Monday, April 28, 2008
I feel like I am at the point where the race has taken over my life. I eat, breathe, run and sleep Badwater. Work is the only break I get! I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't love every minute of it. Dennis fixed my hazmat pants this weekend on the sewing machine, he shortened them by a few inches. I'm looking forward to wearing them this week. I should go out running near the landfill and scare everybody...
This Friday and Saturday is the expo for the Colorado Marathon at the Fort Collins Hilton on Prospect Rd. a few blocks west of College Ave. On Saturday I'll be there all day, from 10 am to 5 pm while runners pick up their race packets. I have a big display that I made on foam board with information about the fundraiser and the Badwater race. I'll have flyers there with postage paid envelopes for donations to the Cancer Care Fund.
The Foundation made up a cool flyer for the Badwater fundraiser. It has a background picture of the road between Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. The one where it shows how desolate the road looks and the only shade is from the sparse little plants that grow about 6 inches high in the dirt on the shoulder of the highway.
I need to somehow get a run in tomorrow and I have to be at work for a meeting and a class in the middle of the day, and possibly be interviewed by the Coloradoan if we can work it in. If that doesn't work we will try for next week. I might have to skip the sauna. I wish there were more hours in the day, but I have to be back at work for a 12 hour shift on Wednesday.
I need my beauty rest.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
This week has been busy for me. I was due for an easy training week and I don't know when I would have found the time to do a lot of miles anyway. I did three 10 mile runs this week and that was all. Next week will be better.
I've been working on Badwater business. Nathan (my brother) and I got our reservations made for hotels, flights and rental car for our long weekend in Death Valley at the end of May.
Here's the itinerary: we're meeting in Las Vegas on Thursday morning, he'll pick up the rental car at the airport and my flight arrives about an hour after his, then we'll have to hit a Wal Mart (ADA donation oportunity) or Target and get some kind of a cheap cooler and all our supplies for my two days of running. We'll head to Furnace Creek and on Friday I'll run from Badwater to Stovepipe Wells, stay in Stovepipe Wells that night, and Saturday morning I'll run over Townes Pass to Panamint Springs. Then we'll drive the last 60+ miles of the course to Whitney Portal so I can review it in my head.
We'll drive back to Stovepipe Wells again Saturday night and return to Vegas in the morning on Sunday. I will fly back to Denver and Nathan will stay in Las Vegas for the afternoon for a cadaver conference.
Yes you read that right.
I don't have any more details, I'll let you know when I can find out more from him.
The down side to taking big chunks of time off work right now is that I have to squeeze my work days in tight, which gives me little time off in between shifts. I only had today off and I ran 10 miles at Horsetooth, still feeling slow from last week's effort. Afterwards I did 56 minutes in the sauna, my longest session yet. I was going to try for an hour but I was starting to feel claustrophobic and I checked my heart rate and it was in the 140s. Good enough.
My arms were peeling bad this week, I had to wear long sleeves at work because it looked like I had a disease. They itch!
I spent the rest of this afternoon working on my display for the Colorado Marathon expo next Saturday at the Hilton. I'll be there to spead the word about my fundraising effort at Badwater for the Foundation.
This week I was contacted by the local paper, they want to do a piece about running Badwater and I hope they'll focus on the fundraising aspect of it.
Saturday the 17th Dennis and I are invited to a fundraising event for the Foundation and we have to get dressed up for it! I have a black dress that I wore at my sister's wedding seven years ago. I had to dig it out, dust it off, and get it dry cleaned. I put it on and I have no idea what happened to my body since 2001 but my hips are a lot wider than they used to be! My weight hasn't changed, but something is different. I'm afraid to move too much in it. At work yesterday we were talking about solutions to the middle age "too tight dress phenomenon". I'm working on it.
The other stuff that's happening is I am having some crew fluctuations and uncertainty. Felix let me know a few weeks ago that he was concerned about finishing his bike race in time to make it to Badwater to pace me. He's doing a mountain bike ride on the Continental Divide and it's something like 1500 miles. The closer he gets to the race the more he feels uncertain about cutting himself too little time at the end. I'd love to have Felix there but I hate for him to have that on his mind while he's racing. He suggested a good alternate crewperson and I'm waiting to hear from him about whether he can commit.
Nathan won't be able to crew at the race because of another family commitment that overlaps, but his help crewing my training run on the race course at the end of May is going to be awesome.
As of this moment I am looking for two crew members who can also pace. I was describing my crewing needs to someone recently like this: I'm looking for two people with their heads screwed on straight who want to crew and pace at Badwater.
Then I realized that was an oxymoron.
I'm running the Colorado Marathon next Sunday and will try to get some good miles in throughout the week. Saturday I'll be at the Expo all day which will force me to rest before the marathon. I have to get up at 3:30 am Sunday to catch the bus up Poudre Canyon. I have a busy week at work ahead too.
It snowed in town yesterday, and this morning it was 28 degrees on my run. Will we ever have summer? Starting in May I plan to hit the sauna four days a week. I looked at my calendar and there are only 8 more weeks of training before I start to taper!
Monday, April 21, 2008
I have no financial interest in Sun Precautions, but this really is the most comfortable running outfit I've ever worn.
It keeps me cool and dry on a hot day like no other fabric and it has blocks most of the ultraviolet rays. It's like wearing sunscreen without the sticky mess. Wearing it this winter and spring I found it also keeps me warm as an extra layer when the wind is cold.
