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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Run With Scissors Race Report

The Single Edition
The clean skunk edition ,
It's not often when I contemplate dropping from a race after a few miles.
But around mile 11 or so, I wasn't thinking a double marathon was going to happen today. I felt fine.

Well, actually my hamstrings and calves were incredibly tight, I just felt like sitting down for an impromtu stretching session right on the trail. But the tightness probably had more to do with the course conditions.

The RWS course was muddy. Lots of mud. Shoe sucking mud.
Slippery trails, where runners were trying to avoid the mud, made the areas around the mud even muddier and slicker. Of course you know what happens when 1/2 a course is mud-you slow way down. So, as I ran-when I could, my time just ate away.

Boy the early morning went fast. The Garmin was beeping 3 and then 4 hours, and then 5. Yes, I could have finished RWS Double Marathon. It would have taken quite a while to do, and I didn't want to spend that much time away from home.
As it was, I finished in 6.41. (Of course I think I hung out at the AS at Mile 24 talking to Mark Lemke for about 10 minutes.) So I could have done another marathon in 7-or maybe 8 hours,which would put me over whatever Roy's cut off was. So I quit-like quite a few other double-marathon starters. Many of us were of the same mindset-had nothing to gain by a not-so-much-fun day in the mud.


The RWS course is quite good, and was marked very clearly. Very good Aid Stations, and great volunteers. Now, if there was some way to decrease the mud..

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And Now, For Something Completely Different

I'm going to write a novel in November.

Yep.

50,000 words. 
National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo or simply NaNo, is a novel-writing challenge that takes place every November. Participants begin writing on November first with a goal of completing a 50,000-word novel from scratch by the end of the month.


I have no idea what I am doing, people.


I'm also going to keep doing my normal training too.

I'm going to be busy.

I'm going to decrease my time spent on the internet.  I will read my emails from my friends. I'm going to try and ignore the others, such as the digest from the Ultra List-and all the miscellaneous offers and new Twitter followers I get.

In order to streamline my time to write, certain things have to go. Like Facebook and Twitter.

I rarely twitter. It roars by far too fast for me, on a daily basis. Twitter only works (it seems) for folks who spend their workday at a computer and with inter net connection.  That is not me.

Is there a way to go inactive on Twitter?  I rarely use Twitter, I am not on line enough to be a regular Tweeter.  I could just delete the account.  I may go private on Twitter, that might cut down on follows. Which clog up my email. Maybe I should work on figuring out a filter for Yahoo Mail that I could see Twitter follows to.


I do spend a fair amount of time on  Facebook, more lurking than posting. But this is just a mindless time suck, so that is something I can certainly not check, and spend that time at lunch writing.  I need to cull that friend list on FB too.


I've unsubscribed from a bunch of blogs too.  I will read blogs from a few regular posters, like DC Rainmaker, Endurance Corner, Bitch Cakes, Katy Wydrick, and  irregular posts from friends. It doesn't hurt to cull the list, especially when I can't even remember who this person is, or why I am reading their blog posts.


Tips at the helpful forum at NaNoWriMo suggest getting up early to write..write on lunch breaks, before work, after work.  All good ideas.  I may get up a few minutes early to get some writing completed.

Okay,enough writing about the writing. I have an outline to work on, seven days to NaNoWriMo!!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Orienteering

Today I got outside to learn some compass skills.



I have a topo map that includes our properly. Located next to our property is a FAA navigational beacon, so there is that landmark on the topo map. My husband helped me figure out a spot to begin, at the bottom of our meadow across the road. I was to follow the azimuth. So I get to the point to start, bottom of the meadow.


Did I mention it was a beautiful day out there? After one false start and further instructions, I climb up out of the meadow. This is pretty hard. I'm moving through head high weeds and through rose bushes.


This is a very slow walk. I've got on my husband's BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) and it does protect against the briars, it's very warm. I do get rewarded with a nice view from the top here:



I cross the road, scramble up to the next meadow. It's an easy walk across this, it used to get mowed years ago.
I had to climb a fence, which I got my foot caught in, and kind of toppled over, bruising my inner leg up in the process. I did not end up exactly on target. But it was a good first attempt.
I need to find some lightweight clothing that can withstand briars. My "Sad Sack" look:
And then back to the house via the "candy ass trail":

Wardrobe Changes

It's that time of year.

The frost is on the pumpkin, the hardwood floor is cold on the feet in the mornings.

It's time to sort through all the running clothes, and bring down the long sleeves, tights, capris, gloves.

Time for more of the shorts and singlets to go up to the attic.

Actually I think I need a new drawer, called "gym attire", because the Y that I attend is kept too hot.  I wear a singlet and shorts and sweat like crazy.  I cannot see how folks show up in long sleeves and pants to work out there.  Well, maybe they don't really workout there either.

