Sunday, September 9, 2012

Back at it...

After having candy and coffee for breakfast, pizza for lunch and movie popcorn for dinner on Friday, I hit my threshold of 20 days of no workouts. After Leadville, I didn't have any formal plans of getting back into a workout routine, I knew it would happen all on its own. I purposely did not commit myself to any events after Leadville, I didn't want to feel 'forced' by my own guilt to run. In the last month of training leading up to Leadville my runs were dragging and it felt like a 'need to do' and 'grit and bear it' vs a 'want to do' and a welcome 'escape from reality.'

I still haven't formally committed to any future events but I would like to finish the year up with a few more longer trail events. For now it's just a wait and see how things fall into place before making any commitments.

As far as my training goes, after Leadville I came to the realization that I need to approach my next training cycle much differently than I did leading up to Leadville. After finishing 51 miles I felt I still had more in me to keep going. So I have the endurance part down, just not the speed, as getting my wristband cut at 51 miles demonstrates. But for now I'm just running to run, no heartrate monitor, no concern for pace, just back to the basics for a few weeks.

And yes I know, I still owe 1/2 of a race report, it's coming...maybe this week.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Leadville Trail 100 Update

I just wanted to write a quick note to any of my followers who may be wondering how it went. A more detailed race report to follow.

First of all I want to say it was an amazing experience and I had a blast. I was all smiles and enjoyed (most) every minute of it.

I was ready and eager to see how the day was going to progress. Unfortunately, I made it to 51miles just shy of the cutoff of 14hr15min. Coming down Hope's Pass I tried to push it, but I did hold back a little, there we some technical rocky sections and didn't want to injure myself. Turning onto the new trail off of Hope's Pass, I knew I had somewhere around 3 miles to Winfield and 30 minutes to make it. I tried and knew it would be close, as I progressed towards Winfield and the trail started climbing, I knew my chances were getting smaller, but I pushed until the clock hit 14hr and 15min, with about a mile to go.

I had it in me but just couldn't beat the cutoff, had the cutoff times been more generous, I would have kept going...but the cutoff was what it was and I accept that. My support crew and pacers were extremely supportive and helped me tremendously.

If one thing life has taught me things happen for a reason, I may not know why but it is what it is. I'm not upset, I'm not sad, and maybe not even disappointed. I'm happy with how I did and how I felt which only gives me more confidence to continue my journey to 100miles. 2 days out I'm only a little sore, I plan to rest for the rest of my vacation, get back into yoga next week, and running the following week.

I can definitely say 2 things with confidence: 1. the year is not over and I'm not done running and 2. I will come back again. I love Leadville, the runners, the course, and the scenery and everything else about it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Leadville Silver Rush 50 Trail Run Report

I've been putting off writing this and I'm not sure why. Maybe because it was just another day on the trails and I really don't have much to report. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately I don't have any funny stories or anything too exciting to share. Don't get me wrong finishing a 50mile trail run is a huge accomplishment and I did it successfully. I guess when you have your mind on a 100, 50 miles seems to be just another step in getting to finish the 100.

I've shared with others that the during the 50 was there no time I didn't think I was going to finish or that I thought this is too hard! I guess that is where the training pays off. I did finish much slower than I had hoped but I had nothing to gauge how my body would do with 50 miles since this is the furthest I have run ever. Yes I did get tired and the elevation/climbs really took it out of me...good thing I'm off to CO in a few days, lots of hikes at high elevation and climbing planned.

About a week before the run, I was pleased to hear I would have a travel companion. It turned out that Liam was also planning on running the Silver Rush 50 so we coordinated our travel plans so we could head out there together. We flew out to Colorado early Saturday morning and made it to Leadville about midday, picked up our race bibs, stopped at the local grocery store and decided to camp despite the intermittent rain. Luckily, the rain was tolerable and we were able to stay dry.