The only down sides to it are cost and sizing. The whole suit from head to toe cost about $220 but it's already paid for itself in comfort. I also would advise anyone ordering one of these suits to consider sizing, as everything is oversized. I am 5 ft 1 in tall and weigh 120 pounds, normally I wear a size 2 or 4 in regular street clothes. Anyone smaller than me is going to have a hard time fitting into it. I have the smallest sizes available in the suit and I needed to shorten the pants by about 3 inches.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I felt exceptionally good in the first few hours of the race, I took off at a decent pace and felt strong running all morning. It was clear and warm, and by the time we got over the big first climb and dropped down to the shelf above the Colorado River, the sun was coming up over the mesa.
It was completely quiet except for the vultures and hawks flying around above us. The morning light was shining on the different shades of red in the sandstone cliffs, there was a lining of spring green leaves along the both sides of the river 500 feet below us, and there were dots of dark green juniper on the sides of the mesa. The light was falling on the river between the canyons and I had to keep stopping to look.
Stuffing my face with crackers at the halfway point. I was hungry, tired and mean.
finishing in 12 and a half hours, my slowest and toughest 50 mile race ever.
A few minutes after my finish, a cold gatorade and I'm ready for another loop. Kirk (center) finished a couple of hours earlier.
I can't be in bad shape after a week like this if the only things that hurt are my elbows. I feel ready to go out and hit the road again, but I'm forcing myself to take Sunday off.
Sunday on our way back we stopped in Glenwood Springs to see Ken. He is doing well since his move there from Grand Junction in January, and he's charged up about Badwater. I called Steph when we got home and we did some strategizing on the phone. Things are falling into place, I feel like I'm where I need to be with three months to go.
In May I'll be in the sauna four days a week, I have some long runs and races planned, some fundraising-related events, and I'll be busy. Right now anything that doesn't have to do with Badwater is "A.B."
That's After Badwater.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
This is what it looks like outside today. I just got back from 12 miles on the bike path followed by 3 miles with the Buffaloes. It was 34 degrees when I started and 39 degrees now, but the snow was blowing horizontally and freezing one side of my face in each direction.
I was warm enough except for my exposed skin. I wore 4 layers on top, and a pair of tights under my windpants. It's hard to believe that in just 13 weeks I'll be running in conditions up to 100 degrees hotter. There's nothing I can do but hit the sauna...
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
After the trash pickup I went to the sauna but didn't feel so great. Usually it takes me almost 10 minutes to start pouring sweat but I started sweating as soon as I got in there. My heart rate went up to about 130, it never goes that high when I'm just sitting there. I was having a hard time tolerating the heat. I only did 22 minutes.
I went home and slept for two hours and then got a call about work, we were short on staff that night and they wanted to know if I could work a night shift. I had my nap, and I felt like I was just waiting around for work on Monday morning, so I might as well get it done. Plus a little extra pay for short notice and night shift can only help my Badwater budget.
When I got into work, I started feeling hot again. I didn't feel sick but I was burning up! I usually wear a long sleeved shirt under my scrub top, but I couldn't do it. I went to work dressed for summer and I was warm all night.
I hope I wasn't having hot flashes! At my age, anything is possible. I can't imagine having a hot flash in the sauna though. I hope I don't have any at Badwater!
My skin is so dry these days. I always have to put a ton of lotion on my hands since I wash them so much, but when I touched my hair after my last sauna session, I couldn't believe how dry my hair was! I'm sure it's the sauna. It never occurred to me that just a few minutes in the dry heat of the sauna would dry out my hair and skin so much. I'll have to start using more conditioner on my hair, or doing something to protect it.
Monday morning when I got off work at 7:30 it was raining and snowing. Good sleeping weather. It has been so cold and wet this spring so far. Tonight it's raining again. I got my run in this morning before all the rain started. I froze throughout my entire run, even though I had layers on. Maybe this sauna training is starting to work.
I worked my regular day shift on Tuesday but I got off work early since it was slow, so I ran 10 miles hard on Horsetooth. I had a cold headwind coming up the hills as I ran south, and I managed to run a fast pace in the conditions. This morning I did 20 miles and pushed the pace again but after about 14 miles I was feeling it. I mixed in some fast walking and took the girls for a run for the last few miles.
This afternoon I needed to get blood drawn for my thyroid check so I went over to the lab, and they had to poke me four times before they got any blood! I must have been dehydrated. Fortunately they only needed to take one tube of blood. I hate it when they take a lot of blood, I need those red blood cells! My slow ultra muscles need all the oxygen they can get.
After the lab I knew I needed to drink plenty of water in the sauna, and I drank about a gallon of electrolyte mix and water. I felt pretty good in there today. I did 35 minutes at 160 degrees and no hot flashes!
The weather is supposed to be cold and wet tomorrow and I need to get 15 miles in. I will probably have to wear about 4 layers to deal with the cold. I'm starting to wonder if we'll ever have any warm days again, 95 degrees would be perfect, but I'd settle for 60 at this point. The dry frozen trails are turning to mud. Now I'll have to wait for them to dry out.
Next weekend is the 50 mile race in Fruita. Dry, hot weather, please!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I guess it's true that I am training for hell. Everyone tells me I'm crazy and I'm used to it, I take it as a compliment. They ask me how I manage to run all those miles and work full-time, doing 12-plus hour shifts, and fit it all in my life.
I live on peanut butter and jelly. I make four sandwiches in the morning before work and I eat them throughout the day. If I'm lucky enough to take a real lunch break, I'll eat whatever I brought for lunch too. It's easy to hide out in a corner and scarf down a PBJ in 30 seconds when your hands are shaking from hypoglycemia.