Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

2015 Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

Perfect PR conditions = no PR

A few rookie mistakes were made along with some new things to figure out.

Mistake #1:  Going out too fast.  I used the 5:30 pace band from San Antonio again.  I should have printed one out for 5:20.  I tried to go a bit speedier than the pace needed for 5:30 without having the mile splits right there.  I went out too fast.  I run the first 1/2 five minutes faster than San Antonio.  I was 10 minutes slower overall.  I did hit the 20 mile mark at the same time, but was working way too hard to keep it up.  

Annette Blanton cheering me up at mile 20ish - I'm a bit spaced out, I look like I felt

Mistake #2:  Not saving music for the second half of the race.  During the Traveller I just had the music playing in the background so to speak, during the whole race.  I was going to do that again here.  It wasn't a good idea.  I should have saved it for a second half reward.

New to Work Out:
With the harder effort I need to rethink fueling.  The solid food, real foods, I use for ultras may be too much to digest working that hard.  I may need something along the line of a sports gel.  I can't stand them.  They are too sweet, even the unflavored ones.  Just ick.  I will be on the search for a more savory easily digestible fuel.

My 3 Bridges Marathon history:
2013 - 6:32.50
2014 - 6:53.40 = most miserable ever
2015 - 5:30.07 = best year yet!

Bill Torrey posted these fun facts to Facebook:
Here are some interesting facts about the Jacob Wells 3 Bridge Marathon.
We had 398 start the race and 383 finish. There were 108 people from out of state. There were 32 States represented with Missouri leading the way with 14, next was Texas with 13 and Illinois had 11. There were people from Maine to Hawaii and one from Canada.There were 218 women finishers and 165 men. We even had a person from South Carolina that tried getting in after it shut down still come, ran and left a check to support the event. Runners do some interesting things.

Here is my status update after the race:
As I've said before I didn't know Jacob Wells. I knew who he was and we had exchanged encouragement and pleasantries. 
The legacy he has left is amazing. He really is one of a kind in the best ways.
This race today, it was a magnificent family reunion of all of AR running, road, trail, Grand Prix, volunteers, everything. 
The love and good will was palpable. 
Congratulations to those who achieved their first marathon finish line, those who PR'ed, qualified for Marathon Maniacs, those who successfully readjusted plans when things didn't go as planned.
Thank you to the race organization for really nailing it once again!
Thank you to the volunteers, you all are the reason running in AR is so special.
Thank you all for the hugs, the encouragement, the conversations, the inspiration, the example you all are.
Thank you Kristen Garrettt for your life saving hugs and your famous butt rub to get me on down the trail! You are the very best!
What a day of all that is wonderful and right because of the AR running community!

Jacob Wells started the 3 Bridges Marathon in 2013.  November 2014 he died after collapsing at the Mid-South Marathon in Wynne AR.  He influenced so many people in AR running.  His marathon is a labor of love, first from him to the AR running community, now from the AR running community to his memory and example.

This is from a memorial page:
He fought the good fight. He finished the race. He remained faithful. I am sad to report that as much as we desired it, we will not get our miracle. 
Jacob's favorite Bible verse: ... Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon - Time to Rest

Dec 6, 2015  Humana San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon

Why oh why!  Pavement sucks, people are too peoplie but I keep signing up for road marathons.   I guess I will call it brain training so I can embrace it.

Nerves were as bouncy as if I was new to this game.
I was hoping to just do well.  It has been three years since things have gone well in running a marathon.  That is a long time for a dry spell.

The plan:
Shoot for 5:30
Run half a mile, walk a minute for 26.2  from starting line to finish line
Eat something every 20 - 30 minutes
Push when entering the suck zone

This is the first R&R marathon I have participated in, I didn't know what to expect.  They offered water and Gatorade on the course.  I can't stomach Gatorade so I carried a water bottle and Nuun Tablets and a ginger/honey mix.

Carrying out the plan went very well.  I struggled with finding joy and fun in the early miles because of the amount of people out there.  It was crowded!  It was especially crowded when the course would narrow to direct people one way or the other.  It was so good to see the 1/2 marathon split.

