not met her yet (or anyone else there).

 Kim the morning after a very COLD night, enjoying the first rays of the morning 

Kim's best friend, Tommy, was our ham radio operator (RIP Tommy)

I showed up Saturday afternoon after the outbound runners had come though, I went straight there from work in the Searcy, Walmart Bakery.  After a short nap it was time to make the soup for the night shift.  We have chicken noodle soup and potato soup for the runners thought-out the cold night. 

I was not spiritually prepared for what I was about to behold!  By mile 93, anyone who has the self discipline to train for 100 miles, looks beautiful! spiritually!  I think God granted me a very small glimpse of what He sees, in us, His children.  We all hide behind masks of our own creation to protect us from the dangers in our individual worlds.  At mile 93 that mask is gone, what is left is beyond words beautiful!

My best image to show what it must feel like to finally make it though the night is this image.  I do not know the name of the runner. 

After the experience I was hooked for life!  


2011 I found myself aid station captain for The Pumpkin Patch (mile 22 outbound, mile 93 inbound)

My husband, just because he loves me, came to help.  He isn't particularly social, so this was a true gift of love.  He kept me organized and together so I could make sure things happened and needs were met.  
My lesson from 2011, no dogs allowed!  I'm not going to tell that story!!

Chris was miserable, on the way home he told me to never ask him to do that again.  He found himself making plans for 2012!

Is something wrong with me? (Don't answer that)  I saw the faces of the runners at mile 93 and thought; "I want to do that".  Wow!

 Chris's best friend, Vance, wanted to go again, so that was the hook that got Chris to agree to go again.  I can't do it without him, he keeps me organized.  He, with ease, sets up and breaks down camp.  Chris started looking for cool decorations and ideas to start building Pumpkin Patch year by year.  

This year was special.  I had the best volunteers ever!   A few aren't runners, yet, a few wanted to see what this kind of adventure looked like, a few are working and planning for a future 100 miler of their own.  Some paced or crewed runners and worked at The Pumpkin Patch between times.  One guy dropped from the race and spent the rest of the race at our aid station with his girl friend, who was volunteering.  He helped us put out glow sticks for the night.  

We had a cold year this year, a very cold, rainy miserable day, the first day of the Traveller. 

Kevin King kept the fire roaring!  Thank you Kevin!  This fire was a must for this race.  Kevin kept the runners warm and kept us thawed out.

We normally have soup in the evening for the incoming runners.  We changed that plan this time around, it was so cold we had soup ready to go in the am.  We handed out trash bags to used as rain covers.  One lady wrapped them around her hands for protection.  We started suggesting that as well.  We sure didn't want anyone dropping because of the cold if we could help it.

My hope and dream is to be able to run this race by my 50th birthday.  It was so cold!  The runners were so cold!  The rain was coming down so hard.  I realized if I had entered that race, I couldn't have gone on.  I would have been done by mile 22.  I'm not that tough.  That realization makes me sad.

We took shifts sleeping and nursing runners though-out the night.  Sleep never felt so good than snuggled in a sleeping bag in the car with the heater on.
We have ham radio operators at each aid station.  We don't clear our aid station till the last runner has made it to the next check in point.  This allows us to keep track of every runner, knowing within a few miles where each is.
After this long weekend there is nothing sweeter than the radio guy telling us the last runner made it to the next check in.  Yay, we can go home!
Home means we all went back to race headquarters for the awards ceremony,  then we clean up race headquarters and head for our shower and our bed.
Its funny how the planning for the next year starts before we even get home.

Please share your volunteer experiences. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This is What a SuperHero Does!

My running brother, Mark Cato was running a recent marathon, Mid-South Marathon in Wynne on 3 Nov 2012
Dear Brother Mark met a runner who was injured and having a hard time.  This runner ask Mark to run with him, Mark did, sacrificing his performance to help a fellow runner. 
Way to be Mark!  Way to be! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

I guess if my good friend, Mark Cato is going to highlight me in his blog and send some traffic my way I should actually.... blog???? LOL

Thank you Mark!  Running is a better place to be because of you.

Very much has happened since my last application of ink to the page, so to speak.

I have a new job!  I love it!  I'm the office manager at Bike City, a local bicycle shop here in Searcy, AR.  What a perfect fit.
My last weeks at work at the school were hell.  My allergies, my body made sure I knew that job was killing me.  I would be so sick after a few days at work that I couldn't function.  I'm glad to get this job.  I look forward to being a blessing to Bike City.

