Tuesday, November 19, 2013

not doing

runner not running

blogger not blogging

cook not cooking

photographer not photographing

hurting and not praying

Its time to build a routine, just start doing.  Let autopilot run till my heart gets back into it.

Counting blessings:
Just visited with Kim and Daniel & Samantha, it was a grand time.  I love my children.  My heart hurts for Kevin.

My running family is solid, they are the greatest.  They give me a sense of family and belonging.

I can move, I can run, I can smile, I can enjoy the sunshine.

My husband comes home at night.

Time to focus on the blessings

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bartlett Park Ultras, my 1st and 20th ultra

2009 - 9:36.26
2010 - 9:36.44
2011 - 8:34.41
2012 - 8:39.50
2013 - Who the hell knows, haven't been training right.  A year long funk has kicked my butt.  Average mileage has never been less.  I know the distance can be traveled, its just doing it in anything resembling a decent time for me.  We will see.  This is a reverse taper for next week's marathon in Ohio.

2013 - 8:28.56 PR on this course! How did that happen?
The gingerbread man run with me for the first 23 miles (google it)
BAD! breathing day.
Super lack of training.
The weather was absolutely perfect and such a treat after the last month of brutal hell.

Undulations and roots are the fare of the day on this trail.  There aren't many rocks and the trail is very runnable.  There is one small loop, then 4 sevenish mile loops. 
If one wants to consider a trail 50K this is an amazing race to consider.  The RD Mike Samuelson is fabulous at putting together a perfect party. 
Even though this race falls in during a time of year that it can be HOT, this race won't run out of water nor ice!  The food is first rate.  The volunteers are the very best, and the atmosphere has that amazing, easy to love, friendly trail vibe.  One of the very best part of trail running is the camp chair and the giving folks who fill them during the race.  Many runners, when they are done, stay and cheer everyone in.  It was so grand to have my trail friends helping me and cheering me in.  WOW! 
Nicholas Norfolk was out there again with his camera.  I'm sure we will see some super photos and a great write up in Arkansas Outside

What a great day. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mt Nebo Trail Run - My non-experience

2:30 AM the alarm goes off

3:00 AM out the door

5:00 AM arrived in Russellville
Turn around and drive back home not even going to Mt Nebo.

7:00 AM Arrived back at home and went to bed

Spend the rest of the day in bed

Just not feeling it.  Don't know if it is mental or this damn headache.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Of Being Shattered By The Mountain and Hitch Hiking

El Vaquero Loco 50K
Aug 10, 2013

Total Ascent: 7,308
Total Decent: 7,931

The plan:
-Manage every step of the race.  Judsonia is at an elevation of 213 ft above sea level.  This race goes from 7,000 - 10,000 ft.  I knew this would be a problem, but thinking if the downhills and flats were perfectly managed maybe the climbs could be handled.
-Hydration:  double all amounts usually consumed at this altitude keeping the brand used on the course in my hydration pack.
-Fueling: mostly rely on the EFS in the hydration pack, supplement with Epic Bars, Jelly Belly Sports Beans, and Gu.

When man (or woman) makes plans God laughs.

I was SCHOOLED by the mountain! 

 By the time I got to the top of the first big climb, knowing a 22 minute mile pace was needed to get to the turn around in time, I knew
this wasn't happening.  My big girl move was to keep going on to the turn around instead of just turn around and go back to the start. 

A painful realization at mile 3.63

The climbs were killer.  I would have to hike 10 steps rest, hike 20 steps, rest, hike 30 steps, rest, depending on the climb. 
Much mental struggle went into picking an attitude here.  During those breaks I would look for something beautiful (not hard out there) and take a picture.  This helped my mind keep from going to negative places.  I decided being shattered mentally by not finishing this wasn't worth the effort.  It would be like being upset that I will never qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon.  I gave it everything.  The mountain just schooled me, that is all.  It wasn't a lack of will or a lack of try, it was a lack of air!  
The race had a 6 hour cut off to get to the turn around.  It took me 8 hours! 
The hitch hiking....... a runner told the turn around people she was the last runner.  They waited 1/2 hour and then packed it up and went home.  I didn't have a way out of the turn around.  Fortunately it is a popular hiking spot and I, at 47, hitched my first ride.  Thank you to the kind family who loaned me the back of your pick up truck to get me out of there.
This problem hasn't happened in the past.  The RD has been addressed about this issue and it will be taken care of to prevent it from happening again.

