Scatter my ashes here...

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Team Gab Virtual Race

This weekend Dennis and I went down to Arizona to visit my dad and stepmom, after I was unable to go over New Year's. This was an opportunity for us both to visit. Our friend Morgan graciously took care of the girls this weekend while we were gone.

This weekend I ran in the Retro Run 5K, an 80's-themed race in Kiwanis Park in Tempe. But the real reason I ran was not to dress up like Flashdance or to run a blazing fast 5K, (which would have been a nice bonus).

I ran this race primarily to support Team Gab. Gabby Gonzalez is the 5 year old daughter of my fellow blogger Heather Rusch Gonzalez at 365 Days of Awesome. Gabby has ALL, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and was diagnosed a year ago. Since then she has endured treatment and has toughed it out with a spirit that most adults couldn't muster.

When Heather announced the Team Gab Virtual Race on her website, I wanted to find something I could do in that timeframe.

Since it's in honor of Gabby, I was going to go all out and live it up, dress like an 80's workout chick, and run as hard as I could.

There wasn't much question about what a Colorado ultrarunner was doing running a 5K in Tempe, Arizona. The day we left, the yard looked like this.

We arrived at Kiwanis Park early enough to figure out how to get to the parking area- we drove around the neighborhood like a couple of clueless snowbirds. We've only been gone from the valley a little over 5 years but I can't remember my way around. But in Phoenix, we fit right in. No oxygen tank or Depends, yet,though Dennis is a card carrying member of AARP. I had pre-registered, but Dennis made a last minute decision to run the race and had to sign up.

Timing chip on top of leg warmers? Not very retro.

The t-shirt was retro- remember these old cotton things?

Yes I looked like a dork but I didn't care. I was in good company.

Dennis was all business, no costume, not very retro. What was he up to?

I had to warm up, and I was afraid to run very far away from the staging area because of my dorky outfit. We ran down the canal for about a mile, but then I stuck to the parking lot.

We all lined up for the race, the gun went off, and that was it. There were a few hundred people in the races, a 5K and a 10K. The course was not easy, there were some long stretches crossing grassy areas of the park, and a lot of sharp curves on the bike path and sidewalks. We had to negotiate the slower 10K runners, who started 5 minutes ahead of us. Whatever. Lots of ups and downs with underpasses on the bike path too. It was a challenging course. I was so pleased that my ankle didn't bother me one bit on the grass sections.

I was following metallic chick the last 2 miles. Once I caught up to her, I wanted to pass her toward the end but there was this little kid who kept getting under my feet and I didn't want to elbow him out of the way on the narrow sidewalk. Since I was running to support a child, I didn't think it would be a good idea to trip a kid and knock him off the sidewalk. I was feeling decidedly non-violent. Metallic chick finished 3 seconds ahead of me. But, come to find out, she's 20 years younger than me. So then I didn't feel so bad. She was born in the 80s!

I found Dennis shortly after I finished, he had gone to the car to get the camera. He won the race overall! 19:04. Not bad for an AARP member! In my relative youth, I won the women's masters. I was the 5th overall woman to finish, my time was 22:43. It was faster than the race I ran a month ago, and given the terrain, I felt like it was a decent time. I'm making a little progress, and that's all I need to see to keep me going.

After the race we wandered around, Dennis got a chair massage, and we talked with people.

The Breakfast Club was there too.

In my opinion, this well-costumed couple ruined the overall effect with their not-so-retro minimalist shoes...and since I am such a fashion diva myself I have the right to judge...

Dennis picked up his overall award.

I got my age group award. It's been a while since I placed in a non-ultra event...It felt more special because it was for Team Gab, and I know there are lots of people out there running virtual races in her honor this month and next. Team Gab is symbolic to me, it's about supporting Gabby and her entire family. Mom and Dad, and her siblings, who put so much time and energy and have made so many sacrifices to keep Gabby on track with treatment, and keeping her life as normal as possible, even though it's far from normal.

Heather's (Gabby's mom) amazing optimism and energy jumps off of every one of her blog pages. Her creativity and her ability to find the fun in a bad situation is a gem for this family, and anyone else who reads her words. Check out her blog. It could break your heart to see what this family has been through, but when you read Heather's words, it's truly uplifting.

(In case you can't read it, the little blue card I'm holding says, "For you, Gabby!")

Back at the ranch...

My dad hams it up for the camera. Then he decided to cook lunch for us. He is an awesome cook. My friend Stephanie still talks about the meal he cooked us after Across the Years in 2008.

