Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wins and a few oopses

 Mt Nebo

27 Aug 2017 Race 2 in the UTS series

Team RWB Central Arkansas
This race is one of those buggers that you swear you will never do again and find yourself out there again drudging up that 18% grade mountain near the end of the race.  UGH.  Will I ever learn?  Probably not.  The win is to be able to make my way up mountain a bit faster than the year before.

One makes a lap on the pavement around the top, two laps on the trail than down the road and back up again to the start/finish line.

1726 ft of climb

Take your llama for a walk anyone!
You never know what you might see on the trail.  This couple when camping.  Llama as pack animals.  Too cute!  

Some of the views

Wins..... best time ever for this race in 3:08:26
Didn't have to come to a complete stop on the uphill

 HOT hot Training Run

3 Sep 2017
The day started in the 70 degree range, ended near 90 degrees.  Most of us handled it well though we did move slower as the day went on.  26.64 miles.

Paul Noble, Me, Eddy Light, Charles Redditt, Wes Leach
Eddy and Wes along with some others ran 30 miles the day before so it was a 56 mile weekend for them.  They did amazing.  They are ready!  I'm excited for their race.  I have a war going on between my ears for my race.  I have to remember what was taught in an article in Ultrarunning Magazine by Travis Macy, "Don't Think, Just Run"

Eddy on the back end of the AT100 course

Wes doing a bit of hills on the AT100 course

Wes put out water and a cooler.
Charles put out some water and left his van at Powerline for an aid station.  He then rode his bike to meet up with Wes at the location of the Turn-Around Aid Station.  We left Wes's truck at that location to use as a shuttle.  We all rode with Eddy to Lake Winona Aid Station location to start our run.  
It takes a very long time to set up but it was such a great way to do that kind of run.  

Wins:  Managed hydration spot on
No blisters! 

The Oopses....

Thinking too much
Doing my weekly 1/4 mile walking lunges after Mt Nebo's downhill run tweaking a knee

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Mid-Summer Funk

Oh how I hate the mid-summer funk..... 

I can't entertain the thoughts of goofing off, not hitting my miles and all that jazz.  It has to be spot on.  No options if I want to cross the finish line in under 30 hours.  My will is to cross the finish line in under 30 hours.

Its not the woods that are dreary, it is the drive.  2 - 3 hours to get to whatever part of the course is exhausting for the 14th time.  I am focusing on the negatives.  Focusing on negatives will get more negative.  Its time to refocus on the goal.

The eclipse on the 21st of August, 2017, Monday was a nice distraction.  

Leaf patterns from the eclipse paint with light on Hero's (the horse) coat.

Last week was suppose to be a 70 mile week, I got 47 miles.  For the most part, since starting to run in May I have nailed my miles.  I have worked harder, more push-ups, more cross-training, more drills, everything than ever before.  Missing the mileage of one week isn't going to deny me the finish line.  My attitude sure could.  Its time to stay on track.  I've got this.
Next year will be an off year for the AT100.  It is of vital importance that the dream and goal are achieved this year.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Full Moon 50K - 2017 Redemption At Last

Tools to get me through this hateful race! Seriously the race isn't hateful but I sure have had a love/hate relationship with it more like a hate/hate relationship with it but a love for the people involved both organizing and running in the race.

2011 - Last Place Finisher suffer fest with Andi Stracner in 8:51.24
2016 - Last Place Finisher in the most awful 9:16.54
2010 & 2015 DNF
This year best finish of this race with Eddy Light in 8:47.44

This year was different because we had a good plan and executed it as close to perfect as we could.

To simply line up on the starting line was hard for me because of the difficulty of this run for me.  It is known as a fast, fun, easier 25K - 50K because it is not on a trail, it is not technical surface it is forest service roads.  The challenge for me is the heat, humidity and the hills.

The plan was to go out at a walk, to walk as fast as we could maintaining an aerobic heart rate then run what we could, the downhills and flats on the way back.  We both have been known to go out too fast then say at the next starting line that we wouldn't go out too fast as we go out too fast yet again.  So this time we did not go out too fast.

My plan was to have a drink of water at least every 10 minutes and eat every 20 minutes.  For the most part that worked out as planned.  I was drinking 20 oz of water between each aid station.

We walked out with George Peterka.  He has run many 100's and has much knowledge to share and he did!  We peppered him with questions and listened.  He walked the whole 31 miles and as we went out together we soon couldn't keep up and keep our heart rate down.  That man can walk!

Lisa Gunnoe, George Peterka, Eddy Light - Photo Credit Arkansas Outside

Photo Credit Arkansas Outside - Thank you Joe

The first aid station is run by Jeff Beason and friends.  Jeff is a great friend, he and his wife Chris Beason were a very important part of my 100 mile finish in 2015.  He is an ultra-runner and he knows what we need.  He took very good care of us!  Thank you Jeff.