This race had three aid stations.  The first and the last aid station had supplies brought in by pack horse.  The supplies for the second aid station were brought in by backpack.  This race is very demanding of its volunteers.  They have to love being "out there".

Aid station #3 on the outbound

the other volunteers

My brother was here to run the race.  Rich didn't have the race of his plans either, but still had a grand finish! 

Rich crossing the finish line

Ty, the RD, greeted every runner as they crossed the finish line. Rich, Diana & Ty

Pre-race, So loved seeing ARies in Wyoming, Brad & Dulcinea
Will I be back?  How does one train for 10,000 ft when they live at 213 feet?  I don't have the option of spending weeks out there.  So..... work my butt off, be in the best shape of my life and go back for the 25K, getting an official finish.

The course was very well marked.  Every aid station was perfect with plenty of aid and helpful volunteers.  No fear of running out of water on a hot day either.  I'm confident the one issue, though a big one, will be addressed, so I would highly recommend this race so the altitude can shatter you too!! 

Happy Running!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

El Vaquero Loco 50K 2013

El Vaquero Loco 50K 2013
11 days away!  YIKES

Here is the profile:
Here is a great video from last year's event.

It will be what it will be.  I hope the wildflowers got plenty of water so they are in bloom.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Full mOOn 50K

I didn't run this race, with an infected toenail and with very tender skin on the bottom of my feet it was smarter just to volunteer. 

I can always find someone to skip with me at a trail run!
Skipping helps one be happy (with RD Susy Phillips)

This race is so amazing.  It is powerful watching the new runners, those who chose this as their first "trail" race, their first 50K, their first 25K, their first night time race.  One volunteer commented to me that she loved how happy everyone was.  Pre-race everyone was laughing and joking and smiling.  This was her first race as a volunteer! 

Many firsts, many sweaty hugs, many celebrations as people crossed the finish line. 

What a grand time!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Between Races

Its been a week since Midnight Madness 50 Miler.
I have an infected toe, no running happening.

Stan Ferguson is running Hardrock 100 in CO with a 48 hour time limit.  I'm feeling very humbled by my abilities, and in awe of those who can do that!

Podog, Paul & Stan, Paul & Stan finished Hardrock 100 2013

I'm not back to running as I have an infection in the blister on my left big toe.  Otherwise I'm anxiously able to run, run, run.

Eating has been perfect, I'm 2 lbs below my pre-Midnight Madness 50 Miler weight. 

Cycling is helping with stress when I would normally run.

Susy Phillips Full mOOn 50K is this next weekend, 20 July 2013.  I don't know if I will be able to run or if volunteering will be the game plan.  Will just have to wait and see how it goes with the toe between now and then.

Happy running to all.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Midnight Madness 50 Miler, Tulsa OK July 5, 2013

Its done!

 5 laps
 51.5  Miles
14:35:27 Hours
Start time 11:59pm 5 July 2013
Have to be done by  3PM 6 July 2013 to be an official finisher

Lap splits:
                Miles  Split        Total
 1:    10.30 2:27:25 2:27:25
 2:    20.60 2:34:53 5:02:18
 3:    30.90 2:48:59 7:51:16
 4:    41.20 3:03:28 10:54:44
 5:    51.50 3:40:43 14:35:27
The best part of racing is meeting up with the AR trail family. 
 I do go for the hugs! 
The plan:
Finish the damn race, this was unfinished business as last time only 4 laps were completed.
Keep TailWind in my hydration pack, count on that alone for electrolytes and hydration.  No over-hydrating allowed. 
Never go too fast, I know my pace, don't let excitement of the moment push me
too fast, too soon.
As soon as the sun comes up, cover up, hat and arm sleeves.
Keep mantras in mind:
 "I can always unbonk"
"Of course 50 miles is going to hurt"
"DNF hurts worse than hurting hurts"
Mark, Me, Elizabeth, Susan, Heather, David

Cliff, Tammy, me, Stacey, Jen, Deb, Tina

5 loops, opposite direction each loop staring counter-clockwise

 I ran the first 2 laps with David Whitmore from NW AR.  I hadn't met him before this event.  We
were traveling at about the same pace so decided to keep each other company.  I'm grateful because
those dark, nightime hours weren't so dark in my head!  By the end of lap two my hip flexor was really hurting, so David went on at his pace.  I could no longer walk that pace.

My toes had been doing fine on my last few training runs/walks, heat training.  I really didn't expect troubles, but oh, trouble happened.

