Thursday, September 29, 2011
The girls have shrunk.
I realized it, four or six months ago, for whatever reason, I had the girls in my hands.
And they no longer over flowed.
WTF. This has never happened before. I've actually lost weight..in my boobs???
Just looking at stats from 2010 to 2011, my chest has gone from a 36 to a 32. This is just the measurement around your chest..under the boobs. It does reflect my weight loss.
So this morning, I don an old running bra. And, as I run, I can tell, due to the loss of elasticity, that this bra is on it's last run. Due to the weight loss, it's not holding the girls in. Due to the bra's age, it can no longer cinch me the way I need to be cinched in.
It's a very interesting scenario. Do I now just need the Large Running bra and not the XL?
(It's not that important. I have bought several new XL Bras, that I can now break out of the plastic wrap. That still have elasticity and can still contain the girls properly.)
And the boobs are still there. Still getting in the way and all that. But some folks seem to like them.
I did take measurements this morning, and was happy to see I have lost one inch off my waist since I last measured in August.
And I am really pleased when I look at stats from 9-12-10:
Chest 34 Chest today 32
Waist 36 Waist today 32
Hips 40 Hips today 37.5
I know it is not all about the numbers, but I'm a runner. Hauling ten less pounds on my frame up a hill could result in quicker race results with no extra training effort.
4 miler around the block this morning once the sun rises. Then to unpack my filthy hydration vest and toss it in the washing machine. Want bright shiny gear for the Trilogy!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
A good run, about 7.5 miles on hilly back roads at Salt Fork.This will be my last "long" run before the Trilogy. I am going to run about 4 miles tomorrow. Friday the husband will be gone so I will take the dogs for a hike before work, so no run. Saturday I work, so no run. So maybe a run on Sunday through Wednesday, just so I don't go stir crazy.
My big focus will be on getting rest. I am looking forward to setting the alarm later and sleeping in a bit later.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I got a nice 11 mile run Friday, followed by 16 miles on trails today.
140 miles logged for September (the Ring gives you nice
I feel good. I think it will be good to start logging some more sleep in the equation, and focus on my 10K around the block, trying to 'run' all of it. Keep the hydration pack full, for the training weight, and focus on climbing those hills in running mode.
Then next week, of Trilogy,eat well, sleep lots, and keep the running light.
I am really looking forward to the Trilogy again. I was so glad this was where the WV Mountain Trail Runner's camp/run weekend was this year; I've gotten more time on these trails. I remember features and I have formulated a plan for this year's race. I am ready. I can't wait to see the Big Meadow, in fall glory colors again.
I decided to go over earlier and get some more trail time in. I was going to run the same loop, but a ridgeline looked inviting in the first mile or two and I went off piste and climbed it.
One area, as I do more off trail hiking and climbing, that I will need to address, is my heels. I could feel my shoes slipping and creating a hot spot on my right heel. This has happened to me before, with climbs, so this is something I need to work on. Experiment with maybe double layer of socks, and I may need to tape my heels.
Went up and down some ridges and then hopped back on the trail again.I did a good job of knowing where I was, off trail. Of course this is the park in my back yard, so that made things much easier.
I had a pretty uneventful run, racked up 5.6 miles. Got back to the Salt Fork Lodge around 930 am, bought a cup of coffee and ate my second breakfast, a choclate chip Cliff Bar on the steps outside the Lodge. Watched some people leave the Lodge, wondered if there was an obesity seminar happening there..
Allison showed up, and we went off for a loop of the Bigfoot 50K. Or at least, what I hoped was the Bigfoot Loop. I looked over the directions on the website, and I think I got the loop pretty correct.
Good times on the trail. We both discussed upcoming races and goals. The bridle trails were a little sloppy with recent rains and horses, but we powered through them. Before I knew it, we were heading back to the Lodge. I think I have the Bigfoot Loop figured out, so I can move ahead with a little event I want to host at Salt Fork.
Thanks for the trail time Allison! Awesome!!
Friday, September 23, 2011
This year I am taking a pass.
Why? Well. I am just not a road runner. I do run roads, I did today, it's a necessary evil.
But I have the WV Trilogy on October 7. I did not think, after a good effort on a road, that I would be recovered sufficiently for the trails.
My running gurus would have said why? Why are you expending effort on a road, which will take you longer to recover from, that a trail 20 miler? (Note: I don't even need anymore to ask the running gurus, I know what they would say..)
