Shannon & Pam, after months of training, officially became ultrarunners with finishing Way Too Cool 2010 (3/13/10). They continue to run the long distances as they continue to challenge themselves physically & mentally. This is where they post those triumphs and also their tribulations.

March 29, 2010

Coming up short on a long run

We're on track for another 50K (who's idea was that, anyway?) and Sunday was a scheduled 22-23 miler.  We met the FTR group at Cavitt and the weather was beautiful. Bruce had dropped off water and his car at Rattlesnake bar. Little did we know that that would be our saving grace! We started off pretty good. I was alittle nervous since the 4 days prior I came down with a horrific GI virus and didn't get alot of food in me part of the week. But I felt pretty decent at the start. I'm not sure when it started to occur, but at some point (maybe around mile 9), I didn't feel so strong and for the first time on a long run, I considered quitting. By mile 10 the 'bail' thoughts were flowing freely in my mind, and I finally verbalized them to Shannon. She was feeling the same way; her foot was bothering her. Visions of Bruce's truck at Rattlesnake were dancing in our heads and we began to chant 'Bruce' to get us through. I started to speed up, fearing that we would miss him and nearly made myself sick. We got to Rattlesnake and found water, but NO BRUCE! So, we unpacked, sat down and rested in the shade. I was so ready to be done with the run.  We then collected our things, mentally geared up to head 12 miles back, knowing there'd be lots of walking. About 10 minutes in, another runner came by and said he had passed our group coming back to Rattlesnake. I have never been SO HAPPY! We high tailed it back to Rattlesnake just in time to meet up with Bruce and the other FTRs going back with him. We were saved by our hero, Bruce!

We piled into the car and were escorted back to our cars. Then we headed to starbucks for a post run latte.

So, for the first time, we bailed on a long run. I have to say I wasn't that disappointed. I think I needed the break and the post run starbucks bonding more than a long run!

March 26, 2010

I love Spring! - Shannon

Spring is my favorite time of the year!! If it could be springtime all year long, I would be the happiest person in the world. But since Mother Nature likes 4 seasons, I take advantage of Spring when it comes around.

This week, the weather wasn't the greatest, although, it wasn't bad, until last night. We got hit with downpours, lightening, and thunder for maybe 2 hours. Then it was done. Just like that. I woke this morning to birds chirping and the sun rising from the east. Now the sky is bright blue and the sun is shining in all her glory.
This week has been a little stressful, but nothing out of the ordinary. I did manage to get in several runs, one night included hill repeats. I did manage to get in a good leg and ab workout, that I'm still feeling 3 days later :). I didn't get in my yoga, I didn't get in an upper body workout, nor did I get in a cross training session, but I'm ok with that. One day at time, one week at a time.
Spring puts me in a really good mood and today I just feel great! It's ok that I didn't get in all my workouts and it's ok that I need to run errands today instead of soaking in the sun, because this weekend is going to be great.
Tomorrow I get to play golf. It's the first tournament of the year for one of the leagues I am in, Chip Masters. It's a 2-person scramble and I'll be playing with my bestest golfing buddy, Julie. Also in my foursome will be other friends Patti and Ellen. We always have a great time and I'm looking forward to hitting the links on a beautiful day with a full bottle of Bailey's :)! Hey we gotta stay warm in the early morning hours.
No this isn't me, but I hope I look that good tomorrow.
Then come Sunday, Pam and I head out and hit the trails for our 22 mile training run. It's gonna be another gorgeous day and I'm really looking forward to it.
So get outside this weekend and do what you love to do, be it golfing, running, gardening, hiking, etc. Just get out and soak it up!So what ARE you doing this weekend?

March 20, 2010

First day of spring run

Shannon, Cynthia and I started at Twin Rocks this morning for an easy 8 miler. What a gorgeous day! We were anxious to get back out there after WTC. We had run 4 miles on Thursday, but I was excited to do a longer run and test my legs on the hills. Then the most feared words rang out from Shannon, 'I FORGOT MY SHOES!" I was horrified and quickly suggested that she run barefoot. I needed her out there with me!! We briefly discussed running to a store to get some cheap shoes, but then, she remembered she had hiking boots with her, YAY!

Shannon, the stud that she has now become, took it in stride and tied those boots to her feet and we were off! We took the trail up towards ADO. The trail was in perfect condition. We ran into a ton of runners, and saw some of the fleet feet training group coming up the hill. At the top of one hill, we took a short break, and there she was, TRAILMOMMA!  