After lunch we all wandered over to the pool, my dad, my stepmom Ronna, Dennis and me. It was 75 degrees and sunny, perfect poolside napping weather. The early spring flowers were blooming.

That night we went out for Thai food and then went home and watched The Help. What a great movie. The next morning, we met my sister-in-law Becky, and my niece Jenny, who is 14 going on 21, for breakfast. Jenny is torn between going into acting and going to medical school. I wouldn't be surprised if she figures out a way to do both.

Sunday afternoon we flew back home. It was a short visit, but lots of fun. The Buffaloes were thrilled to see us, we were in big trouble with them.

What a great little escape from the Colorado winter in January. Here's to you, Gabby!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What would you do with an extra 24 hours?

Some people might say, "Sleep!"

It's almost February, and it's a leap year, which means we have an opportunity to devote 24 extra hours this year in service to something greater than ourselves.

Think about this: If a sedentary person simply committed to moving for 24 hours this year, even if they spread it out over about a half hour a week, that's 24 hours of benefit toward their health. I hope that in those 24 hours they would realize they feel better as a result, and continue to add activity to their routine.

For those sedentary people, they are not only helping themselves, but they are also helping others. Just think about the public health impact it could make if large numbers of sedentary people got up and started moving. The physical health benefits are only the tip of the iceberg.

The social implications of sedentary people increasing their physical activity include improved mental health, reduced health care costs, improved productivity, and would benefit everyone in gazillions of other ways that would make this blogpost way too long if I tried to write about it here. My point is, when you take care of yourself, it helps everyone else, too.

If you're a beginning runner, think about how you could use the extra 24 hours for your benefit in fitness. You could add a half hour a week of running spread out over a year, or you could spend that half hour a week doing weight training or cross training. Or try a new activity for fitness or recreation this year, give yourself 24 hours to try it. Take a class, sign up for a trip, or organize an outing with some friends.

Here's my 24 hour challenge to you.

No matter what you do, look at the 24 hours as an opportunity to give back to others. Here are three things you can do:

1. Volunteer for 24 hours of your time this year, whether it's in your community, or at races you usually run, it gives something back to the sport that you value so much.

2. Donate 24 hours of your pay this year to a charity. For most people that's 3 days of pay. It sounds like a lot, but if you were to spread it out, it might not seem like it impacts you.

3. Add 24 hours of fun and fitness this year, as I described above. You're taking control of your physical and mental well-being when you increase your activity level or diversify your old routine.

This year I plan to do all three.

This year, I want to volunteer at my favorite race, Badwater, on the medical team again, which is actually more like a 50+ hour commitment, but I'll call it 24 hours. I am also running a 24 hour race on the track, in which I'd like to cover more than 100 miles. And I am donating 24 hours of my pay this year to the PVHS Foundation, between a payroll deduction program and other small donations spread throughout the year. By the end of the year, I'll probably have given more than another 24 hours in volunteer service to my community, in wellness and cancer-related programs.

A leap year is an opportunity. Spread the word.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Test Drive

Twenty three miles at the lakes today. It was fairly pleasant for running, cool in the morning, and occasionally the wind would pick up and freeze me but by the end it warmed up into the high 40s and it wasn't bad at all. This was my longest run again, since last July. I felt good in the last 10 miles, which surprised me. I thought I'd be dragging. I did take yesterday off, which helped.

Today I took this "vehicle" for a test drive. I actually only ran with it for the first 2 miles, because my traps were killing me after that much time. The handles are too high for me.

I borrowed it from my friend Kristin, who is a lot taller than me and it was too short for her. I'm trying to find something to take with me on my adventure run this summer in case I end up doing it mostly solo, which I think is what's going to happen. I might be able to get minimal crewing in parts of the run, but I will need something to carry my gear and ice if it's hot and I'm on my own.

Other than that, I liked it, it felt stable, and even on the dirt my water bottle stayed in the holder, and stuff didn't bounce around. I piled it up with rocks to make it more realistic- I think they weighed about 30 pounds. If I could rig something up so that I had handlebars below the existing ones, I think it would be perfect. I'll be looking into that, and smaller used baby joggers next.

Yes, I'm being secretive about my plans. It's not going to be as long as last summer's run, and it's not connected with any race, but I'm not telling any details until I pull it together.

Today was one of those runs where ABC rules applied. For new readers, ABC means Always Bring a Camera!