At 6am Sunday morning the gun went off and we were on our way along with close to 500 other runners. If running 50 miles wasn't enough it started at the base of a steep hill that we had to run up or if you were me walk up. I settled into a conservative pace knowing that I had a long way to go. The race was an out and back with the 1st half of the race having more climbing then the 2nd. Also we were to climb up to over 12,000 ft on 6 occasions. I hit the turn around at 6hr 16min 39sec. On the second half I became extremely fatigued. I thought I would be able to make up time on the last 10 miles which were downhill, but I just couldn't get my legs to run. So I alternated between running and walking hoping that my running legs would come back but they never did. As I mentioned before I never had the thought that I wasn't going to finish the race, but during the second half I was slowly getting closer to the cut off times at the aid stations on the way back, 1st I was an hour ahead of cut off, then 45min, etc. At the last aid station at mile 42 I made the cutoff within minutes. I got emotional at this point because I knew for sure I was going to finish and was about to accomplish something I never had before. It was the last big challenge before the 100. So I did the calculations in my head and figured if I averaged 16 min miles I would come in right before the 14hr cutoff.With about a mile left I realized it was going to be close. With about 1/3 of mile left I saw Liam who was waiting for me to finish. He told me I better hurry because I was within minutes of the cutoff. I asked him if I was going straight down the hill or going around like the finish of the 50 mile bike. He said I had to go around I laughed and said "no way will I make it" so I didn't push it, I just didn't have it in me. So either my calculation was a little off or I was just a bit slower the 16min miles. I was the 1st finisher after the 14hr cutoff with a time of 14:02:56. Was I disappointed? No, I really wasn't, I finished, I got a medal and my time was listed on the results so I was happy I had accomplished something I never had. According to the results 89% of the runners that started finished, that means 1 in every 10 runners did not, and I was not that 1 in 10!

My only concern about my time was for the 100 miles, I do not want to be that close to the cutoff! So that was a little scary for me, but I've thought about it and knowing the 100 mile course, I know where I'm going to need to push it a little to stay ahead of the cutoffs.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week in Review (7/23/12-7/29/12)

Started the week off with 2 really good runs. Felt like I could run again after last weeks attempts, just needed some rest I guess. Then something hit me Friday and I was out for the count, didn't even attempt to run Fri and Sat, all I wanted to do was sleep and sleep and sleep some more, and that was it. So what did I do sleep and a lot of it. I slept all day Saturday all night Sunday, attempted to get up early to meet up with the Pulse crew to run, but my body was screaming "No" so I went back to bed and slept another half a day. Then I got up around noon on Sunday and felt like normal me again. I hate canceling plans I have committed to and feel guilty for doing so, but at the same time my body was telling me to slow down. With just a short 3 weeks out from the big day, I need to listen to my body and not over do it.

Got out tonight for a run and it was ok, not horrible. Planning on getting my last back to back runs with some higher mileage done on Mon and Tues (that is if my energy level allows for it) and then I can say time to TAPER.

Runs: 3
Mileage: 30
Yoga: 0-put my membership on hold since I'm going to be gone, was planning to still squeeze in a few classes but hasn't been a priority

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Week in Review 7/16/12-7/22/12

Recovery and rest...that's what this week was all about. Our flight home wasn't until late Tuesday night, so Liam and I had two days of not being on a schedule or needing to do anything, my kind of living. Monday we went to the hot springs and explored Buena Vista and Tuesday we spent most of our day wandering around Leadville. No runs but did do a descent amount of walking. Once I got home I was exhausted and with work I didn't have much desire to run so I didn't, I did make it to yoga (once). By Saturday, I knew I had to start running again. Wow, was I tired and my legs slow, I hadn't felt sore all week until I started running. Made it a whole 7miles, and it was ummm...let's just say, I was just going through the routine of it to be done with it. Sunday attempted an 8 mile run and my legs and stomach wanted nothing to do with it. I ran 2 and walked 4...blahh. Also, I was paying for some poor choices in my cream the night before and decadent french toast for breakfast. Lesson learned.

Miles: 9 (+ a decent amount of walking)
Runs: 2
Yoga: 1

Week in review 7/9/12-7/15/12

Prep week for Leadville Silver Rush 50! I worked all week and then flew out to Leadville Saturday, for the Silver Rush run on Sunday.