By mid loop 3 I knew the hot spots were getting serious.  I kept splaying my toes trying to keep them from rubbing against each other, and kept moving.  By the end of loop 4 I knew I had to do something about them.  I took my shoes off to an awful mess.  The toes that weren't blistered on the top end were blistered on the bottom.

Blisters on the bottom too, and on feet, Oh The Prize
 I popped the blisters, re-wrapped the toes, changed shoes and headed out. 
Before making it to Turkey Mountain Aid Station 6 miles into the loop the friction between my socks and the bottom of my feet were making their own nasty mess (never had this problem before).  The area between the balls of my feet and my toes were on fire, felt like ground meat!  Getting to the aid station confirmed my suspicions.  I popped those blisters, gooped up the feet and set out for the last 4 miles at a nice hobble. 
My plan was to run 30 steps/walk 30 steps.  By the time I ran the whole downhill I was done with that.  UGH, The time remained to walk it in so that became the new plan.
Elizabeth Kimble and I had worked out a plan, if she felt like it, after she finished her race she would come back out and walk me in.  There she was 2 miles from the finish line, waiting for me with an encouraging smile.  I was so happy to have her company. 
I started talking about everything that has pissed me off in the last few weeks.  I apologized for being so negative, but noticed I was walking faster!  LOL  Before long we saw the finish line.  We saw Chris waiting for me not too far from the finish line. 
Normally I try to run in.  No  way, I didn't care!  walking it in was fine with me.

Elizabeth Kimble came out and got me.  Thank you!

I don't remember this!  LOL

I'm not going back.  Pavement sucks, heat sucks.  This unfinished business is now finished!
18 Arkansans went to this race, all 18 finished!
I love the direction of each loop changing that way we can see and interact with others as the race goes on.  The encouragement really helps.
If one does proper heat training, if one is looking for a 50 miler, or a first 50 miler this is a good pick, make sure you love pavement! 

I need to work on the blister issue!  UGH, I don't know what to do.  Someone suggested a mixture of petroleum jelly, aloe jell and Desinex.  I'm going to try that along with Injinji socks.  I have used the Injinji toe socks and blistered before, but maybe with the toes of my shoes filled clear full of this goop I won't blister. 

Not pictured, nor running, but very much a part of the adventure was Nicholas Norfolk.  He updated the world on everyone's progress with social media.  He was so encouraging and supportive after each loop.  Thank you Nicholas!  Hugs to you!

Nicholas and me before the Little Rock Marathon March 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pre-Race Jitters

This is the prize:

This is the challenge:

Oh, and 50 miles

The mantra:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Midnight Madness 50 Mile - Tulsa OK July 5 2013

In two days my second attempt at this 50 miler will be underway.

First attempt was in 2010.  I didn't know what I didn't know and my DNF is because of lack of knowledge.  I have learned so much since then.
Last year I entered this race, then was injured so didn't run in the event. 

I'm 3 days from owning this race instead of having it own me.
Lessons Learned:

hydration/electrolyte balance
never go faster than your goal pace
long sleeves cause when the sun comes up sunscreen isn't strong enough
heat training - practice running in the hottest part of the day

I will update after this race.

Happy Running!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Images of Soul Restoration

Appalachian Trail and Great Smoky Mountains National Park
16 - 18 June 2013

In the company of Gregg, Kim & Chris

Our 30 mile trip over 6 days became 12 miles over 3 days because of continuing rain and an Achilles Tendon issue.  Those who had been in the rain for a week all last year weren't game for rain soaked backpacking.  I don't blame them.

Kim received her AT trail name, more like earned it!  She would dry backpacker's shoes, insoles and socks as they came into the shelter soaking wet.  She was very much appreciated.  Kim minded the fire and the socks.  So she is now HotSocks

The views are too breathtaking to describe with words.  There are too many images to share here.  I could get lost there for eternity and be so happy.

Mountain Laurel and Flaming Azalea were plentiful and in full bloom.

I'm ready to go back!

After only three days out there I feel like a new woman.  I am getting yard/garden/housework done with purpose and enjoying the feeling of purpose.  I need to figure out how to get this renewal more consistently.  Life is too hard to try to muscle it out.  The renewal is needed and the rest.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Does Ultra Running Translate well to Backpacking? YES!

I'm thrilled with my first backpacking experience!

We planned 6 days backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, starting out at Cades Cove, near Gatlinburg, TN.

"When man makes plans, God laughs."

Day one 6 miles straight uphill.  Okay, at 1 mile per hour we rocked that.  No pain, no blisters, just some great scenes with great company.

Night one, it started to rain!