As for running and racing.  Not much running going on, but three races run.

Bartlett Park Ultras 50K, my forth running of this race.  I was so pleased after 9 weeks of not running to finish just a few minutes slower than my last year's finish.

The next race was a local 5K obstacle course mud run.  Wow such fun!  I can't believe how scared I was at the beginning and how fun it was by the time we finished.  I did not make it over a single hay bale (big round ones) unassisted, but I did make everything else of my own power.  What a fun race.  I look forward to doing it again next year.
I was thrilled to see some friends from church at the starting line.  I love the fellowship I have with my trail running family, to have that moment with church family was just amazing.  I hope to have more of those wonderful moments.

The last race was a 30K at Devil's Den State Park in northwest Arkansas.  This race is part of the UTS AURA series.

I would highly recommend this course and this well organized race to anyone!  What a beautiful location.  What a piece of heaven! 
I did not finish <grrrr>  Some very special jackass was removing trail markers, so I got turned around a few times.  The first time cost me 2.5 miles.  I got back on track and still figured I could make it to the finish under the 6 hour limit.
Then about half way though the second 9 mile loop I lost the route again.  Apparently some jokers think it is funny to remove trail markers.  I wandered back to the last marker and looked around.  After searching for trail markers I followed the trail into a campground.  I had been in this campground before and knew the course didn't repeat, so I wasn't suppose to be there now.  At this point I decided I knew where I was, I didn't want to get lost so I walked back to the start finish area.  I traveled 18 miles that day, but no finish, no UTS points, no UTS miles.  Just a waste of a day.  grrr

I'm going to ask the race director if he can mark turns with flour next year, so that if some jackass runs off with the trail markers we can still find our way.

Upcoming races
Bona Dea 50K
Sunset 6/12/24 hour run
LoVit Trail Marathon
End of The World Marathon
Day After The End of The World Marathon

Not much running happening, my pre-accident 40 mile weeks have been post-accident 17 mile weeks.  I hope I can get the miles up and get back in shape.

Thank you Mark and the rest of your SuperFriends for making life a better place.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Of Sweat and Tears

I decided to go for a run today, no matter what.  I needed this completely, for my soul.
I'm tired, I'm mentally down, I'm hurt, I'm sore, I'm just blah.. a run is so needed.
So I went out for a three mile lunch run and came in after five miles.
I preemptively iced the knee just in case.  It does ache just a bit, but not bad.  Maybe I'm back?
Oh my aching body!  the muscles sure aren't used to being used like this. 
Push-ups are out  of the question with my shoulder injury, so I have been doing planks to strengthen my core. 

Any run is better than a day at work!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ready, Set, Splat!

After a summer of extreme setback, betting back to running would be a dream come true.
There is an upside of starting over, it is easier to correct or modify running form concerns. 
Upon listening to past podcast of The Marathon Show I heard Joe Taricani's guest Richard Diaz of The Natural Running Network talk about heart rate training, aerobic training and form.

My next 3 runs were with what I imagined, much better form.  Oh wow, what a workout.  My arm swing is much improved.  The new form is working the muscles in my back differently which is hard on the muscles hurt during the horse injury.  This injury just keeps on giving back!

A three mile run is much harder than 6 miles before the reform rehash.  The benefits, the new arm swing opens up my lungs, I'm a whole minute per mile faster without any at the same exertion level.  I'm very happy with the improvements, but it  will take some training to strengthen those muscles.

Last Saturday I hyper-extended my left knee.  OUCH!!  Now I'm back to not running.  One mile on soft dirt left me sore.  I'm getting concerned about my fall/winter running plans and the races entered. 

To try and explain this arm swing:  Consider watching an old western movie where their is a gun fight.  You are reaching back to pull the gun from a holster just below your waist.  The arm bend, the swing, everything is in that arc.  There is no crossing the arms on the body or even drawing them close to crossing the mid-line of the body.  All movement is forward, no side to side.  It is a new form.  It really works the muscles over the shoulder blade, but one's chest is completely opened up. 

I'm going to hang out at a race this weekend.  I'm hoping that maybe next week I can ease back into running.  Wish me luck. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Out of Love With Social Media

I have been considering friendships.

I have running friends, horsey friends, work friends, food friends, church friends.  I don't have friends that blanket all of these areas.  Does anyone?

