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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weight Loss and Running

Today's run was a short 5 mile on the asphalt bike trail near where I work. I walk for about five minutes, until I cross a bridge, then I start my run. Slow at first, then settled into a comfortable pace. Not pushing it at all, just running, looked at the Garmin to see I was at a 10.19'ish mile pace.

I was also listening to a podcast, Geeks in Running Shoes, who were interviewing a friend of mine, Ray, who has a great blog at DC Rainmaker. Ray was reviewing his top five gadgets for atheletes with the Geeks, and had mentioned the Withings Scale. He also mentioned that you gain about two seconds per mile with each pound loss.

As I ran, I did some swift (!) math in my head. 30 pounds lost, x 2= 1 minute faster. Yes, I am running about one or two minutes quicker than I did one year ago.

Of course, I like to use the more visually easier excercise:


Pick up the 30 lb bag of dog food. Now go run with it. Slows you down a bit. Put down the dog food bag. Amazing how much faster you are now!

Speaking of weight loss, I have stalled out the last 3-4 weeks. I haven't been following WW very closely, and I do STILL want to lose 4-5 lbs before MMT. I really want to get into the 15X decade again.

My goal for this WW week is to journal every day. This is what makes WW very successful. I will journal and track all my food and wine and activity. Let's see if I can make this push for a few more pounds gone!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Coyote Stalking

My husband and I were out on the trails this morning. We dug up some ramps (wild leeks) to both eat and plant on our land in the hopes of a little ramp-grove of our own.


Other than it being very windy, nice day out. We saw about a dozen deer on our hike. Then we spotted what I thought was a fox, the husband said was a coyote. It was too far on the hill above to really see well.


The husband returned home and I commenced down the trail for a short run. Travelling down the trail, in front of me, oblivious, was the coyote. I stalked him for about a 1/4 mile, he never saw me, when he jumped off the trail, crossed a stream and went off his merry way. He looked like a scroungy dog, with a very unkempt tail. Small, but not as small as a fox.


The rest of the day was spent planting ramps, and transplanting vegetable plants into larger pots.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

WELCOME!!

I think my re-direct actually worked!!!

This is still Kimba, the site was ultra.newby.blogspot.com. I simply moved all my 'stuff' over to my own URL, here.

I finally decided, if I was going to work on my writing in a more serious manner, that I needed to utilize my URL, whic I have had for quite a while.

So, welcome. The page is a little bare, but I will be tinkering with. Change is good I think.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Best Spring Fun So Far!

I did get out of work a little early...way early. I immediately went over to Salt Fork State Park and hopped on the trails.
A huge thunderstorm had just blown through, so the wind was reduced. I planned on running the hiking trails, since they went up and down hills,and around hillsides, so I knew they would have better drainage than the bridle trails.
What a day for a run! It's finally greening up here. The May Apples are up, a few days early, the streams are now babbling brooks. Many of the trees have their early green icing of early leaves.
Slim made the comment I have no bad runs, and that's not quite true. There's runs where I haven't felt the love (usually road miles). This was not one of these days. I ran, with a big smile on my face, through streams, down muddy paths, even splashed into the lake which is a few feet higher than normal due to the recent rains.
Climbing up a hill, toward the end of my run, I remembered morels! But I was too focused on my run for any foraging.
Oh, did I mention the weather was around 73 F and humid? It was actually quite pleasant, the storm blew most of the humidity away.  Just a lucky unexpected 5 mile race, much better than what I had planned!

Today's Words and Weather

What I have been writing on the blog, courtesy of Tagxedo Creator:


And here's the weather forecast for today:

"Windy with rain showers this morning, then strong thunderstorms developing this afternoon. Damaging winds, large hail, and possibly a tornado with some storms. High around 75F. Winds SSE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 80%."

I like the way they threw "possibly a tornado" into the middle-just covering all the bases!

I will throw "gym clothes" into the running bag. Currently in the running bag are "Trail Running Clothes" since I was planning on hitting the trails after maybe, possibly, getting out of work a few minute early.