And it is official, I need a smaller running bra.  I donned a newer one for Saturday's run, which had good elasticity, and it's not doing the job correctly.  My errand running, before packet pickup for Sunday's Run With Scissors Race gets longer and longer!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Flip The Switch

The cold mornings have begun.
I really didn't want to go outside. It was cold out.  I put my running clothes on. Sighed when I turned the Zune on-battery low.
I stepped out the back door, and was amazed by how pretty it was.  Just like that, 100% mood switch.
It was cold, but I warmed up. Of course.
There were curious blue grey cumulus clouds, with some edges of pink from the sunrise.
There were still lots of yellow leaves caught in the early morning light.
I startled two deer out of their sleeping area beside the road, and watched them then run up the neighbor's driveway.
I felt great.  I was very pleased I got my grumbly self out the door, once again for an outside run.
Soon, the weather will be far worse and I will be remembering this awesome little fall morning run.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Girls Day Out on the Trails


We had a great time and  great weather for an informal run at Salt Fork.

I had put the call out for a fun run, one loop (or more) of the Bigfoot 50K loop, at Salt Fork State Park, with a cookout at my house afterwards.


Good turn out for the run and post party.

Allison started her loop early, as she wanted to get two loops in.
I met up with Jack, Wendy, Regis, and Mary around 830am and ran the first mile with them. Then I got them turned down the pink  blazed trail correctly and ran one more mile on the Shadebush Red Blazed Trail, before returning to the Lodge for four miles.

I was surprised and happy to see Mike,  Jana, and Nancy in the Lodge, waiting, as I never did get an accurate head count on who was coming out.

Everyone else rolled in about 10am-Sharon, Courtney, Darcy, Sam, Ron, Cheryl, Terri, and we set off on our loop.




I didn't mean to run the whole loop, since I had ran it yesterday. I had thought our group would separate into faster/slower groups.  I was going to "cut the course" and then run backwards until I got to the last runners. But everyone was staying together in a pack, so I ended up getting in the full ten miles myself!



We finished the Loop, and Ron,  Cheryl, and Terri decided to head out for another loop. I turned for home where Dennis had food ready for us.

We ate well-burgers, chicken thighs, rumakis-which is what we call dates stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon, grilled over an apple wood fire; potato soup, cornbread, veggies,  hummus.  Sharon brought awesome brownies and Darcy bought homemade devilled eggs.  Courtney brought artisanal bread and Wendy brought a sheet cake, so there was plenty of food available!

The weather was perfect, the trails a bit muddy after the recent rains. It was nice to actually spend some time with folks, after a run, instead of all of us just running off to our next appointment! Thanks everyone who came out today!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wild and Wicked Weather


With the two inches of rain that poured down here yesterday, I was glad I had scheduled Wednesday as a ‘gym day’.  I am determined to use my membership this year.

When I got to the gym, I saw the two Precor EFX 645 were occupied! Hey, how dare people be on my machine!

So it was time to actually start a strength training regimen.  I went through some pretty basics, and didn’t lift a lot of weight. I didn’t want to end up with really sore muscles due to not being in shape to strength train.
Then the machines opened up, and I decided to try one of the pre-programmed workouts, something called ‘gluteal workout 1’ for 30 minutes.

Ugh, I was tired at six minutes.

Around 15 minutes, the machine told me to pedal backwards! Well, that was different.
I found out I am not as great ‘in shape’ as I originally thought with climbing steps. I was glad this was only a 30 minute workout!  But it’s a good start to improve on my climbing ability.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Salt Fork Run

I got out today, for a run at Salt Fork. The Race Directors said the course had been blazed, and I was curious to see if that was so, considering I have invited folks to join me for a run there this coming Saturday. I also got the first chance to wear the new trail news, Cross Lites 2.0 from La Sportiva:
 
These were much less clunky than my Montrails. So no problems or complaints in them, so I am stoked to get some more miles on these.


A beautiful, windy day at Salt Fork. Angela met me at eleven, and off we went.  Wow, two runs at Salt Fork with human companionship.  Awesome.
The trail was indeed marked with bright pink blazes.

Angela had surgery recently, and this was her longest run since YUTC.  She did great on the trails today.

It is kind of cool to have permanent markers for a race. This will allow other runners to be able to come out and run the course before hand, with no issues.

..
If you do come to run the Big Foot Course before the race, just a couple of points.
The trail starts at the back of the parking lot, in front of the Lodge, beyond the basket hoops.  You will be able to see the pink blazes on some trees. Then, just a few hundred feet, turn RIGHT at a big clump of grass. There is also a sign, which says "Shadebush Trail", which is the trail you start on.  You will quickly see pink blazes.

Around mile 4.5, you hit some nice downhill running and you are right next to the lake.  There will be a LEFT hand turn, up the blue hiking trail. It's real easy to over run.  If you keep going and don't see pink blazes,you were too busy talking and missed the turn.
Also, you climb the hill and the blue hiking trail (now blazed with Bigfoot Pink) dumps  you on the campground road. There are no markers right here. But all you have to do is turn LEFT.  You run down the campground road for about a mile.  You will again see the pink blazes.