I did see some AR Peeps!  Belinda moved to San Antonio a few years ago.  Mandy lives in Ar and came down for the Half.  It was great to run with them till the half split and hugs!  they give good hugs!

It was fun to see bubbles out on the course.  How can one run through bubbles without smiling.

I had signed up for this because a marathon that run by the missions was just too good to pass up.  I don't remember if I read this somewhere, I don't know where I got the idea that the race went by the missions, it does, but kind of doesn't.  The closest we got to a mission was seeing the top of one over the trees way across a field.

There is a long stretch on a river trail, a concrete trail.  There was little shade, but beautiful sights.

Everything was going well, according to plan.  I did start struggling about mile 21ish - 22ish.  I know in TX 69 degrees is a nice cool day, but running a marathon, mostly running it makes 69 degrees a  challenge.

When I looked at my stats after the race I was very happy.  Never in my life have I moved 20 miles in 4 hours!  It has always been slower.  So seeing this happen, for me, is a huge accomplishment!

My PR before this race was 5:26.54 achieved in 2012 at the Chevron Houston Marathon.
Today with a 6 minute PR, 5:20.54.  Texas is good to me.

There are many examples of overcoming obstacles and just being strong out on a marathon course.
This guy has a one leg on wheels.  He is receiving assistance up a hill.

This is by far the best sign I have seen at a marathon in some time.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bona Dea 50K Nov 14, 2015

9 loops on a 3.4 mile bike path around Bona Dea Park in Russellville.  After the 9 loops there is an out and back to make up the last .4 mile.

My original idea was to run 1/2 a mile walk a minute.  Half way through the first round I saw Dottie Rae in front of me.  She has more experience than my children have years of life.  She was doing a run 30 seconds walk 30 seconds run.  I knew she would finish so I decided to follow her example.

So for the first 5 loops after that I did the 30 second walk 30 second run.
The transition became harder and harder, so I went to a 1 1/2 minute run 1/2 minute walk for the next 3 rounds.
For the last round I bumped it up to 4 minute run 1 minute walk.

I'm glad I reserved my energy not going out to fast but really holding it down till after the 1/2 way mark.

I have never been so disciplined in my life for race strategy.  Yes I did change up my run/walk interval schedule, but, I made myself stick with it.  Normally my walking will lag to more and more time and my running less and less.  Not this time.  I made myself stick to the plan.

16 minute PR 6 weeks after a hundred miler!  I'm so happy with that!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

That one moment!

That One Thing!

The question from David at Endurance Buzz:

Could you share the detailed story of ONE specific moment during your Arkansas Traveller 100 adventure that made a special imprint on you?

I'm at a loss on how to give a detailed story of one event.   What an assignment because there are so many and so many are so very important as well.

My family being"out there" has to be one of the highlights of my life!  Kim and Chris, daughter and husband, aren't runners, they don't understand this epic ultra thing we do.  This lack of understanding makes their support a true gift from the heart.   There has only been a few times I have had the privilege of having family at the finish line, on the course or any such thing.  It was a fabulous lift of spirits to see them twice, outbound and back.
My family and friends run the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station at miles 22.1 outbound and 93.7 inbound.  Chris agreed to keep the aid station responsibilities in the family for this year.

They spent the duration of the race near the HAM radio operators listening for news of #100 making it through the next cut off, the  last of these awful beasts being at Electronic Tower, mile 91.4 at 10:15AM Sunday morning.  I made it through that last cut off by 4 minutes.  Elaine Gimblet, my pacer, and I hobbled our way down the mountain to The Pumpkin Patch.  My family was waiting for me out on the road.  Seeing them, hearing their cheers of joy and relief brought a flood of every emotion I had kept reined in tight throughout the earlier 30 hours of barely making those time limits.   My heart soared as I heard the voices I love most cheering me in, crying with me, laughing with me and then telling me to get my butt out of the aid station.  It was a roller coaster ride of the heart for sure from complete desperation to jubilation as I hugged and hung on to those precious anchors for dear life.  It was hard not to show distress, as if being at mile 93 in and of itself doesn't show distress, when Chris happily kicked me out of the aid station with pie and a smile.  I hope they will let me do it again next year!

