Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflecting on the Year

As 2012 comes to an end I can't help but shake my head in disbelief at what my mind told my body it was capable of. 2054 miles run! Really....2054 miles run on a knee that 4 Ortho's had told me to stop running on or it would more then likely need replaced in a couple years (end of 2009 and 2010)  10 marathons, 3 - 50K's, 2 - 50 milers a couple half ironman, and several half marathons on a foot with Tarsal Tunnel and the only possible fix to relieve that pain is surgery but it's only 50% success rate which is not high enough for me so I will live with the feelings of Plantar Fascitis day in and day out...on the bright side my mind has learned to block these pains in order for me to carry on and do what I love to do! Believe in yourself!
I got to see so many places this year from running.....I traveled and ran in 13 different states and this gave me a new idea that I wanted to run at least a marathon or Ultra once in each of the 50 states hopefully by the time I turn 50. I'm not like some of the typical 50 Staters club members who won't repeat a state....If there is a run closer to me and it fits in my training plan I will do that state 10 times...I tend to stick to my training plan for those long runs better if I go to an organized run.  It's kinda hard to find folks to come run 26 plus miles on a Saturday with you.
I just returned from Albion Indiana where I did the huff 50K....this was awesome...it was technically the first big run I've ever done in the snow. I was a little concerned about the run and how I would feel due to the fact I had not been able to run a bunch since the JFK50 miler which was Nov 17th. We hadt the fear that I had a stress fracture on the navicular bone in my foot and after almost 3 weeks and very very limited running we went ahead to do the xray and MRI - I guess stress fractures show up better if you wait 2-3 weeks before having these test cause they should be starting to heal a bit and can see them better, well the results came back that it was tendenosis of the Anterior Tibialis and this Dr is a runner himself, he said he would not tell me not to run but to listen to my body and do not change my gait to compensate for the pain....My longest run was an 18 miler and only had about 80 ish miles in for that entire span. Albion received about 6 inches, I debated on what to wear since I get so hot and decided on the Clear as Mud pant from Lululemon which has a water resistant panel from the knee down and I thought that would be perfect for any deep snow...was so happy Santa brought these to me as they performed exactly as I had hoped. I also wore a long sleeve tech shirt of their but a little light weight then a Nike jacket with some waffle warm goodness inside.  The first mile or so I could feel myself already getting very warm and saw others already taking off their jackets and tying them off, the sun wasnt out and it really wasnt too windy but I chose to keep mine on for a while and see how I felt as the day prolonged. I actually kept the jacket on the entire run and it was perfect for me.  About a half mile or so till the turn around I finally found a porta john...as I approached one of the medic just entered....damn and i knew he had to take a shit just by watching him in the distance...I debated whether to wait or go on but chose to wait. After I relieved myself and headed to the turn around that short period of standing caused my hands to start to freeze, my gloves were wet from my hands being so hot but they were not hot in an unpleasant way up to this point but it did make me stop for my gear check bag and switch out gloves....boy that was a smart idea on my part! Even though I felt really good out here, no major pains I did let my mind wonder a bit and it would ask myself are you really having fun, why do you run, why do you want to keep trying to push yourself further....my simple answer are just to see if I can and by doing so hopefully this will help others realize we are all capable of doing anything we set our minds to. My bad knee got some fluid on it and still is like that so Ive been icing and just biking the past couple days and will play it smart all week before the Frozen Sasquatch 50K this coming weekend...then a 3 week break and off to the beaches of St Croix for their 50 miler...that will be a change...running in snow for 2 weekends to running in the tropical mountains and Sandy Beaches of the Caribbean in 4 weeks!
Bigger goals lie ahead for me next year as I plan to take on my first 100K in Georgia March 3rd my first 100 miler at Umstead on April 6th in Raleigh NC, I plan to do the Center of the Nations marathon series which is 5 marathons in 5 states in 5 days in September 16-20 and I plan to do my first Double Ironman in Virginia in October 11-12th. I'm gonna do another double marathon out West this time in Idaho and Utah in which my son will come with me. We have talked about driving the 1700 miles and stopping at various places on the way but my brother has warned me it's a pretty boring drive till you get out West so we prolly will fly out and then take some days to drive to different sites around the area. And speaking of my son - WOW...he graduated High School this year, He went off to University of Cincinnati for college and is just growing up! There are soooo many things I do wish I could talk him into doing at school with joining clubs, getting active and meeting people but I realize he is the one that has to choose his own path.
In closing out the year for any of you that may read this and struggle with your goals just set you mind to it and DO IT! Believe you can and you will.  There is always someone that has more issues and ailments then you that are doing what we feel is the impossible...make that your possible. What ever it may be, running or walking a 5K and century bike ride, a 10K a half marathon...once you complete one goal set another to work for and go for it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

