Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Huff 50K 2013

 Drove to Albion the afternoon before and went straight to packet pick-up. They let me get Shawn and Alex's as well so that made it nice. Went to the hotel ate my Jimmy Johns turkey sandwich and chilled while I waited for the boys to get there. Once they arrived they unpacked all their clothes they brought trying to decide what to wear, I was dying cause there were at least 10 different tops, pants, several shorts, long sleeves- enough for a couple weeks of runs! Knew it would be chilly start but would warm up fast as the sun was suppose to come out and temps expected in the high 40's! I first was gonna wear a short sleeve then just a long sleeve but when I got outside the wind was kinda chilly so I opted for short sleeve with my waffle warm jacket and lightweight buff.  Ran into a bunch of marathon maniacs before the start and met some folks in live person that I had only met online thru facebook and beginnertriathlete.com. Porta potty lines were long and not sure if thats why the race started about 10 min late but we didnt get off till about 8:20. Shawn, Alex and I started together and Shawn dropped us before we hit mile one and I thought Alex was right with me but got ahead of him around mile 2 I think.
The trails had some snow on much of them and I knew the second loop was gonna be a mud fest!  I never really worry about time but for some reason I wanted to see if I could PR here and beat last years time. For some reason I thought I was 7:03 last year so my mind kept telling me I wanted to be under 7:00 hours. The first loop was uneventful, I took my jacket off by mile 4 or 5 and it was a little chilly when the winds blew but really felt good! I met a couple new runners and had to cross a creek which was comical, I am terrible at creek crossing and am so cautious and I really didnt wanna just go thru it since it was just lap one and kinda cold, I see 3 large rocks to hop on and a small branch crossing to the left of it so I bend down almost crawling across while I am holding this small branch and carefully stepping on each rock, once I got across those that I held back started cheering for me! A few came upon me a few moments later patting me on the back saying you made it!!!  There was a photographer there so if that picture does justice to my fear I will add it to this recap when I find it. During the first loop I refilled my water bottle at each aid station and grabbed some pretzels or something quick and tried to not hang out too long, only had a couple potty stops throughout the entire course.  Around mile 10 or so of the first loop my mind was already playing with me and just bored so I did turn my iphone on airplane mode and turned on the itunes to allow some music to play out loud while I had it in my hand held.  I kept playing over in my head that I didnt feel like running anymore...then I would tell myself you didnt drive 5 plus hours to DNF and its your last event of the year and you dont ever DNF so whats wrong with you! I also would analyze if I would DNF then I wouldnt be celebrating my 50th "official" marathon/ultra at New Orleans with some friends. I say official due to the BoB 50 not giving me credit for 50 miles as they dont allow you to drop from what you sign up for, even if requested weeks in advance, and the MOX 12 Hour didnt give us a finish time since we didnt stay on the course for the entire 12 hours....even though we had no intentions of staying on the course for 12 hours we were looking for a 50K training day and dont think we could crawl 31 miles in 12 hours! But enough of that sour spot....so that what I mean when I say "official" those events that post finish times and results to the public are considered official.  Once I made the loop I felt a little refreshed, my iphone battery was getting low since I had forgotten my charger and I did decide to put on my new Jaybird and pull out my nano. Typically I dont like earphones in both my ears on a run as I like to hear people coming on me and the sounds of the outdoors but I needed something to keep my mind occupied besides the voices that stay in my head....I knew they would keep me company after the run while I had the long drive home.  Things did get pretty muddy by lap 2 but it was fun, a couple slips with no falls and no slip that caused the body to stretch in ways it is not suppose to. I started chatting with a young girl who was doing her first 50K, she had done 2 marathons previously and had only been running about a year and was nice to chat with, we were following a group of 2 guy and there were 3 girls behind them and they turned wrong, I could tell something wasnt right when we went over a bridge as it didnt look familiar and there wasnt enough foot prints for this to be the correct trail, they realize about the same time and hollowed back if we see any pink ribbons, I started jogging back and saw where we went off and yelled back at them - yes we missed the hill! So up we go, I had gotten ahead of the gal I was chatting with as we had to back track some and then my mind was still wondering if I could beat last years time. I dont recall what mile it was but I saw a friend of mine in front of me and I couldnt figure out how he got there, I had passed him right from the start of the race and never once saw him come by me on the first loop? This was his 3rd year in a row for this event also and he lives close enough by so he knows the course. I approached him and asked where the heck did you pass me?? I would think I would notice those bright orange compression socks coming by plus we woulda spoke, he kinda just shook his head but this still was playing in my head thinking I was crazy- as I passed again and could tell he was struggling I looked back and said Surely this isnt your first lap is it and he did answer no. That played in my head the rest of the run on and off as I thought I lost it?  I put my jaybirds back on and cranked the tunes up, looking at my watch trying to analyze if I was gonna beat my time from last year which I thought was 7:03- (but afterwards I found it was 6:55!!!) When I got to the aid station where you get to ring the bell for good service I actually decided I would grab half of a hamburger, I was hungry and the cliff shots were too sweet and the pretzels and goldfish were not cutting it, I put some ketchup and mustard on it and folded the piece of bread over and off I went while eating my burger, rang the bell and down the hill I went.  Things got muddier and slipperier and a couple times I would try to jump into more leaves and grab tree to tree going downhill to try not fall and bust my ass. I made it!! With about 4 miles to go I was out of water and the unmanned aid station had some coolers there but they were drained...I knew I had a couple more miles till the last aid station and it was only about a mile from the finish so I started then playing the number games in my head as to what pace I would need to go to finish in under 7 hours. My watch was set up for overall pace not mile pace so I had no idea what my current pace was. My toe had a little blister and foot was hurting but anymore I look at it and tell myself I've felt better and I've felt worse- keep moving! My knee didnt give me any issues at all! I got to that last aid station and remembered they had the potatoes there the first time around to dip in salt but I didnt wanna waste the time, I wanted to beat last years finish!! I knew i need some water so I had my top opened and grabbed a cup and dumped it in while a volunteer dumped another and I said thats plenty to get me thru the finish. At this point we are close to the lake again and there is a small single track below the road and it is uneven and very very slippery and muddy, I had to take my time but stayed focused and ran thru as fast as I could, I saw Shawn at his car waiting and I said hey and slowed for a short second and said Im moving fast I think I can beat last years finish time, Im not sure where Alex is but I lost him only a couple miles into the run. I came towards the finish shoot and the clock read 6:48!!! Holy shit you did it! At that time I thought it was a 15 min PR but later found last years results and was only a 7 min PR....hey a PR is a PR!!! I got my medal and asked a guy to take my photo, didnt stay for the soup as I wanted to find the showers and start heading home so I wouldnt be much later then 10pm. Got to the car and told Shawn bye and apologized for not sticking around to see Alex finish but we had no idea where he was and I had an extra 100 miles to drive then they. Found the shower and was a little cold but felt good to get the mud and sweat off me before heading home. I had a super day and was glad I didnt bail-I actually had told Shawn and Alex on Friday that I may not drive over and do it, but I also knew if I didnt there was no way I woulda got the training miles in on my own at home. I am still very disappointed in my friend who told me later that he thinks he got off course at mile 11 (lap one) when he stepped off to go the bathroom in the woods and people were coming both directions-my mind cant help but say you had a garmin there were mile markers everywhere why didnt you turn around when you realized it, this is the 3rd year in a row for doing this course how could you get confused? and then I ask since you knew the first time around where you missed it which is the 3 mile loop why didnt you take that loop twice on your second lap to make it up? Instead you take a finish medal and accept and post your time?? Lost some respect for a fellow runner today- we run for ourselves so I thought...why would you say you finish something that you clearly didnt finish? I doubt our tombstones will read here lies such and such who completed blank amount of marathons/ultras in their lifetime.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