It just didn't make good sense. Today, I got 11+ plus miles in on hilly road/like terrain here. Tomorrow is 10+ day at Salt Fork, on trails. That will, probably constitute the last long runs in before the WV Trilogy.
Two weeks ago I got 80+ plus miles on trails in Virginia. The Ring (and various Sick Jimmy runs prior) can constitute serious training runs.
I have to say, it feels good, to be in a good training cycle, where a 71 mile run is 'a good training run'.
I will see how many miles I can get in tomorrow. I may return to Salt Fork on Sunday for a few. Then I might actually go into a taper like mode. If I can. I hate the taper.
Great run today. I went out in shorts and sleeveless top. It was cool and had been running. By the time I got my gear assembled the rain had stopped.
So off I go. The rain returns in mile 2.Heavily. It's pretty cool out, so I am moving well.
I was a bit disconcerted with the thunder, and ponder cutting the run short, but then hope the statistics are against me and I continue.
It pretty much pours the entire time. It was a good run. I really enjoyed it.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tired, long day at work. Really tired. Yawning at work.
So I leave, promising myself I will go to the bike trail and run. Or walk 4 miles. Just two miles, out and back. Okay, I have a plan.
I miss my exit. Crap. Now I am forced to go to Salt Fork, which takes more time on the roads to get there. Still, I reformulate, and stick with original plan-two mile out and back, on roads. But now I am going to run this on a hilly, gravelled, somewhat dirt road.
Walk over from the parking lot to the Forest Road, start the Garmin. Immediately more happy being surrounded by trees and greenery than the flat bike trail. Nice downhill, to the first hill.
Start to slow down to a walk. Then I say no, you need to run this hill. And when you summit it, you can walk. Made it up the hill, then it was flat at the top, so I had no reason to walk!!
These two miles out was a net downhill. I ran all of it, and then when I turned around, I am pleased to say I ran most of the uphills back. On the return leg, on a flattish section, I was happy to see Garmin announcing a 9.31 pace.
I crested a hill, and was suprised to see myself back at the main road. I surprised a deer here too; she gave me a long look before retreating to the woods.
I had a great run. It just goes to show you, perserverance. I went from being not too thrilled about a 4 mile on the bike trail, to getting in a strong run on hills.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
It was a nice morning to be out there, alternatively running and hiking. Got off on some off piste, followed some deer trails.
Then I found the Ford Family Plot:
Wow, a grave stone out here in the middle of nowhere...
I found out who some of the Fords were:
Mary, who only lived to age 3. Maybe Margaret was George's wife? Oh maybe a daughter?
These small grave markers were eroded away. I couldn't find any names on them.
I then ended up back on the blue bridle trail.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Salt Fork and I haven't been on the best terms in the last month. And yes, it's been me, not her. She doesn't like stupidity nor does she reward it. So I've been away, for a few weeks.
We've settled our differences and I had an awesome trail run this morning. After running on the rocks of Virginia, I slipped into my old old Mizuno Waves-they felt like slippers going on.
Running on Ohio trails, it was effortless and so smooth. I found myself running uphills. Not walking, running up them! Not even a thought of changing over to a walk. Talk about endorphins this morning. I loved everyone and everything. I almost ran into a deer, running downhill. It was just standing in the middle of the trail, perfectly camoflagued into the browns.
All too soon I had to turn back toward the vehicle. It was a great run. I've made peace with the park. I'll be back soon.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Camp Roo 1400 Actual time in: 1431
Very pleased with this. Running 12/13 miles between AS,during some of the hottest times of the day, and to only be 31 minutes on my predicted split; excellent
Crisman AS 1730 Actual Time in: 1750.
Made up a little time here 20 minutes off original plan. Slim and I caught up to Jeff here, and spent some trail time with him, before hitting the nice down hill to take advantage of the last glimmer of daylight.
Moreland Gap: 1940 Actual time in: 2014 34 minutes back
It is a bit odd, when you have run this trail, both backwards and forwards, and then during the MMT Race you start it at a different point. So perspective is a bit out of whack. Slim had to almost paint me a picture of 'here's the road, this is where we picked up the trail' before I got my "aha" moment.
Edinburgh 2225 AActual Time in: 2324 59 minutes back. This was Short Mountain, and it seems like my slowest time. It takes a little used to, getting used to the rocks again, at night. But I had much more confidence in myself and where the rock path would be, and didn't spend time looking for orange "M Dot" blazes so much.