No trail run in a tornado or lightning storm. Rain I can handle. I know the trails are just water pits, but if I run the hilly trails, they have a better chance of drainage.
So if not, off to the gym. I only got in thirty minutes on my home treadmill last night-I just was not feeling the love. If I run at the gym, I tend to run better and not lolly-gag and stay on the machine better.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Best Spring Day Yet

This was to be my last long run, before MMT. I bowed out of the Chocolate Bunny, a 40 mile run on the MMT course at night. I did not feel I could travel to Virginia, run 40 miles, drive home, and recover for work in enough time for Monday. I did not want to get into an energy deficit, so this was the best decision.
This also allowed me to go north with my husband and spend the afternoon with his family. His sister had flown in from Texas, and this was the first time we saw our fat little one year old adorable niece! Another surprise, was our nephews were up from Virginia,unplanned-their grandfather had passed away, so that was why they were along.
I had actually gotten a workout in Friday, before leaving time. 15 minutes on the tread, at 10% incline, then we walked the dogs, then I continued my walk on the gravelled FAA road for another 1/2 hour. I'm still trying to get about 4-5 pounds more off before MMT.

On Saturday morning, we took the dogs out for their walk. I was also on the lookout for morels. I found one. I wasn't going to harvest it, then my dog walked on it and broke it.

I also decided it was too nice NOT to go to the woods and run. So glad I did. I took a different trail, one I had not been on for about one year. I was in the waterfall photography mode, and went off piste, to try and get some water shots, when SHAZAAM! I spotted them!!!


RAMPS!!!!!!! Wild Leeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




And lots and lots of them! 
Ramps, (Allium tricoccum or Allium tricoccum var. burdickii, Alliaceae) also known as wild leeks, are native to the Appalachian mountain region in eastern North America . Ramps can be found growing in patches in rich, moist, deciduous forests as far north as Canada, west to Missouri and Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee. As one of the first plants to emerge in the spring, ramps were traditionally consumed as the seasons first “greens.” They were considered a tonic because they provided necessary vitamins and minerals following long winter months without access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Ramps are pleasant to eat and taste like spring onions with a strong garlic-like aroma. They are often prepared by frying in butter or animal fat with sliced potatoes or scrambled eggs. They are also used as an ingredient in other dishes such as soup, pancakes, and hamburgers. They can also be pickled or dried for use later in the year.

Ramps.


I have been looking for these for years down here. I've wanted to dig up a bunch so I can propagate on my property.  I found a stick and managed to dig up a small bunch. I then stuffed them into my hydration vest. Then I smelled like an onion for the rest of my run.
With all the rain we have been receiving, the streams are flowing and there are magnificent little waterfalls everywhere. I took the time to stop and admire them. This run was more "time on my feet" than mileage.





It was great to run in a singlet and running skirt again too! This was also a wardrobe try out. My running skirt failed, I spent far too much time pulling on the compression shorts, that skirt is out for MMT. The other gear was a new pair of Injini socks in a smaller size. They seemed to fit just fine, so that will probably be the MMT socks.


After my running, I was already muddy, so I planted my ramps and then did some weed pulling in the garden beds-wow, gardening is hard work! Using different muscle groups there from all running!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!!





Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle

This should be a no-brainer for folks by this time, but I still see full cans of trash with items that could have been sorted for recycling.
We recycle anything we can-steel, aluminum, plastic, paper. Old clothes I don't fit into (cuz I'm small now!) go to Goodwill. Old running shoes (the ones I don't use to garden and mow the lawn in) go to the Amish down the road.
We compost everything. I have seven raised beds for my vegetables. One bed functions as a compost pile for one year. Anything from the kitchen goes into the compost-included coffee grounds and filter. I wince when I see folks throwing organic matter into the regular trash.  With this rotation of compost, I can proudly saw I've got great dirt!


 

This great dirt is to grow great food. I've got spinach, Swiss chard, jalapenos, basil, cayenne, butternut squash, zucchini, cucumbers, are growing from seed right now. They are still in the plant room in the house. Some other hot peppers I have purchased on line, and my tomato plants will be bought from the Amish greenhouse down the road-why fuss with them, when I can buy them already started.