First Day Of Winter Fat Ass 50K

 Been having a hard time keeping motivated to do my long runs so thats why I tend to sign up for events that are fairly close to home or have a double weekend away to get two long run ins on the weekends. I decided why not host a free Fat Ass Event on the first day of winter out at our local park that is a fairly easy course but would be 16 loops for a 50K, that way being a fat ass with no support etc they would pass by the shelter house for anything they needed every 1.95 miles. I decided to make finisher and DNF medals out of wood for fun, made cookies, white chocolate dipped pretzels, PBJ, goldfish crackers, reg pretzels, brought water and gatorade and asked the others to bring stuff to share as well. We had an awesome buffet!!!
We had 24 folks that signed up for the event and many of these had only run one 5K prior but were planning to come out to meet new friends and run what they could. This is another reason I did the DNF medal just for fun and for those to have something to remember the event with.  The weather was calling for 80% rain friday and 100% Saturday so I knew it was going to be a muddy mess, I also assume A LOT of those that registered would more then likely not show due to the rain.  My friend David Wingard came in from South Caroline and he was planning to do 54 miles, I met David out at the Center of the Nations series and his plans for June are to attempt and break the World Record for the fastest hike of the Appalachian Trail! You can follow him and donate to his cause the Lazarex Cancer Foundation at rundavidrun.org He headed over Saturday am at 5 to get several loops in before the event started at 8am.  My running husbands Shawn and Alex also stayed at my house and they headed out for coffee and a few supplies and I headed out to the park. Yes it was pouring the rain, the streets were nice and flooded so I knew we were in for a treat! Only 12 showed up...I had folks from Ashland KY, Ona WV, Greenville SC, Columbus Ohio, South Shore Ky and some local runners as well. I gave directions for those without garmins for keeping track of loops and the watch was started at 8am. It was pouring the rain!! puddles then mud puddles that became almost lakes but boy it was fun!! After about a half hour the rain did stop but it was just dreary, I changed to a dryer shirt but after a couple loops there came the rain again. It would come and go throughout the day but actually another lucky weekend, It didnt pour the entire time and I would guess out of the 8 hours there was a combined total of 2 in the rain rain but there was no getting away from the huge mud puddles.
It because fun to just run right thru them, it cleaned the shoes off at least for a few moments and the cold water actually felt really good on your feet. I did change shoes a total of 3 times! I had brought mostly old shoes and one pair of fairly new trails Im still trying to get adjusted to. Early afternoon the fog came in and at times it was so thick it was kinda creepy but cool in the same way.  For the most part my body felt good, my right hamstring and groin that has been bothering me on and off since before Umstead kept acting up and not sure if it was from the slipping on the mud and using the muscles different or just the same ole same ole pains that have been coming on for most runs, sometimes I dont feel it but I think its due to the knee or the foot hurting worse so that pain goes away.  I always tell people when they are running and complain about something hurting, just wait something else will hurt worse and that pain will go away.
Throughout the day a couple others came out and did a couple laps and even at the end of the day my dad came out!! He did one lap but wasnt sure of the course so missed a little to cut it short in some places but added on by accident in other places so prolly still was about 1.95 miles each loop, I had one more loop left and he was walking back to the shelter house after knocking some of the mud off his shoes (um yeah they were old dress shoes not running shoes!!) This man walks like a speed demon too so I told him I had one more loop to go did he wanna come with me and he said sure but I dont wanna slow you down, I said I guarantee you that wont happen. His walk is about the pace of my slow jog!! A couple times he had me a nervous wreck cause the mud is soooo slippery I thought he would fall!! Instead he jokes and says this is really good for your balance too! I love my Dad! He walked that 1.95 miles with me in less then 30 miles, yes in the slippery mud and he went around some puddles that he could cause by then they were starting to drain...i acutally slow jogged beside him just to keep up! We ended the day with 5 finishers....Sarah Jarvis from Ona WV, David Wingard from Greenville SC, myself, Shawn Johnson from Columbus Ohio and Alex Fox from Columbus Ohio. It really was a super fun day!

This is what my legs looked like when I got home to shower! I actually clogged my drain.

Rocket City Marathon 12/14/13

 What a time!!! I kept hearing from other friends that PINK was on tour and they had stayed an extra day after such and such run to see her so I thought I wonder if she will be on tour near any of the events I am doing. I found out she was going to be in Birmingham the night before Rocket City, now Birmingham was another 100 miles south drive and the time zone changed. I found this out about a week before and since it was just me I search for tickets for one and got a 12th row seat!!! Hold smokes I gotta see her, I had heard she put on one heck of a show.
I left around 8am friday morning knowing when I arrived it would be an hour before, I had a 465 mile drive to Huntsville went straight to packet pickup and then checked into my hotel and went ahead and laid out my clothes for the run the next am knowing I wouldnt return to my hotel till super late that night. The weather forecast all week would call for 100% ran 36 as a low and 51 as a high then switched to 50% then 70% then back up to 100% the night before,,,ugggg this was gonna such but lets make the best of the weekend and heck Im gonna go see PINK in the 12th row!! I got to Birmingham around 7:30 and the concert was gonna begin at 8:00 with a group called the HIVES, they were a little heavy and screamy for me but they did a decent job. I couldn't believe my seat!!! PINK came out and wow....people were right she is amazing. Lots of acrobats and I have no idea how she sings and does all that. After the concert I had to then drive back to Huntsville 100 miles, I arrived at the hotel at about 1am which was 2am to me and had to get up at 6 to catch the shuttle to the race at 6:45 from my hotel, thought that would be easier then trying to find a parking place. There was almost an hour before the event and met a guy who kinda looked familiar and we got chatting and we had run some events together, he was an older man and was 3 states away from finishing the 50 states for his 3rd time around. I then saw Jorge!! We met at Center of the Nations and I got to meet his wife Paula. Grabbed a banana since our hotel didnt have anything but cookies out yet. Finally we were told to go line up!! It was a light rain and a little windy but not super cold, I did wear a short sleeve with a long sleeve and a toss away rain poncho. When the run started it was spitting the rain and after a couple miles I ditched the poncho as I was getting pretty warm. I eventually took off the long sleeve and tied it around my waste. The rain would just come and drizzle every so often and actually made almost perfect running conditions. I met a guy out there that had some some ultras and had some major medical issues the past year and this was his first marathon back, we talked and ticked off about 5 miles together which was nice. I felt ok but I felt TIRED!!! I had driven almost 800 miles the day before stayed out till 1am (or 2am if you look at my time zone) at a rock concert then slept for about 4 hours and got up to run 26.2 miles. After the event I had some chocolate milk and ice cream sandwich but was ready to get the shuttle back and shower and eat something real and start heading home. I drove about 4 hours and stopped for the night then got up and headed on home at 6am for the last 3.5 hours. That weekend wore me out but it was an amazing time!!!