I think maybe we are knowing too much about each other because of social media.  There are just some things I don't want or need to know.

Chris hates the idea of social media.  August is our anniversary month.  So as a gift to him, and as an experiment I'm off Facebook for the month of August.  I deactivated my account on Aug 1st in the evening.  I logged back on yesterday for a few hours to gather information I needed in private emails.  OMGosh, the hateful posts against people that disagree was just overwhelming in the few hours that I was on.  I was very happy to deactivate again, and go take a shower.

Day 1:  more reading
Day 2: nap
Day 3: realizing how hateful some people really are with a few moments back on facebook
Day4: feeling very clean being disconnected

I use social media as a tool for racing and running activities.  I need to figure out how to get that from facebook without knowing and examining the throw-up of everyone online.
I love seeing my children/grandchildren pictures.  

 So lessons I would like to learn by the end of Aug:
1. Manage online time, if its not productive cut it off and read a book.
2. Limit information received by me by my contacts.  I don't need to or want to know everything.  I don't need the stress of people I know throwing up information that makes it hard to respect them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

16.25 miles

Today was my longest mileage since horse mishap.
16.25 miles in two sessions.  10 miles run/walk/run, the rest of it was walking.

It feels good to move, to sweat and to achieve.  It is frustrating to be in pain, not working, not able to run.  I'm going to battle my way back! 

Happy Running!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Time to start training!

Time to start training, UGH, its hot outside!!! 

No weight lost over the summer, but none gained.

Feeling fat, slow, and depressed.

Live goes on,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Planning for the remainer of 2012

Full mOOn 50K             14 July 2012             volunteer
White River 4 Miler        04 Aug 2012
Watermelon 5K            11 Aug 2012            only if needed for the Dirty Girls Team
Mt Nebo                      25 Aug 2012            if can't run than volunteer
The Ark 5K Classic         01 Sep 2012            If needed for Dirty Girls
Sara Low 5K                08 Sep 2012            If needed for Dirty Girls
Bartlett Park Ultras        22 Sep 2012
AT100                        06 Oct 2012            Pumpkin Patch Aid Station
Styx n'Stones 30K        28 Oct 2012
Bona Dea 50K              10 Nov 2012
Spa City 10K                17 Nov 2012
Sunset 6/12/24 hr        23 - 24 Nov 2012
LoVit Trail Marathon      08 Dec 2012
End Of The World Mar  21 Dec 2012
Day After End Mar        22 Dec 2012

I'm thinking there is muscle damage.

Last week I spent several hours fixing up a flower bed.

The next day a 4 mile rain run was used for worship!!

I'm still so sore I  can hardly move.  I had my last doctor visit and x-ray.  My bones are in great shape, so why this pain clear around my whole shoulder.  I think there may be soft tissue damage.  I'm not going to have that checked out right now.  We will just work and wait for it to heal.

Life of a frustrated runner!!  LOL

What do you do to deal with non-running frustration?

Looking back to a year ago Midnight Madness 50 2011

It was just too hot out there!!!  It was a tough decision and today I'm suffering from the agony of defeat!    I had 7 minutes to get out for lap 5 of a 5 lap race when I got in from lap 4.  By the time I got cooled off and could think straight I was late to get out by 11 minutes.  Could I have gone?  should I have gone?  would I have been one of the runners hauled off in an ambulance?    At this point I don't know.  I'm praying for peace.  I'm going to do it next year.
Things I did right:
Night train, training to walk fast while very tired, well supplied drop bags, hydration, extra socks and shoes.
Things I need to add to my plan:
long sleeved clothing for when the sun comes out (even the toughest sunscreen isn't)   Daytime training in the very hottest part of the day.
Looking back:
First I'm confused about my time:
9 Donnie Dempewolf     23 Kansas City     KS            11:19:01   1: 2:25:25 2:25:25
                                                                       2: 2:37:28 5:02:52
                                                                       3: 2:56:23 7:59:14
                                                                       4: 3:19:47 11:19:01
   10 Lisa Gunnoe          45 Judsonia        AR            11:43:14   1: 2:15:04 2:15:04
                                                                       2: 2:45:21 5:00:25
                                                                       3: 3:05:21 8:05:46
                                                                       4: 3:37:28 11:43:14
I came in from lap 4 about 20 minutes before the guy listed before me.  I know I did because I know who he is.  We talked and walked together then I passed him and kept on going.  I saw him come in after me.  My watch quit, so I'm just confused.
Confusion is the thing I have been focused on.  I read a race report written by a pacer.  He was pacing his wife, she was in trouble with kidney failure, but neither knew it.  She kept falling down and shouldn't have been.  It never occurred to either of them to have her pull up.
I told my husband I needed that from him.  when I text him, or saw him and told him I was done I needed him to tell me "no, get your ass back out there and finish".  He told me he would never be that person for me.  He would pick me up, put the pieces back together and drive me home, but he would never tell me to stay out there when I think I'm done.
I have to find a way to be what I need on my own.  I can't count on a pacer next time, though I do think I have one arraigned.
I'm upset because I still don't know if I finished that lap in time to go on, or if I missed the cut-off like I thought I did.
Nothing I can do from it now but learn from my mistakes and just keep moving forward.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What do you do to make a comeback?