You then go past the showerhouse/restroom, continue down the road a bit further, then the pink blazes will take you down the green connector trail.  This will again spill you out at the road.  Go right past the archery range and look for the pink blazes on the left hand side of the road. These are the only spots I saw where you need to pay just a bit of attention.

Looking forward to having more folks on the trail this Saturday!




Monday, October 17, 2011

WV Trilogy 50 Mile Race Report

Wv Trilogy 50 Mile Race Report Race Scorecard:

Mental/Emotion Attitude: A
Physical: F So I guess if you average those together, it's a "C". But this was not an average effort.

The only reason it's an "F" is because it goes with those other two letters "D" "N" as in Did Not Finish.

But you've already heard that whine, so I won't dwell on that. What I would like to chat about was my attitude. In 2010, I defeated myself on the 50 miler. I think this year the course defeated me.

There are two time cutoffs on the 50 mile course: 3:30 pm at the Horton Aid Station, and 7:10 pm on the Allegheny Mtn Trail Aid Station. If you can make these cutoffs, you can finish the race. These cutoff times correlate well to the runners time who did finish the race. I heard alot about the cutoffs, from Thursday on. I ignored them. I had worked out my times and splits for each section.

Then I left them in Ohio. Not on purpose, but oh well, that was fine. I knew I wanted to be at the Whites Run AS at 1230pm. I didn't have much spare time/wiggle room, even with my predicted finish time of 13 1/2 hours. But that's what I thought I could finish the race in. So that's 1/2 hour of spare time. Not much; but realistic.

So, having these realistic goals, I did not worry about the cut offs.I have learned, at races, that worrying about cutoffs can actually take a physical toll on you. You lose energy on this. Add in some emotional distress about it, and you're digging yourself a big hole before the race even starts.

The race starts promptly at 6 am, and we are off! I make sure I stay in the pack of runners, so I am not DFL and lost in the meadow. I successfully traverse the meadow out of The Mountain Institute and we are on our way to Spruce Knob! I chat with Darcy on the climb here, and it's not as bad or big as I remember it. (Psst, Kimba, maybe you have improved..)

We turn on the asphalt road to the summit, and are rewarded with the beautiful view of a very pink sun over the mountain! It's not foggy this morning, and we are rewarded with awesome views. We are above the clouds-there is fog in some of the valleys below. I catch up to Elizabeth here, who is taking some pictures. I discard the long sleeve shirt and light to Adam, replenish some water, and head down the Huckleberry Trail on my way to Judy Springs. Today it's a 9 mile stretch to the AS.

I feel I am running well down Huckleberry, yet it is quite some time before I catch another runner, which is Kate. I compliment Kate and her strong downhill running. There's a nice big downhill, and then a right hand turn onto the High Meadow Trail. I almost miss it, since there is a tree down almost right at the intersection, but I spot a blue WVMTR ribbon on the other side. I only go a few feet down the trail when I stop for a bathroom break.

When I step back on the trail, I see Kate..then I see Kate still heading downhill, following the Huckleberry. I get her attention, and get her on the right trail. High Meadow is tough. It's tough always; rocky and muddy and you can't really get a decent running pace going with all the stops and starts. Now we've added fresh trees down. I just ran this section in August, and none of these trees were down then. This is the Sunday snow storm damage. I pass two hikers, and have to duck through a downed tree, and then I trip and go down. A tree branch has impaled itself in my thigh. I remove it; at least it's not deep. It's not bleeding much so I don't worry about it.

I hit the High Meadow and get the super awesome views again, AND the downhill through the meadow. On this trail, you actually get to run in three meadows. I believe that is to make up for having to go Uphill on the Horton Trail today. I'm still feeling fine. Energy is good, attitude is great, body feels fine. I get to Judy Springs, see the gang, grab some food, and head on out to conquer the Horton. I glance at my watch at the bottom of Horton. It's a one mile climb, and I want to better my fifty minute climb from last year.

Somewhere on the climb up Horton, I notice my Garmin has stopped. Somewhere the button got punched, probably through a tree somewhere. Well shoot. Now I have no idea of my time. I'm sure I lost my little bit of cushion on the Horton Trail. I get to the top, and take the right hand turn for the Whites Run Section. I'm not sure, in my head of the distance to the AS, I think it's around 5.5 miles. So I start down Whites.
See that big downhill, right at mile 25? That is where White's AS is.

I lost the trail on Whites for a bit. Elizabeth caught up to me and hollered, she was on the trail. This was a section of so many blowdowns I couldn't find a blue blaze or a blue ribbon. Since I had been on this trail before, I knew to follow the ridgeline.

When I catch up to Elizabeth, she asks me "Do you think we can make the cutoffs?" I am surprised. "Well, yeah, we can." But this is the first time all day a bit of doubt has entered my mind. The traversing of White's Run didn't help. Any little bit of climb I cheered-that would be downhill coming back. But there was alot of downhill. I ran all of that as fast as I can, trying to make up some time. It was frustrating too, that I knew the section, and I knew when the trail started following the side of the mountain, we would be almost to the AS.