JFK 50 Miler 11/23/13

 Drove over to Maryland on Friday morning, arrive to packet pick up a little after 3:00 and got to run into my friend and legends of JFK and other events Irish Joe Cleary, Paul Grassie and Steve Bozeman-these are a few of the folks I met last year that made me wanna come back again this year. My friend Kelly Bruno who I met at Umstead was coming for JFK as well as Shawn and Alex. We were all sharing a room and after the race Paul and Joe were hosting a party, this was going to be both their 20th finish and Steve's 26th! I was also looking forward to seeing my friend Shaunte that I met last year and she was going to be volunteering. she came over once the boys had arrived and helped up get one car at the finish line so we could drive one to the start and not have to deal with the shuttle afterwards and the 4 of us went to dinner.  Paul, Joe, Steve, Alex, Shawn and myself were all taking the 2 hour early start as well as some other friends I met last year and at a few other events throughout the year. Kelly is speedy and was fine with the normal 7am start. Kelly is also a single leg amputee and just amazing yet so humble. I will put a spoiler in now and say she finished in like 9:09!! Also is the first single leg amputee to have done the JFK 50 miler!  We had to wake early and tried to be quit as to not wake Kelly, we had to be at the gym by 4:20. I was so worried about Shawn and Alex forgetting stuff that yes I walked off without my bag! I did message Kelly when I thought she would be waking and she had it at the finish for me. We arrived at the gym for the pre race meeting and there I saw a couple other friends I had met before and a few others I had only met on Facebook. Its almost a mile walk to the start in downtown and off we headed.
The race started and it has some good climbs in the beginning and I wanted to save my energy as well as allow Alex to save energy cause I really wanted him to finish this event!! We told Shawn to go ahead and see what he could do as we both could feel his antsiness as we walked the hills, plus his damn garmin was gonna beep every mile and there was no way I wanted to hear that!! I dont even wear a garmin to JFK cause I dont wannt know where I am or how many miles are left, I just ask at the check in stations if I am on time and how much ahead of the check point schedule am I. Alex and I and a new girl we met on the trail stayed together, Im not an expert on the trail but I had been on it last year and knew for the novice runner the biggest trick is to get off the trail unharmed.
 I was a little slower on the trail this year then last but still when I got off I had a good hour in the bank and was ahead of schedule, now it was 26.5 miles on the boring C&O Canal all flat and this is where you can actually bank a little more mileage. I could tell at the first aid station coming off the AT check point Alex was struggling, that trail just sucks the life out of you, constant concentration on every step of the way. I yelled and said grab your shit and eat it on the way, keep moving. He hung with me for awhile and I tried to keep his pace a nice slog job and could tell he was wanting some walk breaks so we would pick out some trees, or bridge or rock or something and make it there to start a walk break for a few. A couple times he started to slag back but he was always in view. I ran into a gal and we got talking about last year, come to find out she was with me on the trail with King Jordan had taken his big spill and ended up with stitches in the head and was unable to finish since it was so bad, I told her after that and seeing Paul have a first aid kit to help him I decided I would run with a first aid kit this year. She pointed that he was just ahead of us and I thought it looked like him and all of a sudden he tripped on a root and down he went, this was on the tow path too! Darn. We ran to his aid I immediately pulled out the first aid kit and others came up to help and asked to get in my bag and I said please do, he had some bleeding from his head and his hand was really gashed with blood going everywhere, he legs were getting covered from his hand dripping and I was getting covered trying to help. He is deaf so can't hear but can speak well since he lost his hearing at age 21. Others were trying to talk to him as they didnt know him and he was upset and even said darn it I made it off the trail without falling this year and here I fall on the straight tow path. He then told the others Im deaf so I started to sign to him, I only remember the ABCs but that helped a lot. We got his head taped up and his hand wrapped tight with gauze and I kept telling him to keep it up in the air to get the blood to stop, his friend Steve said he would stick with him till they got to the next station and there were some medic there, Alex also caught up with us here and helped out for a few and off we went.  At the next station I had to climb a hill to the porta johns and headed up and on my way out told them to watch for him as he would need cleaned up, the volunteers poured some water on my arms and hands to get the blood off me. Alex was coming thru here also as I was heading out and I thought he was just behind me most of the time but he fell way back. I really wanted to stay with him but the time to help King Jordan now was eating away at my time for myself to finish too and I couldnt risk not finishing. I wouldnt trade staying with them on the AT or stopping to help King Jordan for any time on the clock! Later I found out they patched him up at the aid station, the medics wanted him to quit but the RD knew him as he also had about 20 finishes and he knew if he would be in jeopardy. He FINISHED!!!! Afterwards he did go to the hospital and required 10 stitches in his hand....this is why I run folks!!! 70 years old finishing the JFK 50 falling with 30 miles left to go while needing 10 stitches in his hand...and Im gonna complain about my knee issues, or my foot or my hamstring?????? Each aid station I was still ahead of schedule by about 45 minutes, not the 90 i was hoping for but at least I had no doubt that I would finish. It is always a pleasant site to get off that towpath but then you hit road and a nice big climb directly off then some rollers for the next 8.5 miles. Joe was just ahead of me and I came upon him and he knew he was gonna finish but was having some issues and just wanted to take his time. I wanted to check on Alex and he wasnt answering his phone nor was Shawn, I finally got ahold of Shawn as I thought he was prolly finished but he advised me he still have about 3 miles to go and I think I had about 6. He then told me Alex was pulled at mile 38. I was really bummed and pissed at the same time cause I had him time in the bank and really wished he woulda dug deep and kept his eye on the cut off times at each station to know whether he had to just suck it up and jog or walk super fast to get there.  That is one thing about the towpath if you start walking it can make it hard to jump in and jog again, it kinda can suck it out of you and you get lost since it all looks the same.  I was told that last year, Joe said to me, dont catch yourself walking too long because those cutoffs will get shorted and you think you have time and bam it catches you.
 I finished much slower then I had hoped but again I wouldnt trade any time in the world for stopping to help a friend and knowing that stopping and helping and having the first aid I brought in fact is the reason he got to finish makes me feel great!! He woulda lost way too much blood if we were not there with aid right away. I also have no regrets for going a little slower on the AT, it was great spending that time with Alex and our new friend Robin. After the run Kelly had been done for hours, I got something to eat and then realize I totally left my car key in the boys car at the starting line that morning hahaha...so we all had to hope on the shuttle to go back to the start, Kelly was having some blur vision and the Doc there advised her not to drive and her car was at the start so Alex drove them back to the hotel and they got cleaned up while Shawn and I headed back to the finish now to get my car and then return to the hotel. DUH Once we got cleaned up I opened some wine they had a beer and here comes Shaunte, Paul and Joe were ready for the party and we all headed down to their room. Was a total blast, so fun listening to everyones running stories and personal stories. Then next morning Kelly had to head out early and Joe, Paul, Alex, Shawn, Shaunte and I met at the Denny's as this it an annual ritual for breakfast. Next year I wont be able to do JFK again as I have some other events at the same time and sure will miss that JFK Family but hope to see Joe, Paul and Shaunte other places next year!

Hot Chocolate 15K 11/17/13

A couple days before this run I decided to call the Doc about the swelling in the knee, he went ahead and had me start the Medrol pack on Thursday the 14th so that I would be off it for the JFK 50 the next weekend. My friend Tiffany went with me for this run and we stayed at my brothers house, weather was calling for cold windy rain and we were not thrilled, trying to sleep and while trying to listen and see if the rain had started didnt work to well. We got up and it had been raining during the night and spitting the rain that morning. I wore a short sleeve shirt since it was suppose to be in the 40's and then a garbage bag on top to peel off when I got to warm. For some reason we thought the event started a half hour before it did so we were early but the time went by pretty fast. It was colder and windy and drizzlings.  When the event started the drizzle had stopped! Wow we got lucky! We kept a nice even pace for most of the run and really had a fun time. She had done the event last year so remembered the course, and the course went through a few areas that some of the other events hosted in Columbus do not go through and I really enjoyed that different scenery for a change. Even though the wind was blowing we did warm up and I took my garbage bag off in the first couple miles and Tiff had to take her jacket off about half way thru,,, she's a cold blooded runner who will wear long sleeves in the summer if it dips into the 60's  :)  With a couple miles left to the finish the rains came back and it was much more then a drizzle.  We had to walk quite a ways to get out hot chocolate and mugs with the fondue and it was a nice steady cold rain! We got our goodies and the hot chocolate tasted like heaven but was a little too rich for me so I had to toss about half. I also made the mistake of dipping a marshmallow in the chocolate fondue first only because it was the only thing open and now it was pretty much pouring down the rain as we were walking as fast as we could to find the car! Im not a huge marshmallow fan unless it rice crispie treats and this chocolate also was super rich!! We both dumped the chocolate so we didnt have to deal with spilling it and it was so rich it woulda made us sick. Tiff had remembered to bring some kroger bags to put our bowls in due to the fact there was no way to get all that chocolate out with out rinsing it and it would be messy. Was a nice fun day!

Marshall Marathon 11-10-13

I wasn't sure how Marshall was gonna play out as my knee really had given me fits at the Day of The Dead Series. I had taken this week only doing my spin class and a couple walks with the dog allowing the knee to recover a bit. Things felt pretty good that week and headed up to Huntington the morning of the event, I had drove over the day before for my packet since they recommend packet pick up the day before and even though it was a total mess in there I was glad I did it that day because race morning was so much of a nightmare for them they didn't have time to put the timing mat out for the start of the event. I kinda didn't feel it heading over to the run that morning and at one point I actually thought to myself forget this I think I'll just turn around and go back home, all these reason of course go through my head like hey you wanna be totally well for JFK 50 in 2 weeks but I know I will never be totally well for any run! I don't consider myself injured since the problems I have are pretty much chronic, all I can do is the best I can and I do it because I enjoy the people I meet out there for the most part, I love hearing everyones stories and there is always many others with more problems then I have and they continue to run! Saw some friends at the beginning of the run and during the run ran into a few which was nice, also talked with a couple marathon maniacs out on the course. I found myself photo bombing a couple people in the park where the photographer was taking snap shots so I ducked behind and jumped up as fast as I could while he snapped. Marshall Marathon is a 2 loop course, it passes the parking lot around mile 2ish and I decided to take the extra time and little bit of added mileage on to drop my coat and put it on my windshield wiper so that I wouldnt have to run with it tied on my waist for 24 more miles. I felt decent after lap one and just told myself- hey just pretend you just got here and go run a half marathon. When i entered the park with the walking/bike path again I noticed all these stations set up that I didn't notice the first time around? Maybe since the first loop I had ran into some local friends Marty and Jonica and we chatted for a bit. I found a stationary bike on the course and I had to play!! Think it was right at about mile 20, I asked one lady that was sloggy if she was in a hurry and if I could trouble her for a photo but she wasn't willing to stop, I guess she musta felt that 5:00 pace was gonna win her age division or BQ her? Maybe it was a personal best - i shouldn't judge but did find myself entertained by that response. I saw another lady who was just standing in the park and asked her if she would mind
taking my photo, she would have to walk about 10 steps to get the shot so she said see that man with the kids, he will take it for you, he's on his way back over here....he was about 100 feet away but decided i am in no hurry and was worth the wait. He was super cool and loved the idea that I just was out there having a great time, I needed a little bike break, mix those muscle groups up :)
I think about this time I decided to stick some tunes in and start singing to keep myself occupied, my knee and such hurt but it felt better to slog then to walk so thats what I did. I actually ended up finishing this in just under 5:03! How does this happen only a week after 3 marathons in 3 days with a knee the size of a watermelon, stopping and waiting for someone to take my picture playing on the bike, a couple potty breaks, time out and a little extra mileage to put my jacket on my car. I was pleased and actually felt great afterwards.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day of Dead Series 10/31/13 thru 11/3/13