The first lap around the north lake was with the baby jogger, but then I ditched it in my car, and took off with my camera. The lakes were partially iced over, but I could hear the "glug-glug-glug" sound under the melting ice. We've had such mild temperatures for the past few weeks, there's almost no snow in town.

After a few laps I saw this bald eagle in the tree halfway around the loop. The bird stayed there for at least an hour, I took pictures on two of my laps.

I was only planning on running 18 or 20 miles but I ended up with 23, I felt so good. And I was treated to this view at the end.

Now that I'm home, the wind has picked up considerably. The weather gods must have liked me today! Tomorrow, hills at Horsetooth.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A New Look

Yes, you're in the right place. This is Journey to Badwater, sporting a more artistic look, discarding the old Quaker gray. Let me know what you think of the new design.

I plan to do a lot of running this weekend. Hope you do, too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

Ancient proverb: She who runs with buffaloes will never be bored.

Today I was entertained on my run with the Buffaloes, from start to finish. The girls needed to go out- I just got done with my two days in a row of 12 hour shifts and as usual when I'm working, they have been forced to take time off from running while we both work long days.

So by my first day off, I am usually exhausted (which I refer to as my "work hangover") and the girls are revved up like a thousand charging buffaloes.

Well, maybe 500.

Sometimes it's hard to get Isabelle to go outside. For some reason she's got it figured out that she wants to take every other day off. Smarter than a lot of human runners. She can be bribed, though, if I tell her we're going to Arfy's or Starbucks.

Arfy's is the nearby pet supply store with special treats that they get just for going in the door. Last week the girls both ended up with new leashes when we went to Arfy's.

If I say we're going to the mailbox, that usually works to get Isabelle to go. But if I say we're going for a run, she only wants to go every other day.

If it's her self-designated rest day, she'll allow me to put the leash on her, but she makes her decision afterwards. She will lie down, and no matter how much I try to convince her, or even tug on the leash, she will dig in and refuse to go. It looked like it was going to be one of those days today. But this time she got up, and then she pulled us the whole way.

A half mile from our house is the LDS church. The geese love to hang out on the grass there, and where the geese hang, so do the droppings. So we begin goose poop diving on the leashes- giving mom a chance to do her rowing exercises. Pulling two 55 pound dogs back from the goose poop in the grass all winter, I have great lats- who needs P90X when you have Buffaloes! What flavor are they today, Iris?

A little over a mile from the house we reached Horsetooth Road, a major street, which is near the intersection to the street leading directly to the hospital. Lots of ambulance and fire truck traffic along here.

Today we saw a fire truck with all the lights and sirens going, racing to somewhere. When this happens, Iris and Isabelle both freeze in their tracks, sit down on the spot, point their chins to the sky and howl together, in perfect pitch and harmony.

Isabelle high, Iris low, in their vocal salutation to the fire trucks. "Haaaaallllooooooooooooooooooooo!"

Then we turned down another side street. The UPS truck driver who works in our neighborhood drove by. Whenever he comes to the door, the girls go crazy, but Iris also goes crazy when she hears the truck come down the street to stop at a neighbor's house. I always thought it was the squeaky brakes on the truck that tipped her off. But today just the sound of the UPS truck made her go wild. She started pulling on the leash, lunging and barking. The driver recognized us and waved as he drove by.

I took the Buffs home after a few miles and went out to finish my run. I really didn't feel bad today, after two long busy work days. I did some strides, and I feel okay.

I can tell my thyroid medication has kicked in. I'm no longer exhausted in the afternoons. I'm not freezing my butt off all the time, either. Now it's the opposite- I'm back to hot flashing. My face and palms turn red, and I start sweating everywhere.

It happens during the day at work, and even worse at night, throwing the covers off, then getting cold and pulling them back over me. I fixed one thing, but that throws something else off. I was also feeling extremely irritable and sensitive for a few days, quite the RPB.

At least now Dennis can send me to my woman cave, and I'm happy to have my time out room.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Grand Opening!

This is my first blogpost from the woman cave.

This was a busy week. Work was busy, and I was trying to get my routine down, now that it's the beginning of the year and I'm needing to coordinate all of the usual business: work, writing, running, home life.

I'm into my second week of what I'd call real training even though I'm still not doing the weight training part yet. That is the hardest thing for me to motivate myself to do. I can work my abdominals and do the core work but basic weight lifting is the thing I struggle with. I am giving myself another month to work into it, what I really need to do is put a program together for myself and I haven't sat down to do that yet.