Photo Credit: Kim Morton

Photo Credit: Kim Morton

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Deep Thoughts

A week after the race I was asked what was the achievement I was most pleased with, the finish or helping Heidi finish?

If I have to pick just one achievement it would be that when the layers were stripped away, one by one, what I found deep inside was a person worth being.

One learns who they really are when the mask is taken off through unimaginable stress.  The summer of mental training paid off, but more than just for the race, but for life.

The summer was spent with "no complaining days", push-ups for cuss words, push-ups for marinating in problems and the past instead of leaving it be, meditation and breathing exercises to recognize that my thoughts aren't me, to be able to step back and see them for what they are, just thoughts.

So when the chips were down, when my shields were lowered I didn't complain.... er..... much, I didn't blame others for my mishaps, didn't say the worst of the cuss words, I smiled more, helped others, even at my worst.  What we are at our worst is who we are, I can live with who I am.

Let me be clear:  This was self-imposed misery.  I'm not comparing this to the horribles that life can throw at us.  This was a race.  This was a hard, hard thing, but it isn't one of those really awful things that can happen to anyone.

I use these same techniques to slow down my response and my anger to better deal with situations.
Example:   Days after the race my emotions were strained, maybe from not running.  I was anxious and acting so.  Chris was about the house and I was annoyed.  He asked if it was him.  I said no.
The simple fact was, on any other day the things he was doing about the house would not have annoyed me, so those things, nor him were annoying, it was about my emotions, my anxiety, mine to own.  I was able to explain this, own this, go outside and de-stress and not be punitive towards my dear husband for something he definitely didn't do.

Another unknown:  I was already not going to make 30 hours when I stopped and gave aid.  Would I have if the one needing aid was before a cut off?  and I was close?  How would I have taken it if I would have missed a cut off or had to drop for other reasons?  I don't know how I would have behaved in these situations.  I can hope I would have behaved in a way that would make my husband, and children proud to call me wife and mother.

The finest moment happened yesterday.  I was talking to Kim on the phone.  She told me she had never seen me at such peace and so happy.

The story is mine, the ending is mine to write!  I am the author of what good I write into my life.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Two weeks since Traveller

Setting a goal before a key event is a very good idea as it will help prevent one from falling off a mental cliff because they no longer have a goal after focusing on the key race.  I learned this early in my running career.

Athens Big Fork Marathon is that next key event:  January 9, 2016
There is a cut off one has to make to be able to run the full marathon instead of the 17 mile fun run.  My goal is to make that cut off and run the full.


So, I thought that was covered.  I wasn't expecting the drop of the end of the emotional earth that would come from not running for recovery.  Recovery is very important, the most at this point if I would like to make future goals.

I'm still mentally exhausted from the Traveller, more so than physically.  My feet, legs, body are all doing fine.  My ribs hurt from that nasty fall in the bath tub.  Road running, dodging cars and dancing around dogs just exhausts me!

Upcoming Schedule
I don't know which ones I'm going to run or in the case of the 6/12/24 how many miles.

Most of these runs can be found at www.runarkansas.com

Nov 14, 2015 Bona Dea 50K - Russelleville AR
Nov 27, 2015 Sunset Park 6/12/24 Hour - Benton, AR
Dec 6, 2015 Rock & Roll San Antonio Marathon, San Antonio TX
Jan 9, 2016 Athens Big Fork Marathon
Feb 6, 2016 White Rock Classic 50K, Mile north of Turner Bend Store on HWY 23, NW AR
           I will run the course on the 5th if the weather is good as I'm co-RD for this race.
Feb 20, 2016 Sylamore Trail 50K (If I can get in, it fills up fast)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Arkansas Traveller 100, 2015 - 25th Anniversary of Race

21 times in 32 hours
Lisa Gunnoe - AT100 2015, 25th anniversary

After spending years at the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station at the Arkansas Traveller 100 it became a goal to finish this race myself before my 50th birthday.  After many shoulder, back issues and injuries it seemed impossible to happen.  A winter of no running and working hard to lose weight helped make it seem slightly possible.  On a trail run on April Fool's Day I decided to give it a try.  I'm 49, so it was time to step up to meet the goal.   My entry into the AT100, 2015 was posted on April 1.  Yes, I'm an April fool for sure!