Day of the Dead Series was to be 4 marathons in 4 days finishing 4 states. My first stop on arriving to El Paso was my mission to find a pair of cowboy boots as well as Day of the Dead beer. My plan was to drink one beer in celebration of the Day of The Dead Series and the bottles and package looked pretty damn cool!  Day one started on Thursday the 31st which was Halloween, there was to be a costume contest and I knew having my Richard Simmons outfit was only fitting to wear at this event! Yes I ran the entire 26.2 miles with that damn hot wig on, stopping at times for those to check the bald spot on top to be sure I didn't need to apply sunscreen.  The run was a loop no out back but some folks did turn around so we could see others, this event was very small compared to Center of the Nations, only about 35 or less starting this day and some of those were even half participants. We ran in a park around the lake and at one area you could see Mexico and the large red border fence, this was kinda cool.  
 It was very nice to see a few familiar faces from CON's - of course Clint the RD, his lovely wife and sister. Cathy whose husband Norm runs and she volunteers. A couple runners Jeff who is Clints brother, Bill and he had his son with him to do 2 of the fulls, which was his sons first double fulls and he did great!! Realized into the run on day one that Jenine was there, she looked very familiar but took her awhile to recognize me? Maybe since I was dressed as Richard Simmons ha. Met a few new friends this day too but it still was missing the magic we made at the Center of the Nations.  The first half of the run I was feeling great, no foot issues, knee a little tweaking but not too bad, I was on track for a 5 hour marathon but the wheels feel off bigtime only half way through? My legs just ached and feet were hurting, little knee issues but nothing that was unbearable or what I havent dealt with in the past 4 years. Made it thru day 1 in just under 6 hours. Oh well I had been in a damn boot for 2 weeks had done the double Indy/Cbus then and was in the boot 2 weeks prior to that, goal was to finish the states and have fun. I know I will never win a marathon and have no desire to train to attempt it I just love to run and meet new amazing people but I will win a costume contest and that I did :)
After that run we then had to drive 238 miles to Wilcox AZ, that sucked but I made the best of it, on the bright side Wilcox is an hour behind TX and TX was 2 hours behind OH, I knew by the end of the week my internal clock was gonna be a mess, and on Saturday when going to be we had to set the clocks back an hour! So I get to Wilcox and find my hotel, we had the option of starting at 6am that morning due to the time zone change plus after the run we would then have to drive to Las Cruces so we would lose an hour during the drive. I chose along with a group of about 10 or so to take that 6am start, again very small turn out but this time the course was out and back and we had to repeat it 18 times.  I had a shirt made that said WILL RUN FOR RUBBER BANDS, I chose to wear it day 2 well with halloween the day before and we did get 17 rubber bands that day and also because those that hadnt participated in any of Clints events wouldnt know until they were out there awhile on day one the fun meaning of the shirt, by day two and after collecting so many the day before and know this day would be another huge amount it was perfect! The run did start with temps of a real feel of 23!!! It however warmed up fairly fast but did take an a couple hours for even me to shed my jacket. When I got to about the half mark I stopped at the bathroom, my knee had been really starting to bother me bad and Im not sure if it was from trying to compensate not to land to bad on my stress fracture or just because I do have a really fucked up knee?  When I got out of the bathroom whozers i could barely walk on the knee, I was nervous very nervous about finishing...I had to get this pain in check so I switched to a 2:20 run and 1 min walk, sometimes the walk even felt worse.  I took some alieve and just kept trucking along, my time here was over 6 hours didnt really want that but I really dont worry much about my time and was just lucky I finished and am grateful I can do this. From here I drove to Las Cruces where I was staying with my friend from Grade School and Brownies yes it had been that long since she moved out of town but she is the one that came home this summer for a visit and decided hey do you think I could do a half? I said yes at these events there is no time limit and walk when ya half to walk job when you can jog and enjoy the journey. She got motivated and started training when she got back home that summer.  When I got to her place we went to eat at a Italian Place that night I believe, it was delish!!! I went to bed fairly early as my clock was so messed up!!
My knee was soooo swollen and the medial condyle was even starting to bruise again from the bones rubbing on each other, I didnt fly out and take this trip to not get the 3 states in so I was going to do it! I debated whether to rest that day then do the marathon day 4 since they had a marathon in NM both day 3 and day 4 but decided it may be worse if I wait an extra day, lets just get it over with.  This course was pretty seeing the organ mountains and all the others around each lap. The course went out a little over 3 then returned so we had to do it 4 times, Julie had to finish it twice! SHE DID IT!!!!! And with these events they give awards to those that finish last - so she even got the award for last and it was a really cool flask! She waited for me to finish and again I tried a run walk pace for as long as I could then the dreaded shuffle or slog as I sometimes call it felt better then to walk. At this point I did have to take a prescription pain pill, tried biofreeze and anything to get my mind off it.  
I finished still this one again was over 6 hours but I was done, I came for 3 states got all 3 of them and now was the hardest decision because I also came for the series!! I knew it would be completely stupid to do the full for 4 days in a row knowing I had another marathon the following weekend and JFK 50 miler coming up November 23rd so I thought well I'll do just the half, Julie actually was so badass she had signed for the 5K that day as well as doing the half the day before, now this is why I also say badass - before doing a 5K she does the half marathon then a 5K the day after!! Awesome!!! After talking with the volunteers we decided all I had to do was the 5K and I would still get the "series" special award since I participated in the entire run series, Norm was having knee issues too and he backed to the half on both NM days...sometimes we do listen to our bodies :)
Day 4 with Julie and one of her friends, at the start I then debated do I just go for the half but then there was the renaissance festival going on as well as it was the Day of the Dead so that festival was happening as well. I stuck with the 5K and ran thru the pain knowing the faster I finished the quicker I was done and did the 5K in 31:09 ha. Waited on Julie then went back to shower got changed to go play, her award had broke so we stopped to exchange it and hung around and waited for a Jeff and Jenine and a few others that hadnt made the turn around to see them head back out for there final half. We had a super time at both festivals, she took me to a great place with terrific margaritas and then I wanted the Mexican place that we had eaten at one of the previous nights again! Morning came and it was time for Jules to get back to reality and work and me to head home. Had a super time with a super friend and am so darn proud of her and her strong mind getting thru her first half marathon and her first 5k!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Indianapolis/Columbus back to back weekend 10/19-10/20

 Had been trying to behave for a couple weeks letting my foot rest due to some issues that finally got the best of me and felt like I would be ok for this weekend.  I drove to Columbus after spin class on friday and picked up all our packets for Sundays run since we would be heading to Indianapolis as soon as Shawn and Alex got off work.  Met Haley at the hotel and got things organized for morning and it was already time to get some sleep. Woke up and ate a bagel drank a little coffee one last trip to the potty before leaving and opps had a little visitor that hadnt been around in a couple years. Trying to explain to a 26 year old gay man what I need didnt work to well and next thing I knew we were at the start of the run with nothing but tissues that Haley had in her car, needless to say in the cold wet rain that wasnt gonna work to well. Met Tim that am as he was delayed with his flight and needed someone to get his packet so I picked it up the night before, I had met Tim out at Center of The Nations last month, it start to be just one big family out here!  Alex, Shawn, Haley and I all started together then as we passed a CVS I knew I had to stop, Alex went with me and the line was so long for checkout as well as the bathroom, finally I just grabbed a goody out of the box and handed him the cash to pay while I waited in the bathroom line. Then there was the debate with Alex about me wasting the box of 20 and I told him he could run the next 20 some miles with a box of tampons if he was that concerned ha. Off we go again....took quite awhile to catch Shawn and Haley and then we ran together for a little bit more, a bathroom break came up and they went ahead and Alex and I decided to just stick together.
 We had a great time stopping for fun pictures and just trying to make the best of it. Finally with only about 6 miles left the rain had stopped and the sun started peaking out and it became a gorgeous rest of the day. Still chilly but sunny and some blue skies and clouds.  We got to the finish and had some pizza, brats etc then headed back to Columbus.  We went out to eat at an amazing mexican restaurant had a couple adult beverages and back to their house for bed. They thought the Columbus marathon started at 7am but it was 7:30! Uggggg so we waited and waited for it to start thinking something was wrong. Shawn wanted to test himself and see how he could do on his first back to back marathon and the crazy ass ran a 4:13! Shawn and I agreed we would run the first hour then switch to a 3 min run 1 min walk pace for the remainder of the run. Beside stopping for lots of photos ops and singing a little note with my friends band Mothman we stayed on track together till about mile 20ish...Alex starting falling apart, i kept his spirits up for a couple more miles and he was huffing and puffing and making all sorts of excuses but around mile 23 I couldnt keep him going. I stayed with my 3 to 1 pace and sometimes just kept slogging along, felt better to slog then walk on my foot. I was so proud of both Shawn and Alex first for Shawn kicking ass on his day 2 marathon and for Alex for getting sub 6:00 hours on both!! He woulda been close to 5:30-5:40 if we didnt lally gag around but that's what makes it more fun! I dont take things too serious as you do only live once and you may as well have the time of your life however you can!  For me the fun factor isnt about speed its about the people I meet on the course and the fun photo ops that are out there!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Center of the Nations 5 states 5 marathons in 5 Days

Little video slideshow of the Center of the Nations Series.....will post more very very soon!

