Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Full Moon 50K - 21 July 2018

Thomas Jefferson, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."

This great finish was a very long time in the coming!
I have three 25K finishes, three 50K finishes of five attempts before this night.  (This finish makes four)

After not finishing the Traveller AGAIN last year I knew if I wanted different results I needed to do things differently.  So this year has been about starting over.  Different diet, different training philosophy, different body care, different focuses, keeping what did and does work, of course

Diet - Ketogenic
Training - Heart Rate (180 - age (52) = 128) keeping my heart rate in this range as much as possible except for targeted runs.
Body Care - Fascia Blaster and Fascia Yoga
Focuses - Prayer, Scripture, Meditation/Self-Hypnosis/Breathing Exercises (These are the things that do work that I kept from years past)

Chris offered an adventure for our annual anniversary trip.  In July 2015 I ran half of the Appalachian Trail that is within The Smoky Mountain National Park.  He suggested that it is time to do it again, but the whole thing.  This idea scares the ever-living everything out of me!  But I said "sure"
So now the training.  Starting mid-June I started doing at least 10,000 ft of climb a week, usually mostly on the treadmill staying in my desired heart rate zone.  It has been slow going some miles as slow as 2 MPH, but the climbing has been done.  I have been working hard to keep up with the miles even with the extended time needed for the climbing.  I have been staying close to the designated miles in my training plan.  
I have been running 90% of my runs in a fasted state.  I'm using intermittent fasting along with a ketogenic diet to get things under control with my weight and eating issues.  Its working.
I have been allowing carbs on my long run days.
I have been using the Fasciablaster as directed at least twice a week throughout this training cycle.  My feet do not hurt!  Yes you read that right, my feet do not hurt! 

So along comes race week.  I didn't taper on my miles.  I did taper on my climbing.  Every mile was on the flat.

My plan was to do an experiment.  I wanted to see what it would feel like running at least the first 1/2 without taking in any carbs.  If it was working I could keep it up, if it wasn't I could add carbs on the second half.  I made a beef/fat food item called Pemmican to have as a food source along with some bacon and pepperoni.  

In my hydration pack was water.  I had a 17 oz Ultimate Direction Body Bottle with a full Nuun tablet dissolved a pocket of the hydration pack.  I had a dropper bottle of Sole' Water in another pocket.  The Nuun and the Sole' Water (salt water) were to take care of my hydration needs.

My plan: keep at my desired heart rate for the outbound.  Walk the hills as fast as I can and run the flats and the downhills.  I have been extending my heart rate runs so I can run longer and longer at that desired heart rate, this race would test the training.  

Chris Beason, Krista Buck, Susan Beckwith, Emily Riecker, Shauna Veazey, Lisa Gunnoe 

I live so far away from my running friends.  It is always good to see them at the start/finish.  I wish I could run with them more often.
Lisa Gunnoe, Elaine Gimblet
Elaine is my hero.  I want to be like Elaine when I grow up!  
Race Start
When the starter goes off, I walk!  There is no reason for me to expend the energy running uphill from the start.  Fast hiking training is for this very purpose.
Right before first aid station
Photo Credit - Yoni Fiser Johnson
There is a huge hill before the first aid station.  Fast hiking with trekking polls serves me well.  I do need to be more fit to be able to fast hike for the Traveller, this was a good confidence builder. 

First Aid Station - Jeff Beason and Friends
Aid stations are little oasis of love out in the forest.  Many races have more volunteers than runners.  The races wouldn't happen without the volunteers that is for sure! 

25K Turn Around Aid Station (Second Aid Station)
Christine Melroney was going to be at the second aid station.  She gave me a great pep-talk before the race about attitude, gratitude and how it makes the difference.  She challenged me to be grateful for the hills, every challenge is a reason to be grateful.  I promised her I would consider it.  She was right!  It was great to see her at this aid station out and back. 

  I was tired and I wanted carbs.  I had two dill pickle slices and some V8 Juice (17g of carbs).  I was maintaining my pace and effort. 