Because I'm not blessed with athletic talent in the least, but I am blessed with a passion for running and a don't quit spirit, I knew I had to take this serious.  Every mile, every calorie, every core workout, every push-up had to be taken seriously and treated with respect to honor the miles, the race, and those who helped me get through.  This was the very most intense six months of my life. Not only would it take serious respectful, training, but it would also take a miracle.

The miracle was in the way of people who were willing to share their time, wisdom and knowledge to get me through.  People shared their notes to crew and pacers, pace charts, drop bag suggestions, taper suggestions, then crew and pacer sacrificed a whole weekend of their time for me.

My family made the greatest sacrifice.  A long run for me isn't a morning event, it is an all day event with a nap afterward, so Chris didn't see much of me during the summer.  He also stepped up to take care of the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station during the race.  Kim gave up a week of work and flew in from Maryland to help as well.  

Jeff Beason, Chris Beason, Elaine Gimblet, Lisa Gunnoe, Shela McAnally
It was about twelve minutes till 6AM, time to go and I forgot to get my bib number.  Yikes!
Andi had warned me to set a time limit on fiddling with drop bags, but I didn't listen so was caught fiddle farting with them instead of getting things done.  After finally getting things together, bib on, fuel retrieved, it was time to GO!

Photo by Steve Griffin - Frantic bib application

First Goal:  First figure eight loop in under 4 1/2 hours.  I hadn't been able to do this in training, but kept telling myself that during training I wasn't rested or tapered, but tired.
The section between Browns Creek Aid Station (mile 11.9) and Lake Sylvia (16.4) is just killer.  It is so technical.  I love technical, but it is hard to be fast on those rocks.  I made that loop in a bit over 4 hours then spent 12 minutes messing with band-aids and feet.

Shela, Chris, Jeff, Alston helping me get my butt out of the aid station - Lake Sylvia
Pumpkin Patch Aid Station (mile 22.1) has been my favorite place to play during the race for a few years now.  To see it from the other side, runner, having family and friends warm greetings was a completely amazing experience.

Pumpkin Patch Aid Station
Between Lake Sylvia and Lake Winona (mile 31.9) tummy troubles set in.  Forgetting to put Nuun in my pack, meant too much water, too much hard work and poor tummy wanted to go home.  It wasn't horrible bad, but never really went away the rest of the race.  When I realized that what was coming out of the hydration pack didn't taste as it should, doubling up on S-caps till getting to Lake Winona to correct the oversight.
Using an Ensure between each drop bag, then picking up the next Ensure was a very good idea.  That and potato soup got me through after tummy said NO MORE to anything else.

The mental battle began early, at Pigtrail (mile 36.1) I realized I was an hour behind the red line. This just wasn't good news.  It was hard not to panic.  After coming out of Bahama Mama (mile 43.2) and slowing down even more going over Smith Mountain the battle intensified.  I took three pictures of sunset and the 45 mile sign so that I would at least go home with that.  Then it was time to draw on the mental training, a summer of no complaining and rewriting negative stories in my head, was going to be put to the test.  As I was thinking about what was going to be said when that first cut off was missed, it was time to put a stop to such thinking.  I yelled, "NO" (in my head only, not out loud) then told myself this was my story and I get to write the ending.  It wasn't over till it was over.  Then trying to grasp onto one of the many mantras read over the weeks what came to mind was scripture,
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  Of course that had to be deconstructed.  "I can do hard things through Christ..., I can do very hard things through Christ....Then it occurred to me that "all things" was much bigger than "hard things" all things encompassed seemingly impossible things, so that was repeated half a million times making my way through the darkness of my mind to Powerline (mile 48.0).