Freak 50K


Found out I was free to do this event a couple weeks before hand and it was still open so I decided on the 50K option since the next weekend would be starting on the Center of Nations Series. Arrived about 11am and I had to go in as a walk in camper as the sites were already sold out in advance but found a place that wasnt too far of a haul in. If you pay beforehand you can actually drive to your campsite if not you have to park across the street and haul all your stuff. It took about 3 or 4 trips but was fine. I started to put the tent up and have been using it a lot this year and as I pulled out the rods that support it the damn band was broken...Thank goodness I brought heavy duty tape as I was going to be decorating my tent for the Woodstock Festivities.  This held it in place for the weekend!  My friend Sandy was coming to pace her friend for the 100 miler and this was the first time I actually got to meet meet her husband...was nice to know someone there but did make lots of new friends as well.  On Friday night there was an evening 5K on the trails with an option after you got about a mile in to go off course do an "all natural" option...there was I guess a tent there to change or unclothe as well as a bar in the woods to sit and chill as long as you like then a one mile loop to run free.  I actually thought about this a lot but just dont have the self confidence....I also thought to myself it's prolly like at the beach, the guys you see in the speedo that shouldnt be in the speedo. I got done with the 5K friday night and my tent neighbors from Cincinnati and another group of all guys had all said the did the all natural and I should have done it and I really need to on Saturday. Some were younger then me some prolly my age but all nice looking so I thought ok...its not like at the beach and gonna be all this saggy schlongs dangling around and boobs to the knees so my boobs only hit my belly button so I may be ok to try it Saturday night :) Up and at em Saturday am and had to start with a flashlight for a little while...it was 2 loops for the 50K and the 100 milers and 100K runners had started at 4pm the day before. The course was nice had some decent climbs that I really wasnt expecting. There were a few mountain bikers on the first loop coming straight at us that got frustrating then by lap 2 there were hundreds...and most wanted us to move off the single track trail for them. I got thrown into a tree once...I really felt for those who had been out there since 4pm the day before and having to move out of the way....was hard enough to stay focused on your running let alone when they would come flying at you. I finally asked is there some bike event happening as well and then I found out there was an annuaul bike event held on 3 of the trails systems all we were using as well and there were hundreds of them....somebody had some poor planning since both Run Woodstock Weekend and the bike event were now the same weekend! I never worried about my time well I never worry about my time anyways unless I know Im gonna be super close to the finish cut off!. The course was a mix of nice single track, quite a bit of sand which "sucks" couple places with stretches of road plus had some bridges not too technical and a little bit of mud towards the end of each loop but nothing major. It got hot out there and looked the maybe it was gonna rain a couple times and finally towards the last 4 miles it did. it wasnt a pouring rain just a nice wetness that helped clean off a lot of dirt on the legs.  When the bikers would fly by and the ground was so dry you would have to cover your eyes and mouth due to the dust flying around. Sandy sent me a text and told me to find Erick as he had a band I could use to get into the REAL showers-being the walk in camper I only had access to the outdoor cold shower. When I finished I searched and searched for Erick but couldnt find him...so I decided to head to my car and change into my bathing suit in the backend...I didnt want to track all the dirt and mud into my tent. I got to the shower and wow that was COLD!!!! Washed my hair the best I could and scrubbed the body down enough to feel kinda clean. I got talking again to my tent neighbors from Cincinnati, the girl was doing her first ver 50K and her boyfriend was running the 100.....he was on the bench with his feet up and she had me look at his awesome bloody blisters she had helped take care of and he also had this crazy rash on his legs, assuming from all the sand we had to go thru plus the dude was fast as shit!! He freakin WON the 100 miler!!!  Then I went to wait for Sandy and her friend to finish. I had seen them at an aid station on his last lap out and I had only about 3 to go, he had been having tummy issues early on but seemed to be finally getting them under control.
Went to the hot dog stand and had a hot dog and when I hooked up with Sandy and Erick Erick had made some burgers and fixed me one up....boy that hit the spot!! I opened a bottle of wine and had a glass or two then had a beer. Visited with all them for awhile and listened to the bands playing and even watched a wedding! A guy had did the 100 mile run then after the run he cleaned up and they got married.....I giggled with a comment she wanted it after the 100 miler since he surely wont be in his right mind. Slept pretty decent that night and decided when I got up sunday not to stick around for the 5 mile run and just started packing up to head home for the 5-6 hour drive. I threw the tent out as Tanner said the chances of a replacement pole on that tent were slim. I then pulled my car on into the camping area since it was so early and got things loaded up much faster.  I think I would love to do this event again next year if it fits in my schedule, maybe the 50 miler there would be fun

Monday, August 19, 2013

Beast of Burden 100 turned 50

     Little recap of this event. It had a 10am start on the flat erie canal tow path...no shade which we knew about. The webpage boast All three aid stations will be stocked with a wide variety of food and cold beverages. We really try to offer a feast at our Beast! Our drop bags were at the end of the 12.5 which was the turn around and at the start. I started off with Sandy and things were feeling good and we were going out WAY too fast...we both spoke of this a lot and I had a plan to follow and but still came in almost a min and half faster per mile for this 12.5 mile loop. The heat and lack of food started to play a toll already and I was consuming a lot of water but also started having major cramps, like side stitch cramps in my upper belly near my ribs that I couldnt get rid of. My tummy looked bloated and felt bloated, my head was hurting, my ears were popping and felt hollow and I was dizzy already....never felt like this before at all. My mind and legs all felt great but something wasnt right. At the first aid station which was about 6.75 miles out they didnt offer ice had water, heed, cookies, candy, PBJ quarters and fruit. I tried the PBJ but just wasnt gonna cut it so it was a small banana and water and scaps. Made it out to the 12.5 mile AS and again, PBJ, cookies, candy, and fruit so here it was watermelon but they offered ICE!! filled the bottles with ice and little water as the heat made the water so hot within min this would be cold for a few. Here again nothing not even the food I packed tasted good still cramping still dizzy and overheated and I grabbed water melon. On the way back I set my watch to a 4 min run 1 min walk...this was quickly too much for Sandy so I changed to a 3 to 1 and that worked for a bit....legs felt like lead, lungs felt like lead and the strange cramps in the stomach still were not going away nor was the ringing of the ears. Got thru the first 25 and the pace had slowed way down, the heat was unbelievable and lack of nutrition wasnt helping things. I got a snowcone with little bit of red and blue juice and it tasted great! Still only PBJ candy and fruit for choices and I grabbed watermelon and brought with me...it was hot too so I kept it close to my water bottle just to give it a chill....stopped at my car since it was able to be the main AS got right on the course and grabbed my twizzlers and a couple things hoping something would taste good but it wasnt. Sandy started out a few before me and I saw them up ahead but I just went with a 2 to 1 pace at this point....I also knew that I was going to just stop at the 50 miles and i was ok with that.....I kinda thought even leading up to this i may just do the 50 but told my friend I would do it with her as her first 100 and then she bailed on the sunday before due to lack of training this summer, getting married and her dog was now scheduled for a surgery the day she would be home. So I send a message to the RD about seeing if it was too late to drop I never got a reply back...that was another thing...communication before the event was terrible...posts on the FB went unanswered by many and emails as well. Earlier when I had asked about dropping I was told you sign up for one or the other..you get a DNF if you sign for the 100 and stop at the 50 but had read last year there was a certain date you could do that by but didnt see that this year.. Randomly they would respond to post.  So I got the AS that was just a little over 6.5 miles out...looking again for food!! Now there is broth in the crock pots, ok not many calories but maybe it will settle the stomach so I can handle something else...poured it in a cup took a sip cold as ice....just sitting in the crock not turned on...shit...so back to the watermelon. Made it out to the 12.5 and was so dizzy by this point I thought about dropping there but then I really wanted to get atleast 50 in and if I took it easy I wasnt going to hurt myself?? I could just see myself in a buffalo hospital alone and them calling my folks to come get me 8 hours away. Finally some food!! semi warm grill cheese but that was heaven for a moment...changed shoes and put vaseline on my toes as the ones next to my big toe were starting to blister underneath the toe nail. I told the gals there whats up with the poor food choices and the cold broth? They said the guys prolly dont know how to turn the crock pots on. I said I was gonna stop at 50 that something just wasnt going right with my body and I have a lot of other stuff coming up this year I didnt wanna miss and this was kinda a last minute sign up to do with a friend who bailed on sunday anyways....they said to let the guys know at Gasport that I was gonna drop and they would call them and have them send my drop bag to the start. I got back to Gasport let the guy know could tell he wasnt going to understand or do it cause to get me checked in with my number took about 5 min of what was that number again...did I get you checked in,,,what was your number again....so now im looking again for food...its 9pm and I went to the crock pots and I said is the broth warm or hot yet?? They said oh we are just getting ready to turn it on? Hmmm ok you have a race that starts at 10am in 85 degree heat no shade you know people are not going to be consuming the calories they need nor what they are use to so they gotta get it from somewhere else like liquid....just not much in a slice of watermelon and not much in broth but there is some sodium too....so no food again. It was now starting to get dark and the nasty big ass bugs were out they would go up your nose in your mouth yulk belch ick...I pulled a bandana over my nose and mouth still they snuck thru then i just used my hands and kept trying to wave them away....used more energy but that was nasty!! It may have lasted about 30-45 min??? Then it was frogs haha small ones big ones every so often and i didnt want to squish any. I did put my music on here finally and just stayed focussed on a 2 to 1 pace and still my legs and mind felt good but I knew I needed to stop. I got there and told the RD who was at the laptop I was stopping at the 50 he says oh ok...and then he is pulling up the winning time for the Boston marathon discussing it with the guy sitting with him...I then tried to ask about my bag as i didnt see it and he just looked at me at first...i said I told them out at Middleport I was planning to stop at the 50 and they told me to tell them as Gasport so they would call and send my bag then a lady says are you sure its not there and the RD says oh ok you were there when we were and that was the last trip I said no when I was there is was just ladies and its been almost 4 hours ago and he says yes thats when it was we dont go every hour..then I said ok can someone please tell me how to get there and get I can go get it....now remember this is after 11pm I just ran 50 miles in the heat my ears are still ringing completely dizzy havent eaten anything except a half grilled cheese and watermelon and this RD is too busy playing on his laptop...never even questioned how was I feeling either when I was dropping....but now the gal looks at me and says are you ok?? I said well Im dizzy and disoriented and my ears are ringing but they have been like this all day...there hasnt been much food choices the broth still wasnt turned on and now I dont have my bag I think I'll go sit for a second.  I got up when I saw pizza boxes and it was sooooo cold you couldnt even get the squares apart...it was upside down cheese off half of it a wreck...yes I took photos so if i ever am having a day I feel like eatin pizza and I shouldnt i can look at this picture and ruin that craving. So now Im back to please tell me how to find my bag as I need to get it and I now also still need to find a place to stay tonight since I checked out thinking I would be running all night. So I said even if you can just give me an address I can put it in my gps...so this other guy next to the RD says yes I can do that....as he's looking for an address the RD then says...It's all online you can go there and get it if that helps....I was shocked I was pissed I was like oh ok....thats cool I'll do that...and shook my head and walked to my car.....he said we can do it we can do it Im like please dont let me trouble you. So i get back to my car spend some time in the back trying to pack up my stuff some since the back end was my aid station and posted on my FB page I am totally unimpressed with the folks that put on the Beast of Burden 50/100 mile run....took my blood pressure i always have my portable one in the back due to doing bootcamps out of my car some evenings back home and if necessary its handy...Mine was registering 70/60....then sat to try to find where I was going but now no bars but it says 4G....now here comes the RD...(he is on my friends list from where I wanted them to see the video I made rewording the song Beast of Burden) he says do you still need direction i just posted them on the FB page...I tried to pull it up but it is so slow I said I dont have any bars...then finally it came up and its giving me direction like go south here East west etc i looked at him and I said I have no idea where the heck i am right now let alone which is east north west or south i said can someone please just tell me how to go or give me an close by address??? He finally says oh yes its very simple go up two street turn up the hill to main street turn left and its about 12.5 miles total...ok thats all I asked for over 30 min ago!! which i didnt say but come on...granted I had ONLY ran 50 miles and was by myself and yes I did sign up for this and drove myself but you would think they would be a little more helpful and attentive. I got my bag and was so livid I just grabbed it and thanked those volunteers again and went to my car. The hotel did have a room that night still left they said it was a small one and I said it didnt matter. I heard from some friends out there food got better in the night and folks got very attentive I just musta came in at the wrong time. I meet some great new friends and met some FB friends as well.....I am grateful for my ultra running family! We understand each other and would bend over backwards for each other at any given moment. This is why I do Ultras. Real Friends! Am I happy with my choice to do the 50? Yes very much so...my schedule is packed and I surely dont even feel like I just did 50 miles a day and half ago. I took the week off to get my son back to college Weds and get my house organized so today I have gone up and down all flight of stairs carrying storage containers, my bike racks, 4 bikes downstairs, sweeping mopping and oh I even trimmed the bushes out back!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