Woodstock 0200 Actual Time in: 0249 49 minutes Edinburg to Woodstock, this was my toughest area. Despite being over this terrain, nothing seemed familiar. My heels were bugging me; the rocks were tedious; and I was a bit bored.
Bored, in the middle of the night, you say? Well, after tripping through lots of the same rocks, even the skunks and the snakes were the only thrilling things. I am sure I was a bit being on nutrition, which always contributes to a drop in blood sugar, which results in a drop of morale,well being, etc, etc, during an ultra.
And all I wanted to do was get to Powell's Fort. Because that was the last Aid Station..before Signal Knob (no AS there) but once tackling Signal Knob,it's all downhill to the finish!
But that statement of 'all downhill to the finish' doesn't mean much coming off Signal Knob,unfortunately.
Powells 0400 Actual Time in: 0448 48 minutes I made up some time here, from Woodstock to Powells. This is understandable because it's pretty good footing (meaning unrocky) and a bit of a net downhill to Powells. This is also where Slim picked me up from the Woodstock AS and we stayed together for the whole section. My, does night time running go better when it's done with a friend. I was getting tired, and silly, and it's so much easier to ramble on, to pick up old conversations and phrases left from '40 miles ago' and continue a conversation.
Finish: 0635 on my splits Actual Finish: 25 hours 1 minute. But is that with a 7 am start or a 710 start?
Who knows, who cares. I did think about the descent off Signal Knob. It's all the loose rocks that scare me and slow me down. There were many instances were I got off-kilter because of loose footing. Doing the Reverse Ring, running down into Elizabeth Furnance, there were not the loose rocks, hence it seems to be, an easier finish than The Ring.
So sign me up Bur, Quatro, for the Reverse Ring. I can't help it, I really enjoy/like/love the MMT Trail.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. --Will Rogers
Then there are us who pee on the fence once, and decide we should go back and pee on the fence again.
Usually this seems like a really bad decision around mile 68. Where you are now putting your tender feet down on the triangle spikes on the Signal Knob Trail.
Where the sign says “3 miles to the Signal Knob Parking Lot” so how long could that possibly take you?
And then you get off the mountain, after 71 miles and 25 hours (AND ONE MINUTE) and decide you’ll be back for The Reverse Ring in February.
Because at least it will be cooler in February.
The Boyzzz-early, still in Elizabeth Furnace-Tim, Cam, Jim
Stepping out of Portobello, the temperature was warm at 630 am. Not a good omen for the day. But we already knew that. NEO TC members Tim Knapp, Cam Baker,Jim Harris and myself drove to Virginia Thursday night in order to get some trail miles in on Friday..cuz running the MMT Trail of 71 miles on Saturday was not enough. This is a favorite technique of Jim's and this has become now known as "The Sick Jimmy". Tim and I ran shorter-only a 1/2 marathon distance while Jim, Cam, and the The Ring Co-Director, Quatro Hubbard, ran 20 miles. The Dickey Ridge Trail was hot and very humid; so that was a good preview of weather conditions for us. There may have been as much water consumed on Friday night at The Shroom as there was alcohol.
There really is only one rule of the Ring: Stay on Orange. The Orange Blazes are the Markings of the Massanutten Trail; that is all you have to do for 71 miles, follow those little "M Dots" as I call them. (The dot and dash look similiar to the WTC Ironman trademark.) We start promptly at 710 am and the lead pack promptly goes off course in ten feet starting up toward Signal Knob. I hadn't even left the parking lot when they charged back, and decided to take the correct direction. Trying to stay way in the back,with the rest of NEO TC, we cross over the river, into Elizabeth Furnace. The Blue Tuscorora Trail and Orange meld here; there is a turn that I start up but then I see Allen Gowen coming back at me, with the rest of the lead pack now behind him, and realize we've all gone off a little. Just a few feet away,I can spot the Orange Blaze on the other side of the tree and now lead the Race!!! for at least three minutes down the orange blazed trail, while the lead pack catches up again. Now we have no where else to go, so the crowd of 39 starters settle down on the climb out of Elizabeth Furnace. I am actually in front of 12 or 15 other runners, which shows you how smart everyone was being in the opening miles. It was going to be hot, we're climbing, there is no reason to get all excited and overheated this early into a run.