The first person I saw at Powerline was PoDog.  He gave me a hug and told me to keep at it.  The water works turned on to weeping as I got another hug to steel me against the rest of the night.  I knew I put long sleeves in my drop bag, ugh, no.  Shela McAnally, my crew and massage therapist (Massage Me in Searcy) literally gave me the shirt off her back so long sleeves would be available if needed!

Picking up a pacer was amazing!  Chris Beason, a fellow Team RWB member and marathon runner, was my first pacer.  She had trained many training runs out on those service roads so she was ready. What great company, reminding me to keep moving just a bit faster, a bit faster, a bit faster.  She said when the leaves were blowing in the trees, the trees are applauding your effort.  That is so beautiful!  She paced me to the turn around (mile 57.9) and back.  I don't remember much, but potato soup and nodding off while walking up hills.  You know how your head bobs when you nod off in church and it wakes you up, yup, that is how it was, very glad to be using trekking poles! Chris would run ahead and get me some potato soup.  I was able to get in and out of each aid station, almost running through.  Thank you to Chris!

With Chris Beason, she is a great pacer/runner/friend!

We made it back to Powerline (mile 67.9) with 7 minutes till cut off.  I asked if it was possible to finish the race being so tight to cut offs, Elizabeth assured me it was possible, she had done it.  I HAD to mess with my feet!  UGH!  So off the shoes came, change bandaids, add lube, fresh socks, step into different pair of shoes.  Oh hell no, they won't work!  So back into the old shoes it was. Carrie DuPriest, volunteering at the aid station, was counting down the minutes for us to do this race car pit stop and me to get my butt out of the aid station.

Jeff Beason, Chris's husband and another fellow Team RWB member, was my next pacer.  He really had his job cut out for him getting me back over Smith Mountain!  There is so much rough terrain out there!  Sleepiness and loss of steadiness was a large challenge here.  So was the negative talk in my head.  I'm very glad to have had the tools to shut that bitch up!  I'm also very glad to have trained with and be using trekking poles.  I don't think I could have kept moving without them.  I fell down once and stumbled many times.  Jeff wasn't afraid to push me and did a fantastic job.  Hats off to you Jeff!

Jeff reminded me after reading this that we had a book club conversation while on the go!  LOL  We are both book junkies, lots of overlapping genres.  I do, with his reminder, remember a bit of this!  LOL  He was telling me about his latest book purchase by an author whose first name is Marina, I believe!
Jeff also fessed up to telling me our pace was a wee bit faster than he was telling me it was!  He was trying to keep me going, just a bit faster, just a bit faster!  It was brilliant!  I'm so glad he did.  Thank you Jeff.

Training run with Jeff Beason.  He has mad skills at getting one through.  

The first half mile out of Bahama Mama (mile 72.6), with a headlamp on, the quartz on the ground looks like many camera flashes, it was hard to not just stop and watch!  There was a blister developing on the fore foot on my left foot, I thought it was a callous acting up, it felt like a knife in my foot every time the rugged gnarly stuff was crossed.  This, along with balance issues, really slowed me down!

It was a miracle to make it in to Lake Winona (mile 83.9) .  Jeff was a good sport to keep me moving with all that was not working with my body.  I used the port-a-john, changed my shirt, removed the torture devise of a bra and kept moving with Elaine Gimblet to pull me through till the end.  "Just a little shuffle, just a little shuffle, you don't have to run, just shuffle" was the mantra on in.  I think the course by Rocky Gap (mile 87.2) was created by the devil himself to use as a torture devise on poor feet.

Elaine pulled it off and got me through last cut off at Electronic Tower
My husband, Chris and daughter, Kim, had a long intense time of it.  They were running the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station.  They never did. They spent the whole race, when not taking care of runners, listening to the HAM radio for number 100's progress.  He said at one time I was too far behind, but always seemed to make it up.  Chris had faith in Elaine.  He told Kim that Elaine had this, she would get me through.  Well, getting into Electronic Tower (mile 91.4) so tight to the cut off, didn't help his stress level!  Apparently I had three minutes to spare.  Again, YIKES!