I had another good workout on the track this week, I did a little more speedwork than last week and my pace was considerably faster! Actually hit 6 minute pace. I'm only increasing the volume by a little each week, but this workout gave me confidence that my legs will remember how to run fast if I make them do it in small doses.

There's nothing more motivating than a little success.

It was funny though, I happened to be at the track again when the CSU team showed up. Except this time I was almost done and into my cooldown. I was finishing up my last 400 and I thought I was going to puke at the end, I got lightheaded and sat down on the bench for a while before I got up to cool down.

I am always afraid that all those young runners will see this gray-haired older runner gasping and looking like crap, and call 911. Hopefully as I get in shape that will be less likely to happen. But after this week school is back in session and the team will be practicing in the afternoons, so I'll have my morning workouts mostly to myself and any other people who happen to be randomly using the track at that time. We'll all look like someone needs to call 911.

My neighbor's husband works at Anheuser Busch and just gave us a 6 pack of this new beer that's being marketed to women, it's a "Pomegranate-Raspberry" light beer, called Michelob Ultra, interesting. Might be a good recovery drink this weekend. I just remembered the Broncos are playing too. A good weekend to run.

This weekend's running agenda includes a run at Horsetooth for hills again, and another long run, I'm hoping that 18-20 miles won't feel too bad. A little pomegranate raspberry beer might help. If it's not good, I can always break a bottle of it on the woman cave, like they do to launch a ship. This is Fort Collins, beer capital of the universe.

Like they say here, Napa Valley is the Fort Collins of wine.

Friday, January 6, 2012

So, Ya Think Ya Want to Run Badwater...


Take heed, aspiring Badwater runners, and those who have Badwater festering in the back of their brains for a bucket list race like blisters rubbing in their shoes...

It's almost February and the application process for 2012 is about to start. Whether it's this year you're applying, are thinking about it for next year, or some time in the future, there are things you need to know. If you aren't planning on applying this year but have already looked at the website trying to figure out what you'll need to do in order to be eligible in the future, that's a good start. You're already planning ahead, which is a more important skill for this race than any amount of running talent.

Get to know that Badwater website like your best friend. Read every article posted, every link, and more. There's a ton of good information on there. This blog has a lot of anecdotal information and advice, and there's a lot more out there.

Two must reads:
(1) Death Valley Ultras: The Complete Crewing Guide by Theresa Daus-Weber & Denise Jones .
(2) Fixing Your Feet 5th edition by John Vonhof.


1. Get your head screwed on straight.
This is not a race for you if you have a long history of DNFs. Get your act together mentally before you do this one. BW is not a race you "try". This is one race you don't want to DNF in, unless your life depends on it. Not to mention the incredible dedication of your crew who came out to support you and gave up their vacation time, family time, or whatever personal commitments they shelved in order to help you have the experience of a lifetime. They got you there, you don't want to disappoint them.

You need to be realistic about the time and energy commitment you are about to embark upon. If you haven't done this before, and even if you have, this is no little weekend 100 miler where you throw a few things in some drop bags. You need to plan meticulously, and realize that as you get closer to the race, planning will take up as much time as training. It's like having at least an extra part-time job. So apologize in advance to everyone in your life and explain what you are doing, and hopefully why, so they can support you and will be less likely to resent the time you must spend devoted to preparing for this event.

So if you haven't met the qualifications, you can start now. Figure out how long it will take you to get those required races under your belt and get going. Along the way, keep asking questions, talk to people, learn as much as you can, and find a way to get out there and crew so you can see for yourself what's involved. Many runners I know, who are successful at other ultras like Hardrock and Leadville with multiple finishes at both, have told me they went out to crew at Badwater and realized it is not for them. Or they just know, without ever going to Badwater, and they plan never to do it. This is something you want to know before you sign up. If it's not for you, nothing wrong with that. Everyone has their preferences. But if you're considering it, you'll want to know before you invest any effort in it.

2. Be ready to run the distance before you apply for the race.
What? You've never heard of that before? Well first of all, the race director makes sure you are fit because you wouldn't be able to apply without running at least two 100 milers in the year before the race, and you'd better have more than that under your belt.

I think that by the time you apply, since you have to be fit enough to manage the distance, the last 6 months before the race should be icing on the cake. You'll need to be focused on the finer points- maintaining fitness, sharpening, preparing for the heat, preparing for the conditions. Planning what you'll wear, eat, drink, do. Your training time will consist of lots of time on your feet, on the asphalt. Lots of hills, with conditions as hot as possible. Learn how to walk efficiently uphill and on the flats, because you'll need to.