 We finally got to see eachother after months of following eachother's blogs. So great to run into her! She looked strong, gave us a hug and took a picture of us .  And then she was off up the hill like a jackrabbit!  We ran into so many of our trail running buddies today including Ken, Jeff (who I accidently called Mike, sorry Jeff!), Mary, among others. Lots of people training for AR 50 which is just around the corner :) We ended the run with a starbucks (of course). Shannon's feet held up nicely in those heavy hiking boots. What an awesome day!

March 19, 2010

Back on the trails - Shannon

Still on a high from WTC even after 6 days. Unbelievable!

I only had soreness for a few days and last night Pam and I hit the trails again for a nice and easy 4 miler. It felt great! We went out to Brown's Ravine and met up with the FTR group. We ran in the back of the pack, as any good trail turtle does, and we were happy to run with a new FTR member and new trail runner, Lynn. She just ran her first half marathon last weekend, and too was testing her legs out after a few days of recovery.

The evening had spring time written all over it. It was beautiful. The weather was perfect, the trails are in great condition, and the company was perfect.

Tomorrow, Pam and I test our legs again by doing an easy 8 miles. We're meeting up at Twin Rocks and heading, I don't know which direction we're heading, but either way, is cool by me. One way is less hilly, but I know it will be an easy run, so a few hills won't bother me at all.

Next weekend we start our high mileage back up as we're jumping on our next 50k, Folsom Point Spring 50k happening on 4/24/10. We've got 6 weeks to prepare for it, and I'm excited. This 50k is in our backyard and we'll be able to get a lot of training out there. My main goal in the next few weeks is to get in more hill training and a lot of core work.

This week we took it easy, but it's time to get back into the 50k training mindset. Getting in the long mileage is going to be a little bit tougher this time around as golf season is back in full swing and I've got tournaments on the schedule. But I think I've worked out a pretty good plan and everything will fall into place. I'm hoping to be stronger for this next 50k. My main goal is to be able to keep up with my fellow Trail Turtle, Pam, who rocked at WTC!

Get dirty this weekend!

March 14, 2010

Link to WTC video

WTC video from Diane

The ride of my life...WTC race report

Ok, here goes....I have been mulling over what I would say about this incredible race, unforgettable day. Please know that mere words cannot convey how great this experience was, but I'll try to capture it as best I can.

2 days before the race, I started to get stomach issues; something I don't usually get. I attributed this to a combination of nerves and a touch of a stomach virus. I wasn't able to eat much, but kept on top of the fluids. A frantic email went out to Diane, my patient, expert coach (and wonderful friend) asking what I should do. She gave me guidance on what to eat and by race morning I was nearly back to normal. Saturday morning I collected Mary and we headed up to the start.  It was frigid cold but the excitement of the day kept the adrenaline pumping. Found Shannon and my FTR peeps and took a few pics and video.
pre race vid

Before I knew it, we were lining up start   and off. We started out on the paved road. This wasn't too bad and actually was a nice warm up before hitting the trails. We started nice and easy, letting a few pass us.  Headed onto the trail. It was gorgeous from the start. Sunshine and flowing streams.  We hit a mild hill  that went on for awhile, but this was nothing to what we were going to face with Ballbearing and Goathill! We hit the first aid station. We felt great and sailed thru quickly. Shannon had calculated what time we needed to hit each aid station and how long we could stay to make all our cutoffs; what a smart girl she is :)

This video is at about 9 miles; so many cool stream crossings.  We continued up the hill towards Browns Bar, which wasn't too bad at all. We got onto the singletrack at the top where other runners started to pass us. This was probably my least favorite part, just because we had to stop and start alot to let the other runners through. We made it to the next aid station feeling still pretty damn good. I made sure I hydrated well and ate alot of potatoes with salt. Sucked down a gel and we were off up ANOTHER hill. 