JFK 50 Miler

Bear with me as I attempt to recall this amazing experience!  I had been battling a cold or the flu for almost 2 weeks leading up to the run and was really starting to worry.  There was NO WAY I would miss this run. As soon as I started feeling bad I began taking Zicam and it seemed to help for the first week until the day I was driving to the race....I am glad I decided to drive over on Thursday this way I didnt have the stress of driving 6.5 plus hours the day before the run and have to get to packet pick up and check in the hotel all that day...instead now I could get there check in and just relax.  I had some errands at home to take care of Thursday and had to take the dogs to the kennel and my folks watch my little one and got out of town around 10:30. My throat now was raw, my ears felt hollow and my arms and such were really weak feeling so I stopped and got Vit C, Airbourne, Dayquil and NiQuil capsules and I began more medicine.  I checked into the hotel and went to an Italian restaurant that evening and tried to get some rest.  I had planned to go to the pre race dinner on Friday but was already debating my day.  When I got up Friday I now felt even worse, I even felt a little warm but I went about my day and tried to have an early lunch because now I knew I wasnt going to the dinner, instead I would eat early get my packet and come back to the hotel to just rest. I had only eaten about half my pasta from Olive Garden and had to excuse myself because it was not gonna stay in my belly....needless to say my friday's pre race meals didnt go over well.  Once I got to the packet pickup at 3pm I got my packet and decided I was getting a JFK50 jacket, stickers and all the goodies...this was the race and this was the 50th running of the race I will do this no matter what and by purchasing the jacket there would be no stopping me cause I was going to wear that damn thing!! Being at the small expo and around others actually boosted me and I felt almost immediately better.  I met Shaunte another friend from the JFK Facebook page and we had a nice visit. I got back to the room took some more airbourne, vit c and the niquil capsules and just relaxed while watching TV and touching base with my ride for the morning. I was catching a ride with some folks I had met on the JFK facebook page and we were leaving around 3:45am to get to the pre race meeting. I slept fairly well considering the pre race sleep always sucks and I still wasnt feeling well, I didnt make any promises with the devil or offer and trades like I will do this if you keep me well, instead I simply prayed that I would be well enough to finish the run and then if I am to be sick so be it...come and get me. I got up around 3am, had a bagel with some peanut butter and headed to Paul and Joes rooms. I grabbed a banana and took it with me sice the start was at 5am and I would probably want to try to put something else in my body before then. I didnt feel so bad when I got up and the spirits from Paul and Joe and all their stories that they began to so humbly tell me about what they have done in their lifetime had my in awe. I've never been one to worry about how long it takes me to finish a run or a tri or anything like that as long as I finish and do the best the I can do I am happy. I wont go and say I would have done better if I was feeling 100% and make excuses because my goal was and always will be simple....FINISH WHAT I SET OUT TO DO.  We got to the gym and here I ran into Shaunte and also Rose who is from Florida...she wasnt too sure if some family issues was going to allow her to come but the evening before she found out it was a go. We sat in the gym and listened to the pre race meeting, the talks about the Appalachian Trail and if we did feel like we could finish in less then 12 hours we shouldnt take the 5am start due to running alot of the trail in the dark and it would essentially slow you down.  I still didnt want to take any chances I wanted that 2 hour time cushion. The month before I had stopped thru town on my way to run Delaware and NJ and drove the road that leads to the trail and remembered it being one major hill....I wasnt looking forward to that!  The gun sounded and up the road we went....there was only a couple gradual hills and I jogged a few and then started to walk a few to save my energy for the rest of the day...I thought...wow this hill really seemed alot worse when I drove it that day and we had already gone almost 2 miles I think and then WHAM....there was the hill I remembered. For the next 3.5 miles we climb and climb and climb I believe it is over 1,000 feet. At the 5am start everyone walked this...and chatted and told stories from previous years running.  I was so surprised by the number of repeat entrants...through out the day I think I only met 2 other people that were doing their first JFK50 miler like myself...others anywhere from their 3rd to their 25th! I met some awesome people out there.  Once we got onto the trail it was rocky to say the least... am really surprised the trail rating is only a 2 for technical and I had been running several courses that were ranked as 3 and 4?  It was very hard to run on most of the AT....you had to jog very slowly and actually take it to a walk through numerous places.  I dont know what mile I was on but it was here I ran into Steve Bozeman....Steve is a 66 year old man from VA who in October of this year just finished his 16th DOUBLE IRONMAN-the back of his number also read going for JFK50 number 25..this was great for starting up conversation and instantly we started chatting and I lead the pace...I dont know how many ultras and such he had ran but his stories were amazing! ....he stumbled and I pulled him up and he had cut the side of his face, their was blood but it wasnt too deep, I asked if he wanted me to clean it up and he said nope I gotta show my buddy up ahead...we laughed and then spoke of how cool and badass he looked. He then talked about a run that he has done on many occasions that gives a prize at the end to the person with the most blood at the end. He also talked of his friend who had just gotten ahead of him and also had done a ton of ultra events and I believe was going on finishing his 19th JFK 50 this year, his name Irving King Jordan, King Jordan was the President of Gallaudet University for years which is a deaf University and was deaf himself. My cousin Jill actually attended this University and I figured she would know him, in fact I found out he wasnt President yet when she attended but she did have him as a professor for a class. (small world!)  Once we got to King, Steve waited till he was beside him and gently reached to let him know he was beside him and showed off his wounds.  We were approaching another crazy rocky area of the trail and had picked up another gal that kept pace with us, I dont remember her name but this was her 6th time doing the run and she was 41 years old. King fell but was uninjured on that fall and we picked him up and the gal laughed and said Im getting in front of you cause everytime Im behind you fall...everyone giggled. We didnt get much further and down he went again...I could hear his head hit this rock and it wasnt good. He rolled and said oh my head and we all bent over for him as he grasped his toboggan and began to remove it...blood gushed. Myself and another guy went ahead to let them know to call for some help...in the meantime Paul came up from behind and later I found he had a small medical kit in his bag so he got him cleaned up, wrapped up and able to walk the remaining mile or so of the trail but this was the worse part of the trail coming up! It was a 1,000 foot drop in elevation over a mile with crazy ass switchbacks! The top contenders who started 2 hours after us were starting to fly by and you just look at them with your jaw to the ground wondering how in the hell they can run on those rocks, I honestly dont think their feet even touch the ground. King didnt get to finish the run instead they got him to the hospital and had to have 10 stitches, but he's already to go again next year.  Another man had fallen and broke his arm but allowed them to tape him up and didnt go to the hospital till he was finished. So now I was realizing why I had read "If you get off the Appalachian Trail uninjured you are in great shape" When I got off the trail I was ready to run, my right hip though was giving me some fits.
I was also told that the C&O Canal Towpath in which we had to run a marathon on would really get to me...I refused to let that get to my head and told those that Ive done plenty of boring marathons it wont bother me...OH MY!!! I dont think I was half way thru it and it was a major suck fest.  I met lots of other people here and talked to them and Joe and I would play leap frog and have some encouraging words exchanged. Here he let me know at what time each cut off was coming and not to let the trail suck me in...he said the trail has a tendency to have you walk and before you know it you will be walking too much and miss the next cutoff, you cant think about the finish line cutoff because there are mile marker cut offs out there as well. The JFK50 has a strict policy that NO LISTENING DEVICES ARE ALLOWED,,,if you are caught with one you will be pulled off the course and never allowed to run it again. We were allowed our phone for emergencies and I took a couple photos out there. I was about half way thru and called my mom and talked for a bit, my phone was eating up my battery cause of course I had to post my photos and such on FB! I was at mile 16 of the marathon and starting singing to the tune of I dont give a damn about the whole state of Michigan but my words were I dont give a damn about the old C&O Canal and then would end it with but I have 10 more miles to go..then would start up again and sing again with a different amount of miles to go...it isnt as fast pace song as 99 bottles of beer on the wall as the miles are not knocked off as fast.
 I met Santa at the mile 34 aid station...at this point I was concentrating on just getting to the next station...I had forgot my garmin but it didnt bother me cause I hate wearing it on Ultras and looking at it think shit I have this much longer to go. I had half a peanut butter and jelly uncrustable here and it was the best damn pb&j sandwich I think I've ever had.  I knew the next station was mile 38 and they call it the 38 Special...for weeks I had read about the homemade red velvet cake at this station and was hoping there would be some left, but while running I had completely forgotten that this next station was where I should find the cake!! The crowd at this station was hugh...they were lined up on each side with signs and noise makers just cheering you on.  I grabbed some animal crackers, jelly beans and a couple starburst and then I hear "Would you like a piece of Red Velvet Cake" I was like Hell yeah!! I've heard about this for weeks..but you have to take my photo eating it. As I ran thru this aid station I then knew that I had less then a half marathon to go and the very next station would be the last on this freaking canal!! You had to be at that station by 5:00 and if you were there before 3:00 you didnt have to take a safety vest to wear for nightfall. I arrived at 3:30  I had my pink jacket that I could wear with the lights that flashed and the Grim Reaper as they call Wayne said it was ok for me to wear that instead of a vest. Finally we are back on a road and a different view. Immediately we climbed a hill but it actually felt good to use a different muscle....at the top it became rolling and I tried to jog but my right hip couldnt take it....I had been popping some motrin for awhile every couple hours and had already taken 4 so didnt want to take anymore. Each time I tried to jog that extra weight from the pounding was horrible, I realized I had plenty of time to finish and decided to just try to fast walk pace as much as I could. Soon I met up with a guy from Dayton Ohio and we hung together for probably 4 miles...he was there with a big group of friends also running and thought for sure they would catch him while he walking then assumed they probably resorted to walking as well.  He spoke of the crew they brought with them and thought he would atleast be seeing someone on the road side but it wasnt until about 1 mile to go and a female came to him...he introduced me and I said it was nice to meet her and he's been telling me about his friends out here waiting on you. She gave me the impression that 3 was a crowd even though she wasnt running the race she was there for support for him and whoever else was with them. I could have imagined her attitude but im not sure haha so I just sucked it up and decided to leave the two of them and started to shuffle...I had one mile I got this I can shuffle for a mile. I came upon a few small climbs and walked up them until I could see the light of the finish and I heard the announcer say we are coming upon an hour and 17 minutes until the end....in 17 minutes we will start the countdown to just an hour to finish. I mustered enough energy and made it to the finish in 12:47. I entered the gym and ran into Joe..he thought Paul had already finished and I went to grab my bag and sign up for a massage. Joe grabbed me some pizza, I went after burritos for the 2 of us.  Shortly after I got a text from Paul that he was just finishing.  I had forgot a towel for a shower so skipped it, had a massage and waited till Paul showered and had a massage and then we headed to the cars to get back to the hotel. I showered and then went to their rooms for some drinks and stories.  It was just a super weekend!


                                                                                     

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2 more states-2 more days


I decided on 2 more states in 2 days and chose Dover Delaware Monster Mash Marathon October the 20th followed by Atlantic City Marathon on the 21st.  It was a 2 hour drive between the two so very doable to get to the next one.  I had decided it would be the first marathon I would do dress in costume and had spent some time trying to figure out what would be comfortable to run in.  I thought about a "monster" costume but nothing looked comfortable, when I went to the Halloween store in Cincinnati the weekend before to pick up Tanner I found the perfect costume for the occasion! RICHARD SIMMONS!!!  I was a little worried about my legs as I had only ran a couple half marathons in the past 4 weeks since the last back to back events due to some hamstring tightness, I knew I couldnt lose my fitness but the anxiety of wondering if I rested too much was on my mind. I left early friday morning as it was about a 9ish hour drive without stops and I was looking forward to seeing all the gorgeous fall colored trees along the ride                 .
It was kinda a dreary day in some spots and the sun would be out for a few then a drizzle and lots of fog throughout the morning and into the early afternoon.  I noticed that I was heading near Boonesboro MD and decided to drive by the school and case things out a little for the JFK50 miler which I will be doing on November 17th.  I arrived in the town around 12:30 and it was still super foggy, I drove by the school and thru the cute historic downtown up to where I had found there was a park where the Appalachian Trail came through, I have no idea if we are on the trail at this point but I still enjoyed seeing it...well what I could see of it with all the fog!