3. Know what you're getting into.
Find someone who's done it before and talk to them. You should know someone, since you need to get crewing experience. Don't know anyone yet? The BW message board is available if you subscribe to the AdventureCorps newsletter at the BW website-it will show you how to connect with someone who needs a crew.

Read and learn as much as you can. The must-reads above, and then read as much from other runners' personal experiences as you can. Check the links section of this blog for my 2008 four-part race report, from my rookie year. Then check the following links for my 2011 race.
Lessons Learned
2011 Badwater race
Foot Care in the Heat

Other things to consider- the time, the cost. Roughly $5000 or more is a good estimate of what it will cost you, once you figure in everything for crew travel, lodging, food expenses, rental vehicles, gas, equipment, supplies, other training costs, shoes, etc. Oh, and don't forget the $1000 entry fee. Steep as races go, but worth it.

Personally, I get tired of hearing people whine about the entry fee. This is a unique event, with unique requirements for maintaining it as a quality event. The race director does make some money by producing this event, that's the business he's in. When you see what goes on, you'll realize he can't be making too much off of it. If you're going make the effort to do Badwater, the entry fee is really a drop in the bucket.

Figure in time to rest before the race and recover after.

And during the 6 months or so leading up to the race, definitely arrange your schedule so that you can take the time to both train and recover.

Crew will need to be prepared for this too. They need to be prepared for the heat, so heat training and/or sauna training is important for them, too. During the race it's nearly a weeklong commitment for all of you with preparation, recovery, travel, etc.

The 48 hour time limit has worked well. Over the past few years, the temperatures have been milder. But if we get some warm years, as this coming year could be, 48 hours might be a real challenge for some people. It's plenty of time to get to the finish, but you have to keep moving. Taking care of issues like feet are important and can take you off the course for several hours. Keep that in mind when you're thinking about the big picture. Stomach problems are another time-eating issue. Try not to have those in the first place. Read my posts above on how I handled this- I did a much better job in 2011 than I did during my rookie year of 2008.

4. Take the application process seriously.
It's like an essay contest, but you have to have the credentials to back it up. Try to write as much detail as possible, and sound intelligent. There's a reason why BW is hard to get into- the race director and staff absolutely do not want anyone to die, get sick or injured out on the course. This is an opportunity to run a unique race under dangerous conditions and in today's legal climate the fact that we can run this on these state highways through public lands- including a National Park- is somewhat of an act of kindness and good will on the part of all the entities involved. Don't risk the future of the race. Read the rules, like the application says. If it sounds like it's strict and rigid on the rules, it is, and for good reason, and you will get in trouble for varying from the established rules. Having each and every crew member and runner know the rules is crucial.

Oh yeah, one more thing. The media are there, there is a lot of attention paid to the runners and the event. You don't want to be caught on camera doing anything you wouldn't want your boss or your grandmother to see.

5. Have a plan in mind for how you will prepare for the conditions.
At Badwater, you need to be both physically and mentally prepared for heat, sleep deprivation, temperature extremes, foot care, hydration, caloric intake, and dealing with difficult and unexpected situations.

Art Webb's article on the BW website helped me more than anything else to make a plan for getting used to the sauna. I won't include the link here, I'll make you dig for it. That way you'll have to see all the other good information on there, too.

John Vonhof not only has a great book, he has an excellent website/blog on foot care too. The must-reads, above, will help you prepare for other conditions you will encounter, such as it being cold up at Whitney Portal, and sometimes at the higher elevations of the course. Seventy degrees or cooler can feel cold when you've been running in 115, and are depleted of energy. Sometimes it rains, or gets windy too.

6. Plan for crew, expenses, major equipment and supplies.

Now is the time, if you have not already started, to build your crew. Preferably you have already obtained commitments from a solid group of people. No head cases, no people who are in it for anything other than doing their best to get you to the finish line. They might get a few perks like building their BW resume for a future shot at running the race, but the main point of being there is to help you succeed. Seriously, you'll want to interview and get references on your prospective crew members, especially if you don't know them beforehand.

Make your reservations the minute you find out your entry is accepted. Don't hesitate.

Plan to acquire in advance any important equipment you'll need, that you can't buy out there before the race.

If at all possible, plan to go to Death Valley for a training run with at least one of your crew members in the last couple of months before the race, once it gets hot. Having been there recently and in the heat is a great confidence builder, and will help you to work out some kinks before race day.