50K Turn Around Aid Station
Its was relief to see this 50K turn around aid station.  You know you are half way there! 
By the time I got there I was tired.  I wasn't bonking, it was a slow down not a crash.  I wasn't pouting in my head or in a dark place or anything.  I just didn't have energy and I was tired.  I chose to partake of carbs.  I had a Cutie, a small bit of watermelon and some Mt Dew.  I set my timer for 6 minutes and sat down.  I didn't have enough time to do a mini-self hypnosis session so I did 6 minutes of 7/11 breathing (7 seconds in breath/11 seconds out breath).  When the alarm went off I got up and left.  I felt revived and my stomach was dealing with the carbs and the Mt Dew very well.  It was time to get on down the road toward the finish line.
Back to the 25K Turn Around Aid Station
Right before the 25K Turn Around Aid Station there is a hill, a very big hill.  It is easy to dread and think about this hill during the whole race, I know because I have.  Well, it's a better race day strategy to distract myself from the hard climbs when I start thinking about them, dreading them before getting to them.  That mental energy spend on that hard thing up ahead is wasted energy that won't be there when I need it.  So when I would start thinking about the hills I purposely started thinking about the conversation Christine and I had pre-race.  I would start listing the people I know who would love to be running that hill right at that time, (or their equivalent like cycling, playing with grand-kids, getting out of bed without pain).  This changed my mindset to preserve that energy so I would have it when needed.   I was able to climb the hill just fine and maintain a good attitude. 

Last Aid Station Less Then 5 Miles To The Finish Line - Jeff Beason
Photo Credit - Yoni Fiser Johnson
It is always I mean always so great to see this last aid station.  Jeff Beason has been the aid station captain there for a number of years and he knows just how to help one get on down the road toward the finish line.  Thank you Jeff! and Friends & Family for such a great pit stop on the way to finish.
By the time I got to this aid station they were out of soda.  I was in need of some caffeine so I accepted the offer of diet soda.  I never, never, never drink diet soda.  Well, I paid for it.  With maybe 2 miles left my stomach went full on revolt!  Just wow, I wish I could have puked it would have felt better, but nothing happened in that direction.  I just couldn't run any more.  I walked 30 steps, jogged 10 - 30 steps to the finish.  I watched my goal time of 8:30 come and go, but the race overall went so well I wasn't upset by it.  It was all lessons learned in managing a race.

My second half of the race was about the same time as my first half.  That is a win meaning I didn't go out too fast.  My stomach was in the game up till I poisoned it with diet soda, that is a win.  With needing less carbs, even though I did need carbs, I have less chance of stomach upset, that is a win.  Not needing to eat as many calories during the run means less chance of stomach upset, that is a win.

PR on this course by 10 minutes

Post race:
That upset tummy stuck around through Monday.  Monday night I felt a head cold and a sore throat settling in.  So today is Wednesday and I haven't run a step or worked out.  I'm trying to rest this cold out of my body.  I might go for a slog tonight and just see how it goes.

I'm still scared to death of the AT/Smoky Mountain Adventure, but it sure does feel good to have a well managed race in the books. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"I Wish You Could Run It With Me" - Arkansas Traveller 100, October 6, 2018

May 1, 2018

I really buckle down to training, I have to be ready to pace Chris Beason at the AT100, 2018.  I'm committed so I need to be up to the challenge.  It feels differently than training for myself.
Eddy, Shea and I went out to the Bald Knob Wildlife Refuge for a training run.  

Me, Shea & Eddy

Eddy & Shea - very flat Balk Knob Wildlife Refuge

Beautiful Views Bald Knob Wildlife Refuge

Eddy & Shea - very flat Balk Knob Wildlife Refuge


Running is so much more fun with friends.  We don't get to run together too much, life keeps getting in the way.

When I got home Chris Beason and I started texting back and forth. 
Let me back up 6 months:
After not finishing the Arkansas Traveller 100 again in 2017 I told my husband, Chris I would give him a year break from my 100 mile training.  I told Chris Beason I would do whatever she needed, pace, crew, whatever needed to get her to the finish line of the Arkansas Traveller 2018.
We talked about her running it in 2018 with my help.  Then we would both run it in 2019 together.  We talked about how to do that and each be free to go on and finish the race if something happened to the other.

So back to May 1, 2018 after I got home from the run with Eddy and Shea Chris Beason and I started texting.  She said something like "I wish you could run the whole thing with me this year".
Well crap!  So after much back and forth with Chris Beason and much back and forth with husband, Chris Gunnoe, this happened:
Tripped over my computer keyboard and this happened! 
I will do my long runs during the weeks so husband Chris and I have weekends together.  I will have to take one of those weekends each month to run with Chris B.