At about mile 17-18 I lost Shannon. I found myself running alone for quite awhile. I really missed her but I knew I needed to keep moving or I would not make the cutoffs. I kept up a good pace; walking very fast up the hills and moving quickly on the downhills. I am such a baby when it comes to going downhill, but I surprised myself with how well I ran these. Onto Deadtruck trail and I met up with another running just ahead of me. We played leap frog for awhile and then we headed down the hill to the deepest stream crossing. At the bottom of that, I slipped and fell onto my back, hitting my right elbow and slipping a bit into the stream. The other running stopped to make sure I was okay, then we both headed into the stream, surprised at how deep and rushing the water was. It was a perfect, albeit short, ice bath, at the perfect time! My legs felt refreshed after that and we continued down until the base of Ball Bearing. Once onto Ball Bearing, I felt a 2nd wind and moved fast up that hill, passing 4 other runners (how I did that, I'll never know). I was so worried about not making the cutoff. I got there with about 25 minutes to spare. Filled up with more potatoes (this is the best fuel), S-cap, gel, soup (I drank chicken soup at every stop). By then I was really worried about Shannon. It seemed like hours since I had seen her, but I think that was the delirium setting in. I relayed my worries to a very nice volunteer who told me I couldn't wait and I had to move on. I hung around alittle longer, but she found me and told me to 'GO NOW, I'll take care of your friend'. So I continued on. The trail from this point to Goathill is my favorite. 

At this point I had stopped taking any pics; just too difficult while running. I met up with a runner named Billy, who I called Billy goat. He commented on how consistent and steady a runner I was...Ha! ME?? We ran the last miles together, talking and keeping eachother from slowing down. I am forever grateful to him for the companionship on the last few miles.....

Coming into the finish, I was greated by a posse of cheerleaders; FTR buddies Mike (who was injured and had to drop out, but is a rockstar for taking pics and providing me with a post race beer), Marc, Ralph, Diane (my trusty coach), and dear friends who came out just to cheer me on: Pam, Kem (who also was injured and had to drop out of the race), Kathy, and Phyllis.

This morning, I woke up crippled, like many of you reading this probably did. The beast, Bella, attemped to harrassed me out of bed but it didn't work. You can't see her very well in this video, but she is very cute and manipulative and it's hard to ignore her

The day ended with pizza and beer with my buddies. This could not have been a better birthday gift (oh yeah, I turn 47 on 3/15). Thank you to Shannon for her friendship and companionship through this incredible training journey, and to Diane for her perfect guidance and training plan! I'd also like to thank my dear friends Kem, Phyllis, Kathy, and Pam for supporting me and lifting me up when I needed it! I don't know what I would do without you girls!  I am also so grateful to our running group, Folsom Trail Runners for showing up for all the runs I organized and for inspiring me to push myself beyond my limits. I love all you guys!

My first ultra is is very bittersweet, cuz as I said before, there is nothing like your first.  But as sore as I am now, I can't WAIT to do my next one. Tahoe Rim Trail 50K, HERE I COME!

Way Too Cool 2010 Race Report - Shannon

The big morning has arrived and it is cold, but sunny and beautiful! Way Too Cool 50k (WTC) is here! OMG!

Pam and I are as ready as we'll ever be. We did what we were suppose to do. Could we have done more, yes, but we did what we could with our busy schedules.

Aren't we so cute standing in front of the WTC frog?

We started off running on pavement for the first 2 miles and that's when I saw my first hallucination - a 6' talking banana - but it's ok, because Pam had the same hallucination, so we should be ok - right?

After we hit the dirt, and realized we were in fact the last runners, we jumped off the trail for our first pit stop. Now we can get serious.

The first 7 miles wasn't bad but it was MUDDY. Friday's rain did a number on the trails. The 1st 7 miles just gave us a false sense of "oh this is no biggie" - ya we ain's seen nothing yet. Below is our first water crossing. Is that it? No problem! As you come into the first aid station it was mostly technical, muddy, and downhill (I forgot about that part when I was headed back to the finish line - funny how you block the negatives).
We arrived at the first aid station feeling good. Our goal was to get there in 1:55 and we did it in 1:35. Cool 20 minutes ahead of schedule. We're gonna need it. We stripped one layer, refilled our paks and headed out across Hwy 49. Oh and I saw that talking banana, again! HHHMMM.

After crossing 49 it got really muddy, but we've trained in mud, this is no big deal, we're ready.
We got down to the Quarry Road and felt great. We started to come across some of the larger bodies of water. Here's Pam tip toeing across one of them.

Then she says, screw it, and just tromps right through the next one. You go girl. She looks so happy!

At some point in time, a fellow FTR got this pic of us. It's definately after Aid Station #1 cuz we're sporting our new Trail Turtle shirts.
And at some point, Pam took this pic of me ----->
I have no idea when, but I'm still smiling, so it's before the 2nd aid station.