Runs: 3
Miles: 62
Yoga: 1

Race report to follow, when I am feeling ambitious enough to write something.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Leadville Silver Rush 50 Run

Well, I'm heading back out to Colorado early tomorrow morning to run Leadville Silver Rush 50 on Sunday, which is going to be my longest run ever and the longest training run leading up to the 100. So I'm going into uncharted territory, little nervous, but I hope to have fun. I haven't seen the course but this is what the course elevation looks like:

At least we get the 10 miles of continuous climbing over with right away. And looks like we hit 12,000ft 4 times, yikes, hope my lungs are ready for this one.

You can track my run live at:

14 hr cutoff, I hope for a good day and to be well ahead of that in order to give me confidence for the time cutoffs in the 100.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week in Review (7/2/12-7/8/12)

Better week then last week, but should have gotten that 5th run in. Most of the week legs were still moving slow. Today's run felt pretty much back to normal.

Runs: 4
Miles: 40
Yoga: 4

Plan for next week: 1 more longer run tomorrow. Then a couple more runs and yoga classes during the week before going back to Leadville on Sat, running the Leadville 50, on Sunday.

Week in Review (6/25/12-7/1/12)

Didn't get much running this week. Between traveling, catching up on work, and my body being completely fatigued from the training camp. Had a five day stretch without any runs. Wasn't planning on having that happen but oh well!

Runs: 2
Miles: 30
Yoga: 1

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Something to Share

I came across this poem the other day, and it spoke to me, prehaps it will speak to some of you.
This Is It
Today’s not a warm-up.
It’s not a dress-rehearsal.
There is no second act.

What you do with it.
Where you take it.
Who you bring.

These things matter.
No do-overs. No tomorrows.
No gimme’s or get-backs.

No single moment holds more power.
Nor potential than this.
To bless or fail.

This, too, shall not pass.
Nor yearning manifest.
Until you own it all.

Rise up.
This is it.

-Jonathan Fields

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Whole Wheat Pasta with Navy Beans, Leeks and Walnuts

  • 3 medium leeks, white and light green parts chopped
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup navy beans soaked overnight, then cooked
  •  1 cup of grape tomatos
  • 11/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti
  • ⅓ cup chopped toasted walnuts

  • 1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leeks, bell pepper, and red pepper flakes; sauté 10 minutes, or until vegetables begin to brown. Stir in beans, tomatos, vegetable broth, and garlic. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

    2. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.

    3. Mix sauce and spaghetti, top with toasted walnuts before serving.

    Modified from original recipe in Vegetarian Times

    Summer Goodness Salad with Vinagrette

    I know I have been lacking in posting yummy, healthy vegan recipes, now I'm really making eating vegan and healthy a priority, so hopefully there will be more to come.

    After coming home from Leadville Training Camp. My body was craving healthy raw food. As mentioned in a previous blog, I was also concerned about my protien intake. So here's a recipe created with all of the above:

    -1 cup of green lentils, boil in water, then simmer until cooked
    -1 cup of pearled barley, with 2 cups of water or veggie broth, boil then simmer, until liquid absorbed
    -2 carrots sliced
    -2-3 stalks of celery sliced
    -1 cup of grape tomatoes
    -2 bell pepper sliced (any color i used green and red)
    -1 zuchinni, sliced
    -dressing,see belown

    1/4 c apple cider vinager
    2 T. olive oil
    1 T. dijon mustard
    1 T. fresh chopped basil
    1 T. maple syrup

    Put in a container and shake to mix, you do not need to use all the dressing on the salad, I think I used about 1/2 of it.

    Also this dressing is fabulous on a salad of arugula and sliced avocado.


    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Leadville Training Camp Recap

    So here's what I wrote on Friday before the camp....

