Sunday, September 19, 2010

Transrockies 117 mile stage race

It is hard to believe that Transrockies is only on its fourth year. The Gortex crew, staff, and volunteers were incredible. Runners were spoiled rotten with good food, hot showers, massage, entertainment, tent set up, and gear loading EVERY DAY! When I first heard about Transrockies last year I did not think it would be a race I would want to run. I like racing for one day...maybe even over one day in a hundred mile race...but 6 days of racing at altitude and sleeping in tents was a little scary. When Nikki called and asked if I wanted to partner up with her and race the 2010 edition I said yes without hesitation. After I hung up I wondered what the heck I was thinking! One of the rules with this race is you run with your teammate and never let more than two minutes get between you. Me running 20ish miles a day in the mountains with an average elevation of 10000 feet with Nikki Kimball? Oh my. I was in for it! What ended up happening was we had a great time! I SUFFERED with headaches, what felt like asthma, nausea, and muscles that just plain old felt like they were refusing to move. It took me two weeks at sea level to get rid of the headache. But even with all that I had a supportive partner, great times at what felt like summer camp for grown ups, and six nights in a row on the podium! We won our division, came home with some awesome swag, and donated our prize money to Starfish. I was supposed to be running Pine to Palm this weekend but decided to listen to the screaming my body was doing and give it a rest. As I sit here with a warm mug of tea after an easy trail run, my body is recovering and I am happy with my decision.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Speedgoat 50k

The first word that comes to mind is HARD!!! Wow, what an incredible challenge. The altitude (between 7000 and 12000 ft.), the climbing (12000 ft.), the descending (another 12000 ft.), and the heat got me. It was completely worth it though. My son Riley came to this race which meant so much to me. He had never been to one of my races before and to see his face throughout the day at aid stations was the best. He is now wanting to return to Snowbird to go snowboarding for his 16th birthday in January. I heard from many people that I would be cursing Karl's name throughout this race. I also heard that even the downhills were hard. All true. The cursing didn't start until about mile 16 but by then I did think of some really mean names to call him. It took me forever to finish this run. Seriously....I looked at my watch with 10 miles to go and was made painfully aware that I had run 50 milers faster than this little 50k. All that difficultly made it that much more fun and made me appreciate that beer at the finish line and the popsicles at Roch's aid station even more! Karl and Scott really do put on a great race and I would go back in a second to do it again. Hopefully being out there at altitude gave me a little preparation for my next big adventure. TRANSROCKIES!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pacing WS100 GOOD JOB NIKKI!!!!

I have been wanting to run States since I started running ultras and my luck with the lottery and my racing performance at Montrail Cup races have not been good. Now I realize that the way things happened was all meant to be! I have gained experience in longer races and I was able to get out on the last 38 miles of the course with one of the best runners out there! Pacing Nikki was such a phenomenal experience. That girl works so hard and runs an incredibly smart race. She ended up placing 3rd in a stacked field of women. We had an awesome weekend visiting with friends and running together. Western States, in my opinion, is not the best, most beautiful, or toughest 100 out there but it is a race full of history that I am excited to run. I'm ready to go back next year and check that one off my list!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

American River 50 Mile

It has taken me over a week to feel like I can write about this race in a lucid manner. It really crushed me mentally. I came out of Buffalo Run two weeks ago feeling good and wanting to run a fast AR. I had myself convinced that all that rest from the broken foot would be beneficial and I could run hard and competitively. Well, that worked for the first half. I came through the marathon in 3:27 and thought I would be able to reach my goal of sub 7:15. Then I bonked. Big time. I had run this race two times before and wore road shoes both times. This year I thought it would be better to wear trail shoes for the added support. By 20 miles I had blisters in the oddest places. I don't know if it was the shoes or the fact that my gait has changed so much since the break. I constantly remind myself not to overcompensate to protect the foot but I catch myself doing some pretty strange maneuvers. I ran the second half with the worst attitude ever. It was this beautiful day and I was doing what I love but the thoughts that kept going through my head were "my feet hurt", "I'm so tired", "got passed again #$%@", "stupid poison oak", "I'm never doing this run again", "blah, blah, blah". What I have figured out in this passed week is I need to cut myself some slack. It has only been 5 months since the break, I just returned to running in February, and I raced 2 weeks prior to AR. I need to appreciate that for crying out loud...I JUST RAN 50 MILES and although it was almost 30 minutes slower than last year, (results) I finished and I learned some valuable lessons.