Re-use-I try to do this. When caught out in the open, without my own numerous water bottles, sometimes I have to purchase a  bottled water. When I do, I usually use it for days or weeks. I also travel in my vehicle with a gallon (or more) of water and refill as needed. Cheaper and runners always need water. Gallon jugs get bleached out and re-used, over and over.

So take a moment  today, and pick up some trash, plant some seeds, do something kind for Mother Earth!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring, Finally




It has finally greened up here in Ohio. I guess we call it spring. The temperature hasn't really co-operated with us yet, although I started today's run in a very nice 60 degrees.








This was both a daffodil rescue operation and a trail run. The daffs were no problem to find, but it seemed like I waited one week too long for optimum pictures.
This former..building is on a road to Salt Fork. And of course there are daffodils around!

I travelled further down the road, then hopped on a trail to locate these daffodils. It's a good thing I am a trail runner, because I had to bushwhack off the trail to get to this spot. 



It seems many of the daffs in this area are of this variety. It seems to be a ruffled variety. Most of the daffs were post bloom, and the heavy rains of yesterday had most of the blooms beaten down.


After I screwed around for awhile digging up various plants, I finally decided I need to run, not dig. So I got about four more miles in on some muddy trails before I used up my free time allotment, and headed to the grocery store.

I was amazed when I exited the store, the temperature had dropped about ten degrees and the wind had kicked up. I had nailed the perfect time on this spring day for a trail run!

With "Forget the PR" 50K now under wraps, it is back to focus on the dance on the rocks from here out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mohican-Tradition.

A race doesn't begin when you cross the start line. 

A race begins a few years before. Where friends are running trails together, and the idea of being able to share their trails with others begins. Where new trails are found, and the comment, "well, you can forget about your PR on this one"! is uttered.

Ideas become a solid plan. Mileage is established.Permits are secured. The first race takes place. A success. Year Two follows. Another sell out.

Year 3 seemed to be a change for us. It felt like our race matured. Maybe it was the new location, having a conference center with heat, electricity, restroom facilities. It felt like we had come of age. We had a sell out race, and were excited to share a new course with old friends and initiate new friends to our beloved Mohican trails.






 

You may notice I keep saying "we" and "our". The race is the baby of Rob Powell, the Race Director. When Rob mentioned he was starting this race, and said he needed my help, my answer was yes. Whatever I can do to help Rob with this race, our race, I do.  There is a bunch of us that have been with the RD since the beginning. Another tradition. I know what I will be doing around the third weekend of April every year.
 I think "our" race has been getting better with each year.





Tradition: the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice.

I was particularly struck by this definition of tradition. I had just remarked to Rob on Saturday that we were the next generation of Mohicans; the "first" generation of Regis, Tanya, Roy, Don, has turned over the reins of directing and volunteering to the likes of Rob, myself, Luc, Mike Patton, Jay Smithberger, and others. 



Tradition: The hand over climb up Little Lyons Falls. The trail up to
Little Lyons Falls always has a certain mystique about it. First, you start up a creek bed-sure there is a trail there-in a rather primordial setting, hopping over downed trees and up muddy banks. You can almost forget about your dry feet here.
The 4 mile loop which Little Lyons Falls is on was called the Blue Loop in the Mohican 100 Trail Race. In the Mo 100, you do climb this section also.
In 2007, the Blue Loop was renamed to the Purple Loop, in honor of Colleen Theusch. Colleen is the race historian and writer of the Mohican 100 Trail Race. She  always dresses in purple, so she's also known as "The Purple Lady".  Colleen has been a stalwart supporter of the Mohican 100 since the beginning...tradition.





There are some veterans of the FTPR race, and then there are folks who ran FTPR for their very first ultra! They sure did not pick an easy one for their first!


 



The course was changed this year-and then changed again, a week before the race, due to some trails washing out. A new tradition for the FTPR was the water crossing-once for the 25K runners, twice for the 50K runners. Crossing the Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River is a tradition of the Mohican 100 Trail Race, but it sure feels better on the body in hot humid June versus a cool day in April.

