Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sweet Dreams

I had my first dream about Badwater the other night! I dreamed that I was in the 8:00 starting wave and I woke up late, and it was 7:10 am and we had to drive from Furnace Creek to the start to get there in time. I also had a problem with my number- someone had dropped it in a puddle of oil and the ink faded, so my number wasn't visible! I needed a sharpie, STAT!

I think the dream had something to do with being afraid I'd oversleep for work. I started back on days this week. I'm not adjusted yet but I already feel better.

Yesterday during my break at work I ran into one of Dennis's friends in the cafeteria. Dennis has known Brent since way back in the early 90s when Dennis started working at the hospital. Brent is an adventurer and a photographer, and he has a great attitude toward work and life.

Brent and I talked about Badwater and we decided it would be a good idea to have a "puke-free zone" icon somewhere in the crew vehicle so I can be reminded of how hard to push myself, and where my limit is. Absolutely no puking allowed.

My hazmat suit top arrived this week, still waiting for the pants and hat. I'll post a picture once I get the whole thing.

Last week I definitely overdid it on the training. I needed a rest week, and this week I'm taking it. Last week I only ran three days but because of my work schedule they were back to back days and I ran a total of 27 miles too hard two days in a row, followed by 25 miles on the hills at Horsetooth Saturday. I hurt all over. I need to rest up and get back on the road!

The Badwater roster is out, and it looks like a supercompetitive womens' race! There are several past womens' winners of Badwater, Pam Reed is entered (womens' course record holder) and lots of other accomplished athletes. I'm not sure if this is the case but I think this could be the biggest women's field ever. I don't know if it's been this competitive before either. Look at this field, it is impressive:

I am excited and honored to be in this group although I don't have any plans to go out and try to stay with the leaders. I'm doing my own thing. I'm not intimidated, because you never know what can happen out there. It's a long race and the conditions will rule what you can do. I respect these athletes, and at the same time, I'm not afraid to push myself once I get past Stovepipe Wells. I am going to finish the race, and beyond that I have a list of goals in mind. Felix and I talked about my bad habit of not paying attention to the competition. That's another reason why I need my crew!

This week I am setting up an appointment to meet with the PVH Foundation again to go over some details about fundraising. I'm going to raise money for the Cancer Care Fund, and I'll be posting something about that soon. This fund provides resources for the patient navigator programs and education. I'll write about it at length in a blogpost in the near future.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I can't say it enough, but I can try...

Thanks to Dennis for putting up with my obsession, lack of spare energy, and neglect of domestic chores.

Thanks to Kirk for digging out all those old issues of Ultrarunning so I could send my application in with everything I needed.

Thanks to Ken and Josh for sending letters of recommendation from crewing and pacing from several years ago.

Thanks to Steph for being the most incredible organizer and on top of every little detail.

Thanks to Christopher, Renee, Nathan, and Felix for their enthusiasm and support.

Thanks to the Buffaloes for loving me unconditionally no matter how bad I smell.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pouring sweat...

Ran 20 miles on Horsetooth today, very slow, and excruciatingly overdressed. My legs felt great and I wanted to fly up and down the hills, but made I myself hold back. The first out & back there were four of us and I kept running ahead then waiting or turning back, taking a bathroom break while I waited, or whatever I could do not to get too far ahead of the group.

It was cold when we started, 29 degrees and breezy. I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, a nylon shell vest, and my windproof Marmot jacket. On my legs I wore one thick pair of tights and my cycling windpants. I also had my windproof mittens and a warm hat plus a neck gaiter. By the time we got up the first big hill I was pouring sweat.

I finally feel like I'm ready to start pushing the pace again. Each week I have a little more turnover in my legs but today was the first day I didn't feel like my legs were tired at all. Even with all the heavy, wet layers I was moving at a good pace.

When we got to the parking lot after the first out & back I grabbed my bag of extra clothes and ran to the bathroom, once inside I peeled off my wet layers and everything was drenched. I was soaked, wearing what felt like 10 pounds of extra water in my bra, shirt, vest, jacket, and tights.

I changed into fewer layers of dry clothes and it made the second out & back so much more comfortable! I ran with Doug the last 10 and it seemed like those last ten miles today went by faster than the last five miles last week.

This overdressing will take some getting used to. Until the weather gets warmer I'll have to bring complete changes of clothes so I don't freeze in the wind!