I can say this was not my weekend for hotels.  I arrived at the Days Inn in Dover Delaware and headed over to get my packet at the casino.  I met up with David Corfman for dinner and had a wonderful time talking Ultras and Running.  When I got back to the room it was around 8pm so I thought I'd turn the tv on and cozy on up in bed since I had left around 5am this morning driving all day.  As I laid down I felt something on me and looked down and there were 2 roaches crawling across the front of me. I called the front desk they said to come on back and they would give me another room. I loaded all my stuff in the car and drove to the main building..this Days Inn consisted of 3 separate one level buildings.  There were some other runners I had seen at the packet pickup getting a room and when they left they asked if they could help me and I said yes I have roaches in my room! The one lady says SHHHHH I said why It's true?? So they gave me a key to a room just a few doors down....I unloaded my car brought my things inside, sat them down and went to lock the door and above was spiders and cobwebs all over!! You've got to be kidding me! I tried to call the front desk but the phone in this room doesn't work so I found the number and called on my cell phone...again come on up we are sorry we will give you another room...this time they put me in a different building.  Now its' after 9pm and I am trying to settle in, I completely inspect the entire room....as I tried to sleep I kept thinking I could hear mice running around and all sorts of noises....what a miserable evening. No Days' Inn didnt offer to comp the room or anything for the nastiness or inconvenience. The race started at 7am and I headed over a little after 6...glad I did cause I just assumed I would go around the casino to the back side to get to the racetrack entrance but the gates were closed...I asked a security guy and he told me how to go.  I arrived at the start and there was several others in costume which made it alot of fun.  They said last year was the first year for the race and they only had 36...this year the half and the full both had about 200 per race so that was a great growth for them!  I met several other marathon maniacs and 50 States members and about 15 or so were all going to NJ the next day.  I set my Garmin for a 5 min run 1 mil walk so that I would take it slow and not try to just run it all....my runs are not about speed or racing they are training runs for longer events....in this case I have JFK50 Miler on November 17th.  I thought if I stuck with plan I could drag this out to around a 5 hour marathon and then I would be in good shape for the next days marathon at a 4 min run 1 min walk pace and maybe do it in about 5:30 or so. I had a great time at this marathon and stopped for photos and chatted with others. At mile 21 someone had a toilet in there front yard they were tossing away...what a perfect porta potty stop!  It got hot especially with the plastic afro Richard Simmons wig but I kept it on the entire run.  They announced Richard Simmons as coming across the finish line and commented that it must be real hair and not a wig since I still was wearing it! haha I finished in 5:08 so wasnt too far off what I was aiming at.  I didnt see any drinks or food but didn't look either as I was ready to head back and get a quick shower and make the drive to Atlantic City NJ.
I stopped to gas up and grabbed a big chocolate milk and some peanut butter pretzels for the drive.
I arrived at the Showboat and by looking at the map it looked to be right next door to Bally's but it was about a 1.25 mile walk down the boardwalk.  It was right at 4pm so I was able to check in at the hotel took my stuff to the room and just took their shuttle down to Bally's.  I got my packet and said hi to David...he ran both states as well but his Sunday's run was pacing a 3:40 marathon group....seriously!!! I hadnt really eater much but wasnt super hungry, our hotel had a sandwich place called Earls so I grabbed a turkey/avacado sammie and chips and went ahead and ate dinner. I ate half the sammie and grabbed an extra pop and put them in the fridge thinking after the run if I didnt feel like going anywhere I would have this as back up. The run started at 8am...I headed down the boardwalk around 7:15 as the sun was rising.
Found my corral and spoke with a couple of the maniacs I met the day before but most didnt recognize me since I wasnt Richard! The first couple miles felt pretty good, I met a lady from NJ who was 39 and she started chatting with me right after I past the turtle crossing sign...felt it was appropriate that I have my photo taken crossing there. We ran together for about 6 miles or so and I told her I was on a 4 to 1 pace and was planning to stick with it even if it felt good, at my 1 min walks I tried to stretch things out a bit.....by mile 10 I was starting to feel pretty rough already...it was a different rough, not the knee or the foot so much but more of an achy legs feeling. Another lady said by to a gal she was running with at this time since the half split from the full and she jumped in with us. Soon the 2 of them broke away and I was ok with that....I was ready to just put my head into my music and sing to get thru the miles. Im not good at remembering which mile things happen at but I saw a guy dribbling a basketball and he does half marathons all over the USA for a cause. We also got to a tunnel and ran thru it...this was really cool...as people were screaming inside to hear the echos.
I also remember when I still had 10 miles to go I texted my son and said this ones hurting a bit and he said just think of something else...I was still singing to get my mind off things. At a turn around I saw a guy juggling 6 balls! Seriously there was no way this joggler was gonna beat me!  I finally arrived back to the boardwalk and remembered it was a long stretch but the wood to run on and the ocean by my side would be nice to look at. This was alittle over 3 miles. I was on the phone with my folks and telling them I had about 3 miles to go and I see the joggler coming....this is not happening! But I told myself also...he didnt run a marathon yesterday either haha. I still wasnt gonna let him beat me so I said screw the run walk pace and I shuffled along for the next 3 miles to the finish...actually felt better to shuffle then to take the walk break.  I came upon another young guy who had resorted to walking and was looking rough shaking his head as to say come on finish get here...I looked at him and giggled and said come on...just shuffle the guy juggling is coming and you can't let him beat you! He said oh shit...and tried to shuffle with me but quickly let him mind take over and resorted back to hanging his head and walking.
 I didnt look back so I dont know if he ever picked up his pace again....I didnt want to know if the joggler was close to me!  I was pleased with my time...It felt like it was slower then 4 weeks ago when I did the 50K/Marathon but finished in 5:43 where as the last back to backs was 5:50. I did have to stop more the last one due to my toenail trying to come off and taping it back on twice so my running time was prolly a little faster. When I finished I grabbed a banana, water and pretzel and totally forgot about the free beer!  I headed back up the boardwalk towards my hotel and got about 3.4 mile and there was a Hard Rock Cafe, I was ready to sit and eat something. I then kept wondering how was I gonna get back up! I ate a little then stood up and was stretching while I waited for my change...once I showered and stretched some more I felt pretty good-looked in the fridge and my half sandwich and pop were completely frozen. I unplugged and replugged it in and made sure it was on low then headed down to the blackjack table, lost $120 in about 30 minutes and that was enough for me...I decided to grab a milkshake and headed out to the boardwalk and beach to walk some more of the soreness out.
 Thought the turtle crossing sign was very appropriate.

