Monday, November 11, 2013

Season in Review

Sorry all for being a major blog slacker, but my training and my pups have been keeping me pretty busy! Now that the season is over for me (I think) I feel like I finally have time for a recap of the season.

This year I started early on training for a road marathon and quickly found that I was absolutely bored out of my mind. I wanted to get back to trails. The shorter distance on the roads were great, exhilarating in fact, but the longer, slower runs on the road were a complete bore to me. So, I decided to change it up.  I've been working on speed since we got back from vacation and decided to work on a shorter 5k goal, one that I've been thinking about for awhile now. This would allow me to get my both my longer runs in on the trails and the fun, shorter, speedy road runs that I like too! The 5k goal became my #1 priority over all other races, and I think it did me well to focus on that goal for awhile. I reached my 5k goal at my second 5k of the year at the Ritley Run in Perry.

After reaching my 5k goal my new goal was to focus on Bills' Bad Ass 50k in November.  I set a time goal, but within two weeks reached that pace during training so I then had to re-evaluate and set a new goal. I could've just left it at that I suppose - but I wanted to work hard. What fun is setting a goal if you are certain you can meet it?!  Setting a goal that you are sure you can meet is neither fun nor exciting to me. Working towards the unknown is such a thrill.  I spent nearly every weekend on the Bills' course - at least one day anyway. The only two weekends I missed were weekends in which I raced longer races - The Green Monster Mountain Race (25k) and the Run With Scissors (marathon).


The Green Monster Mountain race is a race I scheduled, literally, at the last moment. I found out about it the week of the event, and signed up for it the last day of registration.  I debated for a bit on signing up for this one, but in the end decided to do it with the sole purpose of going to PA to check out the area in a fairly controlled setting. I'll be racing Eastern States 100 in August in the same general area, so I wanted to get a feel for what I'm in store for, wanted to get a feel for what exactly I had to train for. This race was a true mountain race with 4,000 feet of elevation gain for the 25k.  It was incredible! I wish I had that kind of terrain in my backyard! I went to the race with zero expectations, did not taper, and even did my regular hill repeats that week - but was very pleased to come out with 4th place for the women.

After Green Monster I ran another 5k. This one was a bit unexpected as well.  I had come down with a cold and wanted to wait another day (Sunday instead of Saturday) before I ran my 25 miler for the week. I was hoping it would get better somehow in one day haha. I saw there was a 5k down the road so I started to think about running it. That night (Friday night) I was feeling so bad I decided that I would not set my alarm, and if I woke up in time to make it to the race fine - and if not then that must mean I needed my sleep and to do just that. As it turned out I did wake up in time (much to my surprise) and half grumpily headed to the race.  I didn't run a great time there - but an amazing thing did happen (and probably will never happen again!) I took the race. Men's/women's, I came in first overall! This was truly shocking to me. It wasn't too shocking during the race - say for the first mile because I have a nasty little habit of starting out way to fast. ALWAYS.  But once the first mile hit and I was still in front I was shocked. I turned around to see where the closest person was and got even more shocked.  From that point on it was just adrenaline.  I finally broke the tape at a finish line!! What an unusual and great feeling!

Next up: Run With Scissors Marathon
I've always wanted to run RWS.  It looked like a fun race. This year it worked out perfect with my Bills' Bad Ass training schedule - It would be my last long run before then.  The week of the race I still had my nasty cold and was a little bummed by that. I went to the doctor, something I don't do very often, and was hoping he could do something - but knowing that he probably couldn't. Doc was honest and did not give me anything - and told me the normal "Get lots of sleep and drink lots of water".  He even told me not to take any over the counter meds, as they could make the duration of my cold longer and symptoms even more severe-which surprised me. I enjoyed that honest bit of information! I followed orders and got lots of sleep (LOTS).  I wasn't feeling 100% by Run With Scissors but I was definitely feeling MUCH better than before. I again had no expectations for this race other than trying to maintain my goal pace for BBA.  Much to my surprise I wound up finishing in first place/females for the marathon! I received a nice trophy and got to pick out new shoes (which I gave to hubby).  It was a fun race and I definitely would love to do it again next year if recovery from Eastern States and my brother's wedding ;-) go well.