Yesterday's 4 miles in the rain revealed a few things.
My abs and core are trash!
My lower back is as sore as if I ran 50 miles!
I need to hit the cross-training seriously!
I'm not ready for mileage yet, 4 miles kicked my butt (though it felt good)

what do you do to come back?

Rain Running!

We have been so parched lately, weeks and weeks without rain.
Yesterday the storm clouds started gathering.  Into the phone booth and out pops me in my superrun gear!  I didn't have to wait long!  The rain started coming down and this runner chick went for a run.
I have tried my four mile loop several times with limited success.
Yesterday with the help of the rain and cooler temperatures every step of that four miles was celebrated at a run, a 12:30 minute per mile pace, but better than not at all.
Goal achieved!  I got done completely soaked to the bone and grinning like a fool.

Today I'm paying for it.  My shoulder is so sore I can hardly move!

How do you run happy?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

reading about the adventures of others

So today was an easy day.
2 icing of the shoulder
2 painkillers
lots of butt sitting on couch!!

reading runner blogs and running club newsletters from around the country

Here is an interesting adventure Wind River Crossing 2011

I'm missing my Wyoming mountains and trying not to pout about my WY adventure that won't be happening this summer. 

1 mile walk with Hero
blessed and know it

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4 mile walk

Today was a full day, too full!
After some work around here I decided to go to the chiropractor.  I thought I could lay on the table after three weeks.  I was able too, the adjustment was needed, but it hurt.
So like a dummy, instead of coming home, taking a pain killer, icing my shoulder and taking a nap... what did I do?  went for a 4 mile walk, in one hour, pushing the pace.  By the time I got home oh wow, total pain! 
Maybe I overdid it.  I hope I haven't messed up going to the Go! Running Thursday night run tomorrow night.  This stinks!  but I am mending.  Now to keep my spirits up!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Running Withdrawal

Today is 3 weeks since horse mishap took out my summer of running adventures.

This morning I couldn't sleep.  I was awake at 4:30, itching for a run!!  Oh wow, it was hard not to just head out the door.

Another week and I will ease back in.  Today I will use Chris's bike on the trainer, abs and lower body.  The endorphins will help!!  LOL  Maybe this evening Hero and I will take a mile walk.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Walk at Go! Running's Thursday run

Leah had mentioned needing to walk, then a few more were going to walk, so I decided maybe to hang out with runners it would be worth the drive to go to Go!Running's Thursday night's run.
I walked with Brenda, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, for 3 miles.  We ran/jogged for maybe 1/4 mile.  It all felt good!  Being around my wonderful running family was priceless!
The drive was too stressful on my arm.  I really need to be reclined while being in the car that long.  OUCH!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Can't run so volunteer

1st Annual CASA 5K Run/Fun Run on June 9th, 2012 -

I was very happy to  be out on the race course directing and cheering runners for this race.
Super Hero of the day! Leasa Cain and Andrew Cain. Leasa's first race and this great young man walked every step with her!! Yay to superheroes!!!  (I'm assuming mother and son)

This was a good way to make a good attitude choice for today.

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Your Horse Is A Reflection Of You"

Today is a heartbreaking day.
Maggie came to us January of 2008, she was a 12 year old, green broke, brood mare.  But she was beautiful, wonderful, magical and amazing.  I love her refined face, gentle nose and sensitive eyes.