50K from Hell!

Kanawha Trace 50K! Where do I even start.  At the pre race meeting the evening before we are told we will be going over barbwired fence but there are tripods built for us to climb over, we would be going under electric fences, thru a field with a loose bull and each year a lot of people do get lost. So maybe this is why there is a 10 hour time cut off for a 50K with some finishing in the 11 plus hours last year??? I camped in my tent the night before and didnt get much sleep but only brought the thin air pad so my hips and such bothered me causing me to toss and turn during the night, I think i got up to pee atleast 4-5 times too. The run was to start at 7:30am and busses took us to the start.....that seemed like forever and even though I travel to WV often I just couldnt grasp where in the world we were and how were getting to the finish. We got off the busses and there was one porta john about a half mile down the road so I followed the large group that headed that way...ugggggg They did wait for everyone and started the run at about 7:50am. The start was on a road road for a couple miles then we hit the single track and I could tell it was gonna be a day! The hills and trail were tough to start out and it was already super humid out, temps were not super high but the humidity made up for it. The course was not marked well at all and at two points I was passed by the same big group of front runners due to them getting lost already twice. I met up with Kim and some others and we didnt remember hearing anything about creek crossing but where we were sure enough it was a creek crossing, it actually felt good as my socks were already wet from sweat dripping down my legs, as we noticed the tall grass was tramped down we followed it even though we saw no yellow flags, opps wrong way, back down the creek we go to where we crossed, ah ha we should have turned right and climbed the steps up that bridge, I do recall the RD saying there would be bridges at the creek crossing. Back on track....it was mentally draining getting lost so much! I found myself backing off some as the balls of my feet were getting some hot spots, I think it was the little gravels in them and I didnt get it out in time, my feet just hurt. I finally arrived at the half way aid station....shit half way and its been like 5 hours!!! I sat down to stretch as my inner thighs were killing me. One of the ladies at the AS said I have a mat over there I can stretch you out I was all for that. She did a great job, took about 10 min or more though but I knew it was gonna be a long day. I was with a group of 3 other guys leap froggin up to this point but the stretching set me back as they went on, as I was leaving the AS the guy was informed all the others after me had dropped out. I couldnt tell exactly how many more miles were left as my garmin was reading almost 2 miles extra from all the wrong turns. There was a lot more big gravel road roads then I expected as well. After this AS I head into the field with the loose bull, this was terrible! I knew nobody was behind me there was no markings in the field anywhere, I saw 2 horses but never the bull, I followed what looked like the trail back and forth over and back over fences for almost 25 min trying to figure out where to continue on, it started spitting the rain which felt amazing but I was so upset by now I just sat and cried for a few minutes and then decided to head back towards the AS and see if they were still there to tell me where to go, this was prolly a mile?? As I started to climb back over the fence I thought maybe I'd go straight up the field and the guy who owns the farm here may be out and could tell me?? Got to the top there was the electric fence to crawl under and there was the trail marker again!! Back on a road road, I passed a young girl sitting in someones yard and she was a runner, I asked if she was ok and she answered she was fine but she had enough, she too had been lost so much it just emotional drained her, she said she had a ride coming asked if I wanted one and I answered no thanks I dont like to quit things but this one has me wanting to quit but I cant. She understood she said this was her first time quitting something.  I got to another AS and they asked how I was and I was honest...this sucks, the markings are terrible I have been lost so many times! I refilled my water and grabbed some pretzels, shortly after that the bike sweeper was to me, he had good intentions but really was an ass. He said so many had been lost and last year the course was almost over marked and he wasnt sure what happened this year, Im not sure where he went but I got to another area and no more flags, a car was sitting straight ahead on the road and a sign that pointed to the left said something trail so i thought ok will go this way, headed out there for awhile still no yellow flags so I turned around, as I was heading back that way I could see another bridge and a yellow flag in the distance and oh the bike guy, gee thanks for telling me which way to go up ahead! The damn car was sitting on top of the yellow flag!!! After this he had to go a different route I believe as the trail was heading into an area with a lot of rocks and climbs and was really cool when I got to a cave...hmmmm which way do i go from here? I venture into the cave holy shit how cool the trail went thru the cave! A couple hills I had to use my hands to climb the rocks later and one hill I had to sit down and scoot. There was another area of beautiful rock and a gnome sits in one of the holes...looked like it had blood dripping from its mouth ha. Asshat bike is back now and telling me we still had another 10 miles to go.....great.  Then he starts telling me that since I was the last one the next AS would be closed but he had some water, I said you better be going ahead and seeing if the AS is open cause if im staying out here getting lost and shit and its gonna be closed im gonna be more pissed! He didnt go ahead instead he decided to tell me that they prolly wouldnt be there at the finish either and wouldnt let me finish....seriously dude i know you are a volunteer but these are things you DO NOT say to someone that has been lost of a course in the heat of the summer and has been out here for 6 plus hours already!! We did arrive at the next AS where he was telling me I still had 5 more miles but the AS was open and i said to them in front of him...he's been telling me you were going to not be here they said they are there till the last person comes thru, I said I believe that is me since the few others behind had dropped, I then asked if I was going to be allowed to finish as he had been telling me I wouldnt and they say yes indeed they will let you finish and you only have 3 miles to go.! Ok...so I looked at him like WTF dude! I ate about 6 orange slices that tasted like heaven and off I went, he came upon and started telling me about where I was going to go and I said did they just say 3 miles left?? Is it 3 or 5??? He said they musta changed the course since he was on it last they said 3, well my garmin already had almost 30 miles here anyways. I made it up the hill and here he comes again saying boy you were trucking up that hill, i stopped and stretched my legs a bit and then he says in this sad voice "oh no its really starting to hurt now isnt it?" I said no I just wanna stretch so that it doesnt. I keep moving forward and have about a mile to go and then he says, lets see the run started at 7:50 its now what ever time it was and then he says so you've been out here.......and I immediately said YES NINE HOURS AND FIFTY ONE MINUTES!! then he proceeds to tell me I still am not going to make the cut off....I just wanted to kick him off the bike. I saw the lake had about half mile from what I heard them talking about and i ran it at a 9:23 pace and came across the finish in 9:58! Bite me Bike Sweeper! The RD was super nice and apologetic about the course markings and I then told him about how inappropriate this sweeper was! I was glad to be finished thats for sure, I threw my tent in the back of the car and drove to the shower house then headed on home. There were some really beautiful places on the course some I was shocked we had to climb the rocks and such but was fun after the fact. There is a lot I have prolly left out but I have been so bad about doing some sort of race report for myself lately I thought I better get on the ball before I didnt have anything to say