But it took a long time to get there. I had my two liter hydration pack filled up, I left with two handhelds. I reset the Garmin here. I hear what time it is, although I would have rather not know. I believe they told me it was 1.08 pm. I wanted to get into this AS at 1230 or 1245 at the latest. And I have 8.8 miles to get to Horton AS by 330 pm.

It is a very slow climb out of Whites. I encounter the mother/son team, and then Kate is behind them. I glance at my now functioning Garmin and tell Kate she has .66 miles to the AS. I am very disheartened to see it's taken me 19 minutes to go that .66 mile. I turn on my music.

Now I am having my pity party here. I have too much weight in the pack, I empty one of my handhelds. I want to dump some of the water too, but I don't have time to stop. I start to hyperventilate a bit and tear up. Then I get a grip and put both earphones on. I tell myself "your only job is get up this hill" and I keep repeating this over and over. I focus on the ground in front of me, with small glances now and then with the neverending climb. This goes on for quite a while.

Then I catch a glimpse of legs ahead and cheer up.  As slow as I am, I've caught up to someone!

I actually pass two guys. They are very quiet and unhappy.

Now I see Suzie ahead. I catch her and she's not unhappy! 

We stay pretty close and it helps both of us to have someone to talk to.  I'm getting mad at the downed trees and just tell Suzie to just go through them. She does, promptly trips and does a full body plant in the tree.

But since we got to the downed trees, we know this is back at the  beginning of  White's Run, and we should be looking for the Blue Pie Plate to direct us on a right hand turn down Horton, on our way to Horton Aid Station.

Suzie whoops and starts down the new trail. I glance at my watch.  I believe it said 3pm. And my Garmin read 6 miles.  So I got 30 minutes to go 2.8 miles.  The heart sinks.

But it's downhill.  I get after Suzie, and then the mind starts thinking...What if your Garmin is wrong?  What if the time and mileage is off?  Wouldn't it SUCK to miss the cutoff because you think you can't do it??

And it's downhill.  "Come on Suzie we can DO IT" I bellow and pass Suzie.  Now I've turned into Kimba the wild trail runner. I  pass Angie.

I am doing some crazy assed down hill running.  I'm impressed with myself. I have no fear.  I do think to myself  "Kimba, if you had ran like this earlier, you wouldn't be in this spot now.."

The trail follows the creek, and I keep looking for the road. I know the AS will be at the road.  Every late summer sunshine glow, I think this will be the break, and the road will be there.

I glance at the watch. It's 330pm.  I keep going. Maybe it's right around the next corner, and if it's just a few minutes over, I will keep going and am pretty sure the AS Captain will let me..

Still no road. Crap. I keep going.  Finally, I see an appliance in the creek(I think it was a washing machine) and I know it's close if I am seeing trash.

Michelle is waiting for me.  It's 345pm.  I am over, but I can go if I want..but I have to go faster.

I decide to stop.  I've really pushed myself on this section.  I can't see how I can get faster.  If it was ten minutes or less...yes, I would have gone for it.

At least I dug myself out of that pity party on White's Run and I did give it my all coming down Horton.  That did redeem my DNF for me.  That was some good downhill running.  I did not quit, I did not worry about the cutoffs, and I did not let them affect me emotionally or mentally.

Could I have made it without the tough course conditions? Yes,I think I could have.  The downed trees added another level of difficulty to an already tough course.  But that's no excuse. There were plenty of runners who had to climb around, through, under the same trees as I.

So ends the Trilogy for me.  I did not run the 1/2 marathon the next day, as I didn't see the point.  I was able to get home much earlier in the day, since my dog had surgery on the Thursday that I left on, and I wanted to relieve my husband as single care giver.


The WV Trilogy is a great race. Well organized, beautiful trails and views, and that special place at the Mountain Institute.  I highly recommend this race to everyone!

WV Trilogy 50K Race Report

WV Trilogy 50K It was a beautiful day on the trails in West Virginia. The first day of the Trilogy, for stage runners, is all about taking it easy. I started the day at an easy pace, and kept at this pace throughout the day.
We did the 5K loop around the Start/Finish Line, then we headed off to go down Cardiac Hill. It was a bit slick here with the leaves, and I just took it easy on this downhill. I caught up to Michelle here, and we would stay together for the rest of the race.



Michelle and I had both ran the 50K last year (same course this year) and we did alot of remembering small landmarks. After around mile 5, we hop onto Forest Road 112 and head down to the first AS.
 Even the road sections are pretty at The Trilogy

There are some large black animals around the Gateway Campground Sign-and as we get closer, we see these are actually cows! not bears. Apparently the front runner guys did encounter the bear. We get to the AS at Bee Run, and start through a meadow section.

I catch up to and pass some runners through here. I remember this section well, it's kind of overgrown with meadow grass and there are hidden rocks -. I encounter one and take a tumble into the high weeds.

We start on the many creek crossings too. I splash right through them, as there will be far more water crossings down the trail. Before I know it, we've hit another section of road, and then there is a big uphill climb, at mile 11, before we get to the "real pretty" part of the course. This is a very good, long section of uphill. I pass two women, and then Rhonda catches up to me, and we compare the uphill to various hills on the MMT Course.  