After much ground work I started riding her, and it has been a challenge.  During a bareback ride in Aug 2008 she threw me and I broke my shoulder.  After very costly medical care and extremely painful physical therapy we were back to our adventures again.

Over the years she has registered her protest by trying to buck, quite a few times, but I was ready and able to contain it and deal with it.  May 28th mishap number 2 struck.  This is described in an earlier blog post.

Today Maggie had to find a new home.  I will ride her if she is here, she will buck if I ride her, this is a true disaster waiting to happen.... again.   I pray her new home will be a blessing to her and to those who purchased her.

I watched a documentary tonight about horse trainer, Buck Brannaman, called Buck.
At one point he told some horseman at a clinic that "Your horse is a reflection of you."  

I have to think about this and see what I have to learn about myself from Maggie.  Every time life is going well, she bucks.......

Tonight is a night of tears and great sorrow......

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

Yesterday, 6 June 2012 is the anniversary of the D-Day Normandy invasion of France during WWII (6 June 1944)

Less important, yesterday 6 June 2012 was also National Running Day.  I'm grounded from running!

We had a meet up of the Searcy running family at 6pm to have a fun celebration.  So the ladies all went off for their run, I went for a walk with two 7th grade girls.  Oh wow, so much fun!!!  Not a stump was left un-jumped on, not a stick was left un-played with.  Snakes were targets of rocks, branches thrown in creeks, laughing, taking about New Direction (good thing I saw their picture and heard about them the day before, whew!).  Blackberries are ripening, so a feast was had, flowers were savored.

What a new way to spend a run, and what a bright happy way to see the world, through the wonder and joy of 13 year old eyes.  What a blessed treat for me!!!

We walked 2.5 hours, and weren't quiet for a step of it!  LOL

My oh my, the blessings of life!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

One Week Tomorrow

I have been reading up on healing from a concussion.

One isn't suppose to do activities that require concentration.  This healing requires brain chemicals to return to normal.  Concentrating interferes with that process, or slows it down.  So I can't work my body and I can't do anything of value with my brain.  What is a girl to do?

I think the Wyoming race will just have to wait till 2014.  I was considering my fitness level for a race in 12 weeks when I have to take 6 weeks off.  I never even considered what running a race at altitude might do to my brain.
I would like to try to get into The Flying Monkey Marathon in TN this fall and then next March run the Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon in New Mexico.  I think when I get totally frustrated about missing the El Vaquero Loco 50K in Star Valley, WY I can consider these other adventures to sooth my pouty heart.
Another thing to consider is maybe a short bucket list trip with family before Daniel goes to Navy boot camp in November.  Boston, Philly, The Grand Canyon, maybe these would be amazing trips!

So today's activity, sleep, sleep, watch TV, read scriptures (but not remember what was read), visit my dear horses and watch TV.
Eating has been perfect as has been drinking lots of water.

I look forward to volunteering for AURA and UTS races until I'm running again.

Tomorrow will be a week since life went sideways.

I'm counting my many blessings, one by one.  Things could be so much worse!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Walked 1 slow mile

After averaging 38 miles a week all year, being exhausted by my first mile this week, at a slow walk is frustrating.  
Yesterday I emptied and reloaded the dishwasher and I fed the animals last night.  That amount of activity had me hurting and totally wiped out all day today.
I did get out in the cool evening air for a slow walk with the dogs and Maggie. 
I don't know if this exhaustion is from the concussion or the broken collar-bone or both.  I do think a degree of the frustration is from the concussion.  Its going to be a long slow process.
I'm going to focus on losing weight.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Beating head against wall

So this is only day 4 and I'm really struggling to maintain that choice of a good attitude!  LOL
No one said it would be easy!

I did some lunges, squats, that sort of thing.  I tried to do some kind of a lower body workout without any bounce or any stress on my head or shoulder. 

One day at a time.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Push The Reset Button


One afternoon disaster and my year is forever changed.  I need to quickly reset my goals so when those key  races come and go and I'm not participating, I'm won't go into a funk.

A holiday horse ride has changed everything.  I don't know what happened because I have a concussion from whiplash and I don't remember.  I do know I was enjoying several days of riding with my neighbor here around home, and now I have a broken collar bone and I'm not running for a few weeks.

With only a month till the 50 Miler and then 12 weeks till the El Vaquero Loco 50K in Star Valley, WY.  and 4 - 6 weeks of no training, I have to push reset and figure out how to have a good attitude as those races come and go and I'm not on the starting line.  Yesterday the idea of not being there was easier to deal with than it is today.