Monday, September 17, 2012

2 days 2 states 2 marathons = 2 days 2 states 1 50K 1 marathon




This was the weekend to do back to back marathons for the first time and get 2 more states out of the way on my quest to get a marathon or Ultra in all 50 states before Im 50 years old.  Saturdays race was in Wisconsin which was about a 100 mile trip to Sundays race in St Charles Illinois.  The marathon on Saturday had a start time of 9am and I was a little concerned about finishing and getting to St Charles in time for packet pickup which would end at 6pm.  I even considered switching to the 50K on Saturday so that I would have a 7am start time and prolly be finished about an hour before I would the marathon but thought it would be best to stick to JUST the marathon since they were back to back and I hadnt done that before.  I then decided it would be my best interest to stop at St Charles on the way to Wisconsin and get my packet on Friday...it would only be 40 minutes out of the way to cross over. I am very glad I did for less stress!  I picked up my packet in Illinois and found a little mall and place called Fresh D-Lite for lunch...it was tasty...there is also an Anthropologie in this mall...why??? I tried my best to pass on going inside but it's an addiction I just couldnt keep going.  I did good though I only bought one top and tried on about 6 or 7 things!  Then off I went to get my packet for the Northface Challenge. After getting my packet I got to the hotel and got settled....I gained an extra hour with the time change so that meant I should be well rested for the morning run and I had gotten up at 4am that morning so I was fine going to bed early. For the most part I slept pretty well.  Got up around 7 since I wasnt tired ate my bagel with crunchy peanut butter drank some water and diet dew and hung out a bit in the room cause I didnt wanna be at the race start super early just hanging around...it was still cool in the morning but that soon changed.  There really wasnt as many doing the race as I expected...maybe 200 hundred? Granted a 50 miler left at 5am and 50K left at 7am.  The course was beautiful, very hilly but not super technical with lots of roots and rocks.  You did have to keep your eyes open and watch your downhills as it seemed all the downhills had rocks everywhere.  There were several areas of thecourse that they referred to as the Ice Age Trail....it was really pretty but it was wide open...like you were running in the fields with a path for you...some very nice wooden bridge crossing but no trees for cover and they day sure did heat up.I am thankful that I read the aid stations were about 5.5 or so miles apart so I did decide to take a hand head water bottle for fluid....very smart move!!  I had thought I read the last aid station was about 4 miles out and we went thru that one and the folks there said 3.7 miles to go....that was nice to hear!  Most of the last couple miles my head was strategizing my marathon in St Charles the next day....I knew I had 6 hours to complete it and I was already getting some blisters under my toe nails from all the downhills....so I was thinking I will start out with 5-1 nope 4-1 nope 3-1 and kept tossing this in my head to keep my mind off of the blisters that were forming.  As we continued and I say we cause there was a couple of us that kept playing leap frog for the past several miles....most were guys that were finishing up the 50 miler.  We came across another station and there was a lady sitting behind the water and 2 guys across from her at another table-they stated 1.7 miles home stretch WHOO HOO this was a pleasant thought! Myself and another guy in a blue shirt who was doing the 50 miler filled up our bottles one last time and the other 2 guys were already gone....I followed him and off to the right we went thru a tunnel created out of caution tape and back into the woods we went....within a few minutes I felt uneasy cause I would have thought I would be seeing the guys I had been talking with back and forth for the past couple miles but it was just me and the other guy.  I also noticed all the trail tape was missing Pink which was my color but had orange which was his and when I asked him he said well Im suppose to follow orange...I couldnt imagine us having different finish lines? I looked at my garmin and now we were at mile 26 and there was no finish line in site no sounds of a finish line either. He started calling his wife but we had no idea where to tell her we were as we didnt know how and where we got off course.  I noticed there was light sticks hangins so this was part of the 5am start so were we somehow now on the 50 mile course in the beginning and heading out for 50 more miles??? OMG I got to about mile 28 and sent Northface a facebook message telling them we were lost somewhere that we went thru the aid station that told us 1.7 miles and have followed all the arrows since...they responded that a sweeper would try to locate us but by that time we had made a 6 mile loop and were back at a parking lot...I flagged a ryder truck guy down who was working the race and I was almost hyperventilating as i asked where we were and how we got off track while the other guy was talking to his wife and reading the park map that was posted on a sign.  The race guy was almost giggling at me when I was so upset telling me yes its only 1.7 miles and Im like yeah...they told me that 6 miles ago when they sent us out this way! He just pointed to the aid station then drove off but drove to the folks at the aid station...I got there and was in tears and sooo pissed....I said why in the world would you tell us to go this way and if you feel you didnt tell us to go that way you watched us and didnt even stop us.....If I wanted to do a 50K I woulda signed up for it and I almost did but thought with a marathon tomorrow it probably wouldnt be the smartest decision....my goal was to do 2 marathons in 2 states in 2 days to get 2 states finished in one trip....now all I could think about was will I be able to do the marathon tomorrow after a 50K today with this type of trail and elevation and my toes are already blistered! It was the most awful feeling I have ever had....not knowing where I was, how much further I had to go, now running out of water but I did know eventually I would end up somewhere since we were following tape and arrows.  The guy offered to drive me to the finish but it wasnt about being tired it was about them sending me and the other guy the wrong way...I said no I will ALWAYS cross a finish line on my feet and off I went.  During this time I was talking with my mother and let her know we were lost and I also had an issue that needed taken care of at the gym so she had gone down to help since I wasnt around....we were talking when I came upon the parking lot and the race guy in the truck and I wasnt sure whether to call her back or just have her hold and I remember just trying to talk and saying mom I cant breathe....I was that upset.  The last 1.7 miles I didnt have a smile on my face, I pretty much just walked it as I knew I had to save my legs the best I could for the next day.  I got close to the finish and a couple people were saying great job on the marathon and I snapped I did a f'in 50K because the asshats at the last station sent me on a 6 mile loops. Opps sorry for the cuss words.  I got to the finish and they tried to take my photo and I said DO NOT TAKE MY PICTURE....I am pissed right now...where is the race director. They told me back there and pointed, I knew he had a red shirt on from the am but I didnt see him, I saw Dean Karnazes taking a photo with some folks and wanted to say hi but I knew I had to find the RD. I went to the info booth and she took me back up front behind this tent and there he sat, he had a paper on his clip board with a drawing from that last aid station where they told us 1.7 miles so he was concerned...he was very apologetic  and I explained I knew I had to be wrong because there was no pink but had no idea where I went wrong and I said I would tell the guy that was doing the 50miler this and he would say but there is orange....I didnt want to turn around and be without anyone on the trail so we hung kinda together. Now I want credit for 50K not some 7 and half hour trail marathon!! I did get the 50K medal and shirt but am waiting for the timing company and such to change my results.
I didnt get to shower after this race and headed onto St Charles, I stopped and got a turkey sandwhich and a italian incase I wanted something later on. I got to the hotel, showered, stretched, and rolled out my foot and muscles some. It was already about 8:30 so I layed out my stuff for the morning and I ate alittle bit of the italian...it was good but being so late I didnt want alot of it. I didnt sleep super well as I had 3 toes that blistered pretty good so when I moved the sheets would hit my toes and feel like they were ripping off my toenails. I decided on a 3:30-1:00 pace as well.  I got up ate my bagel and wasnt in the mood for peanut butter on it, drank a diet dew and some water and headed on down to the race. Parking was very hard to find, I was surprised how large this marathon was for such a small town.  I felt better then expected and pretty much stuck with my jog/walk plan.  I wore my 50K shirt from the day before just to remind me what I came for....2 STATES you got this!  By mile 16 my toe on my left foot, the same one that caused problems at labor of love, well I actually felt it pop off so I stopped at the next medic, we bandaged it back on so not to have infection but within a couple miles the bandage came off as well....so next station we used white tape and taped it back on.....the right toe nail I could tell was in the same shape but it had not come off, which is actually more painful because the blister hadnt popped. 10 more miles....I thought at one time Id be done in 5:30 which would have been great but I had to stop a couple times for my toes so that took off some of the time fixing them up. I finished in 5:50 and was perfectly fine with that! 2 more states off the list. I grabbed a piece of banana and a blue freeze pop! wow was it amazing.  They also had small bags of chips and such so i grabbed a dorito, nutter butter and peanut butter ritz for the road. The hotel let me shower before heading home for a long long drive!  My right toe really needed the blister popped as all the way home it just throbbed but I didnt have anything to cover it with or antibiotic cream so I dealt with it.  My right knee..the good one I tweaked somehow and the last couple miles were pretty painful with it....not sure if its just inflammed or if Ive done something to the meniscus but I will take it easy for a couple days and not run on it.  Trying to compare which hurt worse the 50 miler at once or 57 miles in 28 hours....my body actually feels pretty good.  I do think i slept better last night then the night of the 50 miler, I feel good to walk and felt good to walk about the 50 miler but felt much more tired after the 50 miler....which has to do with sleeping crappy that night.
Sorry if I ramble and get off subject for anyone that does read this but I write it just for my own recollection-nothing to turn into a book yet...when that time comes my grammar and such will better :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Looks like I get what I ask for!

 I gotta make it thru the rest of this year then time to concentrate on an even bigger 2013! I still have alot on my plate this year but am nothing but excited about it.  Next weekend will be my first back to back marathons, the Northface Challenge Trail marathon in Wisconsin followed by Fox Valley road marathon in Illinois.  The week after will be a relaxing half marathon in Nashville since I won it free and this gives my mom and I a great chance to have some mom/daughter time being that she grew up there and is coming with me.  We are gonna visit 2 of her school day friends she hasnt seen in prolly 25 years now! SO excited for her!!!  The week after that I am doing just the 50K at Not yo Momma....nothing could convince me to go any further then that at all.  Then in October doing back to back marathons again on the 20th and 21st...one in Dover Delaware one in Atlantic City and the weekend after doing the Stone Steps 50K in Cincinnati Ohio....last big daddy of the year is the JFK50 and I cant wait for that one!!!  After the JFK50 I wont really have any time off off but will take it kinda easy for a week or so with maybe the longest runs being about 18 - 20 miles then jump right on track.  I am a little nervous and really hope the winter will be kinda mild....I dont mind running in snow or cold but dont like the ice or freezing temps...those where you sweat and your nose drains and your pony tail become frozen as well as the snot hanging from your nose :-) 
I have a couple different 100 miler training plans and Im gonna take the time to compare the two and create my own and pass it by a couple of my favorite Ultra Runners to get their opinions and input. WOW I CANT BELIEVE I GOT IN!!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer in Nut Shell