Fast forward to Bills' Bad Ass 50k:
Two weeks later and it was time for BBA! The first time I ran this race I was a bit unprepared, and BBA was a bit of a shocker! This time I told myself I would be ready! Again I spent nearly every weekend on the Bills' course trying to improve the previous weeks time. I met lots of new runner friends while doing so, and got reacquainted with old ones. There were group runs and solo runs. Long runs and short runs. Bad runs and good runs. Then just as fast as training began, it was over. Time for the race! Both Chef Bill and Wild Bill put on such a fun, great event. If you're lucky, you'll get screamed at during the race from the great bullhorn. You're almost guaranteed to get screamed at going up the hill for the last mile!  Yes you're tired, but it really puts a smile on your face when you hear it. It almost makes you forget about the climb. Almost! It was great seeing so many runner friends at BBA. So many friends did so well - got PR's, ran their first 50k (congrats awesome newbies!!), ran a great race after running a double marathon 2 weeks before, and one strong lady running through cancer....hearing and seeing people's personal achievements is always so amazing! You just never know what you're capable of until you try!  As for me, I had a good day - I came smack in the middle of my original goal and my revised goal. That got me a 50k PR, first female and third overall. Getting a 50k PR and on the Bills' course made my day even more! Two days later and I'm pretty shocked at my recovery time - it's pretty much nonexistent. No sore muscles, no aches and pains (I am milking some massages from the hubby though haha shhhhhh!!!) I'm feeling good and ready to get focused on Eastern States training. Lots of Ohio and Canadian running friends are going so it should be one fantastic party in the woods, and I just can't wait!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cleveland Marathon, Barkley & Yepa, i2P, Mexico, And Drinks to Keep You Cool!

Pages that have been updated: Huskies, i2P, Travel, and Recipes.  Check it all out!

I hope everyone is enjoying this fantastic (?) weather we're having! The hot and humid days have me longing for snow more than ever.  I miss it so much! However this weather is here to stay for a bit, so I added some nice cool smoothie and drink recipes to my Recipes page.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

My hubby is not like me.  He does rather well in this nonsense.  So well in fact that he qualified for the Boston Marathon when he ran the Cleveland Marathon!  I couldn't have been more thrilled to see him cross that finish line!  It was a hot and steamy day, but he pulled it off.  I can't wait to go back to Boston and cheer HIM on this time! HOOAH!  The hubs also recently had a birthday, in which he got treated to many surprises throughout the day:

But the best surprise of all came at night, when so many of our friends came out to the Willoughby Brewing Company for his birthday.  Thanks so much to everyone for coming!

Check out my updates on Barkley and Yepa on their tab above, including details involving their first ever "race" at Muddy Paws this past weekend.  I have also updated my Travel section with highlights from our recent trip to Mexico - and please check out the latest with i2P! My friend Ray is currently running about 70km a day in the Gobi desert, and a new youth expedition has been announced!

Happy Running to you all, and stay cool!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Stopping to smell the flowers

Before I start this post, if you're interested check out my "Family" tab for an update on today's Perry Fire Department Pancake Breakfast!  Also check out the I2P tab for a brief post on the "company picninc bwahahaa"  Now for my run post:

I mentioned in my last post that long runs were less than ideal for me.  I really have been loving the short and fast speed sessions.  However a run with a friend and some input from Ray on nutritional needs may have put the mojo back into my long run. 

I've started my back to back long runs up again and have been less than enthusiastic about that. That is until last week when we happened to start a run at the same time Mike Nicholson was there.  My hubby, Mike, and I all decided to run together. I've always liked and admired both Mike and his wife.  Before we started, Mike had stated "I was  going to run and take some pictures if you don't mind".  Instantly I said "Hey I used to do that!"  and inside I thought,
"What the hell happened, why don't I do that anymore?" And that was the beginning of a run with a few realizations. 

We ran and chatted and laughed the whole time.  I haven't had that much fun on a run in a long time.  (All the time wondering why).  At what point did I start to show up at the trail head, put my head down, and decide to "Lets just get this shit over with"? At what point did I lose what trail running really is all about? In the end, I decided it doesn't really matter.  What matters is that I knock that shit off and get back to how it used to be.