Tradition: The Fire Tower is an Aid Station Stop. Runners have climbed the Fire Tower in years past for both FTPR AND the Mohican 100 Trail Race. (For some years in the 100 mile race, that was part of the course).
This year the winds were high and cold up at the FT AS. Most runners were happy to just get aid and head back down the hill, out of the wind. Not so for Mike Keller. Mike was
"taking it easy" as he had just finished the Umstead 100 Mile less than two weeks ago. Mike honored tradition and was the only runner who climbed the Fire Tower in the 2011 race.







This picture sums up this years FTPR for me:

Finish!!!


Tradition!!









Friday, April 15, 2011

Quote

From The Ultra list, Joe Judd:

"Ultrarunning is a venue to test oneself. Some test themselves against the competition. Some against the course. Others test themselves against their own abilities, preconceptions, or fears. For me, it's about the unknown.
It's about confronting things as they come and trying to overcome them as best I can. It's about having an adventure."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Mountain in the Corner


The elephant in the room.

Or should I say, the mountain in the corner? It's been very quiet lately, behaving itself.
I've been tending to other matters, all related to the mountain in the corner, but not actively thinking about it.
I've been trying things out, like different food and new clothes, to see what will work for that mountain in the corner.

The Umstead 100 and The Barkley Marathons have been wonderful distractions over the last two weeks. Lots of race reports to read, smack talking via email and trail-I mean we can't talk about the mountain in the corner all the time.

Having a race last Saturday helped too. Although I did fret a bit that my 50K time has not decreased by much. I can say, the climbs were easy during that race, and my legs were not even sore for the start of the 50K on Sunday.
I'm fretting a bit on no long run for this upcoming weekend, although I will get some miles in trail marking, and I plan to climb Big Ass Hill and Gas Line Hill too.

This weekend is all about the Mohican runners and catering to them. That will help distract me from the mountain in the corner.

But I did pick up my manila folder labelled MMT. It contains the topo map, the website elevation map, 2010 runner splits, and my spreadsheet.

So after this Mohican weekend, it's backing to letting the mountain out of the corner.

In fact,the next weekend will be my last run on the MMT trails before the race-I am planning on attending the Chocolate Bunny, which is the last MMT training run. It's a night run on the MMT.

It's been kind of nice-a little stressful-giving the mountain in the corner some time off. It will soon be time to sharpen up and focus on that mountain again-after this Mohican weekend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Aid Station Packing

For any of you runners out there who have never volunteered at an Aid Station, you should.

One, you should be giving back to your fellow running community.
Two, you get a new perspective on a race.

This is the third year of being Captain of the Fire Tower Aid Station. Race Directors designate someone in charge, ie “captains” of aid stations. This is the person in charge, who watches over the runners and other volunteers. This is the person who may have to tell you that you haven’t made the cut off, or pull you from the race due to your physical condition. In many AS situations, there is no communication with the RD or Race Headquarters due to remote locations, and the AS Captain is solely in charge at that time.

A 50K race rarely has dire scenarios like I outlined above. A longer race, such as a 50 or 100 miler, usually has much more carnage and monitoring of runners, especially in races in much more remote locations.

We have a great group of volunteers for the Fire Tower AS, and many are volunteers from last year. Everyone knows what to do and it all goes pretty smoothly. I do more cheering and spectating that any actual work all day due to the great work staff assembled.

I do bring a bunch of my own gear. After working AS for the last few years, there are items that I find useful to have available:

Cutting board: ever try cutting up a watermelon on a rough wood table?
Knives: sharp ones, to cut oranges, watermelons, etc, and duller ones to use to spread peanut butter onto bread.

Plastic ladle/spoons-so you can mix up your Heed/Gatorade concoction with something cleaner than a stick!

Bucket, cloth, detergent. So you can clean up your utensils/pots/tables at the end of the day

Old bedspread, old T-shirts that I am discarding. Haven't used these yet, really not needed in a 50K-but you never know. When a runner comes in chilled, or starting to get hypothermic, you got some spare clothing you don't want back to donate to them.

I also throw in rain poncho,hand warmers, bug spray, suntan lotion regardless of the weather temperature. You just never know what the temp will end up. For a volunteer, with all day duty, it could be all of the above.

