Saturday, July 30, 2011


Quick note kids, the Burning River 100 miler is this morning and it's my husband's first. Will have pacer/crew report later - but for now you can track him online via the live webcast, go to !!

Good luck to all the Burning River runners! We'll see you soon!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beast of Burden Training, BR100 Update & Pacing Tips, Niagara Falls and I2P updates!


This past weekend my son was out of town and I decided to make my runs in the heat of the day to get some practice running in the open sun. Beast of Burden is on a pretty open course, little shade - so I needed this and took advantage of being able to start running later in the day. Saturday I ran one half of my long run with one of my best running buds, Charlie Bolek, and the other half I ran solo. I decided to try some new energy chews I got for free (almost - just paid shipping). They were FRS energy chews.

The verdict? I liked them. They seemed to work well with me. I also used my always trusty Smartwater. Smartwater is a HUGE favorite of mine. When you can't stomach sugary sports drinks, it's hot and you still need electrolytes, this is it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! (And no I'm not some kind of paid spokesperson for them by any means)I've used it for over a year now and haven't found anything better. I really liked the combination of the FRS chews and Smartwater. My belly liked them and I guess my legs did, too - I had a negative split for my 20 miler Saturday. Charlie and I started at 11:00 a.m., temps were in the 80's and purposely there was no shade. I was pretty pleased with everything.

Sunday was a different story. I was a bit tired from Saturday's long run. I decided I wanted to challenge myself mentally as well as physically. I once again started running later in the day. Temps were hotter than they were on Saturday. I purposely chose a route that even on a good day is pretty difficult for me, not to mention the day of long run #2 for the weekend. All open road running again, in the sun. To make matters worse, I was out of Smartwater. No FRS energy chews either. I relied on regular water and Perpetum chews (which my stomach can handle, but my mind cannot) I had no negative split, my pace was slower than Saturday's pace but I was pretty happy I didn't punk out and take the easy route.

Ice baths were not a problem this weekend :)

One problem I came across this weekend was a nasty blister I acquired Saturday. I bought new "blister proof" socks. The brand - Swiftwick.

(Note the ad stating "blister free!")

One might think it was due to my new shoes, but I wasn't wearing them. (I was running road, my newer shoes are trail shoes) The only thing that I changed wardrobe wise were those socks. I never had a worse blister in my life. The damn thing would NOT go away all week. Right now it's hurting worse than before and the protective skin is now ripped off of it. OUCH. This is the nice looking picture - it's a bit nastier looking now:

Needless to say, I'll be sticking with what worked before: My Wal-Mart socks.


The new I2P gear is in and it is HOT!!!

Get yours today! View the catalog and order information HERE. Don't miss out, the order deadline is Monday August 8th!
This gear supports i2P and their free Experiential Learning Programs.


This weekend will be my husband's final long runs before Burning River. Then, the dreaded taper. Maybe I can get him to clean my house! YAY! Things are still going well for him, and he'll be bouncing off the walls in a few days. If anyone needs a roommate.....

Burning River Pacing Tips: (or any other ultra really!)

Ask you runner – do you prefer me to run in front of or behind you?

Stay positive – there’s nothing worse for a runner than knowing a pacer thinks that they can’t finish the race/doesn’t have it in them. Be encouraging from the start!! No negative vibes!!

On the run – talk about anything other than running. Kids, family, positive moments in each other’s lives, blah blah blah.

Don’t ask how your runner is feeling. (You’ll be able to see it) They will most likely feel like complete crap at some point. It’s inevitable. Asking will only put their mind there….

There are times when to chat, and times when to just zip it! Feel your runner out, be mindful of how they are feeling and if they want to be involved in conversation.

Carrying extra batteries for your headlamps.

There are times when you may have to lay down the law. Runner not eating? Make them! That being said.....there are times also when you should listen to your runner. If your runner tells you they HAVE eaten or drank something, for example - listen, be patient, ask questions - when, how much, etc... this one's tricky, so you must ask questions and get all the details - if your runner has too much food in them it could cause issues, and if you try to give them more then it will cause even bigger ones! Too little can cause issues as well. Details will help you decide if you should put the smack down on them or if you should back off! Don't always assume you know everything, and don't always assume they do. You are a team, teams work together!