7. Have a contingency plan for everything you can think of!
What if a crew member backs out at the last minute? What if the things you trained with (food, drinks, clothing) don't work during the race? What if one of your two vehicles breaks down? What if you can't get ice along the course? What if, What if. The more prepared you are, the less likely it will happen.

8. Plan to have fun.
It's fun. It's a blast. You will meet the most inspiring people, have the most fun you've ever had at a race, take home stories and memories to last a lifetime, build strong friendships, and so on. It's priceless.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Plan, prepare, prepare, plan. It's all in the planning. I have a supply list I'm willing to share if you write me.

Feel free to send a comment, you can also write me at sherunnoftatgmaildotcom if you have specific questions you don't want to put in the comments. But the beauty of blogging is that it is public, and everyone can see and benefit from the comments, questions, and answers. I can guide you to the best sources of information.

If you read the BW website and the links above carefully, and follow my advice, it's all there for you to learn. The old saying, To fail to plan is to plan to fail, applies here more than anything. Now that you've read this, you are a step ahead of everyone else who hasn't.

Do it!

Back on Track!

I did it. Signed up for my first ultra race since Badwater last summer, the Cornbelt 24 Hour Run in Iowa. The application is in the snail mail.

Now that I've committed to a race on the track, guess it's time to get back on a track again, something I haven't done much in the past five years. I used to love speedwork, loved running on a track. I can run around in circles forever. I must be part rat.

This morning I went over to the Colorado State University track, and there was no one there on a Friday morning in January at 9:45 am. It was 38 degrees and windy, coming from the south.

During my warmup the only people I had to share the track with were not people, they are Fort Collins' unofficial city snowbird and mascot, who are back for the winter and making their presence known on every horizontal surface, those familiar and tasty gray-green droppings that The Buffaloes love to dive for.

The geese certainly knew their track etiquette. I was running in lane 2 and they moved out of my way, into lane 1. I only had to say "track" once or twice. They didn't even honk or hiss at me. I wish they'd clean up after themselves, though.

I told myself I needed to do something short, fast and minimal, so I don't overdo it my first time back. I decided to stick to something more like strides, which is all I've been doing, and just a mile of them. I settled on 8 x 200 meters, with 200 meter jog in between. I ran them hard, but not all-out. I did them the same way I do my strides. As fast as I can go while staying relaxed and not losing my form.

I recovered with no problem and my splits were consistent, just slow. I'm not even hitting 6 minute pace for 200 meters. Hopefully that will change over the coming months.

Once I finished my "speed" work, I finished the rest of my miles there, and the CSU distance runners showed up for their workout. They appeared to be doing 600s. I was just doing miles to get used to the surface and curves so I moved to the outer lanes and watched them run while I was doing laps. It was fun to watch them, but I only saw one runner who really looked like she was focused on her workout and had something in her eyes that you could see she wants it. They just seemed like they were socializing more than working out. Maybe it was meant to be an easy workout. Or maybe it's just the beginning of the season.

I did my entire workout on the track, a total of 9 miles. I enjoyed it. I'll be spending a lot of time there this spring. Bring it on!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beyond Two Hours (finally!)

Finally did it! 15 miles today, my longest since Badwater. It was also the first time in 6 months I've worn a pack and carried water while running. Two hours and 35 minutes, very easy pace. I met Doug at Cottonwood Glen Park, 6 miles from home, and ran most of the remaining miles with him. We talked spring/summer racing plans.

He did sign up for Leadville. The other day he said he felt like he should sign up for it, just to motivate himself to get in shape. So he did it, crazy nut, but we high-fived over it. Of course he spends much of the year in the Leadville area, so he is more acclimatized and able to train on the course, so it makes sense.

I'm opting for Lean Horse if I do a summer 100. I can do without the hypoxic stomach, brain and all the other parts starving for oxygen up in Leadville.

My legs were tired, but they felt much better than yesterday's ten mile run where I tried to push it. We stopped at a porta-potty during the run and as we stood around drinking our water, I remarked that 15 miles is a struggle right now, when just 6 months ago I was able to run 50+ miles a day on consecutive days. Weird, but true.

Regardless, I'm dropping my entry form for the Cornbelt 24 Hour in tomorrow's mail. It's only 17 training weeks away, but I know I'll be ready.

It's over 60 degrees today and I cannot get motivated to paint today. I only have one more day off and today is the last warmish day predicted until next week. I think I just need a break from working on the woman cave. I could use a nap.