Now it's time to start watching the weather forecast-for both Saturday and race day Sunday. Saturday we mark the course (much of it with lime) so it would be good NOT to have rain!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunday Race: Not the 50K

After I finished the 50K on Saturday, I headed straight over to Loudonville and my friend Terri's house, who graciously let me crash there. That was a much better idea than going home between races.
Sunday's race was the Race Director's Race. This is where Rob Powell, the RD for "Forget the PR' 50K lets his volunteers run the race the weekend before. Buckles are given for finishes, and food and beer afterwards.
We had a good showing and we were off. I chatted briefly with Paul and Slim, and then let the pack get ahead of me. I was a bit tired and still on the calorie deficit side.
I've run this loop before and had an enjoyable time. It seems like there are more and more trees cut due to new natural gas wells on part of this course. I know we need the energy, but I do love my woods.
Ron Dukes was our volunteer rolling AS, and it was good to see him at each point. My friend Cheryl was only a few minutes ahead of me, but it just seemed like I could not catch her.
The temperatures were in the 80's at Mohican on Sunday, although with the high wind it did not feel that warm. As I finished my first loop, I decided to change plans and just do the big hills on the first 4 miles of the course and call it a day.
With that DNF from the 50K in mind, I caught up to Paul, who had run the Barkley the weekend before. Paul had run one loop and a bit of Loop Two, so it was much fun to hear all about his experiences.
As we started up Big Ass Hill, Paul demonstrated his strong hill climbing and ran up the hill to Cheryl and my astonishment. (Note to self: climbing is the Barkley training element).
I completed gas line hill, and was topping out Big Ass Hill, and then came across Gombu and Slim. They too, had eschewed finishing the 50K, and were just playing now. They were "heading back" to where lunch was being served, but just not following any trail. I was very happy to join my fellow NEO TC friends, and we got some trail time in together.
Once back at the race start/finish, there was beer, pizza, and lasagna. Sitting out in the first warm weather we have had in months, and relaxing and talking with friends..priceless!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Glacier Trail 50K Race Report

I ran in the inaugural Glacier Trail Ultra on Saturday, in Moraine State Park, Pennsylvania. This was a series of races being presented at the same time-50 mile, 50K, and a 30K. Although the temperature was supposed to hit a high of about 60 degrees, it really didn't seem to get out of the fifties. I added the long sleeve top at the last minute, and then ended up wearing it the entire time. I did vacillate between keeping it on, taking it off, and then I would hit a ridge and some wind and be glad to have it on.

The 50 mile runners started at 630 am, and the 50K started promptly at 0730. There was around one mile on the asphalt bike path, which allowed the runners to get spread out. We hit the single track trail....and The Mud. It wasn't bad yet, but there were already big patches.

This would be the theme of the day. Mud.

I was very amused at how some of the runners were trying to pick their way around the mud. With 30 miles to go, you are going to get your feet wet. And muddy. I just went straight through the middle. Many times, the footing was less slick going right through the water than trying to pick your way through the edges, like everyone else!

I had read (briefly) the race instructions, and knew there was an unmanned water stop around mile 5, and then the first food AS was around mile 10. That was fine with me, as I was still trying out my malto and then had Sustained Energy powder in my pack to use around the halfway point.

I was looking forward to chatting with Tom Jennings, the Race Director of the Oil Creek Ultra Races. I had seen him before the race, but then once the race started I couldn't tell if he was way in front of me, or somehow actually behind me. The race course had some good climbs. With an out and back race, the worst thing is, the nice runnable downhill section you are on..is going to be a walking section on the way back! The course was very runnable. Except for the mud. I got out to the Jennings Center. I took a bathroom break, and then preceded to the Aid Station. Tom had arrived, got his aid, and was heading out! He must have been just out of sight behind me! I resolved to try and catch him, but wanted to get my calories in first.