Day two it rained.  Gregg injured his Achilles Tendon so we didn't get the planned mileage on day two.

Night two, it rained!

Day three it rained.  I took a little hike up to a higher knob to get a signal, checked radar and the forecast and took the bad news back to the others.  We packed up and hiked back down the mountain.
The hotel changed our reservation from Friday to that night, we stayed an extra day and drove home on Wednesday.

What a bummer, but I got a taste and love the menu!!

I will include pictures and gear review when I get everything sorted out.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stumbling Trying to Find My Stride

Life is awful then you die!
I need to count my blessings more cause I'm wallowing in the mire of "poor pity me"! 

Time to just run, just ride, just do.  So what if the solo training crap sucks, so what.  Do it anyway.

Life goes on.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Few More Miles Down the Trail

The last post was about the Sylamore Trail 50K adventure. 

Since then, Little Rock
Big Rock Mystery Run
Ouachita Trail 50K

Mount Magazine Trail Run

Between now and then:
Perfect mileage this week
1 day yoga
2 days of 100 push-ups each

Next week:
Same as this week but fewer miles

I'm tired of solo training.  There has to be a way to put the excitement back in my training considering my life style and location that makes training partners difficult to find.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sylamore Trail 50K 2013 Edition

My goal was to just finish the damn thing.  The Sylamore Trail is never that "damn thing", but that was the goal.  I love this trail.  My heart felt like I was cheating on the Sylamore Trail when I had to admit to myself that Mount Magazine may be more beautiful.  This is the grand race of the year though.  It will always capture my heart!

My hope was to just finish around the time I finished last year (9:28.27).  Goal met with a time of 9:29.11  Wow, I don't know how I do that!  LOL 

Spirits were low as snow flurries begun before the start of the race.   The snow flurries were welcome, but concerns about my lack of training loomed large in my brain.  This is where the wonder of trail runners steps forward to give a girl hope.  I met Jerry Bailey from northwest AR.  He has such an easy manner, he helped put my nerves at ease.  Then Kevin King reminded me that I just had to get from one aid station to the next, just get to the next aid station.  That helped too.  Hugs from Chrissy and Nicholas always serve as heartwarming soul lifters!

The race was off, I met a few more people as we meandered up the road to the creek crossing.  Randy and Bobbie Davidson started this race many years ago.  It was a pleasure to meet them as we made our way to the trail.

The creek crossing was uneventful.  The miles ticked by as predicted.  The warm potatoes at the first aid station were welcome nourishment.  Bobbie and I played cat and mouse along the trail.  She would power up hill, I would run the downhills. 
Seeing beloved friends at Gunner Pool aid station sure helped lift my spirits and warm the cold day.  I got to the turn around, Barkshed, just seconds ahead of Bobbie.  I had to visit the ladies room, and she was gone.  I never saw her again.  WOW!  I'm impressed and honored to share the trail with this powerful woman! 
The crew at the turn around are always a welcome sight.  I enjoy hugs all around and then scampering back down the trail toward home.  Deb Baker was sweeping the trail.  She caught up to me shortly before Blanchard Springs.  It was so nice to have company.  Deb is a super fast runner recovering from injury.  She is easy to talk to and helped the miles fly by.
My knees were hurting and I didn't have the air power for the uphills so I walked much more during the last section than planned.  It was time to pull out the power tools to get this race over with, the music!  While listening to my butt kicking playlist I couldn't walk... so then the running started happening again :)  Before long it was time to cross the creek once again, one mile to the finish line.  It felt so good on the legs to be in that cold water.  I wanted to just stay there.
Deb took a picture that I just love!  I'm glad there is a smile left in me at mile 30 :)

When hitting the pavement we run the rest of the way in.  Whew, I was glad it was done!  finisher awards were different this year, a beer glass with the Sylamore Trail 50K logo.  Very cool, works well for root beer too!

While nervous about this race, while hurting during the run, I have to say I LOVE this race!  It is on my must do list every year.  That may get harder as this lil race becomes more popular.  It filled in 6 hours on opening day for the 2013 race.  So..... I will run it as long as I can get in:)

Great friends, great sights, snow flurries, creek crossings, lots of alone time with God with buffet tables every 5 miles.  What more could a girl want, maybe a hug or six.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

In Training.... :-/

The last 30 days has been very eventful.  There has not been nearly enough running going on though.  I'm changing that, starting NOW!
Monday - 6 miles
Tuesday - 4 miles
                3.25 miles bike
Wednesday - 18 miles!
                In June my family is doing a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail.  I can go all day, but what can I do with a 35lb backpack?  I do not know.  So training has begun.  Yesterday, 8 of those 18 miles were done with a 10 lb backpack, fast hiking.  I know I won't be fast hiking during that trip, but that was the only way to get my mileage in for yesterday.  A few different muscles hurt from 8 miles of fast walking than hurt after a run.  So things are good :)

Sylamore Trail 50K is in 9 days.  I'm not ready.  It is so tempting to drop down to the 25K.  I'm not going to though, even though I'm scared to death.  Training just hasn't been going well since May 2012.  I am 5 lbs heavier since Christmas.  Breathing is harder.