     What I hope to take out of this weekend:
    -meeting new ultra friends
    -at least one badass story to blog about
    -lots of fun
    -serenity in the rockies
    -experience running at altitude to be able to make a realistic race plan for Leadville 50
    -face any struggle on the trails head on

    Here's what actually happened:

    Meet new ultra friends...yes there were 23 states represented and 2 Canadians, I hope to see some of them at the 50 and some at the 100, as well as next year (right Daniel?)

    One badass story to blog about...well, nothing too off the wall, but you can read my daily posts from camp

    Lots of fun...yes I had lots of fun...being on the trails and running is always fun!!!

    Serenity in the rockies...every day but Day 2, which was not so serene

    Experience running at altitude to make a realistic race plan for Leadville 50...not so much a race plan, but I did decide when to arrive prior to the 50, since I can't acclimate, as far as plan, I'm just going to  out and do it, no plan, but for the 100 I have some good information now and know what to expect in certains parts of the course

    Face any struggle on the trails head on...did you read the post from Day 2 yet?

    So in summary, I loved it, it was an amazing experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Leadville Training Camp Day 3 (6/25/12)

    Day 3 Hagerman's Pass to the Town of Leadville, miles 84-100 of the course.

    So we had all day Monday to do whatever, until meeting for the night run. I tentatively planned on going to the hot springs near Buena Vista for a nice recovery soak. However, even that seemed like an effort. Plan B, rest and nap. And I did just that I didn't leave my room all day. I felt a little guilty about it but an hour into the run I was glad I did because I was getting tired.

    We met at race headquarters around 8pm. Daniel mentioned, "I heard a rumor that there is an option to add 3 miles to the run tonight. A more technical part descending Hagerman's pass." I laughed, "Who after yesterday would want to run anymore then 13." Yes, I said that out loud, but apparently that was just a fleeting thought. On the drive out to May Queen, I thought to myself, "when else will you have the opportunity to run more of the course. You are training for 100 miles, of course you are going to do the extra miles, is it even an option, really?"

    Feeling much better after 24hrs of rest. And ready to run again!
    And in the dark none the less.
    So of the 60 runners that stayed for Monday's run, there was about 20 runners that seemed to think the same thing I did. Glad to know I wasn't alone. The difference, however, was that everyone else, except the sweepers were much faster runners then I. At first I thought, "what did i just get myself into," but then I chilled out. Before we started running I just came to the realization that I would be running in the back and I wasn't being left alone in the dark, in the mountians, in the middle of no where, there were 3 sweepers behind me to assure I wouldn't be left.
    The overachievers, of course we want to run 3 more miles.
    Walking to the trailhead.

    Waiting for dark. Just because 3 more miles wasn't enough,
    we wanted to make sure it was dark to descend the technical part of the course as well.

    And it was fun! I was quickly left in the back, but far enough ahead from the sweepers that I felt like I was alone in the middle of no where. Yet with the safety net of knowing I truly wasn't alone. Running in the dark on an unfamiliar trail is like a fun game of "where do you go next? find the next glow stick and then you'll know." So keep straight on track until you see a glow stick then head toward the glow and continue.

    Running around Turquoise Lake and coming to a clearing where all you can see is the moon, stars, and the moons reflection on a crystal clear lake was amazing and breathtaking. This world gives us beautiful gifts and being able to experience this was one of them. Not very many people get to do what I was doing in that moment and appreicating the true beauty of nature. I am truly humbled and have extreme gratitude for what I was able to experience that night.

    This picture does no justice.
    The moon reflecting on Turquoise Lake.
    A beautiful moment.
    And if that wasn't cool enough. Coming into Leadville running (ok I was walking at this point) down Main Street at 1am and having a few runners and the training crew standing out in the middle of the street waiting for you to finish and cheering you on. And congratulating you for finishing an awesome week of training. That was cool!

    I didn't keep good track of my calories and don't remember what the elevation gain (elevation was minimal)


    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    Leadville Training Camp (Day 2 6/24/12)

    WARNING: There may be some profanity in this post. Stop now if you will be offened.

    Gathered again for another day in the mountains.