I did start to struggle once we got on the single track after Browns Bar because we had to constantly get out of the way for the Elite Runners coming back. We were still trying to get to the half way point and these awesome runners we're already on their way back - OMG! But because of this you are trying to get out of their way by slightly stepping up on the side of the trail which caused my right leg to start to really fatigue. So then I tried to step to the left, whenever I could, but sometimes that was just impossible as most of the time, the left side was the side you could slip down the hill on .
We made it to the 2nd aid station in 3:45, our goal was 4:07. Still ahead of schedule, this is awesome, we've gone half way and we're ahead of schedule. I'm feeling fatigued, but I'm still feeling good. Pam is looking great. We refill our paks, grab some snacks, and head up. Yes, up. It's hard to get started after even a short break, but it's even harder to get started again when you have to head UP. It wasn't a hard "UP" but it was still an UP that was hard on the legs.
Once we got going again, Pam got out in front of me to help pace me as my legs were really feeling it. The mud, the river crossings, the getting out the way for other runners, and the up hills were making my legs tired. At this point I realized my braid had fallen out. I told Pam "I'm like Sampson." She said "But you still have your hair." "Ya, but I need my braid!" I know this is what did me in! I just know it.
I kept up with her for the most part, but at about 18 miles, I found it harder and harder to keep up with her. Pam is like the Energizer Bunny, she just keeps going, and going. She gets that 2nd wind and bam, she's gone. When I really lost her was when I had to make a pit stop, that required more privacy than a quick pee on the side of the trail. So I had to hike up a little embankment to get out of eyesight. You know that old saying "Does a bear poop in the woods?" Well I got a new one. "Does an Ultrarunner .......?" Oh and the answer to both those questions is, YES!
Then came Dead Truck Trail. Dead Truck Trail is very technical, and has some extreme downhills (See Getting Stronger post for pics). By the time I hit the major downhills my legs were really tired and my toes were starting to hurt from them hitting the front of the shoes. I also started to notice my heels were getting rubbed raw by my shoes because my socks had fallen down below my shoes. GREAT!
I survived the downhill only to come face to face with the MOTHER of all river crossings.
The picture doesn't do it justice. I couldn't see the bottom and the water was flowing pretty darn good. So I skirted over to the right side of the pic where I could see the rocks below and just went for it hoping I wasn't gonna get washed away. I was out there by myself. Kind of scary. It came up to my knees. I hear from others that it came up to their waists, this from very tall people, who had gone straight across instead of what I did. I'm glad I did what I did. YIKES.

Once you make it down Dead Truck Trail you come out at the bottom of Ball Bearing aka Ball Buster! My goal was to be at the bottom in 5:30, I hit it in 5:25. When I saw my time I said "sweet"!! This is where I hit the wall. This hill is the MOTHER of all hills. Not only is it extremely steep, and just keeps on going, it was muddy and slippery. I had a really hard time getting up this hill. I had 35 minutes to get to the next aid station or I was not going to make the cut off. Ok, no problem, I can do this. I had to stop several times to catch my breath, etc. I felt nauseas, dizzy, and all I could think about is I want to lay down and go to sleep, oh and I WANT MY MOMMY!!

I made it! I made it to the aid station with about 10 minutes to spare. My goal was to be there in 5:53 and I think that's exactly when I made it (I was a bit out of it and forgot to hit my lap button). When I got there I looked right through everyone. I was looking to see if Pam was still there. I knew she was ahead of me, I just didn't know by how much. The first awesome volunteer who spotted me asked me what I needed, I asked for a cot. Ya they didn't have those there - sheesh! Then another awesome volunteer spotted me and grabbed me and told me she had sent Pam on her way. She kicked her out of the aid station! Thanks Pam for trying to wait for me, but I'm glad you didn't! As I was dealing with my stuff, refilling my pak, I guess I looked pretty out of it because one of the awesome volunteers asked me if I knew where I was - LOL. I said yes, finished up, grabbed half my PB&J and headed back out.
As I left that aid station, one of the awesome volunteers rooted me on and said it's only single digits from here. I had to think about that one. Remember, I was really out of it after BB. But then I realized what she meant. I only had 9 miles to go. OMG 9 miles, shoot I can do 9 miles any day. Ok you can do this!
So I made it through the first cut off, now I have to make it to the next cut off. The top of Goat Hill. I have to do it in 1:30. It's 5.1 miles and mostly on a downhill grade. I'm thinking, no problem. I can do 5 miles in 1:30.
I stuggled. Every uphill grade I hit was a battle. I made it to the bottom of Goat Hill in 1:12. Goat Hill is another MOTHER of a hill. It's steeper, but no where near as long as BB. All I could remember about that hill was one training run with a couple of gals who'd done it before and one of them (can't remember who exactly) said it's an 8 minute hill. So that's what I told myself. It's an 8 minute hill. If I can do this in 8 minutes I will make it to the top in 1:20 (my goal had been 1:16). It was another hill that I had to stop & catch my breath and bring my heart rate down, and I really thought I wasn't going to make it. All I could think of was you can't quit now! It would really suck to make it this far and not be able to finish with only 4.1 miles to go. So I pushed! OK it's an 8 minute hill if you haven't already done 26+ miles. I made it to the aid station in 1:25. It was a 13 minute hill for me.
Phew! I grabbed my PB&J out of my drop bag and took off. That's when my left foot started to hurt. NNNNOOOOOO! I've got 1 hour to do 4.1 miles. I can't have foot pain. Well I did. So while I tried to eat and hobble I splashed through more and more water.