This is also where we pick up Suzie for the day too.

Michelle is slower on the climbs but always manages to catch up to us on the flats. Now we ware heading down the Allegheny Mountain Trail, where the evidence of the snow storm starts. Adam had warned us about the blowdowns on the trail, but was startling to see just how many trees were down. (One runner counted downed
trees on the 50 mile course, he reported over 200.) It was hard to get a running pace going. You could begin to run, but then would have to pick your way around, through, or over a tree. It didn't really bother us, because us four women were having a blast running together. One, I hardly ever run with other people, let alone females. It was just great running and chatting and sharing stories and info.
We then start down the infamous Horton Trail. I tell everyone it's real runnable, and they let me lead. But in the first 1/4 mile, there was not much running-more downed trees to climb over/around/through. We did use Adam's rope over the slick rock section, which signalled to me we were almost at the bottom.

We then turn to go now upstream on the Seneca Creek Trail, and take our time playing tourist with the stream and waterfalls.
 



 




We are then back at the Judy Springs Aid Station, for some more awesome quesadillas, and then we are off to the High Meadows Trail. Michelle and I have been talking up the Meadows view, and I don't think anyone was disappointed.

There is only one downside to bursting into the meadow-knowing you have to go through and UP and UP to the top of the meadow. But there was still plenty of time to admire the views.
After the High Meadow, there is about a 5 mile stretch on the Lumberjack Trail. I didn't like it last year at all, but I ran out of water and calories through here. This year, I found it slightly better, due to us four runners together. It did not seem as wet as the year before. Still, it's a trail with rocks and mud section that makes it hard to get into a running rhythm.
I stopped for a bathroom break and caught up to John, who had just passed by. John was hurting. This was John's first ultra. It was actually his longest distance past a 1/2 marathon! I told John he picked a really tough 50K to start with! I hung with John for a bit, trying to give him some encouragement and positive thoughts for this section.
We spin back out on the road and now it's less than 1/2 mile to the last aid station, and then about a 5K to the finish. I grab a couple cookies and take off on the downhill here. Although it's been a beautiful day on the trail, it's easy to get impatient on the last few miles. Cardiac Hill was just not as bad as I remember it. Perhaps somewhere, I have improved on my climbing ability.
I spot Rhonda just a bit ahead of me; but it's too big of a gap to give chase on. I was happy to see my finishing time of 8.08. Last year I finished in 8.57 I believe, so I shaved quite a bit off this year-without much effort.
A word that came into my head early on during this race was 'effortless'. I was running well and not exerting all that much effort. I was not slacking or walking where it was not necessary, but I was not 'racing' this either, due to the upcoming 50 mile race in the morning.
This was one of my most fun races I have had, thanks to the company of Michelle, Suzie, and Rhonda-thanks ladies!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Work Out Today

I am planning on writing race reports, both about the 50K race and the 50 mile race-I just haven't had time. Work has kicked my butt this week, and I've been exhausted when I returned home. Writing for over one hour was not in my plans the first part of my week. Tomorrow, Thursday, is my day off, so I hope to get time to get some writing done. I re-upped my membership at the Y, and went to the Y today. Most of my DOMS has subsided. It was a short workout;30 minutes. I warmed up on the elliptical for ten minutes. Then I moved over to the EFX Precor, which is an elliptical cross trainer. But it functions also like a stair climber. I fooled around it, for twelve minutes, changing the resistance and the incline to see what it could do. I think this will be great climbing workout. Then I finished up with a short walk on the treadmill. I don't have any real plans to run this week. I am out of town tomorrow, on my day off, then I work Friday and all weekend. I think a nice week off should function well as recovery, then I will look at the plans for the rest of October.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Whine Free Post

I just looked at my pics that I took. Again, the camera does not do a very good job (or maybe it's the photographer) of The High Meadow Trail. This is just about my favorite trail. I would love to come back and camp here so I could just sit and look for hours and hours.

Monday, October 10, 2011

50 Miler: A DNF is a DNF

 A note to start:
This is an off the cuff, honest, unedited, view of my DNF. I do plan on writing a coherent, more "travel channel" post about my 50 mile run. I know only a few folks will understand about the "Whites Run" out and back section, but I really don't care about that right now.
There will be a nice blog about the 50 miler, and maybe some introspective on what happened, but actually, nothing happened. I was too slow. I felt great during the entire race. I had no issues.



Well, it's only about the 50 mile DNF.  Outside of the DNF, I had a fabulous weekend in WV. Spruce Knob Trails are very special. It's very cool to be there.
I missed the cut off at 3.45 pm.  Megan, my friend and AS Captain, gave me the option. She said you are over the cut off, but you can go. But you need to go faster.
If I had been closer, I would have gone. But 15 minutes over, I knew wasn't going to cut it. My voice did crack as I told her I would stop.  The math does work out well. The runners that got through Horton AS at 330pm also made it through the last cut off at 710pm, and I also believe are counted as official 50 mile finishers, even being over the 14 hour mark. Hey, that's the RD call.
I don't want to hear about "well, you went 33 miles, that's so great"  or "you went miles farther than the person sitting on the couch" platitudes.  People, I went 33 miles. Whooppee shit. The race ended at 50 miles and I did not complete it.  It matters not to me that I went farther than some fatass on a couch or I gave it all I had. I didn't do what I came to do. It's a D-N-F.