You’ll have chatty moments and moments of complete silence.

You will possibly see your runner through laughing, crying, puking, you name it.

You're runner may be a bit testy after running 50, 75, 80 miles etc. It's nothing personal. Don't worry about it (Kind of like when a woman goes into labor, screams at her husband). Just a product of little sleep, tired body, a little pain - no worries! They don't mean it!

Don’t forget to fuel your body as well. Typically a pacer is out on the course a long time. Bring your fuel and use it!

This one's for new trail people mostly: Don't be surprised if you see your runner pee in the woods. Don't feel bad about peeing in the woods yourself. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

If you haven’t run with your runner before, try to get a run in before the race.

Discuss your runners goals prior to the race. Will you be there just to keep them company, for safety, or to make sure they stay on pace?

If you are tired, hungry, a little sore - don't complain, just suck it up because your runner is probably feeling a lot worse! You can tough it out, just stay positive!



The kiddo's in Myrtle Beach, my husband's running his first 100 miler on our anniversary - so what to do? We decided at the last minute to go to Niagara Falls. Just a short trip, we left Monday and came back on Tuesday-but we got our fill of fun! We checked out the falls of course, did the Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, and all the typical touristy stuff. After all the waterfall related activites we checked out Clifton Hill.

Clifton Hill is a busy area of town, complete with wax museums, haunted houses, Ripley's Believe or Not, Guiness Book of World Records, and many restraunts and shops. We'll definitely be coming back with my son as he would love all of the above. We had some fun hanging out, acting like kids ourselves:

The incredible shrinking man:

Over the Falls!!

What surprised me the most about Niagara Falls? The Buddhist Temple we stumbled upon. Of COURSE I had to check it out! I walked in and felt like I could spend forever there. It was amazing. The monks were friendly, everything was so peaceful. It was the Ten Thousand Buddhas Sarira Stupa on River Road. The construction of the facility began in 1995 and it opened in 2001. It was built to commemorate the numerous Buddhas in the past, present, and future. A beautiful place, one worth going to, and a place I'll definitely be visiting again.

Overall the trip was great and we were surprised at how close Niagara Falls was. We'll be going there many more times, it's really no problem making just a day trip out of it if you leave early enough. I just can't wait to take the kiddo! Perhaps a running tour of the city next time?

Happy Running All!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Beast of Burden 100 Miler Training/Gluten Free Week 3/BR 100/I2P Updates

The miles are starting to pick up and things are looking good! First order of business was a shoe change. My "why not" experiment with the Pearl Izumui's did not pay off. In fact, my husband and I are, even with the discount we got, out a ton of money because of the Izumi's. They were horrible for the both of us. We couldn't take it any more! Friday on our way to Baldwin Wallace to pick our son up from camp we stopped at Vertical Runner. I knew what brand of shoe I wanted - my old and trusty Adidas.

Never again will I put my feet in another brand of shoe. I don't care how much of a discount I get, I don't even care if I get shoes for free - FUGGETABOUDIT. (Although Vince gave us a pretty sweet deal on our shoes!) I tried on one of the shoes and instantly said "I'm gettin it!" Vince looked at me as if to say "Don't you even want to at least walk in them, tie them, something?" Didn't have to. I already know, they work for me and I love them. I'm not saying they would work for everyone, people have their own likes/dislikes, people have their own foot issues, etc, etc. For instance you could wear huraches like my friend Ted:

You can use, well - - any old shoes that you get for free, because the shoe companies love ya, like they love my friend Caballo:

Or heck, you can even go barefoot like my friend Patrick (who recently set the world record for the greatest distance run on sand in 24 Hours - 87.36 miles)

What's my point? Trial and error are ok, ultra running is definitely a learning process - but if you find something that works, really REALLY works for you don't change it up. If it ain't broke don't fix it, right?