Only one more week of working nights. I am done with having my sleep schedule all screwed up. I can think of better ways to cross train!

I ordered my Hazmat suit, they were out of white in the pants and hat so they are backordered until March. Next thing I need to do is join a club that has a sauna. My amazing crew chief, Steph, managed to get all the reservations made for hotel rooms, rental van, and her air travel within hours after I let her know I was officially entered in the race.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Think Spring

Off for a celebratory walk with the Buffaloes this morning. Tomorrow a double out & back on the Horsetooth hills on Centennial Drive.

First on the agenda is to order a new Hazmat suit from Sun Precautions. My old sun gear is worn out and falling apart.

It's a clear, early spring day. Yes, it IS spring. I need sunshine and heat! Bring it on!

Maybe I should look for a sauna...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

HAPPY Valentine's Day, I'm IN!!!!

Just got the official word from the Badwater race office, I'm IN!!!

WAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It's a buffalo howl-fest at our house tonight. Good thing I got the night off from work.

Best Valentine's Day gift I could ever receive. Except for the gallon of red gatorade from Dennis.

Only 151 days to train! I need to get off my butt! Reservations to be made, people to contact, training plans to be set, schedules to mind is racing even if my body is nearly ten pounds heavier than it needs to be, and I still feel like a slug.

More to come...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dances with Buffaloes

Again, not much to report this week, I can't do much for Badwater preparation until at least February 15th, the earliest date when entrants will be announced. I'd be biting my nails if I didn't have to worry about what might be growing under them.

I am running more. Managed to get 45 miles in this week with two good 15 mile runs, one on Horsetooth and one on the bike path. We had some 50 degree days and the snow is melting. I'm taking Iris and Isabelle, our dogs, aka "the Buffaloes" with me on my shorter runs and walks. They love it.

They pull me along on my waist pack double leash contraption. Helps with the leg turnover for fast walking. Now that the squirrels are more active, I get plenty of sprints in my walks. Good cross-training and speedwork since there were no races this week. I feel like I'm doing the squirrel dance out there, sidestepping over the curbs as they pull me toward every place they've ever seen a squirrel before.

I had a good run on Saturday when I did Horsetooth, I ran with Doug, Chris and Michael from the running club. When we started out it was cold and clear but no wind. At about the 4 mile mark, when we came around the bend at the south end of Soldier Canyon dam, suddenly we got hit hard with a northwest gust coming down over the foothills. Almost blew us off the road over the dam! The rest of the way we had wind but not as fierce.

Chris and Michael turned around at the top of Dam Hill and Doug and I continued on to get our miles in. We had a conversation about politics on the way back. We come from different backgrounds philosophically and politically, but we have a lot in common in our views going into this year's presidential election. It's been a long time since I had a running partner to talk politics with! It was refreshing.

By the way, Steph asked me a question the other day: does anyone know who the patron saint of the desert is? If you do, let us know. Otherwise we might have to make one up.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Not much going on. I did get the official "your Badwater application materials have been received and your application is under review" e-mail from the Badwater office this week. There's nothing I can do except wait.

Ran the T & H 5K today, 24:01 and it hurt. I'm not sure I'm really accomplishing my purpose by doing this, that pace isn't even speedwork for me. My legs feel like they need to be oiled. No pickup, no turnover.

I'm sure it didn't help that Saturday I ran Horsetooth plus some for the first time since before ATY. I got a good 12 miles in, 10 on those hills followed by a cooldown on trails by Pineridge Reservoir. Ran into a few Fort Collins Running Club folks as I was starting out on my run, Tom, Doug and a new guy named Michael and ran the hills with them.

It was nice to have some company, I've done so many out and backs up there by myself that I forget how nice it is to have someone along for the run. Doug said he'd be interested in doing some Horsetooth out and backs this spring, maybe we can get an ultra group going. I did 34 miles this week and I'm looking forward to the rest I'll get over the next few days by having no time to run in between work shifts.

After the 5K this morning at breakfast I talked with Felix who is interested in pacing at Badwater. He's got a few ultrarunning and ultracycling events planned for this spring but he sounds enthusiastic. He'd be a fun addition to the crew, he has lots of positive energy. He's faster than I am and I need someone fast to help me the second day after I get out of Death Valley.

Back to work tonight for another 3 nights in a row. I tell myself it's cross-training.

There probably won't be a lot of exciting news until mid-February when they start letting us know if we got into the race.

Until then, take a nap for me.