1st Aid Station  Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos

 1st Aid Station Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos
The 25K Turn Around Aid Station is the second aid station on the course.  Elaine Gimblet and friends runs this one year after year.  This is the way Elaine celebrates her birthday!  By giving her heart and soul to this race for this night.  Elaine was a pacer for my AT100 finish in 2015.  She too was a very big part of that finish.
25K Turnaround Aid Station - Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos

25K Turnaround Aid Station - Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos
Out in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night if you come upon a table with a cooler of ice and water jugs it may mean that some crazies are running around in the woods all night long.
This is about half way between the second and the third aid station.  Its nice to know that its there if we need it.  We did use the ice!

Un-manned water stop, it was dark when we got there.  Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos 
The 50K turn around aid station was also in the dark when we got there at about 11:25 or something like that.  This crazy crew of awesome sure took care of us.  I didn't have to do anything but point and grunt.  They re-iced everything, filled my ice bandanna, refilled my water bottles and helped me remember to throw away my wrappers.  We would run 31 miles without help, but what makes it a beautiful thing is the people who give such a large part of themselves to help others achieve a goal.
Thank you #EnjoyIt Gang!

 50K Turn Around Aid Station Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos
Ultra Running is a progressive dinner in the woods where you get to the next course by running there.

 50K Turn Around Aid Station Photo Credit Ronnie Daniel #Enjoyit Running Photos
By the time we see this little oasis in the hellish heat we know with guts we can make the finish line.  Every step from here on in is cutting into that last half and its easy to wrap the mind around that even with the upcoming monster hills.

My view of the 50K Turn Around Aid Station
Running a 50K is hard work and it shows on the body by the time one gets to that finish line.  Hot, humid, wet, chafed, hungry, tired, groggy, sore feet, and knowing we will do it again.

A hot 50K Finish!  Eddy Light & Lisa Gunnoe

Monday, July 17, 2017

Never say Try

I'm enlisted in the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy.  Why hypnosis, well, we all spend much of our day in different kinds of trances so I don't have a problem with that, it is a natural human state.  Hypnosis is about words, communication on purpose.  Who couldn't use more of that.

So one of the lessons taught is about something called Power Language, certain words not to use because of their weakening of our purpose, thinking, acting.
One of these words is Try.

Try means failure.  If one tries to make it to church on time that means they will be late.  If your friend is going to try to make it over to help you load a moving truck you just know they aren't going to come over and help.  Try is a cop-out without saying no.

Years ago I had a teacher instructing me to do something I didn't know how to do.  I couldn't do it.  I kept saying "I'm trying" and the comeback was "don't try, do".  I was ready to punch this instructor in the face and anyone else I have ever heard say this statement "don't try, do".  I almost didn't listen to Mike Mandel's presentation because this saying would just tick me off.... but we learn when we get outside of our comfort zone so listen I did.

So we don't say try.  Now what happens when I go to get a very particular workout in and it doesn't go as planned: didn't I try?  Didn't I fail?  No.  If I think about it and learn from it I'm better prepared to do it the next time.

I still slip up and say "try" once in awhile.  It will work its way out of my language.

Here is a few more videos about power language.
Never ask "Why" or "what is wrong?":  Ask "What do you want?"

Identify Target State:

"Ask how questions.  What's wrong is way less important than how do we fix this?"  - Mike Mandel

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July Already

On a mid-week training run Jeff Beason mentioned that it was 3 months to the Traveller.  I sure don't feel ready.  I sure don't feel confident.  I sure don't feel like I'm doing this right.

I've been making it out to the woods several times a week.  My times are much slower than last year.  I weigh less than last year.

I wonder if it is normal to expect each training cycle to be what the other was.  Maybe I'm selling the experience short by such considering.

I am grateful for:  Friends to run with

Night Runs:

Training Partners:

Noticing The Little Things:

I am doing the work.  Doing the work and being grateful for the little things will get me to the starting line in fine fashion.

By the numbers:

424 miles in this training session out of 1,037 miles so far this year
10x out in the woods
30,423 feet of climb
2,100 squats
1710 push-ups
40 miles mowing  with a push mower 11 of those miles dragging a tire (heat training)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Night Runs

Night Runs! 

Heat training is necessary, but so is running more miles.  Long runs have been done at night.  With joy not so many by myself.  We have been meeting out in the woods for long runs.  Friends make suffering better, the night makes it a bit less miserable.

I am getting plenty of heat training in.  I have been using a push mower to mow the lawn during the hottest part of the day for at least an hour every day, sometimes more.  Sometimes it is other yard work, but it is work and it is outside during the hottest part of the day.   