1. wear shoes I am used to and lube up!
2. don't ignore Howard and think he is being too easy on you
3. quit the grumpy self talk
4. eat more
5. don't start too fast
6. remember this is about having fun and surrounding myself with great people not the time on the clock

Now I have over a month to train for Blue Canyon 100k and then the biggest event of the year. My daughter's graduation!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Running with the buffalo

Last summer at Tahoe Rim Trail 100 fellow teammate Jim Skaggs encouraged me to come to Utah for his friendly little race on an island on Salt Lake. He said it would be a lot of fun and he would have home brew at the finish for us. How could I refuse! I signed up for the 50 mile but decided to run the 50k since I was just coming back from my broken foot. Antelope Island is a State Park that is a drive on island full of buffalo. It is quite hilly and full of trails with exceptional views of the lake and the Wasatch Mountains. When I arrived Friday it was snowing and windy. I went out to the island to explore and see what I was getting myself into. I got about a mile into my run and 2 buffalo were on the trail staring me down. I figured it would be a good idea to turn around and face them the next day with 600 or so other runners out on the trails. By Saturday we had a beautiful clear day. The 50k route started with a good climb followed by rolling to flat terrain, another climb, downhill, another climb and then flat and down to the end where we did it all one more time. I had a great time hanging out with Nikki and Michelle pre-race and Speedgoats Dave, Tom, Cory and Jim post race. Jim did a great job directing this race. It was a fantastic early season, get back in the groove run. I ended up 2nd girl (results here). I felt super confident on the rocky downhills in my La Sportiva Wildcats. I stayed hydrated with nuun and wore my new gear from Green Layer. Great day, wonderful friends and awesome gear!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Woolley Trail Fun Run

Kristjan, Emma, and I moved to Sedro Woolley when I was pregnant with Riley. It was a difficult move for me. Although I was all for making this move I missed Seattle and my network of friends I had there. Once Riley was born I made the decision to start running and maybe, someday run a marathon. I met two of my best friends during that time spending many miles sharing our secrets and dreams. There was this new Rails to Trails trail that started in Sedro- Woolley and went 26 miles to Concrete. It was a nice, dirt packed, flat trail along the Skagit River. I did a lot of my training on that trail. There were property owners along the trail who were unhappy to have people using it. They were very vocal with their opinions concerning runners and bikers passing their homes. Some even posted big signs in their yards expressing their disgust with this new trail. I tried to ignore the signs and just quietly pass by. I would push Emma and Riley in a big Burley bike trailer with stroller attachments (no cool jogger strollers back then) and I would pick up every piece of litter I saw. It was little but I hoped to prove the nay-sayers wrong and show them that this trail would be a great addition to the community, not a hinderance. Well, time went by, my kids are now teenagers, Kristjan, my friends and I have grown up together, and Kristjan and I have moved to another city. Here in Anacortes we have over 50 miles of trails. The community is proud of and supports our forestlands wholeheartedly. We also have a trail called the Tommy Thompson. This is another Rails to Trails paved trail that starts in town and then goes over the water off the island. Several months ago somebody set the trestle on fire. I don't know why this was done and this arsonist has not been found. I do know that this trail was used by young and old alike. Bikers, walkers, joggers, runners. We all shared and took care of this asset to our city. Now we are in the process of raising money to fix the trestle. One of the fundraisers was a fun run today back on the trail I haven't run since living in Sedro- Woolley ten years ago. I decided to run the marathon distance (I hope you are not reading this Howard). I was given the ok to start running again last week. The foot looks good and I have been slowly trying to get my groove back. I was not planning on doing this kind of distance for a while (I removed my name from Way Too Cool and Miwok) but I just couldn't resist. It was such a good cause and it felt right. About 50 people showed up which means around $800 will be donated to the rebuilding of the trestle. It was a beautiful, sunny day and a wonderful start to my return to training.

Friday, January 8, 2010

itty, bitty, bone....BIG bummer

I'm trying hard not to let this broken metatarsal influence my mood but unfortunately it is affecting my attitude greatly. I miss my alone time in the woods. I miss running with friends. I miss that feeling post-run when I feel every muscle telling me they are tired yet happy. I miss everything about it. Six weeks into recovery it is feeling like I will never be ready to race. My latest X-rays show moderate healing but they also show displacement which means surgery may need to happen if that displacement starts causing other problems like neuromas or other body mechanic issues. Time will tell. In the meantime I am resting, doing pilates, eating well, and working out on the eliptical. I am just doing my best to treat that foot well so I can get out there soon. So, here is my plea...I promise to listen to my body from now on and not ignore aches and pains. I have learned the hard way that they are there for a reason and I need to respect them. I have also learned how important running is to me. It is so much more than the competition of racing or the camaraderie with friends who have similar interests. It is me. It is when I feel most alive. It helps me be a better mom and wife because it is my way of taking care of myself.

Here is what I am thinking for 2010....

Way Too Cool 50k
American River 50 mile
Miwok 100k
sent app in for Hardrock
Speedgoat 50k
Pine to Palm 100

Come on foot!!!!