We run North Chagrin ALL the time.  Seriously ALL the time.  I thought I knew it inside and out.  But apparently not!   Mike showed us a few things that we both missed along the way, and the whole time I was both enjoying myself and kicking myself for being so lame.  My "put your head down and get it done" mentality really sucked.   I stopped noticing things, stopped exploring.  And truth is - when I was doing those things -taking pictures, stopping to look at cool stuff along the way I was running better, I was happier, and loved running so much more.  So I promised myself I wouldn't let it get to that point again.  As a bit of a reminder of my promise to myself my friend Steve Hawthorne posted today "Perfect day to run with Fools and friends! Be sure to check out the little flowers popping up everywhere. It's going to be a great day :)" A perfect reminder.  I also spoke to Ray about all this, and he wanted me to revamp my food stuff.  He gave me an EXCELLENT breakfast  recipe that I absolutely love.  The combo of the run with Nicholson and Ray's nutritional advice seemed to do wonders!  What happened this week? Over 30 seconds faster per mile on the road on Saturday than last week and 2 MINUTES faster per mile on the trail the following day!! Woot! AND I stopped to look at the pretty flowers on more than one occasion.  (And heard the beautiful birds, and noticed the beauty of leaves blowing in the wind.)  Simple beauty.  Thanks so much guys for making me realize I lost a little bit of something along the way! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


It's been awhile since I've done a "what's going on in my life" post so here goes! So many changes are happening, and all for the better.  I've got a new job, ANOTHER new husky,started a fundraiser for the Perry Fire Explorers,  and my son got accepted into Auburn's EMS program for his junior and senior year!  So many good things to keep me busy along with the running!

Since I've done a blog reorg (business people cringe, but in this case it's good) you can pick and choose which items you'd like to hear about - check out each tab above and see for yourself!

My new job and running updates will be below.  But the other info you can find in the following:

New husky = Check out my "Huskies" tab
My son's acceptance into Auburn = "Family" tab
New fundraiser = "Community" tab

So there you have it :)  I'm going to enjoy filling up the photography tab.  My wish is to take a new picture each week, but we'll see how that goes.  Until then feel free to browse through the albums I've got links to. 

I'm so please to say I got a new job!! I started my new position on March 11, and so far so good.  So very good! I enjoy coming to work, and don't even mind the 10 - 10 1/2 hour days I've been putting in! It's been such a relief - my stress is gone, my mood is better, and I realize now just how stressed I was at the last place.  I've only had 1 stressful day at work so far (and this stress I really brought on myself, as I failed to recognize I was NOT in the old place anymore).  This particular day my stomach hurt, I was exhausted, swelling - hmmmm sound familiar?! At the end of the day I realized what I did and was pretty mad at myself.  But was a bit happy.  YES happy! Happy because I realized I felt like this EVERY single day before and don't have to go through that anymore.  FANTASTIC!!  Just that thought alone lifted my spirits immensely!  At the last place I tried everything.  Meditating, Yoga, listening to comedy programs at work - nothing did the trick.  I'm so incredibly relieved.  The department is awesome, my boss is great, coworkers are fantastic - and here's the BIGGIE.....They are giving one of us the opportunity to work from home starting in June! I certainly threw my name in the hat for that one! Even if I don't get that chance it's ok, since my department is great.  This first work from home employee will be a guinea pig of sorts before they open up more spots for the rest of us.  Incredible!!!  So glad I'm here!

Since the day after I found out I would be working elsewhere - BOOM. Got sick.  Acutally I expected it and was not the least bit surprised.  The stress was gone, my body didn't have to fight the stress anymore and it was just letting go.  My cold lasted over an entire month though.  That was a bit aggravating.  I kept the runs shorter and did no speed work or hill work.  Just tedious boring runs which were brutal.  I wanted to feel my lungs burn, wanted to feel the ache of a good run in my muscles, but I was patient.  As I said I expected this and there wasn't really anything I could do other than just get through it and that was mighty fine with me.  Now the cold is gone and my awesome friend and coach Ray Zahab has given me my first 3 week training block back.  This week marks the last week of that block and I've already seen improvements. ( And LOVE the fact that I'm back to doing speedwork again!  To think I used to dread it in the beginning!!)  I'm starting to really enjoy the gnarly, brutal, shorter speedwork sessions over the mega long stuff.  I just love the feeling of working as hard as you can and those speedwork sessions give me that.  To go on a long run and have to pace yourself so you save some for the end has been agonizing to me.  I do have to say though, a recent run with one of our friends, Mike Nicholson really opened my eyes to some things on the long run - but will share that in my next blog.  So there you have it! First three weeks back at real training and things are looking up!  I'm pretty pumped and ready to get my next 3 weeks block!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Battle against cancer: W O N