Loonies Midnight Marathon

Found this marathon about a month before and thought how cool is that....a marathon that starts at midnight and it's only about a 5 hour drive plus it will count as the State of Tenn for my 50 states challenge. I got up and taught spin class that am then had some things to do and drove on down to Livingston TN.  I had been in contact for a couple weeks before with some other maniacs that were going and also with Alex and Shawn from Columbus who I had not met yet but had chatted on occasion with about other events in our area.  When I arrived Maniac Ed was there and he and I went to Pizza Hut to eat and such. Packet pick up wasnt going to be until 8pm and the timing company was late so it was I think closer to 8:30 or so. By this time I had met Alex, Shawn, Traveling Marathoner Tim, female Shawn and some other 50 Staters and Marathon Maniacs...yes we really thought we would be able to rest in our cars before the run started....I brought a small air pad and it was humid but left that back end up and windows down put some ear plugs in and a eye mask to block the street lights and I think at about 10:30 I dozed off, 11pm came and Ed was tickling my toes to wake me. Gathering with everyone really woke me up and the start was a little late. Boy was it humid!! The course went a mile and half then did 5 5 mile loops around the town, we crossed highway 111 and I wondered what some of those truckers and out of town drivers passing through thought when they were stopped for runners to go by at 2am 3 am 4 am etc! ha I was completely drenched this entire run, my socks clothes and I wonder if it was from my maniac shirt, this was the first time I had worn my pink diva tank...at one point I wanted to just run naked! I chaffed in some areas that normally you wouldnt chaff in just a 26.2 mile run. During the run it was fun to pass by the folks I had met earlier and online and give them a high five. Alex and I would stop and hug and I'd take a photo of he and I together...we were close to the same speed I may have a couple miles ahead of him is all. When I finished I saw male Shawn and he had showered ohhhhhh I heard there was a shower where where where! So I got my stuff out of the car and was heading to the shower and Shawn said Alex should be finishing soon...so I wanted to wait for him to come acrossed, I saw him heading up and I had sandals on but I jogged down to meet and ran in with him...then took a lovely shower everything felt amazing except for those areas of chaffing ouch!! Got dressed and started heading home....ok I didnt think it would be a big deal to drive down friday sleep 30 min run a marathon and immediately drive home ha....I was hungry but not super hungry, I decided to wait a bit and stopped at a cracker barrel, it was still early and totally forgot it was going to be breakfast food oh well it was food and it was delish. I was starting to feel tired and drove a bit further and by then my eyes were having a hard time staying open so I decided to stop at a church parking lot and take a quick nap, the problem was it was already almost 90 degrees so I had to keep the car running and ac on to stay semi cool in the back end. I set my alarm for an hour and think I dozed off pretty quickly but got up after about 45 min, I did feel much better and refreshed and had about 2.5 hours to go. I didnt start feeling the tiredness again till about 30 minutes from home but I set cruise control and sang a lot! This was a super fun marathon with awesome people. The bling was great and unique and if I dont have anything on tap next year at this time I will drive again for this one!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Have some catching up to do....

Looks like I have some catching up to do...will try to work on that this weekend. Still have to post about the awesome runcation my son and I did when I went to do the back to back Bear Lake Idaho Utah marathons!! Grandmas marathon and some of the 24 hours of booty bike ride.  I do have the loonie midnight marathon upcoming on the 19th well the 20th since it starts at midnight, the following weekend is a 50K at Kanawha trace and Ultra Running Peeps peer pressure which didnt take much have now talked me into do the Beast of Burden 100 miler just 42 days aways.  Of course I'd love to finish but wont be disappointed if something happens due to the fact that just 4 weeks later I have the Center of the Nations series 5 states 5 marathons in 5 days...3 weeks later is the Double Ironman which I have not even begun to swim train for!!! 2 weeks after the Double is the Day of the Dead series 4 marathons 4 days....two more week later is JFK 50 which is a tough one to recover from due to the portion of the AT 3 weeks later Rocket City another 3 weeks for Mississippi Blues and it keeps getting crazier hahaha. Another single marathon another 5 states 5 days 5 marathons and Zion 100. I might wanna start thinking before signing up?????

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Umstead 100

WOW...It is real!! Where to begin and hope to not be my normal self and jump back and forth all over   the place making reading this a total nightmare for those interested!
The fun started Wednesday evening when my left IT Band started to bother me - All week I felt some pain but couldn't figure it out since I haven't had any ITBand issue for a long long time...I was worried about the hamstring and glute more then anything. I decided to foam roll out the ITBand Wednesday evening and my dog Andi always thinks if Im on the floor its time to play..and she jumped back and forth over my head and when I went to protect myself her hind leg nailed my right eye! Started to swell right away and at that moment I knew I would be going into my first 100 mile run with a black eye! Who would think a foam roller could be so dangerous. I drove to Raleigh on Thursday to get settled in and a friend of a friend contacted me about pacing me...this was my Easter present! Up till then I didn't have anyone going with me or anyone that I knew knew that was going to be there for sure. On Friday I got up and decided to drive over to the park to see where I would be going to pick up my packet, after I left I called my mother and I found out that when I was talking to someone on the phone they could only hear me on speaker or bluetooth so I had to find an apple store. They gave me a new phone but lost everything except for my contacts (then when I got home I plugged it in and hit restore from my previous iphone and then lost all my texts and photos from the new phone! yes all my late night crazy texts to Amber and Trixie) Went back for my packet and then met up with my pacer Ben and some new friends Alex and Kelly (Alex was doing his first 50 and his fiancee Kelly had done Umstead last year and was hoping to do it in under 24-by the way she is a amputee runner and she kicked total ass going under 23 freaking hours!!!) Super company and conversation to get me ready for my first 100! I got back to the hotel a little after 8 and tried to get a decent nights sleep. It was a typical night up and down looking at the clock counting how many hours left till I had to get up, ended up just going ahead and moving around 3:45am. Ate a bagel with PB got dressed and made sure I had everything I needed. The hotel shuttle brought me to the race site and we left at 5am. Arrived put my AS 2 drop bag on the truck and found a spot inside the cabin for my main drop box. As I got up there was BEN!! He came to check out the start of the race and wish me well....was really a nice surprise. The race started and I tried to keep with my plan...walk every up hill and run the flats and downhills, someone was talking with me in the beginning and even though it felt good to run I was not going to go off that plan...I had read too many reports of people feeling good and running because they felt good and dying and having to DNF because they did. I came into the first AS and was ahead of pace a bit but I didn't know what the course was like to know the back side had a bunch more hills, refilled water and grabbed a quarter of a PBJ sandwich, wasn't too hungry but I also read grab food no matter what at every AS! I got thru the first lap in 2:39 which was 6 min faster then what my plan called for but it didn't alarm me....BEN was there!  Lap 2 still uneventful when I got to the first AS they had the grill fired up and decided I'd go ahead and have a wiener! 

