Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting back to it

It seems every day I’m getting back in the swing of things more and more. I’m feeling better with each day and each run. It’s taken a long time to get back to normal, and I think I’m there. I can’t believe how long it took me to recover from the flu, but I’m thankful that I am. I could feel my muscles just zapped, my glycogen depleted. It seems like it took forever, but my energy is back up thank goodness! I am still down 10 pounds which I’m fine with of course! HA! (I would not have preferred to lose the lbs this way, but it is what it is and it hasn’t come back yet so I’ll take it!) For the first time since the Beast of Burden 100 miler I enjoyed my runs. Really truly enjoyed them. This is such a relief to me ! All running seemed like work, too much like work. I did quality work this week and while it’s always hard and I always try to push it didn’t feel like a job. YES!!! My best run came Saturday on muddy trails. It was extraordinary out there! While I was running I also came to the conclusion that sunny runs are boring. Beautiful, but boring. (Unless it’s 90+, then that makes things a little more interesting!) I seem to thrive on bad weather. It just feels like more of an adventure. When you sit behind a desk for 40 hours each week you need a little adventure in your life. Even if it’s just a run in the rain.

My son’s first marathon: Training

This week my son ran his last 20 mile run before his first marathon, the Cleveland Marathon. Before his run I ran my required distance on the trails and went back home to get him. My husband ran with him and I biked the 20 mile distance.
While I enjoy running in funky weather I was hoping he would have good weather for his run, as his last 20 miler the skies opened up and he got completely dumped on the whole time. Well the weather also stunk for this one. I felt bad for him, but he didn’t complain. My little dude pushed through and finished his run. Welcome to the taper period ! I smiled today when he asked what mileage he had to do this weekend. I told him only 12 and he said “That’s it?!” LOVE! Many people have asked me what he hopes to finish the marathon in. Truth is, I haven’t asked him. I haven’t asked him & won’t ask him – I just want him to enjoy his run and have a blast without worrying about time. Just finish, this is the goal! And what’s more – finish smiling! It will definitely be a cool experience running alongside him while he completes his goal. Crossing the finish line my son, myself, my husband – all together will be an amazing thing.

Team Outrun: Fleet Feet Sponsorship

Excellent! One of the running groups I belong to, OUTRUN (Ohio Ultra Trail Runners) is going to have a team supported/sponsored by Fleet Feet of Pepper Pike. Thanks to Zach Johnson for organizing everything! The team will have a race kit (shirts, shorts, shoes etc) with the OUTRUN and Fleet Feet logo on it. My stuff will be a little different as I will be in I2P gear. However, I’ll have the Outrun and Fleet Feet logos on it as well. I’m nervous but excited to try a new shoe – Pearl Izumi’s - shoes we get a mega disount on. I decided I’ll try a lightweight shoe, something which I’ve never done before. All my shoes have been tanks, but I figure why not? We’ll see what happens as far as that goes. Our group was at Fleet Feet Friday for a meeting to finalize everything and the Pearl Izumi reps were there showing us their gear. Everything they showed us looked pretty amazing. I’m excited to be a part of this team – great people and great fun. A bunch of people who love running and the togetherness that comes with it. Who could ask for more?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Glacier Ridge 50 mile non-race race report

And it has happened. My first DNF. Never in a million years did I think I'd say that (unless I was talking about my goal race). But, I have it, it happened. Looking back I never should've started it, but I am a stubborn ass. And so it goes...

Friday night we headed down for the pre race dinner. The dinner was held in the park and was so good. Spaghetti, stuffed shells, lasagna, rolls, salad, COOKIES! I got my race packet, chatted with Ray one last time before the race and was starting to get pretty excited. Mild panic did set in for a second when I looked at the back of the awesome race shirt I received and saw this:

(it's really not as bad as it looks!) My husband, son, and I ate and listened to the RD's and Park Rangers at the pre race meeting. Seeing how excited everyone in charge was it was hard to not get pretty pumped. The Rangers were especially enthusiastic about the event, which was so cool to see. My favorite part of the meeting came when the RD explained that at one section of the race the 50 mile runners needed to rip a page out of a book as proof you really did make it to that point. Instantly all you heard was chatter from runners "ooooh..like Barkley!" I sat and smiled :)