    Day 2 Twin Lakes – Winfield – Twin Lakes miles 40-60 of leadville 100 course

     If I would have wrote this Sunday night after I completed this, I’m sure I would have been much more graphic, but I was so tired and out of it, I couldn’t even muster the energy.

     After yesterday’s run I set what I thought was realistic expectations for this part of the course 20min/mile average, 7hrs total.

    Day 2 -Hope's Pass

    We started the course at the bridge just past Twin Lakes (this part was altered due to us not doing the river crossing) We had about 1 mile of rolling hills and then 4.25 miles of climbing up to 12,600. The climbing and elevation was so extreme I couldn’t drink or consume calories without stopping to catch my breath. Coming out of the treeline from twin lakes was absolutely beautiful. I was so dyspnic I didn’t stop to enjoy it because I just wanted it to be over, but I did snap a few quick pics.

    On the way up.

    View from 12,600ft

    Made it, can I get down from here now so I can breathe!

    Once I got to the top I was so thrilled to start descending so I could breathe again. Unfortunately my descending skills combined with the lack of oxygen meant for a slower than desired descend. I stopped at the aid station at the bottom of the trail and gulped a warm can of coke with hopes it would perk me up.
    I then continued on to Winfield, on the way out I saw Daniel who was about a mile ahead of me, with some other runners scattered throughout to the turnaround. Luis who was about ½ mile of me who was really struggling, I shouted out to him, “Go get that bitch.” He tried to muster a smile, but it was meek. Turning into the Winfield aid station I was relieved to see a port-a-potty and a clean one at that. Coming back out of Winfield is fun because it’s mainly downhill and you can gain back some of the time you lose climbing. I stopped again at the aid station filled up on water and downed another warm coke for still hopes of more energy. Almost instantly onto the trailhead you start a very steep incline for 2.5miles. This is the worst because immediately when you start climbing you are already out of breath. I tried to play a game with myself to see if I could get a ½ mile done in 15mins, nope, a mile in 30min, nope. I can’t remember exactly without going back to my Garmin but I think the miles were 44min and 39min. This is with my moving forward at all times except to drink or consume calories. I saw Luis about a ¼ up the climb, coming back down, shaking his head saying it just wasn’t his day. From that point on I was alone, I couldn’t catch site of anyone. This is a very bad place to be alone. I kept coming out of a switchback or to a clearing hoping to see another human, nothing. Then about 1 mile from the top a saw a glimsp of 2 people, but it was gone in a moment. My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest. I remembered the story Jay told me the night before at dinner, how he came into May Queen aid station one year when he was on track to finish in under 24hrs and he passed out. He said he was so out of it he didn’t realize he was hypoglycemic didn’t even feel it coming. What if I pass out there’s no one around me, someone’s just going to encounter my passed out self on the trail. Keep moving forward to get off this wicked pass. Once the trees cleared I could see about 10 other runners disperced on the switchbacks ahead of me, but they were gaining distance on me. Or at least it seem. About a ¼ mile from the top a saw a group of wild goats or sheep, I couldn’t tell exactly I took a picture to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, made a note to myself to check that later.

    Going up again, the never ending grade.
    Can you see the wild sheep in the background?
    Then all of a sudden the wind started whipping around me and pelting me with rain drops. The wind was so instense I thought it would push me over. All I wanted to do was crutch down into a little ball to protect myself. But I was only a quarter of a mile from the top. No mood for pictures this time. In fact I flipped off the pass with both hands and said “I’ll be back bitch.”

     The decend was just as miserable my legs were shaky and there were a lot of lose rocks. It seemed like forever for me to get to a place where I could run, or at least fake a run. About 3 miles from the finish I saw Daniel ahead of me. “I am so happy to see another human.” I shouted out to him. He was just as excited to see me as me him. So we had a hell of a time commiserating together on the way down. Daniel has been getting nausea on the runs, yesterday he amongst others left his breakfast along side the trail. At least I wasn’t experiencing that. With a mile left we were both pretty loopy. I’m pretty sure I dropped my O2 level pretty low, I remember up higher looking at my hands and my fingers being purple.