I haven't posted all summer so thought I would play a little catch up, where did the time go so fast??? It has certainly been a hot summer.  After the Labor of Love I did get registered for the JFK50 which will be held in the middle of November.  I at the last minute also decided to do the Little Smokies Half Ironman in May on 3 or 4 16 mile bike rides and one 100 miler and 3 swim sessions of about 15 minutes each....I kicked ass and had a PR for the course by about 50 minutes, granted I have only done "just" the half ironman once previously but have done it 3 times at the end of the weekend long race called The American Triple T....and usually after the day before's back to back Olympic distance tri's my time on the half is about 90 minutes or so longer then what I did this year.  This is good and bad, bad in that it ruins my mind and allows me to think - geesh I can go do a Half Ironman on no training and feel good.
My son and his tennis partner advanced all the way to State this year which was very exciting, only 2 other double teams in the history of the school have accomplished this- one was when I was in school 84-85 and the other I believe they said sometime in the 50's.  Once at the State level nobody has advanced past the first match but it was very exciting getting there!  My son graduated from High School at the end of May and was accepted into University of Cincinnati as well as Miami of Ohio University and he chose UC...as I write this he will be heading off to school in 5 days. WOW
I did a couple marathons, 2 were a week apart with some rather good climbing and the 2nd one really hurt....it was a little discouraging and since I have been battling a little more pain with the knee and the foot but I wont let it get me down.
I was signed up to do the Muncie 70.3 in Indiana, I hadnt done that race since 2007 so was kinda excited.  Got to Muncie to the expo and they announced due to the weather they were downsizing it to a 37.2.  I understood because the heat had been 100-112 degrees all week and predicted at 112 the next day but I felt they should have made this decision much sooner then 3pm the night before.  You couldnt defer to next year, nor get a refund.  They offered a discount of like $75 off your choice of 4 different races upcoming in next 60 days but all were super far to travel so you would have that expense as well. Just helped me decided I doubt that I will do another WTC race in the future...I believe Rev 3 will continue to grow as they are triathletes and they are understanding of many situations that can come up and are willing to think about those who sign up and their finances.
In July my folks and my son went on a 5 night cruise to Nova Scotia.....my father has wanted to see Nova Scotia since seeing it in a National Geographic magazine 60 years ago.  We didnt get to see the country side like he visioned due to how much time you get off the boat but we had a super time!  My dad spotted some whales off the boat and that was a big highlight.  A couple weeks later I went to Florida to visit some friends and race in the twilight triathlon.  I borrowed a bike and it was a cycle cross bike, got into the big gear and couldnt figure out how to get out of it, it was good for me though cause I pushed myself more then I may have.  At this race I also had a PR of a little over 2 minutes from racing it in 2008.  My run time was a 26:27 5K....felt great!!  A couple days before this Trixie and I had set out for a 16 mile run but didnt leave till almost 10....in Clearwater it's already feeling like 100+ and that sun is hot hot.  I did ok for about 8 then completely lost it.  Made it the 16 miles but even the last half mile I had to just sit in front of Mcdonalds and couldnt move.  My ears were ringing it was crazy! First time Ive ever felt that rough.
I also have gone to the Not Yo Mommas 100 course and ran it a couple times, that course sucks! Each lap is 16.05 miles and climbs over 5100 feet...and its straight up climbs no gradual stuff.  I think I've done one lap 4 times now and the best time is just under 5 hours....so trying to calculate how long that would take me to do the 100K or 4 laps it would be almost 24 hours so I have now decided I dont wanna spend 24 hours going 64 miles when I could probably cover almost 100 miles of a more "normal" course.  Trail runners ratings rate the difficulty the same numbers as Western States.  I honestly can't even imagine getting myself up those hills 4 times! Twice is gonna be rough enough and thats pretty much where I have decided to stay.  If I went for the 75K I think I would tell myself just one more lap and you would have had the belt buckle! :-)

I also rescued a pup from our local animal shelter.  I was really wanting someone for a running partner and I think I have found her!  Named her Andi and she and Opie the long hair chihuahua are getting along for the most part but Opie does have "small dog syndrome" and each day there is usually one knock down drag each other off one another fight.  She does 3 miles with me and we try to go daily....we had a route in town and she would tend to stop and sniff more and just stop quite a bit so a couple weeks ago I bought a 30 foot recall leash and have started taking her out to a trail on the West Side at the Earl Thomas Conley Park.....you can go out to a sign and back and are on grass or trail without hitting any gravel for just over 3 miles...this has become our favorite place.  I can let her drag the lead and keep running and she stops to do her smelling sees me up ahead and off she darts to catch me.  I believe she is part Aussie and Golden Retriever.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Change of Plans

With my acceptance into the JFK 50 mile run I have decided to bag Ironman Wisconsin.  I have done 3 Ironman and honestly am tired of them and was ready to move on.  The ultra bug has bit me and I am loving it! Training wise I didn't want to cause myself high anxiety of being sure I got enough bike time in for the Ironman as well as run time for a couple other running events I have committed to this year and $$ wise, I will lose some of my entry fee but wont have the expense of the hotel and travel and food.  Much cheaper to stay in Hagerstown MD then in Madison Wisconsin that's fo sure!  I also decided to do a 100K at the end of September since it is only an hours drive from home, after that the JFK50 should feel like a breeze?? On another note last week I decided what the heck lets do the Little Smokies Half Ironman in a week in a half, you've been on your bike a whooping 3 times and in the pool 4 times you are so ready! ha Well since that decision I did do the TOSRV 105 mile bike ride last weekend and this week did 2 short true brick workouts, one ride was 16 miles the other 12 and did just one lap of the Half Ironman run course, all I can say is Jenn - you should sometimes think a little bit more before you commit to things haha.... It's gonna be painful but I will enjoy myself. I definitely could feel the difference in my bike muscles and running muscles and the 56 mile hilly ass bike course is gonna devour my quads for the hilly ass run course.  I've done the race before, actually the entire weekend event called the American TTT on 3 occasions and it's a tough tough course but typically I have had much more bike and swim time in.  I just didnt find the time due to training for the Labor Of Love 50 miler plus I didnt need to find the time since the Half Ironman I was planning on doing wasnt until July with the full in September.  This will be good training for that half coming up? hahaha Train for a half with a half.
In some other news I found out that I qualified for the 50 States Marathon club, so this will be another focus.  It wont become an obsession just a plan to finish by the time I am 50 years old and the plan will be finish on my 50th Birthday with either the Cowtown Marathon or Cowtown Ultra in Texas.  Each year it is my birthday weekend and in 6 more years my birthday will be on a Sunday! YEAH how fun!  The hard part about this new goal is I will be doing some marathons and Ultras in States that I have already completed and my mind says don't waste your miles pounding on a State that is complete, but if I give myself till Im 50 to finish maybe it will be doable even with the bonus runs added in here and there.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Labor Of Love 50 miler Weekend and Race Report


Warning: This post will be long as I recap the entire weekend as well as write a race report for my first 50 miler. I finished up teaching my bootcamp Weds night by running a 5k with the gals I had been training for the past 6 weeks, then headed home to shower and off to my brother and sis in laws to stay and they took me to the airport Thursday morning.  I arrived in Vegas around 10:30am due to the time change of 3 hours and got my rental car and on the way to the excalibur hotel found an In and Out Burger!!! YUMMM.  I got settled in the hotel room and discovered there was no fridge so I found a walmart and bought a nice size cooler for $25, some water and diet dew, crunchy jiff peanut butter and bananas.  I headed off to Henderson where the packet pickup was that evening and there was a panera bread there so I went ahead and grabbed a cinnamon crunch bagel so that I would have that for breakfast on Saturday morning. They had a plastic bag so that it wouldnt get too dry and stay semi fresh. I went back to the hotel and started sorting the items to put in my drop bags.  I had brought the XXL ziplock bags with me so they were see thru and then I wrote on the front with a sharpie key items in each. On the course there were two drop location and then your starting point so I had made 2 bags with mostly the same items because I didnt want to get to past the one stop and say damn I wish I woulda grabbed this or that.  In each bag I had extra socks,long sleeve shirt, body glide, extra hat, tylenol, motrin, sample packs of biofreeze, bite size payday, swedish fish, jelly beans, and gum. The things that were different and only in one bag were items like headlamp and knuckle lights, one in one bag one in the other- I had no idea how long it would take me so I was prepared for a night time run if needed. My knee brace was in one bag while my IT Band strap was in another. One had my ipod shuffle with yurbuds and the other had my bluetooth headset and armband for my iphone.
I also decided to bring a bag that I left at the start and we came back here at mile 22 and mile 44 in which I had things I may want before the race like banana, I also put my foam roller in there in case I had any issues.  That evening I ate the buffet at the hotel and went to bed around 9ish but was midnight my time. My plans for the next morning were to drive to Death Valley California. I planned this to be an all day event to keep me off my feet as much as possible and also to feel the unseen encouragement on part of the Badwater 135 course from one of my all time running idols who has also become a hugh mentor for me while training for this 50 miler Marshall Ulrich.  I woke earlier then anticipated and decided to go ahead and get on the road.  It was about 6:30am and for me this is early unless I do have a race!  I got into the town of Pahrump and my garmin gps died and the charger wouldn't come on after plugging into both outlets in the rental car.  I found a wal-mart and bought a new charger opened it and it didnt work either, now I realized it wasnt the charger but the car.  Phone service was in and out so I couldnt rely on my gps on my phone to get me to and from where I was going so I called the rental car company.  They directed me incorrectly however to a rental location in this town to trade in the car, it was actually across the street from where I was calling them from but they directed me well past the area and didnt tell me it was an enterprise not an alamo! This took about 90 minutes of my time and it was getting hot hot hot outside but I wasnt really in any hurry.  I had already pre-paid for my rental car to be refueled and this place gave me the car on about 1/4 of a tank and they said to tell them when I returned it to give me credit for my prepayment. Onwards I headed to Furnace Creek and Badwater.