Meeting over, we headed out to stay at my mom and dad's house about 40 minutes away from the park. And so it began. My body was starting to give me one big F.U. I tried to ignore it, but this made it even more angry. Inside I was hoping I would go to sleep, wake up and all would be well. But this was not the case. I tossed and turned all night, and at 3 a.m. off goes the alarm. Wake up, upchuck #1. I was completely bummed, but still determined to run. So - I forced myself to eat, thinking I can't run 50 miles and not eat breakfast. Well....ha upchuck 2. and so on and so on. I woke up my hubby up so he could get ready and told him what happened. He didn't even make mention of the fact that maybe I shouldn't race, he knows me all too well. He just said "Oh shit!" yeah. So we headed out and I could feel that I was already dehydrated. At this point, water and food were out of the question though. We arrived at the race start, I dropped of my drop bag and I hung out in the bathroom as long as I could until it was time for the race to start.

I took a ginger candy thinking it would work like magic and all would be well. Off we went and I found myself in 1st, and running at a pretty good pace. After a little while I started to slow down considerably. My energy was zapped, all my fuel in the toilet, and dehydrated. My muscles felt like jelly, they had no power. I started to not be able to imagine running 50 miles this way. The first female runner to pass me flew by, looking pretty good. I tried to pick up my pace again, but nada. I had completely fizzed out. I slowed down even more, then came to a screeching halt and started to walk. Even the walking seemed to take everything out of me. Soon many people would pass, each one of them asking if I was o.k. I shouldn't have been surprised, I mean, trail runners are known for this - but still it touched my heart in a way they will probably never know. How amazing is it that someone would do that? Not just one person, EVERYONE. You know, I always thought that if I would get a DNF I would be completely crushed beyond belief. Which yes, my husband and Ray got a few of my boo hoos on Saturday. But, the more I think about it the more I am amazed at those people who just simply cared. I am, believe it or not, lucky to have witnessed that. It has me more in love with trail running than ever.

I saw my husband around the mile 15 aid station and completely broke down knowing I would have to stop. (People were STILL stopping to see if I was ok!!) I was so glad to see my guy there.....I was just all....HOLD ME! drama. ha. I was SO SO cold from starting out fast and then coming to a screeching halt. We went to the aid station where the volunteers were so amazing and caring. I can't thank them enough. And that was that. I took off my bib, signed my name, and peace out. Will I run this one again? You betcha. First day registration opens up for next year, I'm in. The course was beautiful, and people amazing - I wouldn't miss it. And besides, I have a score to settle now.

We went back to my mom and dad's house where my dad said something to the effect of "You look like the Grim Reaper's sister". Yahoo. I felt it. I hung around half dead on the couch for awhile and then we made our way back home. I called Ray eventually, after getting enough courage too (don't know why I was nervous really!) and he was his typical encouraging self...I'm lucky to have an awesome friend like him! The rest of the weekend, and yesterday - was spent inside, I made sure not to venture too far from the bathroom. I thought I had success in keeping yesterday's lunch and dinner down, but I was wrong. This morning I woke up, and same old story. BUT I got my lazy but up and took myself to work today. Why? Because #1 I'm BORED and #2 I'm AGGRAVATED. Now I know absolutely nothing about medical issues, I'm completely ignorant when it comes to that - but here's what I do know. Before this year, I never had the flu. Never got the flu shot either. This year the flu shot was offered to me free of charge. I thought "Why not, can't hurt anything!" Got the shot. Got the flu. Twice now. As I said before I don't know too much about medical things, and I do know that the doctor's say the flu shot can't make a person sick, blah blah blah - but you can bet your ass I'm not gettin' another one.

Happy Runnin'

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another month, another race

Here we go again! Another month, another race. Ultra #4 for the year. So far it's been Run for Regis 50k (er um, 36 miles)-January 16, Beast of Burden 100 miler February 12, Copper Canyon 50 miler March 6, and now it's time for April - The Glacier Ridge 50 miler. I've been trying to get back in the swing of things since running Copper Canyon - and it's going a wee bit better. I've had a couple massages at work (Wendy is a life saver!) and have been trying (TRYING) to be a bit better at stretching. Awesome coach Ray Z has been giving me my schedule and is trying to get me back on track. Slowly but surely I'm seeing improvement in speed and a bit relieved. After CCUM I took one week off from running (the longest time off in I don't know how long) and then got busy. The first week back was extremely rough as I tried to push the speed work too much which killed my long runs that weekend. I was worried though. Worried I would be stuck in some permanent state of slowness. The following weeks after that were much better, thank goodness!