    I crashed hard when we finished. I was so beat up I wasn’t even happy to be done. I said “that may have been the most miserable run (not going to lie there wasn’t much running) I have ever had” Daniel agreed with a “yeah” After that I was diminished to one word sentences for about an hour.

    This is what I must look like right before death,
    well thats what I felt like at least.

    Legs after 8hrs on the trail.
    I remember last year pacing over hope’s pass from Winfield thinking, how the runners had to go over it twice after already having 40miles down, insane, who would do that, is it even possible, nooooooooo. Well I now know it is and I also know where there is going to be some major struggling on the course, I will probably cry once I get back to Twin Lakes .

     Basically I made it back to the bed and breakfast crawled into the bathtub, crawled out before I drowned myself and collapsed into bed. I didn’t really sleep, I was more in a daze. Somehow around 10pm I got myself out of bed and went to the grocery store for some beverages, food and snacks, I was already planning on doing nothing but lounging the next day until the night run. I was still quite a mess, I think I walked around the store 3 times and not even remembering Epson salt for tomorrows bath. All night I don’t really think I slept I was more just dazed with a few moments of loss of conscouisness. My breathing was horrible, I was congested and wheezy.

     Totals: 21 miles
    Elevation Gain: 8800feet
    Time: 8hrs (3:55 to Winfield, 4:05 from Winfield to Twin Lakes)
    22:51 min/mile
    Caloric intake 1580 (2 gu chomps, 2 cans coke, 6 coconut waters, 3 bars, 100cal almonds)
    202cal/hr avg

     I definitely plan on going back out to Hope’s Pass in early August to practice my descends I think if I can get myself acclimated and with a little more comfort on descending I could get my time on that section down to 7:30 on race day. Not speedy but a reasonable goal.

     The only problem I had on this section was breathing, I blame my inability to descend because I was so shaky from poor O2 consumption. (But lets be honest, I need to work on descending too.)

    Leadville Training Camp (Day 1 6/23/12)

    Day 1May Queen to Twin Lakes, mile 14-40 of Leadville 100 course

     I’m super excited to report that I had a great training day and really got to see what my body can do at altitude.

     The night before I thought about where I would like to see myself pace wise through 26 miles of the course, I thought 15min/mile would be nice to see.

     Woke up at 5:30 snoozed a bunch of times. Wondered out to the kitchen for some coffee and got myself ready. Met Daniel, another runner staying at the same B&B, at 6:30am. We walked to the gym,  I grabbed a yummy berry scone and some more coffee and sat down and met a few other runners. I haven’t been all that great with remembering names though. At 7:30 we all piled in a couple of buses and took off for May Queen, we were running by 8, temp was warm and the sun was out, so no layers needed.

    Getting ready to run from May Queen

    Ready to Run
    I seated myself toward the middle back of the pack. Overall great run, learned a few things, pushed myself to meet my goal but not too hard.
    View from Hagerman Pass
    Turquoise Lake
    Hagerman Pass

    What I learned:
    The paved section after fish hatchery is long, boring, and slower then you think it should be.

    I need to tape my feet. Started feeling hotspots on my feet around mile 14, which ended up being old blisters from the SD100 that hadn’t completely healed over. I took a good 10 minutes to tape my feet up well to prevent any more damage and it seemed to do the trick.

    Oops I forgot to tape my feet!

    Thanks to the wonder aid station volunteers
    12 miles is too long of a stretch if it is 80 degrees and sunny with just my nathen, I ran out of water 3 miles early, which made me do 2 things: runner faster to finish sooner and stop taking nutrition because I didn’t have anything to wash it down with.

    Much of this section is runnable.

    Elevation gain: i forgot, somewhere around 4500ft
    Caloric intake: 1325 (6 coconut waters, 4 packs of gu chomps, 2 luna bars, 100 cal of almonds, ¼ orange, ½ can of coke)
    208cal/hr avg

    Afterwards took an ice bath, then an Epsom salt bath, and got ready for dinner. Dinner was awesome, salad and pizza, catered by mountain high pizza. Met some more ultrarunner’s at dinner: Jay, whose Dad accompanies him to crew every 100 he’s done, John the race MD, he gave me some advice on my feet. And just a bunch of other crazy runners like me. And Tony, (aka Anton) got an opportunity to chat with him about his training and get my picture with him.