I arrived at a beautiful place that read Exploring the Badlands. I walked up the mountain a bit to find gorgeous landscaping and in every direction I looked it was completely different. Absolutely breathtaking. At this point it was only around 10:30am and already in the 90's."but it's a dry heat" I don't know how many people would say this to me as I was watching the weather forecast for the weekend and I couldn't get through to them that I do understand the dry heat verses humid heat but hot is hot and 90-100 degrees when you are coming from temps that are in the low 30's to high 50's all month you better watch yourself.  Also dry heat sucks the moisture right out of you so I had brought with me a cooler with some water to drink all day.
 I continue on and I arrive at The Inn At Furnace Creek, talk about being overcome with emotions, it was really strange I just teared up with the reality of knowing where I was. I am at Furnace Creek, I am only 17 miles away from Badwater Basin where the Badwater 135 begins each year and all the stores I have read from those who have finished and attempted this run and inspire me daily have all been in the exact place where I was standing! It was kinda surreal and I found myself overcome with emotions many time through out the day but it was all in a good way. The beauty I was seeing and the indescribable feelings that almost left me in a trance.  I got out of the car and went inside the Inn, walked out on the patio and just took some deap breaths and admired the scenery.  Then it was off to Badwater Basin, I made a couple of the different side stops off the main road, the "devils golf course" was really interesting to see as well as some other areas but I don't recall their names.  When I got to Badwater Basin it was now 101 degrees, these were record temperature in the area this weekend also. Another thing I noticed is when you look out onto the dry desert you will see different vortexes made of dust just spinning around, makes you wonder why the wind is picking up in just that spot?
devils golf course





I decided to go on to Stovepipe Wells and as I left badwater basin on the way I stopped at The Ranch at Furnace Creek and decided to eat breakfast at the 49er Cafe. They were just getting ready to open and the area was quite busy. I ordered a pasta and chicken dish that was very tasty.  I asked my server if it was worth the drive to Stovepipe Wells and he told me about the sand dunes. I didnt fill up my rental car at Pahrump like I should have and one gas station was 5.71 a gallon!! I found out there was another place right up the road but still is was around 4.90-I asked the man at the gift shop what was up with that and he said the place that is 5.71 is privately owned and they are not regulated on pricing and theirs is 4.90 but it is regulated by Death Valley, he also said they usually get there gas in Pahrump.  I didnt have enough gas to get to Stovepipe Wells and back to Pahrump so I had to put enough in it to get me back to less expensive gas.  When I got to the area with the sand dunes they really were just amazing.  I got out of the car - gasping from the "dry heat" and walked on out to check them out.