Seeing family at Pumpkin Patch (mile 93.7) was so amazing, energizing, fantastic, and emotional. They gave me some pumpkin pie and had to push me out of the aid station.  If I was speedy I could have made 30 hours, but I know me and on a good day it would take a miracle.  It wasn't happening that day.  My goal was 30 hours that not being made at least I would finish.

Elaine and I were making our way down 132C, rough bugger, and low and behold a lady was laying beside the trail!  What could this be! Well, mothering instincts took over and that was a good distraction.   Heidi's legs, quads, had completely locked up.  She laid down beside the trail as her pacer went to get help.  We sat down beside her, talked to her and ask her if we could massage her legs some to see.  She was so close to the finish line.  After a bit of massage, Heidi walked some with us holding on to her, then she walked on her own using one trekking pole.  She was going to finish too!  She and her pacer had gotten off course by 6 miles. When they figured it out she had 12 bonus miles!

Katerine Seywerd total Badass!  
No running or even fast shuffling happened after that.  We just walked in.  As we were on the last bit of road, Kim, my daughter, and some others came out to walk in with us.  It was so amazing. Someone told me that the finish line was still up for us.  That was when the water works turned on. The finish line was still up even though we were two hours late!  I'm not mentioning much about Heidi and her story, that is her's to tell.  I'm amazed and in awe of this very tough running chick!

Kim Gunnoe, Lisa Gunnoe, Katerine Seywerd, Elaine Gimblet
The hugs, the tears, the gratitude, the hugs, the runner leg hobbling, the sore feet, the belt buckle, the 25th year spike, the bib number with 100 on the front and names of people who really struggle with physical challenges on the back, these all come together for a grand finish!  I can't explain the feeling.  I still can't a week later.  It isn't like that first 1/2 marathon or 50K which left me feeling HUGE, powerful and like a gorilla on cocaine.  It is a quietness that I can't quite explain.  It almost must be carefully guarded because it is so private, personal and precious.

That night, at about 1 AM, not sleeping, I got up to take an Epsom Salts bath.  After the bath I slipped getting out of the tub (Help!  I've fallen and I can't get up!)  hitting the side of the tub right on the ribs, OUCH!  A week later, I have gone for a run twice, my feet are okay, my legs are okay, my ribs hurt like crazy!  Kinda feeling like a badass old! old! woman!

It would be interesting to read reports from pacers, crew and family.  My version may be a great fantasy hallucination.  Who knows what really happened!

I can do this in 30 hours!

..... and I only cussed 21 times in 32 hours.

What Went Well:

-Being distracted by aid station prep pre-race
-Brain training!  Attitude training, doing push-ups for cussing or complaining throughout the summer
-Breaking race down into sections, aid station to aid station, never thinking of it as 100 miles
-Managing pace at first of race
-Managing fueling even when stomach stops playing along (Ensure & Potato soup)
-Hydration/electrolyte management (Nuun & Ginger Soother in hydration pack, water in bottle)
-Training with and using trekking poles
-Strength training, core and upper body
-Choice of pacers and crew
-Support of family and friends

What to Improve:

-Don't give husband such heart attacks by barely making cut offs.
-1/2 size larger shoes for late in the race
-Improve chafe protection for bra and hydration pack area
-Study blister fixes
-More hill work
-Continue weight loss
-Even though done well, learn better aid station time management
-Continue core work and strength training


Hoka One One Bondi 3
Injinji sock liners
Thorlo Experia socks
The North Face Better Than Naked Capri & shorts
Zuala Latitude long sleeved tee - color silver, specific for heat management
Nike Team RWB shirt
Gregory Pace Hydration Pack
Ultimate Direction waist pack without bottle
Petzl Nao headlamp
Black Diamond Distance Z-Pole Trekking Poles 110cm
Buff - to wear under headlamp
Fuel - Huma Jell, Lemon and Mango, Pro Bar chews
Hydration/Electrolytes - Ginger Soother, Nuun Tablets, S-Caps

Added names to back of bib, friends and loved ones who have true physical challenges who would love to do their equivalent of what I'm doing helped me stay strong when I wanted to quit.  I had a finish line, and end date to suffering, they don't.