So fast forward its June 6, 2018.

I have gone through every emotion imaginable between May 1 and now.  I feel like this has more reason and purpose than it has had in years, that is a good thing.
Someone I care about deeply dropped an emotional bomb on me, this has shattered two weeks of my training plan.  Its hard to get up and run when getting out of bed is almost impossible.

Monday June 4th, is my first day back on track.  While goofing and not training I still hit my miles, but I didn't train consistently for those two weeks and I didn't stick to my strict keto diet.

So now I'm back on track training again.  Its Wednesday and my workouts, runs and cross-training are up to date.  Since last Friday I have stuck to the strict under 20g carbs keto diet and since Saturday night, intermittent fasting (no food for 16 hours, eat only to full in the 8 hour window, maintaining under 20g carbs).
My weight loss is on track and comparable to 2015.  I'm doing my work and feeling strong.

Two days ago husband Chris suggested another Appalachian Trail in the Smoky Mountains adventure this year, maybe August!  I'm so stinking excited!  Hill work is needed for sure!  LOL

So this is mid week of 18 Weeks Till Traveller!

Happy Training!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Giving Back... AKA... Complete Self-fulfillment! - White Rock Classic 50K - Feb 3, 2018

I would rather stay at home and order in groceries, never leaving the house but to go run a trail.  Unfortunately humans are wired for connection, so this isn't the recipe for the best life I can author.  So that means moving out of my comfort zone is a must to write each chapter of that best life.

With finding AURA, with being scared to death of Chrissy at my first contact with her warning runners not to F with her volunteers, with Lou Patyton and Alston Jennings helping me finish my first playdate with you all, back in the day when the Catsmaker started and ended at Electronic Tower, I found a home.
Running, exercise and even socializing became a bit more manageable, even something to look forward to, imagine that!

Fast forward a few years, I found myself volunteering at the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station for the Arkansas Traveller 100, then Co-Captain of the Pumpkin Patch Aid Station with my husband, then having my hand in putting on a run.

This run desperately needed new RD's or it would have gone into the ash heap of history as some AURA runs have.  Many of the run directors put years, heart and soul into a run.  Life moves forward for us all, they find they can no longer, or no longer with joy host a run.  It is time to move on and help someone else step up and embrace the experience.  It was my turn.

PoDog & Lisa Gunnoe - RD's of the White Rock Classic 50K Photo 2017
Doing this alone doesn't fit into my life.  My husband, Chris, helps keep me from overextending myself, he did that here too.  To have his support in working with this run I had to partner with someone as RD's.  PoDog is the perfect RD partner.  I do the pre-run day organizing, volunteers, Forest Service, Emergency Rescue, etc.  PoDog does the shopping, transport of supplies, and the heavy lifting come race day.

This year was our 5th year working together for this run.  The first year I called him up a week before the run and told him I wouldn't be there.  My daughter was getting married at a county court-house in Maryland on the same day as this run, so he was on his own.  He didn't disown me then and hasn't since.

During the four years I have been out there on race day I have seen a wide array of experiences that keep my love of humanity alive and well.  It has been my great pleasure to see first timers who really didn't think they could but were willing to take the chance, chance everything by toeing up to the starting line.  It has been inspiring to hear the stores of those runners who are so ready to stop  and just roll up in a ball and wait till someone picks them up, but they don't.  They keep putting one foot in front of the other until they cross the finish line.  Finish lines change lives and it changes theirs and I am privileged enough to share that story with them.  They then go home empowered to handle the messiness that is life.  If they can keep going on the trail till they cross the finish line they have the guts to face whatever that thing is in their life that is currently keeping them up at night.

The stories of the aid station volunteers move me to a place of deep compassion and gratitude.  Those volunteers give everything for that day, it is COLD as crazy out there and windy too.  They stay out there and help every runner.  Some volunteers have mostly hung up their running shoes, they are out there to give back to something that gave them so much.  Some are taking a break from running to rest and recover before they dive back in.  Some have never run a step and plan to keep it that way but they are in love with the welcoming family that Arkansas provides "out there".  They show guts and grit and kindness and compassion in showing up to freeze to death to help others complete their goals.

For me, hosting this event isn't about running.  You all have taught me that running isn't about running.  Its about finding the best in life and seizing hold, riding it out and hanging on to see where it goes.  There are bumps, bruises, tears, sweat, cuss words, food, lots of food, hugs, high fives, friends, connections that matter along the way.  I wouldn't change a thing.