 After Stovepipe Wells I decided to head on back to Vegas.  The drive back was uneventful except for the occasional powerless tear that would come from my eyes. I did take something for sleep on the road back around 4:30pm so that it may kick in by the time I got back and got settled.  I ate dinner and laid down.  I actually slept pretty well that evening, a typical nights sleep for me has me up and down 4-5 times during the night anyways and with a big event the next day usually it's tossing and turning all night long.  The race started at 7am and it was about a 30-40 minute drive to the parking area then they bussed you to the start.  I got up around 5am and ate my bagel with crunchy peanut butter and drank a diet dew. I was unable to go to the bathroom so grabbed my gear and headed off.  I started drinking water and diet dew on the way over as it was to be another record breaking day of heat. I arrived at the parking lot and met a couple folks there and it was around 70 and I put on a lightweight jacket just to wear while we waited for the run to start and then took it off. Before the run I spoke with some folks that were planning on doing the hundred miler I wish I would have gotten their names and such cause I really enjoyed their pre race stories.  Through out the run when we would cross paths we always spoke and sometimes a high five.  I recall one guy who was a super cutie from LA, I was coming in from my second lap so about mile 36-40 and he was on his way out for lap 3 and he said "this is starting to kick my ass" I know he was in the top for the first couple laps but by looking at the results I can't tell how he finished as it doesnt list where people are from. There was several different distance going on-at 7am the 100 miler, 50 miler and marathon started then at 7:30 they started the half marathon and at 8am started a 10k. The elevation at the start of the run was around 4662 and I was coming from an elevation of about 530. The run started and it was a gradual 4.6 mile climb up to about 5350 feet and I just took it nice and easy, I had decided I was going to run for an hour unless there was a big climb then after an hour I would go to a 5 min run 1 mil walk game so I started this after stopping at the first aid station.  This station was at the bottom of a mile long 500 foot drop, from the top of this hill you could see way down in the distance the camper and tent for the aid station. I already had a headache, not sure if it was due to elevation or salt loss and asked a guy if I should take tylenol or motrin at this point and he asked if I was already hurting and I said no just a headache and he then said he used advil and he too kinda had a headache.  I took 2 tylenol since is was so early in the game. I made sure I had plenty of gels, got 6 salt tablets and grabbed a payday to bring with me as the "dry heat" was sucking the moisture right out of me. Here we begin another long gradual climb for another 5.5 miles up to the 11 mile marker turn around...this is about 6000 feet.  I was feeling really good and was excited about getting to gradually go downhill for such a long time and even described this station as the half way of the half way before the quarter remains-atleast that sounded great in my mind.  I usually dont listen to music but went ahead and took my ipod and headset and turned it on.  I was just singing my heart out and dancing around, those that I would cross paths with seemed to enjoyed it or their big smiles made me feel like they were. I got lots of high fives and encouragement and I also gave them in return. Even though this was a gradual downhill I decided to try my best to stick with my plan of 5 min run 1 min walk until I got to the aid station before what I named to be "hell hill" A couple of these miles I was pulling off some 10:20 min mile pace! I got to the aid station and looked to see if I needed anything, drank a few drinks of a cold diet dew, my ice in that cooler was almost melted at that point but the diet dew was still cold, I wish I had asked them to re ice the cooler at that point so that I would have a nice cold COKE ZERO for my next trip up "hell hill"
looking up hell hill
 I grabbed my ITB strap incase it would act up I would have it on me and talked to a few folks there and then it was time to climb 500 feet in just a mile...it sucked but I made the best of it.  Once I hit the peak I started my run/walk and here kept a nice 11 min mile pace, I was really feeling great.  When I hit the mile 22 point I checked in grabbed a half of pbj sandwich, thought I would love to roll out my legs with the foam roller  but there wasnt really anywhere to be able to roll on it so I just took it and pushed it up and down on my quads to get myself pumped, one more out and back then a quick 3 miles out 3 miles back. I also decided to grab my iphone and that way I could text my son and some friends and let them know where I was.  As I headed out on this lap I noticed so many folks just walking ahead of me and it was getting really hot so I too decided to walk quite a bit. I got to the aid station and for some reason I decided to change shoes and socks? Maybe cause my feet were hot, they were not hurting at all and even though they were the same style shoe those had a different insert (I was use to both the insert and the normal insert) I thought maybe as I went further that little bit of extra support that the insert would give my arch may be important. By this time the marathon aid stations folks were finished so it left us with 5.5 miles between each for fluids and such.  I refilled my 2 bottles for my fuel belt and due to the heat had them both drank with still 3 miles till the next station!  Others were running into the same problem.  I made it and spoke with them about it and they were aware and were working on fixing this problem, one lady took some water with her and drove her car down a mile and was there for people then they put pitchers of water unmanned at several more of the tables that were remaining from the earlier manned stations.  This was mile 34 and one of the ladies working this station said it looked like I was starting to burn but my sunscreen was at the next stop, she said oh I have some but it was the rub on and she started to run it on my back and it was solid salt-you could actually hear her trying to rub it on my skin "scratch scratch scratch" I never really paid too much attention to my garmin on this second loop, I didnt want to see where I was even though by the course I  knew where I was, I didnt want to see my time I just was having fun and taking it all in. Here I was again at the bottom of "hell hill" It was kinda exciting because I knew I only had to go over it once more then just out 3 and back 3 and I was done!  It was so hot my food in my special needs bag had melts, I grabbed a couple more paydays and when I opened one I had to bit it off the wrapper.  I also grabbed a couple swedish fish, or should I call it a clump of swedish fish since they were melted together.  They asked if I wanted some pasta salad and they put some in a cup, I got a cup of ice and poured some of my coke zero on it and that was heavenly. I had just sent my mother and son an update telling them I was getting ready to climb that monster hill for the last time and that I was feeling really good and my hands were full from a cup of pasta salad, a coke zero and cup of ice so when I was climbing the hill trying to put my phone away it slipped and down it went, totally breaking the glass front. Good news is it still works. I made the crest of the hill and then just ran when it felt good walked when I needed to.  I had about 4 miles left to the mile 44 check point and I could feel a major blister coming on the toe next to my big toe on my left foot.My friend Lara had arrived from California and I sent her a message to see if she could find my blister kit as I knew I had a good one coming on.  They had not returned my drop bags from the course yet so it wasnt there, a few minutes later I could actually feel the blister taking over the entire toe and each step I could feel it squishing around in my sock.  I then messaged her and said I think its gonna be a bad one so see what you can find out. I made it to the check in, only 6 more miles to go. I sat in the chair and Lara friend Hector started taking off my shoe, the medic seemed preoccupied telling the race director about locking her keys in the car so Lara and Hector became my medics.  Finally I got the race directors attention and asked her opinion and she said it was so many layers of blister and so deep that popping it shouldnt be considered, instead she put a bandaid on the top of the toe then wrapped around the toe to keep the toenail from falling off over the next 6 miles and to try to keep that squishing sensation away.  It was painful at first because of the compression and the 3 mile uphill I struggled alittle, I hit the turn around mark and refilled my water and knew I had 3 miles to go.  I did look at my garmin and it told me I only had 2.5 to go but I was just past the mile 3 turnaround so my dancing back and forth on the course added some distance to my run. :-)  I got to mile 50 and I just stopped I thought ok Im done! Its mile 50 come get me!!! But I was actually feeling good so good that I averaged a 12:30 min mile for those last 3.5 miles!  I finished at 50.48 miles in 12:10 I couldnt believe it but in the back of my mind I was hoping to be around 12 hours but never dreamed it possible.  I also had the preconceived notion that I wouldnt be able to even walk afterwards and I was feeling great!  I sat down and we had to wait for my gear bags to be returned before we left, I ate a small cinnamon roll and drank some ice water. One thing that was kinda a bummer is that all the shirts and the medal was the exact same for all the distances :-( so someone that did the 10k got the same shirt and same medal that I did, dont know why thats important but it did kinda bum me out.  There was a guy that came in just in front of me getting ready to leave and he had an orange bib this was for the 100 miler, I about dropped my jaw and said you did the hundred in 12 hours! He then said no he had dropped to the 50, the heat was too much for him.  My bags arrived and we headed back to the hotel, Lara drove my car even though I felt ok to drive I think this was the best thing to do.  We made it to a Mcdonalds and all I could think about was an Iced Carmel Frap! So I got that and a double cheeseburger.  When we arrived back to the hotel, Hector brought my drop bags up to the room and we all hung out talking for hours.  There wasnt any rooms available but I had 2 double beds so they just stayed with me.  I had some humas dip and triskets left in the cooler and ate that and later ate some peanut butter pretzels, I still didnt have a big appetite.  We went to bed around midnight I guess but I couldnt sleep, tossed and turned alot and had some muscle soreness but not at all what I was expecting. My knee and joints felt fine, my toe was nasty and it was hard to sleep due to the weight of the sheet just touching it.  By 6am I was thinking about an In and Out Burger and Hector said it's Vegas they will be open so he headed down the road to grab us some, they were closed! When he got back it right at 7am and the buffet was just opening downstairs so we headed down to that.  I had some bacon, tator tots, some little breakfast burrito, a pancake, piece of french toast and little waffle, then a couple of apple things with some icing on them.  I didnt over do it and felt ok.  I decided since I don't know when I will see Lara again that I didnt want to go back to bed instead lets go do something so we headed to see Pawn Stars place then to old Vegas to the Golden Nugget and such. Leaving our hotel was a challenge as Hector couldnt remember which door he came in after looking for In and Out Burger earlier so we walked around and around the hotel till he finally asked where the garage was that he parked in.  My left side of my stomach had been cramping alot especially when I walked, I think it was due to some gastral and bowel issues since I really hadnt had any. When we got to The Golden Nugget I was super thristy so we found an open bar and I guzzled about 3 or 4 waters then  we snuck outside "hotel guest only" and got a closer look at the shark tank.  We walked around for a good couple hours and by this point my legs were still not bad but I could feel the tiredness in my eyes so we decided to go back to the excalibur and hang by the pool in the 99 degree heat! Once we got to the pool I had a couple frozen drink (the yard kind) and that was enough of those.  Met a super nice couple and hung with them till Lara and Hector had to head on home, they left around 4. I realized that I hadnt eaten since 7am and my tummy was starting to feel sick, I was still thinking about an In and Out Burger but my tummy was feeling so bad I didnt feel like driving anywhere so I stopped at a burger joint just off the elevator at the hotel, ordered a cheeseburger and fry.  The fries were really tasty and ate about half those but only took a couple bites of the burger and was feeling alittle better and decided to go get the In and Out Burger I'd been thinking of all day.  I only had 2 more bites left on my burger and I am the type that eats around something and saves the best for last and my tummy really started to cramp I knew at that point I wasnt going to get to eat those last 2 bites! Off to the potty I briskly walked but was disappointed, nothing and still cramps.  I got back to the hotel and got an ice cream from Coldstone Creamery and also some cinnamon nuggets for later from Auntie Annes Pretzel.  The ice cream tasted great but when I got back to the room my tummy was still bothering me and I lost my ice cream and my burger :-( atleast ice cream is smooth coming back up!! I went to bed and the next morning the only plans I had was to lay by the pool.  My friend Trixie had suggested a short run to flush things out if I felt like it and I got up at 7am feeling great.  It was already warm but I decided to take a slow run and see how I felt, I wrapped some tissues around my toe and off I went.  It felt surprisingly great!  I ran about 3.5 mile in about 40 minutes then went back to the hotel and walked over to the Luxor for their breakfast buffet.  It was really good! They had different pasta salad, humas dip and pita bread which was perfect. I had on pancake and wasnt that special but loved the pasta and pita bread.  I sat and drank my drink and just relaxed to let settle what I had just ate because I didnt want to stuff myself and get sick. I spent the next couple hours poolside and met a couple gals from Vermont.  When they came back with their lunch consisting of a pretzel dog and something else I had a craving for a hotdog?? I remembered seeing a Nathans sign at the Luxor which was just across the street so I headed that way.  I turned the wrong way when I got inside and it ended up taking me almost and hour and a half to get to it!  Again these fries were really good and so was the hotdog.  Once I got back to the pool I hung out till about 4pm and Lara had texted me and suggested I go to the Mirage for Carnegie Deli, she said I could take a cab or walk and that it was a good walk.  I decided to walk, I wasnt in any hurry but it sure looked closer then what it was.  Once I got there I ordered the turkey bacon club, side of fries and (a piece of cheesecake to go)  I ate about half the fries and half the sandwich and took the rest of the sandwich back with me.  I decided to hit run keeper on my phone to see just how far of a walk this was and it was 3.5 miles each way but it was worth it and my body was feeling remarkably great.  I flew out the next morning and wore my compression sleeve due to a long flight.  On my way back from Columbus I stopped at my favorite place for dinner and when I was in the middle of dinner I decided to see if the results were posted yet and they had them up. I started searching from the bottom because I am usually at the back of the pack and I saw a Jennifer age 44 with a different last name placed like 4 from the end and thought they got my name wrong, when I looked over at her time I realized nope keep going!  There were 36 people in the 50 miler and I placed 14th! I started crying again! There were 6 women in my age bracket 40-49 and I placed 2nd! HOLY COW.  There were 15 women in the 50 miler and I was 5th overall woman!  I have no regrets I feel fantastic and know I coulda pushed myself harder if I wanted to but it wasnt about that for me, it was like all the events that I do FUN. Enjoy every minute of it! Im not real good at adding these picture in the middle of my blog so I will add the rest here at the end.
the heat burnt my bananas
finished






Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The day before take off

So the time has come, it has really come! Tonight I have to work till after 7pm then I will drive to my brothers in Columbus and either he or my sis in law will take me to the airport for my flight out tomorrow morning. There is 3 hour time difference so will get into vegas in the morning! There is packet pickup tomorrow at an REI store but none of Friday so my plans are to get my packet and I am really excited about going to an REI store! My plans for Friday are to take the rental car and drive over to Death Valley, Furnace Creek and places along the Badwater 135 run route, it will be a most of the day adventure but it will keep my from aimlessly walking around Vegas on my feet and also give me a boost of actually being on the same roads as Marshall, Dean, Lisa and so many others! WOW I am still having a hard time with the reality of what all I have done leading up to this 50 mile run. I look at the past 90 days and beside my regular long run training I actually did one organized 50K and 4 organized MARATHONS! I can't put my head around that right now....and the fastest marathon without really trying was a 4:29 which was a 1:42 minute personal record. Again I never have trained for JUST a marathon-always have done them in an Ironman event or there have been a couple where I was drawn as a lottery winner and I thru them in during Ironman training so that I wouldnt miss the opportunity. Still I am not training for JUST a marathon so my increase in speed has me totally floored too. I ask did I really do that???? Weird feeling! I know I am physically and mentally ready but still am faced with lots of anxiety, anxious more of the unknown, what mile will I totally start feeling like shit, what mile will my knee act up, what mile will my IT Band act up, what mile will the balls of my feet feel like they are on fire and how long do you think it will take you Jenn? I have no idea and no control over any of those answers so it's time I just accept that and relax. The course starts at an elevation of 4650 and for the first 5 miles its a steady climb up to around 5150 feet, then it drops for about 500 feet but looks to be less then a mile, the next 6 ish miles are another steady climb which takes you from 5000 feet to 5900 feet - this is the turn around at mile 11, so we now get to go downhill for 6ish miles!!! up again for less then a mile and back down to start this over for a second loop. After doing this twice we repeat the first 3 miles out and back to total 50 so on a positive note the last 3 miles look to be ALL downhill!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Got the Crud