    Look who came to dinner!

    After dinner we had a panel discussion to ask some veterens some questions. Good information learned there as well, like how to strengthen my adducters and abductors, which in turn will stop my right hip/IT band from hurting. How to prevent cramping which ultimately means how to prevent build up of lactic acid. And a great pep talk by Ken.

    I already knew this but I WILL NOT QUIT. I may feel like crap and hurt a lot, I may be tired and not want to go on. But I am prepared for this, I understand things will go poorly at times, I understand the weather may not be what I want it to do. But I am trained and prepared to finish the race, I have my nutrition plan. Most of all I have the mental toughness to push through any dark place my mind has taken me. I’ve been there many times before(same place, different situations) and persevered through all of them and I will continue to do so time and time again.

    Leadville Panel: Marilee, Ken, Jon(race MD), Lynette ('11 1st place woman), Dave, Jay, Jeff, Gene, Anton

    I need to checkout. Meeting again at 6:30am.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Leadville Training Camp (day 0, 6/22/12)

    Day 0 (Friday June 22nd)

     Yesterday during my run I was thinking how I was going to be in Leadville at this time tomorrow. It’s funny how fast this has come up. I’ve been so busy with work, I didn’t have time to make hotel reservations or really think about it at all. Wednesday I finally made it a priority to start calling around to find a place to stay.

     I’m not as excited as I thought I was going to be. Maybe I’m nervous to find out how I’m going to perform at altitude. Maybe it’s because the last two weeks I’ve had “blah” runs and wasn’t loving every moment of my runs.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been busy with work and my mind has been wandering elsewhere. Nonetheless despite how my runs turn out this weekend, I hope I discover a new excitement  this weekend to carry me through the next eight weeks and get me to that start line.

    Right now I’m up flying in the air somewhere between Phoenix and Denver. I am excited to land, get the rental and take off to Leadville for my weekend adventure.

    On a side note I’ve been a little concerned about my diet. I’ve been so busy I haven’t been preparing my meals like I usually do, so I’m eating on the go and because I’m hungry all the time I’m snacking on sweets at the office. I feel like I’m not getting enough green stuff in my diet and concerned my protein intake may have been subpar the past two weeks. So I need to make eating a priority…Oh wait, I already do that. I need to make eating RIGHT a priority for the next 8 weeks. Meaning making sure I’m getting my protein intake every meal and eating lots of fresh green goodness. Speaking of I’m getting hungry right now. I’m going to be in search of a nice green salad with lots of crunchy veggies and a yummy black bean burger when I land.

    Alright I didn’t get that black bean burger but what I did have was: side salad, spicy black bean soup, and a buffalo burger patty (it has been a while since I’ve had any type of meat and it was delish)

    And of course dessert!

    I am exhausted, got checked into Leadville. Went for a 2 mile run to test out the lungs at 10,200 feet! Wasn’t so bad, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

     What I hope to take out of this weekend:
    -meeting new ultra friends
    -at least one badass story to blog about
    -lots of fun
    -serenity in the rockies
    -experience running at altitude to be able to make a realistic race plan for Leadville 50
    -face any struggle on the trails head on

    SD100 - Pacing Eric T.

     I had the wonderful opportunity to pace Eric miles 58-100 during the SD100. My reasons for doing so were selfish on my part, it was a great training opportunity to get in lots of miles, be on the trails in the dark and not by myself. In the end I don't think Eric minded my self-seeking motives. I learned alot from Eric both from his words of advice to how he ran his race. If Eric was having a down moment he never let it show. He continued to push through each aid station, leaving with bursts of energy each time. At mile 80 people were rolling in looking like death, not Eric, were these people running the same race he was? Sure didn't look like it. I can only hope I can maintain half the dignity he held up through his 100 miles. Congratulations Eric, you rock!