After one of my river crossing and then mud sloshes I took this pic. Love my gaiters!

At some point I took this picture which is a reminder why I run trails. It is so pretty. Where else can you come across countless waterfalls? It's what its all about.
Okay, back to the RR. The foot pain is tolerable, but everytime I saw a hill, I just wanted to cry. No matter how little, it was an awful site. But at least going up hill, I didn't feel my foot pain.

I had to keep telling myself that you can't quit! Demons were battling in my head. This was the hardest part. The last 4 miles. This is when you realize how sucky it is to be out there by yourself. No iPod and no buddy. The brain can be relentless.
I needed to be at the final aid station in 8:06 to have any hopes of making it through the finish line before the 8:30 cut off.
I made it to the final aid station, I think, in 8:20. That left me 10 minutes to go 1.3 miles. Now I can do that on flat terrain with fresh legs, but there is no way in hell that these legs were gonna pull that miracle off. But I pushed through. I didn't stop at the aid station, I just kept going and then I turned the corner and saw that hill - you know the one I mention in the first part of this post. Several explative words came out of my mouth (here is when it IS good to be by yourself), and I started to climb. At this point, all I could think of is why push it, you're not gonna make it in time. But then I remembered a guy who was behind me before and after Goat Hill (he struggled more than I did getting up that hill). He said it doesn't matter if you don't make the 8:30 cut off, you will still be able to say you finished a 50k. That's right. I made it through 2 other cut offs and now they can't stop me from finishing.

It was the hardest mile of my life! But when I came around the corner and could see the finish I got the extra adrenaline I needed to finish it up. I was looking at all the people for a face I recognize and there he was! My husband, Mark, with camera in hand. He got a couple of good shots of me coming toward him, but his is my favorite! Me going through the finish line with my time showing (Ya you can't really see it in this little pic).
I finished in 8:46. Not the 8:30 cut off, but I still finished my first 50K. Will I do it again? Oh I have to now! I have to redeem myself! What will I do differently? More training on Ball Bearing and Goat Hill.
Afterward, a few of us girls headed over to the pizza parlor and had pizza and oh so good beer.

I think the best part of this whole thing is that Mark has a new appreciation for what I've been training for. All day today, Sunday, he's told me how proud he is of me and how impressed he is. He had gotten there pretty early and saw quite a few runners come through. He said a lot of them looked like someone had beaten them up - bloody, etc. Once he realized how far I was going he finally GOT IT! These past few months I've been gone A LOT, this was what it was all for.

PS - Pam finished in 8:20! She is my hero. A true Trail Turtle!
For lots of pictures click HERE.
I would like to say thanks to Diane for all her guidance and loving pushes to get us prepared for this day. Diane we couldn't have done it without you!

BTW - there were at 50 water crossings. Not all of them big. I took pics of every crossing. Some were very minor, but they counted if they were running water. This doesn't account for all the mud puddles we had to go through as well.

March 12, 2010

The Trail Turtles have arrived...

The much anticipated day is upon us and the infamous Trail Turtles have arrived!! Tomorrow morning, Trail Turtles, Shannon & Pam, will arrive in Cool, CA for the 14th annual Way Too Cool 50k.