This is a must see piece on our friends Mike and Beth Shaughnessy!  Job well done to runner friends John Telich and Doug Hermann of Fox 8 News Cleveland for putting this story together.  I've long been wanting to blog for awhile about our inspirational friends but didn't want to touch on such a private issue with them while they were dealing with so much.  But the good news is Mike is now  CANCER FREE!! Our time was spent this weekend at Mike's "I beat cancer party" which was a blast.  Mike and Beth are both such amazingly strong and inspiring people.  Hugs to you both!!

Please check out the story on them here:

Saturday, March 30, 2013


New changes to the blog! Hope you like it! Since I always break my blog up in sections I have created separate pages for each of the items I talk about on a regular basis.   I've been wanting to do this for awhile now and I finally took 2 minutes to sit down to try and figure it out (ha).  So enjoy! Looking forwarding to adding more to each!

Happy Running,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Faux Shamrock Shake!

Running updates to come soon, but with St. Patty's day right around the corner I wanted to hurry up and get this out!


Driving and seeing a McDonald's every 5 minutes I'm sure you know that Shamrock Shakes are out! But wait!  You CAN indulge in that great taste WITHOUT whatever the hell it is they put in those things.  Don't let the spinach scare you off  - you can't even taste it.

1 frozen banana
3 cups spinach
vanilla stevia to taste (I used about 10 drops)
mint extract to taste (I like just a hint of mint, so I used 1/8 tsp.)

*If you don't like your shake as thick as I do, you can add some water or coconut/almond milk to get the consistency you want.  Just add a little at a time and blend until it's to your desired consistency and it really won't change the flavor. I made 3 different shakes to test - one with one cup water, one with one cup milk, and one without any added liquid at all and they all tasted the same. My personal preference in terms of consistency is no extra liquid :-) *

Put all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.  Simple and tasty, and perfect post run fuel! I'm thinking tomorrow I might add a tablespoon of chia seeds to the mix, just for the added health benefits.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think of the taste!

Happy Running,
(Please forgive the crummy picture, for some reason I just can't get a handle on photographing food.  Just know it tastes delish!!) 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Amazing runner friends doing amazing things!

WOW! What wild weather we've been having! Our new pup didn't like the 60 degree days we had, but is thrilled (and doesn't want to come inside) now that our temps are once again below 30.  Right now I have many running friends participating in some pretty fabulous adventures and wanted to wish them well.  Each and every one of them are not only fabulous runners, but extraordinary individuals outside of the athletic community. 

Our local Ohioan, Star Blackford will be running the Rock Raccoon 100 miler. Star is one of my early running inspirations and that is true to this day, along with inspiring my son.  At home he's coined the phrase running "Star style" after seeing her run at the Burning River 100 miler. "Star style" is coming into the aidstations happy, kind, and full of life (even at mile 93!)     ;-) 

My Grand to Grand running friends Stefano Gregoretti and Davide Ugolini are traveling all the way from Italy to the great white north, Canada, to participate in the Yukon Arctic Ultra - both 100 mile distance.  These two men are some of the kindest people you will meet, on and off the running field. (And Davide has one hell of a singing voice!)  Stefano will be representing Team i2P!

More i2P mates, Nathalie Samson and Jeff Dean are currently running 200km in Cambodia in an attempt to raise enough funds to provide 200 families with a bio-sand filter, ensuring them reliable and safe drinking water. Each filter costs Just $60.00 - I encourage you to follow them and to donate!

Onefilteronefamilly donation page:

Facebook page:!/pages/One-Filter-One-Family/158115700898517?fref=ts

Their blog:

The running community is filled with these kind of people - people who use this incredible sport to do good for others and expecting nothing in return.  Please support all of them by cheering them on loud and proud wherever you are!!

Happy Running!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Welcome Barkley!

I failed to mention in my last post that we have a new addition to the family.  Welcome our new dog Barkley!