Finished this lap in 2:50 and was ahead of this lap pace by 5 minutes. Think I changed shoes here for the first time as my other Hokas didnt have as many miles on them and something wasnt feeling 100%. Started out on Lap 3 my vest started to rub my back where I had a tank top on and my pinkie toes were starting to get kinda hot, when I arrived at the first AS I decided to take off the tank and just put a short sleeve shirt on, took off the socks to tape up my toes and could feel both of my IT Bands kinda acting up? This was strange as my hamstring and glute that had bothered me for so many months and this was not an issue at all. Ben was getting ready to leave and try to rest and would return in the evening and sent me a text so I told him about my ITBand...he went to a Dicks and grabs some straps and had them with my stuff at the HQ AS for the start of lap 4. Lap 3 also started with my inspire notes, I had requested if anyone wanted to send me an inspire drop it off in a sealed envelope or email my mother and she was combining them into envelopes for the laps so when I had some down moment everyone could lift me up-boy was I overwhelmed at all the notes of support! I made it thru lap 3 pace had slowed some as I found I was better off going at a very fast walk pace cause even the slightest jog and added pressure was killing my left side...I coulda run thru it but I also knew if I did I would never make it to 100 miles and that was my goal. Time for lap 3 was 3:14 and I was suppose to do a 3:05 this was ok i was still on track since I was 11 min ahead of schedule. I also knew my plan gave me an hour and 55 min of emergency time for incidentals. I strapped up my IT Bands and the right side did stop but the left side (my bad knee) just continued to get worse. This sucked! Or as my new mantra the rest of the run became THIS SUCKS ASS or THIS SUCKS ASS AND BALLS (sorry for the foul language but I repeated that and the some for the next 18 hours!) Lap 4 begins...once I finish this lap I would be half way there and then only one more lap till I got my pacer Ben. I got to the first AS again and when they asked if I needed anything I asked for a shot of cortisone...nobody found that as comical as myself  but the PT lady did come and ask where would I want it if she had some...asked about the straps I said the right one stopped but left wont...she barely touched it and wow it hurt but I let her take "the Stick" to it to try to loosen it up a bit and she tried a wrap to take the pressure off but that didn't work either.  Made it thru lap 4 (14 minutes behind schedule) and now I knew every step I took from here on out would be one step further then I had gone before. Here I had to switch to my other Garmin and plug in my 910 that I was using into a portable charging device I bought, I had to have something to be able to watch pace at all times because I figured I would be close. I had also bought an iphone portable charger cause I knew I would be face booking and texting and talking to some folks out there, The love I felt from everyone on FaceBook was so amazing and kept me pushing on. I honestly believe you can do anything you set your mind to and I love to update my status and post pictures throughout all my runs as if it only inspires ONE person to change there life style then it was worth it! During this lap I was overcome with tears, it was still daylight and I had this overwhelming sensation of my grandparents being there with me in disbelief and so much pride in what I was doing. My grandfather had passed when I was still wearing a size 24 and smoking 3 packs of cigs a day and my grandmother passed shortly after I had lost weight and was finding my new healthy lifestyle. I couldnt shake it off, I would hyperventilate while trying to get the lump out of my throat and then I put my music on to try to get into a different place. That worked! The pain started to get unbearable in my left knee and I made a video in the dark for my facebook friends to see my wonderful view and yes I used my mantra THIS SUCKS ASS in that video. All you could see was my flashlight lighting a path in which I found hilarious because most of my videos and picture do show the pretty scenery. About a half hour later my body came to a stop, I literally couldnt get my leg to move forward as the pain was so bad...I debated what to do, I had some stronger pain meds with me but then I was worried about taking something stronger at 9:20pm and having 10 hours to go in the dark but I also knew that in just a couple miles I would be picking up my pacer Ben and he could help me stay awake if I decided to go ahead and take it. I texted my 2 friends Trixie and Amber both multi 100 mile run finishers and told them what I was going thru, (too bad my phone wiped out all that as I dont remember all the conversations) they both helped me thru that and I did decide to take the pain pill and start walking on, it seemed to help pretty quickly and the pain went to around a number 8 on a pain scale of 1-10 which sucks ASS :-) but I can deal with that level.  Got thru lap 5 and now it was time to have Ben come with me. I needed to get some warmer and dry clothes on as it was getting cooler and would continue to drop and we would be moving much slower, I grabbed a dry bra and tried to find a place to change and a lady took me behind a door and stood in front with her jacket open and I walked back into the cabin to find a dry shirt and just used short sleeve and a heavier jacket. I also  felt like I had to get out of the Hokas and into my Asics just for one lap I told myself thought maybe that would help with the pain, well after 1 lap I forgot about switching back until we had headed out on lap 7 and I wasnt turning around. During Lap 6 it was night and around 10:15, I was scheduled to start this at 9:45 so I was ok, I knew if I kept moving forward I would make the time cutoff. Ben grabbed envelope 6 to read to me on the back side while we went up the hills and he read a few but then it became to hard to try to read and not fall off the hillside or sprain an ankle! It was funny cause each one he would read I would then feel the need to tell him a story behind who wrote it....the strangest thing was my mothers, to this point I didnt have any notes from her and he pulled hers out and it read " I know your Grandma and Grandpa are on your shoulders" Now that kinda freaked me out because 6 plus hours earlier is when I felt them on my shoulders and had a little emotional break down! So then I proceeded to tell him another story of how my grandmother loved yellow birds and when I see yellow butterflies out biking and running I always think of her and wonder if its her spirit coming to say hello. Now we are done with Lap 6....less then a marathon to go but knowing that this marathon is going to take over 9 hours to do was a hard bite to swallow. Our time in the AS's started adding up now as I changed back into my Hokas here, changing flashlight batteries and just so many small details that take a few extra minutes.  I dont recall if it was lap 6 or 7 where I got super cold, Ben had a fleece on top of long sleeves and he took it off and gave it to me so now I was feeling much better but by the time we got to the AS he was freezing.  Instead of wasting time in me taking off my jacket and his fleece we got in my bag and found anything warm, he squeezed into my pink Lululemon long sleeve shirt and I had a lightweight jacket, grabbed some coffee but his hands were too cold to drink it! I actually had coffee here as well hoping for some new found energy and it worked for a couple steps. Ben had grabbed a cup full of pretzel sticks and the way he was holding them with the headlamp reflecting off of it made it look like he had on a big boxing glove, when I stated that and laughed he began making all sorts of hand shadows, we taped some of that too and it was good for some uplifting laughter for a couple minutes, then back in the death march. 12.5 miles in 4 and half hours wow...you have got to be kidding me....now we begin trying to figure out the clock and what pace I have to keep to finish in time and if I was still ok with time...so Im trying to figure in my head and using my calculator and realize we are fine we are fine even if I do a 26 min mile pace for the entire last loop. The sun was now back out, but I needed changed into real socks, my toes were getting so swelled that I had to get out of my injiji socks. Ben went ahead to get them as to not waste time but when he got in the cabin a friend of his who was also pacing wouldnt stop talking to him so I sat outside and waited for a few so I didnt have to go inside but hated to take off my socks incase I didnt have normal socks inside, after about 5 min I went on in and he had them laying out on the table so I switched as quickly as possible, wow it felt awesome to have my feet out of those socks but they were so swollen the toes were touching each other and that burned a little bit. 
We headed out on the last lap ONLY 12.5 miles to go!!!He grabbed me a banana and I ate some of it on our way out, once we got off that campground terrain and back on semi flat fire road we managed to go a couple miles at around a 16-18 min mile pace...awesome lets keep this up, It didnt last long, my knee was killing me I was tired everything was hurting and Ben found me a walking stick, it was a little short but it helped even if it was mental it helped. He then began looking for another and now I had 2 new legs!!! (arms will be sore the next day due to using walking stick for 4 hours!)  My cousin lives fairly close and she and her oldest daughter were planning to come see me finish, I received a text from her when we only had about 4 or so miles to go and told her its would be about 2 hours maybe an hour and a half and she was like move it move it you got this you can go faster then that get done cause we want to take you shopping....ummmm thats not something you tell someone who has been moving forward for the last 25 and half hours knowing how close they are but cant move any faster then what they are moving. I read that to Ben and we laughed about the shopping part too. She said they wouldnt let her come out and I explained it was an open course ask someone where to go and I also told her which way to turn once she got up the nasty campground entrance road,,,,have I said how much that SUCKED ASS!! I had about a mile to go and there she was with her oldest daughter Alex, We cried and hugged and I started ranting with how back it sucked and what it sucked and came up with all sorts of words. This last mile I think took almost 28 minutes, going down that campground road hurt so much and you could hear the people at the finish cheering for you and one of my walking sticks broke! I hobbled on up the path and makeshift steps with Ben, Charlie and Alex and my walking stick as tears were just streaming down my face. Finish time was 29:33:19...I remember my cousin saying can you get there in under 29:33 and I just grunted and said as long as its under 29:59:59 Im happy!! I sat in the chair so hard thought I would break it, another volunteer took off my shoes and socks and Ben gave Charlie my scissors to start cutting off the tape now while things were numb so the skin wouldnt rip off later. That was painful for her as much as me! Alex went inside and ordered me a omelet and I watched and cheered the last 6 folks across the line. We hung out for an hour or so in the sun then Charlie loaded my stuff in her car and grabbed me a sub from Jimmy Johns and took me to my room, I showered and got ice for my legs and tried to sleep but things were just throbbing and I couldnt get any sleep. I had a couple more pain pills at the hotel and tried that for sleep but think I only dozed on and off for about an hour here or there. I was hungry around 8 but knew I couldnt go anywhere and didnt want pizza so ordered another Jimmy Johns and they brought it to my door. The next morning I went ahead and got moving and headed down to the lobby for breakfast and decided I may as well check out a day early and head home, would much rather be in pain at my own house! I stopped to stretch every hour or so and was glad I made that decision. Would I do it again.....you bet! Already trying to decide if I want a different course or try for Umstead again next year!