Going back was a bit tougher, mainly due to the Mud. It's all gotten deeper, longer, and greasier. The muddy uphill' are the hardest. I don't mind uphill's, but I like to keep moving uphill, not sliding down! I hit the manned AS at mile 21, but Tom's got 10-15 minutes on me. Rats, I won't catch up with that kind of lead. Another female, catches up to me in this next section. It was nice to have her on my heels, because it actually made me run sections that I was getting ready to walk through. I did pull away from her on some uphill'ss, although she finished only 10 minutes or so after me.

Last 4 miles. More mud. I catch a male runner through here and pass him. He's tired of the mud too. He advises me that when we hit the pavement, we've got 1 mile to go. I have been checking my watch and trying to play games with myself, but with over 1+ miles to go, I'm at 7 hours 50 minutes. And here comes another mud patch. Oh well, so much for running a sub 8. (Ha, so much for running a 6.30 race! Remember to think about the course, course conditions before you spout off again! But, thinking about it, I think I could run a 6.30 here with dry trails. Really.)
I get a big honking lucite medal at the end of the race. I go down to the lake and scrub off the mud off my legs before I even try to change clothes. Nicely organized, early season race!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Race Packing

I love to race pack. I love my lists. Yes, I am an obsessive-compulsive runner, like many of us out there.

This is a special weekend because I'm running two 50K's, in two different states.

But at least I only need one list. Just times two.
I'm glad I started today, after checking the weather forecast. 62 F in PA and 75 F in Ohio??? It's singlet and shorts/skirts.
So I start trying on shorts and running skirts. I'm glad I did, because there is now a discarded pile...too big. And unlike tops, which if too big is just fine, running skirts and shorts tend to slide down. I have to make sure I have good clothes for MMT, so this was a good chance to sort clothing.

Other considerations is the fuel for the weekend. The Glacier Trail Ultra is a race with actual aid stations every 4 or 5 miles, so there is no need to tote alot of nutrition. This will kind of be a treat for me, because  I haven't run anything in months where an AS was less than 10 miles apart.
I will be carrying and using both my plain malto dextrin and using Sustained Energy. The malto is proven to work, and I've only used the SE on a short run, just to see how I could tolerate it.
Sunday's race is a bit more FA-style, with just some water and limited aid on the "Forget the PR" 50K course. I plan on stashing some food of my own in the Covered Bridge area, just so I have enough calories to get through it.

Other packing: breakfast items (oatmeal, cranberry juice), some Heed, post race clothes, sleeping bag stuff, towel, laptop, camera, and BEER.
I'm looking forward to some guilt free eating also. I'm envisioning eating an entire pizza while driving from PA back to Ohio. I can't wait!!!

Oh, and the beer? Dogfish Head 60 minute.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rock The Sisterhood!

I was surprised and amused with the strong comments about my post on the Barkley and females.


The ultra community is small. Female ultra runners are a small percentage of the runners out there. I have no statistics on this, but look at any race result in Ultra Running magazine, and see how many underlined names there are, finishing a race.


In a running podcast I listen to, the host (male) had made an observation that since males and females are not equal, perhaps there should be different cut off times for males and females-i.e., give the ladies a little extra time to finish.
Can you imagine? Being the AS Captain at a race? "Hey George, going to have to pull ya, buddy, cut off time. Oh Sally? Go ahead sweetie, you got fifteen more minutes".

Now I don't think the male podcaster was being sexist, just a bit thick-headed. In general, I would agree that men and women are not physical equals. Males are usually a bit stronger, faster, bigger. Hence, look at race results. Only six races in 2010 won outright by women (someone check UR for that, I don't have the copy handy.)

So since we are not equals, not as fast/strong/big as men, isn't it kickass that we are held to the same standards?  Females, being the underdogs here, only get the same time as the guys? To climb up the same mountains, wade the same streams, run through the bluebells and get the same time allotment? Well, and some females even finish ahead of many males in a race! Go figure!

A mile is gender neutral. A mile doesn't care if you are male or female. Neither does the time clock. This is a reason I like events like running races in the Olympics-it's all there, in the black and white. Someone crossed the finish line ahead of someone else. There's no judging if the triple axle was artistically better than the previous triple axle contestant. Nope. Who crossed the line first. Or who ran the most miles in XX amount of time.