We brought Barkley home right before Christmas.  Then, she was 8 weeks.  Now she's 13 weeks and already doubled in weight! Barkley is a Siberian Husky.  What a beauty! Before we decided to get a husky we did a lot of reading on their habits, traits, etc. In some cases what we found out was astounding! Huskies can run up to 30 mph.  (I knew they were fast, Idiatrod and all but WOW!)  They can run fast and run long.  I came across an interesting blog on an ultrarunner who actually runs her ultras WITH her huskies! WOW! You can find her blog here

I have to say, huskies seem to be the perfect ultra running partner.  But you MUST MUST MUST know what you're getting into.  They're a huge ball of energy, and get destructive if not excersized.  Two, three times a day even depending on how long you run. Barkley has been on introductory "feeler" runs with us so far, and she has yet to get tired on any of the runs. We are letting her go at her pace, so the runs turn into more of a fartlek running session. She sprints unbelievably fast, then stops for a sec to chew on some leaves. Such as been our runs thus far :-)
Thursday was the first quality workout she joined us for. She actually did hill repeats with my husband, our friend Crystal and myself.  Needless to say, she beat us all and it was her first time! So incredible!! We definitely can tell when we are not quick to excersize her during the day, when we want to get some work done before we take her out she gets antsy. And, as I said - a tad destructive.  Her form of destruction so far is chewing.  She has chewed my garmin charger to bits, our bedpost, and some socks to name a few things.  She's even taken a nice healthy dump right on my treadmill! So while huskies are beautiful dogs - do be careful if you're thinking you want one.  For us, with three runners in the house she's the perfect fit for our family. Many of these dogs do wind up being rescued though, and in speaking with Barkley's vet during today's visit he did say that so many of these dogs just go crazy - stir crazy because they go into homes where they aren't taken outside, aren't run, etc. and that he was very glad when he saw her because he could tell by looking at her nails she was definitely getting excersize. 
Despite what the vet said I was still worried we were running her too much, too soon.  I explained to the vet - "Hey we're marathoners and ultramarathoners, even my son ran a marathon - so we can run for long chunks of time and I'm a bit worried that we're doing too much with her right now." The vet just looked at me and laughed and said not to worry, that Barkley will definitely let us know when she's tired, and that honestly we really shouldn't worry about it, because if she isn't already - then soon she'll be running so much that we'll be the ones tired when it's all said and done, not her.  I can't imagine!! She really is an incredible dog and I'm glad we have her - and looking forward to many running and backpacking adventures with her in the near future!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Running and Beyond, New Happenings In The Non Running World

Let me start out by saying I hope everyone had a great holiday season and hope you are all working on those New Year's resolutions whatever they may be! Be it run faster, get a new job, eat better - may all your wishes come true in 2013!

For 2013 I have a slight change of plans.  I was originally supposed to run my favorite 100 miler, the Beast of Burden winter 100 - but family plans changed all that.  I'm so grateful for all those who wished me well for Beast though!  You guys are the best!  I'm bummed I'm going to miss some of my favorite people and my favorite hundo, but it's all for the better from a non running point of view.    In fact - I couldn't be more ecstatic! My son has chosen his career path and is so certain of it.  He's so excited, and this is just something I've never seen before.  It's incredible!  All the days and all the nights I've thought, hoped, he wouldn't wind up like me.  Behind a desk. Crunching numbers.  (although if that's what he loved to do, GREAT!)  But it is not in his blood to like something like that.  I knew it.  My husband knew it.  And my son knows it.  Over the years my son has watched my brother grow, develop, and become a firefighter.  He slowly drew inspiration from that - visiting his firehouse(s) and hearing about his job.  On a group run last year he mentioned that he *thought* he would be interested in firefighting as a profession.  I stuck that statement in the back of my mind and waited to see if he was serious or just being a teen :-) He was serious.  He became more so over the summer, so I then decided to call around to various fire departments to see if they let any youth come and volunteer at the fire station.  I wasn't sure what he could, but was thinking maybe odds and ends like cleaning the fire trucks or silly stuff like that.  Throughout the process I found out that Perry Township Fire Department has a free program for teens interested in fire fighting called the Fire Explorers. 
It's really an incredible program - they train just like the real firefighters, doing simulations and studying ems among other things.  So great!!  The head of the program, Brian, told me my son would have to come on a panel interview if he was interested - the interview would be done by him and all the other fire explorers in the program.  After the interview they would meet and discuss, and then my son would get a call either way.  Well - he went on his interview and did get on the Explorer team!!
He was thrilled, and started in September! The group meets several times a month.  He had one meeting before I went to G2G, his first...and another meeting during my time in Utah - and has been going ever since.  The pride he has for this program is incredible, I've never seen him this way before.  The group is already like a family to him, and he's excited each time he goes to the program.  (The last time I dropped him off he was so pumped he jumped out of my moving car when we got into the parking lot.  SERIOUSLY!!) 
So, needless to say this has all kept me busy.  Add in the normal December volunteering he does as well as trips to visit Auburn our December was action packed but in a very good way.  I just can't ask for anything more.  If my son is happy with his career, with what he does in life - if he truly enjoys it that's all I want. Nothing more. And it really looks like that's going to happen.