Here are some of my thoughts:

I was going to take 6 weeks down (maybe 20 - 25 miles a week tops) to rest and recover in January for next year's season.  Well, maybe now is the time to take that down time.  I need to research and see if downtime for injury is still a break for recovery purposes.  So I can call this downtime now and really be fit and strong for Athens Big Fork and Cass White Rock 50k early next year.

One can't really work toward losing weight and endurance train at the same time.  Now I have 6 weeks to loose some weight before I start training again.

I  can volunteer for those local races in which I was going to run.  I still get the family lovin' and get to serve these people I love so much.

Now remind me of this for ever starting line I miss.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ouachita Trail 50 (50K) 21 April 2012

Ouachita Trail 50 (50K) April 21, 2012

Elizabeth Quinn, Lisa Gunnoe, Andi Stracner, Mark Cato, Susan McCourt,
Have you ever had one of those races where nothing went wrong, but nothing went right?  Well, I have now.

My goal was to achieve a PR (personal record) on this course.  My current PR on this course is 9:08:40, and after today's race it is still 9:08:40.  My time today was 9:19.18
The weather was perfect for this run.  I didn't go out too fast, dialed in on hydration and nutrition, saved my music for the second half, everything, but it wasn't meant to be.  I got to the 50K turn around almost 30 minutes slower than last year. 

(22 Apr 2012)
24 hours to reflect on this race and I think I know what is behind my frustrations during the race.
I did everything perfect in preparation for this day, and nothing went right.  With every race I can look back and see what I could have changed, done differently and had a better race.  I can't do that with this race and it really set wrong with me.

My plan was to run the race as much as possible with Susan, Andi & Mark.  Mark dropped us all shortly after the start.  I got left behind with my first "comfort stop", dang I don't like races when many stops are needed.

I met Elizabeth about a mile before we started climbing Pinnacle Mountain (800 ft in .3 miles huge rock pile).  She was running her first 50K.  I very much enjoyed our time together.  She dropped me as we were climbing the mountain.

Most of this race was spent running alone.  I was saving my music till at least the turn around.  With frustration growing at not making the desired times I was shooting for I decided to listen to a podcast.  Trail Runner Nation was just the ticket.  They guys and Faith (guest Kate) had me laughing in no time.  Everything went well, I didn't fall, nothing hurt, hydration going right, but I got to the turn around a full 1/2 hour later than last year.
Solid food really didn't interest me much.  I ate fruit at the aid stations and that is about all.  I used 2 Hammar Gels, 2 Strawberry Ensure and 2 cans of V8 at the Hash aid station, 1 pickle and 2200 calories of Vitargo.  

For the outbound trip I used Injinji socks and Altra Lone Peak running shoes.
For the inbound I changed socks and shoes, another pair of Injinji and Hoka One One Bondi B
 This combo has been working great to keep me running injury free and keep my feet happy.

About 3 miles before the turn around I caught up to Elizabeth.  She had lost a contact lens at about mile 7.  She had a bandana tied over her blind eye and was determined to continue.   She reached the turn around aid station right as I was leaving.  She said she had left her tears, for this race, out there on the trail and was going to finish.  

After the turn around I started using my music.  I felt frustration building again, this race should be going much better, nothing is going wrong, but nothing right.
I had a very good MAD on by the time I caught up to Andi, Mark and Susan.  I told them I was in such a crappy mood that I wouldn't be good company so I just kept running. 

I ran most of the uphills, all the downhills and all the flats.  By the time PoDog caught up to me I had about 6 miles left.  While racing my time I also race PoDog.  He does the 50 miler while I the 50K.  I always try to be a bit closer to the finish line than the year before when he passes me.  This year I was way behind schedule!  He asked me how my race was going, I told him awful.  He then reminded me, in not so many words, that I could choose to have fun.  I needed that spiritual boost! 

By the time the trail portion was done and I got back to pavement I was toast!! no motivation left at all.  I did mostly a run/walk/run back to the finish line for my finisher's medal and Chrissy hug (don't tell Chrissy, I would run it just for the hug!)

My amazing running friends finished shortly after I did and they had fun.  If I would have just re-set my goals after I knew I wouldn't make my PR I could have had fun with them.  
So my lessons are these:  
Sometimes even with perfect preparation things will still not go right
Its okay to reset goals during the race, having fun is a great goal to have.