Cousin Tim, on the east ridgeline, on our way to Milford Gap
We had learned yesterday that some legalities had been settled about an access road. The results of which meant that VHTRC’ers could now drive almost all the way to the Milford Gap AS area. Water “only” had to be hiked in 1/3 of a mile. (Before, it was either hiked in from way below or on an ATV). As a result, there was 25 gallons of water available for runners consumption. It was a much needed neccessity at this time; almost noon by the time Tim and I arrived.Slim was still here, waiting for us, which was very nice to see. Slim had not felt well on Friday, even skipped dinner,so I knew he still was not up to his usual chipper running form. But Slim, like myself, are already in the Fellowship of the Ring, so we know what we are doing, and have nothing to prove to anyone but ourselves out here.
We grab enough water and Gatorade to get us to Camp Roosevelt-just a mere 12 miles away. I am with Tim and Slim for a bit, then they pull away from me. Which is fine, because one item over the years I have actually learned, is you have to run your own race. Run your own speed and pace.
I catch up with the Boyzz in a few minutes..or hours, hard to tell, while they are watering the flora. We are together for a bit, then Tim drops a bit off the back, and we don’t see him until Camp Roosevelt. There are usually some great views when you are on top of the ridge in the Massanuttens. Not this past weekend. The haze never left.
Mile 25-Camp Roosevelt Aid StationFood and drink and first chance to access your drop bag. Gary Knipling and Dennis Herr greet us; Dennis impresses me by pronouncing my long last name correctly! Slim gets a little jealous when Caroline Williams gives me an ice sponge bath instead of him...we get our food and then head out. We do get to see Tim just arrive, so he is now just 5 or 10 minutes behind us. We start up the long Duncan Hollow Trail. This is a long and slight ascent. It seems longer than both Slim and I remember. We climb for 1.5 hours.
We are doing the usual post MMT/Reverse Ring/Ring chatter; it helps to pass the time. We both don’t remember climbing this much during MMT then I remember we must have turned on the Scothorn Trail (that I actually took the pic of) during MMT.
Slim pulls ahead of me,even in his fast walking mode, on any climb. That becomes the pattern of our run together for the rest of The Ring; together for a bit, then Slim would pull ahead on any climb; he’d either wait for me on the trail or at the next AS.Waterfall Mountain I have been looking forward/dreading this since I actually know what I am getting into. Waterfall Mountain is a very steep ascent; maybe 0.5 or 0.6 miles-straight up. The positive side of this is the Crisman Hollow Station is at the top of the climb. I count my steps like Carolyn Gernard did the year before;I count 2230 steps; 28 minutes. I did this in 30 minutes last year. (And during the Reverse Ring, I descended in 10 minutes.)
We are then at the Crisman Hollow Aid Station. I pick up my light here. It is still light out; but just in case we don't make it to Moreland before dark, I want my light! Slim and I are together through here;this is where we catch Jeff and spend trail time with him. We pull ahead of him at the nice downhill to Moreland where we have to pull out our lights to get through this last mile safely. Moreland Gap is where my friend Dan Rose is captaining; it's nice to see him in person and chat while I simulataneousy try to eat/drink/change my shirt/loose my sandwich somewhere all the same time. Slim and I get ready to leave as Cousin Tim arrives-via a vehicle.He's turned his ankle and dropped. I leave as Slim chats with Tim; I know he can catch me so I go on down the trail.We are now on the western side of the MMT and ascending Short Mountain. Short is a tough section in that you leave the ridge for a small downhill, then climb the ridge; repeat, repeat, repeat. We catch up to Doug having lunch on a rock here. Doug finishes his lunch and catches up to me. We spin out on the road and are slightly disoriented. I remember where we are going-Edinburgh Gap-and remember we of need to run down the road to our AS.
Edinburg Gap has Brunswick Stew and they give me a whole bowl of it. Slim crews for me while I eat. I don’t think I can eat a whole bowl but I get it down. Doug isn’t ready to go so we head out.
Slim gets ahead early here as I stop to duct tape first one heel, then the other. He’s given me the 411 on this section; I’ve run in twice in this direction (and once the other way) but this is the only part I really struggled on. I think I was tired (of course) and bored through here. Nothing seemed familiar and the section seemed long (and I believe I’ve been told that this section ‘runs long’). I was also having heartburn from all the junk food I had been eating for the previous 24 hours.