On Auburn:
Auburn is a 2 year vocational program he would go to, if selected.  It is an EMS program.  He has applied and will find out in March if he gets selected.  Not only would Auburn save us money after high school/into college but he'll have hands on experience.  (When visiting the instructor said within the first week of the program one year some students saw their first fatality unfortunately.  Many people have spoken to him about this so he realizes what it is he's getting into.)  With the program he would have a medic license as soon as he graduates from high school, which would allow him to become a Fire-medic right after graduation.  (Most firefighters in our area are fire-medics).  So right now the visiting is done, the application is in - and he's waiting to get an interview.  Then we wait until March!  Fingers crossed for my mini! It's not the end of the world for him if he doesn't get in - he would still be able to pursue his path of course but this would make it much quicker.  During the visitations to Auburn the students in the program said they STUDY.  REALLY study.  They all said the program was extremely hard, and a few came up to him and said they usually are studying until 10 at night.  The instructor told him it was the hardest program at Auburn.  He listened, we discussed what the students and instructor said - and without hesitation he said he still wanted to do it, that he was 100% certain.  OK then!   Quite a few of the Explorers are in the program, and the ones that weren't applied with my mini.   There is a 20 student maximum for the program. The program services several school districts in the area, with applications coming in from all of them.   So again fingers crossed and hoping they all get in! The plan for after he graduates high school will be to find a job of course, but also attend college at Lakeland - they have a great Fire Science and Emergency Management program there.  I've been in contact with the director of the program and he tells me there will be an open house soon.  FUN!!

On the Explorers:
Since my son has been doing the program since September, and he's going to be 16 in March he'll be going to the Fire Department a little more than usual, aside from the normal Fire Explorer class - to study up.  Once an Explorer gets to be a Level 2 explorer (you have to test for that) they are allowed to ride along on firefighting calls.  He can take his Level 2 test when he turns 16 so he is gearing up for it now.  Aside from that - he's also going to be taking a Lifeguard Certification training class in April! (oh and his driving test lol)

So as you can see, ultras have taken a bit of a back burner for now.  As always - FAMILY over running. Nothing new as far as that's gone for me.  It's why I usually trained waking up at 2 a.m, 3 a.m. on a regular basis when nothing out of the usual was going on - to not interrupt family time in regards to my training.  Family will ALWAYS take precedence over running.  I won't run if it means I have to miss one of my son's events - things like that are far too important.  We only have a couple more years before my mini won't be my mini anymore, and I don't want to miss a minute.  There will always be runs, there's plenty of time for that.  I don't NEED to run every race I hear of, I don't NEED to run xxx amount of races to get my fix.  My family is my fix and my running will always be there.  Whether it be a 5k or 100 miles, it will always be there.  So the focus now for me, while my mileage is reduced by hovering in parking lots waiting for my guy to come out will be the marathon.  I have a lofty goal to improve on my Boston Marathon time by a little over 28 minutes.  I really REALLY don't know if I have it in me to do this.  But - I'm definitely going to give it my all.  The timing is right to do this, so I will work my hardest! I had to have a  "crazy out there" goal if I wasn't going to run any ultras for awhile.  You see, the thing with me is....I get excited, very VERY excited about a goal that I'm not sure I can accomplish.  It's why I originally ran BoB winter 100 - because I was unsure if I could finish a nasty winter race with my asthma. First place was just the icing on the cake! 

In between the marathon and now there will be quite a few smaller prep races.  After the marathon, which will be in October, I will be looking into ultras again. By then my mini will be driving (and he's hoping he'll have a job) and I should have a lot more time on my hands.  Potential ultra right now is Hellgate (100k), if I can figure out when/how to apply :-)  Sounds like a good one, and would be enough time after the marathon for some good training.