For those eventful 30 days:
            Trip to Maryland in January - by car
            Daniel's graduation in Great Lakes, IL on Jan 25th - travel by car
           Another trip to Maryland last week - by car. 
I'm so road weary!!  My husband is on the road for a living.  My heart goes out to him!!!

Off to work in the bike shop :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sylamore Trail

The trail called and I answered.

I didn't do the planned 18 miles.  Only made it 8 miles.  My heart just wasn't in it.

I came home and took Smokey out for another mile for a total of 2 runs.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snow run

Pretty, fun snow run on Tuesday,

Sick on Wednesday

Stayed home from work Thursday

I don't think marathon training is suppose to be this way

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in Review

2012 race calendar
January       15th –    Chevron Houston Marathon  (PRed 5:26.54)
February      18th      Sylamore 50K   (Finished DFL)
March          4th       Little Rock Marathon   (Met goal of 5:30 actual time 5:30.06)
March                     Big Rock Mystery Run  (Super fun!  great race)
April           21st       Ouachita Trail 50K   (run or volunteer) (Ran, did okay, not spectacular)
May           12th      Mount Magazine Fun Run 18 miles  (HARD, but done, breathing problems)
June                      CatSmacker   (Horse mishap killed summer of running)
July                       Full mOOn 50K  (Volunteered)
Aug           11th      El Vaquero Loco 50K   (Horse injury prevented race)
Sep                      Bartlett Park Ultras   (8:39.50, - okay after summer not running)
Oct                      AT100 (Aid Station and/or pace) (cold wet year, LOVE the aid station)
Oct                      Styx & Stones 30K or Cossatot River Trail Half Marathon  (got lost DNF)
Nov                      Bona Dea 50K  (SLOW but done 7:46)
Dec                      LoVit Trail Marathon  (YES!  On the 4th attempt finally finished the full 8:25.19)
2012 miles?  dare I?  that is 38.69 miles per week average.  Can I do it?
Finish the 50 miler in Tulsa:
Midnight Madness 50 Mile
Tulsa, OK
July 6, 2012

Lose 20 more lbs and 12 oz (thanks Andi)

Cross train once a week
Yoga once a week
Finish LoVit Trail Marathon Dec 2012  (finished the half 3 times)
Train for Athens Big Fork as a key race. Jan 2013
Play with Maggie once a week
garden once a week
Notice small acts of kindness

2012 goals met = A BIG FAT NO!  what a year of ick, still fat, still slow, stick icky, still not cross training, still no yoga, still not managing time well.
I did finish LoVit Trail Marathon.
I have participated in every AURA UTS Series race to date.

Only 1340.20 miles this year.  With an injury I don't consider this putzing a goal, it is what it is.

2013 Goals and Races

2013 Races

- Jan - Athens Big Fork - just finish the fun run, if a miracle happens and I make the cut off will go for the marathon
- Feb - co RD for White Rock 50K
           Sylamore 50K
-March- Little Rock Marathon
              Big Rock Mystery Run
- April - Ouachita 50
- May -  Mount Magazine Fun Run
- June - Cat Smacker
- July - Mid-Night Madness 50 Miler
            Full mOOn 50K (run or volunteer)
- Aug - El Vaquero Loco 50K
- Sep - Air Force Marathon - Ohio
- Oct - AT100 Pumpkin Patch Aid Station
           Styx N Stones 30K
- Nov - Bona Dea 50K
- Dec - LoVit Trail Marathon


Be sensible with diet and cross-training
Give this bike thing a try
Get Team RWB chapter going in AR
Balance life more with Smokey (horse) and family
Go through Financial Peace University
 Be present and mindful with worship
Garden more - home self reliant

These aren't measurable really, but I can make improvements.  Those years of goal setting hasn't been working anyway.  I'm going to work on focus areas instead of goals.

Do I dare make a mileage goal?  2013?  but keep it fun?

What are your goals?