Not bad, not bad at all

This one stated on that dang callous Still not bad

Couldn't do push-ups for cuss words during the race, so decided to donate a dollar for each one.  Sent a few extra just in case. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Have you called up Shela at Massage Me Yet? Whatcha Waitin' For!

Shela and Jade
are the skilled massage therapists behind Massage Me in Searcy AR.
Give them a call and ask to be put on a waiting list, yes there is a waiting list.  Most excellent massage therapist have a waiting list.

Shela is my personal massage therapist and keeps me tuned up for my mad running ideas!  Both ladies have a skill set that can take care of your individual needs.

You will not regret it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ten Days and Counting to AT100

This journey to 100 miles has been an interesting investment worth making.

If I were to die today, without ever making it to the starting line of the Arkansas Traveller 100 Mile on October 3 - 4, 2015 this has been worth it!
In every way possible I'm a better person than I was six months ago.  There isn't much one can do that creates that kind of growth as a person.  For this growth and recognizing this growth, I'm grateful.

Things I have learned:
-Most things that are exciting or worth doing are hard, very, very hard.
-If something isn't working change it.
-If something is working, don't change it.
-Plan plans and know it won't go as planned.
-One can do solo 50K training runs, in the woods, at night!
-Time alone in the woods, at night, is precious.
-Meditation is a very useful tool to use for race prep.
-People say ultra running is 90% mental and then 10% mental.  The mental part is hushing the negativity, meditation helps me do that.  It teaches me to see it, instead of own it.
-When one may think friends are no longer interested, those friends may just be distracted.
-Six months of focus is very hard to maintain.
-Having a  goal that scares the tar out of you can help drive needed focus for training.
-Running isn't an addiction.  Addictions don't make you a better person.
-Running brings out the gratitude in me.
-Have faith in the training if the training is done.
-Things can still go sideways, its an ultra, anything can happen!

Now its taper time.  I wasn't prepared for how emotional I am.  Most of these emotions are good ones, gratitude for all those who put time and heart into this with me.

Craziest things done in training:
-Hill repeats on the Cork Screw at 2:30 AM yelling at the deer that is snorting and blowing at me.
-Showering out of a water jug in order to change clothes and nap before driving home.
-Solo 50K training runs.

Most epic:
-Solo 50K on the Appalachian Trail.
-Visiting the top of Flat Side Pinnacle for the very first time.
-Star gazing after runs with friends!
-Fun, fabulous training runs while renewing friendships!
-I did this!  Scatter brained, never finish what I start, I trained seriously, no excuses for 6 months!

Back to if life ended today, this has been worth it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Resurrecting the ice bath!

I haven't had one of these in years!
Anything to recover.  Listening to a podcast the guy talking suggested using compression wear to add just a bit of protection from the cold.
It works!
4 bags of ice, too much, the pain was real!
3 bags of ice is hard but doable.  This really is helping recovery!  

Remind me not to complain in the winter!

Friday evening it was a pleasure to meet Andi out in the Ouachita National Forest, at Lake Sylvia and the trail parking lot.  We drove out to Electronic Tower to do some loops on the hilly gravel roads.  It was so very hot!  On my way through Little Rock at 4 PM the car thermometer read 106 Degrees.  OUCH!

The plan was to take it very easy and get 25 miles.  Well......   We walked and we walked and we walked!  The sun went down, but the humidity and heat never become bearable!  So we just walked and walked and walked.  I was very pleased with our pace while we were moving, walking anywhere between 13 and 17 minute miles.  We had a few slower miles uphill.  Overall it went very well.  I'm sure it will do us good to have that walking workout.