Elaine ran with me a few times on and off.  She is amazing to run with, fun, inspiring, she is just the best medicine out on the trail!  
Elizabeth finished her very first 50k (running it before her first marathon) with one eye covered.  She is my new favorite superhero!  She is amazing! 

Along with the finisher's medal and hug I got a sore throat, head cold and ick lungs!  LOL
With this super whiner race report, I have to say that if knowing in advance that I would have had a miserable time I still would have run it again.  
I'm sure I'm not finished learning what there is to learn from this race.  I will think of is some more.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Little Rock Marathon - March 4, 2012

In short: My goal, coming off a trail 50K 2 weeks ago, was a time of 5:30. I'm very happy with how the race went today. Managed pace, ran strong.

In full: My race 2 weeks ago left me with doubts about my ability to work a physically strenuous job and run. The only element of life I had to adjust was my diet. I have been eating totally clean, no junk food, no fast food, no soda for the last 2 weeks.
With the 50K being 2 weeks ago and with my best marathon time being 5:26.54 on a flat course in Houston in January, this being a hilly course, I had a goal time of 5:30 and knew I would have to work hard for it.
The clean eating was a miracle for recovery and preperation for today's race. I had energy, I ran the hills with a 30 steps run/15 steps walk on every hill. I perfectly managed pace and fueling and had an amazing race.
It got kind hot out there in the afternoon with highs in or near 70 degrees F. (21.11 degrees C.) and even with sunscreen I have burned ears :) Life is happy and I will sleep well tonight, should I take that BIG medal to bed with me? to work tomorrow? shopping? LOL

Sunday, February 26, 2012

7 days till Little Rock Marathon

I'm sick of being tired!

I'm sick of being slow!

I'm sick of breathing difficulties!

I'm sick of hypothyroid!

I can see I'm in need of some blessing counting to get back to smiles and a good attitude! 

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a ligament attached to the heel bone (calcaneus) that divides and fans out to attach at the base of the toes (metatarsals). Layers of muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels run over the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia covers these layers and acts as a bowstring on the bottom of the foot, helping the bones of the foot maintain the arch. A fat pad covers the plantar fascia beneath the heel bone; this pad cushions the heel as it takes the force of each footstep.*   (from webmd)

This is a very normal injury for runners, for many people who are on their feet most of the time.  I didn't recognize this as the problem till I had been running for about a year.  But now that I have suffered, I know now that I have had this ailment for years.  I have worked as an independent contractor cleaning a local business.  This injury first occurred then.

After about a year running I thought I had bruised the bottoms of my feet running on the trail with too little support in my shoes.  My doctor told me otherwise.  We started on finding a solution to plantar fasciitis (PF).
Our first solution was a night boot, some relief, but no cure.
Prescription insoles, some relief, but no cure.
Rolling feet on frozen (full) water bottles, some relief, but no cure.
Spending $1,000's on different shoes for running and work, some relief, but no cure.
At this point I started looking for solutions online:

New icing technique:   Fill bucket with ice, then water.  Dip feet for 10 seconds in, 2 minutes out x 10.  2x a day.
Find softer baseball (not softball, not t-ball, not tennis ball) but the softer of a real baseball.  Stand on the ball and roll it around.  Your weight will be completely on the balls... yes it hurts like hell till you get used to it.  But this type of rolling and icing helped better than any other method.

At this point I decided close my business and find employment.  Knowing I was crippled and knowing that I would probably have a job that I would be on my feet for the job.   I found, on a hunch, Sketcher's Shape-Ups Work.  I wore them for two weeks before I got hired at  Wal-mart.  By the time I was working there my feet were feeling better than they had been in years.  Sketcher's Shape-Ups gave me my life back!

I do get twinges of pain from time to time and in the late miles of ultras, but I am not disabled anymore.

Now I run barefoot a few times a week to strengthen the muscles in my feet.

Joe Taricani of The Marathon Show sent me a video of a stretch he learned to help heal PF.
 This stretch is very helpful to easing discomfort when it rears its ugly head.

Chris Russell of and the runrunlive podcast has posted this video of PF self-massage
Thank you Chris and I suggest giving his podcast a spin, great info.