After many months of training, sore muscles, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, bug bites, mud baths, rain, and psychological angst, the Trail Turtles feel they are ready for the challenge. They have faced a lot during these past months - some great, some not so great, but they feel they are at their best, physically. They know what they need to do - pack enough fuel, band-aides, wet wipes, an extra pair of socks, camera, and a very positive attitude. The most important will be to set a pace that gets them to each cut-off point in time. Can they do it? We spoke with one of the Trail Turtles, Shannon, and here's what she has to say:

"Pam and I are nervous about the cut-offs and other issues we have faced in past runs, however, we've done everything we can do to be prepared for the challenge we face tomorrow. Our only goal is to cross the finish line standing and smiling!! We are hoping we are able to keep our spirits up and enjoy the run. We don't want to see any 6 ft badgers (one of our fellow runners has seen one of those, yikes) or any Storm Troopers (Pam has seen one on the trails before - HHMM). But mostly I hope we don't end up like Carl. I am hoping we can maintain our pace so that we can enjoy the scenery, take pictures, and hopefully see a newt or two."

The race will begin at 8am and closes at 4:30p. Come on out to see the Trail Turtles cross the finish line. If you're there by 4p (3:30p, just in case they have a burst of energy), you should get to see the epic finish!

Go get dirty Trail Turtles, you can do this!!

Sidebar from a fellow trail runner:

Watch out for the newts. They're out there with this wet weather, especially near the creeks, and they're just too cute to step on. If you do find one, I've heard they generally head towards the downward side of the trail and that's where they should be placed out of harms way.

Help the newts if you see one but be sure to wash your hands in the creek afterward.

A great quote that fits the Trail Turtles:

A man(woman) must love a thing very much if he/she not only practices it without any hope of fame and money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well. - G. K. Chesterton

Good luck to all tomorrow!

March 9, 2010

The Last Dance......

This last weekend was our final training runs before the celebrated WTC. Shannon and I ran 10 miles on Friday (instead of Sat) as I had a ride scheduled on Saturday. Friday we started at Karen's Bakery and ran on the trail to the Aquatics Center. The sun was shining, the trails were perfect, just slight spots of mud (no PTSD episodes this time for me). It was a really fabulous run. My legs didn't feel so great the entire time; not sure why; just achy all over. But it might have been due to the hard hill workout I did on Wednesday. It was a great way to celebrate my buddy's birthday with her :) Shannon ran strong as is going to leave me in the dust at WTC! Sunday we headed out from Cavitt and took the beast, Bella with us. Ran to Twin Rocks for alittle over 8 miles. My legs felt better and I actually got a 2nd wind again...I haven't had one of those in many months.

 I'm a little sad about this training ending. It will always be my 'first' ultra and nothing can usually compare with your firsts in life. It has been a fantastic journey and I've gained such a great friend through this process. Part of me doesn't want it to end (the head part), the body is screaming, "lets just lie on the couch, you don't need to run!"   I know the day of the race will be filled with excitement, some anxiety, many bathroom stops, but we'll be there together and with all those who followed us through this journey. It's going to be a great day :)

March 5, 2010

Birthday run - Shannon

I had a great run this morning with Pam! I think the few days off for "rest" really worked!

We met at Karen's at 7:30a and headed out. We stayed on the bike trail til we bypassed the area that can sometimes be under a foot of water. Then we hit the dirt - aaahhhh the feel of dirt under the feet just does a body good - and the soul!

I felt really good! I was so amazed at how good I felt. I'm still amazed. But anyways, we did 10 easy miles, however, at about 7 miles I started to feel my back bothering me, just like last week. But I didn't let it slow me down.

When we got done, I had to run to get to my massage so I didn't get to stretch, but I stretched while I waited for my Mocha from Starbucks - um ya, I had to have my birthday mocha!!

My massage was great - Suzanne does wonders! But unfortunately it didn't help my back - this sucks. I've been hurting all day again! Last week I attributed it to the mud, running on slants, etc. But today we were virtually mud free, ok there was a little bit, but nothing to write home about, so what did I do to tweak my back today? AAARRRGGGHHH

I'll ice it all weekend, take my ibuprofren, and hope for the best. If I don't feel better by Sunday, I'll schedule another appointment with Dr. Steve this coming week and he can work his magic. And then I'll just have to pray that I make it through WTC without it flaring up again.

Tomorrow my birthday continues - yes, I don't just have one day birthdays - they must last a minimum of one weekend, sometimes a whole week, depends on what day it falls.