Saturday - 25 Treadmill miles making a 50 mile weekend
It was too hot to wisely do all of this outside.
This workout was on the treadmill in an air conditioned house with two fans!
I programmed part of the AT 100 course map into the iFit. Having each segemt being between aid stations.
Run 4.73 Miles at a 13:30 pace in 1:03.51
Run 3.86 Miles at a 13:07 pace in 00:50.39
Walk 2.88 Miles at a 17:58 pace in 00:51.33
Run 8.01 Miles at a 13:53 pace in 1:51.12
Walk 5.52 Miles at a 17:48 pace in 1:38.37
Overall running pace 13:36 in 3:45.42
Overall walking pace 17:50 in 2:30.07
Rest, food, church and sleep are in order.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Full Moon 50K 2015 Edition

Full Moon 50K 2015 Edition

or A Glorious Splat! 

Photo by Tia Stone

Photo by Dan Belanger 

Photo by Joe Jacobs of Arkansas Outside

What a cluster.  There were two cut offs.  One the radio people were given, one in the runner's email pre-race brief.  

We were cut off according to the first time, 2AM, instead of the time in the email to the runner, 2:15AM.

My inquiries about the decision making and the one enforcing the cut off (not the race director) have been ignored.

I will probably not go back unless these questions are answered.  

Gear Used for Appalachian Trail Adventure

Gear Used for Appalachian Trail Adventure

Hoka One One Bondi 3

This is a road shoe.
It functions perfectly on the trail giving a smooth ride and no rubbing blisters.
Can be purchased locally by the trained staff at Rock City Running.  
Hoka One One Bondi 3

Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2

I love my hydration packs but there is a problem with storage room.  I'm gluten free, during a race, let
alone during an all day solo event, I need lots of room for fuel.  So giving this a try was the next option.  I used this with one other water bottle put into the left front pocket, it fit perfectly.  I was carrying 70 oz of liquid.

To add storage I used two extra storage packs that can be attached between the water bottles on the back with the ingenious attachment system.  Attach the first pack as shown in the video on the website.  Bungie the second pack to the first pack.

This didn't work out so well as it puts too much weight on the back which isn't the way this pack is designed to work.  I did get some discomfort and chafing because of the extra weight in the back.  I need to go for a run using this pack as designed to evaluate its performance for me.

Locally this system is available at Go! Running in Little Rock.  Tell Stacey I sent you.  

Many ultra runners have tummy troubles.  This spring I started adding this to my hydration pack along with Nuun Tablets to see if it would help with tummy troubles.  It worked flawlessly.  I purchase at The Good Measure in Searcy, AR

Nuun Tablets are my best go to hydration solution.  Its tricky finding something that gives the needed electrolytes without making the tummy rage.  Nuun does that for me.  Strawberry Lemonade is my favorite flavor.

Knowing a water filter would be needed and not wanting to carry the big one made this a treasure of a find.  Its very small, it can be used on a hydration pack, with the squeeze bag, on a water bottle, or with the straw.  If one is out in the wild a collapsible cup may be needed as it would be impossible to fill up the squeeze bottle if the water source was too small to dip the bottle into.  I used a ziplock back to fill from a small water flow to fill the squeeze bag then filter into the Orange Mud water bottle.
These are available at Walmart, Amazon, and outdoor stores.

This is great stuff.  It goes on white like most baby bottom products, but as you rub it in it blends in clear.  It saves the body from the nasty chaffing! Outch!
I got mine at Target.

I'm prone to blister on my toes.  These Nuwool Injinji socks haven't prevented blisters 100% but has greatly reduced the instances of blisters.  

Black Diamond Z Poles
Mine are a few years old.  They are carbon fiber, fold away nicely to attach to your pack when not needed.  I used them the whole way and was glad to.  They prevented some very nasty spills!

Petzl Nao
I was hesitant to purchase this because of the weight.  The strap over the top makes it very balanced.  I don't have to tighten it up to keep it from sliding, so less headlamp headaches.
For the next nighttime adventure I had forgotten to recharge the battery.  I used a portable charger to recharge while driving out to the race course.  It showed a full charge, but didn't have a full charge as after 6 hours it started blinking telling me the battery was going dead.  It needs to be plugged in to a home charger to get the full proper charge.  

Go out, have fun, make your own adventures!