Well last Weds night I went to bed sorta feeling yulky with a sore throat and such and had a friend coming to run from Columbus on Thursday, I had more of a sore throat Thursday and the hollow ear feeling but went and ran anyways. It wasnt in my chest, just sinus pressure, very sore throat hurt like hell to swallow, dry cough that hurt the throat also. After the run I came home and just chilled out but woke up Friday feeling terrible! I had to teach spin class and called my Dr as soon as they opened at 8:30 to see if I could come in and get a shot to boost the get well time, they said they would try to squeeze me in and call, at 11:25 I had heard nothing and they were closing at 11:30 so I called back, oh Im sorry we cant get you in can you come in on monday? Ummmmm what!!! So off to Urgent Care I went, and it wasnt busy at all! I got a antibiotic shot, they swabbed my nose for Whooping Cough as well as any flu virus sent me home with a zpak, prednisone, nasal spray and mucinex. I stayed in bed all weekend. By Sunday the cough had entered into my chest and its pretty deep. I guess this is a forced taper! I am feeling somewhat better physically but the cough is really in my chest. I went out to the forest yesterday for 8 miles and thought atleast I could just walk, i didnt want my heartrate to go too high and start a coughing fit and then turn this into pneumonia so I walked the uphills, slowly jogged the downs and flats and felt pretty good just to get out there. It was pretty windy and the wind was a little chilly. Today I still have the nasty chest cough, headache and lots of pressure behind the eyes but think I will skip my run since it's only 42 outside, dont think that cold air would be good in my lungs. Tonight I have a couple clients and then bootcamp is outside running the levee, I will attempt to run a few ups and downs but am afraid that will really increase the heartrate and cause a major coughing fit. Tomorrow I'll head back out to the forest and see how it feels. Only thing that has me nervous about the run next week, well beside being able to breath by then! But I was thinking about after Im done running/walking/crawling 50 miles I will have a 40 minute drive back to Vegas and I dont know anyone out there. I think maybe the adeline rush of finishing may keep me alert.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why do we sabotage ourselves?

I dont think Im alone when I say I tend to totally give in to food sabotage! All my life I have battled with controlling how much I eat of something because it taste so darn good I just can't get enough - well until I bring myself to the verge of being sick! You would think I would learn and there are studies out there that say - "don't deprive yourself give into those cravings and if you do eat till you are sick chances are high that you won't want it again for a long time" That doesnt seem to happen for me. I can do so well for a long period of time and then I get that urge and when it hits I can't get enough of anything, and usually I will chose sugary, salty, and crunchy food and my mindset tells me to eat it all, everything then it will be out of the house and you wont have the temptation tomorrow. How do I learn to not let those taste set off that indulgent trigger?
From an early age food is used as a reward, and usually those foods are not healthy choices. Do you remember being young and doing something that pleased your parents and they were so excited they gave you a treat, like a cookie a dish of ice cream? Did you ever hear them say "Hey sweetie, I am so proud of you hear have an apple, or a banana or lets steam a nice dish of broccoli?" As I get older I still tend to use that "reward" system - you just ran 70 miles this week you "deserve 3 pints of ice cream, some pizza and anything else you desire!" Truth is I know it poisons my body and makes me feel like total crap afterwards but sometimes I just lose focus. There has to be something that causes us to lose this focus because we can stay of track for so long then BAM it hits and we have to be sure not to let it swallow us up and keep us under its control. And it can be a very powerful thing! At least with my life, food has always been top priority. If I go to lunch with my parents the topic at lunch will always involve whats for dinner?
I must stop doing this to myself, it is not worth the guilty feelings nor the way my body feels after eating the crap!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shamrock Marathon Race Report



Decided to take off a day earlier then planned and glad I did. I found a hotel that had a room for friday evening and it was only $55 per night, wasnt even worth that! I inspected the mattress upon arrival for bed bugs. They "upgraded" me to a king room since it was just me and they had someone else needing 2 queen beds and my upgrade included a hot tub bathtub...LOL trying to step into this and out of it to just shower was an experience. On the wall and ceilings the pipes and rust were showing, I was glad I was only there one night. I woke up Saturday am and got out of there fast, stopped to grab a sandwich at Panera and a bagel for race morning then headed over to the expo to check things out. It was a nice expo and got myself last years finishers hat, it didnt have the year on it so I thought for $3 why not!! After that I went to see if my regular hotel was ready but it wasnt, I did get checked in and decided to walk around to find some lunch and the hotel clerk called when my room was ready. I sThat evening I found a nice Italian restaurant for supper and laid down around 10pm. I woke up around 7am and had my bagel dipped in some peanut butter, a diet dew and a banana about 40 minutes before the start. I have been having some ITB issues so I decided to wear a strap on my ITB and hope it would keep it from acting up. I wasnt sure what the weather was going to be like so I packed shorts, a skirt and some knickers with a lululemon tank top. I chose the shorts and I have ran in them for some 16 milers without problems same with the style of tank top. There is just one pock in the shorts and I stuffed my gels in it but the weight of them kept trying to tug my shorts off me so I left only one gel in the pocket and ran with the others for awhile until finally sticking one inside the panty liner of the shorts and ate one about mile 6 which was much earlier then normal but I was tired of carrying them. The course headed down the main street then up a highway type ramp which took us away from the beach for awhile and over towards Camp Pendleton. It was around mile 8 when we went thru the marine base and this was the highlight of the race for me. It was actually kinda emotional as well and you wanted the entire 26.2 miles to be right there! Groups of soldiers lined the base, some in dress uniform, some in green camo, some which appeared to be bootcampers dressed in white. They roars and chants were so encouraging all you could do is run and smile. I felt a little discomfort from the ITB strap and while running just reached and tugged it a little to change the position.It was probably about mile 14 or so that I decided to stop and move the strap and when doing so I found I was covered in blood from where the velco had rubbed. It didnt hurt too bad but I looked awesome! I also could feel my inner thighs starting to rub together and knew that was going to cause some discomfort soon, I didnt have any or bring any body glide but I had run a couple longer runs in those shorts without a problem. When we came back to the beach we got to run on the boardwalk next to the ocean, it was very pretty but the headwinds were killer. The winds seemed to be blowing at us alot during the run and I kept thinking when we turn and head back it will be nice to be at my back, didnt seem like that ever happened though. It musta been around mile 18 when I noticed my thighs were covered in blood too, there was a medic station by the porta johns and I had to tinkle anyways, thank God they had some petroleum jelly. I grabbed 2 sticks full and rubbed them onto my thighs and jumped in the john to pee, my shorts now were also covered in blood and it was kinda embarrassing because it looked like I had a monthly accident. Oh well, I was covered in blood behind my left knee from the ITB strap rubbing and now blood on both thighs and my shorts - cool I've seen and read about people with bloody injuries finishing races, this was gonna be a good story. :-) It actually didnt hurt that bad. I had also heard there were beer stations on the course and indeed there were. I saw 3 of them, At mile 24.8 as we were heading back to the beach I decided to grab a cup of beer, why not! I havent had any alcohol since one night over Christmas at the family beach get together and that was probably only 4 or 5 times all of last year! It was a 3 gulp cup and I just had 2 gulps, there were several folks taking in a drink here, including a lady just in front of me. About a half mile up the road there she was puking LOL. I never felt labored during the run and wasnt trying to PR but things felt pretty good so I just kept going and when I realized I could probably finish in under 4:30 I sucked it up and just kept trotting away. My legs on occasion felt tired and my left patella had some strange sharp pains a couple times but all in all I felt pretty good. I finished in 4:29:14 my Garmin had me going 26.4 due to weaving in and out across the roads. Got my medal and then they gave finisher hat and finisher sweat shirt. My hotel was right next to the finish which was awesome, I decided I would go grab a shower and then come back to the after party since I was covered in blood. Once I got in the shower I realized I chaffed in many other areas as well. I put on some knickers and my finisher sweatshirt and headed out barefoot to the beach, the sand between my toes and the arch of my foot felt amazing!! I had an italian sandwich and chips while sitting on a big sand bank looking into the ocean. Each participant was allowed 4 free yuenglings, I had 2 and decided that was plenty. I walked up and down the beach with my barefeet for quite some time then went back to the room to find a place for dinner. I left Monday around 7:30am and stopped at Colonial Williamsburg since I have never been but quickly realized that is a much longer trip then an hour or so stop so I grabbed a map to bring home. I also stopped at The Greenbrier for their famous Banana Split!! It was amazing!It's funny cause I always try to remember more about the race while racing and when I go to type up a report I forget so much! After I am done I end up remembering and may come back to edit.