June 9, 2017 Full Moon run

Suffering is more fun together! 

Full Moon Night Run 9 June 2017

June 16 Night Run We ran the pink part

Jeff saw a bear, we wanted to see....

Critter hunt, watching beetles carting off scat

Timber Rattler

Friday, June 2, 2017

Brain Training

Brain Training

How we talk to ourselves:

I have been struggling with a lot of self-doubt, which is counterproductive to meeting goals, even setting goals.
Recently I started listening to a new podcast about hypnosis. Why hypnosis? Because the language we use affects every part of our life and hypnosis is communicating with ourselves and others on purpose. Where am I going with this?
Last night during my bike ride I decided to use a technique the podcast host teaches, "pretend, then pretend you aren't pretending".
What if I pretend, then pretend I'm not pretending that if I work like I believe it, eat like I believe it, speak as if I believe it, then even though this goal is scaring me to death I can achieve it.
So when we hit upon something things fall in line to teach us more, as in this podcast episode.
Mike & Chris talk about the power of "as if".
If someone is more likely to read rather than listen, there is a transcript at the bottom of the page.
As If is powerful if used.

Mike Mandel Hypnosis

Chris Thompson - Mike Mandel


Take a Breath:

That "lizard or monkey" brain serves us well.  Breathing, hunger, reproduction, these all are controlled by this animal part of the human brain.  This part of the brain, the Amygdala is where our fight/flight/freeze response resides.  It is a very normal human response to feel the anxiety that comes with this part of the brain being triggered.  It takes practice, but so does anything worth achieving, but we can move our responses from this fight/flight/freeze response to the thinking part of our brain, the Cortex.  How do we do this, it can be as simple as taking a breath, a long, slow deep breath, inhale, exhale, there that feels better.

This idea has been introduced to me through reading and podcast listening.  As I practice this skill I find myself introduced to deeper ideas taking this skill to the next level.

What does this have to do with migrating adventures?  Anything can happen out there.  Being able to think and act instead of instinctively react can be race saving, in some extreme cases even life saving.

So we went out too fast, our stomach has turned and we can't take in nutrition, we took a hard fall and something isn't feeling right, a vital piece of gear has failed...... The first reaction or the first attempted reaction is panic!  Monkey brain, or lizard brain.

Photo © Lisa Gunnoe

Photo © Lisa Gunnoe - I know this is a reptile not a lizard

What is needed is that breath..... breath in deeply.... slowly exhale..... now think of all the things you have practiced in training, think of solutions to this challenge.  That pause can prevent a catastrophic mistake.

Practice the things that can go wrong:
Long before the big dance practice those things that can go wrong.
- Go on a bonk run - run without eating first and without carrying any fuel, this is a long run (always carry water)
- Go on a long run with wet feet, keep your feet watered down, do what you have to to prevent blisters in the worst of conditions.  See how I take care of my feet here.
- Heat train - do that yard work in the heat of the day, do hot yoga, sit in a sauna.  This practice will help you perform better if race day happens to be hot.   This also increases blood plasma so it will help some for altitude training for us low landers.
- What happens when your stomach sours.  Can you keep going?  Don't stop that training run when your stomach revolts, just keep going.
- Within safety and reason read blog posts, race reports, etc and see what can go wrong, build practicing coping with those things into your training, when it happens on race day you have somewhere to go when you take that breath.  Your human brain will take you away from the lizard brain to these solutions you have practiced.

No Complaining - No Cussing:
Now this one is for me.  When I talk about my no cussing, no complaining training I'm not mandating or suggesting others do this, it just works for me.
If I can shift my brain and thinking from the negative to solutions or a positive song, mantra, positive thinking, gratitude thinking, it can keep me out of negative places in my thinking that slow me down and maybe even threaten my finish line.  I practice this all summer.

Find Something Beautiful:

Photo © Lisa Gunnoe - view from Mt Nebo, AR

Photo © Lisa Gunnoe
I like to carry my adventure camera with me.  I know no matter how bad that run may go, no matter how bad it may get I can come home with something beautiful.  For me this increases the fun factor and my yearning to be out there.

Friends - Find Your Tribe:
I need to work on this one.  I spend way too much of my time training solo.  I end up bouncing off burnout and I forget to have fun.  This year has been about finding my tribe.  Thanks to Trish Hogan here in Searcy we are building a tribe to mimic that of Conway - Team Loco.  We call it Run Searcy Loco and we welcome all paces and all intentions as in running or walking, fitness or race goals.
It has been glorious though it has been on pavement.  This will keep the fun factor in running as it makes me faster and stronger.

Track workout with Run Searcy Loco
These are a few of the things I am doing to get ready for my redemption AT100 October 7-8, 2017

Run Happy!
If you have any suggestions to be added to this brain training plan please let me know.