Back to the Barkley..

I believe my friend Adam summed it up much better than I did, in his comments and on his blog:

I mean this will all due respect to the opposite sex and intend zero sexism in this comment. . . There are undoubtedly women out there that CAN finish Barkley. The question is though, of the women that CAN finish, how many have the DESIRE? There are far fewer women than men in the sport of ultrarunning so the number of possible finishers is already reduced. This race is as sadistic (and tough) as they come and requires more suffering than most (including me) desire. So will a woman finish? . . . someday (and I hope this year), but if I were a betting man I wouldn't be tossing much money to the bookie. I personally know a few women that have as good of a chance as any of the top men, but they simply don't have the key ingredient - DESIRE!


(And this is no candy ass trail. In fact, there is very little trail. For more info on the Barkley, Matt Mahoney has the unofficial website.  This year, there were 9 runners finishing the Fun Run (3 loops of 60 miles) and Brett Maune, a Barkley Virgin, became finisher # 10. Gary Cantrell, the Race Director, will almost certainly make the course worse next year in some fashion.)

But how many ultra women even know about the Barkley? Does it not capture the imagination,of a race so impossibly hard, that the outcome is an almost certain DNF? Is this more appealing to the machismo, the testosterone-laden members of the species? Are women just more practical, they look at the odds, the terrain, engage their common sense, and find other races to do in the early springtime?


There's got to be a few more females out there who are tough enough to contemplate this race. This might be good trail time conversation for my weekend races, poll the females-and males-about the Barkley, and see what they think!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April Prompt

The fine folks at Reverb 10 sent out a prompt for the month of April:
April prompt: What's blossoming?
My answer:
I am!!
My confidence is blossoming!
My feeling of self-worth are blossoming!
Things are proceeding well for me. I'm hoping to post a weight loss this week. My training is going well. My body feels good and I have very few aches and pains (other than the usual achey muscle pains the day after a good run.)
I've got confidence these days. I am thinking of myself as a strong runner capable for finishing races. I've started setting time goals for myself, not to "just finish". I feel like I have more knowledge about what I am doing and what I am getting myself into. I no longer feel like I will "jinx" myself by giving myself a finish time goal for MMT.
I have always been my own worst critic. I've always been very tough on myself. Well, lately I'm starting to turn into my own cheerleader. I look in the mirror and I like what I see. I'm in great shape and happy where I am at.
I have two 50K races this weekend. Saturday is the inaugural Glacier Trail 50K in Moraine State Park, Pa. This will be a good oppurtunity to tweak more gear and fuel. I've bought some Sustained Energy, and will be using this throughout the race to see how I tolerate it.
I've also set myself a time goal-try to come in around 6 hours 30 minutes. Now, that is a kind of big reach, especially since this is all new trail to me. But the race is an out and back, so when I hit the turnaround point, I will know what I am getting into.
Sunday is the Race Director's 50K at Mohican. Rob allows the volunteers who want to, run the race the weekend before the official "Forget the PR" 50K. Our names will be listed in the official race results, after the APril 17 participants. My goal for the Sunday 50K will be to finish it. The 50K race course has changed due to trail damage, so it will be two loops.
This will be my last big mileage weekend before the taper starts in a few weeks, and I think it will be a fun weekend.
So what's blossoming? I am!




Not the greatest pic of me, but I just wanted to crow. I put on this dress in the morning....and it's just hanging on me. I've got about four inches all around I can pull out...phenomenal.
What's even better, this is just a sheath dress, and simple alteration-wearable dress again!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thursday Run

No it's not April's Fools. It's actually March 31. I am really hoping this IS the last snow of the year!


My back road was nice and muddy. I got to mile 3, and then did my hill repeats. I think I picked up a 1/2 lb or so of mud on each foot with each repeat.
The calves are being born!  There were some cute baby cows out there today!
  
A solid run. As I topped my last hill, I saw my vehicle coming toward me. With my additional hill repeats, I had exceeded my time allotment and the husband was coming looking for me. I waved him off, to finish my run.  Legs felt good. Feeling good with 42 days to go.