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! 

Appalachian Trail Adventure Solo 50K

Appalachian Trail Adventure Solo 50K

Newfound Gap to Davenport Gap near HWY 40

If you know me you know anything I have to say can become a story.  This one starts with a little girl who always got sick in the car, thus growing up really not liking car rides though liking where cars can go.

Chris travels A LOT for his job.  He likes it when I go with him which seeing that I don't like car rides I don't do very often.  He had an eight day trip to the Carolinas upcoming and once again my answer was "no".  So he baited a hook, one with a barb.

He suggested that I run a 50K on the Appalachian Trail and he knew just the location.  Well, what is a trail chick to do.  So of course the answer switched to YES!

My trail time started at 4:15 AM on the 17 July 2015.  I had planned on a 12 hour adventure.  Chris has hiked this part of the trail, he thought it would take me longer.  He was correct.

This section of trail is very rugged, much uphill, very technical.  Extra time is needed when making a plan to do this adventure.

4:15 AM start 17 July 2015

I was very anxious about going out alone, so early in the morning, bears, people, scary things can happen out there.  When anxiety got too strong I did push ups.  I could distract myself from anxious thinking by reminding myself I had to do push ups and was too tired to want to do them.  
I didn't want to talk myself out of this.  One has leave their comfort zone in order to grow.  Doing brave things grows the "brave muscle".  

Follow the white blazes

With signs of the sun rising comes joy, not that it wasn't joyful to be out there anyway.  

Sunrise - Smoky Mt National Park - Appalachian Trail

The challenge in running in the dark in the humid south, on trail, being able to see.  Glasses fog up because of breath, I can't see without my glasses.  It is a challenge, but not one that is going to keep me off the trails.  The daylight brings sight!  

One of many trail markers

I only saw five other "hikers" all day.  The expectation was that in July, on a Friday, the trail would be very busy.  Nope, not even critters :) 

Not many vistas on this section of trail

14:40 hours:minutes - epic adventure! 
 Chris met me with a cooler full of food, some chocolate milk and V8.  I love the support he gives me.  Thanks for this great adventure Chris.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Half Way There, 12 Weeks of WOW! I did that!

Half Way There and Going Strong

Last week I had someone tell me that on race day we can just do the best we can.  Yes, this is true, three months from race day training with discipline and focus will make that "best" on race day even better.

All of it is either physical training or brain training.

Lessons learned:

Be Grateful:
Accepting gifts is accepting part of the giver.  The reverse is true, rejecting a gift rejects a part of the giver.  Be grateful and accept gifts.

Show up:
Doing the workouts frees my mind for other things.  I can be with family.  I can ride my horse, I can read, nap, garden, yard work, without thinking about, fretting about a workout because I have already done it.  This will translate to showing up on race day and being able to do my best.  I can put my energy into that event instead of marinating in the workouts I didn't do.

Brain Training:
I have not been a resilient person.  Being resilient will take me a very long way to the finish line.  Accepting hardships, sideways plans, without complaining will help me be more resilient which will help every aspect of my life.

No Complaining Rule:
By not complaining I free up that thinking power, that energy to find solutions or accept what is if it can't be solved, or solved right now.  It will also help me be a more pleasant person all around, to other people and to myself.

Do The Uncomfortable, Hard Things:
Train in less than ideal conditions.  With this training when things go wrong in a race, and in an ultra, they most likely will, or when things get uncomfortable in a race I will be better equipped to adapt and complete the event.  I will know discomfort isn't an emergency, its just discomfort.

Take rest seriously.  A tired mind isn't resilient.  A tired body is more likely to lead to injury.  So on rest days rest body and mind.

Be Kind:
I have heard of experienced ultra runners giving aid station volunteers and/or race directors a hard time when they miss cut-offs.  I swear I will never blame a volunteer for things that the volunteer has no control over.  I have asked my pacers to remind me of this if I should slip.  I will be kind.

I'm sure as the race gets closer and training continues there will be more lessons to add to this list.  

Hitting 100 - Arkansas Traveller 100 2013

Review - Happy Tummy!

Ginger Soother

I actually found something that works and I'm so happy about it!

What a discovery this has been!
Browsing about Good Measure Market in Searcy is a normal grocery day thing for me to do.  I love the new products and all the gluten-free options.  In my hunting and poking about I found this and wondered..... hmmmmm...

Most races I have stomach issues.  When my tummy decides it has had enough it s hard to continue to take on calories.  This makes for hitting the wall, bonking, its just not good.  So if my tummy will stay on the team with me, things will go better.
I mix this in my hydration pack:
full bottle, 12 oz Ginger Soother
60 - 70 oz water
2 Nuun tablets

I have used this during four long runs (at least 4 hours) and the tummy has stayed on the team.
Loving this product!!  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

What goes up must come down

Every week can't be a ten.  And so this last week wasn't.  Thère is nothing really amiss everything is just flat.  I'm okay mentally.  I'm physically tired.  I need to clean up my diet and tweak it for better recovery.

On to week 12!  This week is a step back in mileage from the last two weeks.  Yah, a rest!  

This weeks focus will be using the inversion table, rolling out muscles, and positivity.  

I'm reading The Ultra Mindset by Travis Macy.  He tells about people winning, doing amazing things, by "showing up" being fully engaged and present in their training and on event day.  These people are winning with their chosen event and with career and family.  I'm a bit lopsided at the moment with much more focus on this upcoming event than most everything else.  Having good examples in life and seeking out positive tools will help me figure this out.