My youngest daughter, Skyla, and my graddaughter, Justice, are both coming over to hang out. This is one of my favs of Skyla. It was taken at my 40th b-day party.

This is Justice at X-Mas

And here's the both of them at X-Mas giving kisses.

We are gonna go see the new Alice in Wonderland - I'm so excited.

Have a great weekend!

Get dirty!

March 4, 2010

Countdown....10 days to go

This Saturday was our last long run (24 miles), and it was HARD. Sunday I hiked 8 1/2 miles at Stevens Trail in Colfax. This trail is so beautiful, tons of waterfalls and a pretty good climb coming out of the canyon. At one point we hit a crossing that was pretty impassible but we took our chances and got across. 

 After this weekend,  I felt the need to take 2 rest days. One of those days I had a much needed massage...aaaahh. I really need to do that more often :)  I had 4 miles of hill repeats scheduled for Wednesday and since it was STILL RAINING, I had to run on the dreadmill. I got going, and surprisingly had a fantastic run...on the dreadmill of all things! I listened to Cardiocoach version 7. These audio workouts are the best. Did 4 3-minute hill repeats, then 10 1-minute hill repeats with 10 1-minute sprints in between the 10 repeats. Kicked my butt! Followed up with alot of core and hip work and stretching. Tomorrow I am off and will run 10 miles with Shannon to celebrate her birthday!!

Momentum slowed - Shannon

This week I've struggled with keeping up with my training. Some how, I managed to have an appointment every night this week, thereby not allowing me to go for a run out at the lake after work. So that leaves me with the hamster wheel in the morning - yuck!

HHHHMMMM sleep or go run on the hamster wheel? Extremely tough choice to make! Tuesday I did manage to crawl out of bed and get to the gym and push out 2 miles on it. OMG I hate running on those things. I realized I haven't been on one since I had that miserable 5 miler a few weeks ago. I've become very spoiled with getting in afternoon runs after work.

So needless to say Wednesday morning and this morning - sleep won the vote! I keep telling myself my body needs the rest! I sure hope that plays true come next Saturday.

Since tomorrow is my birthday, I'm gonna start anew. Forget about the last 3 days and move forward, because that's what ultimately we have to do at WTC - just keep moving forward. I will get in a nice 10 miler with Pam bright and early, then I head off to get a much needed massage. After that I head to Roseville to work with a beginner's quilt group (I've been teaching them to quilt). Saturday I will enjoy the day with my youngest (Skyla), go to the movies, etc. Then I'll get in another run on Sunday with Pam. Then we completely taper off next week, however, I do plan on getting in some kind of XT.

Side bar: I was reading a great article in Jan/Feb Ultrarunning magazine titled "Getting through your first ultra" by Gary Dudney - funny how that article showed up in time for WTC. I really enjoyed one paragraph where the author discusses the differences between a street marathon and a trail ultra.

"In a marathon there are only about 4 things that can go wrong. You're gawking at the helicopter covering the start and you twist your ankle in a pothole. You trip over someone who cuts in front of you to grab a cup of water from the cute girl at the aid station. You flatten up against "the wall" worse than usual, or your hamstrings cramp like made at mile 22. Otherwise, marathons are pretty predictable. You run, run, run and finish pretty much where your training puts you. Not so with ultras."

"With ultras, you have to expect the unexpected and get ready to roll with the punches because you're going to get punched. Your hamstring may go south, your knee may go south, your ankle, a toenail. Name a body part, it might misbehave. You may trip and fall down over one of ten thousand roots or rocks; you may even fall off a cliff. You might dump your iPod in a river, leave your water bottle at an aid station, get stung by angry wasps, follow the wrong trail to nowhere, put your foot down on a rattlesnake, do a face plant in a rock garden, get blisters on top of blisters, throw up, lose heart, get dizzy, or get to the end of your rope. The trick is to realize ahead of time that anything can happen, so when something does happen, you don't get discouraged. Something is always going to go wrong, for you and everybody else, but it can still be your day."

This is just a small portion of the whole article, but I just loved it because it is so true. The funny thing is this can and does happen every time you go out on the trail, even just for short distances. So I know that I have faced most of this, and I think that I'm pretty prepared. The key will be to "...sharpen up your gallows humor and work the mental part..." and "keeping your sense of humor when the chips are down...."

So be prepared for the unexpected and laugh as much as possible - that's my plan!! What's yours?