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Yes. No.No, I am actually angry and disappointed in myself. So is that a pity party? I don't know. Do I feel like a big loser? Yes. Am  I over-reacting? Yes. It's two days post race and I am tired. It's amazing how different you feel about your sore muscles when you've had a good race.

Did I have a bad race? Well, yeah, considering the fact that I did not finish..

Okay, some positives. Maybe I can dig myself out of the ditch here.

I had no negative talk-until the climb out of White's Run.  I was not worried and was not thinking about the cutoffs for the 50 mile race on Friday.In fact, I told quite a few people to stop dwelling about the cut offs for the 50 miler, they were just creating negativity.
In fact, until Elizabeth caught me, on the out to Whites Run AS, where she asked me  if I thought we would make the cut offs, I was actually surprised. "Well, yeah we'll make the cut off..."
That was the first of it. But, you know, my pace was my pace. It wasn't going any faster through the downed trees.  That was when I first started thinking of the cut offs, but I didn't look at my watch. I didn't see the point. I would get to Whites Run when I did, and I would then turn around and head back out. That certainly was a given; I was not stopping and dropping at Whites Run.
They told me the time at WR AS, which I really didn't want to hear. I also reset my Garmin here, since I had screwed it up somewhere previously. So I knew it was 1.08 pm when I left Whites Run AS. I had 8.8 miles to go, to Horton AS, by 3.30pm.
My low spot and pity party hit after Kate came by still going to WR AS. I was climbing,so slowly, up the unending hills.. There was no way I could do this. I thought about the guys at Oil Creek and teared up. And started a bit of hyperventilating, and some general whininess.
Then I put the headphones back on, and turned up the music. I put the guys and the negative thoughts away, and my new mantra was "your job and only job is to get up this hill".
This kept working. I wasn't going fast. Oh no. But I was moving forward, steadily. And I put the sadness away. It kept coming back, but then I started singing out loud with certain parts of songs.
I caught up to people. What an  incredible short of adrenalin-for my spirit, at least, not my speed.
I passed two guys. They were very unhappy, and moving very slowly.
Then I saw Suzie, that I had ran with, most of the 50K Friday. I finally caught up to her, and I think it boosted both our spirits.
The downed trees were pissing me off, finally. I started just going through them. Screw it.
But I also knew the downed trees were back at the beginning of the Whites Run Trail, and Suzie thought we were almost back to Horton Trail also.
I heard Suzie whoop, and then  I saw the blue plastic plate.
I also glance at my Garmin. It's a mile 6; it's 3 pm. I have 30 minutes to go 2.8 miles. I think. More or less.
But it's downhill. And that's my strength. And what if the Garmin is wrong? What if my time is off, and it's less mileage?
I tear off downhill. Suzie lets me by. I have to say, those miles off Horton were some of my most inspired, crazy assed downhill running. I had no fear and there were no breaking on the downhills. As I ran this, I even thought to myself "you know, if you ran like this more earlier,  you wouldn't be in this spot now".
I ran. The Garmin clicked off a mile,then another mile. But my time was whittling away. Where was the road? I
I kept seeing big breaks of sunshine in the distance, which I hoped would signal the road-and the AS. I kept running. I would hate to miss the cut off by some namby pamby number.
I finally came to the river bottom and saw, an old appliance. It cheered me, I knew I had to be close to the road.
I saw Megan, alone, waiting. She gave me the news..and the option.
Fifteen minutes was too much. If it had been under ten, YES I would have gone. I really had pushed the gears going down the hill to the AS. But knowing the big climb up over the mountain again to Judy Springs, I did not think I would have survived the last cut off.
But, at least, I did have that redeeming run off Horton. I did not walk slow or run slow enough to 'catch' the cutoff. I busted my ass. I had some thrilling bad ass downhill running off that trail.
So that at least redeemed my 50 mile race for me. At least I had the good 'all or nothing' coming off Horton. It's the only thing that gives me cheer about not reaching my goal..again.

People, if you do leave comments, please don't give me the burble 'wait till next year' okay? I'm really not in the mood for it.  Or, hell, leave it if you must. I can take it. It just doesn't do anything for me.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Weather Forecast

 This is from Whitmer, which is 2545 feet elevation.  We will be around 3 or 4000 feet, so it should be just a bit cooler.
Isn't this awesome?
Today
Partly Cloudy 70 °F
Partly Cloudy
Tonight
Clear 36 °F
Clear
Tomorrow
Clear 74 °F
Clear
Saturday
Clear 70 | 40 °F
Clear
Sunday
Clear 70 | 40 °F
Clear

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Trilogy 50Mile Plan


Okay, yesterday I did the once over of the 50K. Today is the 50 mile turn.
  