Woodstock Aid StationFinally to Woodstock. That means there is only one more AS-Powell’s Fort, then the climb to Signal Knob and descent and be done. These worms come out at night. Or centipedes. Or millipedes. I don’t know what kind they are, but they are disgusting. I had to bend down and kind of crawl under this log blocking the trail to avoid touching them.
Slim and I are getting a bit silly and tired through here. It’s nice to be running with someone you know, and even better when it’s a dear friend, where you can say anything you want, without having to just watch what you say.
We start the descent to Powell’s Fort and catch back up with the Japanese couple. They had taken a wrong turn out of Edinburg, and then passed us in the last section. We got into Eva’s Aid Station just as Rhonda and Allan were just leaving. We got some soup and I got my secret food weapon-the Walmart pecan pie, 480 calories, and had Eva split it for me and Slim. Fortified, we started on the long road to the Signal Knob climb.
We caught Rhonda and Allan here. I think Slim and I were smelling the barn a bit more freshly than they were. It was nice, for me, to walk this long road in the dark. This way, you can’t see how long it is in front of you. All I did was concentrate on my circle of light and talking with Slim. We’d talked hours before of our upcoming trail club race, The Youngstown Ultra Classic, YUTC, and now we talked about it some more. Then we hit the final climb for the summit, and Slim broke away here.
He waited for me on the small trail than can be missed and we were on Signal Knob at sunrise-which neither one of us had seen before. He’s always been well off the mountain before, and it was long daylight last year when I hit this area.
We spent about 0.2 seconds admiring the view and took off on the infamous Signal Knob trail. This section is enough to break any tough ultra runner; especially after the previous 66 miles.Your feet hurt.They are probably brusied, tender, and blistered. Then you hit the pointy topped rocks on the Signal Knob Trail.
Slim and I go between trying to spin something positive about this to outright clomplaining. And this is very funny in itself, because Slim and I are really two of the most happy people to be out on a trail. It would be hard to know to measure, who smiles more on the trails. We did find a few positives but I’ve forgotten what they were. Slim did manage to find the most disgusting bunch of worms for me to view:
Probably as trail karma, the only drama part of the Ring occurred: Slim walked right into a forehead high downed tree. Watching his feet, he didn’t see it coming. Good thing he wasn’t running. I was relieved he wasn’t bleeding and/or had a concussion. I just wanted to get off Signal Knob!
The last insult is the sign which says “3 miles to Signal Knob Parking Lot”. How long could this take? And it’s all downhill!!!
It takes forever. At least now, Slim and I have the sillies going and I am laughing so hard I can barely see straight. We finally finish our journey in 25 hours 1 minute.
I took 2.5 hours off my time from last year,so pleased with that. My plan was to run this in 24 hours. With the weather we had, I am fine with 25 hours. Now I have to run the Reverse Ring (weather permitting) in sub 24!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. --Will Rogers
For the uninitiated, The Ring is a circuit of the entire 71-mile orange-blazed Massanutten Trail in the George Washington National Forest, on the ridge lines of the eastern and western ranges of the Massanutten Mountains around the Fort Valley, roughly between Front Royal and Luray. The "trail" is hard, rocky, and slow. Sections of the trail have been around in some cases for centuries, but the entire, uninterrupted, 71-mile Massanutten Trail was not completed until 2002.
I completed The Ring last year; was silly enough to come back in February for The Reverse Ring, winning me a spot on the wall of the "Fellowship of the Ring".
I hold the Karno record of being the only female from Ohio to have done the trilogy of the two Rings and MMT. While I am sure some female will soon improve on the Buckeye best time record for MMT 100, I think I may hold the trilogy record for quite some time.
I've been looking forward to The Ring since the MMT race. Where you just "stay on orange" and stay on the mountain, no trips down to a road section. I'm looking forward to seeing those rocks again and improving on my Ring time.
The weather looks to be hot, around 90 during the day, so I am glad my replacement water bladder holds 2 liters, I may start the race out with that. Our first aid station is not until around mile 13, and that should be mainly just some water. Running The Ring is a good lesson in conservation and self sufficiency. You really don't need an AS every 4 or 5 miles people.
I have everything packed and ready to go, we head for Virginia this evening. We are going to get in a few miles on Friday. When you travel long distances for trails, it makes sense to utilize your training time as best as you can. Happy Trails, people, have a great weekend!