Now I'm running in: Hoka One One Bondi for the road
 And for the trail Altra Lone Peak Trail shoes

 Yes minimalist for trail and maximum for road!  LOL  we will see how this works.

I hope this helps someone keep running.

Happy Running,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sylamore Trail 50K

After being perfectly tapered (or so I thought) I was so completely ready and excited for this, my very favorite trail race.  My goal time was 8 hours.
By the time I was at about 4 miles I knew my goal wasn't going to happen.  I'm completely exhausted from work.  I can't recover with work and ultra training.  Its just too impossible.

I slogged along and just enjoyed the race till the turn around.  Then I met up with Susan.  Susan is an amazing runner who was in the middle of her first 50K.  She had fallen, busting up her knee pretty bad, but she was determined to finish the race.

We ran back from the turn around together.  I thought it was totally amazing that she was so determined to get this done while really hurting!  We finished together, we run the last mile, every step together finishing in something like 9:26.

So many of my running friends were there!  Nicholas drove all the way there from Little Rock, even though he wasn't running, just to cheer.  How amazing was that!

I think the only way I can get this right, the only thing in which I can tweak is my diet.  I'm not getting enough calories as it is, so what am I to do?  I'm going back to eating clean. 

training runs

29 Jan 2012

Pinnacle Mountain training run with Mark Cato and Andi Stracner.  We went up and over Pinnacle Mountain 4 times.  Oh my goodness!  My butt and calves were screaming!  What a great workout!  Andi and Mark are training for a 100 miler in Oct this year.

5 Feb 2012

Sylamore Trail 20 mile training run with Andi;
Amazing Andi makes every run better!  This was my last long training run for the Sylamore Trail 50K.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Top 10 Trail Running videos of 2011

I didn't put this list together.  It is very good.  Enjoy viewing :)

Happy running!

Chevron Houston Marathon 15 Jan 2012

Marathons can be fun!

This was my third road marathon (I'm partial to trail ultras).  The first two were practices in masochistic misery, mostly because of what I didn't know, and didn't know I didn't know.

Houston was different.  I have spent the last six months at a running university (iTunes podcasts).  From these podcasts I have found the missing pieces to enable me to enjoy a marathon.  Those missing pieces were proper fueling and pace management.  I'm not fast, I'm not a mid-packer, I'm a back of the packer, it is what it is.
So if my goal pace is a 12:30 per mile, what am I doing running in the 10 and 11 minute range early in the race?  I'm blowing my race, that is what I'm doing!

In Houston I stayed right with the 5:30 pace group, until the last 4 miles, then I let lose the reins and just had fun!  Well, the whole race was fun.  I pet dogs, talked to people, thanked police officers and volunteers, hugged my dear husband at the locations he cheered me on, etc.  It was a blast!!

About fueling/nutrition; I'm gluten free, aid stations aren't.  This means I have to make sure I have enough food/Gu/fuel on me throughout the race to meet my needs.  This means I'm out there with a fanny pack and my water bottle.  Its extra weight to carry, but a neccessity.  I make sure and take in about 100 calories every 20 - 30 minutes.  This along with the proper pace management meant there was no dreaded wall at mile 18, 19, 20, or beyond.  It just wasn't there, with the legs, the lungs or the will.

The last few miles were fairly intense.  I really wanted to get under 5:30.  I have asthma.  If I try to run too hard it will shut down my lungs and I will end up walking it in.  I didn't want that to happen.  Also late in the race it is easy to let go of form.  Between concintraiting on how fast I could run and not kick in a bad breathing reaction, and holding form together, those last few miles were very much an exercise of sheer focus!  Chris said I looked mad.  I was determined!  LOL

This race was the day after the Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston.  It made for an amazing atmosphere to be there for the trials, cheer on a friend, Leah, and cheer for the other runners and running heroes.

The course in Houston is mostly asphalt roads.  This is a killer on the joints and legs.  But other than that I think it is a must do.  The support, the atmosphere, the local community involvement all makes for an amazing adventure!

Goal time: 5:30  Actual finish time: 5:26.54  Yippie!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

What happens every Jan 1?  Craziness!  total craziness!
100 day running streak, at least 1 mile a day for a hundred days then evaluate whether to go on for a year. 

Two slow miles have been run on our dirt road.  (Yes I started a day late)
My knees are "tender" from the high mileage of the last two weeks.  I'm taking it easy this week.

Here is to 2012 miles in 2012, one mile at a time.