I can't go over the course because I QUIT at mile 24.  I defeated myself, mentally, at the 50 miler, the day before, and the night before.  I thought too much.

I let numbers bug me, and times bug me, until they eroded away my resolve.  I was doubtful the night before. And I set myself up for failure. And I did.


SO enough about last year. What about this year?


I can complete this race in around 13.5 hours. Now, the cutoff is 14 hours, so I am not leaving myself much room. But I am being realistic.  If I could finish in around 13 hours, I would be ecstatic, that would be a great time for me.


I have looked at both my times and Kathy Wolf's from last year. I know the first half of the course. I have given myself pretty realistic goals in what I think I can do each section in.


The first  section, for example,is a big climb, to Spruce Knob, the tallest point in West Virginia. I have myself plugged in at 20 minute miles. And that would be on fresh legs. Now, if I could do better than that, all is good too.
The next section, the first part, from  Spruce Knob, down the Huckleberry, is downhill. BUT it is pretty rocky. But now as bad as MMT rocks, so I am giving myself 14 minute miles on this. And if I do better than 14 minute miles, all is good.
I do have times I want to be at each AS.  I will note my times. If it is a good time, I will feel empowered. If I am being my time goal, I am not going to dwell on it.  My running style is such that I start out pretty slow.  I gain strength through out a long run.
I will be fine as long as I don't freak out about the time.  And I am not going to allow myself to do that.


I know the course-even the part I didn't run-pretty well.  I ran some of it on the WVMTR weekend in August, and I have been looking over the course maps.  I  know what kind of terrain the second half of the 50 miler holds.


I also have a fueling plan for my 50 mile race.  There will be plenty of calories to intake so there won't be any issues.

I am going to carry my camera and take some fine meadow pics on Friday, but no camera on Saturday. Saturday is relentless forward motion day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trilogy Plans Day One 50K

Okay, I am ready for the Trilogy. The only things left to do is measure out my maltodextrin for my pack. Now that my hydration vest is spanking clean again, I can pack it up and evaluate whether a bottle of malto will fit, or if I should store the powder in baggies.

Three days of running clothes assembled, and stuffed into ziplock bags. This ensures me that 'all I need' for that day is in that bag-except shoes.
I am bringing three pairs of shoes, one for each day. I do have plenty of room in my vehicle.

On my day off from work, tomorrow, I do need to try and find my Hannibal Lechter breathing mask. The frustrating part is, I saw it around this house maybe one month ago. Did I tuck it into the wrong drawer? Oh well, if I don't find it,it's a little late to be thinking about buying a new one, unless there happens to be a Dicks Sporting Goods on my journey south. I can improvise with one of my Buff Bands.

50K Plans
The 50K race has more elevation change that the 50 mile race. I remember the first ten miles being pretty uneventful. I know we go down "Cardiac Hill" around mile 2, which we also have to climb at the end of the race-that old 'must goes down, must go up' saying. I remember we go through a big meadow which was kind of overgrown.
I know now that my feet will not be dry later so I won't be concerned about it in the first ten miles of the race.
Knowing a race course really helps me. After the Bee Run AS, I will be headed for Judy Springs. I was frustrated last year, because there is a huge climb right after the Bee Run AS. I thought, since I was going to Judy Springs, it should be downhill, right? Well, if I had looked at the map better, I would have seen the big ascent. Now I know it is there, and am mentally prepared for the climb.

I am also ready for the two climbs that you encounter each time you leave the Judy Springs Aid Station. I'm really looking forward to Big Meadow, that's the reward (and big climb) you recieve around mile 22. I am ready for wet feet.
When you hit Seneca Creek, the course takes yo.u back and forth over the creek. Other than not falling in the creek, I'm going to splash through.
I am ready for the section after Big Meadow, called the Lumberjack Trail. This section is kind of tedious, full of rocks, puddles, on a kind of old railroad bed with a deceptive progressive uphill. I find this tedious last year, but I was out of water and low on calories through here. Now I know better, and will try to just blast through here.
And I know I have Cardiac Hill at almost the end, I will try and find a good hiking pole on the way to it, to help me get back up that hill!

I will be wearing for the 50K, the discontinued Montrail Wildflower Trace. I have three pairs of these, and use these as my 'standard' trail shoes.

The weather forecast looks good for the weekend-the little towns around TMI (Whitmer) suggest a high of 69 or 70 degrees. It should be a bit colder at just a higher elevation, which could translate to..around sixty degrees? Perfect running weather?

Body Image Part 85

I did it.

I finally got the brain to accept the body.

I looked ay myself and felt..'thin'. (As in, not fat.)

Then I looked in the mirror, and saw my little self. I didn't see a fat person.

I saw me. I saw my awesome strong legs and small body.

It's about time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Consistency Part 1 ( Of a Series, Perhaps)

The words 'consistency' in training context has come up alot lately.  I was going to write more, about consistency in running, but I think for today the post below sums it up nicely.