The Glacier Ridge 50 miler:

This upcoming training run/race is more prep for the Mohican 100 miler in June. I'm stoked that I'll be running in my birth-state! Corny? Ah well - what can I say? I love P.A.! We are leaving tomorrow - after I sleep in as loooong as possible. SLEEP! Probably the best thing about races is that I actually get to sleep in for one day before the race. I always make a point to take off the day before - so my body can play catch up from not getting sleep any other time. Don't know if it works, but I sure do like sleeping in :-)

The downside to sleeping in tomorrow:
My son is running his first 20 miler tomorrow morning! This will be his longest distance yet, all in prep for his first full marathon in May, the Cleveland Marathon. He had a good 18 miler a couple weeks ago, and a shorter 13 miler last weekend. I joined him part of his 18 miler since he had to run longer than me. (what?!) We ran by the beach and stopped for pics. It was cold - but too pretty to not stop. We never noticed this little spot before, and you bet we'll be running by here again!

SO much has been going on with Impossible2Possible! The student ambassadors for the upcoming expedition to Bolivia have been chosen, details on the ambassadors can be found here:

The youth and other I2P team members will be running 250 km across the salt flats of Bolivia in Salar de Uyuni- location of the largest salt flats in the world! Congrats to the newest youth ambassadors!

Keep watching for new I2P gear as well. It will be available for purchase soon - so save your $$ people! Lots of new stuff is coming! Ray is working hard on lots of stuff so keep watching. And when I say work hard I mean EXTREMELY hard. If any of you got a text/email/phone call last week he was pretty sick but working through all of it. I think.....yes I KNOW I was probably nagging him way too much to get some rest but he needs it! It's pretty amazing watching I2P keep on growing and growing though. All the hard work is definitely paying off. This month Ray spoke at Engineers Without Borders - then headed off to Rotterdam where he was the keynote speaker at an event (alongside the Secretary General of NATO and the President of the International Red Cross!) Another I2P mastermind, Bob Cox headed down to the Clinton Global Initiative where i2P was a featured organization! Incredible stuff going on! But Ray still needs to rest. ahem. :)


While not really related to anything running, I need to mention this little wonder of a supplement. Chromium is a naturally-occurring mineral, trace amounts of which are found in everyday foods. "So what?" you may ask. Let me explain:

It all started with curiousity. Curiousity in regards to why I feel I need to down a whole 1/2 gallon of orange juice in one sitting. Orange juice is always one of those things at the grocery store that I just had to avoid. Literally, I would chug my orange juice. Chug it without coming up from air. If you picture yourself getting lost in a desert with no water, then FINALLY finding water, this is how I would drink my o.j. Always. So, I became curious. Goggled a phrase, something to the effect of "why do I crave o.j." I fully expected all the websites to say things like "lacking in vitamin c, blah blah, blah" which I do not. I take Vitamin C on a regular basis and have been since I got pneumonia a couple years back. Magically the first thing I saw someone made reference to a lack of Chromium. "hmmm what is this thing they call Chromium?" I wondered. With a little assistance from good friend Google I found out a little more. Lack of Chromium also will cause chocolate cravings. Now I was even more curious. Every single day I would go out of my way to get chocolate. Often, more than once. I love love LOVED chocolate. I wouldn't leave a store without some kind of chocolate in my hand. And if the whole family got chocolate - my husband was sharing his after I had mine. Choco freak I was. So I figured I'd give Chromium Picolinate a shot. For a couple bucks, why not? I was doubtful, as I usually am about supplements. The ones I do use (ex, vitamin c) I honestly can't tell if they work or not. I don't notice a difference, hell I take Iron AND a multi vitamin and am still anemic - haven't been able to give blood for years. But I decided to try Chromium anyway. I was extremely shocked to find it actually is working! I no longer chug my orange juice, and no longer go out of my way to buy chocolate every day. Don't even buy it once a week! I successfully can look at chocolate in the store and not touch. My husband has come home a couple times with chocolate and I have not had any desire to have it. I'm pretty amazed at this stuff. So, my husband's chocolate is safe - and hopefully the size of my butt is not. Now to just work on my cashew craving...

I stumbled upon a podcast a couple of weeks ago and am fascinated with the story of Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills. Billy Mills gold medal victory is thought of as one of the greatest of Olympic upsets of all time. The gold is not what impresses me, but his determination, drive, and belief that he could and would get there. He is currently a motivational speaker and is co founder of the non profit organization Running Strong for American Indian Youth.

Watch the video!