Thank you for letting me be selfish in getting so much more out of this than I could possibly put in.  When it comes to gratitude and hunting out the very best things in my life, trail running and AURA has been easy to identify as one of those greatest blessings.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Running in 2018

Time To Stop Goofing And Set A Goal

December was loaded up with family drama.  While sitting in Chris's office I told him I wasn't as over DNA as I thought I was.  He told me I wasn't over DNF.  I started crying, I knew he had scored a direct hit with his observant insight.

I have been goofing since not finishing the Arkansas Traveller 2017 edition.  My mileage went from in the 200's a month to barely reaching 100 miles per month.

On that day I opened my 2018 training log book and laid out a plan for the Ouachita Trail 50 on April 21, 2018.  The training plan I follow is a 24 week plan, there is only 16 weeks left till the OT50.  I'm going to jump in where I am using heart rate training to keep from overdoing training.

Some goals for 2018

A road marathon - I have entered Team LOCO Marathon in Conway AR 20 Jan 2018.  Lets get this one out of the way!

Get enough miles to be in the high mileage club with my trail running club Arkansas Ultra Running Association, 300 miles in finished series runs are needed for this accomplishment.

I will run at least 2 - 50 milers.
If training allows, still respecting family life, finish a 100 miles in an official run.
Become a running coach
2018 miles run or walked in 2018

I gave up my 2x a month massages to save for something else.  I will develop a consistent yoga and rolling habit to make up for what I'm missing out on with those monthly massages.

Keep your eyes on where you are going.  You won't reach the finish lines learning from the journey if you are looking back to where you have been or if you are looking down.   Keep your eyes on the target.  

One Word for 2018

Sylamore Trail near Mountain View, AR

One Word

In 2016 I heard about a concept: One Word
I first heard or read about it from a book by Jon Gordan, Dan Britton, Jimmy Page
One Word That Will Change Your Life

Another source, not related to this book, that I discovered about a month ago is located at:

The idea is you pick one word, not two, not a phrase, one word and use it to guide you throughout the year.  At the beginning of the next year you pick another word for the upcoming year.

My word for last year was: Relationship

I have spent most my life as an anxious introvert.  When the phone rings I don't answer, when I see someone at a store that I know, I duck and dodge so they don't see me and I won't have to talk.
In 2017 Relationship helped me answer the phone, own my destructive crap that hurt people I love, accept some damage can't be fixed with some relationships, get reconnected with my church, put home life over running life.

Did it all go rosy, oh come on this is life, of course it didn't!  Life is messy.
I have two people I love dearly that do not want a relationship with me.  This hurts to no end, but owning my crap and giving them space will be the way to heal this relationship.

I learned to let go of destructive relationships.  Now this was a surprise for me.  All DNA relationships aren't necessary to a good life, as a matter of fact it may be necessary to a good life to end those relationships.  This may be something I have to accept in the two relationships mentioned above.  Maybe they see me as destructive and their path to a life well lived is ending that relationship with me.  Its mine to own, my emotions are my responsibility.

2017 was a painful but good year of so much learned and more growth happening.

On to 2018

My one word for 2018

Definition of accept

transitive verb
1to receive (something offered) willingly 
  • accept a gift
to be able or designed to take or hold (something applied or added) 
2to give admittance or approval to 
  • accept her as one of the group

3to endure without protest or reaction 

4to make a favorable response to 
  • accept an offer
to agree to undertake (a responsibility) 
5to assume an obligation to pay; also to take in payment 
  • we don't accept personal checks
to receive (a legislative report) officiallyintransitive verb
:to receive favorably something offered usually used with of
  • a heart more disposed to accept of his
  •  —Jane Austen
What will I do today to accept the lessons learned about relationships in 2017?
What will I do to accept the lessons this day will bring?

What will I do today to have a magnificent day living, learning, accepting, and ending the day liking myself and my day, having fun and loving life along the way?

Onward! Photo Taken on the Appalachian Trail in Smoky Mountain National Park
So Accept as my one word lasted a week.  I couldn't even remember it when trying to think of it. 
Listening to the Brain Software Hypnosis Podcast, Mike Mandel mentioned his and invited anyone to share or steal it.... Onward!, this one resonated with me so Onward! it is!