My first run in my new shoes was a 25k training run. Little did I know, my Izumi's had completely changed my running form. At the time I didn't realize it was the Izumi's that changed my form, I just assumed my form was totally jacked up from my health issues (again - it's a learning process). I was starting to get ticked, really ticked with every run I was going on. Wondering, why if my health was starting to improve, was my form still so messed up? Enter Adidas and problem solved! I started running in my Adidas and like magic everything was right with my running world. It was then that I realized that my previous shoes were to blame for my craptastic form - for whatever reason. I don't know if I had a placebo effect goin' on, or I was just really excited to have my form back, (or just the simple fact that my better running form was back), but my pace improved by nearly one minute per mile from the previous week. HOOAH! THANK YOU ADIDAS!

This is HARD. REALLY hard. I love love love my bread. Last week really hurt. I have a lot to learn about all this. A WHOLE lot to learn. Last week all my food tasted the same. Chicken, steak, fish - it ALL TASTED THE SAME and I was getting tired of it. Then, along came two angels. Angel numero uno: Crystal.

My husband and I attended a runner's picnic organized by none other than super speedy Chuck-O. We all brought a dish, and Crystal (who deals with Gluten issues herself) brought an awesome desert - vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free brownies. I was SO excited I hugged her, and seriously wanted to cry! (but that would be crazy. I'm just crazy at home when no one can see) The brownies were amazing, and I probably could have eaten the whole batch. Yes. Yes I'm certain I could.

Angel #2, Courtney Baker Russell. I was speaking with her at Mohican about my problems, only to find out she has gluten issues as well. Saturday evening she posted a pic up on facebook of pizza she was eating. PIZZA!!! WHA?? WHA?? I commented on the pic, the pizza looked delish, and she told me she had ordered it from Zeppe's, they now make gluten free pizza! The next day I ordered some for lunch (I was so excited I called before they opened!) The pizza was rather pricey, $15 something for an 8 cut, but I had been craving pizza all week and I couldn't take it anymore! They gave me only 3 choices -plain, with sausage, or with pepperoni. I ordered the pepperoni and went to town. It tasted good! Not the same as the regular stuff, but it really did satisfy my craving. My husband approved of the pizza as well - that's always a bonus! I have to say, it feels SO great to not feel pregnant after eating pizza (which is always how I felt before). I was not swollen, bloated - none of it. Even the old man said he felt better after eating the gluten free pizza vs. the regular pizza. Tasty and you feel good after - doesn't get much better than that! The next time we order it I will change things up a bit, I'll put some veggies from the house on the pizza as well. (Don't know why I couldn't get veggies on this one - must be a safety thing) Thanks Courtney for letting me know about Zeppe's!

The Burning River 100 mile endurance run is fast approaching. This will be my husband's first 100 miler. I have to say, I'm extremely proud of him right now! He had his first real taste of what it would be like last weekend. He ran 8 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday. I joined him on Sunday for 25k and was extremely impressed at how well he was running. If he was hurting he wasn't showing it at all. He is 100% ready, and I can't wait to pace him! BR will be on our anniversary, and it will be really special pacing my guy for his first 100 on our big day! Also, he's a real ultra runner now - he made me take a picture of his gnarly feet. You know you're an ultra runner when you get proud of the fact that your feet look so freakin' funky:


Next up for I2P: INDIA!

The next youth expedition will be in October, and the youth who will be chosen for the expedition will be going for free to Rajasthan, the largest state of the Republic of India. The youth will run approximately 300 kilometers in the region of the Thar Desert. (also known as the "Great Indian Desert")

Parents and teachers - if you know someone who would be interested in this - please tell them! Youth between the ages of 17 - 21 can register today for your chance to join the i2P Youth Ambassador team on this once in a lifetime journey - again, at no charge. Send them here:
Good luck to all who are trying for a youth ambassador spot!

Don't forget about my upcoming fundraiser fun run for I2P! To register and/or donate go to the event page on facebook. The page has a link so you can donate via The mula goes straight to I2P. Donate today!!

Happy Running all!