One of Slim's QOTD revolved around it:

"So a friend of mine asked me to write him out a training plan for a local 50k (mt. mist), which i'm glad to do.
however when he called to talk about it, the topic of the infamous "secret" of running success came up, which got me thinking.
many explanations, some passive, some rigorous, some rather mystical, have been put forward to describe this supposed secret, but i don't think that all of it is warranted.
i think it can be summed up in one word:  consistency.
it's no secret, and it's painfully obvious, but it's also so incredibly difficult, if not impossible to live by.
day after day after day after day is the easy part.
week after week after week a little more difficult.
month after month and year after year... this is when the idea is lost.
the tendency is to assume that something isn't quite working right after a year(s) of training without a pr or a win.
clearly some "trick" must be missing from the training regimen, some miracle product, shoe, gel or mantra everyone else has that i don't.
but, as with most aspects of the ultras, patience - utter, total, mundane, and relentless patience - seems to be the key to this consistency.
determination, heart, drive, spirit - call it whatever buzzword you like, but when it comes down to it, consistently, patiently, unrelentingly placing one foot in front of the other.
this may seem obvious to many, but it’s simple, yet all-encompassing nature bears repeating from time to time.
i know i need to hear it, and i suspect others do as well."
-john nevels


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Females in the Field


The HOT Version of the The Wild Oak Trail Race was held yesterday, still wondering how that went. (This is known as Hot Twot.)

In perusing the web site, there have only been two female finishers of TWOT! (The original, held in February).

What's with the few female finisher rate in runs/races I am  interested in? Do females not care?  Do they not know about races? Or is it because statistically, we're a much smaller portion of the ultra running community?


I know there are more and  more female trail runners. There are so many now, at local races, I don't know all the female names...it was easy when there was just a few of us.
But I am talking here, above, in the popular local races. The local 50K events and such.

When you move up a notch, or up a degree of difficulty, the numbers seem to drop off again.
 My spring race, the MMT, had 24 female starters of 195 starters.

 My race this weekend, the Trilogy, has 11 females of out 30-that actually seems like a pretty high number to me.

Why aren't women progressing up the scale? Do they not want to? Do they think they can't do it? Or is it, simply,they don't have the interest?

So, I guess, begging the question, what makes me different from these other females, in terms of motivation?

It is no longer bling (it never was, with me)  or whatever schwag you get for finishing. (Although I am very proud of my MMT buckle!!) 

Some of it is peer review.  When Lloyd ran his 50 miles at URINEO, in 2009, he said he did it,"Now in the fourth edition, only a handful of NEO Trail Club members have finished the entire 50 miles. I started the day with the idea to add my name to this list of esteemed runners."

Lloyd told that to me, at the end of his 50 miler in 2009. I was immediately stoked-and committed-to also add my name to the list of NEO TC members who have completed a URINEO 50 mile. I did so in 2010.

There is a little event in the VHTRC world, called The Ring, and Reverse Ring. Both Fat Ass Events, no bling given, or wanted, but you get your name, as a Master of the Ring after finishing both directions of the Massanutten Trail Loop.  The only ones that know about this is yourself and anyone else that cares.  As in the VHTRC, there are some pretty esteemed folks that know about, think  it's cool/great/astonishing, and get their cool congratulations afterwards. And many times, at least for me, that means more than any bling I could pick up in an organized race setting.  I get the respect of my peers.

I think I will try and do some research, to see what kind of number of females finished trail races compared to males in 2010 or a previous year. Maybe there are some stats from Ultrarunning Magazine I can look at.


But meanwhile, I have to go drop my Hardrock 2012 application in the mail.





Saturday, October 1, 2011

Trilogy Planning and Packing

October is here! And five days til the Trilogy!
I am pretty organized, on paper for the stage race.  I know what I am fueling with, and how much calories I will be carrying.
The Trilogy is a stage race. 50K on Friday, 50 miles  Saturday, 1/2 marathon on  Sunday. This is in a remote location in West Virginia, so aid stations are where the trail comes closest to a road access.  The exception is the Judy Springs Aid Station, where the volunteers mountain biked the aid in, over 2 miles. I believe this year we have some horse friends involved, where the horses will be packing the aid in. (Thanks, horses!)

I will be using malto dextrin as my calories for the races.  I have my splits planned, and know how much MD I will be picking up from my drop bag. 

I have my gear list ready, of what I need to bring. The clothing list is ready too, just one list X THREE.

The weather is the wild card, as always. We will be around 3000 and 4000 feet elevation. It will be down in the thirties at night,but who knows during the day?  Checking the weather in the area doesn't help a whole lot, as the town of Circleville is down around 800 feet elevation.  So, clothing options are, like last year, shorts and short-sleeve tops, and then of course bring along the capris/wool top/hat/gloves/windbreakers and see what the weather is once I arrive.

Sunday is my  day off from work, and I think when I will gather all my lists and drag the gear out and start packing.

And I still need to wash my filthy hydration vest, it's been dirty since before The Ring!!