    Besides pacing Eric, I was able to see Mike and Liam, from Pulse Endurance Sports cross the finish line. Congratulations to Mike for finishing it 1st 100 and congrats to Liam for finishing his first SD100. If it wasn't for the two of you motivating me to get on the trails and leading the way I surely wouldn't be where I am today. 

    Mile 58, this is where I jumped in.
    Dawn, around mile 76ish
    After the Aid station at mile 80.

    Check out the view around mile 90.

    Saw this little bugger around mile 97.
    Done 100miles for Eric! (42 for me)

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    John Muir Trail (6/4/12)

    After one day of rest, I took a trip up to the John Muir Trail in Yosemite. Was able to do a flat 10 mile run at 8800 feet.
    I came out of the woods and this little one was not 50 feet away from me.

    Another little creature I encountered along the way.

    There's a storm brewing, hope I can beat it back to the car.

    Made it back to the car, before this started to happen.

    Check it out, it's snowing.

    Shadow of the Giants 50k (6/2/12)

    I know, late again on the race report, and trying to catch up. Last year Shadow of the Giants 50k was my first ultra and this year I was super excited to share it with my dad and convert him to an ultramarathoner.

    The race is in Fish Camp, CA which is right outside Yosemite. So not only did we get to do a race together, we got to road trip and explore Yosemite as well.

    Dad and I got up to Fish Camp around 5pm, the race headquarters is at an outdoor school, which reminds me of camp when I was little. We picked up our bibs, I went and said “Hi” to Big Baz and introduced him to my dad. Since I wanted my dad to have the “full experience” of the race, we were staying in the bunks at the camp…nothing posh here.  The hosted prerace dinner was lasagna, salad and rolls.
    Dad and Race Director "Big Baz"
    My favorite part of sleeping at the race start is you are literally 100 yards from the start so you can roll out of bed and stumble to the start, even before you are fully awake. I did give myself time to grab some coffee.
    Apparently someone took a picture of me trying
     to go to bed early so I could get some sleep
    At the start.
    Dad and I gathered outside with all the other runners. My plan was to take it easy and start towards the back of the pack. We started with a 2.5 mile climb. After that there is an out and back, nice downhill on the way out and uphill and the way back. I left my dad at the top of the first climb and let my legs go on the downhill.  After the downhill we started climbing for another 5 miles. I was feeling really good and was right where I wanted to be. I continued to feel strong through mile 14. I was actually ahead of my goal pace and if things continued it looked like I was going to have a fantastic day.
    Just before mile 15 was a very steep climb, probably less then a mile long. Not sure what happened but I lost it there, I was panting and couldn't catch my breath. After the climb there was 6 miles of decline and I had lost my running legs, this was an opportunity for me to gain some more time, but my legs just weren't turning over. People started passing me, a couple girls asked me if I was OK. My dad caught up to me right before mile 20. I rolled into the aid station took my pack off and sat down. This was not fun I felt terrible and had about 10 miles left to go.
    Having a "moment"

    Dad asked if I wanted to run together and I said "no" I was in a not so pretty place and didn't want to run with anyone, let alone run. I rested for 20 minutes or so. Drank a coke and ate an orange. Then grudgingly I got up to finish, what I thought could be a very miserable long 10 miles.

    I thought to myself I don't want this to be any longer then it has to be, so I started running and I felt ok, so I kept running and I got my legs back! I was able to pick my pace back up and finish the rest of the actually running.

     I crossed the finish line, 10 minutes behind my Dad, who was surprised to see me already. I explained to him that after I refueled and rested, things came back around for me.

    In retrospect I believe this was a great learning lesson for the future. When things go south it doesn't mean it's going to stay that way. I think what happened during this race needed to happen to me to give me prospective on whats going to happen at Leadville 100. Yes, I am going to have some difficult times physically and mentally. But that doesn't mean its going to continue throughout the rest of the race. And its OK to sit down and take some time to regroup and refuel and remotivate. Your day does not end because of one bad moment.

    Enjoying the finish.